Computer underground Digest Wed Oct 12, 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 89 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J
Computer underground Digest Wed Oct 12, 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 89
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
Urban Legend Editor: E. Greg Shrdlugold
CONTENTS, #6.89 (Wed, Oct 12, 1994)
File 1--Chatting with Martha Siegel (reprint)
File 2--On-Line Obscenity Prosecution
File 3--ALERT: New Jersey Internet Bill Pending
File 4--EPIC Seeks FBI Docs
File 5--Re: Kurt Dahl's 2020 Column, "Emily Is Illiterate" (CuD 687)
File 6--Cu Digest Header Information (unchanged since 10 Sept 1994)
CuD ADMINISTRATIVE, EDITORIAL, AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION APPEARS IN
THE CONCLUDING FILE AT THE END OF EACH ISSUE.
Date: Sat, 1 Oct 1994 00:08:58 -0400
Subject: File 3--ALERT: New Jersey Internet Bill Pending
On September 26 the New Jersey State Senate's Government Committee voted
5-0 in favor of a bill to make information on laws, legislation and
legislative activity available to the public without charge via the Internet.
The bill is scheduled for full consideration by the State Senate in the
very near future.
You can show your support for S1068 by writing or faxing your State Senator.
A copy of your letter should also be sent to:
Senator Donald DiFrancesco Senator Joseph Bubba
(Senate President) (bill sponsor)
1816 Front Street 1117 Rt. 46 East Suite 202
Scotch Plains, New Jersey 07076 Clifton, New Jersey 07013
FAX: 908-322-9347 FAX: 201-473-2174
Future ACTION ALERTS for New Jersey's Internet bill will be issued. If you
want to remain informed and placed on the S1068 Mailing List or need the
address of your State Senator email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your support is appreciated.
SENATE, No. 1068
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED MAY 16, 1994
By Senator BUBBA
An ACT providing for public access to legislative information in
electronic form, and supplementing P.L.1979, c.8. (C.52:11-54
BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the
State of New Jersey:
1. a. The Office of Legislative Services shall make available to
the public in electronic form the following information:
(1) the most current available compilation of the official
text of the statutes of New Jersey;
(2) the texts of all bills introduced during the two-year
session of the Legislature, including amended versions, as well as
sponsor statements, committee statements, fiscal notes, and veto
(3) bill-indexing data on all bills pending in the
Legislature, including indexing by subject and sponsor and, where
appropriate, by citation of the section of law to be amended by a
(4) bill-tracking data on all bills pending in the
Legislature, including the history of actions and current status;
(5) a current calendar of legislative events, including the
schedule of legislative committee meetings, and a list of bills
scheduled for legislative action;
(6) a current directory of the members of the
Legislature, including complete committee membership information;
(7) the texts of all chapter laws beginning with laws
enacted during 1994; and
(8) such other information as the Legislative Services
Commission shall direct.
b. The information specified in subsection a. shall be made
available to the public through the largest nonproprietary
cooperative public computer network.
c. No fee or usage charge shall be imposed by the Office of
Legislative Services as a condition of accessing the information
specified in subsection a. of this section through the network
described in subsection b. of this section.
d. The Office of Legislative Services may offer a fee-based
electronic legislative information service which may include, in
addition to the information specified in subsection a., the
following information and capabilities:
(1) the ability for users to automatically maintain
updated private databases and receive notification of scheduled
action on specific bills or subject matter;
(2) the ability for users to retrieve information by various
means of searching full text; and
(3) archives of bill texts and related information from
prior sessions of the Legislature.
e. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as
prohibiting a private individual or entity from using the
information specified in subsection a. to provide, either
commercially or on a voluntary basis, services similar to those
provided by the Office of Legislative Services pursuant to
2. This act shall take effect on the second Tuesday in January
This bill would require the Office of Legislative Services (OLS)
to make available to the public, in electronic form, the following
information: the texts of statutes (in both a compiled format and
by chapter law beginning with laws enacted during 1994); the
texts of pending bills along with sponsor statements, committee
statements, fiscal notes and veto messages; bill indexing and
tracking information; a calendar of legislative events; a directory
of members of the Legislature, including a listing of committee
memberships; and such other information as the Legislative
Services Commission shall direct. Information would be provided
through the largest nonproprietary cooperative public computer
network (Internet). No fee or usage charge would be imposed by
OLS for the privilege of accessing this information. The bill
would also permit OLS to offer, via Internet, a fee-based
legislative information service which, in addition to providing the
foregoing information, would enable users to: automatically
update private databases; receive notification of scheduled action
on specific bills or subject matter; retrieve information by
various means of searching full text; and access archives of bill
texts and related information from prior sessions of the
At present, four states (California, Hawaii, Minnesota and
Utah) offer "full-text" legislative information through Internet
without usage fees. OLS currently offers an electronic
information system which is available to users for a monthly fee.
The bill would make this information available to a broader range
of users with no fee imposed by OLS. By enhancing public access
to the texts of statutes the bill would increase compliance with
existing law. In addition, facilitating access by members of the
public to information on pending legislation would increase
awareness of, and participation in, the legislative process.
Requires Office of Legislative Services to make information on
laws, legislation and legislative activity available to the public in
Michael Swayze |"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of
email@example.com |the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the
|beginning of wisdom." --Bertrand Russell
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 1994 13:59:00 EST
From: Marc Rotenberg
Subject: File 4--EPIC Seeks FBI Docs
Reply to: EPIC Seeks FBI Docs
Embargoed until 10 a.m.,
September 30, 1994
Marc Rotenberg, EPIC Director
David Sobel, EPIC Legal Counsel
202 544 9240 (tel)
EPIC Opposes FBI Delay
Seeks Documents About Wiretap Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C.- The Electronic Privacy Information Center today
opposed a government motion to delay release of two documents in a
lawsuit concerning the FBI's "digital telephony" proposal. The case
is pending in federal court as the Congress considers legislation that
will authorize the expenditure of $500 million to make the nation's
communications system easier to wiretap.
EPIC, a public interest research group based in Washington, DC, filed
the Freedom of Information Act requests earlier this year. The group
is seeking the public release of two surveys cited by FBI Director Lou
Freeh in support of the FBI's plan.
EPIC filed the FOIA lawsuit on August 9th, the day the wiretap
legislation was introduced in Congress. The FBI then moved to stay
proceedings in the case until June 1999, more than five years after
the filing of the initial request.
The FBI asserted it was confronted with "a backlog of pending FOIA
requests awaiting processing." The FBI revelead that there are "an
estimated 20 pages to be reviewed" but said that the materials will
not be reviewed until "sometime in March 1999."
In the papers filed today, EPIC charged that the materials are far too
important to be kept secret. "The requested surveys were part of the
FBI's long-standing campaign to gain passage of unprecedented
legislation requiring the nation's telecommunications carriers to
redesign their telephone networks to more easily facilitate
court-ordered wiretapping," said the EPIC brief.
EPIC contends that the federal court should give special consideration
to the fact that the records have already been reviewed for public
release and also that the records concern a matter of great public
"It is disingenuous for the Bureau to suggest that the twenty pages of
material at issue in this case are at the end of a long queue awaiting
review for possible disclosure. The FBI has already considered Rep.
Don Edwards' request to make the information public and has made a
determination to release only a one-page summary," said EPIC.
EPIC argues that under new procedures developed by the Department of
Justice for FOIA cases, the processing should be expedited. "There
can be no doubt that the subject matter of plaintiff's requests --
legislation to re-design the nation's telephone network to facilitate
wiretapping -- is of considerable interest to the news media."
The brief concludes, "The records sought by plaintiff are of
substantial current interest to news media and the general public.
Moreover, the FBI has already reviewed the material to determine
whether it should be publicly disclosed. Under these circumstances,
the Bureau's request for a five-year stay of these proceedings is
wholly lacking in merit."
