Computer underground Digest Sun Feb 5, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 09 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Ji
Computer underground Digest Sun Feb 5, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 09
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
Copy Icecreamer: B. Robbins
CONTENTS, #7.09 (Sun, Feb 5, 1995)
File 1--Libel & Defamation in the Information Age (fwd)
File 2--CFP'95 Program/Registration Information
File 3--New Draft of Telcom Bill Out
File 4--NIST Mugshot ID database - thousands cataloged on CD
File 5--Update on "Ethics & Privacy on the Internet" Survey
File 6--Cu Digest Header Information (unchanged since 25 Nov 1994)
CuD ADMINISTRATIVE, EDITORIAL, AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION APPEARS IN
THE CONCLUDING FILE AT THE END OF EACH ISSUE.
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 1995 22:23:45 -0600 (CST)
From: Avi Bass
Subject: File 1--Libel & Defamation in the Information Age (fwd)
Reply to: Discussion List for Journalism Education
Date--Tue, 10 Jan 1995 09:55:09 EST
From--"Eric J. Eden"
I thought this article might be interesting for some members on this list
Libel & Defamation in the Information Age
By Eric Eden
On the Internet, where abnormal behavior is the status quo, tempers
can flare in the heat of debate and word wars can last for days or
even weeks. It's not uncommon for users to ridicule, harass or insult
those who disagree with them.
But if you damage someone's reputation by trying to embarrass them in
a public forum, you could be sued for libel or defamation. After all,
there's no reason to assume that the messages you send through
cyberspace are immune from lawsuits.
"The Internet culture right now is for users to refute speech with
speech," says Dave Marburger, the attorney who represented Brock Meeks
in one of the first defamation lawsuits in the United States involving
the Internet. "But as the Internet culture gets more diverse, users
will start refuting speech with lawsuits."
There have only been a handful of libel and defamation lawsuits filed
involving the Internet so far, but as the Net grows, the number of
lawsuits will probably increase. If the few court battles that have
been decided involving libel and defamation on the Net are any
indication of how the law will be applied to the Internet in the
future, it's worth your time to learn what's libelous or defamatory on
the Internet and what's not.
Other users have the right to sue you for defamation if they can prove
you damaged their reputation or good name with false information. You
can be sued for libel if another user can prove you have distributed
defamatory statements about them in a public area -- such as a news
group or mailing list.
In April of 1993 Gil Hardwick, an anthropologist in Australia, was
ordered by the Australian Supreme Court to pay David Rindos $40,000 in
damages because he defamed Rindos on an international mailing list.
After Rindos lost his job at the University of West Australia,
Hardwick posted a message on an international disscussion group that
suggested Rindos was fired because he was a bully and had sexually
molested a local boy.
Rindos filed a defamation lawsuit against Hardwick because he felt the
message had hurt his chances of finding a new job. In a letter to
Rindos's attorney, Hardwick wrote "Let this matter be expedited and
done with....I can do nothing to prevent it, lacking any resources
whatsoever to defend myself." Like most people, Hardwick didn't have
the money to hire a lawyer or finance an expensive legal battle.
"He (Rindos) suffered a great deal of personal hurt because of the
message," said Supreme Court Justice David Ipp in the West Australian.
"The damages award must compensate him and vindicate his reputation to
The Internet is an informal forum and people often write personal things
about other users, but you can be held accountable in court for making
libelous or defamatory remarks in public forums just like Hardwick was.
"We know that as the Internet grows, there will be more and more
lawsuits involving libel and defamation," says attorney David H.
Donaldson, editor of Legal Bytes, an electronic magazine that
discusses legal issues involving computers and networking. "The only
question is if the number of cases will grow steadily or if there will be
an explosion of lawsuits all at once."
Anybody can sue you for libel or defamation if they think you damaged
their reputation, but if you can prove what you say is true, chances are
that you won't end up in court.
"Make it clear when you are stating your opinion," says Donaldson,
"Always state the facts that your opinions are based on just to be safe.
You probably won't lose a libel or defamation lawsuit if you can back up
what you write with solid facts."
For example, Brock Meeks, a full-time journalist who also distributes his
own electronic magazine, avoided losing a defamation lawsuit largely
because he could prove an article that he sent over the Net was true.
