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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: Draft treaty shows weakness of Euro-privacy laws --Bill Stewart

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Fri, 05 May 2000 14:48:07 -0500
To:             	politech@vorlon.mit.edu
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: Draft treaty shows weakness of Euro-privacy laws --Bill Stewart
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com


Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 10:28:41 -0700
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>, cypherpunks@cyberpass.net
From: Bill Stewart <bill.stewart@pobox.com> Subject: Proposed treaty
demonstrates weakness of Euro Privacy Laws.

At 09:09 AM 05/03/2000 -0400, Declan McCullagh wrote several articles
about European treaty activity, including one that about the
cybercrime treaty,
which requires service providers to keep logs, reveal them to cops,
and not reveal to the public when they reveal logs to cops, and of
course compel people to reveal passwords.

Some of this is Europe-only; some includes the US.

This is yet another demonstration of the "European Privacy Law"
approach to protecting privacy.  Some parts of the laws are durable
(Privacy Commissioners and other bureaucrats tend to stick around),
but some parts can be changed on a whim, at least to the extent that
law enforcement advocates can get laws or treaties adopted to give
them more things to enforce.

Maybe today the laws permit the government to inspect big companies'
big scary computer databases to see if anything bad is being done, and
require them to notify you whenever they do anything with your data,
and let the Privacy Ombudsman to access government databases, but next
week some bureaucrat will realize that the phone list in your mobile
phone is a computer database of personal data, subject to inspection,
and the week after that they'll make a treaty letting the police not
notify you when _they're_ checking out your personal data, or
requiring them not to tell the Privacy Ombudman or whatever.

And it's nice to know that US Census records containing personal data
are protected for the next 75 years, or for the next 15 minutes if
they change the law that provides the protection because the Drug
Police Assistance Treaty requires access to data on Colombians.

The US Constitution isn't perfect, but it's better than what our
government does today.  Similarly, there are some EU human rights
protections that may be slightly more durable than regular laws which
are easily replaced by modified laws.  But anything less than that
just isn't durable protection. At least the treaty just requires
participants to make the laws implementing it rather than applying
directly - but that also means any moderating terms that got
compromised on to make the treaty more acceptable have the opportunity
to get dropped from each country's implementing laws.

Gakkk...  I keep agreeing more and more with David Brin's
"privacy is over, get used to it, video the government also"
approaches :-)

 >The document:
 >    Cyber-treaty Goes Too Far?
 >    by Declan McCullagh (declan@wired.com)
 >    3:00 a.m. May. 3, 2000 PDT
 >    WASHINGTON -- U.S. and European police agencies will receive new
 >    powers to investigate and prosecute computer crimes, according
 to a >    preliminary draft of a treaty being circulated among over
 40 nations.

Bill Stewart, bill.stewart@pobox.com
PGP Fingerprint D454 E202 CBC8 40BF  3C85 B884 0ABE 4639

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