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EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 25 - ALERT: TWO Surveillance Bills Threaten American Privacy

           EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 25       Sep. 19-20, 2001
                              editors@eff.org

   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

    In the 185th Issue of EFFector (now with over 29,100 subscribers!):

     * ALERT: TWO Surveillance Bills Threaten American Privacy
     * Administrivia

   For more information on EFF activities & alerts: http://www.eff.org/

   To join EFF or make an additional donation:
     http://www.eff.org/support/
   EFF is a member-supported nonprofit. Please sign up as a member today!
     _________________________________________________________________

ALERT: Congressional Response to Terrorism Threatens Privacy

  Urge Congress to Legislate to Improve Security Not Eliminate Freedoms

    Electronic Frontier Foundation ACTION ALERT

    (Issued: Wednesday, September 19, 2001 / Updated: Thursday, September 20 /
    Deadline: Friday, September 21, 2001, unless extended)

  Introduction:

   (Updated to reflect name change of draft bill.)

   San Francisco, California - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
   today criticized the "Mobilization Against Terrorism Act" (MATA),
   renamed later the same day to "Anti-Terrorism Act" (ATA), proposed by
   the US Department of Justice because many provisions of the law would
   dramatically alter the civil liberties landscape through unnecessarily
   broad restrictions on free speech and privacy rights in the United
   States and abroad. Your urgent action is needed TODAY.

   EFF again urged Congress to act with deliberation in approving only
   measures that are effective in preventing terrorism while protecting
   the freedoms of Americans.

   Attorney General John Ashcroft distributed the proposed Mobilization
   Against Terrorism Act/Anti-Terrorism Act to members of Congress after
   Monday's press conference at which he indicated that, among other
   measures, he would ask Congress to expand the ability of law
   enforcement officers to perform wiretaps in response to the terrorist
   attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Ashcroft asked
   Congress to pass anti-terrorism legislation including "expanded
   electronic surveillance" by the end of this week.

   EFF believes this broad legislation would radically tip the United
   States system of checks and balances, giving the government
   unprecedented authority to surveil American citizens with little
   judicial or other oversight.

   Ashcroft's proposed legislation comes in the wake of the Senate's
   hasty passage of the "Combating Terrorism Act" (CTA) on the evening of
   September 13 with less than 30 minutes of consideration on the Senate
   floor.

   The ATA/MATA is currently a draft bill, expected to be introduced and
   rammed through Congress within the next two days. The CTA is presently
   a Senate-passed amendment to a House appropriations bill. It is
   expected to be voted on in joint conference committee this week, or
   early next week at the latest. The House has already passed the "base"
   bill, while the Senate has passed it plus the wiretapping amendment.
   The House delegates several Representatives to meet with several
   Senators in conference committee, who will collectively decide what
   amendments the final, joint version will include. This final version
   is then voted on by the full House and Senate. This only real pressure
   point on the CTA is the conference committee; whatever emerges will
   almost certainly pass both houses near-unanimously.

  What YOU Can Do Now:

     * Contact your own legislators about the ATA/MATA and the CTA AS
       SOON AS POSSIBLE. Call them, and fax and/or e-mail the EFF letter
       below today. Postal mail will be too slow on this issue. Feel free
       to use this letter verbatim, or modify it as you wish. Let them
       know that you do not believe liberty must be sacrified for
       security. Please be polite and concise, but firm. For information
       on how to contact your legislators and other government officials,
       see EFF's "Contacting Congress and Other Policymakers" guide at:
         http://www.eff.org/congress.html
     * Contact the conference committee members about the CTA AS SOON AS
       POSSIBLE. A similar sample letter for this purpose, plus contact
       information, is provided below.
     * Join EFF! For membership information see:
         http://www.eff.org/support/

  Sample Letters:

   There are two sample letters below, one to your own legislators, and
   one to the conference committee members.

   Use this sample letter to YOUR legislators or modify it, and send to
   their Washington fax and e-mail, which you can get this from Project
   Vote Smart:
     http://www.vote-smart.org/vote-smart/data.phtml?dtype=C&style=
   or the House:
     http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.html
   and Senate:
     http://www.senate.gov/senators/index.cfm
   websites.

