Congressional Record: January 16, 2003 (Senate)
Page S1071-S1085   


      By Mr. FEINGOLD (for himself, Mr. Corzine, Mr. Wyden, and Mr. 
        Nelson of Florida):
  S. 188. A bill to impose a moratorium on the implementation of 
datamining under the Total Information Awareness program of the 
Department of Defense and any similar program of the Department of 
Homeland Security, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the 
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I am pleased today to introduce the 
Data-Mining Moratorium Act of 2003. Like many Americans, I was 
surprised to learn during the last few months that the Department of 
Defense has spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing a data-
mining system called Total Information Awareness while permitting the 
progeny of Total Information Awareness to appear in places like the 
Department of Homeland Security. The untested and controversial 
intelligence procedure known as data-mining is capable of maintaining 
extensive files containing both public and private records on each and 
every American. Coupled with the expanded domestic surveillance already 
underway by this Administration, this unchecked system is a dangerous 
step forward and threatens one of the values that we're fighting for, 
freedom. The Administration has a heavy burden of proof that such 
extreme measures are necessary.
  The Data-Mining Moratorium Act of 2003 would immediately suspend 
data-mining in the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland 
Security until Congress has conducted a thorough review of Total 
Information Awareness and the practice of data-mining.
  Without Congressional review and oversight, data-mining would allow 
the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense and 
other government agencies to collect and analyze a combination of 
intelligence data and personal information like individuals' traffic 
violations, credit card purchases, travel records, medical records, 
communications records, and virtually any information collected on 
commercial or public databases. Through comprehensive data-mining, as 

[[Page S1080]]

with Total Information Awareness, everything from people's video 
rentals or drugstore purchases made with a credit card to their most 
private health concerns could be fed into a computer and monitored by 
the Federal Government.
  Using massive data mining, like Total Information Awareness, the 
government hopes to be able to detect potential terrorists. There is no 
evidence that data-mining will, in fact, prevent terrorism. And when 
one considers the potential for errors in data, for example, credit 
agencies that have data about John R. Smith on John D. Smith's credit 
report, the prospect of ensnaring many innocents is real. This approach 
might also lead to the same kinds of so-called ``preventive'' 
detentions that are unconstitutional and put more than 1,100 
individuals in jail after September 11. Although none of these people 
were ever charged with orchestrating or aiding the attacks, they were 
often held for months on end, and went for weeks without access to 
counsel. There is every reason to be concerned that uncontrolled data-
mining systems would lead to the same abuse of power.
  The Administration's assurances that a data-mining system will not 
abuse our privacy rights ring hollow, particularly to those of us who 
questioned the breathtaking new Federal powers in the USA PATRIOT Act. 
We heard these same assurances when the Administration pressed for 
enactment of that sweeping legislation in the months after September 
11th, that the government would act with restraint to ensure that its 
application of the Act would not infringe on our liberties. The 
opposite has turned out to be true. In fact, some of the most serious 
infringements on our personal freedoms in the USA PATRIOT Act can now 
contribute to the data-mining effort.
  The USA PATRIOT Act allows the government to compel businesses to 
produce records about people who had only a remote contact with a 
person sought in connection with an investigation of terrorism, 
including sitting on an airplane with the suspect, or having used the 
same payphone as the suspect. Under the PATRIOT Act, any business 
records can be compelled, including those containing sensitive personal 
information like medical records from hospitals or doctors, financial 
records, or records of what books someone has taken out of the 
liberary. This information is exactly the kind of data that data-mining 
programs like Total Infomration Awareness will use when compiling its 
files on the American people.
  The danger of data-mining is compounded not only by provisions in the 
USA PATRIOT Act, but also by the Administration's loosening of domestic 
surveillance restrictions for FBI agents last year, restrictions that 
were put in place following FBI abuses under J. Edgar Hoover. These 
various initiatives of the Administration are building on each other to 
give away more and more of our personal information, and give away more 
and more of our personal freedoms.
  It is reasonable to ask Americans to sacrifice some personal freedom 
like submitting to more extensive security screenings at airports. But 
should we allow the government to track our every move, from what items 
we purchase online, to our medical records, to our financial records, 
without limits and without accountability? I believe most Americans 
would say that that's a police state, not the America we know and love. 
We would catch more terroists in a police state. I don't doubt that. 
But that's not a country in which most Americans would want to live.
  Each time we have been told that government authorities would use 
restraint with its new powers, but Congress and the American people 
should not find comfort in these assurances, especially since they have 
been made by an Administration that has been operating in greater and 
greater secrecy. The Administration must suspend this massive data 
mining project until Congress can determine whether the proposed 
benefits of this practice come at too high a price to our privacy and 
personal liberties.
  I urge my colleagues to support this measure, and I ask unanimous 
consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed in the 
Record, as follows:

                                 S. 188

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       This Act may be cited as the ``Data-Mining Moratorium Act 
     of 2003''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       Congress makes the following findings:
       (1) Use of advanced technology is an essential tool in the 
     fight against terrorism.
       (2) There has been no demonstration that data-mining by a 
     government, including data-mining such as that which is to 
     occur under the Total Information Awareness program, is an 
     effective tool for preventing terrorism.
       (3) Data-mining under the Total Information Awareness 
     program or a similar program would provide the Federal 
     Government with access to extensive files of private as well 
     as public information on an individual.
       (4) There are significant concerns regarding the extent to 
     which privacy rights of individuals would be adversely 
     affected by data-mining carried out by their government.
       (5) Congress has not reviewed any guidelines, rules, or 
     laws concerning implementation and use of data-mining by 
     Federal Government agencies.


       (a) Moratorium.--During the period described in subsection 
     (b), no officer or employee of the Department of Defense or 
     the Department of Homeland Security may take any action to 
     implement or carry out for data-mining purposes any part of 
     (including any research or development under)--
       (1) the Department of Defense component of the Total 
     Information Awareness program or any other data-mining 
     program of the Department of Defense; or
       (2) any data-mining program of the Department of Homeland 
     Security that is similar or related to the Total Information 
     Awareness program.
       (b) Moratorium Period.--The period referred to in 
     subsection (a) for a department of the Federal Government is 
     the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act 
     and ending on the date (after the date of the enactment of 
     this Act) on which there is enacted a law specifically 
     authorizing data-mining by such department.


       (a) Requirement for Report.--The Secretary of Defense, the 
     Attorney General, and the head of each other department or 
     agency of the Federal Government that is engaged in any 
     activity to use or develop data-mining technology shall each 
     submit to Congress a report on all such activities of the 
     department or agency under the jurisdiction of that official.
       (b) Content of report.--A report submitted under subsection 
     (a) shall include, for each activity to use or develop data-
     mining technology that is required to be covered by the 
     report, the following information:
       (1) A thorough description of the activity.
       (2) A thorough discussion of the plans for the use of such 
       (3) A thorough discussion of the policies, procedures, and 
     guidelines that are to be applied in the use of such 
     technology for data-mining in order to--
       (A) protect the privacy rights of individuals; and
       (B) ensure that only accurate information is collected.
       (c) Time for Report.--Each report required under subsection 
     (a) shall be submitted not later than 90 days after the date 
     of the enactment of this Act.


       Nothing in this Act shall be construed to preclude the 
     Department of Defense or the Department of Homeland Security 
     from conducting--
       (1) computer searches of public information; or
       (2) computer searches that are based on a particularized 
     suspicion of an individual.