Computer underground Digest Wed July 7 1993 Volume 5 : Issue 50 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Ji

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Computer underground Digest Wed July 7 1993 Volume 5 : Issue 50 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET) Archivist: Brendan Kehoe Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala Ian Dickinson Copy Editor: Etaoin Shrdlu, Seniur CONTENTS, #5.50 (July 7 1993) File 1--New information on Public Key Patents File 2--Galactic Hacker Party, '93 File 3--On-Line Congressional Hearing File 4--Hacker Listens to Secretary's Aides File 5--Virtually no Reality in "Virtual Reality" File 6--Donation Distinctions (By E-Zine Editors/Moderators) Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically from The editors may be contacted by voice (815-753-6430), 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 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: UNITED STATES: ( in /pub/cud ( in /pub/CuD/cud in /pub/mirror/cud ( in /pub/eff/cud AUSTRALIA: ( in /pub/text/CuD. EUROPE: in pub/doc/cud. (Finland) in pub/cud (United Kingdom) 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: Mon, 28 Jun 1993 17:59:54 -0800 (PDT) From: ygoland@HURRICANE.SEAS.UCLA.EDU Subject: File 1--New information on Public Key Patents Date--Mon, 28 Jun 93 17:25:32 edt (Noah Friedman) Subject--Digital Signature Scandal [The following is an official announcement from the League for Programming Freedom. Please redistribute this as widely as possible.] Digital Signature Scandal Digital signature is a technique whereby one person (call her J. R. Gensym) can produce a specially encrypted number which anyone can verify could only have been produced by her. (Typically a particular signature number encodes additional information such as a date and time or a legal document being signed.) Anyone can decrypt the number because that can be done with information that is published; but producing such a number uses a "key" (a password) that J. R. Gensym does not tell to anyone else. Several years ago, Congress directed the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology, formerly the National Bureau of Standards) to choose a single digital signature algorithm as a standard for the US. In 1992, two algorithms were under consideration. One had been developed by NIST with advice from the NSA (National Security Agency), which engages in electronic spying and decoding. There was widespread suspicion that this algorithm had been designed to facilitate some sort of trickery. The fact that NIST had applied for a patent on this algorithm engendered additional suspicion; despite their assurances that this would not be used to interfere with use of the technique, people could imagine no harmless motive for patenting it. The other algorithm was proposed by a company called PKP, Inc., which not coincidentally has patents covering its use. This alternative had a disadvantage that was not just speculation: if this algorithm were adopted as the standard, everyone using the standard would have to pay PKP. (The same patents cover the broader field of public key cryptography, a technique whose use in the US has been mostly inhibited for a decade by PKP's assiduous enforcement of these patents. The patents were licensed exclusively to PKP by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University, and derive from taxpayer-funded research.) PKP, Inc. made much of the suspect nature of the NIST algorithm and portrayed itself as warning the public about this. On June 8, NIST published a new plan which combines the worst of both worlds: to adopt the suspect NIST algorithm, and give PKP, Inc. an *exclusive* license to the patent for it. This plan places digital signature use under the control of PKP through the year 2010. By agreeing to this arrangement, PKP, Inc. shows that its concern to protect the public from possible trickery was a sham. Its real desire was, as one might have guessed, to own an official national standard. Meanwhile, NIST has justified past suspicion about its patent application by proposing to give that patent (in effect) to a private entity. Instead of making a gift to PKP, Inc., of the work all of us have paid for, NIST and Congress ought to protect our access to it--by pursuing all possible means, judicial and legislative, to invalidate or annul the PKP patents. If that fails, even taking them by eminent domain is better (and cheaper in the long run!) than the current plan. You can write to NIST to object to this giveaway. Write to: Michael R. Rubin Active Chief Counsel for Technology Room A-1111, Administration Building, National Institute of Standards and Technology Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899 (301) 975-2803. The deadline for arrival of letters is around August 4. Please send a copy of your letter to: League for Programming Freedom 1 Kendall Square #143 P.O.Box 9171 Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 (The League for Programming Freedom is an organization which defends the freedom to write software, and opposes monopolies such as patented algorithms and copyrighted languages. It advocates returning to the former legal system under which if you write the program, you are free to use it. Please write to the League if you want more information.) Sending copies to the League