     Dear Sen./Rep. [Surname]

     I write as a constituent to express my gravest concern over aspects
     of the Congressional response to the tragedies of September 11.
     While I share your grief and anger in no uncertain terms, I do not
     believe that sacrificing essential liberties in a vain hope of
     improving security is good for America or the world. Security can
     be improved without privacy invasion, and we cannot win an attack
     on freedom by attacking that freedom ourselves.

     I urge you to vote AGAINST H.R. 2500 should it emerge from
     conference committee with amendment S.A. 1562, the Combating
     Terrorism Act, attached, and to vote against the forthcoming
     Mobilization Against Terrorism Act a.k.a. Anti-Terrorism Act, and
     any similar legislation expanding wiretap powers, online
     monitoring, warrantless pen register or trap and trace authority,
     censorship, or restrictions on encryption.

     The United States should not take steps toward becoming a police
     state, or otherwise undermine our own freedom in the name of
     defending that freedom from terrorist attack, or the terrorists
     have already won. This is a time for careful consideration, not for
     passing legislation without debate or careful consideration of the
     consequences.

     I specifically object to S.A. 1562 sections 816, 832, 833, and 834,
     and any similar measures, such as those proposed by Attorney
     General Ashcroft, as well as recent calls for measures that would
     thwart Americans' use of secure encryption. I also object to
     provisions being passed in response to terrorism but which have
     nothing to do with terrorism, such as "emergency" wiretaps against
     simple computer crime incidents and the abuse of grand juries as
     tools for intelligence agencies.

     Sincerely,

     [Your name & address]

   (Be sure to correct the salutation - use EITHER Sen. or Rep., and use
   the correct name.)

   Use this sample letter below to conference committee members or modify
   it, and send to all of the following:

   Representatives:
   Name (State), Phone (202-225-####), Fax (202-22#-####), E-mail
   Frank Wolf (VA), 5136, 5-0437, none
   Hal Rogers (KY), 4601, 5-0940, talk2hal@mail.house.gov
   Jim Kolbe (AZ), 2542, 5-0378, none
   Charles Taylor (NC), 6401, none, repcharles.taylor@mail.house.gov
   Ralph Regula (OH), 3876, 5-3059, repregula@workinohio.org
   Tom Latham (IA), 5476, 5-3301, latham.ia05@mail.house.gov
   Dan Miller (FL), 5015, 6-0828, none
   David Vitter (LA), 3015, 5-0739, david.vitter@mail.house.gov
   Jos Serrano (NY), 4361, 5-6001, jserrano@mail.house.gov
   Alan Mollohan (WV), 4172, 5-7564, none
   Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA), 1766, 6-0350, none
   Robert Cramer (AL), 4801, 5-4392, budmail@mail.house.gov
   Patrick Kennedy (RI), 4911, 5-3290, patrick.kennedy@mail.house.gov

   For Representatives that don't provide a direct e-mail address, use
   this form:
    http://www.house.gov/writerep/

   Senators:
   Name (State), Phone (202-224-####), Fax (202-224-####), E-mail
   Robert Byrd (WV), 3954, 228-0002, senator_byrd@byrd.senate.gov
   Patrick Leahy (VT), 4242, 3479, senator_leahy@leahy.senate.gov
   Ted Stevens (AK), 3004, 2354, senator_stevens@stevens.senate.gov
   Mitch McConnell (KY), 2541, 2499, senator@mcconnell.senate.gov
   Ernest Hollings (SC), 6121, 4293, none
   Daniel Inouye (HI), 3934, 6747, senator@inouye.senate.gov
   Barbara Mikulski (MD), 4654, 8858, senator@mikulski.senate.gov
   Herb Kohl (WI), 5653, 9787, senator_kohl@kohl.senate.gov
   Patty Murray (WA), 2621, 0238, senator_murray@murray.senate.gov
   Jack Reed (RI), 4642, 4680, jack@reed.senate.gov
   Judd Gregg (NH), 3324, 4952, mailbox@gregg.senate.gov
   Pete Domenici (NM), 6621, none, senator_domenici@domenici.senate.gov
   Kay Hutchison (TX), 5922, 0776, senator@hutchison.senate.gov
   Ben Campbell (CO), 5852, 1933, none
   Thad Cochran (MS), 5054, 9450, senator@cochran.senate.gov

   Sen. Hollings can be e-mailed via the Web at:
     http://www.senate.gov/~hollings/webform.html
   Sen. Campbell provides no public e-mail mechanism of any kind.

