The Netly News / Afternoon Line (
December 10, 1997
Big Eight Ball

   At a briefing at FBI headquarters today, top police officials from
   eight countries outlined a 10-point action plan calling for greater
   cooperation, joint training and a revision of national laws to combat
   malicious hackers and "cybercrime."

   Anne McLellan, Canada's attorney general, said her country wanted to
   crack down on "old crimes using new technology -- for example, child
   pornography or hate." Left unsaid was how, for instance, the U.S.
   could follow Canada's lead and ban racist web sites, which are
   permissible under the First Amendment.

   Among the virtual crimes listed were the "cyber-offenses" of money
   laundering and... H-bomb smuggling? (In response to a reporter's
   question, the Russians denied they had misplaced 84 of their nuclear
   weapons.) Heinz Lanfermann, Germany's state secretary, added to the
   list of Internet undesirables "all those who are organizing slave
   trading and drug trafficking and car theft."

I have to wonder since there are basically NO reports of these
crimes, people busted for them, or anything else.

   U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno pointedly declined to address
   encryption, saying "it was generally not a topic" discussed. She did,
   however, applaud the Internet industry for offering to "work together
   in a collaborative manner" to track "computer criminals."

   But she clearly intends to do more than collaborate: The joint
   principles call for the government "to continue providing the public
   and private sectors with standards for reliable and secure
   telecommunications and data processing technologies." Like the Clipper
   Chip, maybe? --By Declan McCullagh/Washington