WTF??? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


-- Ron Schwarz (, January 13, 2000


Fair use, etc. From above link:

Posted 12/01/2000 5:39pm by Thomas C. Greene

Janet Reno proposes on-line police squad

An online network of law-enforcement agents should be created and empowered to operate across jurisdictional lines with a minimum of red tape, US Attorney General Janet Reno announced yesterday. "There is a dark side of hacking, crashing networks and viruses that we absolutely must address," Reno told the National Association of Attorneys General during a conference at Stanford University on Monday.

Reno introduced her brainchild, dubbed LawNet, as an online law- enforcement agency which would employ both alpha geeks and law- enforcement officers, and which should be able to evade the jurisdictional red tape that often obstructs investigations and prosecutions of crimes carried out on or by means of the Internet. It would be useful in cases where the Net has served as a link between criminal and victim and so blurred numerous legal distinctions, including the most basic question of where such a crime has occurred.

Presumably, LawNet would constitute some sort of independent, stand- alone law-enforcement agency charged with patrolling the Internet. "I envision a network that extends from local detectives to the FBI to investigators abroad," Reno said. She also proposed new interstate jurisdictional standards to simplify the execution of warrants pursuant to online investigations.

Reno cited an FBI survey of Fortune 500 companies claiming that 62 percent reported some form of computer security breach during the past year, a figure which strikes us as somewhat inflated, and most likely the result of considerable statistical massaging intended to alarm the public.

Reno's LawNet recapitulates a controversial White House proposal issued last year called FIDNET, which was roundly denounced by libertarian groups as an Orwellian initiative with great potential for government abuse of civilian privacy and legal rights.

Reno would beg to differ. LawNet will address privacy issues, and actually protect online consumers from invasions like the recent CD Universe extortion case, she promised. .

-- harl (harlanquin@aol.hell), January 13, 2000.

forgive me for being cynical, but how do you think she defines, "addressing privacy issues"?

-- harl (harlanquin@aol.hell), January 13, 2000.

The New Reno Dictionary defines "addressing privacy issues" as: "doing away with", or "destroying personal privacy".

They don't want anyone to have any. Read on...

Reno's boss said in a 1993 MTV interview "... a lot of the Asian societies that are doing very well now have low crime rates and high economic growth rates, partly because they have very coherent societies with strong units where the unit is more important than the individual, whether it's the family unit or the work unit or the community unit.

My own view is that you can go to the extreme in either direction. And when we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans, it was assumed that the Americans who had that freedom would used it responsibly. That is, when we set up this country, abuse of people by government was a big problem. So if you read the Constitution, it's rooted in the desire to limit the ability of government's ability to mess with you, because that was a huge problem. It can still be a huge problem. But it assumed that people would basically be raised in coherent families, in coherent communities, and they would work for the common good, as well as for the individual welfare.

What's happened in America today is, too many people live in areas where there's no family structure, no community structure, and no work structure. And so there's a lot of irresponsibility. And so a lot of people say there's too much personal freedom. When personal freedom's being abused, you have to move to limit it. That's what we did in the announcement I made last weekend on the public housing projects, about how we're going to have weapon sweeps and more things like that to try to make people safer in their communities. So that's my answer to you. We can have -- the more personal freedom a society has, the more personal responsibility a society needs, and the more strength you need out of your institutions -- family, community and work.

-- Bill Clinton, President of the United States, on MTV's "Enough Is Enough."



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 20, 1999 NEW WHITE HOUSE COMPUTER SURVEILLANCE PLAN WOULD POSE UNPRECEDENTED THREAT TO PRIVACY WASHINGTON, DC -- The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) today warned that a new Clinton Administration proposal could result in an unprecedented intrusion into the sanctity of private homes and businesses. The White House plan would enable federal and local law enforcement agents to secretly break into private premises and alter computer equipment to collect e-mail messages and other electronic information. As the Washington Post reported today, the administration is circulating draft legislation known as the "Cyberspace Electronic Security Act," the latest White House effort to address the growing use of encryption technology. As described in an August 4 analysis of the legislation obtained by EPIC, the proposal would amend current law to authorize "the alteration of hardware or software that allows plaintext to be obtained even if attempts were made to protect it through encryption." Courts would, for the first time, be able to approve covert police entries into homes and offices for the purposes of making such alterations. "This strikes at the heart of the Bill of Rights," said David L. Sobel, EPIC's General Counsel. "It would be truly ironic if the use of encryption -- which is designed to protect privacy -- gave the police a green light to secretly break into homes." Surreptitious physical entries are extremely rare under existing surveillance laws. Such entries are only made in order to install hidden microphones, an investigative technique approved only 50 times by federal and state judges last year. According to Sobel, "extending this extraordinary power to cases involving computer files would make police break-ins far more common than they are today." The latest administration proposal on computer surveillance comes on the heels of the "FIDNET" initiative, a planned government program that would monitor activity within both federal and private sector computer networks. When the details of that proposal became widely known earlier this month, it met with strong criticism from privacy groups (including EPIC) and members of Congress. EPIC is a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values. EPIC is a project of the Fund for Constitutional Government. EPIC works in association with Privacy International, an international human rights group based in London, UK and is also a member of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign, the Internet Free Expression Alliance and the Internet Privacy Coalition.

