by one liberals abandon all their issues as they continue
along their happy Clinton brownnosing way. Civil liberties?
The hell with that. Here is Thomas Friedmans response
to last weeks "attack" on Yahoo!, eBay and
Amazon. com: "The only one who can possibly protect
you from the super-empowered angry people
[G]overnment still matters. In fact, it matters
more now in the cyber-age, not less
down the latest cyber-vandals? The FBI."
God for Janet Reno and Louis Freeh! Now Friedman can go
to his conferences, talk meaningless gibberish about "globalism"
and the "digital age," and enjoy his laptops,
DVDs and cellphones.
sees the world much as Clinton does. The President and the
loathsome Butcher of Waco, Janet Reno, are truly passionate
in their desire to suppress freedom.
and "extremists" plotting away on the Internet
has become something of an obsession for them. For years
the administration has been trying to enact new laws and
establish new government agencies to crack down on free
speech. The ostensible reason has been the threat of "terrorism."
There is no terrorist threat whatsoever facing the country.
But the gullible media plays along with government efforts
to spread panic. Now a new menace looms: "cyber-crime."
But what is "cyber-crime"? Committing crimes like
fraud online is already covered by existing statutes. So
what is it? Presumably it has something to do with terrorists,
foreign governments andinevitably"rogue
states" out to do in the weak and vulnerable United
we deal with cyber-crime is one of the most critical areas
we face," Reno declared recently. Interestingly, the
recent "attacks" were all on commercial, not government,
sites. Yet the administration seized this opportunity to
demand draconian measures. Clinton met with computer industry
executives and suggested ways for government to get involved
in their business. Clintons latest budget shows his
preoccupation with the issue: $2 billion is set aside to
help prevent sabotage of U.S. computer networks. This sum
includes $91 million for a research institute to develop
new protections for information systems and to train workers
in security issues. Clinton has also asked for an additional
$37 million for the Justice Dept. to fight Internet crime.
One of the heftiest increases, from $15 million to $240
million, will pay telephone companies to rewire their networks
to facilitate federal and state wiretapping.
year the Clinton administration proposed to establish something
called the Federal Intrusion Detection Network, or FIDNet,
run out of the FBI, with a view to spotting network penetration.
The idea is to create a vast computer monitoring system
to keep track not only of government networks but also those
of vital industries like banking, telecommunications and
transportation. The ostensible aim is to thwart "attacks"
on government or the nations economy. Thousands of
software monitoring programs would keep track of computer
activities so as to be alert to the slightest indication
of network intrusion. But the only "intrusion"
going on is that of the government now endowed with vast
new powers. Government would have access to all communications
between computers, including e-mail.
number of nations that are hostile to the [United States]
and several well-financed terrorist groups, and quite arguably
a number of organized crime groups, are systematically developing
capabilities to attack U.S. information systems," blustered
Jeffrey Hunker, NSCs director of information protection
who is in charge of the FIDNet program. Like who? Not North
Korea again? According to Marc Rotenberg, executive director
of the Electronic Privacy Information Centre, FIDNet would
violate "the spirit of the federal wiretap statute,
the plain language of the federal Privacy Act and the history
of the Fourth Amendment."