Computer underground Digest Wed Jul 26, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 63 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J

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Computer underground Digest Wed Jul 26, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 63 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@MVS.CSO.NIU.EDU Archivist: Brendan Kehoe Shadow Master: Stanton McCandlish Field Agent Extraordinaire: David Smith Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala Ian Dickinson CONTENTS, #7.63 (Wed, Jul 26, 1995) File 1--Correction to Cincinnati BBS Document (CuD 7.62) File 2--The Case of the Two Cybersex Studies File 3--"Imprisonment wihouth Guilt" for "Hacking" File 4--[to GovAccess] sample of VTW's *stellar* tech-civlib alerts! File 5--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 19 Apr, 1995) CuD ADMINISTRATIVE, EDITORIAL, AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION APPEARS IN THE CONCLUDING FILE AT THE END OF EACH ISSUE. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 25 Jul 95 10:56:35 EDT From: Lance Rose <72230.2044@COMPUSERVE.COM> Subject: File 1--Correction to Cincinnati BBS Document (CuD 7.62) That legal paper you published in 7.62 is not a criminal indictment, but a civil complaint. For a few moments, I had the bizarre experience of thinking I was seeing a prosecutor trying to put his own people in jail . ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 24 Jul 1995 09:42:49 -0700 (PDT) From: D B McCullagh Subject: File 2--The Case of the Two Cybersex Studies Distribute Freely The Case of the Two Cybersex Studies, (c) 1995 By Declan McCullagh July 24, 1995 Dr. Michael Mehta's telephone rang. "Hi, this is Marty Rimm calling from Carnegie Mellon University. I'm the principal investigator of a study on pornography, and I'm leading a 15-person interdisciplinary research team. I'd like to take a look at the research you presented earlier this month." Mehta, then a graduate student at York University in Ontario, remembers answering the phone last fall. He never thought then that an unexpected phone call from Marty Rimm would bring him to accuse the former Carnegie Mellon student of stealing his ideas and his research eight months later. When he first talked to Rimm, he was flattered to be contacted by what he thought was a senior professor at a prestigious university. He tried to help the researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. "Rimm asked for a copy of my paper that I presented at a conference in November. He said Carnegie Mellon was publishing a book, and he might include my paper as a chapter if I sent it to him," says Mehta. Mehta and Dwaine Plaza, also of York University, had studied how adult BBS operators were marketing pornography on the information superhighway. After the two researchers sent "everything they had" to Rimm, they waited hopefully but never heard from him again. "I feel like a total fool now," says Mehta. "I was under the impression that Rimm was a tenured faculty member. He never corrected me when I called him 'professor Rimm.'" He didn't know about the controversy Rimm's paper had caused until last week, when an associate at the University of Waterloo told readers of a cyberlaw mailing list that Mehta and Plaza presented a cybersmut paper at a conference last November. Then researchers and reporters started calling Canada. Mehta is "flabbergasted" by the publicity Rimm's paper has generated "down south." His local papers haven't covered Rimm's study, so he wasn't aware of the controversy its publication caused. Now a post-doctoral fellow at Queen's University, he had given up hope of publishing his paper and moved on to researching democratic rights and public accountability for technology. After learning that Rimm was an undergraduate, Mehta felt silly at first. But after he read Brock Meeks' CyberWire Dispatches, he became convinced of the "seriousness of this issue" and decided to go public with his concerns. Rimm reportedly has retained a lawyer and has declined to comment. "It's funny how a breakdown in trust between people who have never met can happen over the wires," Mehta says. "I trusted Rimm, and he stole some of our ideas, lied to me, and distorted facts beyond belief." Looking back, he says Rimm's behavior was peculiar. He remembers asking Rimm for a copy of the book he was writing. "Rimm said there was an export restriction on it -- his publisher said there was an export ban," Mehta says. Studying CyberSmut: Similarities and Differences "I don't think the parallels between the two studies are coincidences. There are a lot of similarities that can't be accounted for by chance," says Mehta, who's working to document the resemblances. Rimm's paper, published in the July issue of the Georgetown Law Journal and cited on the front page of Time magazine, never mentions Mehta's study. Mehta says that Rimm changed the direction of his research without giving the York University researchers credit: "Rimm wasn't looking at the commercial distribution of BBS pornography until he spoke with us in November. We told him that we were looking