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

“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.”