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SecurityFocus.com: Building in Big Brother

Apr 04, 2000, 02:37 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Banisar)

""We are not asking for extraordinary powers," FBI Director Louis Freeh told the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Government Information on March 28th. Following this comforting statement and a ritual bowing to the Constitution, Freeh proceeded to request widespread new powers to conduct surveillance and impose new penalties in the name of preventing cybercrime."

"Louis Freeh wants to snuff out the encryption-using, drug-dealing, system-hacking, copyright-infringing, child pornographers who he apparently sees as making up 97 percent of net users. And in the post-Cold War fight for resources, he has been extremely effective in gaining money and power for his agency to hunt down the new enemies."

"Since Freeh's appointment in 1993, the FBI's budget has more than doubled while most other agencies have seen substantial declines. He has gained unprecedented powers to demand that communications companies build wiretapping capability into their networks, including the ability to use cell phones as tracking devices. He's won the power to conduct black-bag break-ins in the name of national security and to implement "roving wiretaps." Freeh's only notable loss has been on mandatory key escrow and the Clipper Chip."

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