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EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 34 - EFF Releases Analysis of USA-PATRIOT Act (USAPA)


EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 34 - EFF Releases Analysis of USA-PATRIOT Act (USAPA)

   EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 34       Oct. 31, 2001

   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

    In the 194th Issue of EFFector (now with over 29,400 subscribers!):

     * EFF Releases Analysis of USA-PATRIOT Act (USAPA)
     * EFF Opposes Government Silence Regarding Mass Arrests
     * EFF Holds BOF (Birds of a Feather) Session at ALS Conference
     * New Progamming Available on Radio EFF
     * EFF at O'Reilly Peer-To-Peer and Web Services Conference
     * EFF Thanks Timothy Barmann and HTMLCAL for Generous Donation
     * Administrivia

   For more information on EFF activities & alerts:

   To join EFF or make an additional donation:
   EFF is a member-supported nonprofit. Please sign up as a member today!


   November  1, 2001 -- The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) releases
   this  week  a  comprehensive  analysis  of the surveillance and online
   activities    sections   of   the   USA-PATRIOT   Act   (USAPA),   the
   "anti-terrorism" law signed by President Bush on Friday, October 26.

   The  EFF  analysis  spotlights  three areas of major concern: expanded
   surveillance with reduced checks and balances, overbreadth with a lack
   of  focus  on  terrorism, and expansion of U.S. foreign intelligence's
   authority to spy on Americans.

  1. Expanded Surveillance with Reduced Checks and Balances

     * Law   enforcement   officers   can  now  surveil  web  surfing  of
       nonsuspects without showing "probable cause" to a judge.
     * Nationwide, roving surveillance: Once an order is granted allowing
       surveillance,  the FBI can now go from phone to phone, computer to
       computer,  without  demonstrating  to  a  court  any  link  to the
     * ISPs  are  required to release more information to law enforcement
       officers  about  their  customers. ISPs and can "voluntarily" give
       additional information, as well.
     * New  definitions  of terrorism expand the scope of surveillance in
       ways that could easily reach political protesters.

  2. Overbreadth with a Lack of Focus on Terrorism

     * The  law  contains a law enforcement "wish list" of items aimed at
       nonviolent computer crime rather than terrorism.
     * The  government  can  spy  on computer trespassers without a court
     * Everyone convicted of a "crime of violence" must contribute DNA to
       a  national  database,  even  though  no connection has been shown
       between Americans convicted of these crimes and terrorism.
     * Permits  law  enforcement  officers  to  conduct  wiretaps against
       suspected  violators of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (includes
       people  engaging  in civil disobedience by doing over $5,000 worth
       of damage through web defacement).
     * Dramatically  increases the civil and criminal scope and penalties
       of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

  3. Expansion of U.S. Foreign Intelligence's Authority to Spy on Americans

     * General expansion of foreign intelligence powers under the Foreign
       Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
     * Increases information-sharing between domestic law enforcement and
       foreign  intelligence  agencies,  tearing down the wall erected in
       the  1970s  after  severe  abuses  of power by these agencies were
     * Sets  up  an easy system for foreign intelligence and domestic law
       enforcement  to  use  the  other to detour around their respective
       legal limitations.

   There  has  been much discussion about how our civil liberties must be
   sacrificed  to  increase  our safety. But the government has not shown
   that  its  previous  powers  to  conduct  surveillance or to prosecute
   computer   crime  were  a  significant  barrier  to  investigating  or
   preventing terrorist attacks. Furthermore, if we are going to give law
   enforcement  sweeping  new  powers,  judicial oversight is critical to
   ensuring  that  no  abuses  occur. USAPA eliminates this oversight for
   many law enforcement activities.

   In  short,  EFF  finds  this  piece  of  legislation  to  be extremely
   troubling  and  dangerous for civil liberties. We suspect that many in
   Congress,  given  the  opportunity  to actually read the 342-page law,
   would agree.

   The EFF analysis is available at:

                                  - end -


   EFF  has joined numerous civil liberties, human rights, Arab-American,
   public access and legal groups in demanding the release of information
   about  the  more than 1,000 individuals who have been jailed jailed in
   connection  with the Sept. 11 attacks under the Freedom of Information
   Act (FOIA).

