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Cybercrime and Patents in Europe

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the what-you-dont-know-can-hurt-you dept.

News 141

Hairy1 writes: "The Council of Europe has been working on a Cyber Crime Treaty for some time. The final version is now available, and makes interesting reading." The submitter points out that treaty signers will be obligated to create legislation, as the UK already has, to force people to disclose passwords and encryption keys to the authorities. The U.S. may well sign this treaty - we've participated in the drafting process. On a slightly different note, people are up in arms because the European Patent Office has decided, apparently on its own, that software programs are patentable. Update: 11/09 15:23 GMT by M : A reader sent in this interesting bibliography of the treaty's history.

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Frist psot! (-1)

#include (130485) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542862)

Maybe?

Patents (4, Informative)

iBod (534920) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542868)

The Register has a piece on the patents issue here...
Eurolinux goes ballistic over Euro patent 'coup' [theregister.co.uk]

Re:Patents (1)

ChazeFroy (51595) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542908)

Another interesting aspect of this law is the potential for social engineering attacks. Imagine somebody posing as a government official telling somebody or some company to disclose their passwords or encryption keys?

In the USA, it's a felony to pretend to be a government official. Hopefully EU nations have thought of this scenario when drafting this treaty.

But... (2)

HiThere (15173) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543427)

It may be a felony to pertend to be a government official, but for a government official to exceed his authority is usually quite safe. One would only be in danger if one's superiors wanted to "get" one for unrelated reasons. (Or if it became a political hot potato.)

And leaking information is almost never sucessfully prosecuted.

Amusing. (5, Insightful)

MrFredBloggs (529276) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542877)

The EU recently released a report encouraging business & individuals to encrypt data, as the Americans, and sympathetic governments (UK) can read it via Echelon. Now they are saying that once you`ve encrypted it, you have to give the passwords to...uh, the UK government!

Re:Amusing. (1)

torako (532270) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542885)

It seems to me that a lot of times one part of the European government doesn't know what another part is doing.. What they are trying to do is a) to protect European business interests (encouraging cryptography) to prevent the US from stealing information and b) to protect European business interests by allowing companies to get patents for software products.. ?! Sounds kind of weird.. I think the first thing (a) sounds very reasonable because it is proven that Echelon has been used for spying on allies after the end of the Cold War, but I don't know about (b).. There are enough legal instruments to protect software right now and considering the encryption key issue: The government has a right to get your key to decrypt data in criminal investigation, but at no other time and for no different purpose..

Re:Amusing. (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543124)

It seems to me that a lot of times one part of the European government doesn't know what another part is doing.

That is no less true in the USA. It is almost funny how one half of the NSA is trying to make computers more secure and the other half trying to make George Orwells novel "1984" into reality.

Re:Amusing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2544260)

The government has a right to get your key to decrypt data in criminal investigation, but at no other time and for no different purpose..

Don't forget that this also gives them the right to destroy or otherwise deny access to the data they decrypt, with little legal obligation to restore that data to it's previous state once it's determined that you (or the company) has committed no illegal act.

Re:Amusing. (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543114)

As far as I could see, i.e. decrypt the lawyer speak in the treaty investigators have to have what the lawyers in the US call "probable cause". This did not read like an open ticket to conduct surveillance on anyone at all for no parcikular reason other that that there is nothing to do at the Bin Laden desk at MI.6 HQ at the moment, you have picked your nose clean, and you are in the mood for reading some poor sods personal E-Mail. In fact I like the how far they went in the Child Pornography section in banning even "Over 18 looks like 14" stuff. I rather doubt that Tony Blair and his fellow slimers will be able to order say Siemens, Dupont or the Airbus consortium to hand over the keys to encrypted transmissions just so that HM government can brown nose Uncle Sam with nice data-morsels for Boeing or Motorola. But then who in the EU trusts the British anymore when it comes to keeping the lid on sensitive commercial data and not leaking to the US for Brownie Points?

As for Echelon the EU should kick the CIA/NSA listening stations out and set up their own. If the US wants access after that let them come asking for it. And that will happen sooner or later if the US keeps abusing ECHELON. Hell, even the Germans are planning their own spy satilites

RIP in UK (3, Informative)

Martin Spamer (244245) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542881)

This site [magnacartaplus.org] details RIP (the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000)), which has nothing to do with reglation, but with allows unwarrented searches of computer data, without the data holders knowledge or permission.

Where is it? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2542891)

The text is pretty long, I've been reading parts of it but I cannot find the specific part that says that crypto keys should be disclosed, could someone please point in which section is that specified?

Hmm (2, Interesting)

flumps (240328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542896)

I'm dubious.

Ok, I'm sure loads of other countries have participated, but it seems to me that this will be nothing but red tape to businesses.

As a citizen of "europe" I have yet to see the EU write one single peice of legislation that a) makes sense, b) actually has an effect other than to annoy people c) does any good. d) doesnt cost tonnes of money for sod all.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad government are trying to get a hand into formalising these sorts of things, but what we really need is competant people advising them. I mean, look at what incompetance in these matters [stand.org.uk] gave us the last time.

I won't hold my breath.

Re:Hmm (1)

Voidhobo (219337) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543152)

I have yet to see the EU write one single peice [sic] of legislation that a) makes sense, b) actually has an effect other than to annoy people c) does any good. d) doesnt cost tonnes [sic] of money for sod all.


Yeah, tell my French and Greek colleagues that... Open [eu.int] your [eu.int] eyes [eu.int] , man. EU legislation is changing the way we live in Europe (our part of it, at least), and though it isn't always comfortable, it is very useful, makes sense, and often means less cost, less administration (true, the EU is very bureaucratic, but think of all the national instituions that are no longer needed due to the EU's multilateral institutions) and less annoyance (e.g. I'll be able to drive 45 mins. without having to exchange currency).

Re:Hmm (0, Flamebait)

flumps (240328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543258)

EU legislation is changing the way we live in Europe (our part of it, at least), and though it isn't always comfortable, it is very useful, makes sense, and often means less cost, less administration (true, the EU is very bureaucratic, but think of all the national instituions that are no longer needed due to the EU's multilateral institutions)

<offtopicrant>
What? You mean like the drivers licences that we carry around now - a) we have a picture card b) we have a paper counterpart.

