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

From: David Turner
Subject: Re: [DMCA-Activists] Notes from yesterdays' 2743 hearing
Date: 04 Apr 2003 11:53:04 -0500

On Thu, 2003-04-03 at 18:43, C. Scott Ananian wrote:
> 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.

Oh, I see.

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

It's not easy when you're on the spot -- I'm sure I made many mistakes
of my own, and I'm sure that the congresspeople got our meaning despite

-Dave Turner
GPL Compliance Engineer
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