Computer underground Digest Sun Mar 19, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 22 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J

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Computer underground Digest Sun Mar 19, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 22 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET) Archivist: Brendan Kehoe Semi-retiring Shadow Archivist: Stanton McCandlish Correspondent Extra-ordinaire: David Smith Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala Ian Dickinson Monster Editor: Loch Nesshrdlu CONTENTS, #7.22 (Sun, Mar 19, 1995) File 1--CuD Listserv at UIUC having some problems File 2--Cliff Stoll can't say that: "Silicon Snake Oil" reviewed File 3--RE: File 4--S. 314, Realism, Unanswered Questions (fwd) File 4--J. Baker/U of Mich Speech Case -- Chic Trib Excerpt) File 5--Campaign to Defeat Comm. Decency Act (Mar 17 Update) File 6--Reprint of Textof SB 314 File 7--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 19 Mar, 1995) CuD ADMINISTRATIVE, EDITORIAL, AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION APPEARS IN THE CONCLUDING FILE AT THE END OF EACH ISSUE. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 18 Mar 1995 15:24:43 (CST) From: CuD Moderators Subject: File 1--CuD Listserv at UIUC having some problems The UIUC Listserv continues having some problems. People subscribing to CuD with standard internet addresses should be relatively unaffected. Those with BITNET addresses will likely not receive CuD this (or next) issue. This means that folks unsubbing, whether through us or through the listserv, may not get unsubbed for a few more days. Those adding directly through the listserv should wait a few days, and then re-submit the request. Jim Sorry for the inconvenience....... Jim and Gordon ------------------------------ Date: 19 Mar 95 14:42:00 EST From: George C. Smith <> Subject: File 2--Cliff Stoll can't say that: "Silicon Snake Oil" reviewed "CLIFF STOLL CAN'T SAY THAT, CAN HE?" or NOTHIN' BUT GOOD TIMES AHEAD IN "SILICON SNAKE OIL" I don't know if Cliff Stoll ever met historian Christopher Lasch, but if he did they certainly would have had a lot to talk about. Just before his death, Lasch closed his last book, "The Revolt of the Elites" with a biting assessment of the current mania with technology: "Those wonderful machines that science has enabled us to construct have not eliminated drudgery, as . . . other false prophets so confidently predicted, but they have made it possible to imagine ourselves as masters of our fate. In an age that fancies itself as disillusioned, this is the one illusion - the illusion of mastery that remains as tenacious as ever." Stoll's "Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway" (Doubleday) is steel-plated with the same underlying idea, that much of what is said blindly exTOLLing networks, interconnectivity and computing is illusory - at best exaggerated, at worst, completely fabricated. Of course, there have been other books which hoe the same row. Lauren Ruth Wiener's "Digital Woes" and Theodore Roszak's The Cult of Information," both excellent, come to mind. But neither deliver the same engaging personal style Stoll effortlessly inserts into "SSO" which is a greater read for it. The book deals directly with the mysterious mental disease that is now infecting large numbers of seemingly rational and very vocal people: That computers are the new philosopher stones of American society, capable of transforming the lead of inequality, crumbling public education; unresponsive, corrupt political processes; stagnant career opportunity; or the moribund sex life into different varieties of revitalized techno-alchemical gold. And it means for the greater part of the making of "Silicon Snake Oil," Stoll must have been sleeping with his bullshit detector plugged in. However, he's more gracious, calling it his "bogometer." To wit: "In physics, you measure the brightness of light with a photometer and voltages with a voltmeter. Bogosity -- the degree to which something is bogus - is measured with a bogometer," Stoll writes. "Alan November, a consultant for the Glenbrook high schools in Illinois, believes that today's students are in the test preparation business. In the May/June 1994 issue of _Electronic Learning_, he says that pupils will soon build information products that can be used by clients around the world. Teachers, in turn, will become brokers 'connecting our students to others across the nets who will help them create and add to their knowledge.' That one pegged my bogometer." Mine too. Passages like these are a delight to the closet curmudgeon. A mere thirty pages earlier, Stoll notes "I've also noticed that the computer cognoscenti hang on to their jobs by creating systems where they are at the chokepoints of the organizations. Workers who don't know computers get trampled, discounted or pushed to the side." As for information being free? Bah, Stoll indicates. "I hear this