Computer underground Digest Wed Jan 26 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 10 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Ji

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Computer underground Digest Wed Jan 26 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 10 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET) Archivist: Brendan Kehoe (Improving each day) Acting Archivist: Stanton McCandlish Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala Ian Dickinson Coppice Editor: P. Bunyan CONTENTS, #6.10 (Jan 26 1994) File 1--Elementary Students Make New Friends with E-mail File 2--DEF CON ][ Initial Announcement File 3--Re: Cu Digest, #6.09/Lobby the Feds via PC File 4--Re: Clipp[er]ed again (fwd) File 5--GOV-ACCESS--Cal Leg online; Minn PubInfo Net; Cal Emg Serv File 6--What It Takes To Make It Happen: Key Issues For NII 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/Publications/CuD in mirror2/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: Fri, 21 Jan 1994 14:08:17 EST From: EVFW91A@PRODIGY.COM(MR DAVID W BATTERSON) Subject: File 1--Elementary Students Make New Friends with E-mail Elementary Students Make New Friends with E-mail by David Batterson Elementary students lucky enough to have computers/modems at their school can exchange e-mail regularly with pals their own age in many states and other countries. Since they are use keyboards to write with, the young students call each other "keypals" rather than penpals. Unlike many adults who still find it difficult, these students usually compose their messages offline and then upload them. For example, third through sixth grade students in two Maryland elementary schools have been sending and receiving e-mail for over a year now. The kids call the METNET BBS, sponsored by the Maryland State Department of Education and Maryland Instructional Technology. METNET is, of course, linked with The Internet. Computer teacher Patricia A. Weeg is in charge of the e-mail program at the Maryland schools. Mrs. Weeg told me "my kids are doing super things with The Internet. My younger kids in grade two are part of an 'Infant Project' with students in Peru, Iceland, Tasmania, Hawaii and England. A fourth grader of mine has been messaging with a class in London." Another way Maryland students send and receive e-mail is on the MTEBBS (Maryland Technology Education Bulletin Board Service). They have their own conference called KIDTALK. Students can correspond in real time too, by taking part in the KIDLINK Internet Relay Chat (IRC). These IRC chats have included students from many states and countries. Students are learning about other countries by using e-mail. They exchange questions and answers on subjects like customs, holidays, housing, animals, the environment or careers. One fifth grader who is interested in engineering wrote to an electrical engineer in Guatemala to learn more about the field. In addition to improving students' writing and editing skills, the e-mail programs serve as an incentive. Students use e-mail as an extracurricular activity, and have to finish regular class work before they can take part. Many teachers use educational games and quizzes to make sure that time is spent wisely. Prior to 1982's November election, elementary students in Oregon, Michigan and Maryland were polled on their choice for President. Students, parents and educators who want to learn more about keypals can write Mrs. Patricia Weeg, Chapter 1 Computer Teacher, Delmar Elementary School, 700 S. Second St., Delmar, MD 21875. Her e-mail address is: David Batterson welcomes comments. MCI Mail: 273-7218 or ------------------------------ Date: 22 Jan 94 19:32:19 -0500 From: Conal.Garrity@F8004.N282.Z1.FIDONET.ORG(Conal Garrity) Subject: File 2--DEF CON ][ Initial Announcement Updated Last : 1.16.1994 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx DEF CON ][ Convention Initial Announcement READ & DISTRIBUTE & READ & DISTRIBUTE & READ & DISTRIBUTE & READ & DISTRIBUTE ============================================================================= What's this? This is the initial announcement and invitation to DEF CON ][, a convention for the "underground" elements of the computer culture. We try to target the (Fill in your favorite word here): Hackers, Phreaks, Hammies, Virii coders, programmers, crackers, Cyberpunk Wannabees, Civil Liberties Groups, CypherPunks, Futurists, Artists, Etc.. WHO: You know who you are, you shady characters. WHAT: A convention for you to meet, party, and listen to some speeches that you would normally never hear. WHEN: July 22, 23, 24 - 1994 WHERE: Las Vegas, Nevada @ The Sahara Hotel So you heard about DEF CON I, and want to hit part ][? You heard about the parties, the info discussed, the bizarre atmosphere of Las Vegas and want to check it out in person? Load up your laptop muffy, we're heading to Vegas! Here is what Three out of Three people said about last years convention: "DEF CON I, last week in Las Vegas, was both the strangest and the best computer