A number of organizations have created documents to offer the Obama-Biden transition team guidance on priorities in the new administration. The issues are broad, including detainee rights, reproductive health, education, open government, security, and privacy, among others. This is Part Two of an unknown number of posts on such transition plans. I will post documents of interest as I find them. This post includes plans from CDT, Human Rights Watch, and the Cato Institute. Here is Part One.
The Center for Democracy and Technology focuses on, “The Internet in Transition: A Platform to Keep the Internet Open, Innovative and Free” in its document (pdf).
Restoring the Balance between Security and Liberty
[…] In order to restore the balance between security and liberty, the next President and Congress should take specific steps, including the following:
- […] The next President and Congress should work together to enact legislation to update communications privacy laws to account for dramatic advances in technology.
- The next President and Congress should adopt a balanced framework for information sharing and analysis for counterterrorism purposes.
- The next President and Congress should revisit the REAL ID Act and ensure that all governmental identification programs are necessary and effective and subject to adequate privacy and security protections.
- The next President and Congress should work together to update the Privacy Act; the next President should assiduously enforce the Act’s protections.
Preserving Free Speech and Protecting Children Online
[…] In order to preserve free speech and protect children online, the next President and Congress should take specific steps, including the following:
- defend the Supreme Court ruling that affords the Internet the highest level of constitutional protection for free speech;
- promote education and parental empowerment as the most effective means to safeguard kids online;
- protect the ability of online service and application providers to innovate, by preserving their immunity from responsibility for content posted by others;
- protect the right of bloggers and other individual Americans to engage in robust political speech online without being burdened by campaign finance regulations.
Protecting Consumers in the Digital Age
[…] In order to restore the protect consumer privacy in the digital age, the next President and Congress should take specific steps, including the following:
Human Rights Watch’s transition document focuses on humanitarian issues such as extraordinary rendition, but there are some parts that touch on privacy issues.
- Work to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by urging Congress to enact comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. […}
- Promote respect for reproductive freedom, including by: rescinding the “global gag rule,” which prohibits family planning organizations abroad from receiving US funds if using their own funds for legal abortion-related activities; submitting a budget with funding for comprehensive sex education in place of abstinence-until-marriage programs; and removing funding for crisis pregnancy centers that do not provide full and accurate information about pregnancy options.
The Cato Institute will hold a conference in January on “Shaping the New Administration’s Counterterrorism Strategy.” The conference seeks to “present solid, immensely practical analyses of strategic counterterrorism policies based on the lessons and experiences of the past eight years and earlier, and on what proven strategies will yield the most beneficial results for the United States. In addition, the conference focuses on defining realistic objectives and allocating military, federal and state government expenditures according to these goals.”