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by CSO Contributor

Move in Congress to Curb Patriot Act; Smart Cards Track Commuters; Microsoft Shuts Chat Rooms

Sep 25, 20032 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Move in Congress to Curb Patriot Act

A group of congressmen led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) wants to scale back broad federal surveillance powers granted to law enforcement after the Sept. 11 attacks. According to a story in The Cleveland Plain Dealer, the bill would repeal parts of the controversial Patriot Act that allow secret searches and wiretaps as well as detaining suspects indefinitely without meaningful judicial review, and that broaden the definition of what constitutes a terrorist group. It would also overturn laws that require airport screeners to be U.S. citizens, repeal Justice and Homeland Security department exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act and toss out a law that lets the FBI conduct undercover investigations of religious centers. Meanwhile, the Justice Department recently set up the website to promote the Patriot Act. Smart Cards Track CommutersBBC News today. The data, retained for business purposes such as analyzing passenger traffic, could be released to law enforcement agencies under certain conditions. Anyone hoping to use a monthly or annual season ticket will have to register their details with Transport for London, although anonymous cards will be available to those willing to pay per journey. Privacy groups are concerned with function creep for the data.

With a new smart card system, Transport for London will be able to track a commuter’s movements, and it plans to retain information on journeys made for “a number of years,” according to the

Microsoft Shuts Chat RoomsNew Zealand Herald, user-created chatrooms provided by Microsoft in 28 countries, including New Zealand, most in Europe, Latin America and Asia, will be shut down from next month as part of a worldwide effort to stop child solicitation and other abuses. In the United States moderated and unmoderated chatrooms would be moved behind a subscription wall, requiring a credit card number. New Zealand Internet Safety Group spokesman Richard Shera told the Herald any moves toward stopping the use of chatrooms by pedophiles was welcome. But he did not think Microsoft’s actions would make a significant difference.

According to a story in todays