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108th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    108-239

======================================================================



 
 RULEMAKING AUTHORITY OF JUDICIAL CONFERENCE RELATING TO E-GOVERNMENT 
                              ACT OF 2002

                                _______
                                

 July 25, 2003.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Sensenbrenner, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1303]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 1303) to amend the E-Government Act of 2002 with 
respect to rulemaking authority of the Judicial Conference, 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommends that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
The Amendment....................................................     1
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     3
Hearings.........................................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Vote of the Committee............................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     4
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     4
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     5
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion.......................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6
Markup Transcript................................................     8

    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY OF JUDICIAL CONFERENCE.

    Section 205(c) of the E-Government Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-347) 
is amended by striking paragraph (3) and inserting the following:
            ``(3) Privacy and security concerns.--
                    ``(A)(i) The Supreme Court shall prescribe rules, 
                in accordance with sections 2072 and 2075 of title 28, 
                United States Code, to protect privacy and security 
                concerns relating to electronic filing of documents and 
                the public availability under this subsection of 
                documents filed electronically or converted to 
                electronic form.
                    ``(ii) Such rules shall provide to the extent 
                practicable for uniform treatment of privacy and 
                security issues throughout the Federal courts.
                    ``(iii) Such rules shall take into consideration 
                best practices in Federal and State courts to protect 
                private information or otherwise maintain necessary 
                information security.
                    ``(iv) Except as provided in clause (v), to the 
                extent that such rules provide for the redaction of 
                certain categories of information in order to protect 
                privacy and security concerns, such rules shall provide 
                that a party that wishes to file an otherwise proper 
                document containing such protected information may file 
                an unredacted document under seal, which shall be 
                retained by the court as part of the record, and which, 
                at the discretion of the court and subject to any 
                applicable rules issued in accordance with chapter 131 
                of title 28, United States Code, shall be either in 
                lieu of, or in addition to, a redacted copy in the 
                public file.
                    ``(v) Such rules may require the use of appropriate 
                redacted identifiers in lieu of protected information 
                described in clause (iv) in any pleading, motion, or 
                other paper filed with the court (except with respect 
                to a paper that is an exhibit or other evidentiary 
                matter, or with respect to a reference list described 
                in this subclause), or in any written discovery 
                response--
                            ``(I) by authorizing the filing under seal, 
                        and permitting the amendment as of right under 
                        seal, of a reference list that--
                                    ``(aa) identifies each item of 
                                unredacted protected information that 
                                the attorney or, if there is no 
                                attorney, the party, certifies is 
                                relevant to the case; and
                                    ``(bb) specifies an appropriate 
                                redacted identifier that uniquely 
                                corresponds to each item of unredacted 
                                protected information listed; and
                            ``(II) by providing that all references in 
                        the case to the redacted identifiers in such 
                        reference list shall be construed, without 
                        more, to refer to the corresponding unredacted 
                        item of protected information.
                    ``(B)(i) Subject to clause (ii), the Judicial 
                Conference of the United States may issue interim 
                rules, and interpretive statements relating to the 
                application of such rules, which conform to the 
                requirements of this paragraph and which shall cease to 
                have effect upon the effective date of the rules 
                required under subparagraph (A).
                    ``(ii) Pending issuance of the rules required under 
                subparagraph (A), any rule or order of any court, or of 
                the Judicial Conference, providing for the redaction of 
                certain categories of information in order to protect 
                privacy and security concerns arising from electronic 
                filing or electronic conversion shall comply with, and 
                be construed in conformity with, subparagraph (A)(iv).
                    ``(C) Not later than 1 year after the rules 
                prescribed under subparagraph (A) take effect, and 
                every 2 years thereafter, the Judicial Conference shall 
                submit to Congress a report on the adequacy of those 
                rules to protect privacy and security.''.

