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Date: 1999-04-08

Near-on Live: CFP99 Update, Story

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Gerade sass Lawrence Lessing, im Prozess gegen Microsoft einer
der wenig angenehmeren Zeugen für letztere, am Podium, jetzt sitzt
ACLU-Präsdentin Nadine Stroessen dort. 17.45 Ortszeit. Hurry off to
the Closing Panel. Mehr folgt im Lauf der Nacht.

Angehängt: Die story über den Auftritt der Europäer gegen
den Überwachungstaat, dem Panel, das erstunlicherweise medial die
höchsten Wellen geschlagen hat .

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Courtney Macavinta

April 7, 1999, 4:00 a.m. PT WASHINGTON--The message at this
year's Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference has a familiar
Orwellian ring: Civil rights should be strengthened because digital
technology sharpens that "big eye in the sky."
At the ninth annual conference's kickoff, panelists feverishly pointed
to evidence about international governments building widespread
surveillance systems for email, phone, and wireless communication,
while noting that many regimes, including the United States, refuse
to lift controls on the data-security technologies based on encryption.
On closely watched session yesterday, the "Creation of a Global
Surveillance Network" focused on what many would call a privacy
nightmare. Examining policies in the United Kingdom, France,
Russia, and Austria, as well as the European Union, panelists
discussed the trend toward unethical cooperation among

The panel also focused on the EU and FBI's so-called Enfopol
network, which could allegedly force telephone and Internet service
providers to build "tappable" networks, according to a January report
delivered to the Scientific and Technical Options Assessment Panel
of the European Parliament.
"We worried that this system was being tied to other systems," said
Steve Wright, of the nonprofit Omega Foundation, who wrote the
"If every phone call on the planet is being listened to, that is wrong,"
said Scott Charney, head of the Justice Department's Computer
Crime Unit. "You have to establish the practices that govern the
surveillance and have internal and external reviews."

Fears about increased surveillance come at a time when a conflict is
simmering between the European Union and United States over the
EU's strict privacy directive.

Overall, pressure is building to more adequately balance corporate
and individual interests when it comes to collecting and storing
personal data, which many at CFP say is prime currency in the
digital age.
"It is indeed not natural resources, geography, or capital that is the
most precious commodity--it's information," said Rep. Bob Barr (R-

"It will require more than legislation--it will require oversight," added
Barr, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which has called
for Net privacy hearings.

Some countries are rejecting self-regulatory models in favor of
government supervision. Stephen Lau, the privacy commissioner for
personal data in Hong Kong, says China is "one country with two
systems" and leads an independent agency that is implementing
policies based on OECD principles.

Last year his staff conducted a sample study based on the country's
approximately 7,000 Web sites and found that only 6 percent were in
compliance with OECD-based guidelines, such as disclosing what is
done with data that is collected from consumers.
full text,4,34750,00.html
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published on: 1999-04-08
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