for adult BBS logos and telephone numbers in Usenet images." Rimm's study claims that he downloaded and reviewed Usenet images in September, but doesn't say when they were analyzed. His study also lingers on the salacious details of erotica, repeating words like "fuck," "cock," "pedophile," and "paraphilia" dozens of times. "We also started off with emotionally laden language. But in the end, we cut down those terms," says Mehta. "That's what the Journal of Sex Research wanted. You think law journals are tough? Try peer review!" The Carnegie Mellon study somewhat resembles the Mehta-Plaza study, yet it also differs in many ways: * Rimm talks about pornography on adult BBSs, the Internet, Usenet, and the World Wide Web. The Canadian study only looks at images, many from adult BBSs, appearing on a small selection of Usenet newsgroups. * Rimm reviews descriptions of hundreds of thousands of images. The other study looked at the actual images, but only at a few hundred. * Rimm sorts images into only one category. The York University study categorizes each image in 22 different ways. * Rimm waxes poetic about how "pornography permeates the digital landscape." Plaza and Mehta discuss "a symmetric measure of association for 2x2 crosstabulations used when comparing non-parametrically distributed variables." Some of the Mehta-Plaza study's findings contradict Rimm's. Since the Canadian researchers actually looked at the images, they found that many "bestiality" images were actually cartoons: "There were only a few actual digitized photographs in our sample showing such acts." Also, where Rimm talks about "the ease of copying and disseminating digitized child pornography," the Canadian researchers say they found "no actual images showing a sexual act with children or adolescents." After presenting their paper at the November 1994 "Symposium on Free Speech and Privacy in the Information Age," Plaza and Mehta tried for months to find a publisher, but were stonewalled by the Journal of Sex Research. "They didn't like our findings," says Mehta. The journal's editors reportedly also disliked the references to anti-porn activist Catherine MacKinnon. Ironically, MacKinnon published a commentary on Rimm's research in the most recent Georgetown Law Journal, hailing it as a "landmark study of pornography in cyberspace." While both papers conclude that adult BBS operators are using the Internet to market their images, some recent evidence suggests the practice may not be widespread. Brian Reid, a network researcher and Usenet guru at Digital Equipment Corporation, says adult BBS operators become upset when their images appear surreptitiously on Usenet newsgroups. When they find out, they demand that the images be removed. Donna Hoffman, an associate professor of management at Vanderbilt University, agrees: "On the supply side, the operators realize that such 'leakage' hurts the market. On the demand side, the potential customer will say, 'Why should I pay over there when I can see it here for free?'" Whatever the reality, after all this controversy, there may be a happy ending in store for the pair of researchers. Mehta says he was ready to give up on publishing their study, but now "our paper will help shed a little light on this issue." In the wake of the Rimm scandal, he thinks they'll have better luck finding a journal to accept it. [Since his paper has not been published, Mehta decided not to put it online. He has agreed to answer questions about it and can be reached at:] A: ABSTRACT "A content analysis of pornographic images on the Internet" By Michael D. Mehta and Dwaine E. Plaza This paper examines the nature and content of 150 randomly selected pornographic images available through newsgroups located on the Internet computer network. Using content analysis, we identify themes which appear most frequently, and explore differences in the type of material posted by commercial and non-commercial users. Results suggest that commercial vendors are more likely to post explicit pornographic material in public access newsgroups in order to attract new customers to their private, pay-per-use bulletin board services. B: PARALLEL CONSTRUCTIONS Following are examples of where the two studies express similar ideas. Page numbers are in parentheses. Since both studies talk about similar topics, many parallel constructions could be coincidences. Rimm never mentions the Mehta-Plaza study in his paper. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ RIMM STUDY MEHTA/PLAZA STUDY DRAFT ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1867) 17 of the 32 alt.binaries (7) 17 Usenet newsgroups were Usenet newsgroups contained identified that contained sexually- pornographic imagery oriented images ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1865) Images are also posted to (16) Other newsgroups besides newsgroups outside the alt.binaries those studied may contain hierarchy sexually-explicit images ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1914) Pornography is widely (13) Pornography on computer available through computer networks networks is widely available ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1852) Pornography is being vigorously (14) Commercial distributors marketed in computer environments of pornography use the Internet to market it ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1851,1875) Pornographers are using (14) Commercial distributors of Usenet newsgroups to advertise pornography post images to newsgroups products and attract customers to attract customers ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1868) The role of the NSFnet (4) The role of the NSF backbone backbone began to change is now changing ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1862) The Internet is increasingly (3) The Internet has the potential being used by pornographers to disseminate pornography ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1861) One of the largest uses for (4) The distribution of pornography computer networks is the distribution is a new use for computer networks of sexually explicit imagery ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1910) Pornographers are using (6) Commercial vendors may see newsgroups to advertise at no cost newsgroups as a way to advertise freely. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1862) Until recently, the primary (4) Until recently, the primary use use of the Internet was linking of the Internet was for scientific university and government computers research purposes for research purposes ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1868) Multimedia graphics are being (16) There are more advanced types developed of image files which simulate movement ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1885) The presentation of kappa (10) Kappa coefficients were values was unnecessary because of the calculated and indicated a good high level of reliability * degree of inter-coder reliability ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1916) The study lists 4 boldfaced (22) The study lists 22 categories categories and 18 additional ones ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1852) Consumers enjoy considerable (5) Users download images in privacy while downloading images from the privacy of their offices computer networks ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1875) An adult BBS sysop can find (14) Most images come from magazines images in magazines or videotapes ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1912) Raises questions about (17) Says the Internet has the community standards in cyberspace potential to undermine local laws ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1908) Lawmakers are grappling with (18) Content of computer pornography digitized pornography and may decide will change with regulation of to regulate the Internet the "global village." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1853) It may be difficult for (17) It is necessary for others researchers to repeat this study to replicate this study ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (1875) Adult BBS operators are more (14) Commercial operators are likely to post explicit pornography ** more likely to post explicit pornography ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ * = Mehta says: "The kappa coefficient came right from us. He asked how we calculated reliability, and we told him. It's in there, but he didn't use it. I don't think he knew how." ** = Rimm's study says that adult BBS owners post 71% of hardcore pornography but just 59% of the combined total of hardcore and softcore pornography. C: ESTIMATES OF WORD OCCURRENCES (1) Note the highly emotional words Rimm uses in his study. Where Mehta-Plaza use the term "commercial vendor," Rimm uses "pornographer." Mehta-Plaza Study Rimm Study (2) ----------------- ---------- Paraphilia / Paraphilic 0 82 Pornographer 0 70 Child (3) 1 52 Hard-Core 0 52 Bestiality 2 45 Pedophilia / Pedophile / Pedophilic 0 41 Commercial 42 39 Dog / Horse 0 23 Fisting 0 22 Obscene 0 21 Cock 0 21 Fuck 0 21 Incest 2 17 Pussy 0 17 Pain 0 15 Abuse 0 7 Torture 0 7 Penis 7 4 "She holds the dog cock! Inserts it in her daughter's ass!" 0 2 (1) Since the counting technique isn't perfect the data shouldn't be seen as exact. Also, Rimm's paper is considerably longer so one would expect a word to occur more often. (2) To obtain these figures, the Mehta-Plaza paper was saved to a file with the references and Table 1 included. The Rimm paper and footnotes from were saved in a single file. The following command sequence was used to extract word counts from the two files: tr '\040' '\012' < {study} | fgrep -i {word} | wc -l (3) Usually used in the phrase "child pornography." In this case, data were reviewed manually for accuracy. The one use of the word "child" in the Mehta-Plaza study was: "We never came across an image depicting a sexual act between an adult and a child/adolescent or acts between children." ------------------------------ From: Emmanuel Goldstein Subject: File 3--"Imprisonment wihouth Guilt" for "Hacking" Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 16:20:27 -0400 (EDT) What follows is a letter from Bernie S., who has been in prison for over four months, held with no bail for possessing a red box and cellular software. Please help get his words to the public. I've been trying to get EFF and EPIC people involved in what I believe is a milestone case and one which will affect a lot of people in the future. I'm utterly disgusted at the lack of response I've gotten from them so far. -------------------------------------------------------------------- THIS IS A COPY OF A LETTER FROM ED CUMMINGS (BERNIE S.) WHO IS STILL IN FEDERAL PRISON IN NEW JERSEY. HIS TRIAL IS SCHEDULED FOR THE END OF THE MONTH - YOU MAY HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO SOMETHING TO HELP WITH HIS CASE. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD AND READ THE NEW LAWS THAT HE CITES - THIS IS A CASE THAT WILL AFFECT A GREAT MANY PEOPLE. July 10, 1995 This week marks four months of imprisonment without having been found guilty of any crime. I'm enclosing a copy of the United States Code (U.S.C.) Title 18, ss1029. The two statutes I'm charged with are: ss1029(a)(6)(B) (one count) for possession of cellular software on the hard drive of my laptop, and ss1029(a)(5) (two counts) for possessing a modified Telecommunications Instrument (a modified Touch-Tone dialer). These two amendments to ss1029 were enacted by Congress on October 21, 1994 after heavy lobbying by the cellular industry. Any discussion of my case without understanding this new legislation is unproductive. The statutes are worded as follows: --------------- ss1029. Fraud and related activity in connection with access devices (a) Whoever - ... (5) knowingly and with intent to defraud uses, produces, traffics in, has control or custody of, or possesses a telecommunications instrument that has been modified or altered to obtain unauthorized use of telecommunications services; or (6) knowingly and with intent to defraud uses, produces, traffics in, has control or custody of, or possesses - (A) a scanning receiver, or (B) hardware or software used for altering or modifying telecommunications instruments to obtain unauthorized access to telecommunications services. --------------- It's important to note that the government is not alleging that I've "acted" illegally. I'm not being charged with "cloning", selling, or using any illegally cloned cellular phones, possessing fraudulent or stolen Electronic Serial Numbers (ESN's), possessing any equipment or software enabling the acquisition of others' ESN's, or selling or using any "Red Boxes". The government's charges against me are solely that I had the "intent" to use software or hardware to violate new federal laws. Until very recently, the federal statutes used to prosecute those accused of defrauding telecommunications carriers relied on the "access device" definition embodied in ss1029. That definition (which was actually worded years ago in an effort to curb credit-card fraud) failed to adequately describe certain types of fraud involving "ESN/MIN tumbling" cellular phones, blue boxes, red boxes, etc. because none of these devices accessed a specific person's account. The government was having trouble prosecuting these cases because the laws didn't fit the crime. Last October 21, at the behest of telecommunications and cellular industry lobbyists, Congress quietly enacted two amendments to ss1029 that neatly sidestep the long-standing and well-defined phrase "access device" by using undefined terminology which can be interpreted so broadly it can be applied to just about anything the government wants. With the passage of ss1029(a)(5) and (a)(6)(A) and (a)(6)(B), it can now be a federal felony to possess, use, sell, or lend anything that might enable anyone to obtain "unauthorized use" or "unauthorized access" to telecommunications services - neither of which the law defines. Other terminology like "altered", "modified", and "telecommunications instrument" are also conveniently undefined. With regards to the "hardware or software used for altering or modifying telecommunications instruments" mentioned in ss1029(a)(6)(B), the government is ostensibly trying to prevent people from reprogramming the ESN & MIN in cellular phones, as well as the identifying information in any future PCS devices that are coming out in the future. ESN's are easily and commonly reprogrammed to allow one subscriber to have two or more cellular phones on the same account - something that cellular carriers would rather tell subscribers is impossible and that they have to setup separate accounts with different phone numbers and additional $20-$40/month "access fees" for each phone. The MIN, or phone number, is easily reprogrammed from the keypad of all modern cellular phones, and the associated ESN can be reprogrammed by using a PC connected to the phone's data port with the proper software. Since the government doesn't define "alter" or "modify" but clearly intends it to mean changing the contents on data in a memory chip, and since it also fails to define "unauthorized use" and "unauthorized access", it opens up a Pandora's box of potential violations of these new felony statutes. For instance, the practice of storing commonly-called telephone numbers