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U.S. Wants Large Cyberpolicing Powers 225

LindaAthena writes "Thus were the words from a French report on a meeting of the G8 nations and 150 representatives of companies from the communications and information technology sectors. A summit on cyber crime was held in Paris with the U.S. pushing for total police power to bypass due process and other countries' laws to catch cyber-criminals (as defined, of course, by the U.S.). Note that public images of nudity in France are rated "G" while U.S. protected "racial hatred speech" is a crime there. The article from Le Monde can be found in the original French or viewed in Babelfish. " A number of people have submitted this recently from the recent G8 meeting. The U.S. apparently pushed very hard for major cyberpolicing actions, while France was one of the few nations in the group that adopted a more intelligent long-term view.
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US Wants Large Cyberpolicing Powers

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  • If various countries can't get together on stopping, pursueing, prosecuting, etc. crimes on the Internet (especially things like DoS, break-ins, and such) then we will end up with a system where each country is firewalled off from the others and all traffic will flow through specific routers. When an attack happens the source country will be completely blocked. Which will result in more damage occuring to the entire country where the attack originated than it will to the victim of the attack. Do we want the entire net to be regulated to hell and back? Or would we prefer a more open network? If there is no recourse for a victim in on nation to stop/punish/whatever an attacker in another nation the second will be impossible.
  • Tiens, un estois... ;) ;) ;) ;)

    Here's my mirror []

  • [...] and instead recommended draconian laws to resolve the issue. From memory:

      • Criminalizing the creation of all viruses or self replicating programs -- even for research purposes.
      • Making "hacking" a federal crime with severe punishments
      • criminalizing THE HIRING of "white hat hackers" so that anyone who has EVER been convicted of "hacking" will be permanently barred from employment in the computer industry.
      • Of course they recommended against any corporation hiring "hacker" security firms and recommended that these organizations be criminalized.

    In whole, the entire subcommittee hearing appeared entirely designed to further the cause of McAffee Associates and Microsoft, while recommending insane laws plainly unnecessary to further the cause of Internet security -- but they certainly do benefit the witnesses.

    Nah, the whole hoopla looks like it's designed to let incompetent sysadmins and suits keep their cushy jobs...

    Here's my mirror []

  • >what I think we need is to form a totally independent Net - something where the
    >governments keep their paws off, that regulates itself by technological means *only*.

    Unacceptable. That we tech gods might rule this land is as abhorrant to lawyers as their underhandedness is to us. In their twisted world, it is wrong - morally repugnant that the god of corporate law should not walk unhindered by us into the land we have created, and rule there in our place, in perpetuity. It is only by the grace of the law god that we were permitted to set up a temporary reign as mere place-holders awaiting the Arrival of Law. That we dare to even consider calling ourselves something more is simply blasphemous.

    (tongue out of cheek) I think the business people (and certainly the big corporations) unthinkingly side with the lawyers. Geeks and nerds and weird people are not trusted by mainstream society, and mainstream society believes the net is the latest fashion accessory, with all the consumer guarentees that that implies...
  • Linus totally hit the nail on the head when he said society is doomed to endless cycles of construction and deconstruction. All societies are competing for control of the world so naturally someone comes out on top eventually. It goes into a hitler-eske stage rebellion mode kicks in and society rebuilds itself. The only problem is that the more control the govt has during the time of economic prosperity and success before the crash, the longer it takes to rebuild.
  • While I am no fan of Bill Clinton, expansion of domestic police power and interference with other sovereign governments has been a staple of US politics since the 1950s at least. I mean, J. Edgar Hoover mean anything to you? How about Richard M. Nixon?
  • Yes, this effort is a predictable offshoot of the recent ddos attacks, Iloveyou, etc. There's been a few bumps in the road when it deals with law enforcement actions in coutries other than the US. Just think about the following situations....

    The reason why the kid from Montreal got picked up so fast was because the US has probably one of the strongest extradition/policing agreements with the RCMP.

    On the other hand, think about the weekend long wait that authorities had in the Philippines to even get a search warrant for the de Guzman apartment. As many people were saying on /., anyone in their right mind would've destroyed their hard drive in a milisecond if they were responsible. Also, the authorities in the Philippines had to figure out what law they could even apply to the situation.

    However, I think that US law enforcement/defense authorities would much rather have the opportunity to work unilaterally if they could in a matter like this. (I would not be surprized if they are already doing this covertly.) Getting involved with an international body could hamper US goals and be a problem if there's ever an international disagreement over enforcement actions.

  • McCarthyism: n, a mid 20th century political attitude characterized by chiefly by opposition to elements held to be subversive and by the use of tactics involving personal attacks on individuals by means of widely publicized indiscriminate allegations esp. on the basis of unsubstantiated charges-

    (webster's ninth)

    try mid-20th century and still kicking. the politics of fear is coming back into style. The ignorance of the people is being used against them.

    Hackers threaten the corporate power structure even when they don't break the law, just like communists. Hell, they are a bigger threat, on an indivual level, than communists ever were. The government and corporation would turn the masses against the hacker elite by conguring images mass histeria induced by angry teenagers.

    This scenario is easy to imagine. In fact it has clearly already begun. Last week someone made a phony page at (or something like that). Newspapers called him a hacker. Computer savvy is associated, by most people, with destructive, anti-social behavior. It is the fear of the unknown.

    Is it any wonder slashdot readers are paranoid? they really are out to get us.
  • This was discussed last week in the technology and science subcommittee hearings on the love bug. See: CSPAN - Technology and Science [], page, along with the Actual footage [] in Real Media (.rm) format.
    The subcommittee interviewed these witnessed:
    • Keith Rhodes, GAO
    • Harris Miller, Technology Association of America
    • Sandra England, McAfee, A Network Associates Company
    • Peter Tippett,
    The level of outright lying regarding the security issues of Windows and Outlook, along with standard congressional grandstanding in front of cameras was just astonishing -- with only one representative taking Sandra England (and the rest of the witnesses) to task for misrepresenting that the love bug affected all computers -- and was not just a Windows/Outlook problem. At the end of that exchange Peter Tippet finally agreed that [paraphrase] 'OK, 97% of all computers were affected' and then pointed out that the very features that Microsoft just discontinued (embedded scripting in document data) was a critical necessity. The most frightening testimony came from Peter Tippet (who appeared the most technically savvy) who would not admit that the problem was client side security in Windows/Outlook and instead recommended draconian laws to resolve the issue. From memory:
    • Criminalizing the creation of all viruses or self replicating programs -- even for research purposes.
    • Making "hacking" a federal crime with severe punishments
    • criminalizing THE HIRING of "white hat hackers" so that anyone who has EVER been convicted of "hacking" will be permanently barred from employment in the computer industry.
    • Of course they recommended against any corporation hiring "hacker" security firms and recommended that these organizations be criminalized.
    In whole, the entire subcommittee hearing appeared entirely designed to further the cause of McAffee Associates and Microsoft, while recommending insane laws plainly unnecessary to further the cause of Internet security -- but they certainly do benefit the witnesses.

    I was most dismayed by Peter Tippet, who really did appear to understand the technical arguments and seemed to just be lying through his teeth to our congress critters.

  • This will probably be yet another attempt by the US to implement International law as a fait-accompli

    Microsoft: embrace, extend. USA: embrace, extend.

  • Which point are you trying to make here? "We" tried to stop Hitler. Too late. We lost. Don't forget that hundreds of thousands of French soldiers died during the blitzkrieg. A real slaughter. You make it sound like "we" (I put quotes bc I was'nt born and don't want to sound like I'm taking credit for it) did'nt try to as if we were to weak to do it. Well, don't forget that Hitler defeated both the French AND English army in 1940. Shit happens. Tough luck. At least "we" tried.
  • I am not racist. I think racism is a terrible thing. I am totally against racism.

    But I am ALSO against egoism. My (current) views are not gospel. I would never purge an international archive to remove those things and only those things that I personally find offensive. I would especially not do this if it meant that everyone was going to. We'd have nothing left.

    Trying to distinguish between "good examples like nudity" and "bad examples like racism" is exactly how we got in this mess. There are people who think nudity was a "bad example": "Viewing porn makes people rapists, ya know", they'll say.
    Have Exchange users? Want to run Linux? Can't afford OpenMail?
  • <I>the internet is a universal medium so maybe it is time we face it as the whole of humanity not as the fragmented bunch of nationalistic political states.</I>
    <P>Maybe the "we" should be "I and I" instead? If the Net is to stay free and unfettered by government meddling, it has to be viewed as the actions of millions of individuals, literally, building and using new worlds. To continue approaching Net access and regulation as some collective action betrays both the networks and the people using and building them. Only by recognizing the implicit individualism of the Net can it remain a free medium. Any form of regulation strangles the network, and the people, and must be resisted. 8)
  • I can't believe that I just read the words "intelligent" and "France" in the same sentence without a negative. Seriously, this whole issue is subject to some serious interpretation. Could it be that France is just opposed to policing actions (as opposed to thoughts) of any kind? How much of this is just an extension of current extradition and similar treaties? The Internet is global and the rules they are a changing.
  • Really, do we need this? I think not.
    As protocol's mature and evolve, the security surrounding them is inheritly improved.

    5 or 6 years ago someone could crash nearly every windows box on the Internet by sending it some trash data. As time goes on, these things get more and more secure. The internet and its community do this themselves. Call it evolution if you want, its a natural process and it has worked pretty well up until now.

    Currently ISP's hold the power, they can cancel accounts and client ISP's and again, this self regulation has proven pretty effective.

    Now the governments of the world want to come in with centralised power and take control of this democratic, trans-national entity that we call the internet in the name of 'protecting the people' (which is their claimed reason for everything.). I don't see how all this recent complicating of a democratic, uncorruptable, peer-to-peer system to one of disputably corruptable centralised power can benefit anyone other than those in power themselves.

    If they want to stop 'cyberterrorists' they implement strong security ratings policies and baseline guidelines for security that companies must deal with when processing sensitive data online. They can contribute funding to security auditing and open security products and work with the community for its overall good.

    The US government is on a powertrip with Echelon, the Clipper chip and all the crazy powers of the NSA and its not doing any good for their people or the rest of the world.
  • As I've said before, the ONLY way to have censorship is to allow the individual to select what they're censoring. That way, it becomes free choice, rather than outside force.

    Then, it is no longer censorship. Censorship is something done by a third party to prevent information flow from A to B. But when B decides NOT so see some information, it is only choice, not censorship.

