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Justice Issues Guide To Sharing Probe Data

THE WASHINGTON POST

Federal criminal investigators are now required to share once sacrosanct wiretap and grand jury material with intelligence agencies when the information relates to terrorism or weapons of mass destruction, the Justice Department said Monday.

Guidelines laid out by department officials establish how material gathered in criminal probes will be shared with the CIA and other intelligence agencies, though officials said such transfers of information have been occurring informally since the USA PATRIOT Act was approved last October.

The act, enacted in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, gives new powers to law enforcement and intelligence agencies, including the authority to share information they previously were required to keep secret from one another.

The guidelines released Monday address only the sharing of material gathered by criminal investigators, not the transfer of information obtained in intelligence investigations. That issue is being litigated before an appeals panel of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Advisory Court. The PATRIOT Act loosened the rules governing that information as well, permitting intelligence officers to share more of what they gather with criminal investigators.

Panel Urges More Online Content To Boost Broadband Demand

LOS ANGELES TIMES

A White House panel studying ways to boost demand for high-speed Internet access is expected next week to encourage Hollywood and others to offer more online content. The report also will recommend that more workers use high-speed lines to telecommute from home.

After intense lobbying by industry groups, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology sidestepped calls for an overhaul of the nation’s telecommunications networks, such as backing the regional Bell phone companies’ bid to scale back laws that regulate their ability to compete in the market for high-speed Internet access, or broadband.

Instead, the blue-ribbon panel of industry executives and academics hopes to encourage the development of more online entertainment, as well as online government and educational services, as a way to lure more of the 70 million Americans now online to upgrade to broadband.

Broadband is four to 30 times faster than a standard dial-up modem.

“We think this report will be a very significant move forward,” said Claudia Jones, a spokeswoman for AT&T Corp., which has been following the issue closely.