CRIME-FIGHTING ON THE INTERNET
Three leading experts examine the difficulties in keeping up with the bad guys’ abuse of new technologies. FBI Special Counsel for Electronic Surveillance Matters Alan McDonald argues why law enforcement agencies need the ability to use electronic surveillance equipment to monitor traffic on the Internet. Ohio State University Law School faculty member Peter Swire, an Internet privacy advocate, stresses the need for restraint and oversight of agencies employing such technology. Bernard Debatin discusses the ethical and moral dimensions of Internet law enforcement and of electronic surveillance in general Debatin, a professor at the University of Leipzig (Germany), is a visiting lecturer in the Ohio University Institute for Applied and Professional Ethics.
Alan McDonald is Special Counsel for Electronic Surveillance Matters, Laboratory Division, at FBI Headquarters. For the last ten years, he has worked on the legal and policy aspects of issues related to advanced communications networks as they relate to U.S. Electronic surveillance. Prior to that time, he was assigned for five years to the FBI’s Legal Counsel Division at FBI Headquarters, where he specialized in electronic surveillance law, as well as law and policy regarding other sensitive investigative techniques.
During 1993/94, Mr. McDonald was the FBI/Government attorney member of a four-member FBI team dedicated to preserving governmental electronic surveillance capabilities in the United States in light of advanced telecommunications technologies. The resulting landmark Federal legislation that was enacted in October, 1994 — the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) — is considered of critical importance by law-enforcement and prosecutorial authorities. In 1995, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno presented Mr. McDonald with the John Marshall Award for Legislation for his role in the enactment of CALEA.
Mr. McDonald has spoken at numerous U.S. Telecommunications carrier meetings and privacy-related seminars, and he has provided numerous briefings for Congressional staff regarding electronic surveillance, encryption, and CALEA matters.
Mr. McDonald received his law degree from the University of Louisville, and he has been a Special Agent of the FBI for 26 years.
From March 1999 until January 2001, Peter Swire served as the Clinton Administration’s Chief Counselor for Privacy, in the United States Office of Management and Budget. In early January, Peter returned to his position as Professor of Law at the Ohio State University College of Law. Peter is now teaching two courses on privacy and the law of cyberspace. Peter was featured in a January 17 Washington Post article about the transition to life after working in the Administration, at washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A3204-2001Jan16.html. USA Today gave a profile of Peter’s work at www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/cti036.htm.
With a background in both banking regulation and cyberspace, much of Peter’s work addresses issues of cyberbanking and financial privacy. In June, 1997, Peter was selected as an Ameritech Faculty Fellow to conduct research on “The Role of Law in Assuring Financial Privacy.”
From December 1998 until late January 1999, Peter acted as a consultant to the Department of Commerce. He led a U.S. government team in visits to France, England, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands, meeting with public- and private-sector leaders on privacy issues.
In early 1998, Peter became editor of Cyberspace Law Abstracts (CLA), a monthly publication that provides synopses of new scholarship concerning cyberspace, as well as related conference and professional announcements.
From 1992-94 Peter worked on the idea of “Public Feedback Regulation” as an organizing theme for how the Internet could enhance political participation and address some important market failures. This research was never published, but is discussed in some detail in David Brin’s fascinating 1998 book “The Transparent Society,” where the author essentially argues that technology has made privacy impossible and our best hope is to open up access to the databases to a broader array of citizens.
Bernhard Debatin, Professor of public communication and media ethics at the University of Leipzig, Germany, is spending 2000/01 as a visiting professor at Ohio University’s Institute for Applied and Professional Ethics. Dr. Debatin specializes in internet-communication and media ethics. He received his doctorate from the Technical University of Berlin in 1994.