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Paula Downey, Program in Law, Science and Technology

(650) 723-2039; e-mail:

Anne Wilson, Association for Computing Machinery

(212) 626-0505; e-mail:

Experts discuss government surveillance of the Internet

On Tuesday, Nov. 9, from 5:45 to 8 p.m. at Kresge Auditorium, Stanford Law School's Program in Law, Science and Technology, the university's Department of Computer Science and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) will sponsor a panel discussion about computer surveillance by the government.

New York Times reporter John Markoff will moderate the discussion, which will feature Scott Charney, chief of the computer crime unit in the criminal division of the U.S. Justice Department; Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC); and Sun Microsystems' Distinguished Engineer Whitfield Diffie.

Sponsors hope the event will foster debate about the implications of the Federal Intrusion Detection Network (FIDNet), a set of "new technology tools, capabilities or legal authorities" designed to prosecute violations of the law, including the illegal sale of guns, explosives, controlled substances and prescription drugs, as well as fraud and child pornography.

FIDNet was developed by the Working Group on Unlawful Conduct on the Internet, established by an Executive Order issued by President Clinton earlier this year, and has a number of major privacy implications. The plan could allow the government to monitor data flowing over a range of computer networks. The proposed system could allow access to e-mail and other documents, as well as computer programs.

The program was conceived by the ACM, the oldest and largest international professional computing society. Its 80,000 members represent a critical mass of computer scientists in education, industry and government. The panel is free and open to the public.

Contact Anne Wilson ( or Chris Morgan ( for more information.



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