The Democratic and Republican candidates for U.S. president aren't giving enough emphasis to privacy and civil rights issues, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate for president, said Friday.
Privacy issues received no mention at the Democratic and Republican national conventions during the past two weeks, said Barr, a former Republican congressman from Georgia, speaking at an EPIC press conference. Debates about privacy and civil rights issues, including government surveillance of U.S. residents and routine searches of laptops at U.S. borders, were "nowhere to be seen" at the conventions, Barr said.
Barr spoke during the launch of a new EPIC campaign called Privacy '08. The goal is to make privacy issues a larger part of the campaign debate and to educate voters about privacy issues, said Marc Rotenberg, EPIC's executive director. "We need to have this debate," he said.
Barr called on the next president to rein in government surveillance of U.S. residents and called on Congress to update privacy laws by limiting what private businesses can do with personal data. Libertarians generally oppose new laws and new regulations, but Barr said limitations on the use of personal information are needed.
As we know, both Obama and McCain support the federal government's ability to spy on it's citizens.