event I have attended in years." -- Robert X. Cringely, Info World "Toto, I don't think we're at COMDEX anymore." -- Coderipper, Gray Areas "Soon we were at the hotel going through the spoils: fax sheets, catalogs, bits of torn paper, a few McDonald's Dino-Meals and lots of coffee grounds. The documents disappeared in seconds." -- Gillian Newson, New Media Magazine DESCRIPTION: Last year we held DEF CON I, which went over great, and this year we are planning on being bigger and better. We have expanded the number of speakers to included midnight tech talks and additional speaking on Sunday. We attempt to bring the underground into contact with "legitimate" speakers. Sure it's great to meet and party with fellow hackers, but besides that we try to provide information and speakers in a forum that can't be found at other conferences. While there is an initial concern that this is just another excuse for the evil hackers to party and wreak havok, it's just not the case. People come to DEF CON for information and for making contacts. We strive to distinguish this convention from others in that respect. WHAT'S NEW THIS YEAR: This year will be much larger and more organized than last year. We have a much larger meeting area, and have better name recognition. Because of this we will have more speakers on broader topics. Expect speaking to run Saturday and Sunday, ending around 5 p.m. Some of the new things expected include: > An INet connection with sixteen ports will be there, _BUT_ will only provide serial connections because terminals are too hard to ship. So bring a laptop with communications software if you want to connect to the network. Thanks to cyberlink communications for the connection. > There will be door prizes, and someone has already donated a Cell Phone to give away. > Dr. Ludwig will present his virii creation awards on Sunday. > A bigger and better "Spot The Fed" contest, which means more shirts to give away. > More room, we should have tables set up for information distribution. If you have anything you want distributed, feel free to leave it on the designated tables. Yes, this year there will be a true 24 hour convention space. > A 24 hour movie / video suite where we will be playing all type of stuff. VHS Format. Mail me with suggested titles to show, or bring your own. > Midnight Tech Talks on Friday and Saturday night to cover the more technical topics and leave the days free for more general discussions. WHO IS SPEAKING: I was going to run a list of the current speakers we have lined up, but at this point things are still fluid. In a few months when the speakers list is more solidified I will release it. I'll name the people who have committed to attending in the next announcement. Trust me. WHERE THIS THING IS: It's in Las Vegas, the town that never sleeps. Really. There are no clocks anywhere in an attempt to lull you into believing the day never ends. Talk about virtual reality, this place fits the bill with no clunky hardware. If you have a buzz you may never know the difference. It will be at the Sahara Hotel. Intel as follows: The Sahara Hotel: 1.800.634.6078 Room Rates: Single/Double $55, Triple $65, Suite $120 (Usually $200) + 8% tax Transportation: Shuttles from the airport for cheap NOTE: Please make it clear you are registering for the DEF CON ][ convention to get the room rates. Our convention space price is based on how many people register. Register under a false name if it makes you feel better, 'cuz the more that register the better for my pocket book. No one under 21 can rent a room by themselves, so get your buddy who is 21 to rent for you and crash out. Don't let the hotel people get their hands on your baggage, or there is a mandatory $3 group baggage fee. Vegas has killer unions. OTHER STUFF: If you check out Wired like 1.5 or 1.6 there was a blurb about the new Luxor hotel with it's total VR experience. It looks like the first true VR ride / experience for a group of people, it seats eight. Intense. A friend was just over there, and tested out the various rides. Not to be outdone the new MGM grand (Largest hotel in the world) has a ride called the R360 which is basically a gyroscope they trap you into with goggles. We should get a group together and make a mass trek over there and check it out. If enough people are interested I'll call and see if we can book a time to reserve space for a bunch of us. Both are within walking distance. I'll whip up a list of stuff that's cool to check out in town there so if for some reason you leave the awesome conference you can take in some unreal sites in the city of true capitalism. MEDIA: Some of the places you can look for information from last year include: New Media Magazine, September 1993 InfoWorld, 7-12-1993 and also 7-19-1993 by Robert X. Cringely Gray Areas Magazine, Vol 2, #3 (Fall 1993) Unix World, ??? Phrack #44 COST: Cost is whatever you pay for a hotel room split however many ways, plus $15 if you preregister, or $30 at the door. This gets you a nifty 24 bit color name tag (We're gonna