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Burns hopes to introduce, pass wireless privacy bill this year

WASHINGTON-Legislation to combat wireless eavesdropping in rural American and to protect the location privacy of all Americans will be introduced this spring, said Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), chairman of the Senate communications subcommittee.

“As more and more citizens use wireless phones as their primary communications device, the phenomenon of scanners being used to eavesdrop and record conversations presents serious privacy implications. The Burns bill will prohibit bad actors from using scanners or other technologies to eavesdrop on wireless callers without their knowledge,” reads a statement from Burns’ office.

Burns outlined his legislative agenda at a Monday breakfast sponsored by The Hill newspaper. He warned that in an election year not much will get done.

“As you know this is an even-numbered year so what you can expect in terms of policy is skeptical at best,” said Burns.

Notwithstanding this gloomy forecast, Burns said he hoped a wireless privacy bill could be introduced and passed this year. The bill is popular in rural America where analog technology is still widely used. To make the bill more palatable across the board, it is also expected to include language requiring that wireless customers opt-in to location-based advertising.

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