                          Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 1303 is to require the Judicial 
Conference of the United States to promulgate national rules to 
address privacy and security concerns relating to the 
electronic filing of documents and the public availability of 
documents filed electronically. In addition, to the extent any 
such rules provide for the redaction of certain information in 
order to protect privacy, H.R. 1303 requires that the rules 
allow litigants to file and access unredacted documents under 
seal for evidentiary purposes in addition to a redacted version 
for public use. H.R. 1303 amends subsection 205(c)(3) of the E-
Government Act of 2002.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Pub. L. No. 107-347.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    The E-Government Act improves the ``information 
management'' of the Federal Government by authorizing upgrades 
to improve systems management, information technology, and 
security. It also includes provisions that promote greater 
citizen access to Federal Government information.
    Section 205 of the Act would require each Federal court to 
establish a website that features pertinent information, such 
as courthouse locations, relevant telephone numbers, court 
rules, docket listings, written opinions, and filings.
    Subsection (c)(3), entitled ``Privacy and Security 
Concerns,'' mandates the development of national rules to 
address privacy and security concerns relating to the 
electronic filing of documents and the public availability of 
those documents. This subsection provides that in the event any 
such rule requires redaction of personal data identifiers (e.g, 
Social Security numbers, bank and credit card account numbers) 
from electronically filed documents, the rule must allow a 
party to file an unredacted copy of the document under seal 
that shall be kept in the court file. Recognizing the court's 
interest in making redacted versions of such information 
available to the public, the subsection further allows a court 
to require a redacted copy of the document to be filed as well, 
a procedure that would result in two versions of each such 
document being included in the court file.
    The Department of Justice (DoJ) endorsed subsection (c)(3) 
of the E-Government Act as it exists in current law as a 
response to the privacy policy of the Judicial Conference. That 
policy contemplates that litigants will file documents 
containing redacted versions of personal data identifiers so as 
to minimize the risk of identity theft and other untoward 
consequences that could flow from the filing of unredacted 
identifiers. DoJ was concerned that this privacy policy could 
impede the legal introduction into evidence of information it 
deemed necessary to prove the elements of certain cases, such 
as bank account numbers in a bank fraud prosecution.
    Because it contemplated inclusion of two versions (redacted 
and unredacted) of each such document in a court file, however, 
subsection (c)(3) as it was enacted generated concern within 
the Federal judiciary. The Judicial Conference believes that 
the current subsection (c)(3) creates the potential for 
confusion and error in several contexts, including making 
appropriate versions of the documents available to juries and 
the public and certifying appropriate versions of the documents 
for purposes of appeal.
    H.R. 1303, as amended, represents a consensus reached after 
negotiations among the Committee, the Department of Justice, 
and the Judicial Conference. It ensures that the DoJ will have 
the ability to access all necessary information to prosecute 
crimes through the uniform application of privacy rules. The 
Judicial Conference retains the authority to enact rules that 
comply with case law, provide the greatest public access to 
information possible, and protect the privacy of all 
participants in the Federal judicial system.

                                Hearings

    No hearings were held on H.R. 1303.

                        Committee Consideration

    On March, 20, 2003, the Subcommittee on Courts, the 
Internet, and Intellectual Property met in open session and 
ordered favorably reported the bill H.R. 1303, with an 
amendment, by a voice vote, a quorum being present. On July, 
16, 2003, the Committee met in open session and ordered 
favorably reported the bill H.R. 1303 with an amendment by 
voice vote, a quorum being present.

                         Vote of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of Rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee notes that there 
were no recorded votes during the committee consideration of 
H.R. 1303.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of Rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee reports that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of Rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable because this legislation does 
not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax 
expenditures.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of Rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with 
respect to the bill, H.R. 1303, the following estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 22, 2003.
Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., Chairman,
Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1303, a bill to 
amend the E-Government Act of 2002 with respect to rulemaking 
authority of the Judicial Conference.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford, who can be reached at 226-2860.
            Sincerely,
                                       Douglas Holtz-Eakin.

Enclosure

cc:
        Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
        Ranking Member
H.R. 1303--A bill to amend the E-Government Act of 2002 with respect to 
        rulemaking authority of the Judicial Conference.
    H.R. 1303 would amend the E-Government Act of 2003 to allow 
the identification of redacted material to protect sensitive 
information contained in documents filed electronically, or 
converted to electronic form, with the Federal court system. (A 
redacted document is a record that has been edited to prevent 
public disclosure of information.) Under H.R. 1303, documents 
filed with the Federal courts could be filed in either of two 
ways--filing an unredacted (i.e., unedited) version under seal 
with a redacted version for public use, or filing a redacted 
version for public use and a reference list under seal that 
identifies redacted information for the court.
    CBO estimates that implementing this bill would have no 
significant effect on Federal spending based on information 
from the Judicial Conference of the United States. These 
procedures are not expected to have a significant impact on 
court costs. Enacting H.R. 1303 would not affect direct 
spending or revenues. The bill contains no intergovernmental or 
private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of State, local, or 
tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford, who can be reached at 226-2860. The estimate was 
approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for 
Budget Analysis.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    H.R. 1303 does not authorize funding. Therefore, clause 
3(c)(4) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds the authority for 
this legislation in article I, section 8, and article III, 
section 1 of the Constitution.

               Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion

Section 1. Rulemaking Authority of Judicial Conference:
    This section of the bill as reported amends subsection 
205(c)(3) of the E-Government Act by requiring the promulgation 
of national rules to protect privacy and security concerns 
related to the filing and public availability of electronic 
documents. Such rules permit the filing of a ``reference list'' 
with the court that would include the complete version of each 
personal data identifier and a corresponding partially redacted 
version of each identifier. This redacted version would be used 
in lieu of, and be construed to refer to, the complete version 
in subsequent filings in the case. The list is intended to 
serve as a type of ``key.'' For example, if an individual's 
full Social Security Number is 123-45-6789, the list would 
include the complete number with the corresponding partially 
redacted number of XXX-XX-6789, which would be used in future 
filings. This listing would be maintained under seal and could 
be amended by a party as a matter of right.
    This is beneficial to the court and the clerk's office 
because it eliminates the filing of two versions of a 
document--one unredacted (and automatically under seal) and one 
redacted. It allows the implementation of the Judicial 
Conference privacy policy by providing public access to 
redacted electronic case files. This satisfies DoJ's needs as 
well by permitting filing of unredacted identifiers in those 
circumstances it deems necessary to establish the elements of a 
criminal case.
    The legislation also amends (c)(3) by allowing a party to 
file an unredacted exhibit or other evidentiary matter under 
seal, with the option that the court could require a redacted 
copy of this document for the public file. This procedure is 
important for those documents, like exhibits, that are not 
created by the party, so as to preserve the authenticity and 
integrity of that document for evidentiary purposes. The 
Judicial Conference, and individual courts overseeing 
particular proceedings, are encouraged to take steps to 
minimize the burden to litigants associated with redaction of 
documents and otherwise administering this process.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

              SECTION 205 OF THE E-GOVERNMENT ACT OF 2002

SEC. 205. FEDERAL COURTS.

    (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (c) Electronic Filings.--
            (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

