Declan McCullough, reporting for CNET News, reviews past positions taken by Eric Holder, President-elect Barack Obama's pick for attorney general, on issues ranging from laws mandating Internet traceability, to limits on domestic use of encryption, to increased restrictions on free speech online.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, believes that Holder's past statements on encryption and surveillance "are fair topics to pursue at the nomination hearing."

But Rotenberg said any statements should be read narrowly and in context—suggesting that Holder may have been referring to data preservation after receiving a court order instead of preemptive data retention—and generally applauded his nomination. "Eric Holder is an outstanding public servant and would be a great attorney general, particularly after the last several years," Rotenberg said. "He is extremely well qualified, highly regarded, and has a deep commitment to the rule of law."