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ISPLA Legislative Update

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  • Peter Psarouthakis
    Dear Investigative and Security Professionals, During the 111th Congress, ISPLA has been at the forefront in alerting the investigative and security
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 8, 2010
      Dear Investigative and Security Professionals,

      During the 111th Congress, ISPLA has been at the forefront in alerting the
      investigative and security professions to recently introduced legislation
      and breaking news and developments on pending legislation. We have also used
      our federal and state legislative tracking system to alert other national
      and state associations where we have common interests.

      For example, not only did ISPLA assist the profession regarding the
      obtaining of potential revised language in the recent S.3214 Surreptitious
      Video Surveillance Act, but we also alerted the profession to the various
      anti-spoofing bills which passed in the House and would have to be resolved
      with the Senate version supported by ISPLA, namely S.30 Truth in Caller ID
      Act of 2009.

      Washington, DC, meetings held with the sponsors by ISPLA and others were a
      key factor in obtaining the requisite exception language for the
      installation of fixed security cameras and covert video surveillance.
      Although the sponsor, Senator Arlen Specter, lost his Pennsylvania
      Democratic primary, he still chairs the Crime and Drug Subcommittee of the
      Senate Judicial Committee where this bill is presently. That said, counsels
      for the two cosponsors, Senators Feingold and Kaufman, have advised ISPLA
      that as a result of Senator Specter's primary defeat, this bill will most
      likely not go forward.

      We also met with counsel for Senator Bill Nelson [D-FL], sponsor of S.30,
      who has assured us that the "intent" language supported by ISPLA will
      survive in the final conference to resolve differences between the Senate
      and House versions.

      ISPLA has also been actively involved in lobbying other bills and alerting
      our profession to emerging issues. On May 13, Rep. Bobby Scott [D-VA]
      introduced HR 5300, the Fairness and Accuracy in Employment Background
      Checks Act of 2010, which has been referred to the House Committee on the
      Judiciary. It is posted on our website in the "Priority Bill Watch" section
      at <outbind://82/www.ISPLA.org> www.ISPLA.org. It is a bipartisan-sponsored
      bill and has been picking up additional cosponsors. The House Committee on
      the Judiciary, now chaired by Rep John Conyers, Jr. [D-MI], is a committee
      before which the ISPLA Chairman Peter Psarouthakis, also of Michigan,
      provided testimony to last year. Rep. Bobby Scott, the bill's sponsor, is
      also a member of that committee. Congressman Scott takes a strong interest
      in issues regarding indigent defense, wrongfully accused, and innocence
      issues. He is also the sponsor of HR 1064 the Youth Promises Act (Prison
      Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support and
      Education). The Senate version is S435.

      ISPLA would not be surprised if one of the factors leading to HR 5300 might
      be a case involving a Texas security officer who, wrongly convicted and
      later pardoned of a heinous crime by the Texas governor, lost his job
      guarding a bank as a result of a federal background check that did not
      reflect the pardon. He sued the contract security firm and the bank as a
      result of the inaccurate federal criminal record disposition. There are
      reportedly 50 million people with arrest or conviction records. The National
      Employment Law Project found that the government has been mistakenly denying
      credentials to tens of thousands of workers, partly due to flawed criminal
      record reports. In 2006, "The Attorney General's Report on Criminal History
      Background Checks" disclosed that almost 50 percent of criminal records in
      the NCIS failed to note court dismissals of charges.

      Representative Scott's legislation seeks to require the FBI to track down
      any missing data before issuing a report and allow job applicants a copy of
      such report as well as an opportunity to challenge inaccurate information in
      the government's database. Should the accuracy of a criminal record be
      challenged, the Attorney General would have 30 days to investigate and make
      changes in the government's database and report back to the applicant and
      the employer. The FBI would be required to correct inaccurate information
      and to raise fees to cover costs to correcting the data.

      ISPLA is working with other groups having some concerns with aspects of this
      legislation. It has worked with Congressman Scott in the past on other
      issues and will continue to do so.

      On the regulatory front ISPLA has held ongoing meetings with the FTC, FEC,
      SEC and DOJ on specific issues affecting the investigative and security
      professions. ISPLA will continue to keep investigative and security
      professionals apprised of the latest legislative and regulatory issues
      affecting our colleagues. We are continually working in order to ensure that
      our members have continued access to database information and to protect
      public access to public records. We encourage you to assist ISPLA in its
      sole mission: combating ill-conceived federal legislation and overly
      burdensome regulation. Help protect your profession with your membership in
      ISPLA. To join online today go to www.ispla.org.

