8 November 1997
Source: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aaces002.html

[Congressional Record: November 7, 1997 (Senate)]
[Page S11959]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]


  Mr. ASHCROFT. Mr. President, I wanted to take a moment to associate 
myself with the comments of the majority leader from October 21, 1997. 
Senator Lott has correctly highlighted the FBI's constantly shifting 
arguments and the Bureau's seemingly relentless attempts to grab more 
power at the expense of the Constitution, particularly the fourth 
amendment's protection of privacy and the fifth amendment's guarantee 
of due process.
  The FBI legislative proposal goes far beyond the Commerce Committee's 
misguided encryption legislation in further disregarding our 
Constitution. Instead of working with those who understand that S.909 
gives the FBI unprecedented and troubling authority to invade lives, 
the FBI has attempted to grab even broader authority. The Senate would 
be foolish to pass S.909. In no way can we even consider the ill-
advised FBI approach. The reach of the FBI has now extended so far that 
the President has taken the other side of the issue and supported a 
free market approach, according to his public comments delivered 
  I can only conclude that the FBI has introduced its proposal as a 
ploy to make S.909 look like a reasonable compromise. The only other 
explanation for the FBI's proposal is that the Bureau will not be 
satisfied with S.909, but instead will continue to work to erode our 
Constitutional protections. In fact, the new proposal only draws 
attention to the many problems of the commerce Committee language. 
Neither proposal is acceptable.
  The issue of encryption must be revisited in a real and serious way 
next year, both at the committee level and in the Senate chamber, to 
examine the many Constitutional implications of the various proposals. 
I look forward to working with the Majority Leader and other Senators 
who have expressed interest in encryption legislation.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. ABRAHAM addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan is recognized.