[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: The Commerce committee votes are up at crypto.com

Thanks, Shabbir, for putting this vital information online. But I'm a
little puzzled. I fear the CDT/VTW crypto.com web site may be misleading.

You say, for instance, that opposing SAFE yesterday was a vote "against
Internet privacy" and "against passing the SAFE bill out of committee."
That's not true. The Markey-White-amended bill the committee approved
yesterday was not the SAFE bill. It was a deviant version with important
differences from SAFE.

The Markey-White amendment includes: the doubled crypto-in-a-crime
penalties (10-20 years!), the sop to eventual mandatory key recovery by
including liability immunity for turning over keys to the Feds or the
sheriff of Podunk County, the bogus NETcenter that effectively gives the
NSA a statutory basis for domestic evildoing, etc. (Markey wanted to take
credit for killing the original SAFE. He told the Washington Post "after
the vote" that the original, better, Goodlatte SAFE "no longer exists as a
political option." That's right -- thanks to his own amendment...)

The second and third votes are essentially the same: should the above
provisions be in the Commerce committee of the bill. But why do you avoid
taking a position on whether the second vote on Markey-White was good or

If the second description was to avoid taking a position on Markey-White,
it doesn't work. You say in your third description that a vote for the
amended Markey-White bill was a good one. Why would CDT/VTW endorse such
disturbing legislation? (And not admit it?) To what extent was CDT/VTW
involved in drafting Markey-White and to what extent did you encourage
committee members to vote for it?

Also, the description for the third vote is misleading by itself. It just
says "report SAFE" when it should say "report SAFE with Markey-White
provisions" out of committee.

And, given these problems with Markey-White, why is the CDT/VTW crypto.com
site counting a vote for the Markey-White-amended bill as a vote for
"Internet privacy?" I should think that given the problems -- such as
doubling of crypto-in-a-crime and sop towards mandatory key recovery --
that a vote against the Markey-White-amended bill is a //good// vote, not
one against Net-privacy.

If a legislator wanted to vote for Internet freedom and reject deviant
bills, he should have voted against Oxley, Markey-White, and against
passing the bill with Markey-White out of committee yesterday. (That would
have left the cleaner Judiciary committee version of SAFE as a more likely
option.) Rep. Brown, for instance, did just that -- yet you tar him as
against Internet freedoms.

Go figure.


crypto.com says:

>Voted in favor of Internet privacy at the full
>Commerce committee vote on Sep 24 1997. This vote was
>against attaching the Oxley-Manton 'Big Brother'
>amendment to SAFE.
>Voted against the Markey-White amendment at the full
>Commerce committee vote on Sep 24 1997. The vote was
>against attaching the Markey-White amendment to SAFE.
>Voted against Internet privacy at the full Commerce
>committee vote on Sep 24 1997. The vote was against
>passing the SAFE bill out of committee.

At 17:56 -0400 9/25/97, Shabbir J. Safdar wrote:
>Last night's votes on SAFE in the Commerce committee are in place at
>Simply select the member of Congress you're curious about, either by zip code
>or by state, and you can see how they voted in the three Commerce votes
>last night.  Then, you can call and yell or send kudos.