Joseph Lieberman on Technology
Democratic Jr Senator (CT), ran for V.P. with Gore, ran for president 2004
Sponsored V-chip; TV ratings; and FCC reviews
Lieberman was a lead sponsor of the V-chip legislation, which supplied parents with news tools to screen out violent and offensive programs, in the form of the V-chip blocking technology now installed in all new televisions and a rating system designed
to work with it. He has also been a vocal advocate for higher television standards [including] “family hour” as a safe haven for young viewers, and asking the FCC to determine if broadcasters are meeting the ‘public interest’ standard prescribed by law.
Source: Senate web site, “Issues Focus: Media, Culture, & Values”
Aug 7, 2000
Overcome organizational barriers to e-Government
Progress of electronic government at the federal level has been inconsistent; some agencies are well ahead of the game, but many are lagging. What are the key impediments to progress?
Source: Speech on “E-Gov 2000” in Washington DC
Jul 12, 2000
- Organizational Leadership: I support a Federal Chief
Information Officer, or “IT Czar”.
- Integrated Service Delivery: “One-Stop Shopping” for delivering services to the customer, without regard to where the jurisdiction of one agency stops and another begins.
- Standards for Interoperability:
we need to become more effective in adopting and implementing electronic compatibility.
- Interagency Funding Mechanisms: e-Government requires collaboration in funding-at the very least, collaboration in interagency pilot projects.
Sense of Urgency: Finally, a gulf in perception seems to exist between the e-Government “insiders” and the government decision-makers. The insiders [should] educate the policy-makers on the necessary sense of urgency regarding e-Government.
Zoning, ratings, & code of conduct to keep Internet safe
How [can we] make the Internet both open and safe for surfers of all ages? This is a question that [includes a] constitutional tension of freedom and community. Self-government demands a free exchange of ideas [but] we need a common set of standards to
guide us in places where the state can’t and shouldn’t reach.
I would urge you to step back and take a fresh look at what is happening on-line. The balance of rights and responsibilities is essentially non-existent in the new. There are no
recognizable boundaries, no common norms, no shared sense of accountability.
Ratings and icons and blocking software, all of which are helpful tools, are not enough. Technology is not a substitute for responsibility. [My suggestions]:
Source: Senate testimony, “Children’s Online Protection Act”
Jun 8, 2000
- Adopt a
common, self-enforcing code of conduct.
- Create a special domain to accommodate X-rated content and segregate it from kids, like a virtual red-light district.
- Establish an independent rating system that would warn parents about game content.
Common-sense rules for limiting e-mail spam
Spam is a tremendous nuisance. It is costly, destructive, and an invasion of our privacy. Congressional action is needed because state laws [against spam] can only reach violators located within state lines.
Our objective is not to strangle the
Internet with government regulation or to ban spam outright. Rather, we simply set out to give individuals control of their own e-mail accounts and to address the cost-shifting problems wrought by the proliferation of spam. The CAN-SPAM Act would impose
common-sense boundaries. Our bill calls for all spam messages to contain valid return addresses and requires all spam senders to honor “opt-out” requests from individuals who wish not to receive spam in the future. It prohibits header forgery and
misleading routing information, so consumers can discern the origins of these E-mails. It authorizes the FTC to pursue violations of the law and empowers Internet Service Providers to post legally enforceable policies regulating spam.
Source: Senate statement, “Anti-Spamming Legislation”
May 11, 2000
Equip schools & police to reduce Internet risk to kids
Lieberman said. “In cyberspace, our children can easily come across predators, pornographers, and deviants that they would have the good sense to avoid in person. And while the Web offers access to a world of information, it also puts violent and
sexually explicit material just a mouse click away.” The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force “acknowledges these dangers and helps equip our schools and police officers with the training to reduce the risks to our kids.”
Source: Press release, “Internet crimes”
Dec 16, 1999
Silver Sewer Award: Fox leads the race to the bottom
Starting a dozen years ago with the family raunch of “Married with Children,” which seems tasteless but tame today, and continuing with the soft-porn soap of “Melrose Place” and the lurid voyeurism of “When Animals Attack,” Fox Television Network has
consistently set the pace for television’s race to the bottom, and in the process done more than any other programmer in television to foul the public airwaves and define down our cultural norms.
This week Fox builds on that ignoble tradition with the
rollout of its new fall lineup. Viewers will see plenty of crass displays of nudity, much of it in the traditional family hour. Orgasmic moans, incestuous leering, urinating for revenge - nothing seems too cheap or degrading to be played for a laugh.
What does this mean for television and the other networks? Are we sitting back like couch potatoes and watching the systematic elimination of all the lines that separate the acceptable from the unacceptable in our culture?
