"The USENIX Board of Directors has decided to alert our
membership that bills pending before the U.S. Congress or in
committee appear to have a detrimental impact on computer
We are most concerned about aspects of two proposed bills, the
Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and the Security Systems Standards and
Certification Act (SSSCA), and how they interact with existing
legislation such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The ATA redefines virtually all
computer crime as terrorism, enlarges the maximum penalty to life
in prison without parole, allows broad pre-conviction seizures,
and, furthermore, does this retroactively, removing the existing
statute of limitations. The SSSCA essentially mandates copyright
protection in all digital consumer devices and makes disabling or
avoidance of copyright mechanisms a felony offense.
More information about these and related issues can be found at
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