FBI wants to snoop on private networks

Fear of cyber terrorists leads to call to open up systems to scrutiny

The US government is toying with the idea of introducing sweeping new measures to monitor private networks against the threat of international terrorism. A report in the New York Times claims that the Clinton administration wants the FBI to take control of the monitoring process to protect vital infrastructures such as banking and telecomms networks. Reportedly to be known as the Federal Intrusion Detection Network (Fidnet) if all goes to plan the spooks could be ready to snoop by 2003. Those in favour of such tactics believe citizens in the US deserve to be protected from cyber attacks. Critics of the proposals believe it is just an excuse for government to snoop on the American people, warning that such measures would be the thin edge of the wedge regards individual freedoms. Interestingly, while the Clinton administration is keen to safeguard its own network privacy, it's more than happy to terrorise others -- even if they are butchering dictators. A Newsweek report claimed that the CIA was set to wage a cyberwar on Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic during the war against Serbia, using hackers for a sabotage campaign. Double standards? Surely not. ®

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