Computer underground Digest Sun Aug 28, 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 77 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J

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Computer underground Digest Sun Aug 28, 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 77 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET) Archivist: Brendan Kehoe Retiring Shadow Archivist: Stanton McCandlish Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala Ian Dickinson Copylate Editor: John Holmes Shrudlu CONTENTS, #6.77 (Sun, Aug 28, 1994) File 1--Static in Cyberspace (The Nation reprint) (fwd) File 2--The Internet and the Anti-net File 3--GovAccess.044: changing GovAccess, ballot info, civicnet policies File 4--EPIC Statement on Wiretap Telephony Bill File 5--Cu Digest Header Information (unchanged since 28 Aug '94) CuD ADMINISTRATIVE, EDITORIAL, AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION APPEARS IN THE CONCLUDING FILE AT THE END OF EACH ISSUE. ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 19 Jul 1994 20:46:29 -0500 (CDT) From: Charles Stanford Subject: File 1--Static in Cyberspace (The Nation reprint) (fwd) This article is reprinted with permission from the June 13, 1994 issue of The Nation magazine. (c) 1994 The Nation Company, Inc. Special offer to new subscribers: 24 weekly issues for just $13.95 (a savings of $40.05 off the newsstand price). Box CP, 72 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011. For more information, e-mail: nation-info@igc.apc.org Jon Wiener, a contributing editor of The Nation, teaches history at the University of California, Irvine. STATIC IN CYBERSPACE Free Speech on the Internet JON WIENER At a time when Paramount Communications and Time Warner and Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation have achieved near-total domination over all hitherto existing media, many people have come to view the Internet--the computer network linking millions of users in a hundred countries--as a free space where critical and independent voices can communicate, liberated from the mainstream media's obsession with profits and hostility to the unpopular. It's "the most universal and indispensable network on the planet," The New York Times Magazine recently proclaimed, because, at a time when the "giant information empires own everything else," the Internet is "anarchic. But also democratic." Harper's Magazine joined the utopian talk: The Internet marks "not the beginning of authority but its end." Computer networks create "a country of decentralized nodes of governance and thought," in which "the non-dogmatic--the experimental idea" and "the global perspective" all work to undermine centralized power and official opinion. U.S. News & World Report declared in January that, on the Internet, "everyone has a virtually unlimited right to express and seek information on any subject." The "Net" is a free space, the argument continues, because no one controls it and no one owns it; it has no center. Instead, it has thousands of nodes, each of which permits those with access to a computer, a modem and a modest budget to send and receive messages and to read, copy and distribute documents, manifestoes, essays and exposs. No one is excluded because of race, ethnicity, creed or gender. And it's growing like kudzu: The Internet Society reported last year that 1.7 million host computers provided gateways for 17 million users to enter the Infobahn. Those who operate computer bulletin board systems ("bbs"), newsgroups and mailing lists are mainly volunteers working for free. According to Harley Hahn and Rick Stout, authors of The Internet Complete Reference, the Net provides "living proof that human beings who are able to communicate freely and conveniently will choose to be social and selfless." It all sounds great. But despite the claims made for the Net, its freedoms are restricted in familiar ways; it reproduces many problems and obstacles found outside cyberspace, in what the hackers disparagingly term "real life." The largest collection of news and discussion groups on the Net is Usenet, which involves millions of people reading and posting messages on more than 5,000 topics, ranging from "artifi- cial intelligence" (comp.ai) to "Japanese animation" (rec.arts.anime). Usenet bulletin boards recently dramatized the power of the Internet as a weapon to fight government censorship. The Canadi- an government has been trying to prevent Canadians from learn- ing about the sensational sex-torture-murder trial of Karla Homol- ka and her husband/accomplice, Paul Bernardo. Homolka pleaded guilty in July 1993 after confessing gruesome details of two murders and naming her husband as the instigator. The Ontario court imposed a gag order on the media, seeking to prevent potential jurors in her husband's separate trial from learning about the case. None of the Canadian media challenged the ban, but industrious computer networkers in Toronto set up a Usenet newsgroup, alt.fan.karla-homolka, on which they posted daily news of the trial. (Putting it in the "alternative-fan" area was a maca- bre touch.) Then "the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.) showed up in the newsgroup and said we were all going to jail," recalled Joel Furr, a Usenet moderator responsible for editing messages on