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Cybersecurity

- A bill (H.R. 2096) that would mandate government cybersecurity efforts has been approved by the House of Representatives. It is currently pending in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Legal Report

- Courts issue decisions clarifying when individuals can be compelled to turn over computer passwords to law enforcement, and lawmakers consider bills on cybersecurity, transportation, and whistleblowers.

Employment

- A new law signed by Mayor Vincent Gray makes it illegal for employers in the District to discriminate against the unemployed when making hiring decisions. Employers would not be able to consider employment status during hiring decisions and would be barred from mentioning employment status in job advertisements. Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against those who report a violation of the law.

Data Security

- A bill (H.R. 4257) that would require the federal government to improve its data security procedures has been approved by the House of Representatives. It is now pending in the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

Border Security

- A bill (H.R. 4119) that would criminalize the act of conspiring to illegally cross the border into the United States has been approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The bill has been presented to President Obama for his signature.

Information Sharing

- A bill (H.R. 3523) that would encourage information sharing on cybersecurity between the government and the private sector has been approved by the House of Representatives and is now pending in the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Counterfeit Drugs

- A bill (S. 1002) that would enhance penalties for drug counterfeiting has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill must now be taken up by the full Senate. The bill would make it illegal to knowingly steal or embezzle a medical product or obtain it through fraud or deception. It would also be illegal to transport, handle, traffic, or store a stolen medical product. The bill defines a medical product as a drug, biological product, device, medical food, or infant formula that is being transported or stored prior to being available for purchase.

Legal Report

- A California appeals court rules that a company can be held liable for harassing comments made by employees on a blog, and lawmakers consider bills on counterfeit drugs, information sharing, and border security.

Firearms

- A bill (S.B. 863) pending before the Michigan Senate would allow the employees of licensed private investigators to carry concealed weapons in restricted areas where average citizens are not allowed to bring firearms. Licensed private investigators are already allowed to carry in restricted areas.

Privacy

- A new Maryland law (formerly S.B. 433) makes it illegal for employers to require employees or applicants to disclose their user name, password, or other means of accessing a private personal account or service as part of employment. An employer will not be allowed to refuse to hire an applicant for refusal to divulge such information.

Data security

- A bill (S. 1408) that would impose data security requirements on all government agencies and companies that collect or store personally identifiable information has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate has announced that it will consider the bill.

Whistleblowers

- A bill (H.R. 2483) that would make it mandatory for employees to first report violations to their employers in order to receive monetary awards has been approved by the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises. The measure will now be taken up by the full committee.

Trespassing

- A new law (P.L. 112-98) strengthens penalties for trespassing on certain federal properties. Current federal law prohibits unauthorized entry to any building or grounds where the President is visiting. However, there was no federal law specifically prohibiting unlawful entry to the White House and its grounds or the vice president’s residence and its grounds.
 




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