from those who duplicate software or break into computers. It's techno-Marxism -- abolish private property and we'll all be happy." The Free Software Foundation, writes Stoll, claims "that copyrights harm society by preventing the free flow of information." You can tell he doesn't believe much of it. Slogans and cyber-aphorisms of this nature are conveniences in 1995, usually used to rationalize the process of someone else, but never the individual spouting said cliches, being ripped off. I would suspect little, if any, of this will endear Stoll to the disciples of the church of Toffler now encamped within the gilded walls of the mainstream media. That's good. He also has doubtless alienated the cypherpunks movement by essentially stating that while their technical accomplishments are neat, the problem they're trying to solve - the preservation of information privacy through the employ of cumbersome, almost unusable anonymous remailers and cumbersome, almost unusable encryption technology - looms trivial in the global picture. In fact, "Silicon Snake Oil" gores so many sacred cows in cyberspace it's guaranteed the author will be regarded like a dysenteric hog loose in the streets of Mecca on some parts of the net. That would be a shame because "Silicon Snake Oil" has genuine heart. There's not a mean bone in it; neither will you find the sour breath of the corrosive cynic. Paradoxically, Stoll confounds the reader's expectations by appearing to be a hopeless romantic in everyday life, and, by contrast, the nets, where he is up to his neck in connections and still very obviously in love with the pulse of the cursor. In the end, "Silicon Snake Oil" is saying the future could be a pretty dim, brutish place if we trade the critical and analytical capacity, stuff that ain't broke, a real voice on the end of the telephone line or the tough teacher for the newest software, indigestible floods of valueless, curiosity-numbing information or glib futurology that is simply faster and louder than real life. That's a great message from a killer of a book. [George Smith is the author of "The Virus Creation Labs" (American Eagle).] ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 18 Mar 1995 00:35:45 -0600 (CST) From: Computer Underground Digest Subject: File 3--RE: File 4--S. 314, Realism, Unanswered Questions (fwd) Bruce Johnson wrote: Tim King 'sez >>Brad Hicks wrote: >> If you want it to be legal for people to use [the Internet for >> >> would be illegal over a phone line under the existing law]... >> well, then say so! >>To which Rhys Weatherley replied: >> Very few free speech supporters, myself included, want that >> kind of crap distributed on the Internet or anywhere... >Um... Er... This does seem to be the point. The question is not >whether anyone _wants_ it to happen. I'm sure that no one _wants_ it >to happen. The question is whether or not "you want it to be legal." This is classic sensitive waffling on free speech...everyone is in favor of it, but they'd really rather that it be restricted to speech they're comfortable with. If no one_wants_it to happen, then why are the alt.binaries and groups consistently in the highest traffic and usage groups on the net? The whole point of the exepmtion of common carriers from obscenity laws to date is to allow them to operate, period; as any efforts at censorship will run them afoul of the various Electronic Privacy acts, such as the Wiretap Act. S.314 requires operators of BBS's and Net services to excersise just suchcensorship, to protect themselves from liability. Yet they are, in all senses of the word, common do not have to be a giant monopolistic corporate entity to be one. They are providing a connection service, not a content service; there is no legal reason on earth that they should have to be responsible for the content of what they are conveying, any more that the phone company is. Drug deals, insider trading, and even murder conspiracies are conducted by phone every day, yet the phone company is not held as a co-conspirator, nor are they held on liability charges for the millions of sex-line calls made using their networks each day. However, this is precisely what this proposed law is setting out to do for computer networks. This bill is a chilling attack on out first amendment rights using a convenient scapegoat (remember no one really _wants_ people to be passing around pornography) in a new, and largely legally uncharted communications medium. Were I to go in for conspiracy theory, I'd almost suspect that the large telcos were behind this removes a heck of a lot of competition, and when they finally bring networking to the unwashed masses, they'll have their historical protections as common carriers and phalanxes of lawyers, congress-critters and pr flacks to throw against it. ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 16 Mar 1995 18:28:56 -0600 From: cud@SUN.SOCI.NIU.EDU(CuD Moderators) Subject: File 4--J. Baker/U of Mich Speech Case -- Chic Trib Excerpt) Source: The Chicago Tribune, 12 March, 1995 (Perspective Section, p. 1) By: Joan H. Lowenstein HOW FREE IS SPEECH IN CYBERSPACE? While other University of Michigan students worked on their tans over spring break, one sophomore sat in a federal prison cell typically occupied by extortionists and drug dealers. The U.S. attorney in Detroit argued that 20-year-old Jake Baker was a time bomb-so likely to commit a serious crime like rape or murder that he shouldn't be allowed out of jail. Baker, who was finally released on bail Friday, says he's a political prisoner, a 1st Amendment hero who is being punished for testing the limits of free speech in cyberspace. His lawyers say he spent a month in jail for a crime that may consist of nothing more than exceptionally bad manners. They may be right. ((The story summarizes the case -- see CuD # for details)) Sex on the information superhighway is no different from sex on the old information dirt roads like books and magazines. But the risk of the unknown can be scary, and people typically react to new communication technologies by trying to rein them in. The advent of the printing press so stunned the medieval Catholic Church that it had to create an imprimatur to control the output of all texts. When radio became popular, Congress passed laws that made sure the government could control the airwaves in case of war. And more recently, the proliferation of cable television has sparked legislation-so far unsuccessful-that attempts to regulate sex and violence. ((The reporter provides an accurate summary of SB 314 - the "Decency" Bill)) Ironically, had the University of Michigan acted quietly to determine whether anyone was really in danger, readers might never have known that the victim in Baker's story was a real person. But instead, university President James Duderstadt summarily suspended Baker from school, bringing on considerable media attention and revealing the woman. ((The story provides additional information on the background -- see CuD #)). A Detroit federal grand jury has since indicted Baker for violating Section 875(c) of the U.S. Criminal Code: "Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of another shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both." Citing his "gut feeling" that he wouldn't want his daughter out on the streets if Baker were set free, a federal magistrate in Detroit at first denied bond. The case has attracted attention because it's the first time the federal government has made an Internet posting the subject of the anti-threat law. But the medium is not as important as the message in determining the merit of Baker's primary defense-that he was exercising his 1st Amendment right to freedom of expression. ((The story summarizes and excerpts parts of the story from the indictment)) It's not the first time a person charged under the threat statute has claimed exaggerated or offensive language shouldn't be punished. In November 1974, when PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat was scheduled to address the United Nations in New York, Jewish Defense League member Russell Kelner called a news conference and, in response to a question from a television reporter, said, "We are planning to assassinate Mr. Arafat, just the way any other murderer is treated." ((The story summarizes the case, noting that the US Supreme Court drew on a 1969 decision upholding a statute prohibiting threatening the President of the US)). Jake Baker's conduct doesn't begin to reach the severity of true threats punished under this rarely used statute. In one case prosecuted under the law, the threatening language was, "I am going to blow your brains out." In another, a woman's ex-boyfriend left a message on her answering machine that said, "Your husband's health will take a turn for the worse and you will be widowed." Although the woman he named in the fictional story could bring a civil suit against him for invasion of privacy or infliction of emotional distress, it seems unlikely that prosecutors will be able to show that Jake Baker made the kind of unequivocal and immediate threat the courts have required for conviction on the criminal charge. ((A brief discussion of internet participation deleted) Baker's case has been assigned to Detroit Federal Judge Avern Cohn, a jurist who has often shown his sensitivity to the 1st Amendment. Five years ago, Cohn severely chastised the University of Michigan for enacting a speech code that violated the free speech rights of its students. Although it can foist some of the blame on the FBI, the university soon may have to extend its wrist before the judge once again. ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 19 Mar 1995 14:08:03 -0600 From: Stephen Smith Subject: File 5--Campaign to Defeat Comm. Decency Act (Mar 17 Update) CAMPAIGN TO STOP THE US COMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT (S. 314/H.R. 1004) (Note this is not the electronic "defeat S314" petition) Update: - Telecomm Reform bill scheduled for markup Thu 3/23/95 - Sen. Leahy (D-VT) expresses "serious concerns", seeks alternatives that protect free speech - Coalition Internet campaign has an impact PLEASE WIDELY REDISTRIBUTE THIS DOCUMENT WITH THIS BANNER INTACT DO NOT REDISTRIBUTE AFTER MAY 1, 1995 DO NOT REPRODUCE THIS ALERT IN NON-POLITICAL FORUMS Mar. 17, 1995 Distributed by the Voters Telecommunications Watch ( --------------------------------------------------------------------- [3/17/95: Yet even more organizations have joined us. Welcome aboard! Next week (Mar 23, 1995) the telecomm reform bill will be marked up in the Commerce committee. If the Communications Decency Act is added to the reform bill as an amendment, it will be *very difficult to stop*. The result of this bill becoming a law will be to change the nature of the Internet as we know it. The volume of information we take for granted will slow to a trickle. Win this battle, and we've won the fight for this year and stopped the bill. Lose it and we'll be on the ropes in the Senate for the rest of the session. Only you can make the difference, and it will only take two minutes. -Shabbir] --------------------------------------------------------- In order to use the net more effectively, the following organizations have joined forces on a single Congressional net campaign to stop the Communications Decency Act, S. 314 (in alphabetical order): the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the American Communication Association (ACA), the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), the Center for Public Representation (CPR), the Computer Communicators Association (CCA), the Computing Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR), the CyberQueer Lounge, an online resource for the gay community, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), (Note the above DC-based EFF has no local chapters) the Electronic Frontier Foundation-Austin (EFF-Austin), the Electronic Frontiers Australia, (EFA) the Electronic Frontiers Houston, (EFH) the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Florida Coalition Against Censorship (FCAC), the Hands Off! the Net petition drive, the National Coalition Against Censorship, (NCAC) the National Libertarian Party, (NLP), the National Public Telecomputing Network (NPTN), the National Writers Union (UAW Local 1981 AFL-CIO), (NWU) the People for the American Way (PFAW), the Society for Electronic Access (SEA), and the Voters Telecommunications Watch (VTW) These organizations are using the Voters Telecommunications Watch (VTW) as a conduit for legislative feedback. When you contact Congress about the Communications Decency Act and send your feedback to, that information is being fed back to all participating organizations. If your organization would like to sign on to this campaign and receive legislative feedback, contact (Note the Fidonet and FTN mailing directions below) ------------------------------------------------------------- CONTENTS What you can do Introduction Background Current status of S. 314/H.R. 1004 Where can I learn more about the bill? (URL & Fidonet/FTN included) Where will I learn about updates to this alert? Current list of participating organizations --------------------------------------------------------------------- WHAT YOU CAN DO (IN ONLY TWO MINUTES) 1. Contact Sen. Larry Pressler (R-SD, Commerce Committee Chairman), Sen. J.J. Exon (D-NE, sponsor of the bill), and Sen. Bob Packwood (ROR, Chairman, Communications Subcommittee). Note: although contacting your own Senators is important, these members hold the keys at this point in time. If you want to contact your own Senators, that's great, but between now and Thursday Pressler, Exon and Packwood are the ones to focus on. Time is of the essence: *Phone calls* are best, faxes only partially effective, email has the least impact. P ST Name and Address Phone Fax = == ======================== ============== ============== R SD Pressler, Larry 1-202-224-5842 1-202-224-1259* 243 RSOB Washington, D.C. 20510 *Note this is the Senate Commercommittee's fax machine D NE Exon, J. J. 1-202-224-4224 1-202-224-5213 528 HSOB Washington, D.C. 20510 R OR Packwood, Robert 1-202-224-5244 1-202-228-3576 259 RSOB Washington, D.C. 20510 Urge them to keep S.314 from being incorporated into telecommunications reform legislation and to support Senator Leahy's efforts to explore alternatives to the Exon bill. Follow the communique at the bottom if you need to. 2. Feel free to use the following communique: SAMPLE COMMUNIQUE I'm a resident of _______. Please support Senator Leahy's efforts to explore alternatives to S. 314. Please keep S. 314 out of the telecommunications reform bill, and remove S. 314 from the fast track. Thanks. See below for a brief description of Leahy's initiative. His letter to CDT is in the VTW gopher. Concern over S.314 is not limited to the U.S. Among many international expressions of support, two have stood out in the first two weeks. EF-Australia