If I could carry one or the other it makes sense, but when it comes to using it, we have to produce both?? . Crazy. Whats the point? I have to not only carry around a wad of paper and a card but also pay EXTRA for the convienience? And what about all the additional paperwork that has to be carried out? I have to get it signed by pope john paul before I can send it off and then if I sign it wrong they'll just send it back! What rubbish.

Or how about the man prosecuted for selling bananas in lbs instead of kilos? <sarcasm>Sure, that makes life much easier and makes complete sense.</sarcasm>
</offtopicrant>

Anyway, I've read elsewhere on the threads here that its not the EU anyway, its a different body (EC or sommit) so the point is somewhat moot.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2544042)

I've had to change my drivers license 2 times over the last 7 years because the Danish government required it; -allegedly because the EU standards on how drivers licences are supposed to look changed. Each time it cost me a fee of the equivalent of 40£.

Software Patents? (1, Funny)

mESSDan (302670) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542898)

Finally! I've got this great program I've been working on, I'm not going to disclose the ultra secret source code here, but let me tell you, It's awesome. You run it and it displays:

Hello World!

Re:Software Patents? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2542920)

Score: -1 Prick

Re:Software Patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2543638)

Why is this flamebait? I think it was a joke. OK, not a funny one, but it doesnt deserve flamebait.. ?

Damnit and I've already metamodded today :(

Software isn't patentable... (4, Flamebait)

cperciva (102828) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542905)

but a software implementation of an invention does not render the invention unpatentable either.

All this latest directive does is clarify that an implementation in software has no effect on an invention's patentability: If you could get an patent on a method for doing something by using LEGO bricks, you could likewise get a patent on a method for doing the same thing using software.

What's the big deal?

Re:Software isn't patentable... (2)

KarmaBlackballed (222917) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542968)

If you could get an patent on a method for doing something by using LEGO bricks, you could likewise get a patent on a method for doing the same thing using software.

The big deal is where we draw the line. Do we draw it anywhere or is everything patentable? Do you think patents benefit small inventors and society, or have you been told this. Knowing and being told are very different things.

Re:Software isn't patentable... (5, Insightful)

Captn Pepe (139650) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543034)

If you could get an patent on a method for doing something by using LEGO bricks, you could likewise get a patent on a method for doing the same thing using software.

What's the big deal?


This is more or less how software patents are supposed to work over here in the U.S., too. However, because the PTO has pathetically little software expertise, the result is that you can patent pretty much any stupid idea that is obvious to everyone else if your patent description ends with "...on a computer!"


The other big problem with this is that the patent system is explicitly not supposed to cover algorithms or mathematical formulae, because these are deemed fundamental properties of nature. However, patenting software is a surprisingly easy backdoor to patenting algorithms. E.g. RSA Data Security and the RSA patent which held back public key cryptography by a decade or more, and would have been worse if RSA had succeeded in convincing the PTO that their patent actually covers all forms of PK crypto.

Re:Software isn't patentable... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2543210)

This is more or less how software patents are supposed to work over here in the U.S., too. However, because the PTO has pathetically little software expertise, the result is that you can patent pretty much any stupid idea that is obvious to everyone else if your patent description ends with "...on a computer!"

But the PTO will eventually have a vast store of software experience. They've been making movements to hire more examiners with a CS background. In the meantime, software patents which should be invalid can be invalidated in court. It the patent is a stupid idea, then challenge it and get it overturned. By stupid idea, I assume you mean an "obvious" idea, if by stupid you mean "economically wasteful" then who cares if they have a patent. A patent on something truly trivia should have no value to the patent holder and no effect on the world.

The other big problem with this is that the patent system is explicitly not supposed to cover algorithms or mathematical formulae, because these are deemed fundamental properties of nature. However, patenting software is a surprisingly easy backdoor to patenting algorithms.

It is and it isn't. The idea that algorithms can't be patentable is an oversimplification of a string of Supreme Court decisions which don't necessary say that "algorithms are not patentable." The first software case was really Gottschalk v. Benson (409 US 63, 1972) which affirmed denial of a patent on a program which converted binary numbers to decimal. The Court should have struck down the patent on grounds of obviousness, but didn't, and that mistake is probably why we have a patent mess today. The more recent case of State Street Financial Trust v. Signature Financial Group (149 F.3d 1368, 1998) proposes that algorithms are patentable so long as the numbers mean something. In that case, the numbers were money.

That distinction is made to avoid the decision in Benson, but if you're saying it doesn't make much logical sense, I agree. I think patenting software should be allowed, but examiners should be better trained to recognize obviousness. I think in the long run (say 10-20 years) that will happen. And the Jeff Bezos of the world will have their patents struck down in the meantime.

Evidence? (2)

HiThere (15173) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543367)

I find precious little evidence that the US PTO wants to improve its handling of patents. It seems to be rathe a case of, to paraphrase a Bell executive, "We're a monopoly, we don't have to care."

Experience can't make up for lack of interest in quality. And that's what the US PTO has been exhibiting to increasing degree the last couple of decades (possibly longer, judging by earlier reports, but I wasn't watching then, so I can't tell whether or not this is just a continuation of a longer trend).

This is only to be expected. Monopolies, whether commercial or governmental, tend to develop in the same way. Expect things to get worse. The only way to really improve something in this mess is to adopt the "waterfall development model" and start a new design from scratch, based on what has been learned from the prior design.

Re:Evidence? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2543529)

I find precious little evidence that the US PTO wants to improve its handling of patents.

Look at http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ahrpa/ohr/jobs /jobs.htm which is the patent office's hiring page. It seems they're only hiring people in areas of new technology. I would call that wanting to improve handling.

It seems to be rathe[r] a case of, to paraphrase a Bell executive, "We're a monopoly, we don't have to care." Experience can't make up for lack of interest in quality. And that's what the US PTO has been exhibiting to increasing degree the last couple of decades

What does that even mean? It is not the job of the patent office to evaluate quality. For one thing, if they were evaluating quality, the very definition of quality could be used nefariously to control what gets patented. Say, for example, that you create a device which has bad uses and good uses, for example, a machine to encrypt messages. Does that machine have low quality since it can be used for bad things? What if the machine is inefficient, is it of low quality?