will enable us to show them to elected officials if that is useful. This text was transcribed from a fax and may have transcription errors. We believe the text to be correct but some of the numbers may be incorrect or incomplete. +++++++++ ** The following notice was published in the Federal Register, Vol. 58, No. 108, dated June 8, 1993 under Notices ** National Institute of Standards and Technology Notice of Proposal for Grant of Exclusive Patent License This is to notify the public that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) intends to grant an exclusive world-wide license to Public Key Partners of Sunnyvale, California to practice the Invention embodied in U.S. Patent Application No. 07/738.431 and entitled "Digital Signature Algorithm." A PCT application has been filed. The rights in the invention have been assigned to the United States of America. The prospective license is a cross-license which would resolve a patent dispute with Public Key Partners and includes the right to sublicense. Notice of availability of this invention for licensing was waived because it was determined that expeditious granting of such license will best serve the interest of the Federal Government and the public. Public Key Partners has provided NIST with the materials contained in Appendix A as part of their proposal to NIST. Inquiries, comments, and other materials relating to the prospec- tive license shall be submitted to Michael R. Rubin, Active Chief Counsel for Technology, Room A-1111, Administration Building, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899. His telephone number is (301) 975-2803. Applica- tions for a license filed in response to this notice will be treated as objections to the grant of the prospective license. Only written comments and/or applications for a license which are received by NIST within sixty (60) days for the publication of this notice will be considered. The prospective license will be granted unless, within sixty (60) days of this notice, NIST receives written evidence and argument which established that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7. Dated: June 2, 1993. Raymond G. Kammer Acting Director, National Institute Standards and Technology. Appendix "A" The National Institute for Standards and Technology ("NIST") has announced its intention to grant Public Key Partners ("PKP") sublicensing rights to NIST's pending patent application on the Digital Signature Algorithm ("DSA"). Subject to NIST's grant of this license, PKP is pleased to declare its support for the proposed Federal Information Processing Standard for Digital Signatures (the "DSS") and the pending availability of licenses to practice the DSA. In addition to the DSA, licenses to practice digital signatures will be offered by PKP under the following patents: Cryptographic Apparatus and Method ("Diffie-Hellman") No. 4,200,770 Public Key Cryptographic Apparatus and Method ("Hellman-Merkle") No. 4,315,552 Exponential Cryptographic Apparatus and Method ("Hellman-Pohlig") No. 4,434,414 Method For Identifying Subscribers And For Generating And Verifying Electronic Signatures In A Data Exchange System ("Schnorr") No. 4,995,082 It is PKP's intent to make practice of the DSA royalty free for personal, noncommercial and U.S. Federal, state and local government use. As explained below, only those parties who enjoy commercial benefit from making or selling products, or certifying digital signatures, will be required to pay royalties to practice the DSA. PKP will also grant a license to practice key management, at no additional fee, for the integrated circuits which will implement both the DSA and the anticipated Federal Information Processing Standard for the "key escrow" system announced by President Clinton on April 16, 1993. Having stated these intentions, PKP now takes this opportunity to publish its guidelines for granting uniform licenses to all parties having a commercial interest in practicing this technology: First, no party will be denied a license for any reason other that the following: (i) Failure to meet its payment obligations, (ii) Outstanding claims of infringement, or (iii) Previous termination due to material breach. Second, licenses will be granted for any embodiment sold by the licensee or made for its use, whether for final products software, or components such as integrated circuits and boards, and regard- less of the licensee's channel of distribution. Provided the requisite royalties have been paid by the seller on the enabling component(s), no further royalties will be owned by the buyer for making or selling the final product which incorporates such components. Third, the practice of digital signatures in accordance with the DSS may be licensed separately from any other technical art covered by PKP's patents. Fourth, PKP's royalty rates for the right to make or sell products, subject to uniform minimum fees, will be no more than 2 1/2% for hardware products and 5% for software, with the royalty rate further declining to 1% on any portion of the product price exceeding $1,000. These royalty rates apply only to noninfringing parties and will be uniform without regard to whether the licensed product creates digital signatures, verifies digital signatures or performs both. Fifth, for the next three (3) years, all commercial services which certify a signature's authenticity for a fee may be operated royalty free. Thereafter, all providers of such commercial certification services shall pay a royalty to PKP of $1.00 per certificate for each year the certificate is valid. Sixth, provided the foregoing royalties are paid on such products or services, all other practice of the DSA shall be royalty free. Seventh, PKP invites all of its existing licensees, at their option, to exchange their current licenses for the standard license offered for DSA. Finally, PKP will mediate the concerns of any party regarding the availability of PKP's licenses for the DSA with designated representatives of NIST and PKP. For copies of PKP's license terms, contact Michael R. Rubin, Acting Chief Counsel for Technolo- gy, NIST, or Public Key Partners. Dated: June 2, 1993. Robert B. Fougner, Esq., Director of Licensing, Public Key Partners, 310 North Mary Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94033 [FR Doc. 93-13473 Filed 8-7-93; 8:45 am] +++++++++++++++ Forwarded by: ++++ Jim Gillogly Trewesday, 21 Forelithe S.R. 1993, 20:56 ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1993 18:22:31 (EDT) From: Crypt Newsletter <70743.1711@COMPUSERVE.COM> Subject: File 2--Galactic Hacker Party, '93 Remember the Galactic Hacker Party back in 1989? Ever wonder what happened to the people behind it? We sold out to big business, you think. Think again, we're back! That's right. On august 4th, 5th and 6th 1993, we're organising a three-day summer congress for hackers, phone phreaks, programmers, computer haters, data travellers, electro-wizards, networkers, hardware freaks, techno-anarchists, communications junkies, cyberpunks, system managers, stupid users, paranoid androids, Unix gurus, whizz kids, warez dudes, law enforcement officers (appropriate undercover dress required), guerilla heating engineers and other assorted bald, long-haired and/or unshaven scum. And all this in the middle of nowhere (well, the middle of Holland, actually, but that's the same thing) at the Larserbos campground four metres below sea level. The three days will be filled with lectures, discussions and workshops on hacking, phreaking, people's networks, Unix security risks, virtual reality, semafun, social engineering, magstrips, lockpicking, viruses, paranoia, legal sanctions against hacking in Holland and elsewhere and much, much more. English will be the lingua franca for this event, although some workshops may take place in Dutch. There will be an Internet connection, an internet ethernet and social interaction (both electronic and live). Included in the price are four nights in your own tent. Also included are inspiration, transpiration, a shortage of showers (but a lake to swim in), good weather (guaranteed by god), campfires and plenty of wide open space and fresh air. All of this for only 100 dutch guilders (currently around US$70). We will also arrange for the availability of food, drink and smokes of assorted types, but this is not included in the price. Our bar will be open 24 hours a day, as well as a guarded depository for valuables (like laptops, cameras etc.). You may even get your stuff back! For people with no tent or air mattress: you can buy a tent through us for 100 guilders, a mattress costs 10 guilders. You can arrive from 17:00 (that's five p.m. for analogue types) on August 3rd. We don't have to vacate the premises until 12:00 noon on Saturday, August 7 so you can even try to sleep through the devastating Party at the End of Time (PET) on the closing night (live music provided). We will arrange for shuttle buses to and from train stations in the vicinity. H O W ? ++++ Payment: In advance only. Even poor techno-freaks like us would like to get to the Bahamas at least once, and if enough cash comes in we may just decide to go. So pay today, or tomorrow, or yesterday, or in any case before Friday, June 25th 1993. Since the banks still haven't figured out why the Any key doesn't work for private international money transfers, you should call, fax or e-mail us for the best way to launder your currency into our account. We accept American Express, even if they do not accept us. But we are more understanding than they are. Foreign cheques go directly into the toilet paper recycling bin for the summer camp, which is about all they're good for here. H A ! +++++ Very Important: Bring many guitars and laptops. M E ? +++++ Yes, you! Busloads of alternative techno-freaks fromanet will descend on this event. You wouldn't want to miss that, now, would you? Maybe you are part of that select group that has something special to offer! Participating in 'Hacking at the End of the Universe' is exciting, but organising your very own part of it is even more fun. We already have a load of interesting workshops and lectures scheduled, but we're always on the lookout for more. We're also still in the market for people who want to help us organize this during the congress. In whatever way you wish to participate, call, write, e-mail or fax us soon, and make sure your money gets here on time. Space is limited. S O : +++++ > 4th, 5th and 6th of August > Hacking at the En (a hacker summer congress) > ANWB groepsterrein Larserbos (Flevopolder, Netherlands) > Cost: fl. 100,- (+/- 70 US$) per person (including 4 nights in your own tent) M O R E I N F O : ++++++++++++++++++++++++ Hack-Tic Postbus 22953 1100 DL Amst Netherlands tel : +31 20 6001480 fax : +31 20 6900968 E-mail : ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1993 16:25:47 CDT From: Jim Milles Subject: File 3--On-Line Congressional Hearing Forwarded by Gleason Sackman, net-happenings moderator ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ++++++++++ Text of forwarded message ++++++++++ Date--Mon, 5 Jul 93 14:28:25 -0400 Subject--On-Line Congressional Hearing Station--Internet Multicasting Service Channel--Internet Town Hall Program--On-Line Congressional Hearing Release--July 5, 1993 Content--First Announcement/On-Line Congressional Hearing On July 26 at 9:30AM EDT, the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance of the U.S. House of Representatives will hold the first Congressional Hearing ever held over a computer network. The oversight hearing on "The Role of Government in Cyberspace" will take place in the Grand Ballroom of the National Press Club at 14th and F Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C. The hearing is open to the public. An open house will be held from 3-5PM on the same day in the same location and is also open to the public. Chairman Markey has asked that this historic occasion demonstrate the potential and diversity of the global Internet. Thirty Sparcstations will be in the hearing room, allowing members of Congress, staff, and their guests to read e-mail, use Gopher menus, read testimony in WAIS databases, browse the World Wide Web, and otherwise use the resources of the global Internet as part of the hearing. Some witnesses for the hearing will testify remotely, sending audio and video over the Internet. Audio and video of the hearing will also be multicast over the Multicast Backbone (MBONE). We are hoping that C-SPAN and other traditional media will also carry the event. *MORE DETAILS ON MBONE AND OTHER WAYS TO WATCH THE HEARINGS REMOTELY WILL BE FORTHCOMING SHORTLY.* One of the primary points that we are hoping to demonstrate is the diversity and size of the Internet. We have therefore established an electronic mail address by which people on the Internet can communicate with the Subcommittee before and during the hearing: We encourage you to send your comments on what the role of government should be in the information age to this address. Your comments to this address will be made part of the public record of the hearing. Feel free to carry on a dialogue with others on a mailing list, cc'ing the e-mail address. Your cards and letters to will help demonstrate that there are people who use the Internet as part of their personal and professional lives. We encourage you to send comments on the role of government in cyberspace, on what role cyberspace should play in government (e.g., whether government data be made available on the Internet), on how the Internet should be built and financed, on how you use the Internet, and on any other topic you feel is appropriate. This is your chance to show the U.S. Congress that there is a constituency that cares about this global infrastructure. If you would like to communicate with a human being about the hearing, you may send your comments and questions to: Support for the Internet Town Hall is provided by Sun Microsystems and O'Reilly & Associates. Additional support for the July 26 on-line congressional hearing is being provided by ARPA, BBN Communications, the National Press Club, Xerox PARC, and many other organizations. Network connectivity for the Internet Town Hall is provided by UUNET Technologies. ------------------------------ From: adunkin@SDF.LONESTAR.ORG(Alan Dunkin) Subject: File 4--Hacker Listens to Secretary's Aides Date: Sat, 3 Jul 93 14:59:35 CDT TELEPHONE HACKER LISTENS TO SECRETARY OF STATE'S AIDES This morning (July 2nd, 1993) the _Dallas Morning News_ reiterated a _Business Week_ report dated Thursday that "an electronic hacker eavesdropped on telephone conversations of aides to Secretary of State Warren Christopher concerning Sunday's missile attack on Baghdad, Iraq". The magazine claimed it received a tape of calls by aides on Saturday, before President Clinton's announcement of the cruise missile attack. The state department said no comment was to be made about any private conversations. ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1993 18:22:31 (EDT) From: Crypt Newsletter <70743.1711@COMPUSERVE.COM> Subject: File 5--Virtually no Reality in "Virtual Reality" ((MODERATORS' NOTE: The following is reprinted from CRYPT NEWSLETTER #15. We're waiting for the "Virtual Reality" comic books, perhaps patterned after the mercifully defunct "Hacker Chronicles," and the Saturday morning cartoon series brought to the kiddies by some frosted cereal)). "Virtual reality. What a concept." Yup, we kid you not - that's the lead to the June Popular Science's cover story on the buzz-concept of 1993. But what concept does the story deliver? None, except more phlogiston and shopworn photos on Virtuality's Dactyl Nightmare game - the same press-release photos and animations that, uh, you've already read in TIME, OMNI, MONDO 2000, OMNI, WIRED, MONDO 2000, NEWSWEEK, TIME and POPULAR SCIENCE. Is there an echo in here? And THEN reporter Michael Antonoff burbles about the exciting new SEGA "virtual reality" helmet which is about to pop off the assembly line. It will replace the TV with the usual goofy-looking, Nazi-helmet which the company brags, will deliver a "feeling of total immersion in a completely realistic 360-degree game world." That's if you consider SEGA games realistic, of course. Next comes the Virtual Kitchen, we are told. Why, you'll even be able to turn on the faucet and listen to running water. Wow. We're really pushing the boundaries of science, now. And there's virtual skiing as a possibility, writes Antonoff. You won't really learn how to ski, but it will be fun. The story wraps up with 30 socko column inches on the usual wild speculation on "Virtual Reality" applications in everything from medicine to alchemy. Much of this talk is reminiscent of the inflated claims which surrounded the science of molecular genetics in the mid-'80's and persists to this day. Molecular biology was going to cure cancer, eliminate viral and inherited illness and provide everything from miracle drugs to custom-made enzymes which would eliminate the threat of oil spills while replacing The Hair Club for Men. It was bullshit then and it's bullshit now. The theories are nice, but nature doesn't yield her secrets easily just because science/entertainment reporters have decided to be flacks for newly minted professaurus's seeking tenure and grant money. Of course, molecular biology HAS provided a key to understanding cellular mechanisms at a very low level. However, it hasn't set the world on edge. Despite superhuman effort, diseases like malaria, although well understood, aren't playing dead. And we suspect, so it will be with "virtual reality." A lot of idiots will throw a ton of money at it and they'll get what they already have: games and sex toys. Even the tabloid TV journalists of the salacious "Hard Copy" sneered at the "Virtual Reality" mavens on a recent evening segment. A couple of women, whose names we forget, bleated on about "virtual sex" and wound up showing Darth Vader-style helmets, rushes from "The Lawnmower Man" and the kind of animations which tipped over Max Speegle's apple cart. Crypt editors couldn't help jeering along with the "Hard Copy" anchormen at the oh-so-novel idea of attaching "data gloves" to the schlong. (Actually, such tools have been around for a long time. You find them listed under "Penisator" in magazines published by Larry Flynt.) Indeed, if you think a minute you realize there is no such thing as "virtual sex". It's like being "slightly pregnant." Or having a "minor" case of gonorrhea. You either have sex with another person, skin to skin, or you don't. "Virtual sex" is just another fluffy, meaningless euphemism for computerized team masturbation. The Crypt Newsletter supports the use of "virtual hooker" or "virtual love automaton" if you must have jargon; the latter is better, particularly if you're in need of some reassuring corporate-mumble for conning a roomful of investment bankers. The mind reels at the possibilities. Imagine the Michelangelo virus, or some descendant of it, activating on Ted and Alice's Virtual Sex PC, crashing the system and causing a "virtual" convulsion in their "data gloves" just as they're booting up for some afternoon delight. Ouch. Lawsuit. So the next time someone mentions the word "virtual" to you in dinner conversation, gracefully dump your side-plate of collard greens into their lap. And, lo, just as this issue of the Crypt Newsletter went to the electronic press Newsweek magazine trumped Popular Science with a cover story on "interactive" - that curious admixture of virtual reality, information superhighways and CD-ROM squeaking/talking books. "Virtual reality," claimed the magazine, ". . . with a mighty computer and New Age goggles . . . you'll eventually be able to simulate sex, drugs, rock and roll and just about every other human activity." Even sicking up on your date after a night of too many Long Island Iced Teas? ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 1 Jul 93 14:49 PDT From: john@ZYGOT.ATI.COM(John Higdon) Subject: File 6--Donation Distinctions (By E-Zine Editors/Moderators) ((MODERATORS' NOTE: John Higdon's post raises important issues involving the status of moderators of digests. His comments focus on the recent *FALSE* rumors announcing the elimination of CuD from one of the ftp sites and the the difference between solicitation of funds to maintain an organization and solicitation of funds by private individuals who may need external support to enable them to eke out a living while moderating digests. Editors of electronic journals/digest are in an odd position. Unlike organizations, they have no formal constituency that they represent. Therefore, collecting "dues," "subscription fees," or other compensation seems tacky. On the other hand, editing a journal such as Telecom Digest (or CuD), which comes out several times a week, requires a considerable investment of time and resources. Hard-copy editors receive a living wage for their efforts. E-zine editors generally perform the same tasks, reach a larger audience, and require capital investment of equipment for which they receive no compensation. Some electronic publishers are fortunate enough to be tenured professors at a state university. This allows them to pursue editorship as part of their "service." Others are not so fortunate. Editing or moderating an electronic publication dramatically eats into time that