to know what you're saying? It might be a nosey coworker, your
employer, your ISP, a competitor, spouse, or legal team. Regardless
of who wants to, it is remarkably easy for someone else to read
what you write.
WASHINGTON (AP) 9/20/99--
administration reportedly plans to ask Congress to give police
authority to secretly go into people's personal computers and
crack their security codes. Legislation drafted by the Justice
Department would let investigators get a sealed warrant from a
judge to enter private property, search through computers for
passwords and override encryption programs, The Washington Post
reported Friday. Under the measure, investigators would obtain
sealed search warrants signed by a judge as a prelude to getting
further court permission to wiretap, extract information from
computers or conduct further searches. Privacy advocates have
objected to the plan, dubbed the Cyberspace Electronic Security
Act by the Justice Department. Peter Swire, the White House's
chief counselor for privacy, told the newspaper the administration
supports encryption as a way to provide privacy for computer users.
The administration has for years been seeking a law to require
computer makers to include a so-called Clipper Chip in their products
that would give police a "back door" into computers despite any
encryption software they may contain.
By David Phinney ABC NEWS
people think of e-mail as a convenient alternative to a telephone
conversation "and just as private" there is a big difference.
E-mail is as public as a postcard and leaves a written record
long after it has been erased. Any skilled person can recover
the email message's ghost somewhere deep in the bowels of a networked
system. And so far, businesses seem to have the perfect right
to do so, according to law and recent court rulings. Pushing the
delete button doesn't do much, because we usually find a copy
somewhere else on the system says John Jessen, head of Electronic
Evidence Discovery, Inc., a Seattle company engaged in helping
companies locating and reviewing electronic data during court
disputes. Computer files are becoming a primary source of data
and that's where the evidence is coming from. And there are more
elaborate means to invade your privacy.
Eavesdropping on Europe by
Europe's governing body has commissioned a full report into the
workings of Echelon, a global network of highly sensitive listening
posts operated in part by America's most clandestine intelligence
organization, the National Security Agency. "Frankly, the only
people who have any doubt about the existence of Echelon are in
the United States," said Glyn Ford, a British member of the European
Parliament and a director of Scientific and Technical Options
Assessment, or STOA, a technology advisory committee to the parliament.
Echelon is reportedly able to intercept, record, and translate
any electronic communication -- telephone, data, cellular, fax,
email, telex -- sent anywhere in the world.
THEY MIGHT HEAR YOU By DUNCAN CAMPBELL 05/23/99 Australia
has become the first country openly to admit that it takes part
in a global electronic surveillance system that intercepts the
private and commercial international communications of citizens
and companies from its own and other countries. The disclosure
was made May 23rd by Martin Brady, director of the Defence Signals
Directorate in Canberra. Mr. Brady's decision to break ranks and
officially admit the existence of a hitherto unacknowledged spying
organisation called UKUSA is likely to irritate his British and
American counterparts, who have spent the past 50 years trying
to prevent their own citizens from learning anything about them
or their business of "signals intelligence" - "sigint"
for short. Together with the giant American National Security
Agency (NSA) and its Canadian, British, and New Zealand counterparts,
DSD operates a network of giant, highly automated tracking stations
that illicitly pick up commercial satellite communications and
examine every fax, telex, e-mail, phone call, or computer data
message that the satellites carry. Now, due to a fast-growing
UKUSA system called Echelon, millions of messages are automatically
intercepted every hour, and checked according to criteria supplied
by intelligence agencies and governments in all five UKUSA countries.
Until this year, the US Government has tried to ignore the row
over Echelon by refusing to admit its existence. Information is
also fed into the Echelon system from taps on the Internet, and
by means of monitoring pods which are placed on undersea cables.
"Now that the Cold War is over, the focus is towards economic
intelligence. Never ever over-exaggerate the power that these
organisations have to abuse a system such as Echelon. Don't think
it can't happen. It does."
The National Security Agency
is actively "sniffing" key Internet sites that route
electronic mail traffic, according to author Wayne Madsen. In
an article in the Computer Fraud and Security Bulletin, Madsen
reported that sources within the government and private industry
have told him that the NSA is monitoring two key Internet routers
which direct electronic mail traffic in Maryland and California.
In an interview, Madsen said he was told that the NSA is "sniffing"
for the address of origin and the address of destination" of electronic
mail. The NSA is also allegedly monitoring traffic passing through
large Internet gateways by scanning network access points operated
by regional and long-distance service providers. Madsen writes
that the network access points allegedly under surveillance are
at gateway sites in Pennsauken, N.J. (operated by Sprint), Chicago
(operated by Ameritech and Bell Communications Research) and San
Francisco (operated by Pacific Bell).