    IMHO, it's less a product of Government Thinking, and more a product of the dysfunctional, extremely co-dependent idiots Americans decide to vote for. You've no-one to blame but yourselves.

    The problem is that the whole world is stuck with the shit those morons want.

    Here's my mirror []

  • I vote that our worrisome government relax - If nothing else, I don't want to pay for some massive law enforcement agency with my tax money to pick through servers for contraband! Intellectual property can't be handled by a criminal court, especially internationally.
  • As long as there is continuing international disagreement about how the Net should be policed, no major actions will be taken by the countries involved. The difficulty inherent in extradition and international enforcement in the absence of cooperation will make it impossible, in practice, to enforce any legislation that is passed. We must try to preserve this state of confusion and disagreement if we want a free Internet.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    No the only thing us americans have going for us is worker mobility. If you have become valuable to your employer, they will reward you to keep you around. Even this is being chissled away with non-compete agreements. Your work will not be rewarded or appreciated unless you make it so. Don't assume that you are in the best situation possible just because you are where you are. And yes, I don't really like France.
  • There are a few reasons that is a bad idea.

    The UN is inherently one of the largest and slowest bureaucracies on the planet. There's a lot of talk of working on "Internet time". For an indication of "UN time", look at the Korean war, which until recently was technically still going, just in the middle of a 40 year ceasefire.

    Not every country is a member of the UN. From memory Indonesia is not a member, and it's both one of the most populous nations and rapidly increasing it's uptake of technology.

    What would they police? What real common ground is there between nations on the regulation of information and remote access to services? I don't think there's really anything that counts as an international "Internet crime" short of kiddie porn. And organisations and alliances already exist to deal with that at an international scale.

  • I'm damn sure techno-jerks like yourself will construct a way to detect that as well.

    Just did it. You set off bells. ;)
  • With regard to DoS attacks, REAL child porn (the stuff that makes you tremble with rage), spamming and other abuses on the net, it does make sense for an international law enforcement structure to be put in place, subject to a separate judicial system - after all, the police can't be expected to police themselves.

    International commerce rules also need to be put in place or redefined to fit the ever changing reality of the Internet.

    As always, different countries and cultures will clash over priorities. These need to be worked out in a open rational forum or the result could be the equivalent the tarriff laws that were passed in the 1920's that all but shut down international trade and were prime contributors to the Great Depression.

    I, for one, think the French can come up with a decent regulatory structure. After all, they did come up with such a structure to successfully regulate nuclear power in their own country (but that's another issue).
  • Aside: It's funny how racism only runs rampant in the one country that considers 'racial hatred' to be a protected, inalienable civil right.

    Something tells me that "ONLY" should not be in that statement. That would have kept the flames to a tollerable level - though still toasty. :) But it made for a good discussion.

    Yeah, there's racism everywhere - or more precisely, there's ethnic and religious discrimination everywhere. The US is the only place in this hemisphere where blacks are still discriminated against on sight. South American countries have intermixed a lot since slavery was abolished there, and the color-line is nowhere near as clear anymore.

    When I wrote the statement that's been thrown in my face all day, I was thinking of the black man who was dragged behind a pick-up to his death, here in the most free and tolerant country in the world. That, more than any clearly thought out argument, prompted me to choose those particular words. It's a shameful 'current event'. Had it happened in the 50's or even 60's, we could look back and say "back then racism was a problem". But the shameful thing is, despite government and civil actions, hate is still with us, and we protect it to the death under the First Amendment.

    No, I don't think that ANY opinion, no matter how vile, should be silenced. Not at all. What gets under my skin is that, here we are, having walked on the Moon; and a man can still die because of the color of his skin - or over sexual preference (the boy tied to a farm fence and beaten to death) .

    BTW: I've read 1984, Animal Farm, We... I lived in Communist Poland and left in time to see it reborn. Maybe growing up in a repressive system made me a little more tolerant to government control, and a little less tolerant to flag waving.
  • I think that history has pretty well documented that every extremely powerful state in history has tried to take over the world -- or at the very least, dreamed of it.

    The difference is that the US is neither in a position to march troops across the Earth or bind other states by trade dominance. . .our main assets are military strength and, well, wealth.

    To paraphrase one of my favorite video game intros, "He who controls the Laws controls the Net -- and he who controlls the Net controlls the world!


  • All your points are well taken, and I agree, except..

    Also you are not making your moral argument very strong when you start off by bragging about causing someone else to lose their job so that you can financially profit from it.

    Man... Sarcasm. I was playing off a stereotypical bias against immigrants. Jeez! All I've earned, I've earned on MY MERIT. If I'm depriving a natural-born American Son of a job, it's because I work harder, that's all. I am and American, I just wasn't born here - neither were most American's grand-parents.
  • I think that the internet is a good example that anarchism can work in real life. But it also points out that it is unstable when non-anarchic practices start to happen.

    Having said that though, and contratry to what you said. I think the internet can still work well. I think alot of commercial stuff, is just buzz. And I think some of it will die down. Only if people care about this issue and not let it get taken over bit by bit like is seems to be now.

    Also. If you feel this way about the internet. I can't see much hope for Open-source software. As they also rely on anarchic ideas aswell.

  • I find it kind of interesting that with all the crime/murder/hatred/etc in the world that they are spending so much time and are so scared of the Internet..

    I'm personally not one of the people who're obsessivly worried about 'The Man' coming to get us, but.. Geeze, it is /IMPOSSIBLE/ to physically hurt anyone over the Internet - the only thing you can possibly do is spread information... and yet the most powerful people in the world are holding meetings to find ways to police it.

    You'd think they'd be trying to figure out how to police something that can actually affect people...

    If there are citizens who are having problems with the Internet.. Tell them to turn off the computer. Sheesh... Problem solved.

  • Jordy is wrong - in some ways, and perhaps right in others. The two big examples sited, however, are not entirely fair and deserve a response.

    Disclosure- I work for Cisco, but I don't speak for them.

    It is certainly true that Cisco doesn't put out code without demonstrated demand, and multicast is a perfect example. I know. I asked Len Bosak to do multicast in 1990. Cisco likes making money. Big shock.

    However, anyone who has been at the IETF for the last few years knows that Cisco has contributed a lot to both the standards and the state of the art. The reason that multicast is disabled by default is that there are two standards for multicast routing- DVMRP and PIM. To make matters more screwy there are two different types of PIM - sparse and dense. None of these play well with each other by default. Hence, The Principle of Least Astonishment dictates that we not enable anything until the standards settle down a bit. (If you're turning on anything, btw, go with PIM sparse).

    Add to that areas where service providers are rightfully nervous. This relates to interdomain multicast (IDR), and the use of MBGP and MSDP. This stuff is still pretty fresh code. Not to mention that many ISPs don't know how to measure and plan for multicast services. The only thing that will help them is gradual deployments so they can get operational experience.

    Regarding IPv6, we're all going there, slowly but surely. We need some customers to use it. Want it? Ask for it. We've actually had images you can play with for years. But the routing software isn't the only issue. There is a vast support infrastructure that is tied to IPv4 right now, such as HPOV, your preferred commercial databases, most free (or any other) code. To paraphrase the great William Shatner:
    IPv4 is BIG! Really BIG!
    Said in another way, the installed base of IPv4 is over 100 million people and has been for some time. Moving to a new version will take time and great care, things break all over the place.

    Finally, on proprietary standards, all I ask is that you simply count the number of Cisco employees who attend IETF, and then look at the quality of the output of the groups they're in.

    And this is the difference between Cisco and Microsoft, IMHO. Our APIs, if you will, are protocols such as IP, RIP, OSPF, BGP, IS-IS, SNMP, HTTP (to some extent), COPS, and RSVP, all protocols that were done in the open, in full view of the public, with public participation.
  • L0pht went there and testified once. Maybe they'd be willing to do it again.
  • I've been reading about some of the war crimes trials/kangaroo courts that the UN has set up, specifically the ICTY.

    You're correct that ICTY is a kangaroo court, but you're wrong that the blame for this lies with the UN. ICTY is a creature of the US State department, set up, staffed, and financed by the US government, and NOT the UN. It poses as a legitimate "international" court, even going so far as to having set up in the Hague, in the hopes that some of the legitimacy of the World Court would rub off on it.

    ICTY is just another weapon of war that was established by the US government to bludgeon its(balkan) enemies with. Please don't blame the UN for the dirty work of your own government.

    A good place for the clueless to start learning is: []

  • #1 at what exactly?

    As much as anything the US is just a self righteous load mouthed minority, and is in general governed and policed by it's own self righteous loud mouthed minorities.

    There is a very small number of people/corps with all the real power

    This is as bad for the avarage US citizen, except of course for the pride you get in knowing that it is your tyranny (U.S.A!)

    People don't always hate #1 anyway, it's generally that most that are #1 did some seriously dodgy things to get there....

  • We are an omnipotent superpower. Go USA!
  • Please don't blame the UN for the dirty work of your own government.
    What is it going to take to get the UN to intervene in the US to stop the massive abuses of against the human rights of the citizens, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights published by the UN?
  • Clinton and his goons got to get their hands in everything don't they? Let me guess "Al invented it so we should police it"
  • The General assembly is the whole of the world.
    The Security council is the permenant members and 10 drafted in that the permenant 5 approve of. And this is the one where the memebers regularly use their vetos to kill resolutions that conflict with their interests.

    Which one is more likely to be representative?

    But the point of my post is rather that people are always complaining about the UN when it is only as effective as its members let it be.


  • Makes me sick.

    You get sick easily, don't you?

    Why were the LOVEBUG arrests made? Because the Filipinos had the FBI and Big Brother Janet insisting on it.

    Oh, you mean the Filipinos should have just said: "Ha-ha! Serves right these rich stupid imperialist Yankees! Let's give these students a scholarship and tell them to write more viruses."? I have no clue what computer-crime laws are there in the Philippines, but I would assume that virus-writing breaks at least some.

    What the hell happened to the concept of sovereignty?

    Well, see, there is a problem. If you accept that governments are the "real" players and the populations are just shit to trample on, then yes, sovereignity should be absolute. I mean, why should anybody in the world care that the Pol Pot government is killing off a third of the country's population? Cambodia is sovereign, right?

    On the other hand, if you accept that people, individuals, humans, have rights that a government should not be able to (at least easily) take away -- such as the rights for not being killed for knowing how to read and write, or for having been born in the wrong tribe -- then the concept of sovereignity starts to look somewhat shaky.