Monopolies, whether commercial or governmental, tend to develop in the same way.

And what does that mean? You don't like the patent office's monopoly on granting patents? Or perhaps you don't like patents period? You must remember that patents are a time limited monopoly. They are economic tools, and if you really want to use something patented BUY IT. Buy the patent, buy the rights to use the patent. If it is so important to you, put your money where your mouth is. Business have patents to make money. Period. If you can offer them enough money, they'll sell it to you. If it's worth it for society as a whole (or universities or whatever) to have the patent, then society (or universities or whatever) should just buy the thing.

Re:Software isn't patentable... (2, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543374)

You are right! It seems to me people have a problem distinguish between getting a patent:

  1. for a method to implement an algorithm in software
  2. and getting a patent that covers not only ones own implementation of the algorithm but also all other possible implementations.


The former is sensible. Why should one not be able to enjoy the fruits of developing a partickularly efficient method to code a certain algorithm? People get patents for implementing algorithms in hardware all the time. What is an FPU anyway other than a bunch of algorithms implemented in Hardware? So why not patents on methods to implement algorithms in software?

The latter however is stupid becasuse it means that anyone who develops a method to code the same algorithm one has patented no matter how different his methods design is from ones own will be violating ones patent.

It is silly to write off the concept of Software patents in general just because a few brain-donors want to use them to monopolize common well known algorithms.

EU protecting privacy? (5, Interesting)

titurel (228551) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542917)

On November 13 the EU Parliment will vote on the the proposal for a European Parliament and Council directive concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector
Read the report here [eu.int] . If passed it would make it illegal to idenitfy users on the internet without their permission. Keep your fingers crossed.

Not all things that come out of the EU are bad. Belive it or not :)

This is an interesting development. (2, Insightful)

dave-fu (86011) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542930)

If software becomes a patentable, er... commodity, what implications will this have for free software? Will the length of legal disclaimers attached to code eventually be greater than the code itself?
And everyone fighting against encryption... it's a losing battle. "Criminals" don't exactly pay attention to "the law", and if they're not completely braindead and know that a given piece of encryption software is crippled by the fact that the government has the keys to the backdoor, don't you think that they'll either use something else or maybe just not incriminate themselves via any digital media? Law-abiding citizens are the only ones that lose here, unless you like the idea of every Jane Government sticking their nose in your business whether you've done anything wrong or not.
On the bright side, if software becomes patentable, maybe this will strengthen the notion of Code As Speech in the US courts? I sure hope that the US legislators in charge of ratifying this bill (are there any? what body would be in charge of this?) runs this by the RIAA and MPAA before they sign it.

Re:This is an interesting development. (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543084)

i always thought, that people who really want to do illegal stuff wouldn't be brainless enough to use the current existing encryption methods. Why even something like a Morse-code-over-ping (ping... ping ping... ping... ping ping ping... you get the idea) could transmit some information which outsiders have entirely no idea what it is.

Conversely, this thing is great for governments to audit suspicious people who might be going to do something potentially politically harmful to the government (good intention or not, like trying to overthrow the govt. or maybe just opposing some evil government policies) by checking his emails and stuff, and if he is then get him into jail or whatever. Kind of like what China was famous for, except it seems that those countries that are famous for bashing China for this are enforcing these laws.

And for software patents... well, does this mean patenting the source code or the design/look of it? I always thought that patents are a bit silly anyway... and the patent office is nice enough to let people patent the wheel. oh well...

I don't know, just hope that my place doesn't get polluted with these dirty issues. It's not very nice to know that our govt. might be implementing these "features" in seeing that these "advanced countries" are using it as well (IFAIK we don't have these things here yet... lucky me ;-)

DOJ Wrote it! (5, Interesting)

BuckMulligan (255942) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542935)

The US didn't help write the treaty. The US DOJ wrote the damn legislation. This is what is called "policy laundering" in Washington. If you can't pass the surveillance powers you want in the US, just shop the same provisions around in a treaty in other countries.

What to do for us EU citizens? (5, Informative)

4im (181450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542937)

So, what can we (EU citizens) actively do?

I've already signed the EuroLinux Petition [eurolinux.org]

Maybe a membership with FSF Europe [fsfeurope.org] ?

What else? Find politicians that'll listen?

Re:What to do for us EU citizens? (2)

LarsG (31008) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543105)

If you are in the UK, check out Foundation for Information Policy Research [fipr.org]
and Campaign for Digital Rights [eurorights.org]

Other than that, small groups are scattered here and there around Europe. If a group doesn't exist in your country - do something about it. :)

Democratic Assinations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2543239)

Here's what EU citizens and US citizens should do...

1. Petition for the petitioning to assasinate corrupt leaders.
2. Petition to assasinate whoever is responsible for this.
3. Vote on it...
4. Kill the bastard(s)...

While you can say it's a radical idea, you can't say it isn't democratic...

Re:Democratic Assinations (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2543678)

It might be "radical," but it is also every citizen's duty to destroy all threats, foreign and domestic, to the Constitution. Personally I wish the people on board the flight in PA would have let them slam the plane into the Capitol or White House, CIA, whatever.

Is it just me... (0, Interesting)

Colin Bayer (313849) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542940)

or does Afghanistan keep sounding better and better as a choice of homes? You lose a hand for shoplifting, among other draconian laws, but at least you don't get punished for writing a program like DeCSS or Advanced eBook Processor...

Re:Is it just me... (0, Offtopic)

tubs (143128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542987)

You will probably find that TVs are banned in Afganastan, so I assume "DVDs" would also be banned.

Probably, the penalty is beheading. But at least it would be for (supposed) religous reasons and not the protection of some companies profits.

I know this is a joke but. (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543131)

In Taliban Afghanistan connecting to the internet, or even just owning a computer is completly illegal.

give my keys to the athorities? (1)

archen (447353) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542948)

Hmm... looks like it's time to start out-sourcing encryption to other countries that don't sign on. - India and China come to mind.