Meeks was sued by Suarez Corporation Industries in April of 1994 for
writing an investigative story about the company and its services in his
electronic newsletter -- the CyberWire Dispatch. Meeks had no libel
insurance, no publishing company backing him up and a lot of legal
fees to cover. (His lawyer charged him $200 an hour.) The only thing
Meeks had was his house -- and he didn't want to sell it to pay off a
Meeks defended his article in numerous posts on the Net, "All of my
facts were rock solid. Although the article was delivered with a fair
amount of attitude, I don't believe that I'm in dangerous waters," he
Benjamin Suarez, owner of Suarez Corp., filed the suit because he felt
that Meeks had damaged his reputation and hurt his business by
saying he was "infamous for his questionable direct marketing scams,"
and saying "he (Suarez) has a mean streak." To back up his opinion,
Meeks cited accusations made by the Washington state attorney
general's office concerning Suarez's direct marketing practices.
In August of 1994 Suarez Corp. made Meeks an offer he couldn't
refuse. They agreed to settle the case for $64 -- to cover
administrative court costs. The company refused to comment on why
they agreed to settle the lawsuit.
If the case had gone to trial, Meeks's lawyer thinks Meeks would have
been able to win anyway. "The defendants in libel or defamation suits
involving the Internet have enhanced First Amendment rights," says
Marburger. "The plaintiff has to prove actual malice. In other words,
the plaintiff has to show that the defendant made false statements or
was negligent." Marburger's only regret is that they didn't get to set
that precedent in court.
Although the Meeks case doesn't really mean anything in the law
books, it does show that if you're responsible and can prove what you
write on the Net is true, people will be less likely to take you to court. If
you just make something up and your sources aren't reliable, you could
lose big like Hardwick did.
"You have to follow the same rules that journalists do if your going to
write and distribute controversial material about other people," says
The increasingly common phenomenon of online forums creates the
possibility for you to reach large audiences, but it also creates the
ability for you to commit defamation or libel -- something that an
ordinary citizen didn't have to worry about in the past. Before the
growth of online communication, people who didn't work in the media
usually didn't have to worry about libel or defamation. "Libel laws apply
to the Internet the same way they do to newspapers and TV stations,"
explains former Federal Communications Commissioner Nicholas
Johnson, a professor at the Iowa University school of law. "The same
technology that gives you the power to share your opinion with
thousands of people also qualifies you to be a defendant in a lawsuit."
Like a newspaper or TV station, you are responsible for making sure
the material you distribute -- or broadcast -- over the Internet is not
libelous or defamatory. Lani Teshia-Miller never meant to defame
anyone, but when she took over the distribution of a tattoo FAQ she
almost ended up in court. The rec.arts.bodyart FAQ she inherited
contained a lot of generalizations based on contributions from
unattributed sources. Although she listed her name on the FAQ, she
didn't edit out several defamatory statements. One review of a San
Francisco tattoo artist in the FAQ said, "He's getting old and having
problems with his eyesight. His quality is really bad and he hurts
After the artist hired a lawyer and threatened to sue, Teshia- Miller
changed the FAQ's wording to reflect a more factually-based and
less-hysterical view. The review now says, "His eyesight is not what it
used to be."
After the FAQ was changed and Teshia-Miller apologized, the artist
dropped the lawsuit. "It turned out to be a good experience for me,"
said Teshia- Miller. "I'm a lot more careful about what I allow on the
artist list, and I now have a very long disclaimer at the beginning of the
Every person you write something negative about won't sue you for
defamation or libel, they might flame you or just try to set the record
straight by replying to the message. But if you post false information
about another user and disgrace them in public, they have the right to
take you to court -- and they could win a big settlement if they can
prove you were negligent.
Medphone, a Fortune 500 company that manufactures medical
instruments, has filed a $200 million lawsuit against Prodigy user Peter
DeNigis. Medphone filed a "systematic program for defamation and
trade disparagement" lawsuit against DeNigis after a stockholder
reported that he was making several negative posts about Medphone a
day on Prodigy's Money Talk Forum. DeNigis, a former Medphone
stockholder, lost more than $9,000 last year by selling off his
investment in the company. In one post DeNigis wrote, "My research
indicated the company is really having a difficult time. No case, no
sales, no profits and terrible management. This company appears to be
a fraud. Probably will cease operations soon."