            [(3) Privacy and security concerns.--(A)(i) The 
        Supreme Court shall prescribe rules, in accordance with 
        sections 2072 and 2075 of title 28, United States Code, 
        to protect privacy and security concerns relating to 
        electronic filing of documents and the public 
        availability under this subsection of documents filed 
        electronically.
            [(ii) Such rules shall provide to the extent 
        practicable for uniform treatment of privacy and 
        security issues throughout the Federal courts.
            [(iii) Such rules shall take into consideration 
        best practices in Federal and State courts to protect 
        private information or otherwise maintain necessary 
        information security.
            [(iv) To the extent that such rules provide for the 
        redaction of certain categories of information in order 
        to protect privacy and security concerns, such rules 
        shall provide that a party that wishes to file an 
        otherwise proper document containing such information 
        may file an unredacted document under seal, which shall 
        be retained by the court as part of the record, and 
        which, at the discretion of the court and subject to 
        any applicable rules issued in accordance with chapter 
        131 of title 28, United States Code, shall be either in 
        lieu of, or in addition, to, a redacted copy in the 
        public file.
            [(B)(i) Subject to clause (ii), the Judicial 
        Conference of the United States may issue interim 
        rules, and interpretive statements relating to the 
        application of such rules, which conform to the 
        requirements of this paragraph and which shall cease to 
        have effect upon the effective date of the rules 
        required under subparagraph (A).
            [(ii) Pending issuance of the rules required under 
        subparagraph (A), any rule or order of any court, or of 
        the Judicial Conference, providing for the redaction of 
        certain categories of information in order to protect 
        privacy and security concerns arising from electronic 
        filing shall comply with, and be construed in 
        conformity with, subparagraph (A)(iv).
            [(C) Not later than 1 year after the rules 
        prescribed under subparagraph (A) take effect, and 
        every 2 years thereafter, the Judicial Conference shall 
        submit to Congress a report on the adequacy of those 
        rules to protect privacy and security.]
            (3) Privacy and security concerns.--
                    (A)(i) The Supreme Court shall prescribe 
                rules, in accordance with sections 2072 and 
                2075 of title 28, United States Code, to 
                protect privacy and security concerns relating 
                to electronic filing of documents and the 
                public availability under this subsection of 
                documents filed electronically or converted to 
                electronic form.
                    (ii) Such rules shall provide to the extent 
                practicable for uniform treatment of privacy 
                and security issues throughout the Federal 
                courts.
                    (iii) Such rules shall take into 
                consideration best practices in Federal and 
                State courts to protect private information or 
                otherwise maintain necessary information 
                security.
                    (iv) Except as provided in clause (v), to 
                the extent that such rules provide for the 
                redaction of certain categories of information 
                in order to protect privacy and security 
                concerns, such rules shall provide that a party 
                that wishes to file an otherwise proper 
                document containing such protected information 
                may file an unredacted document under seal, 
                which shall be retained by the court as part of 
                the record, and which, at the discretion of the 
                court and subject to any applicable rules 
                issued in accordance with chapter 131 of title 
                28, United States Code, shall be either in lieu 
                of, or in addition to, a redacted copy in the 
                public file.
                    (v) Such rules may require the use of 
                appropriate redacted identifiers in lieu of 
                protected information described in clause (iv) 
                in any pleading, motion, or other paper filed 
                with the court (except with respect to a paper 
                that is an exhibit or other evidentiary matter, 
                or with respect to a reference list described 
                in this subclause), or in any written discovery 
                response--
                            (I) by authorizing the filing under 
                        seal, and permitting the amendment as 
                        of right under seal, of a reference 
                        list that--
                                    (aa) identifies each item 
                                of unredacted protected 
                                information that the attorney 
                                or, if there is no attorney, 
                                the party, certifies is 
                                relevant to the case; and
                                    (bb) specifies an 
                                appropriate redacted identifier 
                                that uniquely corresponds to 
                                each item of unredacted 
                                protected information listed; 
                                and
                            (II) by providing that all 
                        references in the case to the redacted 
                        identifiers in such reference list 
                        shall be construed, without more, to 
                        refer to the corresponding unredacted 
                        item of protected information.
                    (B)(i) Subject to clause (ii), the Judicial 
                Conference of the United States may issue 
                interim rules, and interpretive statements 
                relating to the application of such rules, 
                which conform to the requirements of this 
                paragraph and which shall cease to have effect 
                upon the effective date of the rules required 
                under subparagraph (A).
                    (ii) Pending issuance of the rules required 
                under subparagraph (A), any rule or order of 
                any court, or of the Judicial Conference, 
                providing for the redaction of certain 
                categories of information in order to protect 
                privacy and security concerns arising from 
                electronic filing or electronic conversion 
                shall comply with, and be construed in 
                conformity with, subparagraph (A)(iv).
                    (C) Not later than 1 year after the rules 
                prescribed under subparagraph (A) take effect, 
                and every 2 years thereafter, the Judicial 
                Conference shall submit to Congress a report on 
                the adequacy of those rules to protect privacy 
                and security.

                           Markup Transcript



                            BUSINESS MEETING

                        WEDNESDAY, JULY 16, 2003

                  House of Representatives,
                                Committee on the Judiciary,
                                                    Washington, DC.
    The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:04 a.m., in 
Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. F. James 
Sensenbrenner, Jr., [Chairman of the Committee] presiding.
    [Intervening business.]
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The next item on the agenda will be 
H.R. 1303, to amend the E-Government Act of 2002 with respect 
to the rule-making authority of the Judicial Conference.
    The chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Smith, 
the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and 
Intellectual Property.
    Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Chairman, the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and 
Intellectual Property reports favorably the bill H.R. 1303, 
with a single amendment in the nature of a substitute and moves 
its favorable recommendation to the full House.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Without objection, the bill will be 
considered as read and open for amendment at any point.
    [The bill, H.R. 1303, follows:]
      
      

  


      
      

  


    Chairman Sensenbrenner. And the Subcommittee amendment in 
the nature of a substitute, which the Members have before them, 
will be considered as read, considered as the original text for 
purposes of amendment and open for amendment at any point.
    [The Subcommittee amendment follows:]
      
      

  


