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White House Forms Federal Committee on Internet, Privacy Policy

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Officials from several U.S. government agencies are slated to join a new Internet privacy subcommittee being formed by the Obama administration. The subcommittee, which will be led by U.S. Commerce Department counsel Gen. Cameron Kerry and assistant attorney general Christopher Schroeder, will consist of officials from the departments of Homeland Security, State, Commerce, and Justice who will advise the White House on Internet regulatory and legislative issues.

Consumer advocacy groups have applauded the creation of the subcommittee, because it demonstrates that the Obama administration is increasingly taking notice of online privacy concerns. Such concerns have grown more pronounced in the wake of several recent online privacy breaches, including ones at Facebook and Google. However, consumer advocacy groups are also worried that the administration may have formed the subcommittee in order to control issues for special interests, and not give consumers much of a say in discussions about Internet privacy issues.

Kerry and Schroeder have vowed to strike an appropriate balance between consumers' online privacy expectations and the needs of Internet stakeholders such as private industry, law enforcement agencies, and other public-safety government agencies.

From The Washington Post
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