Computer underground Digest Thu Jan 13 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 06 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Ji

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Computer underground Digest Thu Jan 13 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 06 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET) Archivist: Brendan Kehoe (Improving each day) Acting Archivist: Stanton McCandlish Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala Ian Dickinson Copy Enigmator: A. Conan Drumme CONTENTS: File 1--Bay Area BBS bust. File 2--Personal E-mail-Networking W/outLANs; Gay on-line Services File 3--GAO Data Matching Report File 4--John Perry Barlow, MBONE, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM PST, Jan 17 File 5--New Legion of Doom T-shirts available File 6--Patent/Tradmark Office Call for Comment (fwd) File 7--More about 1/94 & 2/94 PTO SOFTWARE-PATENTS HEARINGS File 8--Closing the "Values-gap": Learning from the Titanic File 9--SotMESC Scholarship Fund Solicits Applications Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically from tk0jut2@mvs.cso.niu.edu. The editors may be contacted by voice (815-753-0303), fax (815-753-6302) or U.S. mail at: Jim Thomas, Department of Sociology, NIU, DeKalb, IL 60115. Issues of CuD can also be found in the Usenet comp.society.cu-digest news group; on CompuServe in DL0 and DL4 of the IBMBBS SIG, DL1 of LAWSIG, and DL1 of TELECOM; on GEnie in the PF*NPC RT libraries and in the VIRUS/SECURITY library; from America Online in the PC Telecom forum under "computing newsletters;" On Delphi in the General Discussion database of the Internet SIG; on the PC-EXEC BBS at (414) 789-4210; and on: Rune Stone BBS (IIRG WHQ) (203) 832-8441 NUP:Conspiracy; RIPCO BBS (312) 528-5020 CuD is also available via Fidonet File Request from 1:11/70; unlisted nodes and points welcome. EUROPE: from the ComNet in LUXEMBOURG BBS (++352) 466893; In ITALY: Bits against the Empire BBS: +39-461-980493 ANONYMOUS FTP SITES: AUSTRALIA: ftp.ee.mu.oz.au (128.250.77.2) in /pub/text/CuD. EUROPE: ftp.funet.fi in pub/doc/cud. (Finland) UNITED STATES: aql.gatech.edu (128.61.10.53) in /pub/eff/cud etext.archive.umich.edu (141.211.164.18) in /pub/CuD/cud ftp.eff.org (192.88.144.4) in /pub/Publications/CuD halcyon.com( 202.135.191.2) in mirror2/cud ftp.warwick.ac.uk in pub/cud (United Kingdom) KOREA: ftp: cair.kaist.ac.kr in /doc/eff/cud COMPUTER UNDERGROUND DIGEST is an open forum dedicated to sharing information among computerists and to the presentation and debate of diverse views. CuD material may be reprinted for non-profit as long as the source is cited. Authors hold a presumptive copyright, and they should be contacted for reprint permission. It is assumed that non-personal mail to the moderators may be reprinted unless otherwise specified. Readers are encouraged to submit reasoned articles relating to computer culture and communication. Articles are preferred to short responses. Please avoid quoting previous posts unless absolutely necessary. DISCLAIMER: The views represented herein do not necessarily represent the views of the moderators. Digest contributors assume all responsibility for ensuring that articles submitted do not violate copyright protections. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 11 Jan 94 12:43:51 PST From: hkhenson@CUP.PORTAL.COM Subject: File 1--Bay Area BBS bust. About two years ago I helped a guy from Milpitias (just north of San Jose) deal with a BBS bust at what he described as a "light" porn BBS. The San Jose cops realized shortly that they had really goofed by not considering the ECPA and related laws in their search & seizure. The result was that they gave his system back after five weeks, and stated in a written release that this guy's activities were within the scope of the law. The BBS is called Amateur Action, and the sysop's name is Robert Thomas (408-263-1079). Robert's lawyer, Richard Williams's phone number is 408-295-6336. Last night about 8 pm, Robert (who I have yet to meet in person) called. A search warrant was being served at that very moment by the US Postal Inspectors, who (with the help of San Jose cops) were packing up his equipment and carting it out--again. Robert managed to get one of these inspectors on the phone with me. This inspector seemed to be rather knowledgeable of such things as the ECPA, 2000aa, and the Steve Jackson case. He stated he was completely unconcerned about their lack of warrants for email! He piously stated that, because it was their intent to bring the system back within a "few days" and, as a result of the short interruption of user access, and their good intent "not to look at private email," they were completely safe from the provisions of the ECPA. This postal inspector gave his name as David Dirmeyer, from Tennessee (does this sound like Bible Belt prosecution for pron?) and gave me the name of the US Attorney he was working under, one Dan Newson with a phone of 901-544-4231 in TN (though he stated that the phone # would be of no use because Dan was at a conference for a week). For what it is worth, the postal inspector said they were using the San Jose cops on the bust because they did not have the expertise themselves to move the system and make copies. According to the