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[freehaven-dev] [rkc@ll.mit.edu: politechbot.com: Challenge of Unlawful Conduct document]

----- Forwarded message from Robert Cunningham <rkc@ll.mit.edu> -----

Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2000 07:46:25 -0500
From: Robert Cunningham <rkc@ll.mit.edu>
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To: arma@MIT.EDU
Subject: politechbot.com: Challenge of Unlawful Conduct document

	I saw the following white house document, and thought of your work.  You
might want to track it, because if it ends up producing a law, it will
affect what you can do with the software you are writing now.


One telling excerpt:

Another thorny issue stems from the lack of identification mechanisms on
global networks, and the fact that individuals can
be anonymous or take on masked identities (i.e., adopt false personas by
providing inaccurate biographical information
and misleading screen names). Simply stated, given the current state of
technology, it can be difficult to accurately identify
an individual (especially sophisticated users who take affirmative steps to
hide their identity) on the Internet. As noted
above, there are cases, such as the PairGain case, where law enforcement
agencies have been able to track down online
criminals who leave evidence of their unlawful conduct. Over time, the
ability of criminals to use technology to evade
identification and the ability of law enforcement to use technology to
overcome such evasion will continue to evolve. Some of
the challenges of identifying perpetrators of unlawful conduct on the
Internet, as well as measures taken by law enforcement
and the private sector to respond to such challenges, are discussed below
in Part III of this report. 

At the very least, there needs to be widespread and extensive training of
law enforcement personnel in ways to identify those
who use the Internet to commit unlawful acts. Moreover, as policymakers
increasingly seek to protect certain classes of
citizens, most notably minors, from unsuitable material (e.g., pornography
and gambling), the potential problems of
identification are evident. How can activities, such as gambling or the
sale of prescription drugs or alcohol, be limited to
adults when children can identify themselves as adults? Similarly, if
adults can falsely identify themselves as children and
lure real children into dangerous situations, how can these victims be

Dr. Robert K. Cunningham            Information System Technology Group
  rkc@ll.mit.edu                          MIT Lincoln Laboratory
*** My comments, my opinions: my responsibility.
PGP key available from http://pgpkeys.mit.edu:11371

----- End forwarded message -----