some bulletin boards. "They said they were recording our names and contacting our site administrators." Most Canadian institutions on the Net, including all universities, shut down local access to the bulletin board. Undeterred, the hackers started a new one, "alt.pub-ban.homolka," on which they continued to post news of the trial. "It took the R.C.M.P. about a month to find that hiding place," Furr said. When that one was shut down, they started posting Karla Homolka information on still other bulletin boards. The gag order remains in effect, since jury selection in Bernardo's trial won't begin until fall. But as a result of the postings on computer bulletin boards, Stephen Kimber wrote in the Halifax Daily News, "the ban has become a joke." Global communi- cations systems "are now beyond the short arms of narrow-minded Ontario judicial regulators." Kimber, a journalism professor at the University of King's College in Halifax, got the banned information "through an electronic labyrinth from a double-blind anonymous posting service based, I believe, in Finland--a service often used by those who discreetly post adult personal classified messages on the Internet." Every effort by court authorities to prevent trial news from reaching the public "has simply led individuals to find more innovative ways to distribute it." (I got the grisly story by e-mail from a gentleman in Texas with the address abdul@io.com. A lot of what was posted included rumors, hearsay and people indulging their taste for bizarre news, which is an inevitable consequence of such an open forum.) When Wired magazine did a short piece on the story in its April issue, the Canadian government banned the issue and confis- cated copies from distributors. Wired fought back in cyberspace, making the text of the banned article available on the Internet through their own "infobot"--a software program that provides information on demand--and on networks accessible to any Canadi- an with a modem. Fighting the Mounties presents the Net at its best, and shows how people could obtain other more significant information their governments might want to keep secret. But the same strate- gy for resisting government authority is available to more malevo- lent forces. A news item on the "SN GrapeVine" bulletin board, datelined Munich and headlined "Nazis Online," reports that German neo-Nazis have established their own bulletin boards on which users can "exchange ideas on how to rid Germany of for- eigners, coordinate illegal rallies and swap bomb-making recipes." The "Thule Network," named after a 1920s proto-Nazi group, consists of a dozen bulletin boards in three states, access to which is protected by passwords. Neo-Nazis are using the network to avoid detection by police who are not yet familiar with the new technology. For everyone from neo-Nazis to anti-censorship activists, cyber- space does indeed provide a free space. But how free is the speech on the Internet? Most of the Usenet bulletin boards are completely open to anyone with any message--a rich information anarchy, limited only by self-regulation, that can't be found in any other medium. But this utopian ideal is abandoned in bulletin boards that are "moderated" by volunteer system operators who have the power to edit or refuse to post messages they consider irrelevant or objectionable. To see what an unmoderated bulletin board looks like, I checked the Usenet Bosnia discussion group (soc.culture.bosna- herzgvna). The first posting read, "Serbs in world wars? O yes, I remember.... Russians come and liberated Belgrade. Serbs were so grateful that they did not mind, let say, missbehaviour of Russian soldiers towards local women. Or was raping a kind of a sign of frendship." It was signed by Damir Sokcevic, Department for Theoretical Physics, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia. The next message read, "Why should we let you `holy Armenian crooks' get away with the Muslim Holocaust's cover-up?... The ex-Soviet Armenian government got away with the genocide of 2.5 million Muslim men, women and children and is enjoying the fruits of that genocide." It had been posted by "Serdar Argic." This is the ugly side of freedom of speech. Garbage postings like these can devastate regions of cyberspace. The Usenet discussion group soc.history "has been absolutely destroyed by Serdar Argic," Usenet moderator Joel Furr wrote in April on an internal news bulletin board. "Upon reading the group today, I found 200+ active articles, of which 175 were from Serdar Argic and 20 were complaining about him." That group has now been replaced by one with a moderator who censors Serdar Argic. (His 175 messages on soc.history were all different, but all had the same nutty theme: Turks didn't kill Armenians in 1915, it was the other way around.) I e-mailed Joel Furr for more details, and he replied with a startlingly archaic suggestion: I should telephone him, so we could "talk." On the phone, he explained that "`Serdar Argic' seems to be several people, anti-Armenian Turks, with software that scans bulletin boards for keywords and automatically generates respons- es out of a database of megabytes of messages. Several universi- ties have kicked him off their networks, but he's currently got access through a firm called UUNet in Virginia. There's nothing we can do