is a member of the growing coalition, and IndiaNet has circulated our alert widely. If you are not a citizen of the United States you can still express your concern. A sample message to Senator Pressler follows: Dear Senator Pressler: The Exon bill will cripple the U.S. portion of the Internet and thereby devastate the growing global information community. Internation commerce and social and political cooperation will suffer greatly. I urge you to refrain from incorporating S.314 into any telecommunications reform legislation and to support Senator's Leahy initiatives to explore alternatives to S314. Both US citizens and non-US citizens should remember to be polite when speaking to legislators, even their own. 3. DON'T FORGET TO DROP A NOTE TO VTW@VTW.ORG to tell us who you contacted. (See below for FTN -> Internet emailing instructions.) We'll tally the results and feed them back to all participating organizations. It's crucial we have this feedback, even if you just got a form letter, or a "thank you" to your phone call. Please, when you report back, tell us what state you are in! This will help us track constituent calls, which are the most effective. 4. Feel good about yourself. You've just participated in democracy without leaving your seat. 5. (Extra bonus activism) Pass this alert to your friends, especially if they're in South Dakota, Nebraska, or Oregon. These states need to have as much constituent contact with their Senators as possible. Also, you might send a thank-you note to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for his continuing efforts on behalf of free speech and the free flow of information in cyberspace. He can be reached at: P ST Name and Address Phone Fax = == ======================== ============== ============== D VT Leahy, Patrick J. 1-202-224-4242 1-202-224-3595 433 RSOB Washington, D.C. 20510 Don't forget to Cc: on your mail to him, so we can tally the response. --------------------------------------------------------------------- INTRODUCTION Dear Net Citizens: Legislation has been introduced before the Senate which would severely restrict your freedom of speech, halt the free flow of information on the net, and require all telecommunications carriers to censor your public and private communications. The "Communications Decency Act of 1995" (S. 314), introduced in early February by Senators Exon (D-NE) and Gorton (R-WA), would place substantial criminal liability on telecommunications carriers (including traditional telephone networks, Internet service providers, commercial online services such as America Online and Compuserve, and independent BBS's) whenever their networks are used to transmit any material which is deemed indecent or harassing. In order to avoid these penalties, carriers would be forced to restrict the activities of their subscribers and censor all public and private communications. We must act quickly to stop the progress of S. 314. The bill may soon be incorporated into Senate telecommunications reform legislation, which is currently being drafted by the Senate Commerce Committee. The telecommunications reform bill may be introduced as early as mid March, and is expected to be considered on a fast track. If S. 314 is included in this bill, it will be extremely difficult to change or remove and could pass quickly. We are asking you to join us in urging key members of the Senate to prevent S. 314 from being included in Senate telecommunications reform measures and to hold open, public hearings on the issue. --------------------------------------------------------------------- CURRENT STATUS OF S. 314/H.R. 1004 The bill was introduced on February 1, 1995 by Senators Exon (D-NE) and Gorton (R-WA). It is currently pending before the Senate Commerce Committee (chaired by Senator Pressler (R-SD)). No committee action has been scheduled as of March 9, 1995. The telecommunications reform bill is scheduled for hearing starting March 21, 1995. It is possible that S. 314 will be folded into the bill during markup next week. H.R. 1004 (worded the same as S. 314) was introduced on February 21, 1995 in the House by Representative Johnson (SD) and has been referred to the House Commerce and Judiciary committees. No committee actions in the House have been scheduled as of March 17, 1995. --------------------------------------------------------------------- BACKGROUND S. 314 would expand current law restricting indecency and harassment on telephone services to all telecommunications providers and expand criminal liability to all content carried by all forms of telecommunications networks. The bill would amend Section 223 of the Communications Act (47 U.S.C. 223), which requires carriers to take steps to prevent minors from gaining access to indecent audiotext and criminalizes harassment accomplished over interstate telephone lines. If enacted, S. 314 would compel service providers to severely restrict your online activities. Your access to email, discussion lists, usenet, the