Source: Press statement regarding Fox “Silver Sewer”
Sep 14, 1999
Voted YES on $23B instead of $4.9B for waterway infrastructure.
Vote on overriding Pres. Bush's veto. The bill reauthorizes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): to provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, to authorize the Secretary of the Army to construct various projects for improvements to rivers and harbors of the United States. The bill authorizes flood control, navigation, and environmental projects and studies by the Army Corps of Engineers. Also authorizes projects for navigation, ecosystem or environmental restoration, and hurricane, flood, or storm damage reduction in 23 states including Louisiana.
Veto message from President Bush:
This bill lacks fiscal discipline. I fully support funding for water resources projects that will yield high economic and environmental returns. Each year my budget has proposed reasonable and responsible funding, including $4.9 billion for 2008, to support the Army Corps of Engineers' main missions. However, this authorization bill costs over $23 billion. This is not fiscally responsible, particularly when local communities have been waiting for funding for projects already in the pipeline. The bill's excessive authorization for over 900 projects and programs exacerbates the massive backlog of ongoing Corps construction projects, which will require an additional $38 billion in future appropriations to complete. This bill does not set priorities. I urge the Congress to send me a fiscally responsible bill that sets priorities.
Reference: Veto override on Water Resources Development Act;
Bill Veto override on H.R. 1495
; vote number 2007-406
on Nov 8, 2007
Voted YES on restoring $550M in funding for Amtrak for 2007.
An amendment to provide an additional $550,000,000 for Amtrak for fiscal year 2007. Voting YEA would increase Amtrak funding from $900 million to $1.45 billion. Voting NAY would keep Amtrak funding at $900 million.
Proponents of the bill say to vote YEA because:
- [In my state], Philadelphia's 30th Street station is the second busiest train station nationally, with over 3.7 million boarding a year. And 3,000 people are employed by Amtrak in Pennsylvania. Amtrak and the health of Amtrak is important.
- Last year the Senate transportation bill had $1.45 billion for Amtrak, which is obviously more than the $900 million in the current budget proposal. I am offering an amendment to increase that funding from the $900 million which is in the bill right now to the $1.45 billion level and adding $550 million.
- I support funding through the section 920 account [without a tax increase]. We have seen that without raising the cap or without raising taxes, the Senate has been able to
come up with a robust number for Amtrak which I will support within the context of a responsible budget.
- We have spent less money on Amtrak in the last 35 years than we will on highways in this year alone. And highways don't pay for themselves, even with the gas tax. Neither does mass transit, either in this country or anywhere else in the world. But we subsidize them because they improve the quality of our lives.
- We have never provided the kind of commitment to Amtrak that we have for other modes of transportation, and this amendment will be an important step to getting Amtrak off the starvation budgets that it has subsisted on for far too long.
Opponents of the bill say to vote NAY because:
Reference: Santorum amendment to Transportation funding bill;
Bill S.Amdt.3015 to S.Con.Res.83
; vote number 2006-052
on Mar 15, 2006
- The problem with that is there is no money in the section 920 account. If we want to talk about "funny money" financing, that is it--taking money from an account that has no money. This whole budget takes money we don't have. The result is we keep running up the debt.
Voted YES on disallowing FCC approval of larger media conglomerates.
Vote to pass a joint resolution expressing congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission. The rule would therefore have no force or effect. The rule in question deals with broadcast media ownership and would allow media conglomerates to own more television stations and newspapers.
Reference: FCC Media Ownership bill;
Bill S J Res 17/H.J.RES.72
; vote number 2003-348
on Sep 16, 2003
Voted YES on Internet sales tax moratorium.
Vote against allowing states to require companies who do business in their state solely by phone, mail, or the Internet to collect state sales taxes. [Current law does not require companies to collect sales taxes where the customer is out of state]
; vote number 1998-296
on Oct 2, 1998
Voted YES on telecomm deregulation.
Deregulation of the telecommunications industry.
Status: Telecommunications Competition and Deregulation Act of 1995 Y)91; N)5; NV)3
Reference: Conference Report on S. 625, the;
Bill S. 652
; vote number 1996-8
on Feb 1, 1996
Chief information officer to digitize federal government.
Lieberman signed the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":
The strong anti-government sentiments of the early 1990s have subsided, but most Americans still think government is too bureaucratic, too centralized, and too inefficient.
In Washington and around the country, a second round of “reinventing government” initiatives should be launched to transform public agencies into performance-based organizations focused on bottom-line results. Many public services can be delivered on a competitive basis among public and private entities with accountability for results. Public-private partnerships should become the rule, not the exception, in delivering services. Civic and voluntary groups, including faith-based organizations, should play a larger role in addressing America’s social problems.
When the federal government provides grants to states and localities to perform public services, it should give the broadest possible administrative flexibility while demanding and rewarding specific results.
Government information and services at every level should be thoroughly “digitized,” enabling citizens to conduct business with public agencies online.
Goals for 2010
Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC8 on Aug 1, 2000
- Require public agencies to measure results and publish information on performance.
- Consolidate narrow federal-state grants into broad performance-based grants that offer greater flexibility in return for greater accountability for results.
- Make it possible for citizens to conduct all business with government online.
- Create a chief information officer to drive the digitization of the federal government.
Promote internet via Congressional Internet Caucus.
Lieberman is a member of the Congressional Internet Caucus:
Founded in the spring of 1996, the Congressional Internet Caucus is a bipartisan group of over 150 members of the House and Senate working to educate their colleagues about the promise and potential of the Internet. The Caucus also encourages Members to utilize the Internet in communications with constituents and supports efforts to put more government documents online. The Internet Caucus Advisory Committee and the Internet Education Foundation host regular events and forums for policymakers, the press, and the public to discuss important Internet-related policy issues.
Membership in the Congressional Internet Caucus is open to any Member of Congress who pledges support for the following goals:
Source: Congressional Internet Caucus web site, NetCaucus.org 01-CIC1 on Jan 1, 2001
- Promoting growth and advancement of the Internet
- Providing a bicameral, bipartisan forum for Internet concerns to be raised
- Promoting the education of Members of Congress and their staffs about the Internet
- Promoting commerce and free flow of information on the Internet
- Advancing the United States' world leadership in the digital world
- Maximizing the openness of and participation in government by the people.
Fund nanotechnology research & development.
Lieberman co-sponsored the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act
Requires the President to implement a National Nanotechnology Program to:H.R.766 is the corresponding House bill. Became Public Law No: 108-153.
Source: Bill sponsored by 18 Senators and 27 Reps 03-S189 on Jan 16, 2003
- establish the goals, priorities, and metrics for evaluation for Federal nanotechnology research, development, and other activities;
- invest in Federal research and development programs in nanotechnology and related sciences to achieve those goals; and
- provide for interagency coordination of Federal nanotechnology activities undertaken pursuant to the Program.
Facilitate nationwide 2-1-1 phone line for human services.
Lieberman co-sponsored facilitating nationwide 2-1-1 phone line for human services
A bill to facilitate nationwide availability of 2-1-1 telephone service for information and referral on human services & volunteer services. Congress makes the following findings:
- The FCC has assigned 2-1-1 as the national telephone number for information and referral on human services.
- 2-1-1 facilitates critical connections between families seeking services, including community-based and faith-based organizations.
- There are approximately 1,500,000 nonprofit organizations in the US [which would be listed in the 2-1-1 service].
- Government funding supports well-intentioned programs that are not fully utilized because of a lack of access to such programs.
- A national cost-benefit analysis estimates a net value to society of a national 2-1-1 system approaching $130,000,000 in the first year alone.
- While 69% of the population has access to 2-1-1 telephone service from a land line in
41 States, inadequate funding prevents access to that telephone service throughout each of the States.
- 2-1-1 telephone service facilitates the availability of a single repository where comprehensive data on all community services is collected & maintained.
Introductory statement by Sponsor:
Sen. CLINTON: In the immediate aftermath of the devastation of September 11, most people did not know where to turn for information about their loved ones. Fortunately for those who knew about it, 2-1-1 was already operating in Connecticut, and it was critical in helping identify the whereabouts of victims, connecting frightened children with their parents, providing information on terrorist suspects, and linking ready volunteers with victims.
Every single American should have a number they can call to cut through the chaos of an emergency. That number is 2-1-1. It's time to make our citizens and our country safer by making this resource available nationwide.
Source: Calling for 2-1-1 Act (S.211 and H.R.211) 07-HR211 on Jan 9, 2007
Create online database of science & math scholarships.
Lieberman co-sponsored creating online database of science & math scholarships
Directs the Secretary of Education to establish and maintain, on the public website of the Department of Education, a database of information on public and private programs of financial assistance for the study of postsecondary and graduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Requires that such database:Requires the Secretary and the entity contracted to furnish and regularly update information to consult with public and private sources of scholarships and make easily available a process for the sources to provide regular and updated information.
Source: National STEM Scholarship Database Act (S.2428/H.R.1051) 2007-S2428 on Dec 6, 2007
- provide separate information for each field of study;
- be searchable by category and combinations of categories;
- indicate programs targeted toward specific demographic groups;
- provide searchers with program sponsor contact information and hyperlinks; and
- include a recommendation that students and families carefully review application requirements and a disclaimer that scholarships presented in the database are not provided or endorsed by the Department or the federal government.
Page last updated: Jul 15, 2008