      Bruce Hulme

      ISPLA Director of Government Affairs

      <outbind://82/www.ISPLA.org> www.ISPLA.org

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Peter Psarouthakis
      Permission granted to re-post As the work of Congress draws to a close a few last minute items have been receiving attention. On December 16, President Obama
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 17, 2010
        Permission granted to re-post

        As the work of Congress draws to a close a few last minute items have been
        receiving attention.

        On December 16, President Obama announced his intention to nominate Center
        for Democracy & Technology Vice President for Public Policy James X. Dempsey
        to serve on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent
        agency within the executive branch tasked by Congress with reviewing the
        civil liberties impact of anti-terrorism policies and programs. I worked
        with him on a few privacy issues dating back to the DPPA of 1994 when he was
        a key Congressional staffer before joining CDT. Years later I met with him
        on SSN and credit headers when he was with House Financial Services. He was
        always a reasonable advocate on privacy and civil liberty issues.

        The position, which is subject to Senate confirmation, is part-time, so, if
        confirmed, he will continue in his position with CDT. In August 2008,
        President Bush nominated Dempsey, along with three others, to the same
        Board, but the Senate did not act on any of those nominations.

        The other announced appointment to the same Board is Elisebeth Collins Cook,
        a partner at Freeborn & Peters, LLP's Litigation Practice Group. Her her
        areas of focus include: Complex Disputes, Constitutional and Civil Rights,
        Employment Litigation and Regulatory and Appellate work. She served four
        years at the United States Department of Justice, and in 2008 was
        unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate as Assistant Attorney
        General for Legal Policy. She testified before Congress and prepared dozens
        of witnesses for Congressional hearings. She also served as the
        Department's Regulatory Policy Officer and was active with the President's
        Identity Theft Task Force, and was a member of the Terrorist Screening
        Center Board of Governance. In 2009 she served as Republican Chief Counsel,
        Supreme Court Nominations, for the United States Senate, Committee on the

        This week Congress approved the Senate version of an anti-spoofing bill,
        S-30, the "Truth in Caller ID" which contains language favored by our
        profession as follows:

        `(1) IN GENERAL- It shall be unlawful for any person within the United
        States, in connection with any telecommunications service or IP-enabled
        voice service, to cause any caller identification service to knowingly
        transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information with the
        intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value,
        unless such transmission is exempted pursuant to paragraph (3)(B).

        Some of you may recall my relating to you before the summer that the chief
        legislative counsel for Sen. Bill Nelson [D-FL], the sponsor, had called to
        tell me that the Senate bill would prevail over the House versions by the
        end of this year. He was correct in his assessment.

        Our thanks to our ISPLA individual and association members, the
        manufacturers and distributors of caller ID equipment and their legal
        counsel, with whom we met in Washington, and to the other professional
        associations we kept advised of our handling and who provided wise counsel,
        NASCO, and to an extent ASIS. We also recognize the good work of NCISS in
        their efforts.

        We have previously commented on S 3806, the Secure Facilities Act of 2010
        which is a bill that may affect our members handling security contracts for
        the Federal Protective Service. ISPLA has in the past been conferring with
        NASCO lobbyist attorney Steve Amitay and the IASIR security industry
        representative Lynn Oliver. The consensus is that S 3806 is a better bill
        than either the House Democratic or Republican bills on this matter.

        S 3806, the "Secure Facilities Act of 2010" sponsored by Sen. Joseph I.
        Lieberman [I-CT] appears to have some last minute movement. Our contract
        security members favor his version. We previously provided ISPLA members
        with a more detailed account of these bills.

        In 2011, Congressmen Fred Upton of Michigan, Peter King of New York, and
        Lamar Smith of Texas will all be chairing committees which have jurisdiction
        over issues of concern to ISPLA--House Energy and Commerce, Homeland
        Security, and Judiciary. (Fortunately, we have ISPLA Executive Committee
        members in the home state of each Republican committee chairman. In fact, we
        are presently in a much better position than NCISS, NASCO or ASIS in that
        regard. I expect we will continue to work with the latter two organizations
        in 2011 as we have in 2010 (NCISS has declined our offer to work together.)
        These are important committees before which House bills affecting
        investigative and security professionals are often reviewed and hearings

        Bruce Hulme
        ISPLA Director of Government Affairs
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