INFORMATION

Site Map - Legislation

Video voyeurism

- The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill (S. 1301) that would make it illegal to surreptitiously videotape or photograph people in certain situations. Under the provision, which applies only in federal jurisdictions such as military bases, recording anyone naked or in a state of undress without that person's consent in situations where privacy can reasonably be expected would be illegal. The bill must now be approved by the full House of Representatives before it can be presented to the president for his approval.

Border protection

- A bill (S. 2295) introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that would establish a program for using advanced technology to meet border protection needs has been approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. It must now be taken up by the full House of Representatives to move forward.

Discrimination

- A bill (S. 1053) that would make it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of genetic information has been approved by the Senate and has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. However, the committee is unlikely to consider the bill because of the backlog of funding and appropriations measures that must be considered by the committee before year's end.

9-11 Commission

- A bipartisan group of Senators led by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has introduced legislation implementing the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission. The bill, unnamed at press time, essentially puts the 9-11 report recommendations into legislative language with one exception--the head of intelligence would not be in the White House, a change the commission concurred with based on concerns about the future politicization of intelligence.

Legal Reporter

- Was a violent attack on a concertgoer foreseeable? Plus cases on retaliatory discharge and libel, maritime regulation, and a bioterror law.

I Spy an End to Spyware

- Two bills that would curtail spyware passed the House of Representatives just before members adjourned to campaign for reelection. H.R. 2929, sponsored by Mary Bono (R-CA), criminalizes actions such as the "hijacking" of a browser, modifying bookmarks or a browser's start page, and installing any type of software program that would spy on a user's sessions. It would prohibit keystroke loggers, and make it illegal to use a "zombie" computer to damage another computer.

E-signatures

- The Texas Attorney General has issued an opinion (No. GA-0228) that federal laws governing the use of e-signatures do not require county clerks to accept them for land records. The opinion states that federal law does not apply to real estate filings with the state. The opinion also notes that while the laws do apply to transactions between consenting private parties, there is no duty for county recorders to accept electronic signatures created in these private transactions.

Bioterrorism defense.

- The House of Representatives has approved a Senate bill (S. 15) authorizing the government's Project Bioshield, and President Bush has signed the legislation into law (P.L. 108-276).

Intelligence program

- Congress moves ahead on intelligence reform bills

Legal Reporter

- A wrap-up of security legislation considered by the 108th Congress.

Security standards

- A bill (S. 216) that would have established a Private Security Industry Task Force within the Department of Homeland Security was introduced but was not actively considered by lawmakers in this congressional session.

Security officers

- A carefully watched bill (S. 1743) that would have allowed employers to search the FBI database when doing background checks on security officer applicants was approved by the Senate and was subject to hearings in the House Education and Workforce Committee's Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations. However, the bill did not garner the subcommittee's approval.

Nuclear plant security

- Two bills that would have required enhanced security at nuclear power plants were introduced in the 108th Congress but neither was approved. S. 1043 would have required that the government classify threats against power plants; coordinate federal, state, and local security efforts; review the adequacy of existing security plans; and revise hiring and training standards for private security officers serving at nuclear power plants. H.R. 2951 would have prohibited the operation of any nuclear power plant unless it had a government-certified radiological emergency response plan. Such plans would be have been required to provide reasonable assurance that public health and safety was not endangered by the operation of the facility.
 




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