about him from a legal standpoint." Other Usenet groups have had problems with freedom of electronic speech: The "guns" discussion group (rec.guns), which is moder- ated, "flat out prohibits ANY discussion on gun control," reports Usenet moderator Cindy Tittle Moore, "because they know from experience that's just one long flame war." (To "flame" is to hurl abuse on-line.) If you are against guns, you are not allowed to tell it to the Usenet "guns" discussion group. And the gun nuts have virtually taken over the Mother Jones Usenet bulletin board (alt.motherjones), swamping it with pro-gun diatribes cross-listed from talk.politics.guns and alt.fan.rush-limbaugh. The energy of these people is astounding: The unmoderated group talk.politics.guns had 2,096 new postings in the week I checked- -300 a day. The underlying problem, Furr says, is that "the Internet is expanding at logarithmic rates. A million new users will bring a few sociopaths. Until recently we had complete anarchy with self- regulation. Now some human will have to look at everything and decide what to post. It's unfortunate." But it's not necessarily censorship. The moderated bulletin board or newsgroup is edited like a magazine letters-to-the-editor page: Relevant material is posted, objectionable or useless or loony stuff is kept out. In this respect communication in cyberspace is closer to ordinary publishing than to a new realm of freedom. (On the other hand, the extent of communication possible is far richer and freer than in any letters page.) Commercial advertising presents a different threat to the freedom of the Internet. Attorney Laurence Canter of Phoenix showed how to do it: In April he placed an ad for his services as a "green card" immigration lawyer on Usenet--not just on bulletin boards where it might be relevant, like misc.legal and alt.visa.us, or the "business" area, but on every one of more than 5,000 discussion groups. It appeared on rec.arts.erotica and on the anti- Barney alt.tv-dinosaurs.barney.die.die.die. This ambulance chasing on the information superhighway resulted in "a nuclear level flame," Furr said. The network was bombarded with thousands of protest messages from outraged users. Despite his violation of "netiquette," Canter is unrepentant; he told The New York Times, "We will definitely advertise on the Internet again." There's no good way to stop him. "These things that are written into the Internet culture are not written into the law," said James Gleick, who runs a commercial Internet gateway in Manhattan called the Pipeline. Usenet groups could be swamped with advertisements that would drown out noncommercial speech, and the rich discussion of common interests that now takes place would wither away. In real life, freedom of speech is also limited by libel laws. But is there libel in cyberspace? A federal court ruled in 1991 that CompuServe couldn't be sued for libel for a message it transmit- ted. That case (Cubby v. CompuServe) set a vital precedent for free speech in the electronic age: U.S. District Court Judge Peter Leisure of New York ruled that, since computer networks do not exercise editorial control over the messages they transmit, they are not liable for defamation. Individuals, however, are still responsible for their own words communicated through cyberspace. The first trial for libel by e-mail--held in Australia--concluded with a substantial fine being imposed on the offending e-mailer. In that case, an anthropologist fired by the University of Western Australia sued another anthropologist, claiming he had been defamed in a comput- er bulletin board message. The case went to the West Australian Supreme Court, which ruled in April that libel in cyberspace is actionable. David Rindos, who has a doctorate from Cornell Univer- sity, was dismissed last June because of insufficient productivity. A supporter of Rindos posted news of the firing on the DIALx science anthropology international computer bulletin board; many colleagues e-mailed their support for him, but Gil Hardwick, an anthropologist working in the field in Western Australia, posted a message criticizing Rindos. According to Justice David Ipp, it declared that Rindos's career was based not on academic achieve- ment "but on his ability to berate and bully all and sundry." The message also contained "allegations of pedophilia," in the words of Rindos's lawyer, and falsely implied that sexual misconduct had some bearing on his firing by the university. Twenty-three thousand people around the world have access to the bulletin board on which Mr. Hardwick's message appeared, and most of them are professional anthropologists and anthropolo- gy students. "The defamation caused serious harm to Dr. Rindos's personal and professional reputation," Justice Ipp declared. "The publication of these remarks will make it more difficult for him to obtain appropriate employment.... The damages award must compen- sate him for all these matters and vindicate his reputation to the public." Although it's easier to win a libel case in Australia than in the United States, the same circumstances here would produce the same result, according to Martin Garbus, an attorney and a libel law authority. The Internet is not a free space when it comes to libel; it is subject to the same libel law as any publication. In the Australian