I feel safer, don't you?

Re:give my keys to the athorities? (2)

Tim C (15259) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543055)

How will that help?

So you get your crypto written in a non-signatory country, so what? You still live in a country that's signed the treaty and acted on it, you still have to hand your keys over.

The only ways to avoid this are to emigrate, or to make sure it never becomes law.

Cheers,

Tim

That won't help (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543155)

This isn't about key escrow, what they are saying is that, if they ask, you have to hand over you're private keys.

So, rather then a complex and inherently insecure system with central servers everywhere, they've just decided to come to peoples houses with guns drawn and demand their keys.

You would have to move yourself to a country that didn't sign the treaty. And I wouldn't really recommend China, while it's a nice place, I wouldn't really call it a bastion of personal freedom...

Re:That won't help (0)

geggibus (316979) | more than 12 years ago | (#2544166)

That's why you should encrypt the keys , and if they ask for it.. .you have "forgotten" the passphrase...

/K

So I don't own My Hard Drive anymore? (2, Interesting)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542952)

Look, They can regulate to their hearts content on transmission of stuff over the internet, But How the Heck can they now tell me my computer, and notably the hard drives, are subject to search and seizure , and that I am REQIRED to protect the information they want on MY OWN PROPERTY.

Don't get me wrong - child porn is bad, But taking away my rights to my own property is NOT the way to stop it. By all means, monitor for child porn, nail the ftp sites that hst it, but stay the hell away from my hard drive.

By that logic, you never owned anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2544111)

Isn't any sort of property treated that way? If they have a warrant, law enforcement can come into your house and dig in the your basement, and find your decomposed corpse collection.

Oh, and if, instead of burying your corpses, you dissolve them in acid, one of the many charges against you will be tampering with evidence.

how the fuck (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2542963)

can you patent a string of numbers, or one very large number (depending in interpretation)?

An assembler or compiler is merely a filter for some text. This number when transfered to another processor type will generate complete different results, most likely garbage. Clearly the object code means different things to different processors, so they can't use binary.

Source code? Well that doesn't actually do anything other that represent algorithms, or thought process (pseudo code); which in turn represents free speech. You know, that thing the US used to have.

Why not? (2, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543179)

All patents are 'strings of numbers'. That is, all of them can be represented as data. (otherwise a patent database would be kind of difficult, eh?)

Genetic patents are patents on 'strings of numbers.'

Even most devices nowadays are designed using CAD type tools, meaning that they are simply strings of numbers as well. The fact that something can be represented numericaly dosn't really have any baring on anything.

Re:Why not? (1)

Lonath (249354) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543766)

There's a difference here. The CAD machines are designed to give instructions about how to construct real machines. Just as specialized circuits like video cards are real machines. That is different from taking a machine that already exists (a computer) and then flipping some switches in it (programming it) and then letting it operate. You never get outside of the operation of the computer itself...you are merely using the computer. Now, if you want to create a robotic fabricator attached to a computer and this fabricator uses algorithms to make real product X, I have no problem with patenting the whole system...as long as you are actually building something to go along with the system. Taking two or more common machines and attaching them using standard cables and attachments, and then saying you made a "new machine" is bullshit. You should have to actually create something and not just use things that exist in ways they were designed to be used.

In any case, pure algorithms should never be patentable, so if you have some new algorithm for your fabricator, anyone in the whole world should be allowed to use a similar or exact algorithm (if they code it themselves) to do what they want, including building another fabricator, as long as their fabricator is different enough from the original one. It should never be the case that someone can get a patent for something that can be stored purely as software, nor should anyone ever get sued merely for typing things into a general-purpose computer and distributing them.

Another example, if you want to make a system for facial recognition, that's fine. However, whatever you do should never be able to stop anyone else from taking a bunch of computers networked as they see fit attached to standard cameras that take pictures that get sent to the database to be checked against the face database using any algorithms whatsoever. The only thing your patent should cover is your precise implementation of the hardware you create, and you should not be able to get a patent just for pushing bits around in standard hardware attached using standard hookups between devices with whatever software you desire running the underlying system.

CoE - U.S. Law? (2, Insightful)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542970)

I thought the U.S. had decided a few centuries ago to do without European legislation. I suppose I was wrong, as it appears that the U.S. Federal Government is now using the European federal legislative body to create law here in the U.S., via treaty.

right (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2542971)

" The U.S. may well sign this treaty"

you like they signed

-Global warming treaty
-Chemical weapons treaty
-Land mines treaty
-nuclear weapons treaty

US won't sign shit

Re:right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2543590)

Times are changing. USA crushed the landmines treaty. A few months ago they did the same to the biological weapons treaty, but when US marines start being blown up by landmines in Afghanistan, and the mail service is under attack by biological weapons, maybe Americans will begin to think differently.

Forced to disclose Passwords??? (3, Insightful)

A Commentor (459578) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542973)

... treaty signers will be obligated to create legislation, as the UK already has, to force people to disclose passwords and encryption keys to the authorities. The U.S. may well sign this treaty - we've participated in the drafting process.

You would think that a law like this would violate everyone's '5th Amendment Rights':

nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself... full text [cornell.edu] .

Being force to disclose passwords to authorities, IMHO, would be equivalent to testifying agaist yourself...

Re:Forced to disclose Passwords??? (2)

csbruce (39509) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543139)

While they're bypassing the 5th Amendment, perhaps they also ought to force serial killers to disclose the locations of their victim's bodies.

Re:Forced to disclose Passwords??? (2)

firewort (180062) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543163)

Yes, this bypasses the 5th Amendment.

You think this matters? They practically retired the 4th Amendment a few weeks ago, under the name USA PATRIOT.

Re:Forced to disclose Passwords??? (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543195)

Being force to disclose passwords to authorities, IMHO, would be equivalent to testifying agaist yourself...

How so? You wouldn't be directly implicating yourself, I mean you can't be convicted of a crime just for saying "EF8AC823A8B9C" or whatever...

