H.R. 4987 on controlling carnivore (political)

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I know what i am about to say will make those of you who have read my posts in the past to shake in their boots. This will be a long post.

As some of you may recall we have talked about the Carnivore before on this forum. Thinking i might as well write my congressperson I did e-mail Jo Ann Emerson the representative from the 8th district in missouri. Today I received her reply via snail mail and want to share it with all of you. I have not read the bill (H.R. 4987) but from Jo Ann's description it is at least in the right direction.

"Thank you for contacting me regarding "Carnivore," the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) internet wiretap system. I appreciate the time you have taken to inform me of your thoughts on thes important issue.

As you may know, "Carnivore" is a devisce used by the FBI in a criminal investigation to monitor and capture e-mail messages. Like you, I have many concerns over the use of such a device. With the vast amount of personal information available over the internet, there is a high potential for abuse here. I was extremely troubled when the FBI announced they have already used "Carnivore" 25 times. There are still many questions that need to be answered before the FBI continues to use this device. Specifically, the FBI certainly needs to clarify what they consider to be a "reasonable search and seqzure" of electronic data.

A major concern of mine is the increasing number of criminals who are using the internet for illegal activity. There are people who use the anonymity the internet provides to target our children and we must do our best to make sure they are well protected. However, we must ensure that the privacy rights of innocent people are not infringed upon at the same time. "Carnivore" holds the potential to do just that. We need to find a reasonable balance between the right to privacy and effective law inforcement over the internet.

In a hearing before the House Committee on Judiciary, Donald M. Derr, the Director of the FBI's laboratory division, defended "Carnivore" and opposed "full disclosure" of how the system works.

the major porblem with this is that only the FBI knows exactly what the device does. I believe this type of operation needs to be monitored becarse experience has shown that federal law enforcement has overstepped its wiretap authority in the past.

You will be pleased to know that I have co-sponsored H.R. 4987, introduced by Congressman Bob Barr. This bill would protect the privacy of electronic communications. It would apply the same protections that wire and oral communications have to electronic communications. Most importantly, this bill would require the government to obtain a court order before beginning surveillance and extends the federal wiretapping reporting requirements to cover electronic communications. This is a step in the right direction to make certain that the right to privacy is not infringed upon through the use of "Carnivore." Please be assured that I will continue to monitor this situation very closely.

Again, thanks so much for contacting me. It is an honor to serve as your Representative in Congress."

Now I am sure that this was a form letter sent to anyone who had written concerning "Conivore" but I do feel that at least my opinion was heard and something was done in the right direction. Another concern of mine is how did the FBI get this set up without getting approval by the House Committee on Appropriations which this representative belongs? Suppose they borrowed someone from CIA to help hide the appropriation?

At any rate those of you who are much better than I am in investigating things might want to look at this bill to see if it really does what was described in this letter to me. If you believe as I do that we should have the freedom of speech then i urge you to consider contacting your representative for the passing of this bill. And also contacting your senators to pass it in the senate when it gets to them. Thank you for reading this I am not even going to proofread it as i can't spell any way so hope I didn't make so many errors that you will be unable to understand it. gail

-- gail missouri ozarks (gef123@hotmail.com), September 10, 2000


since posting this i went to the congressionl record on line and read this bill and liked what i read. Please if you want to help to protect your privacy push for the passage of this bill. gail

-- gail missouri ozarks (gef123@hotmail.com), September 10, 2000.

gail, thank you very much for taking the time to post on this. I, for one, really appreciate the information you have provided. I will write as well. Thanks for the heads up! God Bless! Wendy

-- Wendy@GraceAcres (wjl7@hotmail.com), September 10, 2000.

I have never seen where laws protect my privacy from our big government. Such laws may be good intentioned but are never effective and are therefore political sops. If the FBI were slowed a dozen alphabet agencies race forward to get info. Ultimately we have to aggressively establish our own privacy.

-- charles (clb@watervalley.net), September 10, 2000.

Well said Charles ! Gail, I also admire your conviction to address the issue with your repesentative. However, expecting the Congress to have any authority over our Federal Bureau of Idiots is unreliable at best. We must all rely on our own ingenuity to communicate.

In Virginia my private E-mails are protected while my forum posts are not. They must obtain a warrant to read my personal communications. ( Like they don't already have one) Ha Ha ! Unfortunately, they don't inform me when such warrant was issued so, I canot have faith n that law. I have ways to talk privately. I'll share one with you--The U.S Mail. Letters written and handed secretly to friends who mail them for you. I still am careful to write in a way that can be explained away as opinion not fact. For instance: I think the Federal Building in Okalahoma City would be a good target for demolishment. Of course that is just my opinion.

The best way to communicate quickly and privately is the short wave radio using code. One such example is a quick phrase such as " Gray Lady down " I am convinced you can fiqure that one out. At any rate our safety is in our own hands. Trust is a politicians word !

-- Joel Rosen (Joel681@webtv.net), September 10, 2000.

Thanks for the post on this Gail. I thought that we were supposed to be proteted from such activities under the Fourth Ammendment? If they have a warrant to search a "criminals" affects I would presume they could include the computer in that.....It's a platitude, in my opinion.

Yesterday I heard a thing on Headline News that J.Reno wants a new name for Carnivore, because they are coming into too much resistance because it sounds threatening. I was thinking Goldilocks might be appropriate. Do you think they'd give me a grand or so in the "Name the Latest Crippling Blow to the Constitution" contest.... I don't think they should bother with legislating controls on something that is already in direct violation of the LAW. They should can it without ceremony.

-- Doreen (liberty546@hotmail.com), September 10, 2000.

"Name the lastest crippling blow to the constution" Oh, that is very good. How many have we had in the last few years? Is it me or does there seem to be an increase in number and frequency to these types of "intrusions"?

-- John in S IN (jsmengel@hotmail.com), September 10, 2000.

Well John, do you mean actual legislature, or Executive Orders, or alphabet agency directives, or state legislatures, military directives,school system violations or are you thinking of a total of all of the above? In any case, it would take a month or so to enumerate them, I guess. Too bad, huh?

-- Doreen (liberty546@hotmail.com), September 10, 2000.

What? Is that too depressing????

-- Joy Killer (liberty546@hotmail.com), September 15, 2000.

Are you naive enough that if tomorrow's headlines read, "Carnivore/Echelon Projects Scrapped," you would believe it?

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), September 17, 2000.

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