make it niftier this year) and your foot in the door. There are fast food places all over, and there is alcohol all over the place but the trick is to get it during a happy hour for maximum cheapness. ============================================================================ UPDATE: I wanted to thank whoever sent in the anonymous fax to Wired that was printed in issue 1.5 Cool deal! Dan Farmer posted his paper on unix security on the net, and I've put a copy of it on the ftp site if you want to grab it and take a look. It's called "zen.txt" I've received more scanned images from last year, and they will be put on the ftp site. ============================================================================= FOR MORE INFORMATION: For InterNet users, there is a DEF CON anonymous ftp site at in /pub/defcon. There are digitized pictures, digitized speeches and text files with the latest up to date info available. For email users, you can email for more information. For non-net people call: The Alliance BBS [612] 251.8596 16.8k speed Dual Standard Open Access. 24 Hours. Users get full access on 1st call. iirg disto site, Syncro Net, text files galore. Sysop: Metal Head (The huge guy from last year) A DEF CON directory is maintained here For Snail Mail send to: DEF CON, 2709 E. Madison Street Suite #102, Seattle, WA, 98112 For Voice Mail and maybe a human (me), 0-700-TANGENT on an AT&T phone. A DEF CON Mailing list is maintained, and the latest announcements are mailed automatically to you. If you wish to be added to the list just send email to We also maintain a chat mailing list where people can talk to one another and plan rides, talk, whatever. If you request to be on this list your email address will be shown to everyone, just so you are aware. [Note: We need some good list-serv software for BSD, if anyone knows where to find some, please e-mail me.] STUFF TO SPEND YOUR MONEY ON: > Tapes of last years speakers (four 90 minute tapes) are available for $20 > DEF CON I tee-shirts (white, large only) with large color logo on the front, and on the back the Fourth Amendment, past and present. This is shirt v 1.1 with no type-o's. These are $20, and sweatshirts are $25. > Pre-Register for next year in advance for $15 and save half. > Make all checks/money orders/etc. out to DEF CON, and mail to the address above. If you have any confidential info to send, use this PGP key to encrypt: -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- Version: 2.3 mQCrAiyI6OcAAAEE8Mh1YApQOOfCZ8YGQ9BxrRNMbK8rP8xpFCm4W7S6Nqu4Uhpo dLfIfb/kEWDyLreM6ers4eEP6odZALTRvFdsoBGeAx0LUrbFhImxqtRsejMufWNf uZ9PtGD1yEtxwqh4CxxC8glNA9AFXBpjgAZ7eFvtOREYjYO6TH9sOdZSa8ahW7YQ hXatVxhlQqve99fY2J83D5z35rGddDV5azd9AAUTtCZUaGUgRGFyayBUYW5nZW50 IDxkdGFuZ2VudEBkZWZjb24ub3JnPg== =ko7s -----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- The next announcement will have more updated information. I'll hold off on naming the speakers unless they commit to attending. It looks to be a great line up. - The Dark Tangent ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 25 Jan 1994 14:24:54 -0600 (CST) From: eab@MSC.EDU(Edward Bertsch) Subject: File 3--Re: Cu Digest, #6.09/Lobby the Feds via PC >Computer reporter/reviewer David Batterson looks forward to the day >when most federal, state, county and city officials are online, so we >can zap 'em with e-mail. [Will he live so long?] You may contact him >via The Internet:, or: > > * Evaluation copy of Silver Xpress. Day # 50 > --- via Silver Xpress V4.00 [NR] > -- >uucp: uunet!m2xenix!puddle!290!David.Batterson >Internet: You don't have to wait for them to be on-line. It is not realistic to expect politicians to do this in your or my lifetime. What you can do is get yourself a FAX modem and some print capture software. This is what I use. I put together a document in a Windoze word processor, then I say print (to the print capture software). A box comes up asking me who to send it to. I have the LOCAL phone numbers for my Congress- and Senate- critters, as well as Governor, Mayor, City Council, and state house and senate. I select an individual or multiple recipients, and the message is sent to them. If there is a busy number, it goes on to the next one on the list, and eventually gets through to all of them. My words are read as I wrote them (much different than what happens when you leave a verbal message) and are dealt with in a timely manner, since so much of their day to day business is conducted by FAX these days... You can get internal data/fax modems for $99 and less these days, and externals for little more. (even v.32bis/v.42bis/v.17 14400 data/14400 fax modems) The software to capture "printed" output to fax is usually included. I would assume similar prices and packages exist for the Macintosh. ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 25 Jan 1994 10:17:19 +0200 (WET) From: anonymous Subject: File 4--Re: Clipp[er]ed again (fwd) U.S. CODE AGENCY IS JOSTLING FOR CIVILIAN TURF New York Times, Monday, January 24, 1994 By John Markoff The National Security agency is trying to establish a standard tor electronically scrambling computer communications, a move that would go far beyond the agency's usual military and intelligence domain to include civilian activities like electronic tax returns and computerized medical payments. The plan by the N.S.A., which may be announced as early as today, worries business executives, who fear a Government encroachment on privacy. And some officials in the Clinton Administration believe that the N.S.A. is overstepping its bounds. The N.S.A. is the Federal agency responsible for electronic surveillance of global communications, though usually not civilian communications, within the United States. ((The article explains in a few paragraphs how the government prefers a government and civilian standard approach to scrambling in order to crack codes authorized by court-approved wiretaps)) Bidding Process The agency will seek bids from companies to produce circuit cards based on its technology, which would be used to scramble electronic messages for Government agencies and, eventually, private companies. Agency employees confirmed the plan late Friday, though no agency officials could be reached over the weekend for further details. ((A few paragraphs deleted)) Many computer industry executives oppose the National Security Agency's effort, saying there is no way for industry experts and outsiders to determine the reliability and security of the underlying scrambling technology, which the agency intends to keep secret. Privacy-rights advocates, meanwhile, are wary of the system because of the electronic "back door" it contains, permitting Government eavesdropping. And some other Administration officials say the agency is going too far by pushing the standard into civilian computing "What these guys are trying to do is run ahead of the blocking," an Administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said. "Trying to sell this as the wave of the future is premature as Administration policy. The circuit card, which is designed to fit into a personal computer and which the agency calls Tessera, is based on technology similar to a device known as the Clipper Chip, a telephone voice-scrambling chip that provides a back-door means for letting law-enforcement officials eavesdrop. ((The article explains that the Clipper plan was developed by the NSA, NIST, and CDA, and has been strongly opposed by professionals and public policy groups)) In a letter to be sent to President Clinton today, which was released on Friday to The New York Times, a group of 38 of the nation's leading computer scientists, computer-security specialists and privacy experts have urged that the Clipper program be stopped. "The current proposal was developed in secret by Federal agencies primarily concerned about electronic surveillance, not privacy protection," the letter states. "Critical aspects of the plan remain classified and thus beyond public review." ((The article notes that lots of influential crypto-pioneers signed the letter)) Moreover, the Government could insure widespread use of the Clipper and Tessera technologies by insisting that they be used by businesses and individuals when communicating electronically with Federal agencies. Official Reasoning Law-enforcement officials say the technologies are intended to resolve a longstanding problem of the information age: how to preserve the right of businesses and citizens to use codes to protect all sorts of digital communications without letting criminals and terrorists conspire beyond the law's reach. Businesses and individuals who often communicate over computer networks already make use of a variety of scrambling systems-either of their own devising or those commercially available. Many of these scrambling systems are unbreakable by anyone who does not hold the electronic keys to the code, something generally known only by the sender and the recipient of scrambled messages. That is a problem for the National Security Agency, which routinely listens to many of the world's telephone and computer conversations - although it has no jurisdiction for monitoring non-Government conversations within the United States. The N.S.A.'s Tessera and Clipper systems would have an independent agency hold master keys to the codes, which could be obtained with a court's permission for surveillance by law-enforcement officials. ((For a few paragraphs, the article notes that the agency intends to purchase between 10,000-70,000Tessera cards and notes that the card can be used for civilian functions such as e-mail and cable tv scrambling)) The National Security Agency's new standard-setting effort is being introduced a couple of weeks before the Clinton Administration completes a classified review of the Clipper proposal, and several industry executives said the announcement had been timed to apply pressure to the Administration's decision making. The proposal angers industry executives who believe that the agency is rushing to establish a de facto standard that will undercut efforts to adopt