Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Today is Cyberliberty Day at the Lege

Two of the most important civil liberties issues of the 21st century take center stage today at the Lege: Whether internet access may be cordoned off by private markets, and whether the state may gather biometric facial recognition data that could let the state track citizens by name from security video.

On the House floor, members will consider amendments to Rep. Phil King's HB 789 that would ban municipalities from providing free wireless services as part of a city's infrastructure. See the Save Muni Wireless blog for details. Meanwhile, the House Defense Affairs Committee this afternoon will hear HB 2337, which would allow DPS to gather biometric facial recognition data from all Texas drivers license photos.

Latent within these two items are some of the most important First and Fourth Amendment issues confronting society in the so-called "digital age." The latter bill will keep me occupied most of the day, but I anticipate writing quite a bit later on.

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