case, the libelous message had been posted on a bulletin board available to thousands; but even individual e- mail messages can cause legal problems. The day is not too distant when an e-mailer will find himself or herself in court, perhaps in an employment discrimination suit, for a statement uttered only in a single e-mail message. E-mail messages, like other written communications, are discoverable in legal proceedings, according to William Parker, director of the office of academic computing at the University of California, Irvine--they can be subpoenaed and presented as evidence in court. And that's only the beginning: It turns out that your old e-mail is not necessarily gone just be- cause you deleted it. At my campus of the University of California, and probably at most universities as well as private corporations, backup copies of most e-mail messages are retained on tape as part of the nightly backup of the main computer. Ollie North was unable to destroy evidence of the Iran/contra cover-up because the White House maintained a backup copy of the e-mail system on which he had plotted his crimes. Erasing his hard drive and shredding his paper copies didn't help. Most e-mailers are as vulnerable today as North was. Parker's advice: "You should not say anything via e-mail that you would not say publicly." Those who see the Internet as a free space neglect another important limitation to that freedom: Cyberspace is still a male space. Despite the universal access and non-discrimination on the Internet, despite the fact that physical appearances and attributes are absent, the great majority of users are men, and women's voices tend to get drowned out in cyberspace. Even in feminist discussion groups, says Ellen Broidy, history bibliographer at the U Cal, Irvine, library, "two or three men will get on and dominate the conversation--either by being provocative, or by flooding the system with comments on everything. It's like talk radio, only worse." Cindy Tittle Moore, a moderator on Usenet's soc.feminism, says, "It should be mandatory for every male on the Net to seriously pretend being female for two weeks to see the differ- ence." They will get sexually explicit invitations from other men, she says, "some polite, some gross." And the styles of disagree- ment are different. When a man disagrees with another man on a bulletin board, "he's likely to go for a point by point argument and pretty much stay on topic," Moore says. "With a female, he's likely to call her a bull-dyke bitch and leave it at that." Cyber- space, concludes Katherine Hayles, who teaches English at U.C.L.A., will not "free us from the straitjacket of physically marked categories such as race, class and gender." The Internet has demonstrated its effectiveness as a weapon against government censorship and as a means of communication untrammeled by corporate control. It makes available immense information resources on an unprecedented scale. It makes instan- taneous communication easy, which could strengthen democracy. It's also fun. But it's not a new world of freedom, significantly different from our own; in terms of free speech and censorship, libel and defamation, gender and social hierarchies, not to mention advertising and commerce, the moral of this story seems to be, in cybertalk, "VR mirrors RL"--virtual reality hasn't escaped the bounds of real life. ** End of text from cdp:media.issues ** *************************************************************************** This material came from PeaceNet, a non-profit progressive networking service. For more information, send a message to peacenet-info@igc.apc.org ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 03 Aug 1994 14:28:08 -0800 From: nicka@mccmedia.com (Nick Arnett) Subject: File 2--The Internet and the Anti-net THE INTERNET AND THE ANTI-NET Two public internetworks are better than one BY NICK ARNETT Networking policy debates tend to paint a future monolithic internetwork that will follow consistent policies despite a number of independent operators. Although that's how the interstate highway and telephone systems -- favorite metaphors for network futurists -- operate, historical comparisons suggest that it is probably not what the future holds. Two distinct, interconnected publicly accessible digital internetworks are likely to emerge, which is surely better than just one. One of the future internetworks will grow out of today's Internet, whose roots are in the technology and scientific/academic communities, funded by government, institutions and increasingly, corporate and individual users. Although the Internet will support commercial services, they rarely will depend on advertising. The other great internetwork will grow out of the technology and mass communications industries, especially cable and broadcast industries. The "Anti-net" will rely on advertising revenue to recoup the cost of the infrastructure necessary to create cheap, high-speed bandwidth. (I call this second network the Anti-net not to be a demagogue but to make a historical allusion, explained shortly.) All three communities -- technology, science and academia, and mass media -- will participate in many joint projects. The most successful new ventures often will arise from three-way collaborations; skills of each are essential to create and deliver