Re:Forced to disclose Passwords??? (2, Insightful)

kadehje (107385) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543280)

.. treaty signers will be obligated to create legislation, as the UK already has, to force people to disclose passwords and encryption keys to the authorities. The U.S. may well sign this treaty - we've participated in the drafting process.
You would think that a law like this would violate everyone's '5th Amendment Rights': nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself... full text [cornell.edu].
Being force to disclose passwords to authorities, IMHO, would be equivalent to testifying agaist yourself...
Here's an even more disturbing part (from Article VI) of the Consitution that may mean that it doesn't, even theoretically, matter whether the government is forcing you to testify against yourself:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof;
and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
(emphasis added) Unless the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Constitutional amendments cannot be superceded by international treaties, by ratifying this treaty the U.S. Senate would in fact be directly taking away your rights. (If anyone does know of some precedent surrounding this article one way or the other, I'm sure it would be greatly appreciated by the Slashdot community) One wouldn't have a prayer of overturning this in the courts, since the judge would for all intents and purposes would not even be allowed to take constitutionality into account. Pretty scary, huh?

Similiarly, I fear that getting rid of provisions of the DMCA specified in the WIPO treaty won't be as easy as finding a reasonable judge and having him cast the "unconstitutional" spell on the law to make it go away. At least that treaty, however, allows nations to break it upon providing a certain amount of advance notice (1 year I believe), but that would involve going to the same people who ratified it in the first place...

This provision in the Constitution is why we Americans need to keep pressure on the President and Senate to ensure that treaties that take away Americans' civil liberties like this will not be tolerated by the American public. Unfortunately most of the American public doesn't care about these liberties and probably won't until they're all gone. We need to start teaching others why these treaties and domestic laws like SSSCA are so evil and we need to do it soon, otherwise we'll have no rights to try to defend anymore.

Constitution outweights treaties (1)

mmacdona86 (524915) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543929)

AFAIK The precedence in terms of legal weight of the Constitution with Amendments, Treaties, and Federal and State Laws is firmly established with lots of precedent.

Federal law trumps state law unless there is a constitutional question.

Duly adopted treaties have precedence over Federal laws.

The Constitution has precedence over all of the above; if a provision of a treaty is in conflict with the Constitution, it is invalid.

Article VI does not say that treaties can override the U.S. Constitution; it says that treaties can override State laws and Constitutions.

Re:Forced to disclose Passwords??? (1)

AlexisKai (114768) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543345)

Several replies to this post have opined that disclosing one's password would not constitute self-incrimination. In fact, Findlaw's Constitutional annotations [findlaw.com] clearly show that "The privilege afforded not only extends to answers that would in themselves support a conviction... but likewise embraces those which would furnish a link in the chain of evidence needed to prosecute."

So you can take the fifth on disclosing your password if the following conditions are met:
  • It must be plausible to the judge that your answer could incriminate you.
  • You must take the fifth at the beginning of the line of questioning: "One must explicitly claim his privilege or he will be deemed to have waived it, and waiver may be found where the witness has answered some preliminary questions but desires to stop at a certain point."

Alexis

Legal basis (3, Informative)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543420)

The legal theory behind this law is that the encryption around a file is equivalent to a safe holding a document. If the authorities have a warrant to search the contents of that safe (or the contents of that location, for that matter), they will ask you for the key.

The difference is, of course, that if you don't give them the key, they can cut open a safe. With data under a high level of encryption, they can go spit. So instead, a judge issues an order requiring you to disclose your password, and if you refuse, you're held in contempt and jailed indefinitely. Never mind the conflict with the 5th Amendment; they want to search your (virtual) personal papers, and you aren't allowed to stop them.

(As an aside: The FBI wanted passwords to files they got from Kevin Mitnick's hard drive, the last time they caught him. Mitnick refused to provide them... But on Mitnick's release, the judge ruled that Mitnick couldn't have his files back, since he couldn't prove they didn't contain pirated information. I'd call it a violation of 4th Amendment rights.)

As to whether such a law would hold up in court, for that we'll just have to wait.

Re:Forced to disclose Passwords??? (2)

ectoraige (123390) | more than 12 years ago | (#2544198)

Being forced to disclose passwords to authorities, IMHO, would be equivalent to testifying agaist yourself...

Err not in mine...

IANAL, but if police have a search warrant, and you have documents in a safe, you'd be required to give them the combination. It's the same thing here.

If you state "these are all mine, and nobody else could possibly have planted them there" then yeah, you're testifying against yourself.

But if you claim that the files aren't yours, or say nothing, the prosecution would have the burden of proof, and the fact that you provided passwords would be inadmissable, as you had been compelled to do so.

Never Laughed So Hard (1)

GeekDork (194851) | more than 12 years ago | (#2542978)

That writ says NOTHING! I read it to article 9 and didn't see anything resembling a real statement for or agains something. Each and every passage that really says something "may or may not" be implemented by "a party". I'm considering moving to a place where there are real LAWS not lax guidelines. When I'm being shot for something, I want to know WHY!

Well, once in a while, my sig makes sense.

5th amendment (1)

jhubbard (4916) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543002)

If it is true that the treaty forces countries to create legislation that makes it illegal to not provide keys on demand, how could the U.S. possibly sign this since the treaty? The 5th amendment prevents the gov't from forcing a person to testify against themselves. I believe that Mitnick used the 5th amend. to keep his encryption keys secret. I think that it was even discussed on slashdot a while back too.

"nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself" [usconstitution.net]

James

P.S. Does the search feature for stories even work anymore?

ECHELON in UK and US (2, Interesting)

SomethingOrOther (521702) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543093)


Sorry, I dont want to sound like flame-bait but I must chukkle at your nievety! (sp)

The 5th amendment only applies in the US!
If the US applied its own laws (including the 5th amendment) to other citizens of the world then maybe the US wouldn't have such a sh*te forign policy. (And I didnt say anything about Afghanistan!)

My main point however is that the US uses this to its advantage.
Since it is illegal for the US gov. to spy on its own citizens, it gets the UK to do it for them.
Since it is illegal (atm) for the UK to spy on its citizens it gets the US to do it for them.
They then simply swap the information.

And no I haven't been reading alt.conspiricy! This was mentioned in the European parliments report into ECHELON.

