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Re: [DMCA-Activists] Notes from yesterdays' 2743 hearing

From: C. Scott Ananian
Subject: Re: [DMCA-Activists] Notes from yesterdays' 2743 hearing
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2003 18:43:56 -0500 (EST)

On 3 Apr 2003, David Turner wrote:

> Scott Ananian, a MIT grad student and DMCA protester noted that the
> "plans" forbidden by the act are simply speech.  Security papers are
> full of plans for exploits, and security researchers and system
> administrators need to have access to these to stop them.  Then he
> made the almost certainly nonsensical claim that the law would stop
> law enforcement from posessing these tools, even when they were
> evidence in crimes.  

Yes, I probably did overreach on this last point.  Presumably there is
some specific exemption permitting law enforcement to possess contraband
collected as evidence.  The point I *intended* to make (before
being on-the-spot clouded my thinking) was that law enforcement has need
of these same exploit plans and tools.  The DMCA specifically allows law
enforcement to circumvent access controls in the course of their work (it
also contains a similar limited exemption for librarians).  The 2743 bill
has no such provision so (for example) all police email related to an
investigation must have clear origin/destination, the police must not use
encrypting/decrypting tools, must not modify communications devices, etc.
I was hoping that the prosecutors on the committee would oppose such
restriction on police work.

Perhaps (if we have to confront dmca-alikes again) someone else can make
this point with better clarity than I was able to do.

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