network-based information products and services. The Internet community reacts with profound anger and resentment at Anti-net behavior on the Internet -- in net-speak, "spamming" advertising messages into hundreds of discussions. The outrage is based in part on the idealistic traditions of academic and scientific freedom of thought and debate, but there's more behind it. Anger and resentment fueled by the world's love-hate relationship with the mass media, particularly television, surface in many other contexts. Nearly everyone in the modern world and large segments of the third world watches television; nearly all think broadcast television is stupid, offering a homogenized, sensationalized point of view that serves advertising interests above all others. In competition with television's hypnotic powers, or perhaps simply due to the high cost of distribution, other mass media have followed suit. Idealistic defenders of the Internet's purity believe they are waging a humanitarian or even a holy war that pits a democracy of ideas against the mass media's empty promises and indulgences. Television and its kin offer the false idols and communities of soaps, sitcoms and sports. The mass media tantalize with suggestions of healing, wealth, popularity and advertising's other blessings and temptations. Internet idealists even question the U.S. administration's unclear proposal of an "information superhighway," suspecting that the masses will be taxed only to further expand the Anti-net's stranglehold on information. The same kind of stage was set 500 years ago. The convergence of inexpensive printing and inexpensive paper began to loosen the Roman Catholic church's centuries-old stranglehold on cultural information. The church's rise to power centuries earlier had followed the arrival of the Dark Ages, caused in Marshall McLuhan's analysis by the loss of papyrus supplies. The church quickly became the best customer of many of the early printer-publishers, but not to disseminate information, only to make money. The earliest dated publication of Johann Gutenberg himself was a "papal indulgence" to raise money for the church's defense against the Turk invasions. Indulgences were papers sold to the common folk to pay for the Pope's remission of their sins, a sort of insurance against the wrath of God. Indulgences had been sold by the church since the 11th century, but shortly after the arrival of printing, the pope expanded the market considerably by extending indulgences to include souls in purgatory. Indulgence revenue was shared with government officials, becoming almost a form of state and holy taxation. The money financed the church's holy wars, as well as church officials' luxurious lifestyles. Jumping on the new technology for corrupt purposes, the church had sown the seeds of its own undoing. The church had the same sort of love-hate relationship with common people and government that the mass media have today. The spark for the 15th-century "flame war," in net-speak, was a monk, Martin Luther. Outraged by the depth of the church's corruption, Luther wrote a series of short theses in 1517, questioning indulgences, papal infallibility, Latin-only Bibles and services, and other authoritarian, self-serving church practices. Although Luther had previously written similar theses, something different happened to the 95 that he nailed to the church door in Wittenburg. Printers -- the "hackers" of their day, poking about the geographic network of church doors and libraries -- found Luther's theses. As an academic, Luther enjoyed a certain amount of freedom to raise potentially heretical arguments against church practice. Nailing his theses to the Wittenburg door was a standard way to distribute information to his academic community for discussion, much like putting a research paper on an Internet server today. In Luther's time, intellectual property laws hadn't even been contemplated, so his papers were fair game for publication (as today's Internet postings often seem to be, to the dismay of many). Luther's ideas quickly became the talk of Europe. Heresy sells, especially when the questioned authority is corrupt. But the speed of printing technology caught many by surprise. Even Luther, defending himself before the pope, was at a loss to explain how so many had been influenced so fast. Luther's initial goal was to reform the church. But his ideas were rejected and he was excommunicated by his order, the pope and the emperor, convincing Luther that the Antichrist was in charge in Rome. Abandoning attempts at reform, but accepting Biblical prophecy, Luther resisted the utopian goal of removing the Antichrist from the papacy. Instead, as a pacifist, he focused on teaching and preaching his views of true Christianity. Luther believed that he could make the world a better place by countering the angst and insecurity caused by the Antichrist, not that he could save it by his own powers. Luther's philosophy would serve the Internet's utopians well, especially those who believe that the Internet's economy of ideas untainted by advertising must "win" over the mass media's Anti-net ideas. The Internet's incredibly low cost of distribution almost assures that it will remain free of advertising-based commerce. Nonetheless, if lobbying by network idealists succeeds in derailing or