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Saving Private C

Jeff Richards, Executive Director of the Internet Alliance (IA),
testified before the House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on
the Constitution. The hearing, entitled “The Fourth Amendment and the
Internet” convened to discuss the tension between privacy issues and law
enforcement on the Internet.

Richards testified alongside James Dempsey, Senior Staff Counsel at the
Center for Democracy and Technology, Kevin Di Gregory, Deputy Associate
Attorney General at the US Department of Justice, Frederick Juergens
Baker, Chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force and others.

For Richards, building consumer trust in the Internet will assist the
Internet in becoming a leading global market medium. He supported laws,
such as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), that are
designed to limit law enforcement’s access to personal information found
in electronic sources, including e-mails and stored data.

He stressed that IA members believe the language of ECPA was drafted
broadly enough to cover new Internet functions, including third-party
calendar hosting, group project documents and photograph archives, and
transactional data generated by Internet activity: “With the rise of
various applications such as free calendar services, there is a
propensity to generate new kinds of records, whether they be
intentionally generated for a specific purpose or mere artifacts of
transmission or storage. Though users may not always be consciously
involved in the creation of such records, we believe that these records
are and must be covered by ECPA.” He added that “if ways of
transmitting, using or storing confidential information are developed
that are determined to be outside the coverage of ECPA, we would urge
the Congress to promptly extend ECPA’s coverage.”

Richards concluded by reinforcing the IA’s support of implementing
additional resources to train law enforcement in proper investigative
techniques in the online environment. He pointed to the proactive
measures that have been taken by the IA’s Law Enforcement and Security
Council in developing a training course for law enforcement officers, as
well as a comprehensive list, accessible to law enforcement officials,
of company officials authorized to respond to legal requests for
information.

The IA is the leading consumer Internet industry association
representing the American Internet industry on the state, federal and
international levels. Through public policy, advocacy, consumer outreach
and strategic alliances, the IA seeks to build the confidence and trust
necessary for the Internet to become a leading global market medium.

Leading members of the IA include: America Online, Bell Atlantic,
Citibank, Consumers Union, Cox Interactive, Deutsche Telekom, DLJDirect,
IBM, MCI WorldCom/UUNET, Microsoft and Prodigy. The IA was recently
acquired by The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA), gaining the
additional clout and expertise of more than 4500 member businesses in
interactive and other marketing.

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