An anti-cyberstalking bill sponsored by Minnesota Democrat Al Franken sailed through the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, despite technical reservations expressed by Republicans and Democrats alike.
The bill targets mobile phone apps that can secretly transmit users' location data without their knowledge. Critics say they can be used to facilitate stalking of women and girls, particularly battered women in abusive relationships.
The problem is that the same location data technology underlies popular apps like Yelp, Google Maps and Twitter.
Franken wants to make it a crime to intentionally operate an app to facilitate stalking. He also wants to close loopholes that allow smart phone, app and wireless companies offering Internet services to collect and share location data without customers’ permission. Industry groups say the necessary share notifications could render some apps all but useless.
Though the committee passed the bill on to the full Senate, some members said the bill will need to be refined in the next session of Congress.
More from Star Tribune
More from Star Tribune
More From Hot Dish Politics
U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen welcomes his friend and housemate back, three months after Rep. Steve Scalise was gunned down at a congressional baseball practice.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar appeared on The Daily Show Tuesday night to talk about getting things done in Congress, lowering drug prices and the direction of the Democratic party.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar will appear on "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" at 10 p.m. today. She'll be the second Minnesota politician in recent months to appear, after Rep. Ilhan Omar came on in July.
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this week launched digital ads against U.S. Reps. Jason Lewis, Erik Paulsen, and 23 other GOP lawmakers.