Tales from the Trail

Schumer vs. Facebook

schumerCharles Schumer, the senior senator from New York, is concerned about the protection of  private information people give to Facebook and other social networking websites. And the Democrat wants new federal guidelines to help members of  these online communities keep control over how their personal details “can be shared or disseminated to third parties.”

Schumer (or someone posting on his behalf) says so on his Facebook page. He also posted a press release on his page and echoed concerns about privacy on social networking sites on Sunday at a news conference in his Manhattan office.

Schumer told reporters he wants to make sure private information isn’t given away without the user’s permission.

He said he was prompted to appeal to the Federal Trade Commission after word last week of new Facebook features that allow the  sharing of members’ personal information with outside websites. facebook

“Now all of sudden, with rules changing, there are lots of things that you may have never wanted to go beyond your family and friends but do,”  Schumer told reporters.

Senate battle brewing: surveillance vs privacy

FINANCIAL-FRAUD/FBIA battle appeared to be emerging in the U.S. Senate over extending terrorism surveillance methods versus bolstering privacy protections.

The Obama administration wants to extend three key surveillance techniques adopted in the Patriot Act law after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to track terrorism suspects.

They are roving wiretaps to track multiple communications devices an individual may use; access business records; and what’s known as the “lone wolf” provision to watch an individual who may be hatching terror plots but isn’t part of a bigger group. Those three expire Dec. 31.