Computer underground Digest Sun Mar 29, 1992 Volume 4 : Issue .15 Editors: Jim Thomas and

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Computer underground Digest Sun Mar 29, 1992 Volume 4 : Issue .15 Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET) Associate Editor: Etaion Shrdlu Arcmeisters: Brian Kehoe and Bob Kusumoto CONTENTS, #4.15 (Mar 29, 1992) File 1--Reader Reply--Don't "Say YES! to Business Rates." (CuD 4.11) File 2--Information wanted on Censorship in Cyberspace File 3--Reader Reply Cybernetic Candidate (CuD #4.14) File 4--"Sun Devil" becomes new SJG Game File 5--Electronic FOIA/April 2 hearing File 6--Penn. Supreme Ct. Bars Call File 7--Pedophilia, Computers and Children File 8--CFP-2: Sterling Speaks For "The Unspeakable" (NEWSBYTES reprint) File 9--CFP-2 Features Role-Playing FBI Scenario (NEWSBYTES reprint) File 10--Electronic CivLib - model candidate's statement & ideas Issues of CuD can be found in the Usenet news group, on CompuServe in DL0 and DL4 of the IBMBBS SIG, DL1 of LAWSIG, and DL0 and DL12 of TELECOM, on Genie, on the PC-EXEC BBS at (414) 789-4210, and by anonymous ftp from (,, and To use the U. of Chicago email server, send mail with the subject "help" (without the quotes) to European distributor: ComNet in Luxembourg BBS (++352) 466893. 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 as long as the source is cited. Some authors do copyright their material, 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, 24 Mar 1992 11:19:17 EST From: "Charles Purwin, Systems,"@UNKNOWN.DOMAIN Subject: File 1--Reader Reply--Don't "Say YES! to Business Rates." (CuD 4.11) I have to object to Michael E. Marotta's article in CUD #4.11, where he seems to take the stand that BBS's operators should pay business lines. His two views are both limited in scope and understanding of the issue at hand. Some of the items he speaks about in his "Home Data Center" are not really the informational tools he alludes them to actually be. Camcorders nor copiers are informational tools, they can be viewed as tools for capture and duplication of information but are not in themselves informational tools. TV's are at best a nominal information distributer, the tripe heavily outweighs the 6 o'clock news. Books, magazines and newspapers definitely are decent ways to get across information, but tend to be found densely in a home than a TV. Again in the same paragraph he states that "EVERY BBS USER IS A SYSOP." Now I don't know if Mr. Marotta has ever seen or used a BBS, but that statement leads me to believe that he has not. I associate with BBS operators and I see first hand the work and time they put in to keep a BBS running. If every user was a sysop then we would truely either have a few excellent bbs's or many that are simply run to the verge of anarchy. No average user, excluding obviously other sysops, can be alluded to being a sysop that is impossible. It is true that data travels from home to home, but what is voice? Last time I looked it is data also. In his following statements on "The Home Treasury", Mr. Marotta feels that "anyone can build a car; most people choose not to." PLEASE! I know many people that would not have a clue on how to put two pieces of wood together, never mind a car. That type of senseless comparison is not endearing to anyone. I think most people know that your checkbook is your general ledger that is usually a common thing. I don't see what a dishwasher or adding machine have to do with your phone rate! There is no comparision here. The basis for a phone rate should lie more so in the fact it being either commercial/private /public/non-profit and not if you have a dishwasher. Well most businesses can afford a commercial phone number. But they are in the market to make money, where as a BBS IS NOT. Now I know there are exceptions to the rule, BUT 90% do not ask for money up front as a requirement, as a business would do. They just ask that you help them if you can, a donation or whatever you want to call it. I can't make heads or tails of the last paragraph, I guess my english is just not refined enough. In closing, BBS operators do not deserve to be charged commercial rates, because in fact they are not a business in the classical sense. Now I see no reason that the telco could not come to an agreement on a rate that would reflect the usage a line would be getting because of BBS usage. ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 22 Mar 92 13:16 EST From: "Michael E. Marotta" Subject: File 2--Information wanted on Censorship in Cyberspace I have been hired to write an article about the control of information in cyberspace. We all know that Fidonet moderators and sysops devote their OWN resources for us to use. There is no question about the "right" of the sysop or moderator to delete messages and users. The practice of censorship is nonetheless newsworthy. If YOU have experienced censorship on Fidonet or Usenet, or Prodigy or CompuServe, or another BBS or network, I am interested in learning about your story. If you can supply downloads of actual encounters, so much the better. If you have ever been censored, send me physical world mail about the event. Michael E. Marotta 5751 Richwood #34 Lansing, Mich. 48911 USA ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 26 Mar 92 14:34:54 EST From: Stephen Dennett Subject: File 3--Reader Reply--Cybernetic Candidate (CuD #4.14) > A few weeks ago I asked Congressman Tom Lantos' staff how he voted > last year. Their initial response was to hand me the glossy > advertising brochure that our tax dollars paid for. When pressed to > find out how he voted, or didn't vote, I was ushered into their > library, shown to the Congressional Record, and told to look it up > myself day by day. The PRODIGY service has a database with the voting records of all current candidates available online (done with the League of Women voters or some such group). You might want to contact them about getting listed (they list candidates with no records also). ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 25 Mar 92 11:00:38 -0600 From: sjackson@TIC.COM(Steve Jackson) Subject: File 4--"Sun Devil" becomes new SJG Game In 1990, the Secret Service raided Steve Jackson Games when a "hacker hunt" went out of control. Loss of our computers and unfinished game manuscripts almost put this company out of business. It's been two years. We're back on our feet. And ever since the raid, fans have been asking "When are you going to make a game out of it?" Okay. We give up. Here it is. In HACKER, players compete to invade the most computer systems. The more systems you crack, the more you learn, and the easier the next target is. You can find back doors and secret phone lines, and even crash the systems your rivals are using. But be careful. There's a Secret Service Raid with your name on it if you make too many enemies. Designed by Steve Jackson, the game was based on the award-winning ILLUMINATI. To win at HACKER requires guile and diplomacy. You must trade favors with your fellow hackers - and get more than you give away. But jealous rivals will try to bust you. Three busts and you're out of the game. More than one player can win, but shared victories are not easy! HACKER is for 3-6 players. Playing time is under an hour for the short game and about 2 hours for the regular game. Components include a rule book, 110 cards, marker chips, 6 console units, system upgrades, Bust markers and Net Ninja marker, two dice and a ziplock bag. Hacker begins shipping March 30, and has a suggested retail price of $19.95. ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1992 13:06:33 CST Sender: Activists Mailing List From: James P Love Subject: File 5-- Electronic FOIA/April 2 hearing On April 2, 1992 the Senate Subcommittee on Technology and the Law will hold a public hearing on S. 1940, Senator Leahy's "Electronic Freedom of Information Improvement Act of 1991." This important legislation addresses the issue of the availability of electronic records under the Freedom of Information Act. A number of persons have asked how Senator Leahy's Electronic FOIA bill (S. 1940) relates to Representative Owens' Improvement of Information Access Act (IIA Act, HR 3459), which also amends the Freedom of Information Act. The _short_ answer is that S. 1940 would strengthen the public's rights to receive electronic records that are subject to a FOIA request, while the Owens bill would enhance access by improving the scope and performance of agency information products and services. The principal opposition to the Leahy bill comes from federal agencies who do not like FOIA responsiblities, while the principal opposition to the Owens bill comes from commercial data vendors who don't want new government information products and services. We plan to provide a more detailed discussion of the two bills in a few days. Senator Leahy wants to use the April 2, 1992 hearing to develop a record of the problems the public has in receiving electronic records from agencies. We are preparing a statement which will address several issues, including, among other things: - the Federal Reserve Bank's use of NTIS to sell the electronic copy of its bank call reports for $500 a tape, rather than releasing the information under a FOIA request for the cost of copying the information, - the SEC/Mead contract that will prevent the electronic copy of EDGAR database from being available under FOIA, and - the Department of Justice/WESTLAW contract which prevents the public from obtaining large portions of the JURIS database under FOIA. We would be very interested in learning about _ANY_ problems people have had receiving electronic records under FOIA. For more information about S. 1940 or the April 2, 1992 hearing, contact Cathy Russell, Counsel to the Subcomittee, at 202-224-3406, or write to her at 815 Senate Hart Building, Washington, DC 20510. ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1992 15:49:09 EDT From: Dave Banisar Subject: File 6--Penn. Supreme Ct. Bars Call Penn. Supreme Ct. Bars Caller Id From: March 23, 1992 Comm. Daily PA. SUPREME COURT THROWS OUT UNBLOCKED CALLER ID Pa. state Supreme Court last week upheld lower court rulings that unblocked Caller ID service would violate state wiretap laws, but left open significant question whether any form of blocking would satisfy legal requirements. March 18 decision by Judge Nicholas Papadakos for 7-member court said service violated state law "because it is being used for unlimited purposes without the 'consent' of each of the users of the telephone service." PUC had approved service in 1989 without blocking, and was challenged in court by then-Consumer Advocate David Barasch. Bell of Pa. had argued that Caller ID was legal trap-and-trace device operated by telephone company, but Barasch and others had said that 2 traps were being used -- one by telephone company, which may be exempt from law, and one by customer's Caller ID device. Court ruled state wiretapping law requires that "consent to any form of interception must be obtained from all parties." Ruling didn't reach questions whether Caller ID was constitutional, or what forms of blocking would suffice to meet state requirements. In oral argument, telephone company changed its policy and said it would offer per-call blocking. Bell of Pa. spokesman Saul Kohler said that ruling "clears the way for Caller ID to be offered" with per-call blocking, and that company was pleased service wasn't found to be unconstitutional. There's no timetable for proposing service, he said. But Irwin Popowski, who succeeded Barasch as Consumer Advocate, said it's open question whether per-call blocking is adequate. Popowski wouldn't say what blocking standard his office would support, but noted that trend of regulatory decisions around country lately has been to include per-line blocking in mix of services. There's "real question" whether per-line blocking should be offered, he said. PUC Vice Chmn. Joseph Rhodes, who wrote 1978 privacy law while in legislature, said it's possible that any new Bell proposal could lead to another 3 years of litigation. He called decision "triumph for privacy," and said Bell statement claiming victory was "an absurd attempt to distort what the Supreme Court decided." Rhodes called on Bell to confer with Caller ID opponents to try to find solution, and for company to put more emphasis on Call Trace. ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1992 15:44:51 EST From: Subject: File 7--Pedophilia, Computers and Children ==== NEWS RELEASE Immediate 3/18/92 PEDOPHILIA, COMPUTERS AND CHILDREN If you have children in your home and a home computer complete with a telephone modum, you [sic] child is in potential danger of coming in contact with deviate and dangerous criminals. Using the computer modum [sic], these unsavory individuals can communicate directly with your child without your knowledge. Just as importantly, you should be concerned if your child has a friendship with other youth who have access to this equipment in an unsupervised environment. Using a computer and a modum your child can readily access community "bulletin boards" and receive sexually explicit and graphic material from total strangers who can converse with your children, individuals you quite probably wouldn't even talk with. The concern becomes more poignant when stated otherwise; would you let a child molester, murderer, convicted criminal into your home to meet alone with your child? According to Fresno Police Detective Frank Clark "your child can be in real danger from pedophiles, rapists, satanic cultists and other criminals knows to be actively engaged in computer conversation. Unwittingly, naive children with a natural curiosity can be victimized; emerging healthy sexual feelings of a child can be subverted into a twisted unnatural fetish affecting youth during a vulnerable time in their lives." It is anticipated that parents, when armed with knowledge this activity exists and awareness that encounters with such deviate individuals results in emotional and psychological damage to their child, will take appropriate measures to eliminate the possibility of strangers interacting with their children via a computer. A news conference is scheduled for 10 a.m., Thursday, March 19, 1992 at Fresno Police Department, Headquarters. The conference, presided over by Detective Frank Clark, will be held in the Library located on the second floor. For Further Information: P.I.O. Ron Hults (209) 498-4568 ------------------------------ Date: Tue, Mar 24, '92 22:15:21 PST From: John F. McMullen Subject: File 8-- CFP-2: Sterling Speaks For "The Unspeakable" (NEWSBYTES) WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.A., 1992 MAR 25(NB) -- Bruce Sterling, the prime luncheon speaker at the 2nd Annual Conference On Computers Freedom & Privacy (CFP-2), fulfilled his program billing as "Speaking for the Unspeakable" by taking on three separate persona and delivering what might have