Re:ECHELON in UK and US (1)

jhubbard (4916) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543543)

Sorry, I must not have been clear in my first sentence. I was in a hurry. This is the key part. I've included my mistakes in wording as well "how could the U.S. possibly sign this since the treaty?" I should have removed the "this since". The U.S. couldn't sign on to this treaty and then enact legislation to force citizens to testify against themselves. It may go to court, but hopefully the court wouldn't uphold it.

That sentence was the whole point. The 5th amendment does only apply in the U.S. I was responding to "The U.S. may well sign this treaty - we've participated in the drafting process."

Of course, since those from the U.S. that are participating know that they would be circumventing the 5th amendment, they are probably using the E.U. to further their own cause. It would be in the U.S.'s best interest, as you have noted, to have the E.U. pass this and force the participating countries to enact legislation. This sort of applies to not only what you were describing, but the U.S. could apply pressure to these countries to get the keys of its citizens to further is own law enforcement efforts abroad. I'm sure that this would prove useful in the terrorist situations but in others as well.

James

P.S. I think that it's naivety. I don't care cause I can't spell either.

Well.. (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543216)

According to the US constitution, treties signed by the US are supposed to have the same weight as the constitution itself. Of course, the founding fathers probably

from artical VI:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.


Mathematics (5, Interesting)

HalfFlat (121672) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543006)

According to the EuroLinux article,

the European Patent Office just published a new examination directive which extends the realm of the European patent practice to software, business methods and mathematics.
Patenting mathematics is outright crazy. It's the same sort of crazy that allows the patenting of software, but in the past one could always say: patenting algorithms is like patenting mathematics, and thus clearly nonsense. reductio ad absurdum has come along and bit us all on the arse.

Trying to imagine a world where mathematics is patentable is both hard and disturbing. Can you imagine if only licensed physicists were allowed to use Hilbert space theory? If one needed to pay a levy every time one used Shannon's law to help design a product? Where would we be if the finite element methods could only be applied to engineering analyses with the blessings of its creators?

How much mathematical progress would be made, if every mathematician had to check whether the work they were building on was patent-encumbered? If every publication had to first get the approval of some patent holders, with the possibility of a required payment?

It quickly gets surreal. Many statements in mathematics are equivalent when viewed in the appropriate fashion. Many too are based on certain sets of axioms. What does patentable mean when viewed in this light?

This to me is a clear sign that extreme IP advocates have just completely lost the plot.

Re:Mathematics (1, Insightful)

morbid (4258) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543038)

The "great mathematician" Roger Penrose already has patented some mathematics, a tesselation he discovered, IIRC. Not that anoyne else might have discovered it before, but when you're a respected public figure and have the wherewithall to get your stuff published, and people (who don't knwo any better) listen to you and accept what you say by default...

Re:Mathematics (0)

morbid (4258) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543053)

..and here's some info on it:
here [washington.edu] and here [gwu.edu]

Re: Penrose tilings (2)

HalfFlat (121672) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543144)

Thanks for the links!

It does appear though, tbat this is a copyright issue rather than a patent one. Copyright has long been applicable to mathematical papers and diagrams (for good or ill), and has far less damaging potential consequences than patenting.

Re: Penrose tilings (2)

Happy Monkey (183927) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543245)

Except patents last for 17 years, while copyright lasts for 75+life of author.

Re: Penrose tilings (2)

gorilla (36491) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543417)

Yes, but if there is a diagram that is useful to explain or understand a subject, or there is a paper which explains it well, but they are copyrighted, you can redraw the diagram or rewrite the paper. You cannot copyright ideas only implementations. If they are patented then you cannot.

Re: Penrose tilings (2)

mpe (36238) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543310)

Copyright has long been applicable to mathematical papers and diagrams (for good or ill), and has far less damaging potential consequences than patenting.

Except that copyright is growing both in duration and scope.

Re:Mathematics- mod parent up please (2)

abe ferlman (205607) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543176)

This is the most brilliant slashdot comment I've seen all year. If I had any modpoints right now I would surely spend them to mod this up.

Bryguy

Re:Mathematics (5, Insightful)

Jerf (17166) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543456)

The EuroLinux article links to a French version of the text; an English version [epo.co.at] can be obtained by changing the "f" to an "e" (or following my link).

Here's the part on Mathematics:

These are a particular example of the principle that purely abstract or intellectual methods are not patentable. For example, a shortcut method of division would not be patentable but a calculating machine constructed to operate accordingly may well be patentable. A mathematical method for designing electrical filters is not patentable; nevertheless filters designed according to this method would not be excluded from patentability by Art. 52(2) and (3).
First, note that the Patent office, evidently not being staffed by mathematicians, believe that they have not rendered mathematics patentable. Or, in other words, explanation-free protests based on the statement that they have will only confuse them, and cause them to distrust the protesters. After all, "These are a particular example of the principle that purely abstract or intellectual methods are not patentable."

I see three problems with this:

  1. "Purely abstract or intellectual methods" often are algorithms. For example, we tend to express the mathematical concept of "graph reachability" as the algorithm that tells us whether a given node is reachable from another. It can be defined other ways (including second order existential logic), but we tend to think of it algoritmically first, moreso for complicated properties.

    Therefore, despite protests from the Patent Office that mathematics are not patentable, damn near every discrete mathematics definition and algorithm is patentable, or close enough that a the prospect of fighting a patent would scare anybody.
  2. "A mathematical method for designing electrical filters is not patentable; nevertheless filters designed according to this method would not be excluded from patentability by Art. 52(2) and (3)." Functions are only relevent in terms of the results. (Merely specifying a domain is rarely useful.) If one can create a mathematic concept, then proceed to creatively patent the (useful, for the Patent Office's amazingly low standard of "useful") results that can come from concept and associated functions, then the only useful part of the concept is effectively patented. Combine this with the next problem ->
  3. An increasing amount of math is taking place on computers. For instance, the famouse and importent 4-Color problem was proven by a computer. This will only increase over time. Therefore, there may be no difference between the abstract math and the concrete implementation, which means there is no difference between patenting math and patenting an algorithm.
Remember that as you protest to the EU. They don't speak our language and, frankly, they don't know jack shit about math. And it shows. They honestly think that under these rules, math is still unpatentable.

