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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: Weekly column: John Ashcroft's worrying DSEA surveillance plans

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Mon, 10 Feb 2003 09:34:05 -0500
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
To:             	politech@politechbot.com
Subject:        	FC: Weekly column: John Ashcroft's worrying DSEA surveillance plans
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com


   Perspectives: Ashcroft's worrisome spy plans
   By Declan McCullagh
   February 10, 2003, 4:00 AM PT

   WASHINGTON--Attorney General John Ashcroft wants even more power to
   snoop on the Internet, spy on private conversations and install
   secret microphones, spyware and keystroke loggers. 

   Ashcroft's Justice Department has quietly crafted a whopping
   120-page proposal that represents the boldest attack yet on our
   electronic privacy in the name of thwarting future terrorist
   attacks. The nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity posted the
   draft legislation, which reads like J. Edgar Hoover's wish list, on
   its Web site Friday.

   Called the Domestic Security Enhancement Act (DSEA), the
   legislation has not been formally introduced in Congress, and a
   representative for Ashcroft indicated on Friday that it's a work in
   progress. But the fact that the legislation is under consideration
   already, before we know the effects of its USA Patriot Act
   predecessor, should make us realize that the Bush administration
   thinks "homeland security" is the root password to the

   Don't believe me? Keep reading and peruse some of DSEA's

   o  The FBI and state police would be able to eavesdrop on what Web
   sites you visit, what you search for with Google and with whom you
   chat through e-mail and instant messaging--all without a court
   order for up to 48 hours. That's if you're suspected of what would
   become a new offense of "activities threatening the national
   security interest."

   o  Currently police can seek a warrant to "require the disclosure
   by a provider of electronic communication service of the contents
   of an electronic communication." Under existing law, police must
   notify the target of an investigation except in rare cases such as
   when witnesses may be intimidated or a prospective defendant might
   flee. DSEA allows police to delay notification for three months
   simply by citing "national security."


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