Although the accusation that Medphone is a "fraud" is very serious --
and potentially defamatory -- DeNigis might be able to win the lawsuit if
he can prove what he wrote is true in court.
"The Medphone case is a clear indication that libel and defamation is
something for Internet users to think about," says Johnson.
There are court cases in progress right now that will decide if access
providers such as Prodigy, America Online and Compuserve are
responsible for defamatory remarks broadcast over their services, but
there is no legal ambiguity about whether individual users can be sued
for making defamatory or libelous statements. Individual users are
responsible for making sure the information they distribute is not
libelous or defamatory.
The Internet has made world wide, instantaneous communication easy.
The average user now has the power to be heard by hundreds or even
thousands of other users, but in terms of libel and defamation, the Net
is not a new world of freedom. The reality is that libel and defamation
laws are enforceable in the virtual world just like they are in the real
# # #
You may distribute this article freely for non-profit purposes. Otherwise
contact the author (Eric Eden -- R3eje@vm1.cc.uakron.edu) for reprint
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 1995 10:47:24 -0600
From: Henry Itkin
Subject--Re: Libel & Defamation in the Information Age
Several clarifications are needed and will, I think, ease people's minds a bit.
Eric Eden email@example.com wrote, in part:
> Libel & Defamation in the Information Age
> By Eric Eden
> Other users have the right to sue you for defamation if they can prove
> you damaged their reputation or good name with false information.
Absolutely right. It is the _plaintiff_ who must prove that a wrong has been
done. See further mention below.
> You can be sued for libel if another user can prove you have distributed
> defamatory statements about them in a public area -- such as a news
> group or mailing list.
Partially right. The post need _not_ be in a "public" area, however. You can
libel someone through private e-mail. If even _one person_ (beyond the
defendant and the plaintiff) is exposed to the defamatory statement, a libel
may have occurred.
> Anybody can sue you for libel or defamation if they think you damaged
> their reputation, but if you can prove what you say is true, chances are
> that you won't end up in court.
> For example, Brock Meeks, a full-time journalist who also distributes his
> own electronic magazine, avoided losing a defamation lawsuit largely
> because he could prove an article that he sent over the Net was true.
As noted above, this is technically incorrect. The defendant does _not_ have
to prove that the statement was true. Instead the plaintiff must prove it was
_false_. There's a big difference. For one thing, if a lawsuit is truly
groundless, then the defendant isn't required to say anything in court.
Lacking proof of falsity, the lawsuit is dismissed.
> "The defendants in libel or defamation suits
> involving the Internet have enhanced First Amendment rights," says
> Marburger. "The plaintiff has to prove actual malice. In other words,
> the plaintiff has to show that the defendant made false statements or
> was negligent."
This really muddies an already-difficult concept. For now, let's just say
that how much "fault" the plaintiff has to show on the part of the defendant
depends on how "public" a figure the plaintiff is
determined (by the court) to be. If plaintiff is ruled a "public" person, then
in most states, the defendant will have a somewhat easier time of it.
Best to all.
Hank Itkin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
University of Northern Iowa
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 1995 10:41:11 EST
From: Eric Eden
Subject--Re: Libel & Defamation in the Information Age
On Tue, 10 Jan 1995 10:47:24 -0600 Henry Itkin said:
>> Libel & Defamation in the Information Age
>> By Eric Eden
>> Other users have the right to sue you for defamation if they can prove
>> you damaged their reputation or good name with false information.
>Absolutely right. It is the _plaintiff_ who must prove that a wrong has been
>done. See further mention below.
>> You can be sued for libel if another user can prove you have distributed
>> defamatory statements about them in a public area -- such as a news
>> group or mailing list.
>Partially right. The post need _not_ be in a "public" area, however. You can
>libel someone through private e-mail. If even _one person_ (beyond the
>defendant and the plaintiff) is exposed to the defamatory statement, a libel
>may have occurred.
Yes. Libel could occur through private e-mail but the fact that it is
Private makes it a weaker case. Most of the cases to date revolve around
messages that have been posted in public forums on Compuserve and Prodigy or
on mailing lists.