investigator, they did not know that they could get a court order to have a backup of the system made on the spot. It may be that Robert is the target. (In spite of not meeting him, I suspect Richard may be the kind of smart alec who attracts the attention of cops.) Robert said there was a mystery package which came today in the mail today (which his son and wife picked up and she opened). The package turned out to be real honest-to-gosh kiddy porn. Robert claims not to have ordered it, and considering that his wife picked the (unexpected) package up and opened it, I think this is the actual case. Robert was busy with system problems that afternoon and had not gotten around to doing anything about the stuff. The guy who sent it is known as "Lance White," who Robert thinks is one of his BBS members. (As is postal inspector Dirmeyer.) They had Robert pull all postal correspondence with this guy (video porn orders) from his files and took it with them. Robert thinks the postal folks may be after this guy, and his BBS just got caught in the middle. An interesting side point is that while they asked for the package which came that day when they came in, they did not have a warrant for it, and said they would have drive over to SF to get one unless he volunteered to give it up. Robert signed off that they could take it, and they did. He noted this morning that the original warrant he has was neither signed nor dated, though a judge's name was typed in. I don't know if this is something of marginal concern to those of us concerned with government abuse of people's computers and communications or a major concern. I intend to find out more, but if the ECPA is applicable, this guy had about 3500 users, over 2k pieces of protected email on his system, plus (I think) agreements with his uses for him to represent them in an ECPA related legal action--two million dollars if I am multiplying right. (My "Warning to Law Enforcement Agents" was part of his signup screens.) Question for Mike Godwin. One aspect of this case gives me the shakes. *Anyone* with a grudge (and access to this kind of stuff) can send you a package in the mail and tip off the postal inspectors. Short of the obvious (don't make enemies!) how can you protect yourself from this kind of attack? My non-lawyer thoughts: Burn it at once! Call my lawyer. Call the cops. For a while this will be a very serious problem, because *any* of us with readily available morfing tools can make (what looks like) kiddy porn out of legal porn. Keith Henson 408-972-1132 hkhenson@cup.portal.com ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 09 Jan 94 17:16:49 PST From: David.Batterson@F290.N105.Z1.FIDONET.ORG(David Batterson) Subject: File 2--Personal E-mail-Networking W/outLANs; Gay on-line Services Personal E-mail - Networking Without LANs by David Batterson While the wired generation continues to gobble up cyberspace access via PRODIGY, The Internet, UseNet, AOL, GEnie, CompuServe, DELPHI, MCI Mail, LANs, WANs and BBSs, one software firm is taking a questionable detour from the Information Highway. AmerCom, an Oregon startup company, has developed an electronic mail program called Personal-E Mailbox that lets you send and receive e-mail on a direct PC-to-PC basis. Personal-E answers the phone, switching any voice callers to an operator or answering machine/voice mail system, and stores all e-mail messages for later reading and response. The idea behind Personal-E is to provide a means of setting up a cheap network that's easy to use and maintain. The software can be used by a company, nonprofit organization, radio station, little league team, or church group to exchange e-mail and read information. You can also upload/download small files (up to 30K), although file transfer is a minor function of this dedicated e-mail software. The program will also run from a floppy, for users on the road who might use another's PC. When you call someone using Personal-E Mailbox, there's no annoying modem squawk. Instead, both sender and receiver hear normal ring tones. Personal-E Mailbox works with virtually any PC, 2400 bps or faster Hayes-compatible modem, and any answering machine. Personal-E Mailbox is considered a "lite" version of what will be newer, more powerful personal e-mail programs, says AmerCom CEO Judge Schonfeld. Schonfeld called the product a "no brainer." That's why they are sticking with widely-used 2400-bps modems. Even if you use a 14.4K-bps modem, Personal-E lowers the speed down to a laggard 2400-bps during transmissions. AmerCom will donate a free copy to any U.S. senator/representative, major media organization or public library that requests one. So far there have been no takers from politicians, Schonfeld admits. Just getting the White House online has been a mixed success so far, and Congress is still wresting with public e-mail access. So expecting them to jump into an unproven e-mail system seems very unlikely at this juncture. Personal-E Mailbox doesn't replace your usual communications software or BBSs and online services, but rather aims to serve a growing niche market: small, personal networks. Schonfeld said that some of those now using Personal-E include US Navy recruiting offices, public schools, universities, Realtors, small businesses and home users. With the trend