    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The chair recognizes the gentleman 
from Texas, Mr. Smith, to strike the last word.
    Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    The E-Government Act improves the information management of 
the Federal Government by authorizing upgrades to enhance 
systems management, information technology and security. It 
also includes provisions that ensure greater citizen access to 
Federal Government information.
    Section 205(c)(3) now requires the Judicial Conference to 
prescribe rules pursuant to the Rules Enabling Act and 
extensive criteria to protect privacy and security concerns 
relating to electronic filing of documents and the public 
availability of documents filed electronically.
    This is problematic because under the criteria, parties, 
rather than courts, can determine whether and what information 
will be sealed. It increases the likelihood that parties will 
make mistakes or manipulate litigation.
    Section 205 of the E-Government Act was meant to increase 
public access to information, but its present wording may serve 
to restrict that access. H.R. 1303 remedies this situation by 
instructing the Judicial Conference to issue rules to protect 
privacy and security concerns relating to the electronic filing 
of documents and the public availability of documents filed 
electronically.
    After the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and 
Intellectual Property marked up H.R. 1303, the Department of 
Justice raised concerns that under H.R. 1303 the Judicial 
Conference could adopt rules that might prevent the Department 
from using certain information necessary to prosecute cases 
such as credit card fraud. As a result, I will offer an 
amendment that will address those concerns.
    Mr. Chairman, H.R. 1303 is a good bill, and I urge my 
colleagues to support the amendment and the bill, and before I 
yield back the balance of my time, while the Ranking Member of 
the Subcommittee, Mr. Berman, is not here, it is my 
understanding that we could confirm with his staff that he does 
support this bill and the subsequent amendment.
    Yield back, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Is there any opening statement on 
the Democratic side?
    [No response.]
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. If not, without objection, all 
opening statements will appear in the record at this point.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Jackson Lee follows:]
       Prepared Statement of the Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee, a 
           Representative in Congress From the State of Texas
    Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member, thank you for holding the Markup 
today of H.R. 1303 which will amend Section 205 of the existing and 
codified ``E-Government Act.'' The operative language of the bill with 
the Amendment offered by Representative Howard L. Berman and adopted by 
this Subcommittee will restore order to the electronic infrastructure 
that serves the federal court system.
    The primary goals of the ``E-Government Act,'' namely to (1) 
improve the ``information management'' of the Federal Government by 
authorizing upgrades to improve systems management, information 
technology, and security, and (20 to insure greater citizen access to 
Federal Government information ostensibly serves the interest of the 
public by way of making the government's electronic infrastructure more 
``user friendly'' and useful overall. However, in light of the import 
of the existing codified language of the relevant provision, Section 
205 of the E-Government Act,'' namely the hortatory ``shall'' reveals a 
problem that is addressed by H.R. 1303:

        ``[t]he Judicial Conference of the United States shall 
        prescribe rules . . . to protect privacy and security concerns 
        relating to electronic filing of documents and the public 
        availability under this subsection of documents filed 
        electronically.''

While the overt intent of the hortatory language suggests a legislative 
benefit to the public and to the electronic infrastructure, by 
implication, the provision waters down the discretion of the Federal 
Courts to determine the sealability of court documents as well as 
restrict public access to certain case information.
    In the wake of 9/11 and the mounting death toll that is ever-
escalating even in the aftermath of war, it is vital that we keep our 
secure information secure and less vulnerable to negligent or abusive 
acts, as the net effect could lead to larger problems. Allowing carte 
blanche access to certain court electronic court documents allowing the 
manipulation of the sealability of those documents is a disaster 
waiting to happen. The type of crimes to be controlled by the bill 
introduced in the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland 
Security, namely H.R. 1678, the ``Anti-Hoax Terrorism Act of 2003'' 
could create an administrative nightmare for the federal court system. 
The cost, time, and energy expenditure that could come about absent the 
protections of H.R. 1303 would only make our government even more 
vulnerable to real terrorist attacks. As a Member of the Select 
Committee on Homeland Security, I am particularly interested in 
preventing terrorism hoaxes and holding criminal transgressors 
accountable. Allowing parties access to freely manipulate certain 
electronic litigation documents will lead to severe administrative 
backlog and the concomitant vulnerability of other areas of our 
critical infrastructure. Problems never stop where they begin. Homeland 
security funds and resources are both scarce and precious. During my 
work on the Select Committee on Homeland Security, I have spoken with 
numerous fire departments, police departments, hazardous materials 
teams, and other first responders across the country who are not 
receiving the funding, equipment, and other resources they need to 
adequately protect their communities.
    Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member, for the reasons set forth above, I 
support H.R. 1303, the ``E-Government Act of 2003'' and thank you for 
the opportunity to submit my input.