been their messages. Sterling, best known as a science fiction writer, spoke for three characters, a "a malicious hacker", a Latin American police official and a Hong Kong businessman, who were, in his words, "too venal, violent, treacherous, power-mad, suspicious, or mean-spirited to receive (or accept) an invitation to attend." Sterling began his speech by introducing himself and then saying "When the CFP committee asked me if I might recommend someone to speak here at CFP-2, I had an immediate candidate. I thought it would be great if we could all hear from a guy who's been known as Sergei. Sergei was the KGB agent runner for the Chaos Computer Club group who broke into Cliff Stoll's computer in the famous Cuckoo's Egg case. Now Sergei is described as a stocky bearded Russian espionage professional in his mid-40's. He's married, has kids and his hobby is fishing, in more senses than one, apparently. Sergei used to operate out of East Berlin, and, as far as I personally know, Sergei's operation was the world's first and only actual no-kidding, real-life case of international computer espionage, So I figured -- why not send Yelsin a fax and offer Sergei some hard currency; things are pretty lean over at KGB First Directorate these days. CFP could have flown this guy in from Moscow on a travel scholarship and I'm sure that a speech from Sergei would be far more interesting than anything I'm likely to offer here. My proposal wasn't taken up and instead I was asked to speak here myself. Too bad! "This struck me as rather a bad precedent for CFP which has struggled hard to maintain a broad universality of taste. Whereas you're apparently willing to tolerate science fiction writers but already certain members of the computer community, KGB agents, are being quietly placed beyond the pale. But you know, ladies and gentlemen, just because you ignore someone, doesn't mean that person ceases to exist -- and you've not converted someone's beliefs merely because you won't listen. But instead of Comrade Sergei, here I am -- and I am a science fiction writer and, because of that, I rejoice in a complete lack of any kind of creditability! "Today I hope to make the best of that anomalous position. Like other kinds of court jesters, science fiction writers are sometimes allowed to speak certain kinds of unspeakable truth, if only an apparent parody or metaphor. So today, ladies and gentlemen, I will exercise my inalienable civil rights as a science fiction writer to speak up on behalf of the excluded and the incredible. In fact, I plan to abuse my talents as a writer of fiction to actually recreate some of these excluded, incredible unspeakable people for you and to have them address you today. I want these people, three of them, to each briefly address this group just as if they were legitimately invited here and just as if they could truly speak their mind right here in public without being arrested." Sterling then went on to assure the crowd that he was not speaking his personal conviction, only those of his characters, and warned the group that some of the material might be offensive. He then launched into the delivery of his characters' speeches -- speeches which had the hacker talking about real damage - "the derailing of trains"; the Latin police official, a friend and admirer of Noriega, discussing the proper way of dealing with hackers; and the businessman explaining way, in the age of high speed copiers, laser printers and diskette copying devices, the US copyright laws are irrelevant. Often intercepted by laughter and applause, Sterling received a standing ovation at the conclusion of the speech. Computer Press Association newsletter editor Barbara McMullen was overhead telling Sterling that he had replaced "Alan Kay as her favorite luncheon speaker." while conference chair Lance Hoffman, who had received an advance copy of the speech a few weeks before, described the speech as "incredible and tremendous". Sterling, relaxing after the talk with a glass of Jack Daniels, told Newsbytes that the speech had been fun but a strain, adding "Next time they'll really have to get Sergei. I'm going back to fiction." Sterling's non-fiction work on computer crime, "The Hacker Crackdown" is due out from Bantam in the fall and an audio tape of the CFP-2 speech is available from Audio Archives. He is the author of "Islands In The Net" and is the co-author, with William Gibson, of the presently best-selling "The Difference Engine". John F. McMullen/Press Contact: Audio Archives, 818 957-0874/19920325) ------------------------------ Date: Tue, Mar 24, '92 22:15:34 PST From: John F. McMullen Subject: File 9--CFP-2 Features Role-Playing FBI Scenario (NEWSBYTES REPRINT) WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.A., 1992 MAR 25(NB) -- As part of the "Birds-of-a-Feather" (BOF) sessions featured at the 2nd Conference on Computers, Freedom & Privacy (CFP-2), FBI agent J. Michael Gibbons, acting as a live gamemaster, orchestrated the play-acting of