>> Anybody can sue you for libel or defamation if they think you damaged
>> their reputation, but if you can prove what you say is true, chances are
>> that you won't end up in court.
>> For example, Brock Meeks, a full-time journalist who also distributes his
>> own electronic magazine, avoided losing a defamation lawsuit largely
>> because he could prove an article that he sent over the Net was true.
>As noted above, this is technically incorrect. The defendant does _not_ have
>to prove that the statement was true. Instead the plaintiff must prove it was
>_false_. There's a big difference. For one thing, if a lawsuit is truly
>groundless, then the defendant isn't required to say anything in court.
>Lacking proof of falsity, the lawsuit is dismissed.
The legal experts I interviewed for this story felt that even though the burden
of proof is on the plaintiff's shoulder, defendants are less likely to lose
in court if they can prove what they said is true. Especially if the plaintiff
does have some evidence. If a plaintiff knows the defendant can prove what he
or she wrote was true they will probably settle or drop the case.
My personal opinion is that you should be able to prove -- beyond a reasonable
doubt -- that what you write is true. If you can't prove it, you should do
some more research or ommit the statement. Not only for ethical reasons but
also because when your giving information to a large audience you should be
sure what you are writing is true. However, technically you are correct.
>> "The defendants in libel or defamation suits
>> involving the Internet have enhanced First Amendment rights," says
>> Marburger. "The plaintiff has to prove actual malice. In other words,
>> the plaintiff has to show that the defendant made false statements or
>> was negligent."
>This really muddies an already-difficult concept. For now, let's just say
>that how much "fault" the plaintiff has to show on the part of the defendant
>depends on how "public" a figure the plaintiff is
>in most states, the defendant will have a somewhat easier time of it.
The public figure issue is very complex and that's why I decided not
to tackle it in this story. However, I do believe that Marburger's
statement is correct.
Thanks for your honest critique,
From: Carey Heckman
Subject: File 2--CFP'95 Program/Registration Information
Date: Sun, 5 Feb 1995 09:11:31 -0800 (PST)
The Fifth Conference on Computers, Freedom and Privacy
Sponsored by: * ACM SIGCOMM, SIGCAS, SIGSAC, and
* Stanford Law School
28 - 31 March 1995
San Francisco Airport Marriott Hotel
CONNECT WITH OTHERS WHO ARE DETERMINING HOW COMPUTERS AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
WILL AFFECT YOUR FREEDOM AND PRIVACY...
JOIN US AT CFP'95.
We have reached the crossroads of the Information Age.
No longer is the electronic frontier inhabited solely by a small band of
technical pioneers sharing a common code of conduct. Computer and
telecommunications technologies have become part of mainstream living,
conversation, and politics. These changes compel us to reexamine the
definition of our rights and the processes by which those rights are being
The Fifth Conference on Computers, Freedom and Privacy will assemble experts,
advocates and interested people from a broad spectrum of disciplines and
backgrounds in a balanced public forum to explore and better understand the
definition of our rights at this crossroads.
Participants will include people from the fields of computer science, law,
business, research, information, library science, health, public policy,
government, law enforcement, public advocacy, and many others.
Featured speakers include:
John P. Morgridge, Chairman, Cisco Systems
Esther Dyson, Release 1.0/EDVenture Holdings, Inc.
Roger W. Wilkins, Professor of History and American Culture at George
Mason University and commentator, National Public Radio
Margaret Jane Radin, Professor of Law, Stanford University
Willis H. Ware, RAND
Some of the topics in the CFP'95 program include:
FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY OF ELECTRONIC SPEECH -- Exploring recent
controversies in online free speech, including a Socratic forum
that will ask whether the Constitution can indeed be viewed through a
technologically transparent lens.
HIS MASTER'S VOICE... -- Probing the future for "net propaganda" from
governments, government officials, and politicians, and who will pay
so whose message will get to whom.
STUDENT DATABASES: FOR EDUCATION AND FOR LIFE? -- Looking at how gaining the
benefits of nationwide information about K-12 students could also spell
serious privacy problems.