    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Are there amendments?
    Mr. Smith. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The clerk will report the 
amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 1303 offered by Mr. Smith of 
Texas. Page 1, strike line 8 and all that follows through Page 
2, line 3 and insert the following:
    (3) Privacy----
    Mr. Smith. Mr. Chairman----
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Without objection, the amendment is 
considered as read.
    [The amendment of Mr. Smith follows:]
      
      

  


      
      

  


      
      

  


      
      

  


    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentleman from Texas is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Chairman, H.R. 1303 amends section 205(c)(3) of the E-
Government Act. This section instructs the Judicial Conference 
to enact national rules to protect privacy and security 
concerns relating to the electronic filing of documents and the 
public availability of those documents.
    The Federal judiciary maintains that the current text of 
Subsection (c)(3) may invite confusion, manipulation or other 
error, since the provision contemplates two versions, both 
redacted and unredacted, of each document in a court file.
    At my request, the Department of Justice and the 
Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts entered into 
discussions to develop a privacy provision that would be 
acceptable to both parties. The amendment that is being offered 
reflects that agreement between the Judiciary and the 
Department.
    The amendment provides the Department of Justice 
consistency of rules in all jurisdictions and the ability to 
access the information necessary to prosecute crimes. The 
Judicial Conference will retain the authority to enact rules 
that comply with case law, provide the greatest public access 
to information possible, and protect the privacy of all 
participants in the Federal judicial system.
    I urge my colleagues to support this amendment, and I would 
be happy to yield to Mr. Berman, the Ranking Member of the 
Subcommittee, for his comments on the amendment.
    Mr. Berman. Well, I thank the Chairman for yielding, and I 
rise in support of the amendment offered by Mr. Smith. The 
Judiciary Committee did not have an opportunity to deal with 
section 205(c)(3) of the E-Government Act of 2002. In effect, 
our Committee was circumvented. But that section, whatever one 
thinks of the process, was not all bad. Certain parts of the 
section were problematic, but I support its requirement that 
the U.S. courts protect the privacy and the security of 
electronic court documents.
    Because I supported the thrust of section 205(c)(3), even 
though I didn't like the process that produced it, I offered an 
amendment to H.R. 1303 during the Subcommittee markup. This 
amendment, adopted by voice vote, ensured that the U.S. courts 
would still have a congressional mandate to protect the privacy 
and security of electronic court documents.
    The amendment now offered by Subcommittee Chairman Smith is 
entirely consistent with the privacy and security concerns that 
motivated my original amendment. In fact, I want to give them 
credit for going several steps beyond my amendment in 
protecting the privacy and security of electronic court 
documents.
    The amendment before us today, which represents a 
negotiated agreement between the Department of Justice and the 
Administrative Office of the Courts, substantially returns to 
the language of section 205(c)(3). While it does make some 
important changes to address concerns of the U.S. courts, this 
amendment will provide more protection to privacy and security 
than either the original H.R. 1303 or the version containing my 
amendment.
    I support this amendment and ask my colleagues to do the 
same, and I thank the Chairman and yield.
    Mr. Smith. Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank Mr. Berman 
for his comments, and I'll yield back the balance of my time.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The question is on the amendment 
offered by the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Smith, to the 
amendment in the nature of a substitute.
    Those in favor will say aye.
    Opposed, no.
    The ayes appear to have it, the ayes have it, and the 
amendment to the amendment in the nature of a substitute is 
agreed to.
    Are there further amendments?
    [No response.]
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. If not, the question is on agreeing 
to the amendment in the nature of a substitute of the 
Subcommittee.
    Those in favor will say aye.
    Opposed, no.
    The ayes appear to have it, the ayes have it, and the 
amendment in the nature of a substitute is agreed to.
    A reporting quorum is present. The question is on the 
motion to report the bill H.R. 1303 favorably as amended.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Which one is that? Excuse me, Mr. 
Chairman. Which one is that?
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. That's the E-Government bill.
    Those in favor will say aye.
    Opposed, no.
    The ayes appear to have it, the ayes have it, and the 
motion to report favorably is agreed to.
    Without objection, the bill will be reported favorably to 
the House in the form of a single amendment in the nature of a 
substitute, incorporating the amendments adopted here today. 
Without objection, the Chairman is authorized to move it to go 
to conference pursuant to House Rules. Without objection, the 
staff is directed to make any technical and conforming changes 
and all Members will be given 2 days as provided by the rules 
in which to submit additional dissenting supplemental or 
minority views.