(And frankly, I don't think we stand a chance in Hades of convincing them otherwise. The more ignorant you are, the more you think you know on a given topic, and I'd lay money these people honestly believe they know mathematics. Which means they will not listen to people like us.)

Re:Mathematics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2543587)

Why not eliminate all patent laws? After all, automobiles are simply hardware implementations of the laws of physics.

The reason that we affirm patent rights is that we make a distinction, right or wrong, between scientific theory and application of said theory. Computer software is no different, except that the line between theory and application is finer.

patenting software as a particular implementation of an algorithm makes at least as much sense as patenting a refrigerator which is an implementation of, say, the Joule principle.

Here is the gleam of hope for us inventors and coders, though: even slight changes in implementation are regarded as different products. From a software point of view, almost any substantive change in code could be viewed as a different product, even if the algorithm is the same. Well, that's no different, practically, from our current situation under copyright law! In fact, it's better, for this reason: under copyright law, a substantial paraphrase of code could be considered infringement. Under patent law, a paraphrase of code is a new method.

Cheer up! Patent law is better than we think!

"Bush to blame" according to Wired. (2, Interesting)

SomethingOrOther (521702) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543012)


This Wired Article makes interesting reading. It gives the impression that the preasure to alter Europes (mainly very strict) privacy laws has come from as high up as Bush Himself [wired.com]

As we all know, wherever America goes, Europe gets dragged along kicking and screeming!
However, I definately couldn't imagine the Duch or the Danes going along with such draconian anti-privacy laws, even if we in the UK seem complacent about our privacy and rights.

Very important things (3, Insightful)

psicE (126646) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543075)

First, remember that the Council of Europe is not the EU. It doesn't even have the same members. Just because this organisation passes a stupid law, doesn't mean the EU is evil, and doesn't mean the EU is contradicting itself.

Second, the Council of Europe didn't write this law, the US did; as such, I wouldn't expect many (if any) continental EU countries to sign it, especially considering it may contradict some of their EU responsibilities and they'd rather be part of the EU than pass this law.

Third, if they somehow did pass this law, we could always create a country in Antarctica.

Antarctica (2)

Pseudonymus Bosch (3479) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543914)

if they somehow did pass this law, we could always create a country in Antarctica.

Where? Big sectors of Antarctica are claimed by countries (some from the Southern Hemisphere, but also many EU countries). They are held back because of the Antarctic Treaty, but if the treaty is broken, these countries are going to claim First Post! And they (at least some of them) have the resources to back their claims.

Re:Very important things (1, Funny)

geggibus (316979) | more than 12 years ago | (#2544241)

I can hear bush in my head:
"Those who are't signing this must be terrorists!"

/K

forced disclosure of passwords (2)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543115)

and how would that work with the right to refuse self incriminiation?

Self Incrimination in Europe (2, Insightful)

SomethingOrOther (521702) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543188)


*Bangs head against the wall*
And what makes you think that every country in Europe has laws to protect self incrimination!

Example: The police "miranda warning" in the UK

"You do not have to say anything unless you wish do do so,
but it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in Court"

Then the police will start asking you questions and "putting you on the spot"
Now tell me America, Where is my right to silence and my right to not incriminate myself!

Use Best Practices (2, Insightful)

Alpha Prime (25709) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543205)

Best Practices says that if your password or keys are compromised, you need to change them as soon as possible.

Or we need to develop an "under duress" password capability that destroys the data if used.

Whoops, I gave you the wrong password. My bad.

Re:Use Best Practices (1)

lurvdrum (456070) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543279)

Any investigating authority worth their salt would keep a copy of the original encrypted data before asking you for your key anyway so I doubt this would help much..."OK, Joe, let's try again with the REAL key this time shall we..or should we assume you are withholding it?".

Re:Use Best Practices (1)

Alpha Prime (25709) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543321)

Probably, but if I were really paranoid, no password would work on any data that had been removed from its original machine. Thus, the destruct password would always work, or the original password would be the destruct password on the investigating authority's machine.

Come to think of it, I am that paranoid...

At least this way... (1)

FreeMars (20478) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543248)

At least this way the state has to come to you to demand your password -- you'll know you're being watched.

It'll be too late, of course. Your key will be used to decrypt all your old messages. (Is there a statute saying how long you need to remember your passphrase after you change keys?)

You want my password? (3, Funny)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543250)

Gee, sorry, I can't seem to remember it. Contempt of court? Fine. Hey, charge my company while you're at it, they're the ones who make me change it every other month and never write it down...

Re:You want my password? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2543869)

Unfortunately the UK's RIP bill is worded such that you have to prove that you don't know it. Bit tricky that.

Jack Straw, then the home secetary, (the very one that lied about performing a real inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster [ntlworld.com] ) has in his posession an encrypted confession to a crime sent to him by a group showing the dumb nature of the bill. Under UK law, he can be prosecuted by his own bill, because he cannot prove he doesn't know the key.

Terrible.. (5, Interesting)

saqmaster (522261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543260)

To be honest.. I find the whole RIP bill disgusting.. It's a complete violation of your privacy.. but saying this is nothing new and I won't go there..

One things i've noticed though, is the amount of UK ISP's (Freeserve, AOL to name two), to me, seem to be abusing their shadow proxies (cisco cache engines I presume)..

For, whilst using AOL or FreeServe, you try and telnet to _any_ outside mailserver on port 25, you get their mailserver. It's actually _impossible_ to get to any other SMTP service whilst dialled-up with one of these ISP's.

Now, sure this could be because they're attempting to optimize their network, but on the other hand, they could have their SMTP relays configured to store/cache messages locally - ideal for RIP bill investigations..

Scary thought..

Re:Terrible.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2543550)

They actually do this to stop people sending SPAM from by forging the source address then connecting to a mail server on port 25 (the AOL mailserver rewrites the source address to be something@aol.com) . It has nothing to do with RIP and has been in action since before RIP was invented.

Note I'm not defending RIP...its a shit idea and hopefully the public will realise soon...just you're barking up the wrong tree here. It's the same deal with ISP's such as NTL...who force every port 80 connection through their local webcache..although thats *supposed* to be for performance, fine aslong as the webcache stays online.