in a cellular phone (some have up to 200 memories for this) is also, by the same implied definition, "altering" or "modifying" that "telecommunications instrument". "Unauthorized use" is not defined in the statutes, but could be interpreted to mean calling someone who doesn't want to be called. Simply dialing a number on a cellular phone "alters" and "modifies" the contents of memory addresses in microchips contained in that phone. So does dialing someone who doesn't want to be called constitute a felony under this statute? FCC regulations prohibit transmission of profanity over the airwaves. Cellular telephones are actually computerized two-way radios. Does using profane language during a cellular telephone conversation then constitute "unauthorized use" under s1029(a)(5), making participants felons? As you know, a casual scan of the 825-895 Mhz radio spectrum that cellular radiotelephones use (which itself is now a federal felony!) would expose a whole lot of felons (profanity abounds). There are other problems with these amendments. Title 18 ss1029(a)(6)(a) makes it a federal felony to possess "a scanning receiver". I believe this statute tries to address the users of so called "ESN grabbers" that intercept the reverse-channel data transmissions of cellular telephones. These data streams can be demodulated and contain the ESN/MIN pairs that illegal cellular cloners use to program into other cellular phones to charge calls to the legitimate customers' accounts without their knowledge. Unfortunately, the drafters of this legislation didn't bother to consider that "scanning receivers" of many types are sold by the tens of millions at stores all over the country for perfectly reasonable purposes. Scanning radios are used by enthusiasts worldwide to listen to public-service radio traffic (i.e., police, fire, ambulance, weather, municipal, etc.), and all modern digitally-tuned radios in cars and home stereos utilize "scanning" functions for easy tuning. Maybe there was some underlying intent to outlaw the millions of radios out there that can easily monitor law enforcment frequencies; perhaps the government's paranoia has extended this far. In any case, this is clearly a bad law, and I could go on and on as to why. The only way to change these badly-worded amendments is to lobby (i.e. buy) Senators and Congresspersons to propose and pass new legislaton amending these bad laws so that they make sense. The cellular industry did just that in 1986 with the ECPA (Electronic Communications Privacy Act) and in 1994 with these amendments to USC 18 ss1029. Unfortunately, those of us who care about changing these bad laws don't have the money or the influence to buy legislation. Although I haven't read the several page article about my case in the summer issue of 2600, I'm disappointed there was no mention of the legislation that made this entire episode possible. To me, that's the real story. My trial is scheduled for July 31 at 10:00 AM in coutroom 9-B (ninth floor) of the US Federal Courthouse at 601 Market Street in Philadelphia. If any of this changes, I'll let you know. There are some pending pretrial defense motions but whether the judge decides to hear them before July 31 remains to be seen. I'm extremely frustrated having been held for over four months in pretrial detention because it makes preparing a defense virtually impossible given my inaccessibility to normal resources. If you read over the enclosed summary of the BRADY case (which involved someone who was allegedly selling "Tumbling MIN/ESN celullar phones") you will see that government "expert" witnesses are capable of making all kinds of misstatements of facts, either out of incompetence or intention. If this occurs during my trial (which I believe is entirely possible) I will have to present expert witnesses to counter the government's. Is a jury of 12 technically untrained people going to believe a United States Secret Service Agent who specializes in telecommunications and computer fraud, or someone I come up with who claims the agent doesn't know what he's talking about? It all comes down to credibility, not about what's right and wrong. The government has unlimited resources to prosecute this case, and I'm broke. I can't even afford to hire any expert witnesses, let alone someone of the stature necessary to credibly counter the government's experts. Do me a big favor and put word out that I need expert witnesses with that kind of credibility. The only thing I can offer them is the notoriety and publicity of presenting their expertise at a highly publicised trial. This case is legally significant because its outcome will set a legal precedent on which future cases of this type are based. The two statutes I am charged with are untested - no one has ever been convicted of them. This case WILL be in the law books, one way or another. Its outcome will affect many people in the future. There are also Constitutional issues at stake. Do we really want the government to be able to imprison anyone for publishing a computer program? Or for possessing readily-available electronic components that can be purchased at Radio