FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 30, 2001
EPIC Files FOIA Requests to Evaluate President Bushs First 100 Days on Privacy
WASHINGTON &emdash; The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) today submitted a
series of Freedom of Information Act requests to five executive agencies in an
effort to determine the Bush Administrations commitment to privacy protection
within its first 100 days. The requests focus both on Bush Administration
transition team documents and the scheduling calendars of senior executive agency
officials at the Department of the Treasury, Department of Commerce, Federal
Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Health
and Human Services.
Privacy protection was an important element of President Bushs campaign. The
President, in print and oral statements, articulated strong support for privacy
protections. In an Associated Press interview, President Bush called privacy a
"fundamental right," and vowed to place privacy protections in law for
individuals sensitive personal information. In other interviews, President Bush
referred to himself as a "privacy guy," and said that every American should have
"absolute control over his or her personal information."
Transition team memoranda contain recommendations of how agencies should
implement policy. The requests focusing on these documents will indicate how
Bush Administration officials directed executive agency heads to formulate and
execute policies on privacy.
Scheduling calendars contain information on meetings with officials, lobbyists,
and other political interests. The requests focusing on these documents will
indicate the frequency with which administration officials met with lobbyists to
discuss privacy issues.
EPIC Staff Counsel Chris Hoofnagle said, "Aspects of President Bushs campaign
focused on protection of Social Security numbers, genetic data, and financial
information. With this series of information requests, we will be able to gauge
the administrations commitment to privacy protection."
The requests are available at the EPIC web site (www.epic.org).
EPIC is a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. It was established
in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to
protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values.
Contact: Chris Hoofnagle Electronic Privacy Information Center 202.483.1140