Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) is backing a package of
legislation she says provide the "key principles and tools for Internet
privacy and growth."
Lofgren was one of the many Hill opponents of failed
SOPA/PIPA privacy legislation in the last Congress. Her office pointed out that
she "sounded the first warning cry in Congress over the controversial Stop
Online Piracy Act (SOPA) [bill] that millions of Americans spoke out against as
one of the greatest threats to the Internet," and said she was introducing
her bills "to begin a serious conversation on the future of an open and
With Congress out until the election, Lofgren's introduction
of the bills is mostly to make a point. She concedes they are unlikely to get
acted on by the end of the year, so she signaled she will reintroduce them in
the next Congress.
The bills are H.R.
6529, which modifies the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA),
which "strengthen the privacy of Internet and wireless users from outdated
government surveillance laws," and H.R.
6530, the Global Free Internet Act, which "creates a U.S.-based task
force composed of elected and non-elected government and private sector experts
responsible for identifying and responding to domestic or international threats
to Internet users, online services and the technical architecture of the
Republicans and Democrats were unable to agree on
cybersecurity threat legislation in this Congress, divided over the
government's role in creating and overseeing guidelines. A summary of the two
bills is here.