Shack and other companies nationwide? That's what this case amounts to. Again, I'm not even being accused of committing any fraud, just possessing software and commonly available components that the government says show I had the INTENT to commit fraud. The ramifications are frightening - not just for me, who could spend years in federal prison, and be labeled a federal felon the rest of my life - but for anyone else whose curiosity extends to computers, telecommunications, software, and electronics. If I am convicted, the government can declare open-season on anyone fitting that profile, just as they do now on people fitting "drug courier profiles". Hackers, phreaks, and computer and electronics hobbyists will all be fair game. Please get the word out on what I'm saying here. Implore people to write their legislators to amend these bad laws. It's a long-shot, but negative publicity might help to get the government to back down. This has been an extremely stressful and depressing ordeal for me. It has resulted in the loss of my job (all my clients have had to turn elsewhere), my life savings, several months of my life (maybe more), it's affected my health (I've repeatedly been denied access to the physical therapy that my orthopedic surgeon says is necessary for me to regain the use of my arm), and generally been a living hell. I don't want anyone else to have to go through this nightmare. Please do what you can, and encourage others to do the same. It may not make a difference, but then again it might. At the risk of sounding grandiose, how this case is decided truly impacts out entire community. I hope to see the EFF and/or EPIC actively involved in my case. Either organization might have information my attorney can use. Anyone who needs to can contact him, Ken Trujillo, at Thanks again for all your help on this as it comes down to the wire. It's extremely frustrating to have to rely on others to do things that I'd be perfectly capable of doing myself if I weren't locked up in here. Times like these make you realize who your friends really are. Ed Cummings 48919-066 FCI Fairton A-Left P.O. Box 420 Fairton, NJ 08320 ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 23 Jul 1995 13:52:45 -0700 From: Jim Warren Subject: File 4--[to GovAccess] sample of VTW's *stellar* tech-civlib alerts! I cannot recommend Voters Telecomm Watch too highly to my GovAccess readers. If you care about the barrage of attacks that naive and/or ignorant and/or arrogant and/or flat-out irresponsible, pandering, media-seeking politicians are proposing to inflict on traditional civil liberties - using the singular excuse that such liberties are aided by computer - I *urge* you to subscribe to VTW. Except for its most crucial, time-sensitive action-alerts, I will not be duplicating VTW's *excellent* content to GovAccess in the future. Git it direct! --jim &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& Date--Sat, 22 Jul 1995 09:20:15 -0400 Subject--(Weekly) VTW Billwatch #10 ============================================================================ VTW BillWatch: A weekly newsletter tracking US Federal legislation affecting civil liberties. BillWatch is published every Friday afternoon as long as Congress is in session. Issue #10, Date: Sat Jul 22 00:55:27 EDT 1995 Please widely redistribute this document with this banner intact Redistribute no more than two weeks after above date Reproduce this alert only in relevant forums Distributed by the Voters Telecommunications Watch ( *** Know of someone in NY/NJ with a fax machine but without net *** *** access that's interested in VTW's issues? Tell them to *** *** call and get on our weekly fax distribution list at *** *** (718) 596-2851. *** To get on the distribution list for BillWatch, send mail to with "subscribe vtw-announce Firstname Lastname" in the subject line. Email with "send billwatch" in the subject line to receive the latest version of BillWatch ____________________________________________________________________________ CONTENTS Rumor Central (RC) *** Legislative information is unchanged since last week *** Internet Freedom and Family Empowerment Act (HR 1978, S n.a.) (awaiting official presentation in the House, nothing in Senate) 1995 Communications Decency Act (HR 1004, S 314) (passed Senate, fight in the House) 1995 Protection of Children from Computer Pornography Act (HR n.a., S 892, Senate hearing scheduled for July 24th) Anti-Electronic Racketeering Act of 1995 (HR n.a., S 974, not currently moving in the Senate) ____________________________________________________________________________ RUMOR CENTRAL (RC) "The Net: under attack again" Whenever pro-censorship forces attack the Internet, they trot out kids who have been "cyber-stalked" or have found pornography online. Unfortunately what you never hear about is kids using the net in exciting ways because it doesn't make good sensationalistic news. Do you know of a young child using the Internet with their parent's permission? Their input is needed THIS WEEKEND. Please contact VTW at, or by phone at (718) 596-2851. The information will be put into the Congressional Record by