FBI becomes Copyright ‘911’

And we thought Ashcroft was a sensible guy

US Attorney General John Ashcroft bit the cybercrime hook dangled by media and dotcom giants eager to see taxpayer dollars spent cracking down on offences which they're too greedy to prevent with adequate access controls and proper network hygiene.

Ashcroft, therefore, is obediently forming nine crack cybersquads to prosecute hacking and copyright violations, moving the DoJ and FBI a step closer to becoming a hacking/copyright 911-line for mega corporations in distress.

Speaking at VeriSign headquarters to a delighted audience of big-tech execs, Ashcroft cited a PriceWaterhouseCoopers study claiming that business spent the ludicrous sum of $300 billion combating hackers and viruses last year, employing the same slack reasoning by which we might conclude that cheeseburgers and fries cost $300 billion last year, if we follow cardiac care statistics in light of insurance costs, work productivity, and tax losses from treating the uninsured.

Failure to whip information highway brigands into line with a solid program of law and order would impair "the ability of the United States of America to remain in its position of priority in leading the world in the digital age," Ashcroft said during a press conference, minutes after being run through the grease in meetings with tech industry 'leaders'.

We'd hoped he might show more sense than to be taken in by cybercrime alarmist rhetoric, but we're immensely grateful that he managed to deliver his speech -- unlike his child-protective hysteric predecessor -- without insisting that the Internet is populated by tens of millions of slobbering pedophiles. Certainly an improvement if not a breakthrough. ®

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