[ISN] Smith Bill Raises Police Power Concerns

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Sun May 12 2002 - 23:41:09 PDT

  • Next message: InfoSec News: "[ISN] Kansas Teen Sentenced After Hackings"

    Forwarded from: Bob <bobat_private>
    By Roy Mark
    10 May 2002
    For Alan Davidson, the associate director of the Center for Democracy
    and Technology, the greater issue involving H.R. 3482 -- the Cyber
    Security Enhancement Act of 2001 -- is not increased surveillance of
    Internet users by Internet service providers (ISPs), but, rather,
    giving greater police powers to law enforcement agencies. The bill
    passed the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday and now awaits a floor
    vote of the full membership.
    Under current law, ISPs can face civil damages for disclosing user
    activity unless that activity presents an immediate risk of death or
    physical injury. Under H.R. 3482, sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith
    (R.-Tex.) ISPs would be able to report threats that are "not
    immediate" and be protected from privacy violation lawsuits.
    According to Davidson, who is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown
    University's graduate program in communications, culture and
    technology, the privacy threat to Internet users is more likely to
    come from law enforcement agencies than from ISPs spying on users.
    "What concerns me is that police will come to an ISP and claim an
    emergency or a broad definition of an emergency and ISPs, being good
    citizens, will voluntarily give them user information because they
    will be protected from civil litigation," Davidson said.
    The bill aims to better coordinate cyber security efforts between
    federal, state and local agencies, make information more readily
    available to law enforcement agencies and slap harsher penalties on
    cyber criminals.
    Criminal punishment for cyber crimes is currently based on the amount
    of economic damage caused by the attack. Smith's legislation would
    allow the U.S. Sentencing Commission to increase punishment when
    considering a perpetrator's intent and whether sensitive government
    data is involved in the crime.
    The bill also directs the Attorney General, acting through the Federal
    Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to establish and maintain a National
    Infrastructure Protection Center to serve as a national focal point
    for threat assessment, warning, investigation, and response to attacks
    on the nation's critical infrastructure, both physical and cyber.
    It further establishes within the Department of Justice (DoJ) an
    Office of Science and Technology to work on law enforcement technology
    issues, addressing safety, effectiveness and improved access by
    federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The bill abolishes
    the Office of Science and Technology of the National Institute of
    Justice, transferring its functions, activities, and funds to the
    newly formed DoJ office.
    ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org
    To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn'
    in the BODY of the mail.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 13 2002 - 03:08:24 PDT