    Basically, it's a trade-off. If you essentially discard sovereignity you do end up with the rich and powerful dictating their will, culture, and morals to the rest of the world. If you absolutize sovereignity, you allow people like Khmer Rouge (Cambodia) and Hutu extremists (Rwanda) to operate completely unchecked.

    It's a hard trade-off and not nearly as simple as you make it to be.

  • I'm guessing Dune 2000, based on Frank Herbert's novel Dune.

    "He who controls the spice, controls the universe."
    Read Dune- don't bother with any of the sequels. I believe they reflect Herbert's growing senility.

    And to keep this OT, I feel that any law that relates to a specific ethos, should stay in that culture. America's ethos is not that of the world. Even if Reno claims that they never even thought about a global cyberpolice, you know they'd like to. I love the internet too much to see it controlled by jackbooted thugs of any nationality or organisation.
    I appreciated the comment above recognising "cyber criminals" as the new Red Menace. I feel that a combination of media hype and government exploitation is responsible for this situation.
  • I can just see Janet Reno, hyped on Jolt, sitting in front of a 21" monitor for 37 hours straight. This will be another way that the corporate politics of the US will effect the internet. Anytime the US gets involved in a legal way in the internet, the corporate weasels find a way to screw over the average person.
  • JMHO,but I think we need some sort of global 'cyberpolicing' infrastructure,just not this heavy-handed,"US makes the rules",version. These Melissa/ILoveU bugs and DoS's may only be cutting into profit margins,but it's only a matter of time before someone does a genuine terrorist attack that causes real damage. I'd say it should be handled in one of two ways. One,have the FBI get together with Interpol and form a special,net-only task force. Or two,make cyberpolicing a part of regular trade agreements. If a country has the capability to handle net crime,and we find that it came from their soil,then they should be left to handle it. In the case of third world countries,maybe they wouldn't mind if the US or another larger nation stepped in to help them with something they aren't equipped to handle.

    Please note:my above comments are in regards to cybercrime only. Site content should only be regulated by the host country,in accordance with their local laws and mores,and not some global morality.

  • But the US also wants to take your Money [] and they just passed an "IP Charges" Bill.
    Just one step closer to the US trying to regulate the Internet. When will the realise that this will not work? .. Although a DoS would be very costly ($$) for that l33t h4x0r.. ;-)

  • by Jordy ( 440 ) <jordan@snocap. c o m> on Wednesday May 17, 2000 @07:32AM (#1066676) Homepage
    You obviously haven't spent too much time with Cisco equipment. Cisco employs the same tactics that Microsoft does... if they can't beat a company, they buy the company. They charge an extrodinary premium (profit margins are in the 60% range last I checked) for their products.

    It's my opinion that Cisco has purposely not enabled things like IP Multicast by default simply because it's not in their best interest to do so. They want people to use more bandwidth so they can sell bigger routers and switches. Frankly, if Cisco supported IPv6 by default on all their routers today, we'd be living in a much different world... but they won't, not until they are forced to.

    Their support is spotty, they like making proprietary protocols which are completely duplicated by industry standards only to make integration with non-Cisco equipment a pain in the ass. Their online support is shotty. Their website is painfully slow.

    The fact of the matter is, most successful entities, be it a corporation or a country, have gotten there by stepping on the little folks and forcing their will upon the public. This is the same for Microsoft, the US, Cisco, etc.

    The US is however in a slightly different situation as the public has control over it, but is frankly too happy with our economy to do anything about it.

    Another major problem comes from the fact that what people outside the US see and what people inside the US see is completely and utterly different. Britain for instance in my eyes has been extremely supportive of all of the US's military efforts in the last 10 years. They certainly aren't bending to our will because we have a lot of money.

    Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.
  • While we obviously can't take the heavy handed actions suggested by the article, we certainly need some plan in place for enforcing our laws (hopefully a plan for setting some intelligent laws while we're at it, but that's another topic). What should we do if not this?

    In other words, let's be constructive about this, and not just go for knee-jerk complaining.


  • "The belief that other people are lesser than you because God said so, borders on schizophrenia. "

    That sounds kind of nice, until you realize that this is what people all over the world think and have throughout history. It's not schizophrenia, it's human nature.

    If you want me to believe that people in France are different, I'm sorry. I'm not convinced.

  • The gov there is socialist (just ask the guy who tried to privatise Air-France), and the people aren't especially hard workers, but they love their rights and are slow to get involved with other's business. Perhaps their laziness pays off here and the over-zealous American WASP work ethic is detrimental.

    As long as $$ is exchanged over the internet, crime will be there, and we need a way to protect each other. However, ruling one land by another's law is not the proper path. Perhaps an international delegation would be better.

  • It seems that when it comes down to it, when the US Government has to choose between the freedom of the public, and the economic growth of the country (particularly the megacorporations), they always come down on the side of the corporation.

    Maybe it's because the corporations are the ones with the owner's certificates to the politicans with their large donations, and they know that the public in general isn't smart enough to realize what they heck they are doing and do anything but perpetuate the system? That when it comes down to it, loyalty has to lie with the people donating large amounts of money because that's the only way to stay in office?

    And those of you bashing Clinton about this - first, can you show this is his policy? Second, do you think any other president in recent memory, or either of the republicrat party candidates would do anything different? We all know the shrub's "wonderful" views on freedom...
  • Spain is not in. It is Italy. Also G8 includes Russia. (G7 doesn't)
  • Most people would likely be thankful if authorities were even more vigilant about tracking down DOS and virus authors.

    My concern is that this increased policing will likely end up being a protection racket for the music and film industry as companies increasingly seek the use of legitimate force to back up DCMA etc.

    In any case, it will take at least two decades for law enforcement to understand the technology in order to effectively police it. We've got a huge lead time to change the popular will in the meantime.

  • by technos ( 73414 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2000 @06:36AM (#1066683) Homepage Journal
    Why do we feel the need to do this 'Play policeman and walk over any nation we don't like' crap. Makes me sick sometimes. Why were the LOVEBUG arrests made? Because the Filipinos had the FBI and Big Brother Janet insisting on it. They didn't give a flying [snip] about a college student who may or may not have written a virus. We do it to Mexico too. Just because they aren't willing to arrest and prosecute their drug offenders, we decided we're going to do it for them.

    And why do we get away with it? We grease palms with easily skimmed 'Foreign Aid', sell the worst of them military weapons, and generally have a history of using the Navy SEALs to 'pick up' any world leaders we don't like. Manuel getting pissed the CIA isn't giving him his cut of the drug traffic? Let's snatch him up, play innocent, and let him hang in a US prison for crimes committed in Colombia and Panama. Nasty old dictator doesn't like having US troops on his island? Let's put some money into the rebels and let them go!!

    What the hell happened to the concept of sovereignty? Gee, all these backward nations must not be able to police their 'cybercrime'. Let's walk right over them and prosecute their citizens with our laws. Oh, I forgot. They're not US citizens, so they don't get all of that nifty Constitutuinal stuff. Due process? False imprisonment? Search and seizure? Nope! Fuck them, France, Britain, Germany; They can't be trusted to prosecute their own criminals. Stupid backward Eurotrash!

    Makes me sick..
  • by joss ( 1346 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2000 @06:36AM (#1066684) Homepage
    Panic driven nonsense. ILOVEYOU is a pretty flimsy excuse to increase police powers, even by the contorted logic processes of the average politician.

    What exactly is the definition of a virus anyway ? It is generally taken to be a self replicating piece of code. However, viruses often rely on a little help from naive humans. For instance ILOVEYOU required you to disable security settings on Outlook, then double click on an attatchment with a .vbs suffix. The clever part of the virus was the psychological hacking that exploited a typical human's immense curiosity to see who was sending them a message saying ILOVEYOU. If we include self replicating organisms that exploit psychological weaknesses, then does that include memes. Should we imprison everyone from Vatican city to Madison avenue ? (I've heard worse ideas...)

    Suppose we restrict our attention to computer viruses. Harmful code that corrupts data, replicates itself over the network (either fully automatically or with the assistance of duped humans). How about if we add the proviso that it performs action on the host's computer that are purely for the benefit of the author of the virus, rather than for the service of the user. How about a virus that exploits humanity's addiction to pointless ritual. A really sophisticated virus would be so effective it would try to eliminate competing pieces of software from being able to operate properly even on separate computers. Kudos to Bill Gates for creating the most successful computer virus of all time.

    It's a question of responsiblity. There's this notion that if you get infected with a virus, you're the victim. The way I see it, if you're infected with a virus you are to blame. If your computer is performing illegal activities then I believe you are at least partially at fault. Certainly running stupid software (Outlook) makes this more likely, but ultimately it's your responsibility to run good software, and to use it sensibly.

    You own a computer which is connected to a worldwide network. In the wrong hands your computer could cause untold damage. As computers become ever more tightly integrated into the fabric of civilisation, the damage that can be caused grows. If you own a gun and leave it loaded and lying in a playground, you can blame the kid for stealing it and shooting someone, but you're also at fault for not exercising due dilligence. A malicious virus gaining control of as many computers as ILOVEYOU managed could cause more damage than a postal worker. Suppose the virus contained voice software and dialed in hoax messages to emergency services, etc etc.

    If the network is to have any chance of robustness, then everybody has to take responsiblity for their part of the network. It's worse than useless to say "virus writing is illegal, so if I catch a virus I'm a victim". Unless we have some relatively harmless mechanism to continually stress test the network, we leave ourselves open to catastrophic effect.

    Owners of equipment are traditionally held responsible for any damage that equipment may cause. If you leave your handbreak off and your car rolls down the hill wrecking another car, then you pay. If it turns out that you purchased a car with faulty handbrakes, then maybe you can sue the manafacturer for damages. Although, it should be within the rights of the manafacturer to sell a car "as is", ie caveat emptor.

    We don't need to worry about catching the "criminals" who write viruses. Just make it clear that catching a virus is irresponsible, and comes with it's own instant punishment.

  • When will everyone understand that cultural (and economical) differences warrant different laws. What is considered OK in one country may be viewed as the most terrible crime in another.
    For example, a few years ago that American kid was caught in Singapore vandalising cars with baseball bat and spray paint. Singaporeans consider vandalism a very serious crime and hence have very serious punishment for it.
    He was sentenced to caning (heavy beating with a bamboo stick on the back - not funny), 6 times. After much fuss and direct Clinton's intervention, it was reduced to 4 but was still carried out. Americans thought it was too much ("He's just a frustrated teenager" - yeah, right!), Singaporeans thought of him as a criminal who should pay for his crime and were rather pissed of at their govt for backing down under pressure.
    Point: Americans have different values to Singaporeans. Are Americans wrong? No. Are Singaporeans wrong? No. They are *different*!