an investigation by federal agents into allegations of computer intrusion and criminal activity. The scenario, set up by Gibbons to show the difficulties faced by investigators in balancing the conducting of an investigation with a protection of the rights of the individual under investigation, was acted out with non-law enforcement officials cast in the role of investigators; New York State Police Senior Investigator Donald Delaney as "Doctor Doom", the suspected ringleader of the computer criminals; Newsbytes New York Bureau Chief John McMullen as a magistrate responsible for considering the investigators' request for a search warrant; and author Bruce Sterling as a neighbor and possible cohort of Doctor Doom. Gibbons, in His role of Gamemaster, regularly intercepted the action to involve the audience in a discussion of what the appropriate next step in the scenario would be -- "Do you visit the suspect or get a search warrant or visit his school or employer to obtain more information?; Do you take books in the search and seizure?, printers?, monitors?, etc." During the discussion with the audience, points of law were clarified by Mike Godwin, Electronic Frontier Foundation in-house counsel, and Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Donald Ingraham. The role-playing session immediately followed a BOF panel, "Hackers: Why Don't They Understand" which attempted to present a hacker view of on-line ethics. The panel, moderated by McMullen, was composed of Steve Levy, MacWorld columnist and author of "Hackers"; Dorothy Denning, Chair of Computer Science at Georgetown University; Glenn Tenney, California Congressional Candidate and chair of the annual "Hacker's Conference"; Craig Neidorf, defendant in a controversial case involving the electronic publishing of a stolen document; "Dispater", the publisher of the electronic publication "Phrack"; Emmanuel Goldstein, editor and publisher of "2600: The Hacker Quarterly", and hacker "Phiber Optik". During the panel discussion, Levy, Denning and Tenney discussed the roots of the activities that we now refer to as hacking, Goldstein and Dispater described what they understood as hacking and asked for an end to what they see as overreaction by the law enforcement community, Neidorf discussed the case which, although dropped by the government, has left him over $50,000 in debt; and Phiber Optik described the details of two searches and seizures of his computer equipment and his 1991 arrest by Delaney. In Neidorf's talk, he called attention to the methods used in valuing the stolen document that he published as $78,000. He said that it came out after the trial that the $78,000 included the full value of the laser printer on which it was printed, the cost of the word processing system used in its production and the cost of the workstation on which it was entered. Neidorf's claims were substantiated by EFF counsel Godwin, whose filing of a motion in the Steve Jackson cases caused the release of papers including the one referred to by Neidorf. Godwin also pointed out that it was the disclosure by interested party John Nagle that the document, valued at $78,000, was obtainable in a book priced at under $20.00 that led to the dropping of the charges by the US Attorney's office. SRI security consultant Donn Parker, one of the many in the audience to participate, admonished Phiber and other hackers to use their demonstrated talents constructively and to complete an education that will prepare them for employment in the computer industry. Another audience member, Charles Conn, described his feeling of exhilaration when, as a 12-year old, he "hacked" into a computer at a local Kentucky Fried Chicken. Conn said "It was wonderful. It was like a drug. I just wanted to explore more and more." Parker later told Newsbytes that he thought that it was a mistake to put hackers such as Phiber Optic and those like Craig Neidorf who glorify hackers on a panel. Parker said "Putting them on a panel glorifies them to other hackers and makes the problem worse." The Birds-of-a-Feather sessions were designed to provide an opportunity for discussions of topics that were not a part of the formal CFP-2 program. (Barbara E. McMullen/Press Contact: Dianne Martin, The George Washington University, 202-994-8238/19920325) ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 26 Mar 92 18:05:58 -0800 From: Jim Warren Subject: File 10--Electronic CivLib - model candidate's statement & ideas This concerns practical efforts to assure that traditional constitutional rights and protections remain clearly guaranteed, even in the context of modern technology -- in the "Information Age" and across the "Electronic Frontier." For this 1992 election-year, the following offers possible models for do-it-yourself citizen-based political action. Please "copy, post and circulate" this 3-part document wherever and to whomever you wish. Please feel free to modify Parts 2 and 3 however you wish -- over your own signature. After all, freedom always *has* been a do-it-yourself project. This introduction is PART-1 of three parts. PART-2 provides a model cover-letter & facts you might use: 1. First, it *briefly* mentions the electronic civil liberties issues. 