March 18, 2004

ACLU Action

Thought you'd all be interested (given our recent conversations) in the latest ACLU action message that I received:

From: Matt Howes, National Internet Organizer, ACLU
To: ACLU Action Network Members
Date: March 18, 2004

Not satisfied with the new snooping powers granted by the PATRIOT Act,
the Department of Justice is now asking the Federal Communications
Commission to allow law enforcement the power to regulate the design of
Internet communications services to make them easy to wiretap.

If implemented, the new request by Attorney General John Ashcroft would
dramatically increase the government’s surveillance powers and set a
precedent for opening the entire Internet to law enforcement. By
forcing technology companies to build “backdoors” in their systems for
wiretapping, the Ashcroft plan would also create weaknesses that
hackers and thieves could use to invade your privacy and steal personal
information like credit card numbers.

The government already has more than enough power to spy on individuals
suspected of wrongdoing. This measure is the equivalent of requiring
all new homes be built with a peephole for law enforcement agents to
look through.

Take Action! Tell the FCC and Congress that you oppose these new
wiretapping requirements.

Click here for more information and to send a free fax to the FCC
Chairman and your Members of Congress:

Like many of the DOJ's post 9/11 requests, this is obviously opportunistic. Building in insecurity for the rest of us so they can have another tool to catch the bad guys (and notice how it can easily change from terrorists to any ol' bad guys) is plain stupid.

On the other hand, I don't know exactly what, specifically, Ashcroft asked for other than what the ACLU said (although based on history it is probably everything and the kitchen sink), so this may be somewhat overblown.

Posted by richard at March 18, 2004 01:13 PM