    This law has as much chance as a snowflake in hell! US administration ought to realise by now the Internet is no longer an American thing. Deal with it!
  • by PenguinX ( 18932 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2000 @06:36AM (#1066686) Homepage
    All people who are US Citizens should be *VERY* upset about such a thing. For one this breaks how we have been trying to conduct international affairs. We have been trying very hard to be diplomatic instead of war-torn. Wars happen because one people group pushes it's culture on another. The USA can't decide on a culture for 10 years at a time, much less the rest of the worlds. I strongly suggest that all US Citizens write the approperiate authorities and voice their opinions.

    The internet has always been a medium of communication that is relatively unrestricted. France, England, India, China, Iraq, etc will *NOT* let this go through. Hell, in Canada it would be illegal to register!

    We need to take a libetarian approach to the internet, leave it the hell alone.

  • I'm quite a leftist (I'm what you would call an anarchosyndicalist or anarchosocialist), and I totally dislike all this "save the children" bullshit. The people who spew this shit are really right-wing at heart (even though they don't know it). I'm neutral about the anti-gun stuff (I dislike both sides), but a hate all these attempts to impose censorship (even if it is against porn or nazi sites) to "save the children". This is really a religious right wing agenda. As for Clinton and Gore, they are a bunch of right-wingers in sheep's clothing. Free speech is imperative, and it must be preserved at all costs (even revolution and or civil war).

    Left, Right, what difference does it make. These labels exist strictly to divide people along party lines rather than by opinions on policy. In the old Soviet Union a radical Communist would have been called a "Right Winger" while a radical Capitalist would have been a Leftist; here it's reversed. Thus proving that these labels are meaningless.

    What counts is not the label assigned but specific policies, which our media do their best to obfuscate at every turn. Given these opinions, what would you call me?
    • After having grown up with guns I support gun rights; I think its correct to interpret the 4th amendment to presume a "right to bear arms" for all citizens. I would NOT support a registration and tracking system under federal management. However, I DO support federal regulation which would force gun manufacturers to include first gun locks, and then phase in new technologies which would only allow a owner to fire the weapon (and which would keep a record of all firings).
    • I support the McCain/Fiengold campaign finance reform and consider the notion that money is speech ludicrous. Frankly, I think the federal government should pay out money for candidates' advertising time in proportion to a party's previous election returns. Hell, I would support tossing our dual party system for a radical restructering; say either proportional representation, or a binding "none of the above" option on the ballot.
    • I support STRONG environmental laws, even to double or tripple our gas and energy taxes. Frankly, the US abuses cheap energy to the detrement of the world over -- we'd better learn to deal with limited energy availability and back serious research into new energy (say Fusion, Wind, Photovoltic, and GeoThermal, or our society is fucked).
    • I support abolishing the NSA and CIA immediately; on moral reasons alone. Those two organizations have committed heinous crimes the world over; the CIA is primarily responsible for most of the drugs imported in this country. See: Whiteout [] by Cockburn and St. Clair for a detailed expose on CIA (and pre CIA OSS) drug crimes since WWII. Why do you think we continue this fruitless drug war? Because our policicians didn't learn from Prohibition? DUH... because it funds mercenaries's weapons (manufactuered here in the US I might add), coups placing murderous thugs into political power, et all the world over. Don't want that on a line item in the yearly National budget? Let them import drugs! That's what a secret government does to a democracy... while we maintain one of the largest prison populations in the world.
    • This is why I support legalizing drugs and prostitution... actually one of the basic tennents of "Libertarianism", though I only support the personal rights end of that philosophy, not the radical "anti-government" side of that populist movement. Personally, when government is open I don't think it's too bad. I'd rather have the government laying roads and bridges than a private corporation... hmmmh, I'd argue that if it's a good or service required by the entire population (education, health care, public infrastructure) then I think the government and public money is the best mechanism whereby to provide the service. We don't need "proprietary" roads, bridges, schools, or health care... in fact our current HMO disaster suggests otherwise. No?
    • Finally, I strongly support free speech even when I'm abhored by the vileness spewed by some activists... I can't support a racist's arguments, but I must support his right to say such crap. Once (s)he steps over the line and interfere's with another's rights... well, support strong anti violence laws -- even the death penalty for repeat murderers. Nobody should argue that the death penalty is cheaper than life in prison... but to execute a known serial killer certainly makes me feel a little bit safer. Not for punishment, but execution for public safety -- nothing more.

    So, where the hell am I? Right winger because I support gun rights and the death penalty, or left winger because I support strong corporate regulation, strong government services for taxpayers, and limited military/intelligence budgetary support?

    I think I'm just a radical. I have my own views and I'll vote by them... I'm voting Nader [] this year.
  • As I've said before, the ONLY way to have censorship is to allow the individual to select what they're censoring. That way, it becomes free choice, rather than outside force.

    IMHO, there should be databases, similar to the Sendmail Blackhole, which list URLs that fall foul of the maintainer's constraints. You then pick the constraints YOU are comfortable with.

    This would essentially "open source" the filtering process, allowing it to evolve into something that people want and use.

    As for the US' dictatorial claims to rule the world, they've done that before. They banned sales within the United Kingdom of Cray computers to Universities, on the grounds that Pinko Commies can enroll on a course.

    IMHO, it's less a product of Government Thinking, and more a product of the dysfunctional, extremely co-dependent idiots Americans decide to vote for. You've no-one to blame but yourselves.

  • I don't want to go too off-topic here but...

    Sorry, I don't agree about the free speech issue. There are simply too many instances of free speech violations, especially with progressive or leftist ideals. Vocal, written, and electronic criticisms of corporate doings an quickly get you blacklisted, fired, and censored while typical rightist speech is unbelievably protected up until that person/organization kills someone.

    Leftists are quickly labeled terrorists, communists, anti-business or whatever the new hot-button word is. Who do you think the feds have more files on, those insane ineffectual militias or those who openly question the economic policies of this country?
  • The Le Monde article comments that the US considers cybercriminality to be a case of natianal defense as well as protecting economic ineterests. Before they start organizing some gung-ho international cybergestapo to go after miscreants, they should start by actually building up their cyberDEFENSES. A good place to start would be by reading this article [] from the intelligence analysis website, [], which looks at the implications of most of the computerized world being "overwhelmingly dependent upon a single computer operating system that is exceedingly vulnerable to even simple attacks."

    If a teenager with little talent can shut down major websites with DDoS attacks or corrupt computer files with a simple script, imagine what a foreign intelligence agency could do. As the article says, "the real threat from rogue states won't be nuclear attack, but cyber attack. Rogue states won't launch nuclear attack for fear of the counterattack. But how do we retaliate against a virus attack? We depend on computers. They don't."

    It seems that a much more effecient way of protecting yourselves would be to prevent as much damage from happening as possible instead of just sending the troops after someone after the damage has already happened.

    On the other hand, if by 'national defense', they mean making the world safe for the MPAA by going after Norwegian teenagers, then perhaps they have a point.

  • Dr. Tippett is kind enough to provide us all with a complete transcript of the lies and distortions he told Congress on May 10th during the Science and Technology subcommittee hearings on the Love Bug. Here [] is his primary web page, and the complete transcript [ttp] is available as a link right off his page.

    Here are some long choice comments backing up my previous post:

    Regarding ways to solve the virus problem Harris Miller astonishingly recommended:
    If you want a closed system, a closed Internet where every e-mail message first goes to a central place, that someone scrubs it and makes sure there is nothing in there that is not intended for you, or makes sure that it goes through some kind of central processing system and slows the Internet down so that your messages come to you after they've been thoroughly cleaned by some third party, you can do that. You can have that kind of an Internet system.

    And it's possible the Internet could be designed that way, and that's a possibility. In which case, you would have no responsibility. You would contract with this third party. And you'd say, "I don't want to get any e-mail messages until you've opened them all and you've looked at them. I realize that that means I'm going to get my e-mail messages a couple of hours later or a couple of days later, but that's the kind of e-mail system I want." You could have that kind of system, if you wanted to pay that price. What the consumers appear to want, whether it's business or individual consumers, is instant e-mail. In fact, they like this instant messaging. They want to be able to communicate the same way over the Internet they can by picking up the telephone or by having face-to-face communication. So they want things instantly, which means, unfortunately, in terms of the Internet, as I said, the openness of it also is its vulnerability, because in that Internet, there are people who are bad guys. There are people who do cyber- stalking. There are people who want to send you messages even if it's not a virus, who may want to prey on you or prey on young children.

    IOW: One possible solution he recommends is to create a central authority which manages and could potentially censor ALL email on the Internet. WOW... that goes against EVERYTHING I've ever stood for as a System Administrator responsible for email traffic.

    Here's another choice quote:

    U.S. REPRESENTATIVE LYNN N. RIVERS (D-MI) asked this telling question to the panelists:
    RIVERS: Well, thank you, Mr. Chair. I want to ask a different set of questions, because I sit here and listen to the conversation that's going on and I feel like people are dressing down the bank guards without ever looking into the fact that all the windows were unlocked in the bank building. And I think we should be looking at the fact that this virus attacked a software system that 85 percent of all e-mail handles in this -- that 85 percent of all e-mail is handled on that is essentially vulnerable to this kind of attack, it has been vulnerable to this kind of attack for some time -- it's Microsoft.

    My understand is that in 1991, the Internet community set attachment standards. And at the time they recommended that there should not be any program that automatically executes attachments. Microsoft, in a desire to have some exclusivity in a proprietary way, decided to create Outlook with that ability. And in fact, we are dealing with a single software that is vulnerable to this attack, both to Melissa and to the "ILOVEYOU" virus.

    And I guess I would like to talk about that. I mean, do we have a widespread problem of vulnerability across all programs and all companies? Or do we in fact have a problem with a single software: the Outlook system. And should we not be addressing our concerns to why Outlook persists in the marketplace with this kind of problem. I'd like to hear from all of you.
    So at least one Congresscritter "gets" it, but the responses she received in reply should dismay anyone with a technical background:
    RHODES (?): You do have a problem, and its pervasive across the infrastructure. Yes, Microsoft is an easy target because they own the market. But you have an environment where the software industry is delivering for a market.

    RIVERS: My understanding, though, is the Java programs were not -- that most of the other programs were not effected by this virus. It was in fact a Microsoft-specific..


