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Big brother on the internet
New suggestion from the Bush administration.

 3:47 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)


yepp, a further step for Echelon, even though they will probably call this something different.



 4:23 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

Gives a whole nuther spin off the tag line from
Field of Dreams

(whispers) If you type it ... they will come


 4:26 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

I here the tech industry running to foriegn soil.


 4:32 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

This does not surprise me but at the same time this makes me sick. I can see this thing becoming a major abuse of use and potentially killing the Internet as we know it. Sure laws should not be broken and sure national/international security is a concern.. but going at it this way is not really dealing with the problem at hand.

Same old crap I see everyday... patch the indirect problems instead of the direct problem. Figures!


 4:45 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

Bush, and his admin, scare me!

Nothing to do with politics, just fear.


 4:53 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

That's exactly it, fear. When you start to make decisions based on fear then you've got a problem (yet another <G>).

We have an amazing thing here, the Internet but will it survive. In my opinion Internet has been the best resource since the creation of libraries years and years and years ago.

Heck I've been able to do and learn things that would not have been possible without the Internet. It's sad that some of us always seem to destroy great things at some point!


 5:18 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hmmm...I seem to remember the President stating repeatedly that the terrorists want to take away our freedom(s)...


 5:24 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

This is interesting - a topic that intertwines the internet and politics. Don't forget to read the FOO Charter [webmasterworld.com] before you post. I am hopeful we can discuss this matter without becoming too political about it <keeping fingers crossed>.

Be nice. Remember, big brother (lawman) is watching. ;)


<edit>correct spelling</edit>


 7:03 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

Doublespeak... It is odd how our current rulers slam Chlna for trying to censor and monitor the web, yet then try to make laws making it mandatory here. Neat, huh?

The good thing is though, bills are also being sponsored to open the Intenet up even farther than it is (less liability for the ISP, less or no monitoring, etc).

Without getting political about it, all I can say is there are arguments for each approach, regardless of the original intent of the Internet when it was opened to the public or of its current purpose. Everyone needs to vote (not here) for what they think is right, and or educate others (not here) to why they think their position is right and let their lawmakers know.

So, quite simply, i am trying to point out that there are at least two proposed laws (or discussions on proposing those laws)... one that advents more restrictions, censoring and liability, and one that advents less or none.

Personally (concerning my sites), I dont care. On a societal level, I wont discuss my beliefs on it here... it's not the place. So my suggestion regardless of your views, is to assume the worst case scenario (the one that requires the most work, or afffects your bottom line the most - which for most, I would presume is the censorship/monitoring route) and tailor your site(s), business and policy to accommodate it. You dont even need to implement any changes (if you need any) now... but have a plan ready and able to be implemented in an adequate time frame.

Much better to be ready ahead of time than to suffer major losses if "Law C" (whatever currently proposed law may affect you) gets enacted.

- Rob

[edited by: FoodPlaces at 7:13 pm (utc) on Dec. 23, 2002]


 7:08 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

It maybe a good idea to see if your congressman checks their email or not.


 7:40 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't go the email route - go postal instead. They'll open a hand written letter long before someone will read email. The spam those guys must get would redefine your concept of spam entirely.


 8:42 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have to wonder if they read all of the snail mail as well.

[edited by: Hunter at 9:24 pm (utc) on Dec. 23, 2002]


 9:09 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

We all know that whenever something like a mass shooting or a terrorist attack occurs in the US, the pundits are on the air within minutes demanding "why didn't the FBI know that person A was on the payroll of terrorist B" or "why didn't the CIA care that person X was purchasing vast quantities of explosive Y," or "why didn't the school psychologist talk to Johnny N" etc. So from the perspective of the administration (regardless of party or personality), it's almost always better to stake out a position that maximizes your scope of ability and authority. It's much easier to tell voters "well we tried to do N, but those pesky left-wing/right-wing/chicken wing courts knocked it down" than to say "well we could have tried X that might have prevented Y, but we didn't want to cause a fuss." :)


 9:26 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Ben Franklin November 1775.


 9:43 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

As the article says:

The danger of a system like this is that it is not based on suspicion of specific information, it's a sweep without suspicion.

It's hard to imagine that a parallel proposal for surveilance of phone messages would get very far. Imagine voice recognition software scanning every conversation for certain words and phrases and then flagged conversations would be further investigated.

Again from the article:

Currently, there are strict laws concerning telephone wire taps, and it is unclear if those same protections will be extended for new government Internet monitoring techniques.

I think it would serve everyone well make this issue explicitly clear. Why should the Internet be different - just because the technology is easier to implement?

With the convergence of our communications media, we need a unified communications "bill of rights". It seems to me that the intent of lawmakers was always clear in protecting a reasonable expectation of privacy, even if they didn't foresee all the possible technologies.

The issue is not "should we try to stop terrorists". Of course we should. The issue is what future uses might be found for the "anti-terrorism" data - whether political or (shudder) commercial.


 9:48 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

My understanding of the plan is not tree inspection, but forest review.

From talking to some gov. friends, the gist is to have some sort of a Netcraft scenario or more like the [internettrafficreport.com...] traffic report. This would give early warning if some sections of the US Internet is being attacked externally.

I could be wrong, but I try to see it as half full.


 9:55 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)


You ask why Internet laws should be different... the problem is Bus is proposing that they be the same. The statement in the article pertaining to strict wiretap laws is innaccurate (to put it mildly). New laws have near eradicated those strict requirements, and in many cases, like cell phones, have required monitoring, as well as cell providers to HAVE TO track EVERY active cell phone to within under 200 feet (I think 167 feet - it's a technical limit that made them specify the specific distance). That, by the way, has actually been taking place by most cell companies for over a decade. One 11 year old case (went to court) forced a phone company to release that info to a family trying to track where their daughter died in a boating dissappearance near the Bermuda Triangle. Eventually the court forced the cell company to release the 1991 info.

brotherhood of LAN

 10:20 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

I wonder how this affects people outside the US, not that I'm trying to create a US legislation vs world indifference view ;)

Bush is very "pro-active" in this area of politics.

If my personal details are scanned by someone, then they are breaking a law in the UK about data protection, Mr Bush would need my explicit consent to read/scan my personal data :)


 11:01 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

One 11 year old case (went to court) forced a phone company to release that info to a family trying to track where their daughter died in a boating dissappearance near the Bermuda Triangle.

I wish my cell phone had that kinda coverage. ;)



 7:00 pm on Dec 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

FoodPlaces -
New laws have near eradicated those strict requirements

I beg to differ. The requirements are still there and strongly enforced.

The E911 law mandates that when a cell phone call is placed to 911 the phone has to be locatable. So, not all phones are actively monitored, only the ones that are making the call to 911 emergency number.

As for how they track it now, and including at that boating accident, is not too complicated with simple triangulation of signal strength from a few towers.

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