2. Its next part is intended to get the attention of a candidate and/or their campaign staff by illustrating cheap, effective net communications. 3. The next part illustrates that a great number of people (candidate- translation: "voters") are involved. 4. *Very important*: It outlines our ability to communicate with masses of people/voters -- at little or no cost. 5. Equally important -- it requests *specific commitment to act* from a candidate. 6. It offers a matching commitment to publicize their position. PART-3 is a model candidate's statement committing to specific action. Note: All successful politicians have mastered the art of *sounding* like they are supportive of the hundreds or thousands of causes and pleas that are urged upon them. Good-sounding, vaguely-supportive statements are worth virtually nothing. Anything less than their issuing a public position statement committing to explicit action must be considered as meaningless. Election season is the one time when we have our best chance at efficient and effective citizen action. All it takes is time and effort. (And, I walk it like I talk it -- I have forwarded customized versions of the cover-letter and model-statement to several state and federal candidates -- all of whom are seeking re-election or election to higher office.) I would be happy to help others working on these issues, time permitting. The more people who send this cover letter and model statement to candidates -- and phone campaign headquarters and ask questions at candidates' forums; the more sensitized they will become to this constituency and these fundamental issues of a free society. Speak and write, now; speak and write, often. "The price of freedom ..." --Jim Warren, Electronic Civil Liberties Initiative, 345 Swett Road, Woodside CA 94062; fax/415-851-2814 email/ [ For identification purposes only: organizer/chair of First Conference on Computers, Freedom & Privacy (1991), first-year recipient of Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award (1992), MicroTimes contributing editor & columnist, Autodesk Board of Directors member, founding of InfoWorld, founding editor of Dr. Dobb's Journal, past chair of ACM, SIGMICRO and SIGPLAN chapters, etc., blah blah blah. ] =============== PART-2, MODEL COVER-LETTER TO CANDIDATE(S) ================ Dear [candidate], A growing percentage of the 12-16 million people who are "online" -- using networked computers -- are expressing increasing concern about protecting traditional civil liberties and personal privacy in the "Information Age." (People are "coming online" at a rate much faster than the explosive growth of personal computing since they began in the mid-'70s.) As we use networked computers for electronic-mail, teleconferencing and information exchange, they are reporting rapidly-increasing threats to electronic "speech," "press," "assembly," personal security and privacy. For instance: In 1990, a single notice sent out across computer nets prompted 30,000 complaints about Lotus Corporation's plans to sell personal data on 20-million consumers. Lotus quickly withdrew their "Marketplace" product before sales ever began. Or: In Spring, 1991, a single message sent into the computer nets prompted thousands of complaints to Senators Biden and DeConcini. It concerned legislation they had introduced, reportedly requested by the FBI via Senator Thurmond, that would have crippled secure voice and data communications for U.S. citizens and business. The Senators withdrew the proposal with three weeks of the net-circulated note. How many voters are involved? Almost all users are adults. Most are well-educated. Most have upscale incomes. Most have significant discretion for spending and contributions. Recent published research indicates there are about 14.2-million people sharing 1.3-million "host" computers on the "Internet." This includes about 960,000 people using more than 12,000 home/personal computers as shared BBSs -- networked electronic "bulletin board systems." These offer free or almost-free teleconferencing and electronic-mail. [Matrix News, Feb., 1992, 1120 S. Capitol-of-Texas Hwy., Bldg. 2-300, Austin, TX 78746.] (In addition, there are also the commercial systems such as CompuServe, Prodigy, GEnie and MCImail -- but they have only several million users and are very costly in comparison to the much larger Internet computer matrix.) Mass-discussions of freedom and privacy concerns are escalating. Almost-instant mass-circulated online "newspapers" and "news-groups" plus numerous popular teleconferences increasingly carry reports of electronic civil-liberties and privacy concerns. Credit-data abuses, covert employer surveillance, corporate espionage, seizure of electronic publications, searches of entire electronic post offices, and government opposition to secure communications are greatly escalating these concerns. These issues are rapidly penetrating the public press and television. Example: The First Conference on Computers, Freedom and Privacy (1991), prompted well in excess of 80 pages of press, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal Time Magazine, Business Week, Scientific American, Germany's Der Spiegel, etc.. [For copies, contact CFP#1 chair, Jim Warren, 345 Swett Road, Woodside CA 94062; 415-851-7075.] Functionally-free, almost-instantaneous mass communication is available. It is trivial for anyone to "broadcast" comments or information across the nets to thousands of people, almost immediately and for free or perhaps costing $15-$20/month. Over a million people read news-groups in USENET, which is just one of thousands of electronic "newspapers." And, system-owners and system-operators -- those often most-deeply concerned about these civil liberties, privacy and content-liability issues -- can have every user of their system receive whatever message they choose, perhaps only once, or perhaps every time each person logs-in. Without cost. Various of these "sysops" are agreeing to inform every one of their users -- often numbering in the thousands -- about candidates who commit to act to protect civil liberties and privacy against new, technology-based threats. We ask for your commitment. A number of people who are well-known across this huge network are asking candidates to commit to specific action, to make clear that constitutional protections unquestionably apply across this new "electronic frontier." We ask that you issue a formal position statement, committing to act on these matters. (We recognize that an informal statement of general principles is of minimal value without specifics or commitment to action.) We ask that you commit to protecting Constitutional freedoms, regardless of technology. Enclosed is a "model" that you might use as a starting point. (It illustrates some of the issues that many people feel are most important.) Commitment is reciprocal. If you commit to act, we will promptly broadcast it far and wide across this massive, high-speed network. And, if your opponent(s) avoid explicit commitment -- by specific refusal or simply by inaction -- we will publicize that with equal vigor. Additionally, some of us are prepared to assist committed candidates to publicize/discuss all of their positions and issues (not just these online issues) via this free, fast, pervasive mass-medium. And finally, candidates who address these issues first can generate notice in the public press and television -- especially re protecting freedom of speech, press, assembly and personal privacy. Numerous reporters have covered these issues, to say nothing of the 300-400 computer trade periodicals. Some of us have lists of lay and trade reporters interested in these issues and would be happy to assist in publicizing your commitment. I appreciate your attention to these comments and requests, and look forward to your timely reply. <> =================== PART-3, MODEL CANDIDATE'S STATEMENT ==================== Guaranteeing Constitutional Freedoms into the 21st Century Preface Harvard Law Professor Laurence H. Tribe, one of the nation's leading Constitutional scholars, views technological threats to our traditional constitutional freedoms and protections as so serious that -- for the first time in his career -- he has proposed a Constitutional Amendment: "This Constitution's protections for the freedoms of speech, press, petition and assembly, and its protections against unreasonable searches and seizures and the deprivation of life, liberty or property without due process of law, should be construed as fully applicable without regard to the technological method or medium through which information content is generated, stored, altered, transmitted or controlled." -- First Conf. on Computers, Freedom & Privacy, 3/27/91, Burlingame CA In the absence of such a constitutional clarification, legislation and regulation are the only alternatives to assure that citizens are protected from technological threats against their constitutional rights and freedoms. Candidate's Commitment to Action (model statement) Preface: It has been over two centuries since our Constitution and Bill of Rights were adopted. The great technological changes in the interim -- especially in computing, telecommunications and electronics -- now pose a clear and present danger to the rights and protections guaranteed in those great documents. Therefore: Commitment: In the first legislative session after I am [re]elected, I will author or co-author legislation reflecting the following specifics, and I will actively support and testify in favor of any similar legislation as may be introduced by others. Further, I will actively seek to include in such legislation, explicit personal civil and/or criminal penalties against any agent, employee or official of the government who