CONCORD, N.H. – Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Lieberman (search) on Friday pledged to break the "Bush wall of secrecy" with proposals designed to safeguard personal information and open unnecessary secrets in federal government.
Lieberman said he will help Americans protect their financial information by prohibiting the display or sale of Social Security (search) numbers without consent and by doubling the penalties for identity theft (search).
The Connecticut senator vowed to help consumers correct credit reports by urging the Federal Trade Commission (search) to file suit against those who repeatedly make errors on reports and stand in the way of mortgages, new cars and new credit cards.
In remarks prepared for delivery Friday, he blamed President Bush for "failing to safeguard information that ought to stay private while keeping secret information that ought to be public."
Lieberman said he would install a systematic review of the new powers under the Patriot Act to determine their impact on civil liberties (search) before supporting their extension.
Lieberman would direct the Justice and Homeland Security departments to disclose as much information as possible about how they are using the Patriot Act (search) and about those arrested and detained in the war on terrorism.
He said he would reverse Bush's executive order on presidential records, which blocked the release of non-classified records from past presidential administrations.
Industry-funded research would be disclosed under the plan.
Lieberman said he will require that scientists whose studies are being used to shape public policy disclose who funds their work.
Citing Vice President Dick Cheney's refusal to disclose the names of energy companies attending a task force, Lieberman said he would put a stop to secret task forces. He would also rescind an order by Attorney General John Ashcroft that tightens the Freedom of Information Act (search).