world wide web, gopher, and ftp archives would be substantially reduced or cut off entirely. The bill would also force providers to closely monitor and pre-screen your electronic mail, and refuse to transmit any message or other content which may be considered to be indecent. This bill poses a significant threat to freedom of speech and the free flow of information in cyberspace. The bill also raises fundamental questions about the right of government to control content on communications networks, as well as the locus of liability for content carried in these new communications media. Recently, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has requested the Center for Democracy and Technology's Public Interest/Industry working group IWG (Interactive Working Group) to explore other solutions to the problems that S. 314 attempts to solve. The working group must be allowed to examine current legislation and explore technical alternatives that are consistent with the First Amendment and the free flow of information. We've received over 400 messages in two weeks, with our log showing over 700 letters, faxes, phone calls, and email messages (many people contacted more than one Senator. At least two respondents wrote all 19 members of the committee!) Of course many more people have probably contacted Congress without sending that note to VTW. Almost 200 messages went to Pressler, who may be getting the point. His staff told one caller, "Why are you calling us? It's Exon's bill!" (This is why phone calls to Pressler are so important.) One citizen wrote to Senator Gorton, a co-sponsor: "I, frankly, am amazed at the audacity of your proposed bill. We are not children sir, nor do we need your misplaced guidance in raising our children!" Along the same lines, another wrote to his own Senator: "While I am pleased, being an enthusiastic supporter of anti-harassment legislation, with many of the provisions of this bill, I am frankly astounded and appalled with others." Someone came up with metaphor that frankly we aren't clever enough to have thought of: "A few years ago, a tanker laden with a crude, noxious substance ran aground in the virginal territories of the Alaskan coastline. It poisoned the land and sea for many miles around.... We are now faced with another 'Exon Valdez'... a vehicle filled with crude legislation, currently at risk of running ashore on our pristine rights." Finally, someone writing to Pressler spoke for all of us to all of us: "At a time when communications between ordinary citizens has been all but drowned out by the barrage of mass media, online communication has become the last bastion of real citizen deliberation and has become the "public square" so to speak, of the nation. This bill would destroy this great experiment in the rejuvenation of grassroots democracy. Please do all you can to prevent its passage." We are encouraged by the success so far of the campaign, and hope that you take the time to participate at this crucial time. --------------------------------------------------------------------- WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BILL? (URL INCLUDED) The Voters Telecommunications Watch has set up a gopher page where you can get a copy of the bill (including analyses by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Electronic Messaging Association, and others). Here's the URL: WWW URL: gopher:// Gopher command : gopher -p 1/vtw/exon If you have difficulty getting to this gopher page, or if you don't have access to Mosaic/gopher, drop a note to: BBS Network Users: You can FREQ the files from the EFF BBS, 1:109/1108, 1-202-861-1224. The "magicword" for a list of relevant files is S314. You do NOT have to be nodelisted to get the files, or in any particular network. Just create a dummy nodelist entry with our phone number if you need to do so. Those in QWK nets or otherwise not able to File REQuest can download the files manually from the BBS, in the ALERTS file area. Feel free to login as ANONYMOUS, password GUEST to bypass newuser questionnaires. To send mail to from FidoNet or other FTN systems, create a netmail message to your local UUCP host. Search the nodelist for the GUUCP flag, and use the address of that system: To: UUCP, [GUUCP system's address here. "To:" name MUST be set to UUCP] From: [you] Subject--S.314 --------------------------------------------------------------- To: [Message starts here on 3rd line. The second "To:" line with the internet email address MUST be the first line of the message body, and the blank line following that is REQUIRED. Mail will not be delivered by the gateways without it.] To email one of the Senators in the list above, just put the Senator's email address in place of "" in the above example. If you are unsure whether your FTN has an Internet gateway, or suspect it may use something other than a GUUCP nodelist flag, ask your network coordinators. ----------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------- WHERE WILL I