March 31, 2003 -- (WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) -- According to reports released on Monday, the US states of Massachusetts and Texas are each preparing to consider bills that would extend the national Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by making firewalls, among other things, illegal.
Both bills would ban the possession, sale or use of technologies that "conceal or to assist another to conceal from any communication service provider, or from any lawful authority, the existence or place of origin or destination of any communication."
According to technology information site Freedom to Tinker, because a user's ISP is a communication service provider, anything that concealed the origin or destination of any communication from the ISP would be illegal according to the bills.
Emails sent and received via an encrypted connection would also violate the bills, because the encryption would conceal "to" and "from" lines from the ISP.
And Network Address Translation (NAT), widely used in enterprise security, translates the "from" and "to" fields of Internet packets, concealing the source or destination of each packet and thereby violating the bills. Because most security firewalls use NAT, they also violate the bills.