CAN THE NET SURVIVE COPYRIGHT? CAN COPYRIGHT SURVIVE THE NET? -- Delving
into the controversies surrounding copyright protection that throttles
freedoms and copyright protection that protects just rewards for creativity.
INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS: PAVING OVER PRIVACY -- Examining the
privacy implications of tracking and surveillance technologies now being
planned for vehicles and roadways nationwide.
"IT OUGHTA BE A CRIME..." -- Debating with law enforcement representatives
about who should set the rules for governing the net and when should bad
manners become a crime.
WHEN DO THEY NEED TO KNOW 'WHODUNNIT'? -- Discussing the right time and
places for identified, anonymous, and pseudonymous transactions.
TRANSACTION RECORDS IN INTERACTIVE SERVICES: WHO WATCHES THE SERVERS? --
Looking at the issues raised by the collection of personal information
as part of the new interactive home entertainment, telecommunications,
and online services.
DEFINING ACCESS PARADIGMS: LIBRARIES, RURAL AREAS, AND INTERNATIONAL
ASPECTS -- Evaluating the differing models of "open access" to Internet and
computer-mediated communications in the library, rural, and lesser-developed
THE CASE AGAINST COMPUTERS: A SYSTEMIC CRITIQUE -- Daring to discuss whether
computers may be doing our world more harm than good.
A NET FOR ALL: WHERE ARE THE MINORITIES? -- Examining how and to what degree
minority groups participate on the net and asking whether social class is
relevant to net participation or non-participation.
WHO OWNS THE LAW? -- Reviewing the debate over legal citation form and online
databases, and what it means to all of us.
CAN WE TALK LONG-DISTANCE? REMOVING IMPEDIMENTS TO SECURE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNICATIONS -- Covering export and import controls, outright prohibitions,
and other technical and policy obstacles to secure international
The Fifth Conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy will also offer a
number of in-depth tutorials on subjects including:
* Inside Washington: The New Congress and Secrets of Advocacy
* National ID Card Initiatives
* The Law of Fundamental Rights for Non-Lawyers
* Everything You Need to Know to Argue About Cryptography
* Digital Activism
* Inside the World of Law Enforcement
* Intellectual Property for the Information Age
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CFP'95:
Fax: (415) 548-0840
Call: (415) 548-9673
Please register for the conference by returning the conference
registration form along with the appropriate payment by any
method listed below. The registration fee includes conference
materials, three luncheons (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday), two
banquets (Wednesday and Thursday) and evening receptions
(Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday).
Registration Fees are:
If mailed by: February 24 March 14 after 14 March
Conference Fees $335 $395 $445
Tutorial Fees: $155 $185 $220
Registration is limited to 550 participants, so register early
By Mail: By Fax:
(with Check or Credit Card) (with Credit Card only)
CFP'95 Registration Send Registration Form
P.O. Box 6657 (415) 548-0840
San Mateo, CA 94403 Available 24 hours
By Phone: By Email (at your own risk*):
(with Credit Card only) (with Credit Card only)
(415) 548-0840 Register.CFP95@forsythe.stanford.edu
9 am to 5 pm Pacific Time
* Information for sending a PGP-encrypted registration available at
The Fifth Conference on Computers, Freedom and Privacy will provide a limited
number of full registration scholarships for students and other interested
individuals. These scholarships will cover the full costs of registration,
including three luncheons, two banquets, and all conference materials.
Scholarship recipients will be responsible for their own lodging and travel
expenses. Persons wishing to apply for one of these fully-paid registrations
should contact CFP'95 Student Paper and Scholarship Chair, Gary Marx at:
Gary.Marx@colorado.edu or call (303) 492-1697.
The Fifth Conference on Computers, Freedom and Privacy will be held at the San
Francisco Airport Marriott Hotel in Burlingame, CA. This facility is spacious
and comfortable, and is easily accessible from the airport and surrounding
cities. Because of the intensive nature of the conference, we encourage our
attendees to secure their lodging at the conference facility. Special
conference rates of $99/night, single or multiple occupancy, are available.
* Our room block is limited and these conference rates are guaranteed *
* only until February 17,1995, so we urge you to make your reservations *
* as early as possible. *
After February 17 but before March 15, the special conference rate will be
$110/night, single or multiple occupancy. When calling for reservations,
please be sure to identify the conference to obtain the conference rate.