Earlier documents obtained through the FOIA in similar litigation with
the FBI revealed no technical obstacles to the exercise of
court-authorized wire surveillance.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center is a project of Computer
Professionals for Social Responsibility, a membership organization
based in Palo Alto, California, and the Fund for Constitutional
Government, a Washington-based foundation dedicated to the protection
of Constitutional freedoms. 202 544 9240 (tel), 202 547 5482 (fax),
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 1994 13:03:47 -0400 (EDT)
From: Stanton McCandlish
Subject: File 5--Re: Kurt Dahl's 2020 Column, "Emily Is Illiterate" (CuD 687)
Kurt says: "Does Emily really need to read and write in 2020world? I don't
think so. Do you?"
Beside a bit of rancor at the rhetorical tactic of giving cutesy names to
purely hypothetical people to elicit emotional responses, I have to
comment that though the article was good and well thought out in most
areas, and entertaining, it missed possible the most significant point,
which is that the answer to the question, "In 2020world, with the ability
to create, store and send audio and video as easily as written words, why
would we need to read and write?" is "storing and sending are the easy
part - but *creation* of audio and video are unlikely to become easier
that creation of text." It takes me less than 15 seconds to fire off a
short email to someone. No matter how fast the video technology is, it is
almost certain to take longer than that to record a video clip with the
same message content.
There are various other concerns:
1) Bandwidth - audio and video consume about an order of magnitude more
bandwidth (and storage space) than text.
2) Receiving time - it takes me probably 2 seconds or less to read the
text content of a 15-second a/v clip. But unless I like Alvin & the
Chipmunks as a default speed, it takes precisely 15 seconds to listen to
or view a 15-second a/v clip. No big deal when we're talking about
15-second emails. Very big deal when we're talking about 30-minute
presentations. (I am here talking about wetware recieving, not hardware
receiving; I'm presuming that transmission time from machine to machine,
and processing by the local CPU of the material, is near instantaneous,
which today it is most certainly not.)
3) Text will remain important - I find it difficult to believe that all
print media will vanish, because they have a utility that cannot be
replaced by the features of other media. For one thing, text is malleable -
I can re-present text almost any way I want. An a/v clip of a President
North >;) speech cannot be printed in a different font, nor can it be
otherwise modified to suit aesthetics without severly distorting it. I
could go on, but the point is made.
4) All of these technologies have, and will continue to have, a learning
curve. Online tutorials still show no signs of replacing good ol'
5) Computing relies upon text, even in the gooiest of GUIs, to
differentiate between items, options, processes, and procedures - without
text, 50 desktop icons look pretty much alike. If you've ever used a word
processor or other program with a tool bar, check me if I'm wrong, but I
bet you still use the text menus above that toolbar with great frequency.
6) Copyright snafus are unlikely to be resolved by 2020, by anyone's calendar.
Illiteracy, even presuming a revolution in computing interface design
allowing effective operation by the illiterate, will bar one from access
to a large proportion of society's intellectual product.
7) Personally, it takes a great stretch of the imagination for me to
suspend disbelief and pretend that the government would ever give up text.
Illiteracy would bar one from effective participation in government. A
nation of illiterate would-be-activists would become a nation of slaves to
a regime, unable to even read the information on govt. actions they could have
8) Our culture highly prizes literacy, and there is no evidence that I'm
aware of pointing to a decline in the value we place on the ability to
read and write (or, increasingly, type.) Considering the force that
the expectations and prejudices of others can exert on the course of one's
own life (e.g. being considered for employment), illiteracy would be a
crippling liability in a world where the majority of people still alive
and in some sort of "power" (e.g. the power to hire you and thus pay your
rent, or say "get lost" and let you starve on the streets) are literate.
9) There is also a general consensus among computing professionals that
being online *increases* the desire and ability to read and write (both in
the aesthetic sense of improvements in critical thinking, rhetoric, and
writing style, and in the mechanics sense of information processing speeds
and output speed.) Most serious net.surfers would agree that the net,
BBSs, even vertical online service like Prodigy, are educational and
cathartic, even if you go looking only for entertainment.