   HTML version with clickable e-mail address hotlinks:
     http://www.eff.org/alerts/20010919_eff_wiretap_alert.html#cong

     Dear Sen./Rep. [Surname] and Other H.R. 2500 Conference Committee
     Members:

     I write to express my gravest concern over aspects of the
     Congressional response to the tragedies of September 11. While I
     share your grief and anger in no uncertain terms, I do not believe
     that sacrificing essential liberties in a vain hope of improving
     security is good for America or the world. Security can be improved
     without privacy invasion, and we cannot win an attack on freedom by
     attacking that freedom ourselves.

     I specifically object to H.R. 2500 amendment S.A. 1562, the
     Combating Terrorism Act, sections 816, 832, 833, and 834, and any
     similar measures, such as the Mobilization Against Terrorism Act
     a.k.a. Anti-Terrorism Act proposed by Attorney General Ashcroft, as
     well as recent calls for measures that would thwart Americans' use
     of secure encryption. I also object to provisions being passed in
     response to terrorism but which have nothing to do with terrorism,
     such as "emergency" wiretaps against simple computer crime
     incidents and the abuse of grand juries as tools for intelligence
     agencies.

     I urge you to vote AGAINST incorporating the above-mentioned
     sections of S.A. 1562 into the final version of H.R. 2500, and to
     vote against any similar amendments expanding wiretap powers,
     online monitoring, warrantless pen register or trap and trace
     authority, censorship, or restrictions on encryption.

     The United States should not take steps toward becoming a police
     state, or otherwise undermine our own freedom in the name of
     defending that freedom from terrorist attack, or the terrorists
     have already won. This is a time for careful consideration, not for
     passing legislation without debate or careful consideration of the
     consequences.

     Sincerely,

     [Your name & address]

   (Be sure to correct the salutation - use EITHER Sen. or Rep., and use
   the correct name.) If one of the conference committee members if your
   Rep. or Sen., mention that you are a constituent, as in the first
   letter.)

  Non-US Activists

   Non-US readers can probably have little impact on the US Congress's
   votes on these matters, and could even affect them negatively. Your
   best course of action is to contact your own
   legislators/parliamentarians and urge them to avoid similar policies
   in your own country.

  Privacy Campaign:

   This drive to contact your legislators about unprecedented wiretap
   power expansion is part of a larger campaign to highlight how
   extensively companies and governmental agencies subject us to
   surveillance and share and use personal information online & offline,
   and what you can do about it.

   Check the EFF Privacy Now! Campaign website regularly for additional
   alerts and news:
     http://www.eff.org/privnow/

  Background:

   One particularly egregious section of the DOJ's analysis of its
   proposed legislation says that "United States prosecutors may use
   against American citizens information collected by a foreign
   government even if the collection would have violated the Fourth
   Amendment."

   "Operating from abroad, foreign governments will do the dirty work of
   spying on the communications of Americans worldwide. US protections
   against unreasonable search and seizure won't matter," commented EFF
   Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien.

   Additional provisions of the proposed Mobilization Against Terrorism
   Act (MATA)/Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) include measures which:
     * make it possible to obtain e-mail message header information and
       Internet user web browsing patterns without a wiretap order;
     * eviscerate controls on roving wiretaps;
     * permit law enforcement to disclose information obtained through
       wiretaps to any employee of the Executive branch;
     * reduce restrictions on domestic investigations under the Foreign
       Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA);
     * permit grand juries to provide information to the US intelligence
       community;
     * permit the President to designate any "foreign-directed
       individual, group, or entity," including any United States citizen
       or organization, as a target for FISA surveillance;
     * prevent people from even talking about terrorist acts;
     * establish a DNA database for every person convicted of any felony
       or certain sex offenses, almost all of which are entirely
       unrelated to terrorism;

   EFF Executive Director Shari Steele emphasized, "While it is obviously
   of vital national importance to respond effectively to terrorism, this
   bill recalls the McCarthy era in the power it would give the
   government to scrutinize the private lives of American citizens."

