DOE orders Web privacy review

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham called Thursday for a review of the department's Internet operating practices to ensure that DOE is safeguarding the public's right to online privacy.

Abraham said he wants to make sure that the privacy rights of anyone using DOE Web sites are protected. "Protecting these rights through the responsible use of Internet technology must be of equal importance to us all," he said in a statement.

Abraham said agency heads have until June 29 to review all publicly accessible Web pages and sites within their organizations — including those maintained by contractors or facilities they manage — to ensure compliance with established policies on Internet privacy. Federal policies issued by the Office of Management and Budget in June 1999 and June 2000 will be applied.

Tom Welch, DOE spokesman, said the review is part of the department's ongoing efforts to make sure its Web sites are up to par. "As a leader in e-government, the department is constantly evaluating its extensive Web infrastructure to ensure it is in full compliance," Welch said.

One touchy area demanding attention involves the use of "cookies," which some DOE sites do use, he said.

OMB banned persistent cookies from federal Web sites in all but the most unusual circumstances. Persistent cookies are pieces of computer code placed on an Internet user's computer by a Web site. They track the user's movement from page to page through the Web site, and some track movements from site to site.

"Those DOE sites which use cookies do so under the guidelines permitted by OMB," Welch said. "This top-to-bottom review is to ensure the use of cookies is implemented with the proper approvals from DOE management."

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.