10) The prediction that "multimedia email" will sweep the globe is,
IMNERHO, relatively unsupported. The capability has been there for years
(ever heard of MIME and MetaMail?) but is seldom used (in fact, I'd wager
that the most frequent use of MIME file attachments is the transport of
*text* material in non-ASCII formats - PostScript, DVI, word processor,
etc., files.) Even though it is perfectly capable of transporting
graphics images, by far the most common method of doing so in the
Internet/Usenet community is uuencoding the file and inserting it in the
body of the message[s]. Even in FidoNet, which has supported file
attaches since the late 80s, there are no tools (that I know of) that
treat the output as "multimedia email", but rather as text message that
happen to have files attached to them, which must be saved and dealt with
later (or in a temporary shell) individually, as items. It is closer to
parcel post than TV. This will change, but the current situation leads me
to believe that the focus of such messaging is and will remain
transmission of text.
11) The proposition that text will vanish is a highly "normal-centric"
prediction, and appears to neglect that fact that some people are deaf,
blind, stutterers, ugly, shy or otherwise unsuited to hearing/watching
their "email" or appearing in their own minimovies every time they need to
send a memo.
12) Textless multimedia communications are redundant enough with current
(telephone) and imminent (videophone) technology that there is not reason
to expect them to supplant text-based communications. Both have their own
niche, and until I see people leaving the internet in droves because their
new set-top videophone system gives them all the communications
functionality they could ever want, I remain stubbornly unconvinced by
predictions of the death of networked text communications.
Enough of what's unlikely. What DO I think will happen?
1) Increased integration of "traditional" media - Expect video phones,
expect "interactive" television, expect, at some point, books and
magazines that are actually small interactive computers or disks (or
other, more advanced media) for computers. Bruce Sterling had an
interesting idea of a computer as a cloth-like item that could be worn,
folded, whathaveyou, then flattened out to form a touch-controlled viewing
screen. Many things are possible, but the general path appears to be one
2) Increased integration of networking tools - The explosive popularity of
World Wide Web points in this direction as obviously as a 200-foot Las
Vegas billboard in the middle of Antarctica. Multimedia email *will*
probably be a reality, as a seamless, transparently-handled, process,
before too much longer. Yet even the web is *centered on text* and uses
graphics and sound as adjuncts. Text is, and will remain, the focus.
Please show me a WWW server anywhere that features no text whatsoever.
3) Increased literacy as networking technology continues to spread from
the office and the CS lab to the living room and the nursery. People love
to communicate, and there are and will remain situations in which text is
the medium of choice. If you don't believe this, try submitting testimony
to the next Congressional hearing in the form of a video tape. Imagine
sending every memo you "write" as an audio file. Try passing on a copy
of Shakespeare's _The_Tempest_ as an MPEG animation. The fact is, and
will be for as far ahead as I can see, that a mixture of media is
essential. We all know how limited ASCII is, but I think we can all expect
ASCII to die, and be replaced with something on the order of a
standardized word-processing format that allows for integration of
graphics, video and sound (and, hell, maybe even Smell-o-Vision). I won't
try to predict whether this will be in a creator-intensive, user-easy form
like WWW (compare composing 10 pages of HTML to composing 10 pages of MS
Word material), or a creator-easy, user-intensive (or, rather, users'-machine-
intensive) form. This will probably depend on how well HTML and other
SGML derivatives do over the long haul, and on whether bandwidth and
storage constraints continue their spiral toward effective infinity at a
fast enough rate to keep up with demands. If I can send you a binary
document full of sound and video clips and the fonts and other aesthetics I
want to apply to the text, I won't care, and neither will you, if it takes
up 10MB, when 10MB is like grains of sand in a desert. If 10MB continues
to be a lot of space, then I may have to settle on HTML or something like
it, with it's constraints, unpredictable final appearace, and the inconvenient
method of authoring.
No matter which way those winds blow, however, I don't expect to be
illiterate, and I do expect my decendents if any to be able to read and
write, probably better than I do.
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1994 22:51:01 CDT
From: CuD Moderators
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