At the outset of the 112th Congress, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy has a host of unfinished business to sort through, and, as far as he’s concerned, the sooner the better.
While the Leahy’s priorities for Judiciary are expansive, the tech portion of his agenda hinges on intellectual property and privacy issues. For the fourth straight session, he plans to seek passage of the Patent Reform Act, a major overhaul of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office years in the making. And Leahy plans to press for floor time for that bill this year, before the jockeying begins for the 2012 presidential election.
Then, too, he is looking to continue his work on passing a bill that would strengthen the powers of law enforcement to combat piracy and other online IP crimes.
Leahy is also looking to revisit two laws that aim to strike a balance between law enforcement authorities to glean electronic data from commercial providers and individual privacy, ECPA and CALEA. CIO Update reports on Leahy’s tech agenda for the 112th Congress.