toward cable phone service and wireless communications surging ahead like a roadrunner, will AmerCom's simplified approach play in Peoria? Stay tuned and see. Personal-E Mailbox: $29.95, $49.95 for a Twin Pack. AmerCom, Inc. (503) 531-2880 FAX: (503) 531-2884 AOL: CochJim (Jim Cochell) ========================== Gay-Friendly National Online Service by David Batterson Millennium Online, a new national online service was launched last year in Florida and continues to attract new subscribers on a daily basis. Operated by Millennium Global of Clearwater, Florida, the new computer information service is not gay-owned but it's definitely "gay-friendly." According to Senior Account Executive Sandra Fidale, "20 percent of the sales force is gay or lesbian. I myself am out and my spouse is recognized by Millennium at all corporate functions as what and who she is: my spouse." Fidale added that "to the best of my knowledge, Millennium Global was one of the first businesses recognized by the Human Rights Task Force (HRTF) of Tampa Bay. Millennium Global was in the first issue of the 'Buycott Handbook' published by the HRTF." The online service, similar to PRODIGY, CompuServe, GEnie and America Online, offers a variety of features including electronic mail and message forums, news and financial information. In addition, there is buying and selling of real estate, discounted credit cards, real-time ("live") chatting, interactive games, shareware downloads, local access numbers, and access to The Internet. "The Internet doubles in size annually and now links over two million computers serving some six million users," said Vinton Cerf, president of the Internet Society. "When electronic mail interconnects are taken into account, nearly 20 million users conduct their business from labs, homes and offices over the Internet," Cerf said. There is no surcharge for 9600-bps modem access as with most other major online systems. A gay forum on Millennium Online is sponsored and hosted by 10 PERCENT magazine. You can read selected articles from 10 PERCENT Magazine online. 10 PERCENT and Life Management--a gay/lesbian support services and risk management organization--are placing Network Ten online. Network Ten is an information resource designed by gay and lesbian professionals to meet the needs of lesbians and gay men, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, confidentially and from the privacy of your home or office. 10 PERCENT also offers a Gay and Lesbian Business and Service Directory that defaults to the member's area code. In addition to the gay forum, Millennium Online provides online HIV/AIDS counseling and an online newsletter through the AIDS Coalition, a PLWA forum. The service provides complimentary advertising internationally for any non-profit AIDS organization, and supplies daily AIDS updates from a variety of resources on both legal and medical issues. Millennium distributes condoms donated by ACP (AIDS Coalition of Pinellas), and has distributed many condoms to Northwestern University's Gay Student Union. When Millennium Online officials appear at trade shows, they pass out small black packets that have the likeness of a floppy disk on them, and "WE HOLD THE FUTURE" printed on the back. Inside are LifeStyles condoms. The promotion has generally been received favorably. The popular SHOCKING GRAY catalog is also online, with selected photos and interactive customer service capabilities. SHOCKING GRAY distributes Millennium Online's brochures, and is placing Millennium Online in their future catalogs. Millennium Online offers CommunitySpirit's long distance calling program to their membership, and will be a resource for Overlooked Opinions in future polls. In addition to online services, Millennium Global donates two percent of all corporate profits to the AIDS Coalition, and accesses all telecommunications products through the CommunitySpirit program. Since Millennium Online has corporate sponsors, this allows the company to charge less than comparable services. Users pay $10 a month plus .10 per minute for unlimited access to all services including The Internet. E-mail messages are unlimited, and include free return receipts, sound, graphics and choice of onscreen fonts. For more information, contact Millennium Global, Inc., One Corporate Drive, Suite 119, Clearwater, FL 34622; (800) 774-0122, (813) 572-0122, FAX: (813) 571-1183. ### David Batterson of Portland, OR, writes about computers, online services and gay/lesbian subjects for various newspapers and magazines. Contact him at: dbatterson@mcimail.com or Fido NetMail: 1:105/290. ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 3 Jan 1994 15:14:32 EST From: Dave Banisar Subject: File 3--GAO Data Matching Report GAO Data Matching Report ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS 2157 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON, DC 20515-8143 PRIVACY CONTROLS OVER COMPUTER MATCHING LARGELY IGNORED Rep. Condit Releases New GAO Report A new General Accounting Office (GAO) report found serious deficiencies in implementation of the 1988 Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act The report was released today by Rep. Gary A. Condit (D-CA), chairman of the Subcommittee on Information, Justice, Transportation, and Agriculture. Computer matching is the identification of similarities or dissimilarities in data found in two or more computer files. Matching is frequently used to identify delinquent debtors or ineligible program recipients. Computer matching has been criticized as an invasion of privacy, and the Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act was passed to regulate the use of computer matching by federal agencies. In releasing the report, Rep. Condit said: "Most federal agencies have done a lousy job of complying with the Computer Matching Act. Agencies ignore the law or interpret it to suit their own bureaucratic convenience, without regard for the privacy interests that the law was designed to protect. "As a result, we don't have any idea when computer matching is a cost-effective technique for preventing fraud, waste, and abuse. I support reasonable computer matching that saves money. But if we are losing money, wasting resources, and invading privacy, then it makes no sense. "A broader issue is whether agencies can be expected to police their own operations that affect the privacy of the average citizen. Certainly OMB has done little to assist. We may need a different approach to overseeing federal privacy-related activities." GAO found numerous problems with the implementation of the Act's requirements. Cost-Benefit Analyses: The Act requires that matching programs include an analysis of the costs and benefits of the matching. One of the purposes of the Act was to limit the use of matching to instances where the technique was cost effective. GAO found many problems with implementation of this requirement, including poor quality or non-existent analyses. In 41% of cases, no attempt was made to estimate costs or benefits or both. In 59% of cases whem costs and benefits were esfimted, GAO found that not all reasonable costs and benefits were considered; that inadequate analyses were provided to support savings claims; and that no effort was made after the match to validate estimates. o Data Integrity Boards: The Act requires agencies involved in matching activities to establish a Data Integrity Board to oversee the process. GAO found that the Boards were not providing full and earnest reviews of proposed matches. GAO did not find any instance in which a Board pemianently cancelled an ongoing matching program or refused to approve a newly proposed one. GAO did not find evidence that the requirements of the matching act were used by the Boards to determine if a match should be approved. GAO also found that the implementation of the new procedures does not appear to have had major effects on the most important review process, the decision to conduct the match. GAO found that the Data Integrity Boards generally accepted agencies and states cost-benefit analyses despite their "severe methodological flaws and lack of documentation." The documentation often failed to show how costs and benefits were calculated or the time period for expected savings. Agencies rarely estimated the most significant costs. Overall, GAO found that the Data Integrity Boards provide less than a full and earnest review of matching agreements to detem-dne whether to proceed with proposed matches, but rather a regularization of the approval process. The report is titled Computer Matching: Quality of Decisions and Supporting Analyses Little Affected by 1988 Act. The report number is GAO/PEMD-94-2, and the date is October 18, 1993. Copies can be obtained [for free] from GAO by calling 202-512-6000. ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 12 Jan 1994 14:10:13 -0500 (EST) From: Stanton McCandlish Subject: File 4--John Perry Barlow, MBONE, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM PST, Jan 17 John Perry Barlow will deliver the keynote address opening the winter USENIX conference at the San Francisco Hilton, Jan 17-21, 1994. The keynote will be broadcast (audio and video) on the Internet MBONE from a bit after 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM PST on Monday, January 17. Barlow will speak on recent developments in the national information infrastructure, telecommunications regulations, cryptography, globalization of the Net, intellectual property, and, generally, of the settlement of Cyberspace. In 1990, Mr. Barlow and Mitch Kapor co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and he currently serves as chair of its executive committee. ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 12 Jan 94 02:15:43 EST From: erikb@PHANTOM.COM(Chris Goggans) Subject: File 5--New Legion of Doom T-shirts available After a complete sellout at HoHo Con 1993 in Austin, TX this past December, the official Legion of Doom t-shirts are available once again. Join the net luminaries world-wide in owning one of these amazing shirts. Impress members of the opposite sex, increase your IQ, annoy system administrators, get raided by the government and lose your wardrobe! Can a t-shirt really do all this? Of course it can! ============================================================ "THE HACKER WAR -- LOD vs MOD" This t-shirt chronicles the infamous "Hacker War" between rival groups The Legion of Doom and The Masters of Destruction. The front of the shirt displays a flight map of the various battle-sites hit by MOD and tracked by LOD. The back