Clinton Proposes Orwellian Computer Monitoring System

Dean: 'Big Brother Will Know Your Every Move'

Free Congress Foundation Press Office

July 28, 1999

Washington, DC - The Clinton Administration has formulated
an anit-cyberterrorism plan to monitor computer networks in
critical industries, raising concerns from civil liberties
groups and privacy advocates, The New York Times reported

"This computer tracking system should make every American
shudder at the thought of their loss of privacy," said Lisa
S. Dean, Vice President of Technology Policy at the Free
Congress Foundation and leader of the effort to expose the
proposed Know Your Customer regulations. "Every electronic
transmission will be under a microscope. Big Brother will
know your every move."

"Given the aggressiveness with which the Clinton
Administration has pursued policies that would erode the
privacy and liberty of American citizens, coupled with the
numerous IRS abuses and the 900 FBI files that that were to
be kept confidential, it is realistic to be concerned about
how the federal government could misuse this information
against law-abiding citizens," Dean continued. "Another
grave concern is how this system would integrate civilian,
military, intelligence and law enforcement components toward
this end. But worse yet, the monitoring system itself could
be open to security breaches, giving hackers or terrorists
access to a one-stop shop for government and corporate
electronic information."

The National Security Council contends the plan is a
necessary measure to ward off potential threats to the
nation's vital computer infrastructure.

As reported by John Markoff of The New York Times, "[a]s
part of the plan, networks of thousands of software
monitoring programs would constantly track computer
activities looking for indications of computer network
intrusions and other illegal acts."

The plan would create Federal Intrusion Detection Network,
or FidNet, with the National Infrastructure Protection
Center, an interagency task force under the auspices of the
FBI, as the central repository.

The plan, to be released in final form in September and
fully implemented by 2003, resulted from a May 1998
Presidential directive calling for a security review of the
federal government's computer systems.

Dean warned, "If the average American believes that this
system won't affect him, he will soon face a very harsh

Duncan Campbell

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