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House unit clears anti-terrorist bill

Cable and DBS companies will not be required to notify subscribers when complying with federal investigators requests for subscribers' telephone and data records under anti-terrorism legislation approved by the House Commerce Committee Wednesday.

The legislation would make cable telephone and Internet laws consistent with rules governing traditional telephone companies. The bill was drafted at the behest of U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and must still be approved by the Senate.

Civil rights advocates have raised privacy concerns about the anti-terrorism package broadly, but the cable industry approved this provision.

Video purchases, including adult channels and pay-per-view, would still require subscriber notification before being turned over to the government. - Bill McConnell