Fun_People Archive
1 Jun
Wiretap update

Date: Thu,  1 Jun 95 12:06:57 PDT
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: Wiretap update

Forwarded-by: <>

"I want the ability to monitor high-tech communications among
far-flung terrorists. I want to be able to have our people learn their
plans before they strike.  That's the key."

--Bill Clinton, radio address, Saturday, 1995-05-20
  Forwarded-by: (Timothy C. May)

From: Brad Dolan <>
Subject: Chickens come home to roost

Associated Press reports on 5/25/95 :

Foreign control of the U.S. telecommunications networks presents
"substantial and unacceptable" risks to U.S. law enforcement,
intelligence and national security, FBI Director Louis Freeh says.

Freeh raised the concerns in a letter Wednesday to the House Commerce
Committee as it began consideration of a big bill rewriting 61-year-old
telecommunications laws.


[O]ne provision in that bill would repeal the foreign ownership
restriction, which has roots in a 1912 radio law, for both
telecommunications and broadcast companies.


Among Freeh's concerns about lifting the ban were that a foreign government
could pressure the foreign owner of a U.S. telecommunications company to give
it information regarding U.S. electronic surveillance efforts involving that
government's officials or its citizens.

He's also concerned about foreign-owned telecommunications companies having
access to technological details about how U.S. law enforcers electronically
intercept communications.

Freeh also raised concerns about foreign governments getting a foreign owner
of a U.S. telecommunications company to covertly intercept communications, or
copy records, of U.S. government agencies or of major corporations.

[Additional comment by John Gilmore: I agree!  The bill should also
 disallow telecomm companies from being US-owned as well as
 foreign-owned.  You can never tell when a US government might force
 the US owners of telecomm companies to covertly intercept their
 customers' communications, or copy their customers' records, which
 would be terrible.  And it would be truly horrible if a foreign-owned
 telecomm company could reveal to citizens of their country the extent
 of US government spying on their private conversations and
 Constitutionally protected activities.  Furthermore, we really
 wouldn't want some of those bad, bad governments to get ideas on how
 to handle their own people by watching how our good, good government
 monitors and suppresses people and privacy technologies in the US.
 Why, they might let their telecomm policy be run by the concerns of
 the national secret police, which WE would NEVER do!  -]

[=] © 1995 Peter Langston []