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'Chinaman' dethrones 'Hacker' on cyber-terror hit parade
From: William Knowles <wk () c4i org>
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 03:56:42 -0500 (CDT)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/19922.html

By Thomas C Greene in Washington
Posted: 23/06/2001 at 18:59 GMT

After years of failure trying to generate mass paranoia with the
'pitiless teenage hacker', the US government this week trotted out its
new and improved cyber-terror strawman: the one-billion-strong 'Yellow
Menace'.

The classic disaffected teenager is "nothing more than a nuisance," US
Senator Robert Bennett (Republican, Utah) scoffed during a
Congressional Joint Economic Committee hearing entitled "Wired World:
Cyber Security and the US Economy" which convened on Thursday.

Apparently the government is taking no chances with the sort of
ridicule it grew accustomed to in the Vatis/Hamre/Clarke era, and has
decided to leapfrog over the next logical evolutionary step on the
threat escalator (i.e., the 'Islamic Digital Terrorist' or 'Mad-skillz
Mafioso') straight to adversary nations whose military establishments
are creating vast divisions of deadly Cyberspace Troopers.

The shift in rhetorical focus was neatly summed up by CIA Science and
Technology National Intelligence Officer Lawrence Gershwin, who told
Congress that for the foreseeable future, "only nation states appear
to have the discipline, commitment and resources to fully develop
capabilities to attack critical infrastructures."

So that's it then. We're going to miss the pimply young monosexuals
with which the Clinton Administration's military apparatus was so
obsessed, though of course we look forward to meeting our new national
Nemesis as Uncle Sam gradually defines him to the press....


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Internet pedophiles are propagating so fast that US law enforcement is
completely overwhelmed, and Congress is therefore toying with the idea
of rolling back essential civil protections so they can be hunted down
properly.

US Representative Nancy Johnson (Republican, Connecticut) has
introduced a bill called the "Child Sex Crimes Wiretapping Act of
2001," which would give Feds and cops a heap more freedom to tap the
telephones of 'sexual predators' discovered luring children in chat
rooms.

According to Johnson's bit of feel-good imbecility, the discovery of
Internet-based crimes such as child enticement and trading child
pornography would qualify a suspect for a fast-track telephone
wiretap. This sounds like something the Feds will adore, so no doubt
they'll have to assign even more FBI agents to hang around in chat
rooms pretending to be thirteen-year-old girls, as this delightful
satire describes.

Incredibly, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime approved the
bill this week, though it's anyone's guess how it would fare in full
committee or on the floor. A number of critics -- US Representative
Robert Barr (Republican, Georgia) chief among them -- have already
expressed doubts.

"I appreciate the concern [for due process of law], and I respect it;
but I hope it won't stand in the way of giving our law enforcement the
power to combat this epidemic," Johnson is quoted by Newsbytes as
saying.

Epidemic? Oh, right; we forgot that pedophiles didn't exist before the
Internet....



----------------------------------------------------------------------

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has seen fit to submit a
supplementary brief in the appeal of 2600.com, which is being sued by
entertainment industry lobbyists for making the DeCSS utility which
descrambles DVDs available via its Web site.

The DoJ simply adores the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
under which 2600 is being punished, and its chief concern is
persuading the appellate court that the Act is a really fine piece of
legislation.

The defendant is arguing, among other points, that the DMCA violates
fair use and other provisions of the Audio Home Recording Act. The
DoJ, in this case, is primarily concerned with defending the DMCA.

The Act is "reasonable and supported by substantial evidence in the
record before Congress," DoJ says, and concludes that "it is therefore
Constitutionally sound."

Furthermore, the DoJ FUD-Meisters add, the DMCA was not rash or
overreaching, because it's solely responsible for preventing every
scrap of copyrighted content on the Internet from vanishing without a
trace.

"Congress was under no obligation to wait until the Internet withered
from lack of content. Rather, Congress acted wisely to prevent that
harm by fortifying a new medium of communication against very real and
crippling technological assaults," the Department writes.

'Crippling technological assaults'. It seems we've ended right where
we began this edition of the Roundup. No doubt we'll soon be hearing
that the People's Liberation Army is involved...



*==============================================================*
"Communications without intelligence is noise;  Intelligence
without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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*==============================================================*


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