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Privacy in Peril

November 17, 2006 • Volume 16, Issue 41
Will Congress strengthen privacy safeguards?
By Marcia Clemmitt

Introduction

A MoveOn.org demonstrator in Chicago last Feb. 22 protests President Bush's use of warrantless domestic wiretaps in fighting the war on terrorism.  (Getty Images/Tim Boyle)
A MoveOn.org demonstrator in Chicago last Feb. 22 protests President Bush's use of warrantless domestic wiretaps in fighting the war on terrorism. (Getty Images/Tim Boyle)

The proliferation of massive Internet-accessible databases is making corporate and government electronic snooping possible on a scale unprecedented in U.S. history. In the past year Americans have been buffeted by revelations that the government is conducting warrantless spying on citizens' phone calls, that corporate directors are hiring detectives who use false identities to access private phone records, and that thousands of credit-card numbers held in commercial databases have been lost or stolen. Privacy advocates warn that growing access to huge amounts of personal data — from Social Security numbers to health information — are virtually eliminating the concept of personal privacy. If the current Congress does not act this year on President Bush's request for expanded authority to wiretap citizens, the incoming Democrat-led Congress is not expected to approve it. The new Congress, however, is expected to consider requiring businesses and government to take stronger action to protect personal data.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Privacy
Oct. 25, 2013  Big Data and Privacy
Aug. 30, 2013  Government Surveillance
Jan. 25, 2013  Social Media Explosion
Sep. 17, 2010  Social Networking
Nov. 06, 2009  Online PrivacyUpdated
Nov. 17, 2006  Privacy in Peril
Jun. 15, 2001  Privacy Under Attack
Nov. 06, 1998  Internet Privacy
Nov. 19, 1993  Privacy in the Workplace
Apr. 17, 1992  Politicians and Privacy
Jan. 20, 1989  Your Right to Privacy
Mar. 21, 1986  Privacy in the Workplace
Oct. 18, 1974  Rights to Privacy
Apr. 05, 1967  Wiretapping and Bugging
Apr. 20, 1966  Protection of Privacy
Nov. 09, 1961  Wiretapping in Law Enforcement
Feb. 29, 1956  Surveillance of Spying
Jan. 25, 1956  Eavesdropping Controls
Mar. 14, 1949  Wire Tapping
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