co-opting efforts to build an advertising-based internetwork, then surely commercial interests will conspire with government officials to destroy or perhaps worse, to take over the Internet by political and economic means. Historians, instead of comparing the Internet to the U.S. Interstate highway system's success, may compare it with the near-destruction of the nation's railroad and trolley infrastructure by corrupt businesses with interests in automobiles and trucking. The printing press and cheap paper did not lead to widespread literacy in Europe; that event awaited the wealth created by the Industrial Revolution and the need for educated factory workers. Printing technology's immediate and profound effect was the destruction of the self-serving, homogenized point of view of a single institution. Although today's mass media don't claim divine inspiration, they are no less homogenized and at least as self-serving. The people drown in information overload, but one point of view is barely discernable from another, ironically encouraging polarization of issues. Richard Butler, Australia's ambassador to the United Nations, draws the most disturbing analogy of all. Butler, a leader in disarmament, compares the church's actions to the nuclear weapons industry's unwillingness to come under public scrutiny. Like the church and its Bible, physicists argued that their subject was too difficult for lay people. Medieval popes sold salvation; physicists sold destruction. Neither was questioned until information began to move more freely. The political power of nuclear weapons has begun to fall in part due to the role of the Internet and fax communications in the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The truly influential and successful early publishers, such as Aldus Manutius, were merchant technologists who formed collaborations with the scientific/academic community and even the church, especially those who dissented against Rome. Out of business needs for economies of scale, they brought together people with diverse points of view and created books that appealed to diverse communities. The Renaissance was propelled in part by books that allowed geniuses such as Copernicus to easily compare and contrast the many points of view of his predecessors, reaching world-changing conclusions. Today we are at a turning point. We are leaving behind a world dominated by easy, audiovisual, sensational, advertising-based media, beginning a future in which the mass media's power will be diluted by the low cost of distribution of many other points of view. Using the Internet is still something like trying to learn from the pre-Gutenberg libraries, in which manuscripts were chained to tables and there were no standards for organization and structure. But like the mendicant scholars of those days, today's "mendicant sysops," especially on the Internet, are doing much of the work of organization in exchange for free access to information. Today, the great opportunity is not to make copies of theses on the digital church doors. It is to build electronic magazines, newspapers, books, newsletters, libraries and other collections that organize and package the writings, photos, videos, sounds and other multimedia information from diverse points of view on the networks. The Internet, with one foot in technology and the other in science and academia, needs only a bit of help from the mass media in order to show the Anti-net how it's done. _________________________________________________________________ Nick Arnett [nicka@mccmedia.com] is president of Multimedia Computing Corporation, a strategic consulting and publishing company established in 1988. Comments about this article e-mailed to [antinet@mccmedia.com] will be linked to a copy of this essay on Multimedia Computing Corp.'s World-Wide Web server: Recommended reading: "The printing press as an agent of change: Communications and cultural transformation in early-modern Europe," Vols. I and II. Elizabeth Eisenstein. Cambridge University Press, 1979. Copyright (c) 1994, Multimedia Computing Corp., Campbell, Calif., U.S.A. This article is shareware; it may be distributed at no charge, whole and unaltered, including this notice. If you enjoy reading it and would like to encourage free distribution of more like it, please send a contribution to Plugged In (1923 University Ave., East Palo Alto, CA 94303), an after-school educational program for children in under-served communities. -- Multimedia Computing Corp. (strategic consulting) Campbell, California ---------------------------------------------------------- "We are surrounded by insurmountable opportunity." -- Pogo ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 22 Aug 1994 15:39:23 -0700 From: Jim Warren Subject: File 3--GovAccess.044: changing GovAccess, ballot info, civicnet polici es Aug.22, 1994 GOVACCESS WILL CHANGE FORMAT FOR FUTURE NOTICES I will be changing the format/style of GovAccess postings after this "issue." Hereafter, I will simply transmit or echo items of information mostly one at a time, mo'less as I get 'em, rather than combining multiple [often-unrelated] items into uniformly-formatted 'newsletters' like this one. MORE MESSAGES; SHORTER MESSAGES This means that you will be getting more separate messages, but each of them will be shorter and concern only a single topic. This GovAccess.044 will be the last numbered GovAccess distribution. There are several reasons for this change: 1. I'm gettin' cooked. I think this is a [very] valuable service, and am happy to be doin' it, but it's pro bono [contentedly so], and I'm doin' it alone ... and it's a real time-suckah! This change will help reduce that "sound of time sucking." :-) 2. Collecting and formatting multiple goodies for un-periodic newsletter- format retransmission is delay-prone, and some of this stuff is highly time-sensitive. There have been multiple instances in the past half-year when I simply coudn't/didn't distribute information as fast as was needed. Firing msgs off with minimal diddling will fire 'em faster. 