    RHODES: ... can attack through Java as well. It's not -- it's a matter of distribution based on the application as opposed to Java itself being weak, but they have a thing called the Java development tool kit, and you can establish a thing called the sandbox, and you can set up these boundaries on it. But if you open Eudora, for example, and there's a web address inside there and you move your pointer over it, you can automatically launch to that web address. That's a very pernicious event as well. But that's not due to executable code, it's due to an automatic distribution of your pointer out over the web. So it's across the industry. It just becomes more apparent in the Silicon Forest, up in Redmond, Washington, because they own the market.

    So Security problems with Windows/Outlook aren't inherent in to the design of those products, just a funtion of their popularity. Riggghhhhtttt....

    Here Dr. Tippett defends the necessety of executable scripts which read the Outlook address book in order to find names of others with which to send email (typical Outlook security hole which he thinks necesssary -- at least until Microsoft changed their security tune I suppose):
    WEINER: I mean, I don't think I've ever got a legitimate program that, when executed, goes into my address book, opens it up and starts sending messages to my address book.

    TIPPETT: Oh, au contraire, there are many, many companies that automate address book re-forwarding of things as part of their business automation process.

    And Finally, they recommend outlawing the hire of "hackers" who at one time have been convicted of malicious "hacking," thus permenantly revoking one's right to pursue employment instead of just fixing the problem client side:
    GUTKNECHT: Thank you, Madam Chair.

    And once again I attach myself to the comments made by my colleague from New York. I mean, fool me once shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. And it seems to me, we have been fooled. And if there is a level of frustration that you're hearing from us today, it's because we've sort of been there before. I mean -- and we count on smart people like you to help solve these problems.

    Dr. Tippett, I want to congratulate you for offering at least one suggestion that this committee can seriously look at, and that is some kind of legislation which makes it very clear that trying to write these kinds of viruses is a federal offense. And we ought to be very serious about it, because this is a serious offense. This is not tipping over outhouses out in the back -- you know, the out-parts of our country. I mean, that was clearly, you know -- that happened, and it still happens I suppose in some parts of the country today.

    But this is a serious matter. And I want to get to something else that I think we should consider and I want you to consider, and not necessarily right now, but give us some feedback on this. Because my sense is -- and we have this on fairly good authority, it's not official -- but there's at least one federal agency that apparently is out actually recruiting computer hackers. And they're going to build their own little team to try and build a system of former -- or supposedly reformed hackers who are going to help us become more insulated.

    We have an expression here at the federal level that no good deed goes unpunished. And that happens all the time -- a tax policy, marriage penalty tax, whatever you call it.

    TIPPETT: My wife's favorite statement, too.

    GUTKNECHT: Yes, no good deed goes unpunished. But unfortunately, I think there is sort of a growing theory. And maybe I should ask Ms. England, do you have any former hackers on your staff?

    ENGLAND: No, we don't. And we basically don't hire those people.

    GUTKNECHT: Well, you basically don't, but do they get hired? And I think there is a theory among some of these guys -- guys, I say that generically -- but I think there is a theory among some of them: If I'm smart enough to beat this particular system, or if I can penetrate this particular system, or whatever, that you know, the worst that's going to happen to me is that I'm going to go to jail for a few months, and I'll probably get a six-figure consulting contract from somebody.

    TIPPETT: I think that -- and have stated publicly many, many, many times -- believes as a generic thing that hiring hackers is a bad idea for lots of reasons. One, the reason that they are hackers in the first place -- and I mean criminal hackers or malicious hackers, or crackers, to just be clear about this. The reason that they do this in the first place is because they're not thinking straight. And you're basically hiring people who aren't thinking straight, who don't understand the larger ramifications of what they do. Furthermore, people who can break things are not the same people who can fix things.

    TIPPETT: And, you know, the fact that I can shoot holes through your car doesn't mean I can make a car that you can't shoot holes through. It doesn't compute. And so it makes no sense at all to me to hire Billy the Kid to make a better bank vault. I mean, that's crazy.

    But whatever reason, there's an allure of these people and many of them are good at programming, although, again, many of them have underpinnings of thought processes that you wouldn't want running your IT department. You certainly wouldn't want to give them the keys and passwords to your inner workings.

    GUTKNECHT: Well, the real question for all of you, and maybe you want to answer it now, maybe you don't, maybe you can write us a letter or maybe we can talk about this the next time we're together after the next outbreak, but the question is, should we make it illegal for software companies to hire someone who has been convicted of computer hacking? And think about that, maybe you want to answer now, maybe not. But I think we need to think about that.

    MILLER: Mr. Gutknecht, I think the question is being asked in too black and white a fashion. I think we'd all agree that hiring people who have perpetrated criminal activity, been investigated and/or convicted, that's a clear no-no and where companies and government should not be hiring them.

    But there are a lot of these people in a gray area who are clearly -- do think differently, I would agree with Dr. Tippett, but believe that they have a mission in life, which is to help take on the big corporations and find their vulnerabilities and then turn that information over to those big corporations or over to the anti-virus companies, the companies that, for good reasons, Ms. England doesn't want to -- people Ms. England doesn't want to hire, yet they do because they like to beat the authorities, they like to beat the big companies. They're going to go find that vulnerability somehow or other and then turn that information over.

    And that's -- those are people that fall into this, kind of, gray area. Now maybe you wouldn't be comfortable having that person working at the CIA or the National Security Agency or DOD, but maybe that person, in fact, is the person who goes that extra mile to find the extra vulnerability that the DOD officials themselves didn't find, or that the companies themselves didn't find. So I appreciate the fact that we'd like to think that the role is black and white; that there are black hats and white hats and that there's a clear difference, but I think the reality is that there are some people somewhere in the middle. I don't think that they are malicious in the sense that they want to do bad things. They may unintentionally do bad things, which would fall into my category of someone who should be prosecuted, but they have something to contribute to fighting crime.

    GUTKNECHT: If I could just paraphrase what you said, there are people who love to do crossword puzzles, and this is the biggest, best crossword puzzle and they just want to prove that they can actually beat that crossword puzzle.

    MILLER: That's right.

    GUTKNECHT: So they are not necessarily malicious. So there are -- OK, that -- thank you.

    MILLER: And I think that in my testimony, I referred to a study done by two professors at George Washington University -- two psychologists who'd done some work for the CIA, and, in fact, people who do these kind of things fall into a lot of different categories. Yes, there are malicious people. As I said before, punish them. Don't let them go with some Twinkie defense.

    But there are people who are just antiestablishment, but they're not necessarily trying to create havoc in the congressional offices or bring down a bank. They just want to show that they're smarter than the programmers at Microsoft, or the programmers at Symantec, or the programmers at Oracle, or they're smarter than the DOD experts and they may have something to contribute.
    I'm just disgusted by this... if you've read down this far you ought to just go and read the whole thing. Be prepared to puke... this just makes me sick.
  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2000 @07:44AM (#1066704)
    No one's got it right. Not one nation there has a truly intelligent view.

    Look at the corporate-run United States. We have our free speech (much to the Radical Religious Right's chagrin) but no right to privacy.

    Then check out Europe. Most of the nations there view privacy as a fundamental right, but can and do restrict free speech. Sure, it's against things like racism, but it's still wrong to censor anything, because the second one voice is silenced it sets a precedent by which all other voices are by definition jeopardized.

    France is no more intelligent than the US in that regard. Sure, they have different views on nudity (whereas many Americans consider all nudity to be pr0n, it takes more than that to be consdered pornographic just about anywhere else). But they do ban other forms of speech. Yes, hate speech is a terrible thing. I have the distinct displeasure of living near a whole family of racists, so I know how bad it can get. But if no one has the right to censor me, then no one has the right to censor them either. And yes, it is annoying to have to put up with them (while I might not be the target of their race hate, I am still distrusted on religious grounds). But it's the only fair way.

    The Declaration lists "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" as inalienable rights. Note that happiness is not a right, only the pursuit of it is. In other words, you certainly have the right to try to be happy. But if you fail, your rights haven't been violated just because you aren't happy. This is something we as Americans seem to forget often; I'm guilty of it sometimes too. But the fact is, even in a truly fair system we're all different people, so we all have to put up with crap from others at some point.

    I'm sure I'll run up against the Radical Religious Right and the Terminally Insecure, I mean Politically Correct, for this. But if we're going to be fair, and the people do want fairness, then no censorship can be allowed at all. Privacy must be inviolable without a warrant issued by a court of law. Intellecctual property must be maintained, but so must fair use of that property.

    And in the end, some things will result from this that people won't like. You might run across something that offends you, or -God forbid- you might have to do your job as a parent and keep your own eyes on your own kids. Law enforcement, restricted again by law to using only the means they're legally allowed to use anyway by the Constitution, probably won't be as good at catching The Bad Guy. Piracy will still take place. But it is worth it, because the alternative is worse: a Big Brother state with mandatory pay-per-use media across all channels, perpetual copyrights and patents, and no concept of fair use whatsoever.
  • A friend of mine once told me about her travels to Europe. She had the oppurtunity to talk and interact with a good number of Germans and other Europeans. The biggest difference that she couldn't get over? Europeans do not value their freedom like we do in the US. I'm not sure what to think about that, other than you seem not to value freedom like we do.

    Your accusation that we should be punishing and locking up lowlifes who spew racist garbage, while the majority of Europe let Milosevicz go unchecked is humorous.

    let's recap:
    U.S: let people speak freely. take action against those who kill based on race.

    Europe: punish those who speak poorly. little action against ruthless leader ethnic cleansing.

    I am not saying that the US is the protector of moral fortitude around the world. That is far from true. I agree that we have problems. I just had to rant a little after your hypocrisy remark.
  • by Conor ( 2745 )
    The G7 are the seven richest countries in the world: US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada + Russia makes 8
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Slashdot review of it is here []. Garfinkel gives numerous good reasons why invasions of privacy are dangerous. He points out that data that was collected for innocent purposes by European nations was later misused by the Nazis. Information once collected tends to be kept. It will enventually fall into the wrong hands. Let me put this bluntly: The US wants the power to investigate people so that the data can later be used for extortion, fraud, theft, and violence. That is what this must eventually lead to.
  • is from France that the concept of human rights [..] comes from.
    Scholars would also tell you that French philosophers created racism, fascism and a lot of extremely stupid ideas. You can never win them all I suppose.

  • It's not the U.S. alone--the EU can't escape from responsibility and ridicule.

