Computer underground Digest Wed Oct 12, 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 89 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Computer underground Digest Wed Oct 12, 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 89 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 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 From: K.K.Campbell 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: swayze@pilot.njin.net 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 et seq.). 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 messages; (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 bill; (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 subsection d. 2. This act shall take effect on the second Tuesday in January 1996. STATEMENT 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 Legislature. 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 electronic form. -- Michael Swayze |"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of swayze@pilot.njin.net |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 ============================================================= PRESS RELEASE Embargoed until 10 a.m., September 30, 1994 Contact: 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 interest. "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), info@epic.org. ------------------------------ 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' documentation. 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 prevented. 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 of convergence. 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 Subject: File 6--Cu Digest Header Information (unchanged since 10 Sept 1994) Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically. CuD is available as a Usenet newsgroup: comp.society.cu-digest Or, to subscribe, send a one-line message: SUB CUDIGEST your name Send it to LISTSERV@UIUCVMD.BITNET or LISTSERV@VMD.CSO.UIUC.EDU 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, USA. Issues of CuD can also be found in the Usenet comp.society.cu-digest 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 RIPCO BBS (312) 528-5020 (and via Ripco on internet); and on Rune Stone BBS (IIRGWHQ) (203) 832-8441. 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 In BELGIUM: Virtual Access BBS: +32.69.45.51.77 (ringdown) UNITED STATES: etext.archive.umich.edu (192.131.22.8) in /pub/CuD/ ftp.eff.org (192.88.144.4) in /pub/Publications/CuD/ aql.gatech.edu (128.61.10.53) in /pub/eff/cud/ world.std.com in /src/wuarchive/doc/EFF/Publications/CuD/ uceng.uc.edu in /pub/wuarchive/doc/EFF/Publications/CuD/ wuarchive.wustl.edu in /doc/EFF/Publications/CuD/ EUROPE: nic.funet.fi in pub/doc/cud/ (Finland) ftp.warwick.ac.uk in pub/cud/ (United Kingdom) JAPAN: ftp.glocom.ac.jp /mirror/ftp.eff.org/Publications/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. ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #6.89 ************************************

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank