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5.6 An Orwellian Future?

Even from a civil libertarian point of view, there are a few things right about the Digital Telephony bill. Most notable is that a police officer or federal agent must obtain a court order to access your e-mail. In the past, all that was required was a subpoena, and generally speaking, subpoenas are easier and faster for an officer to obtain.

What does it all mean for you as an Internet user? In the short run, probably nothing. Look down the road a few years and it's another story. In the future, all telecom systems will be digital and, thus, tappable. It's doubtful that federal law enforcement agencies will put up with being able to easily tap communications without having the ability to decode the messages.

Denis Arnaud