    The Washington Post [] has a story from the conference. They point out:

    1. A Council of Europe proposal from two weeks ago would require all computers to store all e-mail messages for 40 days "in case it is needed for a police investigation."
    2. The same treaty proposal would prevent users of Symantec's software from defending against attacks by attempting to crack local passwords for security. Both these provisions were opposed by Ron Moritz, chief technical officer of Symantec, according to the report.

    Hey, my computers don't want to be protected by Big Brother, they want protection from Big Brother.

  • The G8 (group of eight countries with large industrial economies) conference on safety and confidence in cyberspace [] shows that, in the wake of THELOVEBUG, there is real concern by governments over cyber-security. This has led to strong criticism of America's UCITA in particular. To quote from the BBC story []: "Governments are searching for ways to stop cyber-criminals at the same time as the US is adopting laws that will make it easier for malicious hackers to remotely disable software". UCITA encourages software makers to put backdoors into programs so the software can be remotely disabled. (Clipit is just another backdoor.) []

    Even French President Chirac, who wields a lot in the EU generally, has come out against UCITA. Given the EU reaction to Echelon, it's possible (though I'd guess not probable) that there will be EU laws banning software that contains deliberately-written backdoors.

  • by sredding ( 107116 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2000 @07:51AM (#1066722) Homepage

    According to this arcticle on Wired []:
    The session drew up talking points for the July summit in Okinawa of the G8 -- the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada, and Russia -- but did not propose a global "cyberpolice" or other new crime-fighting agencies.

    It also states:

    U.S. Assistant Attorney General James Robinson poured cold water on talk by French officials that Washington wanted to a global "cyberpolice" that could be a threat to civil liberties. He said U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno had never even suggested to him that she was interested in this idea and added: "That's certainly not been anything we have proposed here."

    Curious... I checked other sources.

    ZDNET has this to say []: In his speech, Chevenement highlighted the trans-Atlantic gap by rejecting the idea of an international "cyberpolice" supported by U.S. officials eager to crack down quickly on computer crime. "Nothing could be more wrong," he declared. "Sovereign states can develop the capacity to act, first at home and then in international cooperation."

    I don't think the CyberPolice issue is still on the table for the next summit in July. Of course, if everyone wants to get there panties in a wad about the U.S.'s meddlesome, high handed foriegn policies, please, don't let this stop you. Bash away.

  • The longer different cultures argue about what should be censored or not, the longer we will have a de cafto uncensored web.

    Once The US and France reaches some form of agreement, time comes to China. If the US gets the ability to shut down non-US sites that break US law, China should be able to shut down US sites that breaks chinese law... And then we have Iraq etc...

  • "The only reason the US is perceived as being so terribly racist is because the US is the *only* country on Earth that seems to actually care!"

    To which you correctly replied:

    Oh bull!

    The United States is not the only country to care about racism, as anyone who has spent any time abroad in places like Germany or France can attest to. There may well be places (perhaps Japan?) where racism is not a concern, or is only a minor concern, but be that as it may, the United States doesn't even come close to having a monopoly on concern with respect to racism and bigotry.

    But you then went completely off the mark when you went on to say:

    It's political correctness, not caring. IMHO, if the US didn't make such a big deal out of racism and ethnic hatered, it would go away more quickly.

    The vast majority of people in the United States do care about racism and bigotry, and do want it to go away. So-called political correctness is an expression and a symptom of that concern. It is often an inane, silly, and sometimes plain ugly expression, but that doesn't make the underlying concerns any less real.

    As to the notion that, if we "didn't make such a big deal out of racism and thnic hatred, it would go away more quickly" history does not support your assertion.

    Indeed, some 500 years of history on the North American continent alone, including all 224 years of the existence of the United States of America, clearly contradict your assertion.

    Progress on diminishing racial and ethnic bigotry and hatred was virtually nil in the 19th century, with the one exception of the banning of slavery (which the US was one of the last countries on the planet to do, and was arguably just a catalyst and otherwise a small side-issue of the civil war, the main fight being about state vs. federal authority and the limits thereof). The issue of racial and ethnic equality before the law, and racial and ethnic bigotry as a whole, was largely ignored until the civil rights movement put the issue on the table in the 1960's. Since then progress has been much more rapid and, while there is still much room for improvement, no one could reasonably argue that "by ignoring the issue" progress in racial relations would have been any quicker.

    Quite the contrary, as the last 35 years of change vs. the 465 years previous attest to. Indeed, the only way to achieve change and overcome culteral intertia is through activism and pro-active measures, of which the civil rights movement was an excellent example.
  • ....In the argument here and what you have is pretty much the normal day to day operations of any squalid, corrupt, war-torn emerging dictatorship. We hear as much coming out of Sierra Leone or Nigeria eg. "we need to restrict the disruptive elements in our society if there is to be any hope of calling <even halfway pretended> democratic elections". Oh yeah, sure, and all that mayhem, repression and killing, pay no attention to it, ahem.

    Once you have the police in control of the media and/or the phones you've fallen into the abyss. Plain and simple.

  • The US and the FBI don't like Interpol. They'll listen to some crackhead on the corner before Interpol (Remember the first DDoS debaucle? The Euros had the correct answer but the FBI was too busy being important to take their head out of their ass and listen.)
  • Know your rights.

    You have the right not to be killed.
    Murder is a crime.
    Unless it is done, by a police man, or an aristocrat.

    You have the right to food money.
    Provided, of course, you don't mind a little,
    and if you cross your fingers,

    You have the right to free speech.
    As long as, your not dumb enough to actually try it.

    I just remembered this old Metallica song. . .
  • it works the other way too. if the US can invade a country because it doesn't like its policies (legitimate or not) then those countries are also entitled to attack the US. Especially on the grounds of human rights. The US is one of the few countries that have not signed the declaration of human rights...

  • 1) While it IS an MLM, it is NOT a Ponzi (aka pyramid) scheme.

    2) Read the page about how you get kicked out if you are discovered or reported spamming.
    Have Exchange users? Want to run Linux? Can't afford OpenMail?
  • Well, it may not be legal per se, but according to Guliani its at least OK, if you're a New York City cop with a broomstick or 40 bullets and a gun, and your victim is an unarmed black male.

    The original post was itself hypocritical, as the same racism exists in Europe (cf people killed in fires in Germany when skinheads burned housing for asylum seekers, Europe's appallingly weak response to Milosevic in Bosnia, etc.). But ironically the post was right on the mark in pointing out the presence of very same hypocricy it (inadvertantly) epitomizes here in the US.
  • The Internet (and especially usenet), is imo the only form in wich the Anarchist phylosophie was setup and worked for a long time.
    But we've come to the limits of anarchyst systems. When too many people live in such systems the auto-police work becomes harder and harder.
    The net used to be self-policed, this is not the case anymore because ISPs do not educate their "customers" since they do not know the unwritten rules they don't abey the rules. They apply the rules they used to live in : which are liberalistic and capitalistic. Such rules in an anarchistic environment tend to kill such society.
    The Internet until 1994 was the Achievment of Anarchism. We now have the proof that Anarchy can't be applied to mass people, but that on a closed environement it is a viable system.
  • by nezroy ( 84641 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2000 @06:47AM (#1066769) Homepage
    This will probably be yet another attempt by the US to implement International law as a fait-accompli, forcing the rest of the world to agree using political and, always more important, economic pressure. Typically this has worked well for the States, with Europe typically divided amongst themselves on petty issues and Asia staying out of everything that looks to hurt the stock-market. But with the EU chomping at the bit to test the limits of its new political and economic union, it will be interesting to see how they stand against the US's age-old bully tactics. And when was the last time you heard of Japan taking a firm stand on any issue that wasn't clear-cut economics, as far as the International arena is concerned? I'm guessing the US is in for a surprise this time, facing the most unified European front they've ever seen. And is Japan's standpoint a harbringer of things to come? I think it would be wise for the EU to catch this changing wind quickly, grabbing support where it arises. Perhaps they could change their name to the EBU (Everybody But the US) and start sending open invitations to the rest of the globe...
  • by Paul Neubauer ( 86753 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2000 @06:47AM (#1066771)

    "High school chemistry textbooks have the same information, maybe we should censor those too?"

    This has already happened. Whether it was intended or coincidence I can't say for sure, but I have my suspicions. Probably, "But if we publish that we could be sued if some idiot ignores the warnings and..."

    Find a textbook from the mid-1950s. Say, Modern Chemistry by Dulle, Brooks, & Metcalfe. Turn to the chapter on nitrates. Read. Read the warnings, too. Now go look at a recent chemistry text. Notice that something isn't there?

    Warning: Off-topicness follows.

    This could be from fear of litigation and such, or it could be from high schools, in the USA anyway, trying to teach chemistry by the theory, as in colleges, rather than 'descriptive chemistry' as in the 1950s. The 1950s text is a good text. Reading it one gets a 'feel' for the subject, the detailed theory can (and should) come later, to answer to nagging "but why does.." questions. I have a suspicion that the subject is considered difficult and boring today as it is first taught in a boring and difficult manner.

  • by PigleT ( 28894 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2000 @06:48AM (#1066775) Homepage
    "Maybe the UN should have police powers over the internet."

    Maybe not ;)

    In practice, what's the difference between the UN and the US? The UN gets the flak, the US gets the credit and bosses everyone around.
    OK, so China / USSR[1] have a bit of a say in the UN too... yippee.

    To combine the best of both kinds of suggestion here, what I think we need is to form a totally independent Net - something where the governments keep their paws off, that regulates itself by technological means *only*. This suing-everybody mentality is blatantly immature and solves nothing. This legislating to remove freedoms thing is evil. The only times any legal body should be involved is when a net.action adversly affects the 'real world' (whatever that is ;) .

    Excuse me while I invent utopia? :8)

    [1] or whatever they're called today
    .|` Clouds cross the black moonlight,
  • As opposed to the long-held Catholic belief of no birth control, and have as many kids as you can...
  • I won't make any of the obvious statements about how the U.S. "cybercrime" (gag) policy is idiotic, short-sighted, power-grabbing, and generally just the sort of thing a syphilitic monarch in the throes of a mid-life crisis would do after smoking a few particularly large crack rocks.