of the shirt has a detailed timeline of the key dates in the conflict, and a rather ironic quote from an MOD member. (For a limited time, the original is back!) "LEGION OF DOOM -- INTERNET WORLD TOUR" The front of this classic shirt displays "Legion of Doom Internet World Tour" as well as a sword and telephone intersecting the planet earth, skull-and-crossbones style. The back displays the words "Hacking for Jesus" as well as a substantial list of "tour-stops" (internet sites) and a quote from Aleister Crowley. +-------------------------------------------------------- All t-shirts are sized XL, and are 100% cotton. Cost is $15.00 (US) per shirt. International orders add $5.00 per shirt for postage. Send checks or money orders. Please, no credit cards, even if it's really your card. Name: __________________________________________________ Address: __________________________________________________ City, State, Zip: __________________________________________ I want ____ "Hacker War" shirt(s) I want ____ "Internet World Tour" shirt(s) Enclosed is $______ for the total cost. Mail to: Chris Goggans 603 W. 13th #1A-278 Austin, TX 78701 These T-shirts are sold only as a novelty items, and are in no way attempting to glorify computer crime. ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 9 Jan 1994 08:13:19 +0200 (WET) From: ygoland@SEAS.UCLA.EDU Subject: File 6--Patent/Tradmark Office Call for Comment (fwd) Forwarded message: From--cdh@gnu.ai.mit.edu Subject-- PTO Call for Comment Date--Wed, 5 Jan 94 10:27:09 est CALL for LETTERS Since the formation of the League for Programming Freedom it has been our contention that patents should not be granted on software. Many people in the academic community and industry share this position. We are now being offered an opportunity to affect a change in the current patent system. The United States Patent Office is now admiting that there is something wrong with the way patents on software are currently implemented. They have issued the attached statement calling for statements to be made on software patents. The League for Programming Freedom plans on sending a representitive to testify in these hearings. We are also asking all concerned individuals to send their comments to the patent office. To make it easiest for people to do this the LPF has set up a mailbox for this purpose. To make comments please send email to lpf-pto-letters@prep.ai.mit.edu. This will send your message to the patent office and to the LPF so we can keep track of this activity. If you choose to send in your comments via US Mail we would appreciate it if you could CC a copy to the LPF so we can have it in our files. Since this is such an important opportunity I urge all of those concerned to take the time to send a letter to the Patent Office. This may be our last chance to change the system of software patents. Christian D. Hofstader President League for Programming Freedom (617) 492 0023 cdh@prep.ai.mit.edu The following is the request by the Patent and Trademark Office: DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office Docket #: 931222-3322 Notice of Public Hearings and Request for Comments on Patent Protection for Software-Related Inventions AGENCY: Patent and Trademark Office, Department of Commerce ACTION: Notice of hearings and request for public comments SUMMARY: The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is interested in obtaining public input on issues associated with the patenting of software-related inventions. Interested members of the public are invited to testify at public hearings and to present written comments on any of the topics outlined in the supplementary information section of this notice. DATES: Public hearings will be held on January 26-27, 1994, at the San Jose Convention Center, 408 Almaden Avenue, San Jose, California, and on February 10-11, 1994, at the Crystal Forum in Arlington, Virginia. Those wishing to present oral testimony at any of the hearings must request an opportunity to do so no later than five days before the date of the hearing at which they wish to testify. Written comments on the topics presented in the supplementary information section of this notice should be received by the PTO on or before March 15, 1994. ADDRESSES: Those interested in presenting written comments on the topics presented in the supplementary information, or any other related topics, should address their comments to the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, marked to the attention of Jeff Kushan. Comments submitted by mail should be sent to Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, Box 4, Patent and Trademark Office, Washington, DC 20231. Comments may also be submitted by telefax at (703) 305-8885 and by electronic mail through the Internet to comments-software@uspto.gov. Written comments should include the following information: - name and affiliation of the individual responding; - an indication of whether comments offered represent views of the individual's organization or are the respondent's personal views; and - if applicable, the nature of the respondent's organization, including the size, type of organization (e.g., business, trade group, university, non-profit organization) and principal areas of business or software development activity. Parties