Thursday, November 06, 2003

Apparently Cryptome's John Young has had a visit from the FBI. Somebody had reported Cryptome as a source of information that might be harmful to the US.

I sympathise with the FBI special agents, who in the post September 11th world probably had little choice but to follow up the complaint. But they're really on a hiding to nothing visiting civil liberties campaigners, who will, understandibly publicise the visit. So the agents are getting distracted by wild goose chases when they would undoubtedly themselves prefer to be getting on with effective appropriately targetted law enforcement. Limited law enforcement capacity gets stretched thinner and thinner and the real bad guys laugh all the way home from their undetected crimes, comfortable in the belief that the chances of getting caught are on an ever diminishing curve.

The Washington Post is reporting that there have been problems with new electronic voting machines at the election at Fairfax County in Virginia this week. 9 machines were removed from the voting station during the day for repair. Apparently this is against the law so the Republicans are suing. Never mind. They only spent $3.5 million on the machines.

It seems that the intellectual property enforcement directive rapporteur, Janelly Fourtou, is prepared to compromise slightly, now that even Arlene McCarthy (rapporteur of the software patents directive) thinks that article 20 covering criminal sanctions is way over the top. You can see the text of the amendments she's prepared to accept at the europarl website. Fourtou, however, remains keener than ever to ensure the directive gets implemented before the next euro elections in the summer of 2004. She seems to see the sacrifice of article 20 as a quid pro quo to get the implementation procedures on the fasttrack route.

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