Friday, November 6, 2009

Privacy Backers Want Probe of DHS Privacy Officer

Electronic privacy supporters from the left and the right join to demand answers from the federal office headed by Mary Ellen Callahan, Homeland Security's privacy mogul:
Privacy advocates have asked lawmakers to investigate the Department of Homeland Security office in charge of protecting Americans' privacy, saying it has shown "an extraordinary disregard" for its duty.
In a letter sent Friday to the House Homeland Security Committee, 21 organizations and seven people belonging to the Privacy Coalition say the department's chief privacy officer has seen its role as enabling, rather than curbing, government surveillance and intelligence programs.
"The job of Chief Privacy Officer is not to provide public relations for the Department of Homeland Security," stated the coalition letter, whose signers included the American Civil Liberties Union, Gun Owners of America, former congressman Robert L. Barr Jr. (R-Ga.) and libertarians inspired by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), a former presidential candidate. The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a public interest group in Washington, organized the coalition.
Separately, the aforementioned Mary Ellen Callahan reached an agreement with the EU "on a set of common principles that unite our approaches to protecting personal data when exchanging information for law enforcement and security purposes." According to Callahan, the next step is "a binding international EU-U.S. agreement based on these common principles to facilitate further cooperation while ensuring the availability of full protection for our citizens."

No comments:

Post a Comment