    What I will say is that my colleagues and I have seen this coming for a long time. The big questions here are:

    1. Who's really responsible for this plan? Surely the government alone couldn't have come up with such an idiotic scheme. Anybody can be a little stupid--it takes millions, working in concert, to bring about such monumental boneheadedness.
    2. Who benefits from this? The government gets to tarnish its reputation, of course, but it also gains a fair amount of power in other countries that it wouldn't have had before. Corporations (via their lobbyists) get to attack people who "infringe" on their soi-disant "rights" (as if a fictional entity could have rights).
    3. Who do they think they're fooling? Certainly, Joe Q. Sixpack won't understand or realize the import of such proposals, but anyone who knows about this and has an IQ above room temperature can see that this is a Bad Thing.
    4. What can we do to stop it? I'd prefer not to resort to violence. Surely there is some way to derail this asinine juggernaut before it manages to get somewhere and hurt someone.

    Give the Man the Finger.

  • We're a bully on a big street. 270+ million Americans, 6+ billion world population.
  • by vlax ( 1809 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2000 @08:22AM (#1066790)
    Taking a look at the responses here and in those for the article on Canadian government databases gives me a really chilling picture of how many Americans see the rest of the world. Every time issues surrounding some foreign government's legal system comes up, someone always says something along the lines of "well, their a lot more socialist than we are" as if that explains anything.

    I've lived in three countries in my life, the US, Canada and France, and if Americans think Canada or France are very socialist, it's only because their conception of what socialism is is piss poor. Japan, Australia, even Chile have social policies and government controls over the economy as great or greater than either France or Canada, yet few people here seem to see them as socialist.

    A better folk political theory would be that the US is has the abnormal political system, with its worship of markets and disregard for good public policy.

    Canada is not the home of big brother, nor are the French lazy. France has had higher productivity, greater increases in productivity and has traditionally been wealthier than Germany or the UK, yet I don't hear much grousing about lazy Germans and Brits on this board.

    Furthermore, there is the noise about those countries not valuing free speech and/or privacy. True, both Canada and France have laws forbidding certain kinds of speech in some media, which are poorly enforced and whose legal status remains hopelessly unclear. That doesn't justify those laws, but it does make them largely meaningless. The US, on the other hand, is home to the Texas Food Libel law, making it illegal to say demeaning things about vegetables. It is a place where you can use legal pressure to close websites that translate copyrighted pages into "Swedish chef" jargon. In the US, free speech is reserved for those who can afford the legal fees (note that Babelfish does basically the same thing as the "Dialectizer" yet hasn't been hassled by BofA), while in both Canada and France such harassment is rare and often very costly to the harasser.

    If you want to see a country with real free speech problems, look at the UK's libel laws. Look at the "LM vs ITN" lawsuit at Yet, /.'ers seem to take a wholly different view of the UK than they do of non-anglophone countries.

    As for language laws, is there anyone on /. who has the faintest idea what kinds of language laws there are in Canada or France? In Canada, there are laws that require students to attend school in the majority language of their province unless they are willing to pay for a private education. In the US, the real situation isn't any different. Quebec has a law requiring outdoor signs to be have readable French content, as do several communities in the US for English. France and Canada require that some legally manditory documents be in French. The US does the same thing implicitly and explicitly, as do most countries.

    As a non-American on /., it genuinely pisses me off to see a bunch of yahoos who've never lived abroad and who get their news from CNN tell me that country X is full of lazy bumpkins and country Y is in economic ruin when they don't know the first thing about those places. Try getting your views of the world from somewhere outside of bars for once.
  • Wait a second, does this stem from the recent lawsuits and regular policing action that the US has been involved with (i.e. MPAA, RIAA, I LUV U virus, Montrealer caught for Yahoo/CNN DDoS)??

    Personally, I would like to see an international team of computer/law experts put together for the express purpose of tracking down DDoS attacks, virii, and general mis-use of the Net... But let's be reasonable... if the US has laws and "agencies" set-up to do this, is that any reason to give them a green light?

    And what about international laws for computer crime? Might not developing those first be a smarter idea before going head-first into a potential court mine-field with authorities from different counties?

    Soudns to me as though this is being done completely ass-backwards. =(

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The sad thing is most of you don't realize what a f*cked-up country you live in. And that so many of your lawmakers apparently do not understand that the Internet is an international venue, and one cannot easily frisk electrons at the border to determine whether or not they constitute vicious Nazi hate speech (perfectly acceptable) or a bare breast (probably illegal.) Sheesh ..
  • First we gain police control on the net, then we add mandatory telescreens to every wall! But if France doesn't allow hate speech, then how will we have our mandatory 2 minute hate everyday. I gotta stop reading 1984.
  • France is no more intelligent than the US in that regard. Sure, they have different views on nudity (whereas many Americans consider all nudity to be pr0n, it takes more than that to be consdered pornographic just about anywhere else). But they do ban other forms of speech. Yes, hate speech is a terrible thing. I have the distinct displeasure of living near a whole family of racists, so I know how bad it can get. But if no one has the right to censor me, then no one has the right to censor them either. And yes, it is annoying to have to put up with them (while I might not be the target of their race hate, I am still distrusted on religious grounds). But it's the only fair way.

    I cannot speak for the French, but the first article of the German constitution goes like this:
    "The dignity of a human being is inviolable."
    This is considered even more important than free speech in most european countries, I think mostly because of WW II. If, e.g., you are an ethnic person living next to racists ofer here in Europe, your right not to be discriminated against is more important than the racist's right to freely spread his racist ideas all over the neighborhood. In fact, it is every other person's right and even duty to defend your dignity even if you don't do it yourself - if your race is discrimimnated against in general. If the racist just insults you personally, it's your thing alone to stop him. But racist speech violates the dignity rights of the people discriminated against in general, and is thus illegal.

    It really depends on which right you consider more important. For the US, it seems to be the right for free speech; in Europe (or at least in some european countries), it's the right not to have your dignity violated. Note that racist speech may be banned in public, but in private the racist may usually still say what he thinks. During a private meeting of a racist group, they can say what they want.

  • by Danse ( 1026 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2000 @08:34AM (#1066805)

    Given the amount of false information that Congress is being fed, it seems to me that no good can come of this. This deserves major attention before our congresscritters go and do something REALLY dumb. We need to get real information to Congress and then maybe the ones who aren't doing this to further their own agenda (*cough* the distinguished gentleman from Washington *cough*) might actually have some factual information to go on. Are there any academics or industry leaders who might be willing to tell congress the truth? Should there be a letter-writing campaign? What would work best?

  • Some good may actually come of this. Normally, when the US government makes a riduculously unconstitutional power grab, it follows the DMCA and UCITA paradigm: it doesn't tell anyone. There is a difference, though, between are two least-favorite acts of legislation and this new cyber-policing nonsense. The former are manipulations of a corrupt system by businessmen who see no problem with using the force of law to make themselves wealthy (note: this is NOT capitalism!!!). The latter is a machination of the system *itself*. Even the most politically influential corporation is still really only after more money, when the political system itself comes crashing down on our rights its essentially because it wants to: a politician's real income isn't money, it's POWER.

    Anyway, back to the good news. What I see this proposal by the US gov't as is a confession. Here are representatives of what everyone still calls "the freest nation on earth", basically admitting that they don't give a rat's ass about freedom! When they said, "we want cyber-policing powers," what they were /really/ saying is, "the US seeks to become as authoritarian as the USSR or China."

    Some days, the United States takes a step towards socialism; others, it steps towards fascism (as in this case of cyber-policing). But one thing's for sure, freedom is dead here. We might as well give the Statue of Liberty a whip instead of a torch and rename here the Statue of Authority.


    (ps: Freud was an idiot)
  • For example, France won't extradite an US citizen if he risks death penalty, as there is no death penalty here.

    A bit strange and fucked up: a rapist+murderer is sought by the french police, he ran for shelter in Portugal, which might *not* extradite him because he risks over 30 years in France, whereas 30 years is the maximum in Portugal. Had he risked less, he would have been extradited already ...

  • by El Cabri ( 13930 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2000 @07:08AM (#1066823) Journal
    Actually I find the article rather uninteresting,
    but anyway here is a "human" translation
    (sorry for the bad english)

    G8 : States and corporations go for hunting 'cyberpirates'


    Jean-Pierre Chevenement (France's interior minister) rules out the
    creation, as the American suggest, of a world computer police that
    could have tracked suspects beyond borders. Governments want to
    convince corporations to invest in their own security.

    How can an international 'Penal Code' can be established to fight all
    forms of intrusions on computer networks ? This is one of the main
    objectives of the most industrialized countries, confronted to an
    upsurge of 'cybercriminality', this new kind of delinquency, sometimes
    even terrorism, that threatens the interests of consummers, but also
    corporations and states. Website cracking, destructive messages
    transmissions like in the ILOVEYOU case, broadcasting of pedophilia on
    the Internet : the cybercriminality exists in various kinds, their
    common point being their ability to ignore borders so they can escape
    any control. 'Net heavens', comparable to 'Tax heavens', might
    proliferate, especially in Asia.

    Since Monday the 15th, security in cyberspace is the theme of a three
    day meeting of the G8 (most industrialized countries) in
    Paris. Diplomats, magistrates, policemens, as well as members of
    organizationss in charge of protecting private life have been invited
    to chat with representatives of 150 of the most important companies if
    the IT and communication sector.

    " Points of Contacts "

    This cinference is part of the process that was started in the Lyon
    summit in 1996, when the G8 countries have adopted "points of contact"
    to share their informations over cybercrime. The Paris meeting should
    pave the way for actions of head of states and governments who will
    meet in Okinawa, Japan, in July.

    For once, Europeans are less favorable to State intervention than
    Americans. In their analysis of the new criminality related to
    computer networks, the US favor a very repressive approach. The
    Europeans don't want any 'cyberpolice' to have the right to violate
    the private life a anyone in the name of the interests of the
    states. "They tell that the Internet is a territory with no right,
    that necessitates because of its own nature, a specific juridicial
    regime or a cyberpolice that would go beyond the states frame and
    their sovereignity. This is not true. The States keep the ability, and
    the responsibility, to act on their own." declared JP Chevenement,
    introducing the debates. The French stance is widely shared by
    Europeans and Japanese.

    The Americans were first favoring an all-repressive
    system. Washington wanted
    a system where the intelligence services of the whole
    world could bypass judiciary institutions to track the criminals
    faster. The US consider cybercriminality to be a national defense
    priority issue. But their interest is mainly economics : they don't
    want to slow the rise of electronic commerce, that is supposed to fuel
    the american and world economic growth.

    Confronted to European reluctance to engage in this crusade, the
    Americans have moderated their stance ("put water in their wine" ;) ).
    "The American discourse has changed" says the French
    delegation. Beyond the different initial positions, the G8 countries
    now make a unanimous constatation that anonimity and
    private life of everyone must be respected, but should not be a screen
    behind which anything could be done.

