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Home > Past Releases and Reports > Reissued as Threats to Privacy Loom

For Immediate Release
September 25, 2001

Contact: Jim Harper

(202) 546-3701 Reissued as Threats to Privacy Loom

Site Warns of a Privacy "Exxon Valdez"

Washington, D.C. Privacy Web site was reissued today with new graphics, a new user interface, and new capabilities. The reissue comes as committees in the U.S. House and Senate consider legislation that could drastically reduce privacy in America.

"We are on the brink of a privacy 'Exxon Valdez,'" said Jim Harper, Editor of "The damage done to Americans' privacy in the coming weeks could take generations to clean up."

Proposals before Congress would expand the surveillance powers of domestic law enforcement in the wake of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

"The war against terrorism is a just war," Harper said. "President Bush is demonstrating the leadership and patience needed to carry it out well."

"The tools we give law enforcement should directly support the fight against terror," Harper emphasized. "Congress should not rubber-stamp a laundry list of surveillance powers that it has refused investigators in the past."

Noting that most proposals are not specific to this emergency or to terrorism, Harper said, "When the last terrorist dies, I would like Americans to get their privacy back." ( is an innovative Web site that captures "privacy" as a public policy issue. Privacilla has been described as a "privacy policy portal" and an "online think-tank." The reissue of the site comes in belated celebration of its first birthday, which was September 11th. The reissued site is P3P compliant.

In its first year of existence, Privacilla garnered attention from press nationwide and Harper was called on to testify in Congress and speak in a wide variety of forums. Privacilla takes a free-market, pro-technology perspective.

"Privacilla is really in its ascendancy," Harper said. "In the past, pro-regulation privacy groups have thrived on ignorance about the privacy issue. They made a fetish of regulating the Internet and the private sector."

"We see now that the government has always been the real threat to privacy. Privacilla is working to bring the era of privacy ignorance to a close."


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