US Senate Votes To Kill Computer Privacy

This article, written by former US Congressman Bob Barr, is printed in the August 9th edition of the left-wing Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The American Senate, before it's August recess, voted to pass a horrid treaty that was stalled since 2001. Called the "Cybercrime Treaty", this expands the US government's power to snoop on any citizen's computer dealings and report them to legal authorities of a foreign power who is also a signatory to this Treaty.

Let's use an example. If a pro-life, pro-gun or pro-democracy activist of Country XYZ uses his US-based computer to write criticism of XYZ's leadership, then XYZ's law enforcement agency can legally ask American authorities to snoop on said activist for breaking the law in XYZ. The activist has broken no American law, and may even be an American citizen of XYZ descent. Under this new Treaty, the government can spy on him, and give what they've found to XYZ's government. Whatever happens after that, only God knows.

And as Mr. Barr notes, this treaty gives no privacy protections to American citizens at all. NONE AT ALL! Both Democrat and Republican, liberal and neo-conservative, voted for this Treaty -- and on a voice vote! Hence, they avoid responsibility for their actions as far as the electorate is concerned.

This Treaty is anti-Distributist, since it centralizes power into the hands of the few -- that is, the government. It destroys legitimate privacy over the Internet, as well as reducing sovereignty. For other nations who have signed onto this Treaty, it harms their countries as well. As for fighting crimes using computers, we already have laws on the books that can do the job well and effectively. Or we can write them in a manner that doesn't increase big government control over our lives, freedom and legitimate privacy.

Does this mean we give up? That all is lost? ABSOLUTELY NO! What this means is - like it or no - we begin the long road to pressure the American government to permanently withdraw from the Cybercrime Treaty. And to not ever take "no" for an answer. It will require education of the public and much, much prayer and penance. But it CAN be done.

Do not despair. Network with likeminded groups in your local area to begin the effort to get the US out of the Cybercrime Treaty. And if you live in other nations, do the same thing in your home countries as well. Never give up until this Treaty is thrown on the scrap heap.

Thank you.


Athanasius Monday, August 21, 2006 at 12:21:00 AM CDT  

What method of enforcement is proposed in the legislation? If I wrote that homosexuality is intrinsically evil, and it violates Canada's homophobia laws and is a hate crime punishable by 6 years in jail, will the US deport me to Canada for trial? Or will I be given a similar sentance in American jails?

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