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New bill could mean jail for life for 'malicious' computer hackers.
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2002-11-17
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Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: p2pnet.net - November 14, 2002

'Malicious' computer hackers could face life in prison if a last-minute addition to a proposal for a Department of Homeland Security is sneaked through Congress before it adjourns for the holidays.

The US House of Representatives had already voted 299 to 121 to approve the bill to reshape large portions of the federal bureaucracy into a new department combining parts of 22 existing federal agencies, including the Secret Service and the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center, wrote Declan McCullagh in a November 13 CNET News.com story, continuing:

"During closed-door negotiations before the debate began, the House Republican leadership inserted the 16-page Cyber Security Enhancement Act (CSEA) into the Homeland Security bill. CSEA expands the ability of police to conduct Internet or telephone eavesdropping without first obtaining a court order, and offers Internet providers more latitude to disclose information to police."

CSEA makes, "ISPs more closely aligned with law enforcement interests than customer confidentiality interests," McCullagh quotes Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, as saying. "It may not be surprising, but it's not good news,"

The Department of Homeland Security bill had been rushed to the floor without everyone having a chance to read it, said Democratic members of Congress during the floor debate, although they apparently didn't complain specifically about CSEA, which has already been approved near-unanimously by the House.

"We were given a massive new bill this morning [last Wednesday] that is being rushed through the House with no opportunity for debate," McCullagh quotes Rep Henry Waxman, D-Calif, as saying. "I doubt more than 10 people in Congress know (what's) in the bill."


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