offering testimony or written comments are asked to provide their comments in machine readable format in one of the following file formats: ASCII text, WordPerfect for DOS version 4.2 or 5.x, WordPerfect for Windows version 5.x, Word for Windows version 1.0 or 2.0, Word for DOS version 5.0, Word for Macintosh version 3.0, 4.0 or 5.x, or WordPerfect for Macintosh version 2.x. Persons wishing to testify must notify Jeff Kushan no later than five (5) days before the date of the hearing at which they wish to testify. Mr. Kushan can be reached by mail sent to his attention addressed to the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, Box 4, Washington, DC 20231; by phone at (703) 305-9300; or by telefax at (703) 305-8885. No requests for presenting oral testimony will be accepted through electronic mail. Written comments and transcripts of the hearings will be available for public inspection no later than March 30, 1994, in Room 902 of Crystal Park Two, 2121 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Virginia. In addition, transcripts of the hearings and comments provided in machine readable format will be available after March 16, 1994, through anonymous file transfer protocol (ftp) via the Internet (address: comments.uspto.gov), and will be available for Wide Area Information Server (WAIS) searching after March 30, 1994. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Kushan by telephone at (703) 305-9300, by fax at (703) 305-8885, by electronic mail at kushan@uspto.gov, or by mail marked to his attention addressed to the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, Box 4, Washington, DC 20231. ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 20 Dec 1993 12:59:28 -0800 From: Jim Warren Subject: File 7--More about 1/94 & 2/94 PTO SOFTWARE-PATENTS HEARINGS Tracked down a bit more on the January and February Patent & Trademark Office hearings on software patents - so-called, software-related inventions: Today (12/20), the Federal Register apparently [finally] carries the public notice of the meetings - reportedly drafted and ready for publication at the end of November. I am awaiting fax and electronic copies of it and will post and e-distribute it after I get it. For your very own original copy however, send email to kushan@uspto.gov and put the following in the subject-line: fr notice request (requests an electronic copy of the official Federal Register notice). The person apparently responsible for organizing the hearings is: Jeff Kushan [NOT Kushman], Esq. Legal and International Intellectual Property Specialist Office of Legislation and International Affairs U. S. Patent and Trademark Office voice/703-305-9300; fax/703-305-8885; email/kushan@uspto.gov He seemed knowledgable, was cordial, appeared frustrated by the delay in the [required] Federal Register notice publication, and I had the impression that he and/or the PTO has received more than a little heat and fury over software-patent problems (though he made no such specific statement). Reporters and press can contact Ruth Ford in the PTO Public Affairs Office at 703-305-8600 (East Coast time, of course). I am faxing a large list of trade and lay-press technology reporters to Kushan, as soon as I can dig it out. This msg is being BLIND-copied to a number of technology reporters, as well as a number of others who may be sensitive about their e-addrs being in the msg header.] The hearings will be Jan 26-27 (San Jose) and Feb 11-12 (Arlington), before Patent Commissioner Bruce Lehman, senior PTO staff, some Dept. of Commerce staff and/or officials, and probably others - specifics still being planned. Speakers will probably be limited to 7-12 minutes, but will be permitted and encouraged to submit more extensive written comments, before and for a limited period of time after the hearings. +++++++++++ While I was uploading the previous msg, the fax-copy of the official notice of the software-patent hearings arrived - 22 pages, plus cover-sheet. Just checked with Kushan; he sez he sent an electronic copy to me (but I have to check into a different machine to dissect it from my mound of email). Given its length and electronic availability -- those wishing a copy, please request it directly from Kushan at PTO. By email to kushan@uspto.gov, use a subject-line stating, "fr notice request" . --jim Jim Warren, 415-851-7075 == Please copy, post and recirculate, widely. == ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 3 Jan 1994 10:34:38 CST From: Vigdor Schreibman - FINS Subject: File 8--Closing the "Values-gap": Learning from the Titanic READ THIS ISSUE OF FINS TO CONSIDER: * Lessons of the sinking of the Titanic * Improving the giving/getting compact in our lives ================================================================ FINS: Communicating the Emerging Philosophy of The Information Age FEDERAL INFORMATION NEWS SYNDICATE VOL II, ISSUE NO. 1 (111 lines) EMBARGOED UNTIL JANUARY 3, 1994 CLOSING THE "VALUES-GAP": New Beginnings: Learning from the Titanic By Vigdor Schreibman This is a hopeful time of year. Vice President Al Gore gave a speech just before the new year telling us that as we explore the challenges of the information age "we shouldn't hesitate to chart a new course" to avoid the dangers of narrow thinking. He invoked another of