The EPIC website is located at

-- Powder (, January 13, 2000.

WHA??? Someone gave her a copy of Clancy????

-- Tom Clancy is Prescient (not@this.time), January 13, 2000.

Yes indeed, WTF does this have to do with Y2K?

(Let me just give my replies in anticipation)

No, I contend that it is you who is being the asshole...

Please take it to a more suitable forum...

If you are - as you claim - more representative, and have more de facto ownership of this forum, then please get the title and FAQ changed...

Good luck with that throbbing-vein-in-your-forehead problem.

-- Servant (, January 13, 2000.

The reason for the irresponsibility, family breakup ect., can be traced back to government & government programs to start with. We don't need more of the same medicine.

-- goldbug (, January 13, 2000.

Could one of those Asian societies Reno mentions be China????

-- Porky (Porky@in.cellblockD), January 13, 2000.

Servant, On Topic... Y2K was and still is about govt abuse. SS took ten years to fix stuff that didn't need to be fixed (Italy, Russia took no action)? How much were we bilked on that one? American govt was hoodwinked into thinking Y2K was big problem, the rest of the world knew it wasn't? Or is our govt just too willing to spend other people's money on whatever comes up? Our govt is either stupid or abusive. FWIW

-- amnesia (, January 13, 2000.

Clinton said, "And so there's a lot of irresponsibility."

I guess he's in a position to know.

-- David L (, January 13, 2000.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

Yes indeed, WTF does this have to do with Y2K?

One could easily imagine a situation in which participants in a Y2K forum could become thorns in the side of some government agency or other.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), January 13, 2000.

Yes indeed, WTF does this have to do with Y2K?

We are now in the year 2000, therefore everything that happens has to do with Y2K.

-- (yo@whats.up), January 13, 2000.

gee, she must be feeling better, she certainly has been making alot of rulings in the last few days!! maybe she will take advantage of her last year in office to help her boss accomplish his agenda before leaving.

-- tt (, January 13, 2000.

Nah, the gov no longer interested in Y2K tinfoils. It's been marginalized to the waazoo. Snicker fest!

Anybody still watching to see who will get the last laugh?

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, January 13, 2000.

Nothing new: Putin did it too...

This is from the L.A. Times--I found it last evening: (exerpts, not entire article)

LA TIMES: The KGB Rises Again in Russia - MOSCOW--Top officials of Russia's secret police, known these days as the FSB, gathered last month to celebrate the founding of their agency in 1917 by Communist leader V.I. Lenin. Vladimir V. Putin, an ex-KGB colonel who had become prime minister only months earlier, spoke to his compatriots and reported with a smile: "A group of FSB colleagues dispatched to work undercover in the government has successfully completed its first mission." Putin, referring to his own rapid rise within Russia's power structure, meant to be funny. But less than two weeks later, when he unexpectedly became the nation's acting president, there were many who didn't take it as a joke. "The KGB has risen from the ashes and come to power in Russia," said Sergei I. Grigoryants, a human rights activist arrested twice in the 1970s and '80s by the KGB and imprisoned for nine years for publishing anti- Soviet literature. "It is the logical outcome of the process that has been unfolding for the past decade."

. Putin also moved to monitor e-mail and other Internet communications by requiring providers to install equipment linking their computers with FSB headquarters. Putin said the FSB was not "going to establish control over the Internet" but wanted to "prevent the potential enemy from freely accessing classified information." Critics say the technology could allow the FSB to read, block or alter private communications without the knowledge of the sender or recipient.


-- (, January 13, 2000.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

...alter private communications without the knowledge of the sender or recipient.

Which is why I encourage folks to use PGP whenever possible, and one of the reasons I try to remember to post a copy of most of my essays at appropriate places on my own web pages. Those who care can see for themselves if I claim the piece.

Doing so has also enabled me to easily defend myself from groundless accusations by one well respected forum regular that I "always" say/do something. I was able to point easily to an index of my essays and invite her to provide any specific example of her complaint. I didn't get the satisfaction of a retraction, but I had some small reason to hope that anyone who followed the scuffle would tend to believe me more than if I had merely said "Oh, I do not, either, always say that!!!"

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), January 13, 2000.

Hey, jerk, I never claimed ownership of this forum.

Climb back under your rock.

-- Ron Schwarz (, January 13, 2000.

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