[Reader-list] A Senator's Lonely Privacy Fight( Fwd)

Ravi Sundaram ravis at sarai.net
Fri Oct 12 22:25:09 IST 2001

[The Senate this evening overwhelmingly rejected all three of
Feingold's amendments (he chose not to offer the fourth). --Declan]


Details on Feingold's four amendments:



    A Senator's Lonely Privacy Fight
    By Declan McCullagh (declan at wired.com)
    6:08 a.m. Oct. 11, 2001 PDT

    WASHINGTON -- Russ Feingold is fighting a lonely battle for privacy in
    the U.S. Senate.

    The 48-year-old Wisconsin Democrat is singlehandedly trying to add
    pro-privacy changes to an eavesdropping bill that would hand police
    unprecedented surveillance powers.

    His stand has been causing friction with his own party: This week
    Feingold refused to bow to a request from Majority Leader Tom Daschle
    (D-South Dakota) for an immediate vote on the complex, 243-page bill.
    Daschle had asked senators to agree unanimously that it was time to
    move onto the anti-terrorism measure that was drafted in response to
    the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Instead, insisted the former Rhodes Scholar-turned-politico, senators
    should have a chance to carefully consider the USA Act (PDF) before
    voting on it. Said Feingold: "I can't quite understand why we can't
    have just a few hours of debate."

    When the USA Act, which has broad support from his colleagues and the
    White House, goes to the Senate floor as early as midday Thursday,
    Feingold plans to offer four amendments to it. According to a draft,
    the amendments would:

      * Still allow police to perform "roving wiretaps" and listen in on
        any telephone that a subject of an investigation might use. But
        they would only be permitted to eavesdrop when that person is the
        one using the phone.
      * Preserve the privacy of sensitive records -- such as medical or
        educational data -- by requiring police to convince a judge that
        viewing them is necessary. Without that amendment, the USA Act
        would expand police's ability to access any type of stored or
        "tangible" information.
      * Bar police from obtaining a court order, sneaking into a suspect's
        home and not notifiying that person they had been there. The
        "secret search" section currently is part of the USA Act -- and is
        something the Justice Department has wanted at least since 1999,
        when it unsuccessfully asked Congress for that power.
      * Clarify that universities, libraries and employers may only snoop
        on people who use their computers in narrow circumstances. Right
        now, the USA Act says that system administrators may monitor
        anyone they deem a "computer trespasser."


POLITECH -- Declan McCullagh's politics and technology mailing list
You may redistribute this message freely if you include this notice.
Declan McCullagh's photographs are at http://www.mccullagh.org/
To subscribe to Politech: http://www.politechbot.com/info/subscribe.html
This message is archived at http://www.politechbot.com/

More information about the reader-list mailing list