Return to the Boston College Home Page
Law School
bc home > schools > law > fac-staff > deans-faculty > liu > liu home > courses > internet law 01f >

Class 05




To what extent should government and/or employers be permitted to eavesdrop on internet communications? Do they have a legitimate interest in eavesdropping? If so, how should those interests be balanced against an individual's interest in privacy? What role does encryption play in setting or altering the balance? Should the government regulate encryption technology?

A.  Encryption


  1. Michael Froomkin, The Metaphor is the Key: Cryptography, the Clipper Chip and the Constitution, 143 U. Penn. L. Rev. 709 (1995).


  1. Junger v. Daley, 209 F.3d 481 (6th Cir. 2000)

  2. MIT Distribution Center for PGP (Pretty Good Privacy)

  3. Tim C. May, The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto (c. 1994)

B.  Government Interception


  1. McVeigh v. Cohen, 983 F. Supp. 215 (D.D.C. 1998)

  2. Donald Kerr, Statement to Senate Judiciary Committee re: Carnivore Diagnostic Tool (Sep. 6, 2000).

  3. Explore the Web site.

  4. Carl S. Kaplan, Concern Over Proposed Changes in Internet Surveillance, New York Times, Sep. 21, 2001.

  5. Follow the progress of the proposed Combatting Terrorism Act (CTA) and Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). See, e.g., EFF Website (in particular the analysis of the CTA and ATA).

  1. Explore the Electronic Privacy Information Center's Carnivore FOIA Documents archive.

  2. Declan McCullagh, Senate OKs FBI Net Spying, Wired News, Sep. 14, 2001.

  3. Declan McCullagh, IETF Says 'No Way' to Net Taps, Wired News (Nov. 11, 1999).

  4. Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 USC 2510-22, 2701-2711 (1999)

  5. Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, 47 U.S.C. 1001-1006.

C.  Employer Interception


  1. Mark S. Dichter & Michael S. Burkhardt, Electronic Interaction in the Workplace: Monitoring, Retrieving and Storing Employee Communications in the Internet Age (June 1999).



Should regulation be passed to increase/decrease the ability of the government to monitor internet communications? Specifically, what do you think about the bills currently before Congress, such as the proposed Combatting Terrorism Act (CTA)?

Back to Internet Law Class Page


Updated: April 16, 2002
Maintained: Joseph P. Liu
2002 The Trustees of Boston College. Legal