DaveNet: Friday, July 11, 1997; by Dave Winer.
Lori Fena on McCain-KerryLori Fena, firstname.lastname@example.org, is the Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, http://www.eff.org/. She sent me an email on Wednesday...
I hope you can help me get the message out on a big issue, that I'm afraid will get overlooked this week because of the big news on Apple. Essentially, the McCain-Kerry bill, which just sailed through the Senate commerce committee, is very bad for individual privacy, and guts all the other pro-encryption legislation.
Specifically, the bill:
- Creates limitations on the use of domestic encryption by requiring key recovery when encryption is involved: 1) for all government software purchases, 2) for all software purchased with federal funds, 3) for all networks established by the U.S. government, 4) and for all networks established with the use of federal funds.
- Eliminates prior judicial review by only requiring law enforcement officers to obtain a subpoena, as opposed to a court-authorized warrant or court order, in order to get access to an individual's key.
- Creates a new crime for using encryption in the furtherance of some other crime.
- Gives the President unlimited power to waive all provisions of the Act.
We care about getting this message out soooo much that we actually bought radio air time in NY, SF, and DC drive time to make sure people on the street (not just people on the net) know about the real consquences of this major shift in privacy law, since they may not understand "encryption".
Full text of the EFF radio spot
Do you leave a key to your house with the local police?
When you want to send a private message do you use a post card?
Do you think the government should be allowed to monitor your phonecalls "just in case"? Of course you don't.
So why does Senator John McCain of Arizona think we should have less security and privacy for our electronic mail and computer...than for our homes and letters?
Senator McCain, you can call it nice names, like "key recovery," "key escrow," or even "clipper", but government monitoring of our communications weakens the American fabric of security, privacy, and trust.
Don't make us hand over our keys! Call Senator McCain at 202-224-2235, let him know how you feel about handing over your keys to the government. Again, that's 202-224-2235.
Paid for by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, protecting rights and promoting responsibility in the electronic world. For more information go to our website: WWW.EFF.ORG.