Rep. Barton pledges push for Internet privacy oversight
Fresh off the election results, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) said privacy would be a priority for the next Congress.
Barton, the potential new chairman of the powerful Energy and Commerce committee, said recent data breaches show the need for more privacy protections for Internet users.
"I want the Internet economy to prosper, but it can’t unless the people’s right to privacy means more than a right to hear excuses after the damage is done," Barton said in a release on how third-party developers shared Facebook user information. "In the next Congress, the Energy and Commerce Committee and our subcommittees are going to put Internet privacy policies in the crosshairs."
Barton, ranking member of the Energy and Commerce committee, is a co-chairman of the committee's privacy caucus. He shares the seat with Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who also expressed his support for greater federal oversight of Internet privacy.
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), has introduced a bill on online privacy, but he lost his re-election bid on Tuesday, creating uncertainty for his push to reform a federal phone subsidy program to include broadband grants. Boucher's bill continues to be under consideration, as does an online privacy bill by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.).
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| November 3, 2010; 10:47 AM ET
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