Mr. INSLEE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Chairman, this is a privacy amendment we are offering to assure ourselves that Congress is made aware of privacy violations or concerns that arise from agencies' review of citizens' actions on the Internet. What we have fashioned here is a relatively simple amendment that will require these agencies, under Treasury and others subject to these appropriations, to report to Congress of any monitoring activities that these agencies are involved in on our use of Internet sites.
Now, what has indicated that this is appropriate is both the proliferation of our use of the Internet and our citizens' use of the Internet, but also some legitimate concerns we have of some of the agencies' activity in monitoring citizens' actions on the Internet.
For instance, we have been told that the Office of National Drug Control Policy had placed cookies on sites that would essentially allow tracking of personal identifiable information and how people surf or travel through the Internet.
There are very legitimate privacy concerns that Congress ought to be aware of before those agency monitoring activities are allowed to continue. We know about the explosion of the Internet; we also are aware of the potential explosion in the violation of citizens' privacy if we do not ride herd on potentially problematic privacy violations. So what our amendment would seek to do is simply require the agencies to notify Congress of the nature of these activities by Federal agencies.
Our people are very concerned and increasingly concerned about privacy on the Internet and otherwise, and it is certainly appropriate that we in Congress as the elected officials know about those potential privacy violations by our own government. This amendment would, in fact, make sure that these agencies told the elected officials about those privacy violations if they were occurring, or at least allow us to determine what should be or should not be allowed in monitoring Internet access by
Mr. Chairman, this is a basic, fundamental American right. Let us pass this amendment. I hope the chairman actually would allow it so that we can make sure in Congress that privacy rights of citizens are not being violated.
Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.