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[FYI] (Fwd) House Passes Roving Wiretaps / Big Brother in Amerik

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
To:            gnu@toad.com, cryptography@c2.net
Subject:       House Passes Roving Wiretaps
Date:          Wed, 07 Oct 1998 19:33:17 -0700
From:          John Gilmore <gnu@toad.com>


 House Passes Roving Wiretaps, Expanding
 Federal Surveillance Powers

 October 7, 1998

     In a closed-door manuever, controversial "roving wiretap"
     provisions have been added to a major Intelligence authorization
     bill and passed by the House. Current wiretapping law allows
     tapping of a particular person's phones. The new provisions would
     dramatically expand current authority by allowing taps on any
     phone used by, or "proximate" to, the person being tapped -- no
     matter whose phone it is. Such a broad law invites abuse.

     In the last Congress, the full House of Representatives rejected
     these provisions after an open and vigorous debate. This week,
     behind closed doors, a conference committee added the provisions
     to the important Intelligence Authorization Conference Report,
     almost certain to pass the Congress. The provisions were not in
     either the original House or Senate versions of the bill. CDT is
     particularly concerned that such an expansion of federal
     authority should take place without a public debate.


     "Roving Wiretaps" Language added to H.R. 3694, the Intelligence
     Authorization Conference Report.


          (a) In General.--Section 2518(11)(b) of title 18, United
          States Code, is amended--

               (1) in clause (ii), by striking ``of a purpose'' and
               all that follows through the end of such clause and
               inserting ``that there is probable cause to believe
               that the person's actions could have the effect of
               thwarting interception from a specified facility;'';

               (2) in clause (iii), by striking ``such purpose'' and
               all that follows through the end of such clause and
               inserting ``such showing has been adequately made;
               and''; and

               (3) by adding at the end the following clause:

               ``(iv) the order authorizing or approving the
               interception is limited to interception only for such
               time as it is reasonable to presume that the person
               identified in the application is or was reasonably
               proximate to the instrument through which such
               communication will be or was transmitted.''.

          (b) Conforming Amendments.--Section 2518(12) of title 18,
          United States Code, is amended--

               (1) by inserting ``(a)'' after ``by reason of
               subsection (11)'';

               (2) by striking ``the facilities from which, or''; and

               (3) by striking the comma following ``where''.


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