LEARN ABOUT UPDATES TO THIS ALERT? We will post updates to this alert in three places: -On the account (finger -On Usenet (,, and alt.privacy) -Through our announcements mailing list, To subscribe, simply send a message to with the following in the message body: subscribe vtw-announce Firstname Lastname --------------------------------------------------------------------- CURRENT LIST OF PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS At this time, the following organizations have signed onto this campaign and are receiving the legislative feedback that VTW is compiling: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), American Communication Association (ACA), Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), Center for Public Representation (CPR), Computer Communicators Association (CCA), Computing Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR), CyberQueer Lounge, (Note that the DC-based EFF has no local chapters) Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Electronic Frontier Foundation-Austin (EFF-Austin), Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA), Electronic Frontiers Houston (EFH), Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Florida Coalition Against Censorship (FCAC), Hands Off! the Net petition drive, National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), National Libertarian Party (NLP), National Public Telecomputing Network (NPTN), National Writers Union (UAW Local 1981 AFL-CIO), People for the American Way (PFAW), Society for Electronic Access (SEA), Voters Telecommunications Watch (VTW), Note that the Voters Telecommunications Watch does not speak for these organizations. Any opinions contained herein are those of the author, and not necessarily endorsed by participating organizations. ------------------------------ Date: Sun 19 Mar 1995 19:19:22 CST From: CuD Moderators Subject: File 6--Reprint of Textof SB 314 ((MODERATORS' NOTE: Here, from's site, is the text of the original statute and the changes that are proposed. For more information, also check out slowdog's homepage at: ============== 47 USC 223 (1992) Sec. 223. [Obscene or harassing telephone calls in the District of Columbia or in interstate or foreign communications] OBSCENE OR HARASSING UTILIZATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEVICES AND FACILITIES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OR IN INTERSTATE OR FOREIGN COMMUNICATIONS" (a) Whoever-- (1) in the District of Columbia or in interstate or foreign communication by means of [telephone] TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEVICE-- (A) [makes any comment, request, suggestion or proposal] MAKES, TRANSMITS, OR OTHERWISE MAKES AVAILABLE ANY COMMENT,REQUEST, SUGGESTION, PROPOSAL, IMAGE, OR OTHER COMMUNICATION which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent; [(B) makes a telephone call, whether or not conversation ensues, without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person at the called number;] "(B) MAKES A TELEPHONE CALL OR UTILIZES A TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEVICE, WHETHER OR NOT CONVERSATION OR COMMUNICATIONS ENSUES,WITHOUT DISCLOSING HIS IDENTITY AND WITH INTENT TO ANNOY, ABUSE, THREATEN, OR HARASS ANY PERSON AT THE CALLED NUMBER OR WHO RECEIVES THE COMMUNICATION; (C) makes or causes the telephone of another repeatedly or continuously to ring, with intent to harass any person at the called number; or [(D) makes repeated telephone calls, during which conversation ensues, solely to harass any person at the called number; or] (D) MAKES REPEATED TELEPHONE CALLS OR REPEATEDLY INITIATES COMMUNICATION WITH A TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEVICE, DURING WHICH CONVERSATION OR COMMUNICATION ENSUES, SOLELY TO HARASS ANY PERSON AT THE CALLED NUMBER OR WHO RECEIVES THE COMMUNICATION, (2) knowingly permits any [telephone facility] TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITY under his control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section, shall be fined not more than $[50,000]100,000 or imprisoned not more than [six months] TWO YEARS, or both. (b)(1) Whoever knowingly-- (A) within the United States, by means of [telephone] TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEVICCE, makes (directly or by recording device) any obscene communication for commercial purposes to any person, regardless of whether the maker of such communication placed the call or INITIATED THE COMMUNICATION; or (B) permits any [telephone facility] TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITY under such person's control to be used for an activity prohibited by subparagraph (A), shall be fined in accordance with title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. (2) Whoever knowingly-- (A) within the United States, [by means of telephone], makes BY MEANS OF TELEPHONE OR TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEVICE, MAKES, TRANSMITS, OR MAKES AVAILABLE(directly or by recording