a competing commercial standard without a built-in back door. That standard, being developed by RSA Data Security, a Redwood City, ((A bunch of background information paragraphs deleted)) Secret Formula These companies are particularly troubled by the National Security Agency's refusal to disclose the mathematical formula, or algorithm, on which-its scrambling technology is based. "The issue here is: Should a secret algorithm developed by the intelligence community be used for unclassified civilian uses?" said Stephen Walker, a computer security industry executive and a member of the Government's Computer System Security and Privacy Advisory Board. l think the answer is it should not. ((A bunch more deleted summarizing some of the conflict the agency has experienced regarding the surveillance issue. Marc Rotenberg of CPSR is quoted as saying that the proposals are going in the wrong direction)) "These guys are fighting for job security," said William Ferguson, vice president of Semaphore Inc., a , Santa Clara, Calif., computer network security firm. "Now that the K.G.B. has gone commercial, the N.S.A. is trying to start its own initiatives that say, 'all we're trying to do i is keep up with the K.G.B.' " White House officials said the agency's actions would not necessarily force the Administration to authorize, an unpopular coding technology. One official said the Administration policy review was likely to establish a permanent working group that, would limit the National Security, Agency's role in policy making. ((The article concludes by explaining that the NSA intended to announce its RFPs last week, but was delayed by a snow storm)) ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 22 Jan 1994 17:11:30 -0800 From: Jim Warren Subject: File 5--GOV-ACCESS--Cal Leg online; Minn PubInfo Net; Cal Emg Serv Jan. 22, 1994 On Friday, Jan. 21, 1994, the California Legislature began offering global online access to almost-all public information about legislation-in-process, all current state statutes, and the voluminous California Constitution. The state is prohibited from charging *anything* for access to or re-use of this electronic information. Access is by Internet ftp and ftpmail ["ftp" = file transfer protocol]. Note: ftpmail allows anyone with access to the Internet at least for email purposes to access these files (that are often large). ftpmail provides access for users of FidoNet, CompuServe, GEnie, Prodigy, etc., as well as offering Internet users an option to direct ftp . README and help files provide complete details. FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL ... To receive the help file, send the following email: To: subject: Message lines: connect help quit To receive the two README files, send the following email: To: subject: Message lines: connect get README_WELCOME cd pub get README_FIRST quit And await details of how you may finally participate in the process of your own governance. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, California is the first state in the nation to offer almost all of its public legislative, statutory and constitutional information via the Internet, *especially* without charge by the state. ================================================================ Subject--Cal.Emergency + Net-fax + MINN Pub Info Net Jan. 22, 1994 CALIFORNIA OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES INFO AVAILABLE ONLINE The state Emergency Digital Information Service is working fine Telnet to telnet 5501 ===== Is the OES system open/intended to permit public use? --jim ===== It seems to be. No login at all is required. You telnet to that port and get a menu listing the last 20 or so press releases. SACRAMENTO INTERNET LOCALS: HOW 'BOUT LEGI-FAX ? Are you familiar with the internet fax gateway service? You can send to an internet address and IF that telephone exchange is covered by a fax server, your mail will be delivered via fax. If it is not covered you get a bounce. For more details send mail to: A very cool service! Maybe someone in Sacramento would like to put up a gateway that would transmit faxes to the legislators? :-) MINNESOTA DRAFT ONLINE-ACCESS PROPOSAL Date: Thursday, 20 January 1994 3:15pm CT To:,,,,,,, STEVEN.CLIFT From: STEVEN.CLIFT@MNEMC2 Subject--Draft Legislative Proposal - Minn Public Info Network This is a DRAFT proposal from the Electronic Access to Public Information Task Force of the Information Policy Office, Minnesota Department of Administration. This is probably the first time a draft proposal of this nature has been released electronically within government and to the public. Please send us your comments and suggestions by February 4, 1994 as indicated in the text of this document. As of January 20, this proposal has been presented to the full Electronic Access Task Force and the Information Policy Council. They are just beginning to review this proposal. The one thing that is guaranteed is that this proposal will change as it moves toward and through the legislature process. This draft proposal