   Other  than providing a running update on the number of detainees, the
   government has released very little information about who these people
   are or why they are being held. A Justice Department spokesperson said
   that  there  are  three  groups  of  detainees are : a small number of
   material   witnesses;   about  180  people  charged  with  immigration
   violations; and, the largest group, those being held on federal, state
   or  local criminal charges unrelated to the Sept. 11 attacks. She also
   said that all of those arrested had access to a lawyer.

   EFF's  commentary  on  the recently enacted anti-terrorism legislation
   has  been skeptical that this administration intends or can be trusted
   to  exercise its power and discretion without harming civil liberties.
   Although  this mass detention is not obviously related to online civil
   liberties,  and  may  even  be lawful, the administration's refusal to
   release  basic  information about what it is doing makes it impossible
   to  tell  whether the government is acting lawfully. Accountability is
   crucial here.

   The FOIA request was delivered to the Justice Department, the FBI, and
   the  INS  on  Monday, Oct. 29. It demands the release of the names and
   citizenship  of  those  arrested  since September 11th, the charges on
   which  they  have  been  detained,  the  names  of  their lawyers, the
   locations  where they are being held, and the list of courts that have
   entered any gag orders.

   A copy of the FOIA request is available from:

                                  - end -



   Lee Tien - Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation
   Seth Schoen - EFF Staff Technologist


   BOF  Discussion  on how the new Anti-Terrorism Legislation will Affect
   our Civil Liberties


   Wednesday, November 7th, 2001 - 6PM


   Annual Linux Showcase and Conference
   Oakland Marriott City Center
   1001 Broadway
   Oakland, CA 94607
   Toll-free Phone: 1-800-228-9290
   Local Phone: 1-510-451-4000

   For more information contact Katina: (415) 436 - 9333 x101,

   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:

                                  - end -


   Tune into Radio EFF ( ) to hear interviews with EFF
   staff   and   board  members  on  our  most  important  issues,  BayFF
   recordings, (O)pen Audio music, and more.

   Radio  EFF's  newest  program  is a panel discussion on the "Future of
   Music"  online  and  off.  The  panel also addresses the ways in which
   artists  and  audiences  alike  will  be  affected  by  new  laws  and

   Event: Future of Music Coalition College Tour
   Location: University of California, Berkeley
   Moderator: Brian Zisk, Technology Dir, Future of Music Coalition
   Ted Cohen, VP of New Media, EMI Recorded Music
   Fred von Lohmann, EFF Senior Staff Attorney
   Jenny Toomey, Executive Dir, Future of Music Coalition

   Downloadable MP3 - (O)pen Audio
   60 Minutes and 30 Seconds (25MB)

                                  - end -


   Come  see  the  folks  from  the EFF at the O'Reilly P2P Conference in
   Washington  D.C.  Monday  11/5  through  Thursday  11/8.  Board member
   Lawrence  Lessig of Stanford Law School will deliver a keynote address
   on Wednesday afternoon.

   Sr.  Staff  Attorney  Fred Von Lohmann will detail the intersection of
   copyright  law and P2P applications on Tuesday morning and will lead a
   panel  discussion with representatives from Music City, Lime Wire, and
   Aimster on Wednesday morning.

   Staff  Attorney Robin Gross will be talking on Wednesday morning about
   EFF's  Open  Audio  License,  a  general public license for music that
   allows  individuals  to copy, share, perform, and adapt songs released
   under  it  as long as credit is given to the author. The EFF will also
   have a booth on the exhibition floor. Come say hi!

   For complete details & registration, see:

   The Westin Grand, Washington D.C.
   2350 M Street NW
   Washington, DC 20037
   Phone: 202-429-0100

                                  - end -


   EFF  extends  a  special  thank  you  to  Timothy  Barmann and HTMLCAL
     for  the kind donation of the web interface
   calendar software HTMLCAL to EFF.

   HTMLCAL is a Web calendar maker and editor that allows you to maintain
   a  group  calendar for your Web site or intranet. EFF now uses HTMLCAL
   on our intranet. It is easy to use, and was easy to install, configure
   and customize. Thanks again HTMLCAL.

                                  - end -


   EFFector is published by:

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation
   454 Shotwell Street
   San Francisco CA 94110-1914 USA
   +1 415 436 9333 (voice)
   +1 415 436 9993 (fax)

   Katina Bishop, EFF Education & Offline Activism Director
   Stanton McCandlish, EFF Technical Director/Webmaster

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