3. Many may find it more useful for items to arrive singly, rather than in the unrelated globollas of my current and past GovAccess postings. That way, ya can save whatcha find interesting without having to cut-n-paste, and flush what you find boring, easily and quickly. Electrons are *so* easy to recycle. :-) 4. For some years, Dave Farber [farber@cis.upenn.edu] has been distributing several-or-more messages per day about whatever varied topics interest him to his large "interesting-people" list (which could more-accurately be called "interested-people"). It has proven easy, fast and useful to those who receive it. (Most of Farber's traffic concerns net issues, expecially net-related policy issues - but he often includes wildly-random exotic items of interest. He's an outstanding self-inflicted net-surfing Editor Extraordinare!. If you have the time to try it out for a bit, ask him to add you to his distrib list.) &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& CALIFORNIA BALLOT "PAMPHLET" NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE As what may be another net 'first,' California's acting Secretary of State, Tony Miller, has arranged to make the volumous content of the state's ballot pamphlet available online. His Deputy SoS just called this morn to say that it is now available to anyone who can use Internet ftp or gopher at secstate.public.ca.gov . Yet another advantage of *modern* mass information-access: The pre-landfill *paper* ballot pamphlets won't arrive in voters' snailmail boxes until late September. Check id oudt! - and send your comments to Miller and his staff at comments@secstate.public.ca.gov . [And it it is in any iota imperfect, let him know gently and give him a chance to improve it. Miller *is* *strongly* dedicated to opening up his records to online public access.] [Do you know of any other state jurisdiction that has done this, via the *public* nets, i.e. the Internet? If so, please tell jwarren@well.com .] &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& CONTROLLING COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN COMMUNITY/CIVIC NETWORKS [I recently transmitted this to a number of folks who are planning how best to create/implement a civic network for the communities of Palo Alto, Calif. The question had been raised of whether a discussion group or listserv that would be open to public commentary by community members should be moderated. Sez I -- ] The experience in Santa Monica's PEN system (the oldest city-run civic net in the nation) was that unmoderated community-discussions were soon dominated by a small minority who had lots of time, fast fingers and a tenacious willingness to vigorously trash anyone who dared to disagree with them - a result that is predictable to anyone who has spent much time online. The PEN folks said it chased *lots* of people out of their "immoderate" discussions. I've suggested that the most appropriate approach - particularly for city-operated or egalitarian systems, that have at-least implicit mandates of free speech and free assembly - is to offer *both* an unmoderated area or list (sort of an electronic Hyde Park where any luminary or looney can spout forth, unfettered) AND moderated areas/lists of two types -- 1. A "auto-moderated" list where anyone can say anything, but only for a limited number of bytes and only once per time-period (day? week?), and 2. A *set* of fully-moderated lists, absolutely-controlled by each list's moderator -- but where any person who desires to set up such a list and be its moderator can do so. The auto-moderated list is analogous to a city-council meeting in which all members of the public have an opportunity to speak, but are given only a limited amount of time. It has the advantage of not needing a human moderator, if the appropriate software is available to auto-truncate over-long postings and auto-reject (*with* explanation!) postings in excess of the specified time-period. [But, do be wary of SMOP - Simple Matter of Programming. The sofware may or may not be available, and *does* have some design complexities.] The set of automatically self-created, moderated lists is analogous to permitting any community group to convene its own private meeting in an open public meeting facility, but nonetheless fully control and chair its own meeting. Those that are "good" or "interesting" meetings that are fairly moderated will be well-attended. Those that are space-case dictatorships (eye of the beholders) will have a membership of not-many, but nonetheless meet the democratic mandate of equal *opportunity* for access. Oh -- and now that I've mentioned the "a" word -- "access" -- just one observation: *THE* most serious access barriers and inequities - BY FAR! - are (1) the inability to read and/or communicate in writing, and (2) the inability to type. *ALL* other access inequities *pale* in comparison. (I ain't sayin' that the cost and availability access problems shouldn't be addressed. I'm just pointing out the *real* access problems.) Apologies for the length. [but, those who know me, know this *is* brief :-) ] --jim ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 22 Aug 1994 15:29:43 -0700 From: email list server Subject: File 4--EPIC Statement on Wiretap Telephony Bill EPIC Statement on Wiretap Bill *DISTRIBUTE WIDELY* EPIC Statement on Digital Telephony Wiretap Bill The digital telephony bill recently introduced in Congress is the culmination of a process that began more than two years ago, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation first sought legislation to ensure its ability to conduct electronic surveillance through mandated design changes in the nation's information infrastructure. We have monitored that process closely and have scrutinized the FBI's claims that remedial legislation is necessary. We have sponsored conferences at which the need for legislation was debated with the participation of the law enforcement community, the telecommunications industry and privacy advocates. We have sought the disclosure of all relevant information through a series of requests under the Freedom of Information Act. Having thus examined the issue, EPIC remains unconvinced of the necessity or advisability of the pending bill. As a threshold matter, we do not believe that a compelling case has been made that new communications technologies hamper the ability of law enforcement agencies to execute court orders for electronic surveillance. For more than two years, we have sought the public disclosure of any FBI records that might document such a problem. To date, no such documentation has been released. Without public scrutiny of factual information on the nature and extent of the alleged technological impediments to surveillance, the FBI's claims remain anecdotal and speculative. Indeed, the telecommunications industry has consistently maintained that it is unaware of any instances in which a communications carrier has been unable to comply with law enforcement's requirements. Under these circumstances, the nation should not embark upon a costly and potentially dangerous re-design of its telecommunications network solely to protect the viability of fewer than 1000 annual surveillances against wholly speculative impediments. We also believe that the proposed legislation would establish a dangerous precedent for the future. While the FBI claims that the legislation would not enhance its surveillance powers beyond those contained in existing law, the pending bill represents a fundamental change in the law's approach to electronic surveillance and police powers generally. The legislation would, for the first time, mandate that our means of communications must be designed to facilitate government interception. While we as a society have always recognized law enforcement's need to obtain investigative information upon presentation of a judicial warrant, we have never accepted the notion that the success of such a search must be guaranteed. By mandating the success of police searches through the re-design of the telephone network, the proposed legislation breaks troubling new ground. The principle underlying the bill could easily be applied to all emerging information technologies and be incorporated into the design of the National Information Infrastructure. It could also lead to the prohibition of encryption techniques other than government-designed "key escrow" or "Clipper" type systems. In short, EPIC believes that the proposed digital telephony bill raises substantial civil liberties and privacy concerns. The present need for the legislation has not been established and its future implications are frightening. We therefore call upon all concerned individuals and organizations to express their views on the legislation to their Congressional representatives. We also urge you to contact Rep. Jack Brooks, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to share your opinions: Rep. Jack Brooks Chair, House Judiciary Committee 2138 Rayburn House Office Bldg. Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-3951 (voice) (202) 225-1958 (fax) The bill number is H.R. 4922 in the House and S. 2375 in the Senate. It can be referred to as the "FBI Wiretap Bill" in correspondence. Electronic Privacy Information Center 666 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E. Suite 301 Washington, DC 20003 (202) 544-9240 (voice) (202) 547-5482 (fax) EPIC is a project of the Fund for Constitutional Government and Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1994 22:51:01 CDT From: CuD Moderators Subject: File 5--Cu Digest Header Information (unchanged) Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically. 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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. ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #6.77 ************************************

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