violates any of these statutes. And finally, I will keep all citizens who express interest in legislative progress on these matters fully and timely informed. The protections guaranteed in the Constitution and its Amendments shall be fully applicable regardless of the current technology of the time. This particularly includes, but is not limited to: Speech: Freedom of speech shall be equally protected, whether by voice or in written form as in the 18th Century, or by electronic transmission or computer communication as in the 20th Century and thereafter. Press: Freedom of the press shall be equally protected, whether its information is distributed by print as in the 18th Century, or by networked computers or other electronic forms, as in the 20th Century and thereafter. Liability for content: Just as a printer is not liable for content of leaflets printed for a customer, so also shall the owner or operator of a computer or electronic or telecommunications facility be held harmless for the content of information distributed by users of that facility, except as the owner or operator may, by contract, control information content. Those who author statements and those who have contractual authority to control content shall be the parties singularly responsible for such content. Assembly: Freedom of assembly shall be equally protected, whether by face-to-face meeting as in the 18th Century, or by computer-based electronic-conference or other teleconference as in the 20th Century and thereafter. The right to hold confidential meetings shall be equally protected, whether they be by personal meeting in private chambers, or by computer-assisted or electronic-based means. Self-defense: The right of the people to keep and use computers and communications connections shall not be abridged by the government. Search & seizure: The right of the people to be secure in their papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall be fully applicable to their electronic mail, computerized information and personal computer systems. Warrants: No warrants for search or seizure shall issue for computerized information, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the computer system to be searched and the specific information to be seized. Secure information vaults: Just as search and seizure of letters in a post-office, and papers in a bank-vault lock-box, and surveillance of telephone conversations by wire-tap, each require a separate warrant for each postal address, lock-box and telephone line, so also shall a separate warrant be required for each electronic-mail address and/or computer files of each suspect, when stored in a computer facility or archive shared by others. And further, computer files stored in a shared facility or archive by or for a citizen who is neither named in a warrant nor associated with a suspect so-named, may not be used against that un-named citizen, if seized or discovered during legal search of or for files of a suspect. Self-incrimination: No person shall be compelled in any civil or criminal case to be a witness against himself or herself, nor be compelled to provide information retained only in their mind, nor otherwise be compelled to assist the translation or decoding of information that he or she believes may be self-incriminating. Property: Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation, nor shall such property be used nor sold by any government agency for less than fair market value, in which case all such proceeds shall promptly derive singularly to its last owner prior to government seizure. Speedy release: Anyone not accused of a crime shall enjoy the right to a speedy release and return of all of their property, as may be seized under any warrant, particularly including their computerized information. The government shall be fully liable for any damage befalling property or information they have seized. [signed] _______________________ ______________ [date] _________________ _________________________ [please print or type] _________________________ title / current office / office sought _________________________ address _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ campaign-office voice-phone number _________________________ campaign-office fax number _________________________ campaign-office electronic-mail address [ Additional copies of this model candidate's position commitment are available from: Jim Warren, Electronic Civil Liberties Initiative, 345 Swett Road, Woodside CA 94062; (415)851-7075, fax/(415)851-2814; electronic-mail/ -or- . 3/26/92 For identification purposes, only, Warren was the Chair of the First Conference on Computers, Freedom & Privacy held in March, 1991, is a Contributing Editor for MicroTimes and is a member of the Board of Directors of Autodesk, one of the nation's half-dozen largest software companies.] ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #4.15 ************************************


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