Friday, August 04, 2006

Cybercrime Treaty Hailed as a Violation of Privacy by the EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is concerned that a law (soon to be voted on in the Senate) would violate the privacy of Americans.

Specifically, the argument against it is that it would subject Americans to laws that aren't a crime in this country.

Hours ago - it was announced that this law was ratified by the Senate.

Here is what the EEF is saying:

The Convention on Cybercrime is a sweeping treaty that has been waiting in the wings of the Senate for nearly three years. Now the administration is putting pressure on the Senate to ratify it in the next two days. If it does, it would mean the U.S. would enforce not just our own, but the rest of the world's bad Net laws. Call your Senator now, and ask them to hold its ratification.

The treaty requires that the U.S. government help enforce other countries' "cybercrime" laws - even if the act being prosecuted is not illegal in the United States. That means that countries that have laws limiting free speech on the Net could oblige the F.B.I. to uncover the identities of anonymous U.S. critics, or monitor their communications on behalf of foreign governments. American ISPs would be obliged to obey other jurisdiction's requests to log their users’ behavior without due process, or compensation.

Link to EEF story, here.

Interestingly enough - this was a big story on Digg. Here it is - along with a lot of comments:

World's Worst Internet Law Sneaking Through the Senate

Just thought I would pass this on - I would hate to investigated because I wrote something about a "fraud problem" in a foreign land that doesn't recognize the right of "free speech."

If anyone would care to write their Senator and express their opinion (positive or negative), you can find their e-mail address, here.

Hopefully Alberto Gonzales is right when he said "the cybercrime pact strengthens international cooperation in "obtaining electronic evidence" while still honoring constitutional protections of free speech and privacy."

I'm all for going after cybercrimals, but if it violates our constitutional rights, we need to take a closer look at it.

After all, our constitution is what made this country great!

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