Hotel Reservations: (415) 692-9100 or (800) 228-9290 or fax (415) 692-8016.
Special convention airfare discounts have been arranged on American and United
Airlines. Bungey Travel, (800) 286-4391 or (415) 325-5686 or fax (415) 321-
5309, will be happy to assist you in any manner. Please identify yourself as
attending the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference and you will
automatically receive a 5% discount off nonrefundable discounted US tickets or
10% off of all unrestricted US coach fares.
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 1995 18:21:28 CST
From: Vigdor Schreibman - FINS
Subject: File 3--New Draft of Telcom Bill Out
FINS SPECIAL REPORT February 1, 1995
NEW DRAFT OF TELCOM BILL OUT
No "Steamroller" In Sight But the "Monster Model" is Alive
Washington, DC--The new draft of telecommunications legislation, the
"Telecommunications Competition and Deregulation Act of 1995," was
released at a press conference by this morning (Feb 1, 1995), by Sen.
Larry Pressler (R-SD), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce,
Science, and Transportation. It may come as a non-surprise to some...
the draft bill does not have a steamroller attached in any fashion,
contrary to the prediction from telco whiz kid Dave Farber, which went
surfing around the Net--without any confirmed source of information last
month. The Vice President and democratic members of Congress have been
informed of the draft and are expected to make additions and suggestions,
according to the chairman.
* There is a "universal service" provision, which the chairman
reluctantly conceded, "the people want."
* There are procompetitive provisions that byte hard on the RBOCs if they
try to freeze out competitors with their monopoly power. This includes:
* a fine of $1,000,000 for each and every "willful failure to
comply with the terms of an interconnection agreement;
* a fine of up to $500,000,000 against any Bell operating
company that "willfully, knowingly, and without reasonable cause
fails to implement the interconnection requirements ... more than
3 years after enactment of the [act];
* a fine of $250,000,000 for each offense arising in "any pattern of
willful noncompliance with those [interconnection] requirements as
demonstrated by the failure to meet those requirements in any
successive 3-month period beginning more than 3 years after
* There will be a gold mine in "cream skimming" filling the treasuries of
corporate centers of power, at the expense of local ratepayers, moving
tens of billions of dollars annually from the latter to the former and
further exacerbating the obscene wealth of the top 100,000 families that
already own most of the private wealth in the United States.
* There will be a "monster model" of telecommunications combining conduit
and content, with all the worst possible consequences for diversity of
information sources as the trillion dollar financial reach of the telco's
gobble up or beat into oblivion everyone in sight.
* There is no attention to the needs of society disregarded by the
marketplace and the predator telco industry.
* There is no attention to the needs of handicapped people, although the
chairman said this was more the result of timing, and provisions will be
What this proposal will do, according to chairman Presser is:
* Provide "freedom of choice" among competing firms [who are
[allowed to stay in business by the grace of the lords of
* Provide "freedom of choice" among cable services, including
phone companies in competition with traditional cable firms
[if they choose to compete with each other. In fact, Bell
Atlantic has already announced its intention to lease the
cable company lines to avoid both the investment and the
competition ] [Wired, Feb 1995]
* Provide "freedom of choice" among electric utility firms to
provide telephone, cable or other telecommunications
services [an idea floating around somewhere somehow]
Speaker Newt Gingrich and the democrats have yet to add their full
measure of "telco feudalism," to this legislative package.
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 1995 21:25:58 -0500 (EST)
From: Stanton McCandlish
Subject: File 4--NIST Mugshot ID database - thousands cataloged on CD
[This is just an informational forward, and does not represent
official EFF positions or statements in any way. NOTE: I'm not the
original author of this so please look at the original headers
carefully if you mean to reply to him/her.]
