FC: Feds can't collect info on visitors to their sites, new law says

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Tue Nov 20 2001 - 20:45:37 PST

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    Text of law:
    Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 16:14:50 -0800
    From: Jim Warren <jwarrenat_private>
    Subject: restriction on federal monitoring of personal use of Internet
    WOW!  With some slippery exceptions, this Act (below) prohibits ANY federal 
    funding ("in this or any other Act"!!!) from being used by "any federal 
    agency" to "collect, review, or create" any "personally identifiable 
    information relating to an individual's access to or use of" any federal 
    agency Internet site or "any nongovernmental Internet site."
    One wonders how this will impact White House and other agencies' covert 
    monitoring of which federal workers are viewing which web-pages using 
    tax-funded computers.  (The "law enforcement, regulatory, or supervisory 
    purposes" exception might cover things like that, but if the Sec. 639 
    prohibition is to have ANY value, then those exceptions need to be more 
    precisely defined than they are.)
    Jim Warren; jwarrenat_private, technology & public policy columnist & advocate
    345 Swett Rd, Woodside CA 94062; voice/650-851-7075; fax/off due to spam-glut
    [self-inflating puffery: Playboy Foundation Hugh Hefner First-Amendment Award;
    Soc.of Prof.Journalists-Nor.Calif. James Madison Freedom-of-Information Award;
    founded InfoWorld, Dr.Dobb's Journal, and Computers, Freedom & Privacy Confs.;
    Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award (in its first year), blah blah]
    At 03:18 PM -0500 11/20/01, "Patrice McDermott" <patricemat_private> 
    posted to the State and Local Freedom of Information Issues listserv (FOI-L):
    [I cleaned up the text formatting a bit.  --jim]
    >                 H.R.2590
    >                 Sponsor: Rep Istook, Ernest J., Jr.(introduced
    >                 7/23/2001) Related Bills:  H.Res. 206, S. 1398.
    >                 Latest Major Action: 11/12/2001 Became Public Law No: 107-67.
    >                 Title: Making appropriations for the Treasury
    >                 Department, the United States Postal Service, the
    >                 Executive Office of the President, and certain
    >                 Independent Agencies, for the fiscal year ending
    >                 September 30, 2002, and for other purposes.
    >  >  -----Original Message-----
    >  > Gentlemen:  This is the conference language agreed to by the House
    >>  and Senate.  I do not have a copy of the Public Law as of yet. TITLE
    >  >      Sec. 639. (a) Prohibition of Federal Agency Monitoring of Personal
    >  >   Information on Use of Internet.-- None of the funds made available
    >>    in this or any other Act may be used by any Federal agency--
    >>         (1) to collect, review, or create any aggregate list, derived
    >>         from any means, that includes the collection of any personally
    >>         identifiable information relating to an individual's access to or
    >  >        use of any Federal Government Internet site of the agency; or
    >  >
    >>         (2) to enter into any agreement with a third party (including
    >>         another government agency) to collect, review, or obtain any
    >>         aggregate list, derived from any means, that includes the
    >  >        collection of any personally identifiable information relating 
    > to an
    >  >        individual's access to or use of any nongovernmental Internet site.
    >  >
    >>       (b) Exceptions.--The limitations established in subsection (a) 
    >> shall not
    >  >      apply to--
    >  >        (1) any record of aggregate data that does not identify
    >>         particular persons;
    >  >        (2) any voluntary submission of personally identifiable 
    > information;
    >  >
    >  >        (3) any action taken for law enforcement, regulatory, or
    >  >        supervisory purposes, in accordance with applicable law; or
    >>         (4) any action described in subsection (a)(1) that is a system
    >  >        security action taken by the operator of an Internet site and is
    >  >        necessarily incident to the rendition of the Internet site services
    >  >        or to the protection of the rights or property of the provider of
    >  >        the Internet site.
    >>      (c)  Definitions.--For the purposes of this section:
    >>         (1) The term ``regulatory'' means agency actions to
    >  >        implement, interpret or enforce authorities provided in law.
    >  >        (2) The term ``supervisory'' means examinations of the agency's
    >  >        supervised institutions, including assessing safety and soundness,
    >>         overall financial condition, management practices and policies
    >  >        and compliance with applicable standards as provided in law.
    >------- End of forwarded message -------
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