    "States Sovereignity"

    Thus, the delegations try to harmonize the definition of 'cybercrime'
    and to degine the procedures for an efficient cooperation within the
    states' sovereignity. As an example, the notion of "incitation to
    racial hatred" does not exist in the US. And nothing prevents US based
    neonazi websites to broadcast their propaganda to Europe.

    The G8 States have coordinated their opinions but they still need to
    convince corporations to take their part of the responsibility. This
    is the main goal of the G8 meeting in Paris, that gathers for the
    first times the governments and the private sector. "The industrials
    want anything and the contrary", says a member of the French
    delegation. They want a maximum security for a minimum of cost. One of
    the main difficulties met by the states is to convince ISPs to keep
    during several months the date that they have, to allow the
    preservation of elements of proof. Regulatory will on one side,
    libertary aspirations of the "net economy" on the other : the conflict
    that looms is far from being resolved.
  • by saridder ( 103936 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2000 @06:23AM (#1066829) Homepage
    G8: States and large companies leave to hunting the cyberpirates

    Jean-Pierre Chevènement excluded creation, as suggested it the Americans, from a world data-processing font which could have continued the suspects beyond the national borders. The governments want to convince the companies to invest in their security
    Updated Tuesday May 16 2000

    Lucas Delattre

    HOW TO ESTABLISH a " penal code " international for better fighting against all the forms of piracy on the data-processing networks? Such is one of the first objectives of the most industrialized countries, which are confronted with a rise to power of the " cybercriminality ", this new form of delinquency, or sometimes even of terrorism, which is caught with the interests users of them, but also of the companies and States. Attacks of sites, transmission of destroying messages such as ILOVEYOU, diffusion of contents with character pédophile on the Net: the forms of the cybercriminality are very varied and have as a common point their capacity to be unaware of the borders for better escaping any control. Comparable with the tax havens, of the " paradises of the Net " are likely to multiply, in particular in Asia.

    For Monday May 15, the security in the cyberspace has been the subject of a three days meeting of the countries most industrialized (G8) in Paris. Diplomats, magistrates, police officers, as of the members of the institutions charged to take care of the protection of the private life were invited to dialogue with the representatives of the 150 companies among most significant of the sector of communication and information technologies.


    This conference falls under a process which began at the Summit of Lyon in 1996, date on which the countries of G8 in particular adopted " points of contact " to exchange their information on the cybercrime. The meeting of Paris should release from the tracks of action for the heads of State and government of the countries of G8 which must be found in node with Okinawa, in Japan, in July.

    For once, Europeans show themselves more " liberal " that the Americans. In their analysis of the new criminality related to the data-processing networks, the United States is in favour of a very repressive approach. Europeans, them, do not intend to give to unspecified " a cyberpolice " the right to violate the private life of each one in the name of defense of the interests of the States " Internet would be a space without right or the cyberspace, from its nature even, would require a specific legal status or a cyberpolice which would exceed the framework of the States and their sovereign competences. Nothing is inaccurate any more. The States preserve the responsibility, and the capacity to act ", declared the Minister of Interior Department French Jean-Pierre Chevènement, which introduced the debates. The French position is largely shared by Europeans and the Japanese.

    The Americans, at the beginning, were in favour of a all-repressive system. It acted, with the eyes of Washington, to establish a system making it possible the services of information of the whole world to short-circuit the legal institutions to go up as fast as possible to the criminals. The United States considers that the cybercriminality is a stake of national defense of first command but their interest is also economic: they do not want to handicap the rise to power of the electronic trade, called to draw to the top the American and world growth.

    In front of the European reserves to launch out in this crusade, the Americans put water in their wine " the American speech changed ", indicates one in the French delegation. Beyond the starting divergences, the countries of G8 make the unanimous report today that the respect of the anonymity and the private life of each one must be respected, but that it should not be a folding screen to do anything.


    One thus seeks to harmonize the definition of the cybercrime and to define procedures of effective co-operation within the framework of the sovereignty of the States. Example: the concept of " incentive to racial hatred " does not exist in the United States. However nothing prevents the sites néo-Nazis based on the other side of the Atlantic to diffuse their propaganda in Europe via the Net...

    The States of G8 granted their violins but it remains to them to convince the companies to take their share of responsibility. Such is the principal object of the meeting of G8 in Paris, which gathers for the first time the States and the private sector " the industrialists want all and their opposite ", known as a member of the French delegation. In other words the companies want at the same time a maximum of security and a minimum of overcosts. One of the principal difficulties encountered by the States is to convince the Internet operators to preserve during several months the data they have, to allow the safeguarding of the elements of proof. Will of regulation of the States on a side, libertarian aspirations of the " Net economy " of the other: the conflict which takes shape is far from being solved. *** TRANSLATION ENDS HERE ***
  • To refer to the other people in the country as 'they' to escape my own culpability in the matter is just plain wrong. Yes, Big bad o' technos keeps voting for 'the prick most likely to screw me', and what do you know!!
  • Well, logically there will be some form of order imposed on the internet eventually. Really its a matter of who will choose the laws to enforce, and how will it be enforced.

    The Internet is a global system, and the closest thing to a global government is the UN, I guess, but the UN is quite busy doing what it does right now.

    I suspect, due to the fact that the US seems to have the biggest problems with how the internet runs, and the fact that they are willing to spend money, that the US will be one of the major factors involved.

    Now, what extent of things that will be 'policed' is another question altogether.
  • by rigau ( 122636 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2000 @06:25AM (#1066834)
    Maybe the UN should have police powers over the internet. So internet crimes thet become international matters fall under the jurisdiction of some UN task force. That way it no one country is infringing over another country's jurisdiction. I know the US uses their muscle to force things in the UN but it seems a little bit better to have to at least do this more subtly through the UN than doing it outright as simply the US.
  • Unless one of your parents was educated in French (not immersion - real French school) in Canada, you cannot enroll in a French school in any province except Quebec. In Quebec, the same rule applies to English.

    Try it.
  • What ever happened to the ages-old philosophy of the state of nature? I thought that nations were in a state of nature with each other (in that, there isn't anything that governs their behavior toward each other and that each nation is a sovereign power).. So, it seems that the US is infringing upon each nation's sovereignity.. Yes, it is true that there are things like the UN and the Geneva convention, but these are agreements/contracts among nations and do not infringe upon the sovereignity of these nations.

    This needs to be nipped in the bud before it ever really gets started (the snowball effect)!

    An international "cyber-police" organization seems like the most likely candidate to police the internet, however, is it really necessary to "police" the 'net? If a "hacker" broke in and commited some cyber-crime, it should be the responsibility of the victim to track down the hacker and inform the police in that country. I don't really know anything about internation law, but I think the victim could still file charges..

    Of course, the above senario would require cyber-laws in each country. But that could be taken care of by an internation recommendational committee or the like.. Is Hobbes really wrong about the state of nature?

  • The only reason the US is perceived as being so terribly racist is because the US is the *only* country on Earth that seems to actually care!

    Oh bull! It's political correctness, not caring. IMHO, if the US didn't make such a big deal out of racism and ethnic hatered, it would go away more quickly. By making a government mandate out of 'getting along', you're just making the opponents more verbal. The resolution to racism is in proper education, not Federal dogma.

    Everybody, everywhere, is bigoted. The fact that you think the US is the only racist country is a reflection of your own bigotry.

    Never said it was the only one. It's the only one that is on a Crusade against human nature.
  • If we include self replicating organisms that exploit psychological weaknesses

    You mean women, right?

  • For those who are interested, here is the Congressional Statement on cyber crime at the FBI site, dated February 29, 2000. The Private Sector Cooperation and Law Enforcement sections, I thought, were particularly interesting. is022900.htm
  • by FascDot Killed My Pr ( 24021 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2000 @06:28AM (#1066857)
    Unless France's view was "ban all censorship, period" it isn't all that much more intelligent.

    The Internet is not like television. The Internet is an enormous, distributed library. If we conduct periodic purges of the library based on the whims of the moment ("nudity is bad, now it's good; racism is good, now it's bad; cold fusion is a myth, cold fusion works great, no wait--it's a myth after all") we'll end eventually losing all the contents.

    Q: So what about things like Napster and FreeNet? "How are artists supposed to make money?"

    A: However they want. But technical progress will not and can not stop because of some individual's (or individuals') need for economic support.

    Q: What about porn? My children will be scarred if they see a breast.

    A: So keep them away from porn sites. Only YOU know what your policy is, so only YOU can enforce it. In any case, it's not my job to raise your children.

    Q: What about bomb-making information? Oklahoma City/Columbine, blah blah blah.

    A: There are so many answers to this I don't even know where to start. How about: "The same bomb-creating information that blew up an empty school last week can destroy an invading force next week." Or maybe: "High school chemistry textbooks have the same information, maybe we should censor those too?"

    The only solution that works for all problems is education. Education requires information. Therefore censorship makes solving problems harder.
    Have Exchange users? Want to run Linux? Can't afford OpenMail?
  • The way I see it, if you're infected with a virus you are to blame. If your computer is performing illegal activities then I believe you are at least partially at fault. Certainly running stupid software (Outlook) makes this more likely, but ultimately it's your responsibility to run good software, and to use it sensibly.

    Whoa there. Do you realize exactly the implications of such a policy? Let's say, for example, that I get news of a new root exploit before most systems are patched. I combine my knowledge of this exploit with my l33t sk1llz to write a virus that contains a payload of a few bits of kiddie porn I yank off of FreeNet. The virus infects a target machine and attempts to locate addresses of further hosts to infiltrate. Once it has found compatible hosts, it pauses to send a few emails to,, and so on. Each email contains the text "I am a pedophile and distributor of child pornography. Enclosed are images as proof of my crimes. I confess and repent. Please come and arrest me."

    Your computer has just distributed child pornography. Maybe you didn't know about the hole yet or maybe you haven't had time to apply the patch, but either way you didn't exercise "due diligence". Enjoy prison.

    People who catch viruses are often victims of their own stupidity and shouldn't have "victims' rights". This much I agree with. However, if a virus does illegal things, it is unfair to hold a user responsible for those things in most situations.
  • France was one of the few nations in the group that adopted a more intelligent long-term view.

    It's not surprising; after all, it is from France that the concept of human rights (as opposed to " property owner's rights ") comes from...

    Here's my mirror []

Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist!