Computer underground Digest Wed Dec 1 1993 Volume 5 : Issue 90 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Jim

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Computer underground Digest Wed Dec 1 1993 Volume 5 : Issue 90 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: Tamen O. DeSchrew, III CONTENTS, #5.90 (Dec 1 1993) File 1--Conference in Russia File 2--HR 3627 - Export Controls on Cryptography Software File 3--Psuedospoofed again File 4--re: Student sues to regain Internet access (CuD 5.88) File 5--Re: Cu Digeset, #5.89 (Re Steshenko) File 6--Commentary on Cyber-issues in Elansky/Ionizer Sentence Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically from The editors may be contacted by voice (815-753-0303), 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 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: ( in /pub/text/CuD. EUROPE: in pub/doc/cud. (Finland) UNITED STATES: ( in /pub/eff/cud ( in /pub/CuD/cud ( in /pub/cud in /pub/mirror/cud in pub/cud (United Kingdom) KOREA: ftp: 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: 23 Nov 1993 22:29:56 U From: "Anne" Subject: File 1--Conference in Russia CALL FOR PAPERS ----- (Feel Free To Cross Post This Announcement) ---- Association for International Education Announces the First International Conference on Distance Education in Russia DISTANCE LEARNING AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN EDUCATION and the Exhibition BUILDING AN EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT July 5-8, 1994 Moscow, Russia CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION This conference will display a range of ongoing projects, studies and initiatives that reflect Russia's needs for changes in higher education, and the application of new information, telecommunication, and distance education technologies in the Russian educational and training sectors. The conference will stimulate the investigation of practical approaches to introducing Russians to the new democratic educational system and market-oriented economy through distance learning and mass media, as well as to providing Russian students and adults with world-wide telecommunications access to higher education institutions and training agencies. The goal of the exhibition is to demonstrate modern information, communication, and multimedia technologies, along with their applications in education and training. It will provide conference participants with information on the state-of-the-art in creating the learning environment and classrooms of the 21st century. TOPICS OF THE CONFERENCE Distance Education: Theory Quality and Standards; Recognition and Academic Mobility Higher Education; Training and Re-training Economics, Management and Marketing of Distance Education Priorities and Strategies Educational Environment: Information Technologies in the Classroom Electronic Tutors and Testing Systems Multimedia Audio- and Video-Conferences Computer Mediated Communications Innovative Solutions DEMONSTRATIONS The conference will also serve as a site for the showcasing of completed or ongoing projects. The Information Systems Research Institute of Russia (ISRIR) is responsible for the Federal program aimed at the development of new information technologies in Russian higher education. ISRIR will award limited number of grants to support selected projects. Other organizations and foundations are invited to observe the presentations of working projects and other activities. EXHIBITION The exhibition focuses on the equipment, systems, software and other products or processes that can be used in distance learning and education process in general. Organizations, corporations, and institutions are invited to present their educational products supportive to distance learning and international education. Special guest tours of decision-makers and experts from Russian Ministries, governmental agencies, state and private comp3anies and institutions will be organized. Invitations are being sent to key people from the user/purchaser community in Russia. The winners of a national competition for creative software will demonstrate their products to potential partners. SUBMISSION OF PAPERS The official languages for presentations are Russian and English. Translation facilities will be provided on request. All the presented papers must be in English. Prospective presenters must submit the following to the Program Committee by January 1, 1994, by fax or e-mail in plain ASCII form: (i) presenter proposal form; (ii) a one-page abstract suitable for the conference program booklet. Please indicate under which topic you feel your paper should be presented. Acceptance of a paper implies a commitment on the part of the author(s) to present it at the conference. Accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings. Final decisions on acceptance of papers for the 1994 conference proceedings will be made by the Program Committee of international experts by February 1, 1994. All presenters will be notified. KEY DATES January 1 - Deadline of submission of abstracts February 1 - Notification of acceptance of papers March 1 - Preliminary program will be published. Deadline of submission of full papers in English (not exceeding 5000 words) April 1 - Conference registration deadline July 5 - Conference starts CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FEE Payment before April 1, 1994: USD 200 Payment after April 1, 1994: USD 250 This payment does not include accommodation and transportation expenses. Chairman of the International Program Committee ----------------------------------------------- Michael G. Moore, Editor The American Journal of Distance Education Chairman of The National Organizing Committee --------------------------------------------- Alexander N. Tikhonov First Vice-Chairman, Russian Federation State Committee for Higher Education (Ministry) THE ASSOCIATION FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION The Association was created in 1993 and is a not-for- profit, non-governmental, publicly supported, educational service organization with the goal of assisting in enhancing the quality and availability of international educational exchange programs using computer, telecommunication and information technologies, and developing a distance education system in Russia. Its objective is, among others, to provide a channel for the international exchange of information, experience and material in the field of education technology, including new information technologies in distance education - with particular reference to business, technical and vocational education, industrial and commercial training, teacher training and continuing education. The Association unites leading Russian educational and academic institutions, including State Pedagogical University, Peoples Friendship University. The Association is supported by the Russian Federation State Committee for Higher Education and Information Systems Research Institute of Russia. SPONSORS Organisations interested in acting as co-sponsors of the Conference are asked to contact the Conference Secretariat for further information. o -- X-------- Cut here ----------------------------------- O First International Conference on Distance Education in Russia "DISTANCE LEARNING AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN EDUCATION" PRESENTER PROPOSAL FORM First name, last name:___________________________________ +________________________________________________________ Job or Title:____________________________________________ +________________________________________________________ Organisation:____________________________________________ Title of the paper:______________________________________ Sessions of the Conference: Distance Education: Theory Quality and Standards Recognition and Academic Mobility Higher Education Training and Re-training Economics, Management and Marketing of Distance Education Educational Environment: Information Technologies in a Classroom Electronic Tutors and Testing Systems Multimedia Audio- and Video-Conferencing Computer Mediated Communications Innovative Solutions Co-presenters:___________________________________________ Equipment Needs:_________________________________________ +________________________________________________________ Address:_________________________________________________ +________________________________________________________ Telephone (work, home):__________________________________ Facsimile:_______________________________________________ E-mail:__________________________________________________ Please return to the Conference Secretariat: ROSNIIIS (12-4), 22 Shepkina, 129090 Moscow, Russia Fax: 7(095) 954-5127 and 288-1861 Internet: DE_RUSSIA_1994@AIE.MSK.SU O ---X-------- Cut here ----------------------------------- o First International Conference on Distance Education in Russia "DISTANCE LEARNING AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN EDUCATION" INFORMATION REQUEST To receive future Conference/Exhibition announcements, please complete this form, detach and send to the address below. First name, last name:___________________________________ +________________________________________________________ Job or Title:____________________________________________ +________________________________________________________ Organisation:____________________________________________ Address:_________________________________________________ +________________________________________________________ Telephone (work, home):__________________________________ Facsimile:_______________________________________________ E-mail:__________________________________________________ Please add your questions, ideas and comments below. +________________________________________________________ +________________________________________________________ +________________________________________________________ +________________________________________________________ +________________________________________________________ +________________________________________________________ +________________________________________________________ +________________________________________________________ +________________________________________________________ +________________________________________________________ +________________________________________________________ Please return to the Conference Secretariat: ROSNIIIS (12-4), 22 Shepkina, 129090 Moscow, Russia Fax: 7(095) 954-5127 and 288-1861 Internet: DE_RUSSIA_1994@AIE.MSK.SU ------------------------------ Date: 26 Nov 1993 23:18:39 GMT From: Dave Banisar Subject: File 2--HR 3627 - Export Controls on Cryptography Software Maria Cantwell 1st District, Washington 1520 Longworth Building Washington, DC 20515 202-225-6311 Congress of the United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515-4701 For Immediate Release For More Information November 23, 1993 Larry West (202) 225-6311 Cantwell Introduces "Encryption" bill to Expand Export Markets for US Computer and Software Companies US Rep. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) has introduced legislation to amend the Export Administration Act to allow US computer and software manufacturers to compete in an international market that could mean as much as $6 billion to $9 billion a year to American high-tech industries. Cantwell's bill would liberalize export controls on software that features encryption capabilities, which protect computer data against unauthorized disclosure, theft or alteration. As communications systems link more and more computers and telephones around the world, Cantwell said, businesses and indviduals are becoming more concerned about protecting the privacy of their electronic files, messages and transactions. She said the worldwide demand for cryptographic software, and computer systems that employ such software, is growing rapidly and American companies must be allowed to meet that demand. According to Cantwell, this legislation is needed to ensure that American companies do not lose critical international markets to foreign competitors, who operate with few export restrictions. Currently, more than 200 software and hardware products for text, file and data encryption are available from 20 foreign countries. "The Export Administration Act has erected a wall between American high-tech companies and their international customers -- it's time to lower the wall," Cantwell said. "Computer and software technology are among the most competitive fields in the world, and American companies are the clear leaders. To maintain that lead, American companies must be able to respond to worldwide consumer demand." Robert Holleyman, president of the Business Software Alliance, an association of America's nine leading software companies, applauded Cantwell for introducing the leigslation and said the bill would "assist US software companies and maintaining their competitive edge in international markets." Dr. Nathan Myhrvold, senior vice president for Advance Technology at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington, also praised Cantwell for her leadership on this issue. "The ability to include encryption features in software we sell markets," Myhrvold said. " We commend Rep. Cantwell for recognizing the importance of this issue to the American software industry." CANTWELL ON EXPORT CONTROLS/ ADD ONE Cantwell said current export controls that prohibit the export of American software programs that offer good encryption capabilities only make it harder for American companies to compete internationally. She said the regulations ignore the realities of today's post-Cold War global economy and the needs of one of this country's most innovative and successful industries. American software companies currently command a 75 percent worldwide market share, and many of those companies earn more than 50 percent of their annual revenues from exports, but Cantwell said that could change quickly. "The United States' export control system is broken and needs to be fixed," Cantwell said. "It was designed as a tool of the Cold War, to help America fight against enemies that no longer exist. If we continue to prevent American companies from meeting the worldwide demand for cryptographic software, America gains nothing -- but those companies stand to lose $6 billion and $9 billion a year." Paul Brainerd, CEO of Aldus in Seattle, said, "Rep. Cantwell's bill would liberalize outdated export controls, which are threatening the continued success of America's software companies in world markets. In order to remain competitive worldwide, American companies must be able to offer features -- like information security -- demanded by our customers and available from foreign companies." Cantwell said her legislation would not interfere with the government's ability to control exports to nations with terrorist tendencies (such as Iran, Libya and Syria) or other embargoed countries (such as Cuba and North Korea). On the other hand, she said, current export controls on American software do not prevent anyone from obtaining cryptographic software. "Much of this is ordinary shrink-wrapped software," Cantwell said, "the kind millions of people buy every day for their home and business computers at regular retail outlets. International consumers who cannot purchase American computer systems and software programs with encryption features don't do without, they just buy those products elsewhere. They are concerned with protecting their privacy and keeping their businesses secure." Cantwell said she is determined to bring the issue out from behind closed doors and into the light of public debate before the House Subcommittee on Economic Policy, Trade and Environment marks up the Export Administration Act early next year. She said she hopes her bill will encourage the Administration to act quickly to revise export controls on software -- perhaps before Congress reconvenes in late January. "The Administration is reviewing this issue, and I think they are interested in making the changes that will allow American companies to remain competitive," Cantwell said. "I would like nothing better than to come back to Congress after the recess and discover that the problem had been solved." ### AMERICAN COMPUTER COMPANIES MUST BE ALLOWED TO EXPORT SOFTWARE WITH ENCRYPTION CAPABILITIES _Introduction and Summary_ America's computer software and hardware companies, including such well-known companies as Apple, DEC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lotus, Microsoft, Novell and Wordperfect, have been among the country's most internationally competitive firms earning more than one-half of their revenues from exports. Unfortunately, this vital American industry is directly threatened by unilateral U.S. Government export controls which prevent those companies from meeting worldwide user demand for software that includes encryption capabilities to protect computer data against unauthorized disclosure, theft or alteration. Legislative action is needed to ensure that American companies do not lose critical international markets to foreign software companies that operate without significant export restrictions. _The Problem_ With ready access to powerful, interconnected, computers, business and home users increasingly are relying on electronic information storage and transmissions to conduct their affairs. At the same time, computer users worldwide are demanding that computer software offer encryption capabilities to ensure that their data is secure and its integrity is maintained. Unfortunately, current unilateral U.S. "munitions" export controls administered by the National Security Agency and the State Department effectively prohibit the export of American software programs offering good encryption capabilities. Yet these unilateral U.S. controls are _not_ effective in restricting the availability of encryption abroad. More than 200 generally available, mass-market foreign commercial programs and products, as well as many programs available from the Internet, all offer good encryption. In addition, generally available software with encryption capabilities is sold within the U.S. at thousands of retail outlets, by mail and over the phone. These programs may be transferred abroad in minutes by anyone using a public telephone line and a computer modem. The only result of continued U.S. export controls is to threaten the continued preeminence of America's computer software and hardware companies in world markets. American software companies stand to lose between $6 and $9 billion in annual revenues from sales of generally available software. In addition, American hardware companies are losing hundreds of millions of dollars in computer system sales every year, because sales increasingly are dependent on the ability of a U.S. firm to offer encryption as a feature of an integrated customer solution involving hardware, software and services. _The Solution_ Legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Maria Cantwell would ensure that exports of software with encryption capabilities would be controlled by the Secretary of Commerce as a commercial item and would be exportable. This legislation is strongly supported by the Business Software Alliance and the Industry Coalition on Technology Transfer. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF CANTWELL BILL EXPORT CONTROL LIBERALIZATION FOR INFORMATION ECURITY PROGRAMS AND PRODUCTS _Section 1_ Section 1 amends the Export Administration Act by adding a new subsection that specifically addresses exports of computer hardware, software and technology for information security including encryption. The new subsection has three basic provisions: 1) It gives the Secretary of Commerce exclusive authority over the export of such programs and products except those which are specifically designed for military use, including command, control and intelligence applications or for deciphering encrypted information. 2) The Government is generally prohibited from requiring a validated export license for the export of generally available software (e.g. mass market commercial or public domain software) or computer hardware simply because it incorporates such software. Nevertheless, the Secretary will be able to continue controls on countries of terrorists (like Lybia, Syria and Iran) or other embargoed countries (like Cuba and North Korea) pursuant to the Trading With The Enemy Act os the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (except for instances where IEEPA is employed to extend EAA-based controls when the EAA is not in force). 3) The Secretary is required to grant validated licenses for exports of sotware to commercial users in any country to which exports of such software has been approved for use by foreign financial institutions. Importantly, the Secretary is not required to grant such export approvals if there is substantial evidence that the software will be diverted or modified for military or terrorists' end-use or re-exported without requisite authorization. _Section 2_ Section 2 provides definitions necessary for the proper implementation of the substantive provisions. For example, generally available software is offered for sale or licensed to the public without restriction and available through standard commercial channels of distribution; sold as is without further customization; and designed to be installed by the purchaser without additional assistance from the publisher. Computer hardware and computing devices are also defined. --------------------------------------------------------------------- 103D CONGRESS H.R. 3627 1ST SESSION --------------------------------------- IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MS. CANTWELL (for herself and ___) introduced the following bill which was referred to the Committee on __________. --------------------------------------- A BILL To amend the Export Administration Act of 1979 with respect to the control of computers and related equipment. 1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa- 2 tives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled, 3 SECTION 1. GENERALLY AVAILABLE SOFTWARE 4 Section 17 of the Export Administration Act of 1979 5 (50 U.S.C. App. 2416) is amended by adding at the end 6 thereof the following new subsection: 7 ``(g) COMPUTERS AND RELATED EQUIPMENT.--- 8 ``(1) GENERAL RULE.---Subject to paragraphs 9 (2) and (3), the Secretary shall have exclusive au- 2 1 thority to control exports of all computer hardware, 2 software and technology for information security 3 (including encryption), except that which is specifi- 4 cally designed or modified for military use, including 5 command, control and intelligence applications. 6 ``(2) ITEMS NOT REQUIRING LICENSES.---No 7 validated license may be required, except pursuant 8 to the Trading With The Enemy Act or the Inter- 9 national Emergency Economic Powers Act (but only 10 to the extent that the authority of such act is not 11 exercised to extend controls imposed under this act), 12 for the export or reexport of--- 13 ``(A) any software, including software with 14 encryption capabilities, that is--- 15 ``(i) generally available, as is, and is 16 designed for installation by the purchaser; 17 or 18 ``(ii) in the public domain or publicly 19 available because it is generally accessible 20 to the interested public in any form; or 21 ``(B) any computing device soley because 22 it incorporates or employs in any form software 23 (including software with encryption capabilities) 24 exempted from any requirement for a validated 25 license under subparagraph (A). 3 1 ``(3) SOFTWARE WITH ENCRYPTION CAPABILI- 2 TIES.---The Secretary shall authorize the export or 3 reexport of software with encryption capabilities for 4 nonmilitary end-uses in any country to which ex- 5 ports of software of similar capability are permitted 6 for use by financial institutions not controlled in fact 7 by United States persons, unless there is substantial 8 evidence that such software will be--- 9 ``(A) diverted to a military end-use or an 10 end-use supporting international terrorism; 11 ``(B) modified for military or terrorist end- 12 use; or 13 ``(C) reexported without requisite United 14 States authorization. 15 ``(4) DEFINITIONS.---As used in this 16 subsection--- 17 ``(A) the term `generally available' means, 18 in the case of software (including software with 19 encryption capabilities), software that is offered 20 for sale, license, or transfer to any person with- 21 out restriction through any commercial means, 22 including, but not limited to, over-the-counter 23 retail sales, mail order transactions, phone 24 order transactions, electronic distribution, or 25 sale on approval; 4 1 ``(B) the term `as is' means, in the case of 2 software (including software with encryption ca- 3 pabilities), a software program that is not de- 4 signed, developed, or tailored by the software 5 company for specific purchasers, except that 6 such purchasers may supply certain installation 7 parameters needed by the software program to 8 function properly with the purchaser's system 9 and may customize the software program by 10 choosing among options contained in the soft- 11 ware program; 12 ``(C) the term `is designed for installation 13 by the purchaser' means, in the case of soft- 14 ware (including software with encryption capa- 15 bilities)--- 16 ``(i) the software company intends for 17 the purchaser (including any licensee or 18 transferee), who may not be the actual 19 program user, to install the software pro- 20 gram on a computing device and has sup- 21 plied the necessary instructions to do so, 22 except that the company may also provide 23 telephone help line services for software in- 24 stallation, electronic transmission, or basic 25 operations; and--- 5 1 ``(ii) that the software program is de- 2 signed for installation by the purchaser 3 without further substantial support by the 4 supplier; 5 ``(D) the term `computing device' means a 6 device which incorporates one or more 7 microprocessor-based central processing units 8 that can accept, store, process or provide out- 9 put of data; and 10 ``(E) the term `computer hardware', when 11 used in conjunction with information security, 12 includes, but is not limited to, computer sys- 13 tems, equipment, application-specific assem- 14 blies, modules and integrated circuits.'' ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 30 Nov 93 09:05:29 -0500 From: ferguson@ICP.NET(Paul Ferguson x2044) Subject: File 3--Psuedospoofed again In Cu Digest, #5.89, Michael Roberts forwarded a message entitled "A Psychopunk's Manifesto," which contains a byline of " T.C. Hughes." This "document" has already made its rounds in the cypberspatial world and its originator has stirred up quite a bit of trouble by incessant claims of conspiracy in the .cypherpunks agenda. CuD readers should be aware that "T.C. Hughes" does not exist; this "manifesto" is a psuedospoof in itself. The "T.C. Hughes" moniker is an apparent conjugation of the real identities of Tim May and Eric Hughes (who, in fact, did not author the original message), who started the .cypherpunks mailing list. The message, if memory serves me correctly, was originally composed by an12070, an anonymous harbinger at, who has appeared under several alaises, including Medusa, The Executioner, S.Boxx and more recently, The Pervert. Looks like the psuedospoof has come home to roost. ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 28 Nov 93 23:45:08 EDT From: Jerry Leichter Subject: File 4--re: Student sues to regain Internet access (CuD 5.88) A recent CuD article reports on the case of Gregory Steshenko, who was terminated by Microsoft for some of his network postings, then began posting from his University of Texas account, and is now suing the university when it responded to complaints by removing his account (or at least his network posting privileges). Mr. Steshenko claims First Amendment protections, and the article quotes various "electronic frontier" personalities describing this as an important case for free speech on the networks. It bothers me how little thought these spokesmen appear to be giving to the effects of what they are defending. The Internet has been described as an anarchy, but in fact only relatively small parts of the Internet are actually anarchic. Most of the Internet, in fact, is better described as self-governing. There are a variety of social norms concerning network use and interactions. One doesn't post messages to unrelated groups. One doesn't evade moderation restrictions. One maintains a certain (rather limited, it must be admitted) degree of restraint in how one describes other network participants. There are few effective mechanisms for enforcing these norms, and they are certainly broken on an all-too-regular basis; but the network continues to function because social pressure *can* be applied to those who become too annoying; and in the most outrageous cases, it's possible to remove the offenders' access to the net. I can cite two specific examples of this in the recent past: - A regular poster to the INFO-VAX mailing list lost patience with some of the sillier postings appearing there and began to berate those who asked "dumb" questions. As time went on, his postings became more and more abusive, and eventually a fair amount of bandwidth was being used in debates about his postings, rather then the technical issues that group is list is meant to discuss. The list maintainer, who's been very "hands-off" over the years, asked the abuser to tone things down. This drew a characteristically insulting response. The list maintainer modified the forwarding software to block all postings by this person. Needless to say, cries of "censorship!" were heard for a while (though not, interestingly enough, from the person being censored; to his credit, he had a message forwarded to the list acknowledging the right of the list maintainer to do what he had done) - but the list soon settled back to more useful issues. - Someone posted messages ostensibly asking for information about some sex phone lines - but in fact really acting as ads for those lines. The messages were posted to every single Usenet news group. The person's account was removed after multiple complaints to his system manager. He then obtained an account on a different system, and started his postings again. This time, his account was removed rather quickly. He's been quiet since. Depending on how you look at these two incidents, they either represent self-government or censorship. My own view is that it's the former. No community can exist without some degree of self definition and regulation. It's all too easy to disrupt a discussion; all it takes is a powerful and insistent voice. That's not hard to acquire on the network; all it takes is the willingness to spend time typing. (In the case of the sex phone line ads, all it took was a dumb program to walk the list of newsgroups.) I expect Mr. Steshenko will probably prevail: Individualism is a strong thread in our political and legal history, and is exteremely powerful in the area of free speech. Even if he loses his lawsuit, he'll get Internet access in some other form, and continue his (according to the original article) offensive postings and other actions. Some will cheer this as an extension of First Amendment rights to electronic media. I think it makes an excellent example of why "First Amendment rights" should *not* be blindly extended to all electronic media without careful analysis. I can ignore a leaflet or newspaper; I can choose not to stop and listen to a speaker on a public street. It's much harder to be quite so accepting of loudspeakers at 3:00 AM, or of repeated harranging telephone calls. And, indeed, speech using the latter modalities is much more tightly regulated than that using the former. Where do the electronic media fall? I submit they fall somewhere in between: Messages are more easily ignored than, say, people who show up at meetings and spend all their time shouting about their pet peeve, but in large enough volume inappropriate messages are at least as damaging to discourse. Private Email is more easily ignored than telephone calls, but either can constitute harrassment. (While in principle, direct speech can also be harrassing, except for recent "political correctness" cases, it's not easy to find even claims of harrassment in this form. Phone harrassment, on the other hand, is seen enough in need of regulation that you can find quotations from tarriffs and laws touching on the matter in the front of any phone book.) ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1993 02:02:31 GMT From: kadie@CS.UIUC.EDU(Carl M Kadie) Subject: File 5--Re: Cu Digeset, #5.89 (Steshenko) Anon by Request (a student at UTD) writes: >It would seem to me that Steshenko has violated his contract with UTD. >The document we have to sign in order to get an account makes it clear >that the system is to be used for educational purposes only, and that >we are subject to account cancellation if we abuse privileges... But does the U. of Texas at Dallas interpret and apply this policy consistently or does it single out offensive speech for punishment? Any institution that calls itself a university should interpret "educational purposes" broadly. The "Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students", the main statement of academic freedom for U.S. students, says: Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the general well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of the academic community, students should be encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth. >From what I know of Steshenko's postings, they easily fits this broad interpretation of "educational". >Why does he think he can get away from this at a government-run >facility, when he couldn't at Microsoft? Because like any organization, the U. of Texas must work within its charters, these include the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court has said that this limits the Government's authority to control the media that owns and controls. The rationale is that it would be dangerous for a Government that is elected by the people to have too much control on the content of what people read and write. The Supreme Court calls created forums, like a student newspaper or campus mail systems, limited public forums. It says that the government can limited who may access these forums and/or what topics may be discussed. But otherwise, "it is bound by the same standards as apply in a traditional public forum"; "content-based prohibition must be narrowly drawn to effectuate a compelling state interest." _Public Schools Law: Teachers' and Students' Rights_ 2nd Ed. by Martha M. McCarthy and Nelda H. Cambron-McCabe says: "Although school boards are not obligated to support student papers, if a given publication was originally created as a free speech forum, removal of financial or other school board support can be construed as an unlawful effort to stifle free expression. In essence, school authorities cannot withdraw support from a student publication simply because of displeasure with the content. In an illustrative case, the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a university could not change its funding policy for a student paper based on the 'hue and cry' of the public objecting to a particular issue [Stanley v. Magrath, 719 F.2d 279, 282-283 (8th Cir. 1983).] - Carl REFERENCES ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1993 22:51:01 EST From: IIRG Subject: File 6--Commentary on Cyber-issues in Elansky/Ionizer Sentence IIRG RESPONSE TO THE ELANSKY SENTENCING The sentencing of Michael Elansky to 28 months in prison makes us wonder who will be the next victim of our judicial system. Although we may not agree with Judge Miano's ruling on the alleged probation violations, we can understand the ruling resulted mainly due to Miano's lack of knowledge in the field of telecommunications. The initial charges that were the reason for Mike's arrest were dropped. Given this, we wonder just how he violated his probation. It makes no sense to us, nor to the many people we've consulted. Our main concerns now are the terms of Mike's probation: 1. A ban preventing anyone under 18 years of age to use Elansky's computer bulletin board, The Ware House. This is an interesting idea. How does the Judge propose that Mike enforce this? If a simple statement of age at logon is expected to be enough, then this ruling is essentially unenforceable. A 13 year old child can simply logon as a 35 year old adult. On the other hand, if the Judge expects mail in registrations with a photo-copy of a driver's license m from his users, this would defeat the purpose of running the board in the first place, which is to promote free exchange of information and ideas between the users under the freedom which anonymity provides. Unfortunately, many systems have been forced to adopt this policy. 2. A ban on Elansky (Ionizer) placing pyrotechnic information or any other "harmful" information on his bulletin board. It would be difficult to cite a more blatant example of First Amendment infringement than the above. "Harmful" is an utterly subjective term entirely open to interpretation. Harmful to whom or to what? And just who would be charged with determining whether or not a particular piece of information is "harmful?" In addition, according to mandate one, there would be no users under the age of 18. Aren't adults entitled to freedom from government censorship, or is this becoming another Red China? Where's the EFF when you need them? 3. A requirement that a probation officer have complete freedom to search Elansky's computer system to ensure the requirements have not been violated. Does this mean Mike must grant sysop access to a probation officer? We personally know of no sysop that would like an untrained, computer illiterate individual rummaging through his BBS. "Big Brother" conspiracy freaks will love this one. We only hope that in future cases, courts will become more educated as to the inner workings of the BBS community. If the current trend continues, we can only see a gross violation of personal privacy in the future. Will the proposed "Information Super-Highway" become a super speed-trap? ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #5.90 ************************************


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