device) any indecent communication for commercial purposes which is available to any person under 18 years of age or to any other person without that person's consent, regardless of whether the maker of such communication placed the call OR INITIATED THE COMMUNICATION; or (B) permits any [telephone facility] TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITY under such person's control to be used for an activity prohibited by subparagraph (A), shall be fined not more than $[50,000] 100,000 or imprisoned not more than [six months] TWO YEARS, or both. (3) It is a defense to prosecution under paragraph (2) of this subsection that the defendant restrict access to the prohibited communication to persons 18 years of age or older in accordance with subsection (c) of this section and with such procedures as the Commission may prescribe by regulation. (4) In addition to the penalties under paragraph (1), whoever, within the United States, intentionally violates paragraph (1) or (2) shall be subject to a fine of not more than $[50,000] 100,000 for each violation. For purposes of this paragraph, each day of violation shall constitute a separate violation. (5)(A) In addition to the penalties under paragraphs (1), (2), and (5), whoever, within the United States, violates paragraph (1) or (2) shall be subject to a civil fine of not more than $[50,000] 100,000 for each violation. For purposes of this paragraph, each day of violation shall constitute a separate violation. (B) A fine under this paragraph may be assessed either-- (i) by a court, pursuant to civil action by the Commission or any attorney employed by the Commission who is designated by the Commission for such purposes, or (ii) by the Commission after appropriate administrative proceedings. (6) The Attorney General may bring a suit in the appropriate district court of the United States to enjoin any act or practice which violates paragraph (1) or (2). An injunction may be granted in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (c)(1) A common carrier within the District of Columbia or within any State, or in interstate or foreign commerce, shall not, to the extent technically feasible, provide access to a communication specified in subsection (b) from the telephone of any subscriber who has not previously requested in writing the carrier to provide access to such communication if the carrier collects from subscribers an identifiable charge for such communication that the carrier remits, in whole or in part, to the provider of such communication. (2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), no cause of action may be brought in any court or administrative agency against any common carrier, or any of its affiliates, including their officers, directors, employees, agents, or authorized representatives on account of-- (A) any action which the carrier demonstrates was taken in good faith to restrict access pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection; or (B) any access permitted-- (i) in good faith reliance upon the lack of any representation by a provider of communications that communications provided by that provider are communications specified in subsection (b), or (ii) because a specific representation by the provider did not allow the carrier, acting in good faith, a sufficient period to restrict access to communications described in subsection (b). (3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2) of this subsection, a provider of communications services to which subscribers are denied access pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection may bring an action for a declaratory judgment or similar action in a court. Any such action shall be limited to the question of whether the communications which the provider seeks to provide fall within the category of communications to which the carrier will provide access only to subscribers who have previously requested such access. ********************************************* NOTE: This version of the text shows the actual text of current law as it would be changed. For the bill itself, which consists of unreadable text such as: [...] (1) in subsection (a)(1)-- (A) by striking out `telephone' in the matter above subparagraph (A) and inserting `telecommunications device'; (B) by striking out `makes any comment, request, suggestion, or proposal' in subparagraph (A) and inserting `makes, transmits, or otherwise makes available any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication'; (C) by striking out subparagraph (B) and inserting the following: `(B) makes a telephone call or utilizes a [...] See:, /pub/EFF/Legislation/Bills_new/s314.bill, 1/EFF/Legislation/Bills_new, s314.bill ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 19 Mar 1995 22:51:01 CDT From: CuD Moderators Subject: File 7--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 19 Mar, 1995) Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically. 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