Re:Terrible.. (1)

Motor (104119) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543583)

For, whilst using AOL or FreeServe, you try and telnet to _any_ outside mailserver on port 25, you get their mailserver. It's actually _impossible_ to get to any other SMTP service whilst dialled-up with one of these ISP's.

This has always been true with Freeserve, ever since it started up a few years ago. It's got nothing to do with RIP, it's an anti-spam measure. Freeserve introduced it because they were the first large scale "free" ISP in the UK, and didn't want to become a magnet for spammers.

I expect much the same is true of AOL UK.

Re:Terrible.. (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543602)

This tends to be done, actually, to stop people from spamming. After all, if people can't connect to other mail servers, they can't spam through them, and an ISP can monitor their own mail servers.

Why exactly is it a problem for you that you can only send e-mail through your ISP, anyway? If you wanted to receive mail, I'm sure you'd find POP3 (port 110) a much more useful?

Re:Terrible.. (1)

saqmaster (522261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543616)

Ok so, sure, I may have been barking up the wrong tree.. Anti-spam sounds like a fair reason, but even still, the technology in place could possibly be used (or being used) for RIP..

"Killing a bird with one stone.."

Is Source Code a Patent Violation? (1)

JohnDenver (246743) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543267)

After reading in an earlier slashdot article where the California Supreme Court declared that source code is speach regardless of its ability to be compiled, I asked myself:

"If you publish the source code for a patented algorithm, are you violating the patent?"

If this holds up as yes in the US ane EU, does this mean we can scoot around the patents as long as we distribute the software in source-code ONLY form?

Patrent Law - Big Deal (1)

tundog (445786) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543281)

No big news. It seems to me it is just giving European countries the right to patent software (think US patent office). Until now this was not possible in Europe, although u could still file a US patent. Its just *ANOTHER* example of Europe playing catch-up to the US decades later.

A big problem with the big(gest hehe) European software company I work for is that since software has always been unpatentable in Europe, we are getting creamed with infrigment claims from US companies. The patent game for big corporations consist of:

Bloated Software Company A: "Hey, we have a patent on that! Pay us money or we'll sue!"

Bloated Software Company B: "Oh yeah, we'll we have patent of something your selling, so shut up!" etc.

Problem is taht a lot of Europeans companies (like the one I work for) can't tell anyone to shut up. This legelation will only help European countries compete by encouraging software patents.

Re:Patent Law - Big Deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2543506)

IANAL, but if you can't patent software and business methods then you don't have to honor them either.

I.E., a UK company could start an online bookstore and implement one-click ordering without worrying about receiving a letter from Amazon.com's lawyers.

I think (but don't quote this AC) that a patent issued by the USPTO can only be enforced in Europe if it has been allocated a European Equivalent number.

At odds with "anti terrorist" legislation? (2, Interesting)

gagravarr (148765) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543316)

It states:

Article 3 Illegal interception
Each Party shall adopt such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to establish as criminal offences under its domestic law, when committed intentionally, the interception without right, made by technical means, of non-public transmissions of computer data to, from or within a computer system, including electromagnetic emissions from a computer system carrying such computer data. A Party may require that the offence be committed with dishonest intent, or in relation to a computer system that is connected to another computer system.

Given the number of organisations that the UK government is planning to give access to your IT data under "anti terrorist legislation" (eg Guardian article [guardian.co.uk] ), this will surely require some tricky legal manouvers to get every man and his dog working for the government classed as "with right" to intercept?

Also, what it'll be interesting to see how the data that the ISPs are being told to collect for "anti terrorist" means will be classed as "with right" to intercept, given the provisions in the human rights act on privacy...

Oceania? (1)

twimprine (455020) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543361)

password and encryption disclosure wigs me a little much. Exactly who decides on weather this is signed into law or not? Some committee that we can't talk to?

Don't you love how this works? (3, Insightful)

Eccles (932) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543410)

First, governments cooperate on creating a treaty with provisions that would never pass muster with the folks back home if they tried to pass it directly. Once signed, they then work to pass laws implementing the treaty. If people complain about the provisions, the lawmakers disclaim responsibility, saying they have to do this to comply with the treaty.

It HAS happened and It DOES happen, EXACTLY like this. Let's not get fooled again.

Hmm...barrier to entry? (2)

Shoten (260439) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543422)

What effect might this have down the road on the few countries like Bulgaria where neither the culture nor the law recognizes things like copyright protection? If one of these countries wishes to join, what laws will be imposed upon them?

Funny how the system works (2)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 12 years ago | (#2543429)

From the bibliography [wildernesscoast.org] link above (one of the very earliest entries at bottom of the page):
By Steve Gold, Newsbytes Special to the E-Commerce Times January 14, 2000
Unconfirmed reports circulating on the Usenet suggest that the U.S. government is working with the European Union (EU), Japan, Canada and other countries, including South Africa, on a draft cybercrime treaty that would try to ban hacking and Internet eavesdropping utilities.

Interesting how only the powers that be should now be allowed [loc.gov] to eavesdrop and crack into computer systems, even though they're so intent on making it illegal for everyone else.

It's too bad that we have to trust a bunch of mostly technologically uninformed politicians to draft law these days. I'm sure their intentions are all good in trying to prevent terrorism, but sadly they've been duped, like much of American society, into believing that government can provide us with safety and security in all aspects of life. Unfortunately, in this effort to provide a safe and secure country, our liberties are getting trampled on in the process.

I'd be happy to turn over my keys to you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2543892)

Oh, by the way, my keys are 700 megabytes a peice and I have 14 of them. Have storage room for that? No? Oh, what a shame. Sorry, I use one-time-pad encryption. And I can only use each key once.

Hardened Criminal [n3.net]

Original Slashdot article [slashdot.org]

Feel free to lie to your government. They lie to you. And all leaders lead by example.

simply put.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2543965)

I forget my password.

so there.

Patents don't last forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2544088)

I think much of the software that underlies Unix would be covered by expired patents, so Linux and GNU should be mostly safe.


But has anyone done a proper analysis of what software is vulnerable?
Could they take away my TCP/IP stack?

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