One More Terrorist

One More Terrorist, Annalee Newitz,
Are you a terrorist, too? It seems that in the rush to pass the
anti-terrorist USA Act, legislators left it so vague that just
about any hacker qualifies. In her article for the Bay Area arts
and entertainment service, Annalee
Newitz points out that vague definitions have the potential to
leave everyone from Robin Hood hackers to file-sharing kids open to
prosecution. Examples of ‘terrorism’ include changing content on an
Internet site, knowingly or unknowingly harboring terrorists, and
computer crimes (such as breaking copyright on a video game and
distributing it through a file-sharing system) that cause $5,000 or
more in damages. What’s more, the USA Act allows the federal
government to use Carnivore, an electronic surveillance system, to
read e-mail and track Web site visits without any oversight. All
they need is a hunch that a terrorist is using your Internet
service provider to allow them to intercept mail from every single
person using your ISP’s servers. In the midst of this new onslaught
of population monitoring and privacy infringement, Newitz argues,
‘It’s time for the geeks to take matters into their own hands, and
fight back the only way they know how: by being smarter.’
–Lindsey Dickinson
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