   During the Congressional session considering the Combating Terrorism
   Act, which was introduced as amendment S.A. 1562 to an omnibus
   appropriations bill, H.R. 2500, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) expressed
   concern that he was asked to vote so rapidly on such important
   legislation within minutes of receiving it and without conducting
   hearings in the Intelligence, Armed Services and Judiciary committees:

     Maybe the Senate wants to just go ahead and adopt new abilities to
     wiretap our citizens. Maybe they want to adopt new abilities to go
     into people's computers. Maybe that will make us feel safer. Maybe.
     And maybe what the terrorists have done made us a little bit less
     safe. Maybe they have increased Big Brother in this country.

     If that is what the Senate wants, we can vote for it. But do we
     really show respect to the American people by slapping something
     together, something that nobody on the floor can explain, and say
     we are changing the duties of the Attorney General, the Director of
     the CIA, the U.S. attorneys, we are going to change your rights as
     Americans, your rights to privacy? We are going to do it with no
     hearings, no debate. We are going to do it with numbers on a page
     that nobody can understand.

   EFF shares Senator Leahy's concerns in this time of national crisis.
   EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn commented, "These proposals
   significantly impact the civil liberties of Americans. We urge
   legislators to please slow down and consider the long-term
   consequences of your votes."

   "I believe that deep in their souls, Americans understand that the
   reason this country is so great--is so worth defending--is because it
   is free," explained EFF Executive Director Shari Steele. "We should be
   very careful to make sure that any legislation that passes is truly
   needed to address national security concerns."

   During World War I, the US Congress hastily passed the Espionage Act
   which was notorious for decreasing freedoms without improving the
   security of the American public, under which Congress granted the
   Postmaster General (who delegated it to 55,000 local postmasters) the
   authority to read any mail and remove any material that might
   "embarrass" the government in conducting the war effort.

   The proposed Anti-Terrorism Act a.k.a. Mobilization Against Terrorism
   Act:
     http://www.eff.org/sc/ashcroft_proposal.html

   EFF analysis of the ATA/MATA bill [coming soon]:
     http://www.eff.org/sc/eff_ashcroft.html

   Attorney General John Ashcroft's remarks on response to terrorism from
   FBI headquarters on September 17, 2001:
     http://www.eff.org/sc/ashcroft_statement.html

   The relevant portions of the Combating Terrorism Act (CTA), amendment
   S.A. 1562 of bill H.R. 2500, passed by the Senate:
     http://www.eff.org/sc/wiretap_bill.html

   To read the entire provisions from Congress's legislation server, go
   to:
     http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c107:h.r.2500.pp:
   They are the very last three sections on the page.

   Senator Leahy's testimony on the Combating Terrorism Act:
     http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2001/s091301.html

   EFF analysis of the Combating Terrorism Act:
     http://www.eff.org/sc/eff_wiretap_bill_analysis.html

   Why "backdoor" encryption requirements reduce security:
     http://www.crypto.com/papers/escrowrisks98.pdf

   EFF Surveillance Archive:
     http://www.eff.org/Privacy/Surveillance/

  About EFF:

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties
   organization working to protect rights in the digital world. Founded
   in 1990, EFF actively encourages and challenges industry and
   government to support free expression, privacy, and openness in the
   information society. EFF is a member-supported organization and
   maintains one of the most linked-to Web sites in the world:
     http://www.eff.org

    Contact:

     Shari Steele, EFF Executive Director
       ssteele@eff.org
       +1 415-436-9333 x103

     Lee Tien, EFF Senior First Amendment Attorney
       tien@eff.org
       +1 415-436-9333 x102

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


Administrivia

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   Editors:
   Katina Bishop, EFF Education & Offline Activism Director
   Stanton McCandlish, EFF Technical Director/Webmaster
     editors@eff.org

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