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The Standard: More Cops on the Net Beat? Privacy Groups Say Not So Fast

Apr 08, 2000, 15:36 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Keith Perine)

"With federal authorities preparing to conduct broad new surveillance of the Internet, privacy advocates and members of Congress are sounding the alarm about the potential trampling of constitutional rights."

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking Congress for more than $75 million for the next fiscal year to fund a massive expansion of its information-technology capabilities, including "Digital Storm," a computer-based digital collection system for monitoring wiretaps. The FBI also is proposing "Casa de Web," a program designed to archive and analyze audio and data information. Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission plans to start using a Web crawler to monitor messages on Web sites and news groups for signs of stock market fraud."

"Law enforcement authorities anxious to ride herd on the Internet are aided by the fact that federal electronic-surveillance laws haven't been updated since 1986, well before the dawn of the commercial Internet. That troubles privacy advocates, who are urging Congress to update the laws."

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