is more of a concept paper and much of this proposed activity does not require legislative action, but the overall concept and funding will need legislative support. While I have been researching and developing this proposal since early fall, (I have been on the Internet for two years and run a public policy (PUBPOL-L) electronic mail list at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs) the timing of its release is very good. It should be of interest to a number of people and gain some public attention. On a lighter note, I think government interest was illustrated by the good turnout we had at our Task Force meeting on January 18 when it was about -20F. I have a new theory about why Minnesota is known for having innovative government programs: we spend our cold winters thinking up good ideas for public services because there is little to distract us. If this is a relative theory inversely related to how cold it is, the Minnesota Public Information Network should be a great proposal. However, we need you feedback to ensure that it is developed with broad government and public support. Electronic Access to Public Information Task Force c/o Steven Clift Information Policy Office Minnesota Department of Administration 320 Centennial Office Building St. Paul, MN 55155 Telephone: (612)297-5561 Fax:(612)296-5800 Electronic Mail: ===== Send a request to Steven Clift if you wish the full document. ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 26 Jan 1994 21:23:20 CST From: CuD Moderators Subject: File 6--What It Takes To Make It Happen: Key Issues For NII ((MODERATORS' NOTE: The full text of the following paper summary can be obtained from the CuD ftp archives (see CuD header for addresses)) What It Takes To Make It Happen: Key Issues For Applications Of The National Information Infrastructure Committee on Applications and Technology Information Infrastructure Task Force January 25, 1994 This paper is intended for public comment and discussion. Your comments can be sent to any of the following addresses: Post: Committee on Applications and Technology National Institute of Standards and Technology Building 101, Room A1000 Gaithersburg, MD 20899 Phone: (301) 975-2667 FAX: (301) 216-0529 E-Mail: THE COMMITTEE ON APPLICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY This issue paper was prepared by the Committee on Applications and Technology of the Information Infrastructure Task Force (IITF) in support of the President's action plan for developing, in partnership with the private sector, an advanced information infrastructure for our country -- the National Information Infrastructure. The Committee is charged with coordinating Administration efforts: to develop, demonstrate, and promote applications of information technology in manufacturing, electronic commerce, education, health care, government services, libraries, and other areas, and to develop and recommend technology strategy and policy to accelerate the implementation of the NII.. The Committee works with the Subcommittee on High-Performance Computing and Communications and Information Technology, which was established as part of the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering and Technology to coordinate the development of new information technologies. The Committee on Applications and Technology also is responsible for implementing many of the recommendations of the Vice President's National Performance Review that pertain to information technology. ((ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS DELETED)) ABSTRACT This paper highlights important issues that need to be addressed in the development, demonstration, and promotion of applications for the National Information Infrastructure (NII). The paper is intended for three important audiences: the public, the committees and working groups of the Information Infrastructure Task Force (IITF), and other agencies and departments in our government. The goal is to identify and describe the issues so they can be considered and discussed by these audiences, leading to their eventual resolution. Some of these issues, such as privacy, intellectual property rights, information security and the scalability of projects are already being addressed by the committees and working groups of the IITF. Others, such as user acceptance and organizational learning, still need to be addressed by the IITF in order to allow the private/government partnership to evolve and to work together to build and shape the National Information Infrastructure. KEY ISSUES FOR NII APPLICATIONS The publication of the Agenda for Action on the National Information Infrastructure (NII)1 in September 1993 greatly heightened the level of public debate on information technology and social change. That and other white papers, studies, and commentaries dramatically sketched a vision of the near future, in which a web of advanced communications networks and computers would bring vast amounts of information and greatly improved services to the homes of virtually every citizen - if we as a nation properly manage the technology. With this paper, the Committee on Applications and Technology of the President's Information Infrastructure Task Force proposes a basic set of critical issues which our nation will face as the NII evolves. Our perspective in selecting these issues is that of applications that will use the NII. The reasons for taking this perspective - indeed, for creating this Committee - are grounded in the unique role the Federal government plays in the development of the NII. The National Information Infrastructure is not a cliff which suddenly confronts us, but rather a slope - and one society has been climbing since postal services and semaphore networks were established. An information infrastructure has been with us for a long time, continuously evolving with each new advance in communications technology. Why the sudden debate? Change is coming much faster, and more thoroughly, than ever before. In our lifetimes we will see information technology bring more changes to more aspects of our daily lives than have been witnessed in the preceding century. Digital technology is merging the functions of television sets, telephones, and computers. Fundamental changes are in store for us in the ways we work, learn, shop, communicate, entertain ourselves, and get health care and public services. And those are just the applications we can foresee. Private industry will be responsible for virtually every major facet of the NII and the information marketplace it creates. Private industry will build and manage the networks, provide the information tools and much of the information that travels the networks, and develop the many of the applications that use the networks. But government remains a major participant in the NII. One reason is obvious - government policies are a major force in the information infrastructure. One of the principal goals of the Information Infrastructure Task Force is to develop and foster informed government policy that promotes our societal goals for the NII without unnecessarily hampering industry. As Vice President Gore has observed, "Our goal is not to design the [information] market of the future. It is to provide the principles that shape that market. And it is to provide the rules governing this difficult transition to an open market for information. We are committed in that transition to protecting the availability, affordability and diversity of information and information technology as market forces replace regulations and judicial models that are simply no longer appropriate."2 Less obvious, however, is the fact that government plays a major role in the development of NII applications: As one of the nation's biggest users of information technology, the government develops NII applications to speed and improve the delivery of its services. Examples include making ((600 LINES OF TEXT DELETED)) NEXT STEPS AND FOLLOW THROUGH For the IITF to follow through on the remainder of the issues identified in this paper requires at least two steps. First, the IITF committees and interested individuals and groups from the private sector should review this paper and the issues we have presented to broaden our understanding and perspective. We welcome comments. Next, the IITF should review the issues reported here, the framework for assessing the issues, and the comments from the private sector and the other committees to decide if its organization is adequately structured to address the key issues. For example, if the categorization of issues outlined here - according to the components of the infrastructure: people, information, processes (software, especially applications), hardware and networks - is useful, we should consider whether our current IITF structure covering information, telecommunications, and applications and technology adequately addresses people and hardware. Some steps are already being taken in this direction. A working group of the Committee on Applications and Technology has been formed to address technology policy issues, and the Committee has instituted a public issues discussion program as part of its regular meetings to facilitate a dialog on the issues outlined in this paper. In closing, we would like to repeat and emphasize the point made earlier. In presenting this issues paper, the Committee on Applications and Technology intends only to describe an initial catalog of critical issues that must be addressed and resolved in the development of the NII. We see this is a starting point for discussion, and not a document to close off discussion of other issues. Your comments on this paper can be sent to any of the following addresses: Post: Committee on Applications and Technology National Institute of Standards and Technology Building 101, Room A1000 Gaithersburg, MD 20899 Phone: (301) 975-2667 FAX: (301) 216-0529 E-Mail: ------------------------------ ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #6.10 ************************************


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