Lawmakers renew push for data-mining law

Sen. Patrick Leahy

Sens. Patrick Leahy and Russell Feingold are urging fellow lawmakers to support a bill that would require agencies to report to Congress on data-mining technologies used for homeland security purposes.

Feingold introduced the Data-Mining Reporting Act of 2003 last summer, but it stalled in the Judiciary Committee. Now, Feingold (D-Wis.) and Leahy (D-Vt.) are making a renewed push in a letter to fellow senators to gather support for the bill, S 1544.

The legislation's focus is how agencies use data-mining techniques for homeland security and whether any privacy rights could be compromised.

Agencies would be required to submit a report to Congress 90 days after the bill became law and then annually on activities 'used to find a pattern indicating terrorist or other criminal activity and how these programs implicate the civil liberties and privacy of all Americans.'

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