[HCoop-Misc] Urgent Legislative Alert!

ntk ntk at hcoop.net
Wed Feb 13 11:10:51 EST 2008

To all HCoop members,

You may recall the bill that I mentioned previously, the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA, not FICA) that was before the Senate
and would give the government broad surveillance powers while granting
telecom companies (including Peer 1 and HCoop) immunity from any liability
even for illegally cooperating with illegal law enforcement demands.

Well, thanks to the spineless Democrats caving into the Bush
administration, that bill passed the Senate by 68 to 29. (S. 2248)

The House passed a very different version of the bill, H.R. 3773 which does
not contain the immunity provisions.  I don't know if S.2248 and H.R. 3773
will go straight to a conference committee or to if S.2248 is going to the
House as an independent bill.  I think it will go to conference.

I ask all American members to contact your representatives (you can find
them at http://www.house.gov/) and to leave them a voicemail, email, or
other message urging them to vote NO on the provisions S. 2248 and to vote
NO on any FISA measures.  Particularly talk about the telecom immunity and
how it will affect you and your rights.

Please note that although I believe it is proper for a tax-exempt
organization to comment on and take positions on legislation that directly
affects its operation and existence as does this bill, these opinions are
my own only and not those of HCoop or me in my official capacity, which is
why I am sending this to the off-topic -misc list.

However, later today I intend to draft two policy resolutions for the board
that I hope we can pass in some form within the next week or two.  One is
an "anti-FISA" policy which would forbid any officer, admin, member, or
employee of HCoop from cooperating with law enforcement illegality, and
make this grounds for termination.  The other is a more broad policy on
secrecy of member data on HCoop, which would make clear the general rule
that such secrecy should be inviolate with certain exceptions, and outline
what those exceptions are and the general procedure to be taken when
disclosure is permitted according to those exceptions.

I would also like to, if possible, seek a contract rider with Peer 1 that
would provide mutual anti-FISA provisions, e.g. making it a breach of
contract for either of us to assist illegal government surveillance on the
other's systems.  Such an upstream protection is particularly important
since the government would be more likely to try to get at our hardware or
data transmissions through Peer 1 than directly.


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