Date--Wed, 1 Feb 95 13:39:32 EST
Subject--Mugshot Identification Database
National Institute of Standards and Technology
announces the release of
NIST Special Database 18
Mugshot Identification Database (MID)
NIST Special Database 18 is being distributed for use in development and
testing of automated mugshot identification systems. The database consists
of three CD-ROMs, containing a total of 3248 images of variable size,
compressed with lossless compression. Each CD-ROM requires approximately
530 megabytes of storage compressed and 1.2 gigabytes uncompressed
(2.2 : 1 average compression ratio). There are images of 1573 individuals
(cases), 1495 male and 78 female. The database contains both front and
side (profile) views when available. Separating front views and profiles,
there are 131 cases with two or more front views and 1418 with only one
front view. Profiles have 89 cases with two or more profiles and 1268 with
only one profile. Cases with both fronts and profiles have 89 cases with
two or more of both fronts and profiles, 27 with two or more fronts and
one profile, and 1217 with only one front and one profile. Decompression
software, which was written in C on a SUN workstation , is included
with the database.
NIST Special Database 18 has the following features:
+ 3248 segmented 8-bit gray scale mugshot images (varying sizes)
of 1573 individuals
+ 1333 cases with both front and profile views (see statistics above)
+ 131 cases with two or more front views and 89 cases with two or
+ images scanned at 19.7 pixels per mm
+ image format documentation and example software is included
Suitable for automated mugshot identification research, the database can be used
+ algorithm development
+ system training and testing
The system requirements are a CD-ROM drive with software to read ISO-9660
format and the ability to compile the C source code written on a SUN
Cost of the database: $750.00.
For ordering information contact:
Standard Reference Data
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Building 221, Room A323
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
Voice: (301) 975-2208
FAX: (301) 926-0416
All other questions contact:
 The SUN workstation is identified in order to adequately specify or
describe the subject matter of this announcement. In no case does
such identification imply recommendation or endorsement by the
National Institute of Standards and Technology, nor does it imply
that the equipment is necessarily the best available for the purpose.
Date: Fri, 03 Feb 1995 10:12:26 -0700
From: Urs Gattiker
Subject: File 5--Update on "Ethics & Privacy on the Internet" Survey
About 8 months ago a survey on ETHICS AND PRIVACY ON THE INTERNET was
mailed through this NetWork to you and many others. The data we have
gathered has been analyzed and one of the reports materialising from
it is mentioned below. If you are interested in a complete copy,
please feel free to drop me a line and again, thanks for your
cooperation and help.
The program on ETHICS AND PRIVACY ON THE INTERNET is continuing and a
new survey assessing additional issues as well as regulation,
cryptography and cyberspace is in the final stages of the development.
Urs E. Gattiker
MORALITY AND TECHNOLOGY, OR
IS IT WRONG TO USE A SELF-MADE ENCRYPTION DEVICE, AND
CREATE OR LET LOOSE A COMPUTER VIRUS?
Urs E. Gattiker
Centre for Technology Studies,
The University of Lethbridge, CANADA
Stories about computer-related actions (e.g., placing a document about
how a computer virus works on an electronic network/bulletin board)
were presented to users. Data indicate that women end-users compared
to men have a less libertarian sense of what is right and wrong; as
well, younger respondents are more libertarian than their older
compatriots. Data also indicate that participants are less likely to
endorse civil liberties and more concerned about the harm and
violations of social norms when the scenario describes a context-
specific situation. How users act, feel and respond toward computer-
mediated behaviours and actions raise questions for researchers and
policy makers. For example, how do researchers and policy makers
maintain and protect the privacy of individuals, and at the same time
ensure moral conduct by end-users who enjoy using the electronic
highway. Suggestions are made for developing theoretical models of
moral judgment in the cyberspace domain as well as policy (e.g., U.S.
Clipper chip debate).
Published reports of some of our findings can be found in:
Gattiker, U. E., & Kelley, H. (1994). Techno-crime and terror
against tomorrow's organisation: What about cyberpunks. E.
Raubold and K. Brunnstein (Eds)., Proceedings of the 13 World
Computer Congress -- IFIP Congress '94, Hamburg (pp. 233-240).
Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers.
Gattiker, U. E., & Kelley, H. (1995). Morality and Technology, or is
it wrong to create and let loose a computer virus. In J. F.
Nunamaker, Jr. & R. H. Sprague (Eds.), Proceedings of the 28th
Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 1995,
Hamburg (pp. 563-572). Las Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society
Additional papers are currently being written.
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1994 22:51:01 CDT
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