CALL YOUR HOUSE of REPRESENTATIVES MONDAY, see directory here.

Congress is rushing through bill HR4174 THIS WEEK.  Yes, there are lots of bills in play but #THIS is the one to watch.

The US House is scheduled to vote this week on a bill to make a massive federal data system –merging information from all federal agencies, all citizens– much like China.  See here and here.   This bill (and its identical Senate companion bill S2046) is the result of the CEP Commission which would include data on school children, creating a “pinterest of student data” and an NSA-like national database of student information.  We  wrote about the  CEP commission, with posted transcripts and video here.  Update:  Many have asked for a short synopsis of the bill. For a few things HR4174  does,  see these text pulled from the bill (underline emphasis and [  ] added):

http://tinyurl.com/HR4174excerpts

 

Is Congress aware of the privacy concerns and will they be addressed?

There was tremendous public opposition to the CEP Commission’s proposal to create a national student record, as stated on page 30 of the CEP report: Nearly two-thirds of the comments received in response to the Commission’s Request for Comments raised concerns about student records, with the majority of those comments in opposition to overturning the student unit record ban or otherwise enabling the Federal government to compile records about individual students.”  

The House Oversight Committee **already passed** this bill on a voice vote (watch here, begins at 11min mark,  vote at 35min mark) and now HR4174 is going to be voted on the House Floor under *Suspended Rules* this week.

Let Reps Trey Gowdy (bill co-sponsor), Jim Jordan, Jody Hice, Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, William Hurd, Ron DeSantis, and members of the House Oversight Committee know that you don’t want this bill, don’t like that they passed it on voice vote. Tell them to vote NO when HR4174 is in the House  (scheduled this week) and request that a ROLL CALL VOTE be held on House Floor.   We want to know who votes for this bill.  https://oversight.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee/

HR4174 Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (FEPA) would create a national data system; it has BI-PARTISAN support but it changes and weakens existing law.

Update: edited to clarify:  HR4174 moves  E-Govt act of 2002  44 USC 3501, which contains the Computer Security Act of 1987 to another chapter but then amends Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002– to expand access to data, weakening CIPSEA. CIPSEAs  original intent was to limit federals agencies that collect data for statistical purposes from using the data for any other purpose.  

This major federal overhaul certainly sounds like the massive Department of Talent that the Lumina Foundation has been proposing.

Let Paul Ryan (House Speaker and bill sponsor) know that this bill HR4174 SHOULD NOT BE RUSHED THROUGH, WITH RULES SUSPENDED. *We oppose this very controversial bill, want it re-calendared, with rules and roll call vote.* We oppose a national database, especially for students. This national data system threatens individuals’ privacy

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) have companion FEPA bills (HR4174 and S2046: Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act) that will create a national student data warehouse. Parents will not be able to opt their child out of this national database that will expand access to researchers, private companies, nonprofits and government agencies.

  • Tell Speaker Ryan and Senator Murray and members of Congress NO National Student Database. NO to HR4174 and S2046: Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act.  Parents should have consent before their child’s personal information is shared. This open access to information should exclude personal student information. 202-225-3031 @SpeakerRyan ; (202) 224-2621  @PattyMurray

Instead, Congress should restore FERPA to its pre-2011 status and restore parental consent before sharing students’ personal data. Researchers would still have open access to aggregate data; if they need personal information, they would have to get parent consent and approval. Ask your legislator: Whose data is it-the student’s, the corporations’, or the government’s? Data should belong to the student who generated it.

Parents should have consent before data is shared. School databases are already being hacked by cyber terrorists.  The safest way to protect data is to not collect it in the first place. Imagine the cost and security risks of a national database.

Tell Congress NO on HR4174, the bill to create a national data system; tell Congress no more data.

Cheri Kiesecker