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Re: Building in Big Brother, from The Netly News

Forgot to say -- Check out the second half of my article (not attached, at
the URL below) for a look ahead at what other committees might do with
mandatory key escrow, based on my conversations with some pro-GAK


On Wed, 10 Sep 1997, Declan McCullagh wrote:

> ---
> http://cgi.pathfinder.com/netly/opinion/0,1042,1385,00.html
> The Netly News Network (http://netlynews.com/)
> September 10, 1997
> Building in Big Brother
> By Declan McCullagh ([email protected])
>         The U.S. Congress, bowing to law enforcement demands for more
>    wiretap powers, is preparing to approve a scheme that endangers the
>    personal freedom of every American.
>         Nobody doubts that wiretaps are useful tools for law enforcement
>    agents. FBI Director Louis Freeh, who as a young agent built his
>    career on them, knows this well.
>         But Freeh's plan would expand the FBI's eavesdropping ability by
>    building Big Brother into every word processor, every e-mail program
>    and every web browser. All computer software distributed after 1998
>    would have a special, secret backdoor for government access to your
>    most private files. Even your Internet provider would be deputized as
>    a cyber-snoop. It's the technological equivalent of requiring that
>    every homeowner turn over a spare copy of his front door key to the
>    FBI.
>         This is the same FBI that has a long and disturbing history of
>    abusing Americans' privacy. As director, J. Edgar Hoover built a
>    successful career out of illegal wiretaps, secret files and political
>    blackmail. Hoover despised Martin Luther King, Jr. -- branding him an
>    "obsessive degenerate" -- and once sent him an anonymous letter, using
>    information gathered through illegal surveillance, to encourage the
>    depressed civil rights leader to commit suicide. Hoover's legacy?
>    Having the FBI headquarters bear his name today.
> [...]