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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 517-04
May 27, 2004

Technology and Privacy Advisory Committee Statement Received

The Department of Defense announced today that the secretary of defense has received the final report of the Technology and Privacy Advisory Committee (TAPAC), chartered in February 2003. TAPAC was charged with advising the secretary on the protection of personal privacy during the pursuit of technological solutions to identify terrorists and prevent terrorist attacks against the United States.

"The report makes a substantial contribution in two respects," said Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. "First, it highlights the potential risks to privacy that certain modern technologies may entail. Second, it draws attention in the post-Sept. 11 world to the importance of finding the proper balance between privacy, a value fundamental for Americans, and security.

"The TAPAC's report is a useful contribution to the national dialogue on these important issues. The committee has performed a valuable public service, and I thank Chairman Newt Minow and the other distinguished members of the committee."

The committee is expected to brief officials at other departments and agencies outside the Department of Defense, in that a number of the issues addressed by the panel are outside the Department of Defense's purview. The secretary also suggested to the committee that the Sept. 11 Commission may benefit from learning of the committee's findings.

The committee members are Newton Minow, Floyd Abrams, Zoe Baird, Griffin Bell, Gerhard Casper, William Coleman Jr., Lloyd Cutler, and John Marsh Jr.