his wondrous metaphors, the tragedy of the sinking of the Titanic 91 years ago, to illustrate the kind of problems that occur when people are narrowly focused on profitable business interests and feel no obligation to respond to larger public needs. Gore observed that "The Titanic wound up two miles under the surface of the North Atlantic in part because people hadn't realized that radio was not just a curiosity but a way to save lives." Moreover, he explained, government has an obligation to get involved in such matters, because there are certain public needs that outweigh private interests. Today, as divers explore the hulk of the Titanic, we face a similar problem. A new world awaits us. It is one that can not only save lives but utterly change and enrich them. And we need to rethink the role of government once more. What Gore was suggesting was the need to rethink the interest of the communications industry to be free of business regulation and the public need "to avoid creating a society of information "haves" and "have nots." He observed that the Government "cannot relax restrictions from legislation and judicial decisions without strong commitments and safeguards that there will be a 'public right of way' on the information highway." Gore also asserted that "We must protect the interests of the public sector. That's essential in building the information highway. That's essential in providing affordable services for public education, public health and government." In short, a deal is being proposed: prudent deregulation of private industry in return for a public right of way on the information highway to serve paramount public needs so that everyone will benefit. It has been more than a decade since Daniel Yankelovich described the cultural revolution that is sweeping the United States, "rewriting the giving/getting compact." That revolution revolves around the struggle to lesson the influence of instrumental forces in our lives and to heighten the sacred/expressive elements. In "New Rules," Yankelovich described how "simultaneously tens of millions of Americans have concluded that the old giving/getting compact that served our society so well for so long must now be revised because it fails to accommodate the sacred/expressive yearnings that lie at the heart of people's experiments in self-fulfillment." [Yankelovich, 1981: ch. 22]. Al Gore has invoked the tragedy of the Titanic to underscore the seriousness of that cultural and political yearning in the context of proposed legislation for development of his "information superhighways." On January 11, in Los Angeles, he will outline in more detail the main components of the legislative package the Clinton administration will present to Congress. Congress has already provided for a strikingly successful operational test bed of what is required; namely, the National Research and Education Network (NREN) program connecting schools, libraries, and local governments to each other and to the Internet. An institutionalized NREN model can serve the paramount human, social, and ecological priorities of the global people. The design of a telecommunications infrastructure architecture that can serve the public goods expected from the NREN program--that private industry has no real interest in serving--is a precondition to the viability of any public policy in this domain. Such an infrastructure must preclude opportunistic industry controls governed by materialism and profit maximization to the detriment of principled "third sector" purposes. Moreover, the need for an appropriate infrastructure must not be confused with operational functions of the infrastructure (e.g., universal access, privacy, etc.) that are distinct from and dependent upon the infrastructure. What the "third sector" must have to realize these paramount purposes of society, as recognized by enlightened academic and real-world experience [e.g., McGarty, 1992], is total control over its own necessary backbone network services, and mid-level networks. This can be publicly supported by direct instrumental subsidy and by a grant of financial interest in commercial network services that have been made possible through billions of dollars in Federal subsidies to industry. Congress can franchise a National Public Network Corporation to competently manage and coordinate those independent "third sector" network services. Private enterprise in the information revolution should then be free to pursue the gold mines of the 21st Century to their hearts content. The deplorable "technological imperative" that has heretofore guided the allocation of tens of billions of dollars annually for public information technology, was recognized to be without public vision in testimony before Congress Dec 2, 1993, by Sally Katzen, Administrator of the OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The Titanic dangers that are inherent to the information age, requiring instrumental support for public goods, is now openly advocated by the Vice President. Sobering experience has taught us to expect little from such declarations to ameliorate the rigged and lopsided giving/getting compact in our lives, but the tide may be turning. With a little luck and collective perseverance in pursuing our purpose, something good could come of all this talk about information superhighways. =============== Federal Information News Syndicate, Vigdor Schreibman, Editor & Publisher, 18 - 9th Street NE #206, Washington, DC 20002-6042. Copyright 1994 FINS. Internet: fins@access.digex.net. FINS is archived at the inforM (Information for Maryland) system. CapAccess, "All the Gopher Servers in the World" or Telnet inforM.umd.edu /Educational_Resources/United_States/Government/FINS. ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1993 16:23:18 -0600 From: "Robert E. Jones" Subject: File 9--SotMESC Scholarship Fund Solicits Applications The SotMESC scholarship fund is to advance those that wish to learn more about the computer sciences, their applications and cultures. The qualifications are for the person desiring such a scholarship to print up in single-spaced format, double-spacing between the paragraphs, a 15-20 page document detailing an aspect of the Computer Culture. All entries will be judged and measured by the SotMESC Scholarship committee. Those that are accepted will be summarily reviewed by a second group from the SotMESC and those that are deemed of quality will receive scholarships based on their weighted averages. This scholarship is open to anyone. All submissions will become the property of the SotMESC. All authors will be recognized for their submissions. Any and all references should be cited. This fund is open and applicable to all accredited colleges and universities. The amount of the scholarship and terms will vary accordingly. SotMESC P.O. Box 573 Long Beach, Ms 39560 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Founded in 1989, this organization is dedicated to preserving the integrity and cohesion of the computing society. By promoting computer education, liberties and efficiency, we believe we can secure freedoms for all computer users. The Government needs to be led and educated on the computer cultures and realms. The laws that have been pushed through our legislative system are not solutions to our problems, but constraints put upon us. The people are on the edge of a technological backwash. They will be choked on the amount of information that will be pouring into their homes across the country. Tomorrow's generations must prepare for a new society vastly different from that which we are living in now. The world is being tied into a global network at an astronomical rate. Every month more services, networks, countries and facilities are integrated into the world-wide networks than ever before. The demand is increasing. Future network implementations and schemes need to be formulated and put into place to meet this demand so that everyone can be online throughout the world. Let us be united together in information and communication. The ability to telecommunicate and enjoy the freedoms of the nets is a vital concern. Government regulations of personal privacy compromises and lengthy restrictions to otherwise legal actions outside of the nets is abhored. Our society is united in the networks we reside upon in a full comprehensive effect. Join Today !!! Name: Address: Student/Military: $20+ Citizens: $50+ Corporations: $10,000+ Total Donation: Your donations are vital to us !!! We will not be intimidated by any corporate donations. All memberships will receive the SotMESC Newsletter to keep informed. Projects ::: Providing scholarships to promote educated users. Keeping members informed via the newsletter on events. Keeping the public informed via the CSP Forum, an online system -for the masses and members to utilize to keep informed. Provide financing to those that are/have fought unjust computer litigation. Providing Legal advice to those members with such needs. Working towards being able to provide a machine to members to gain -accounts on and Internet services. Attending conventions and providing reports to the members -of the SotMESC via the newsletter. Attending debates to dispute computer roles and cultures. The SotMESC NewsLetter ::: A most informative array of articles and notices. Convention topics and dates, along with ongoing activities. Computer news on the Network community. Advice on preventing Government intervention and infiltration. Networking information and sites. BBS prospects. Monthly mailings. A -MUST- for anyone with a Modem !!! Etc . . . ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Anyone on the networks, bulletin boards or familiar with the issues of the computer realm can now get more information in an up-to-date format by joining the SotMESC. Our newwsletters come out on a monthly basis and feature articles about current computer legislation, conventions, Internet sites and information, bulletin board numbers of value, and details of the activities we are conducting to promote computer usage over the lines, networks and courts. Getting this newsletter is conditional to joining the SotMESC in helping us provide programs and funding for projects to secure computer usage and education. These projects include our scholarship fund, computer relocation program for discarded systems, counseling, promoting responsible laws for computer usage, and associated activities. ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #6.06 ************************************

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