might otherwise be spent pursuing their livelihood. Organizations, such as CPSR or EFF, have paid staff whose duties include dissemination of newsletters or digests. Most other digests do not. How should e-Zine editors be compensated (if at all)? Is it proper for editors to ask for compensation for efforts that are materially (and substantially) rewarded in other forums? Should editors/moderators of forums such as RISKS or TELECOM DIGEST receive compensation? For now, we only raise the question without laying out the arguments. At issue here is where altruism ends and reasonable compensation begins. We would like to here from others: Should moderators/editors request "donations?" We must note that CuD editors have no material stake in the outcome of such a discussion, because we are disallowed from receiving any form of remuneration. However, we are well aware of the investment of time and other resources that moderators and editor contribute, and we feel that some discussion of of the issues are necessary.)) +++ The following remarks concern issues and fact that should be obvious to everyone, but need to be said in the absence of comment by others. Recently, there was a rumor that the EFF was dumping its archives of CuD. The Telecom Digest moderator grabbed this opportunity to deliver yet another diatribe condemning those who support the EFF and its work, and casting aspersions on the motives behind the policies and practices of the EFF itself. Further, he complained that there seemed to be a dual standard when it came to the practices of the EFF and its fund raising vs the Digest and the moderator's attempt to drum up cash. Note: The rumor was a gross distortion in that it was indeed Phrack that was offloaded to another site for reasons most aptly cited by Mitch Kapor himself. The overriding consideration is that the EFF is not in any way to be compared with Telecom Digest. Leaving the legal definitions aside, the EFF is an organization, staffed with experts and support personnel, that has taken on the responsibility of observing, guiding, and even changing laws that affect everyone in the telecommunications and computing industry. It supports a paid staff, offices, communications facilities, and has as its output legal consultations, legal presentations, legislative commentary (formal and informal), and provides invaluable assistance to those caught in the vacuum of cyberspace non-protections. The organization maintains its own Internet site with the attendant costs, issues hard publications and has, incidental to its divergent operations, a newsletter (or digest if you will). The Telecom Digest is a mailing list. It is maintained on facilities provided and paid for by a university. The moderator spends time editing and transmitting issues of the Digest (a job done voluntarily by moderators all over the Internet world). The Digest is the only output. The $195/month office is strictly an option, as most mailing lists are edited by people from their job worksites or their homes. The same goes for the telephone expenses. These comments are not to be construed to in any way minimize the work done by the moderator of Telecom Digest (or any other moderator). But there is hardly any comparison between the work done by an organization such as the EFF and that done by the moderator of a mailing list. It is obvious that there is also a difference between the request for funds by a fully-qualified activist organization and someone who needs money to pay the rent. Not everyone agrees with the positions taken by the EFF or any other activist group and it is certainly anyone's right to contribute to those with whom he agrees. But be it the EFF or the NRA, the output of bonafide organizations on behalf of members and those whose interests fall within an organization's scope of activity is substantially more significant and appropriate to the consumption of donated money than that of a simple e-publication, regardless of how well it is produced. I subscribe to many, many mailing lists and have done so for many years. At no time has anyone who was in charge of any of them (except one) suggested that funds were needed to keep the list going. Neither direct contributions nor suggestions to buy resold products have been mentioned in any way, with that one exception. Whether it is appropriate for a moderator to solicit funds in this manner I leave for others to debate. But to compare those solicitations to those of an organization with the prestige and stature of the EFF is most inappropriate by any standard of consideration. It seems obvious that it is much more useful and more within the purposes of the net to contribute money so that important cases get a fairer hearing rather than so that a mailing list coordinator can be saved the inconvenience of going out and getting a real job. If the powers that be determine that the latter is within the scope of the intent of the Internet, then I bow to that determination. But let us all be clear on the important distinctions between mailing lists and hard-working activist organizations. ++ John Higdon | P. O. Box 7648 | +1 408 264 4115 | FAX: | San Jose, CA 95150 | 10288 0 700 FOR-A-MOO | +1 408 264 4407 ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #5.50 ************************************


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