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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: White House report says government wants to trace Ne

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Mon, 06 Mar 2000 07:45:13 -0500
To:             	politech@vorlon.mit.edu
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: White House report says government wants to trace Net users
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com

The forthcoming report:



                        U.S. Wants to Trace Net Users
                        by Declan McCullagh (declan@wired.com)

                        3:00 a.m. 4.Mar.2000 PST
                        WASHINGTON -- The ease of hiding one's
                        identity on the Net is giving police
                        migraines and justifies providing broad
                        new powers to law enforcement, the
                        White House says in a forthcoming report.

                        The federal government should take steps
                        to improve online traceability and promote
                        international cooperation to identify Internet
                        users, according to a draft of the report
                        commissioned by President Clinton.

                        Police should be able to determine the
                        source of hacker attacks or "anonymous
                        emails that contain bomb threats," states the
                        200 KB document prepared by a high-level
                        working group chaired by Attorney General
                        Janet Reno.

                        Although the report was largely complete
                        before last month's prominent
                        denial-of-service attacks, it will likely
                        influence the debate over how the U.S.
                        government should respond to them.

                        The FBI has not made any arrests during
                        its investigation, and bureau officials
                        Tuesday told Congress that anonymity
                        and the global nature of the Internet
                        pose serious problems.

                        A White House spokesman said the report
                        is being finalized and "should be released
                        very soon."

                        The Working Group on Unlawful Conduct
                        on the Internet, which Clinton created in
                        August 1999 to consider new laws or
                        educational programs, includes senior
                        administration officials such as FBI Director
                        Louis Freeh, Treasury Secretary Larry Summers,
                        Commerce Secretary William Daley, and
                        representatives from the military, DEA, and
                        Secret Service.

                        The group focused on what it views as
                        the problem of anonymity, citing "the
                        need for real-time tracing of Internet
                        communications across traditional
                        jurisdictional boundaries, both
                        domestically and internationally [and] the
                        need to track down sophisticated users who
                        commit unlawful acts on the Internet while
                        hiding their identities," according to the

                        Currently no laws require Internet users in
                        the United States to reveal their identities
                        before signing up for accounts, and both
                        fee-based and free services offer anonymous
                        mail, Web browsing, and dialup connections.

                        Internet service providers should be
                        encouraged, though not required, to
                        maintain detailed records of what their
                        users are doing online. "Some industry
                        members may not retain certain system
                        data long enough to permit law
                        enforcement to identify online offenders," the
                        report says.


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