Mata Bill Needs More Thought

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2001-10-01

In a move to protect privacy and First Amendment rights, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, based in San Francisco (, is urging Web denizens to contact their elected representatives and urge them to defeat the Mobilization Against Terrorism Act.

According to early interpretations by the Department of Justice, MATA would allow authorities to install a wiretap anywhere in the United States without gaining the permission of each jurisdiction. The act would also extend wiretap provisions for telephones to Internet connections.

EFF is concerned that the proposed looser rules would put civil liberties at risk without effectively preventing terrorist attacks. Given that the Combating Terrorism Act, which gives expanded powers to the attorney general, recently passed with about 30 minutes of debate on the Senate floor, more, not less, discussion is needed.

Rocket Fuel