anti-net-censorship legislators to counter the pro-censorship hysteria. Remember, please contact us THIS WEEKEND. "Dole/Grassley hearings Monday" Followers of BillWatch will note that Monday, July 24th, marks the Dole/Grassley hearings on S 892 (1995 Protection of Children from Computer Pornography Act). When you hear about the hearing through the media (we won't be able to get it through the Congressional Record) you're going to flip. Expect a large collection of people who claim to be the victims of "cyber-stalkers". While violence against children is abhorred by all reasonable people, you cannot be harmed through your computer. One needs to perform a physical act to commit such a crime. Let's severely punish and despise the crime, not the speech. If it goes as predicted, the hearing should anger you. Remember this the next time you see an alert asking you to call Congress. BillWatch looks forward to seeing Brock Meeks' review of the hearing. "The Rimm follies" The text of the Rimm study, and commentary by Anne Wells Branscomb, Catherine MacKinnon, and Carlin Meyer can be found at: URL: Send your interesting rumors (anonymously or not) to All mail headers will be destroyed. ____________________________________________________________________________ Internet Freedom and Family Empowerment Act (HR 1978, S n.a.) Description: HR 1978 is an attempt to recognize the unique medium that is online systems and avoid legislating censorship. It would: -prohibit the FCC from regulating constitutionally-protected online speech -absolve sysops and services from liability if they take good faith measures to screen their content or provide parental-screening software See directions below for obtaining analyses from various organizations. House of Representatives, citizen action required: Take a moment to read and familiarize yourself with the bill. It may be the only time you ever see a bill that *prohibits* the FCC from regulating the Internet. House sponsors: Cox (R-CA), Wyden (D-OR) House status: Currently HR 1978 is being examined by several DC policy groups (EPIC, CDT, ACLU, & PFAW) to ensure it won't have any undesirable side effects. Therefore, the legislation as written may change slightly to correct any problems found. House actions anticipated: Representatives Cox and Wyden will propose their bill and the Christian Coalition will propose the Communications Decency Act. Although Rep. Gingrich's opposition to the Communications Decency Act is encouraging, it isn't clear that it will be enough to keep the House from passing another clearly unconstitutional bill. Where to get more info: Email: (with "send hr1978" in the subject line) Gopher: gopher -p 1/vtw/exon WWW: ____________________________________________________________________________ 1995 COMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT (CDA) (Passed Senate, HR 1004) Description: The CDA would criminalize electronic speech currently protected in print by the First Amendment. House of Representatives, citizen action required: Call the League of Women Voters in your city and find out who your representative is and ask them where they stand. Directions can be found by sending mail to with "send alert" in the subject line. House CDA sponsors: Johnson (D-SD) House status: Currently the CDA is unattached to any legislation, however it is expected that someone will introduce it as an amendment to the Telecomm bill in the next few weeks. In addition, three Representatives (Gingrich, Cox, and Wyden) have all taken public positions against the Communications Decency Act. Anti- censorship legislation (HR 1978) has come out of their objections to the CDA. The palatable Leahy alternative has been attached to the House Telecomm Reform bill by an amendment sponsored by Rep. Ron Klink (D-4-PA). House actions anticipated: The House Telecomm Reform bill will go to a floor vote in mid to late July. The Christian Coalition will find someone to try to amend the Communications Decency Act to the Telecomm Reform bill. Reps. Cox and Wyden will propose their alternative to the bill. Request the CDA FAQ and familiarize yourself with the issues surrounding the bill. Directions below. Senate, citizen action required: None. That battle is lost. Senate status: The Senate affirmed the Communications Decency Act (84-16) as amended to the Telecommunications Reform bill (S 652). Where to get more info: WWW: Gopher: gopher -p 1/vtw/exon gopher Email: (with "send cdafaq" in the subject line) ____________________________________________________________________________ 1995 Protection of Children from Computer Pornography Act (S 892) Description: Would make Internet Service Providers liable for shielding people under 18 from all indecent content on the Internet. Senate sponsors: Dole (R-KS), Coats (R-IN), Grassley (R-IA), McConnell (R-KY), Shelby (R-AL), Nickles (R-OK), Hatch (R-UT) Senate status: Currently in the Judiciary committee, scheduled for a July 24th hearing. The hearing promises to be a bonanza of net porn/stalker hysteria. Senate citizen action required: Request bill and analysis below and familiarize yourself with it. House of Representatives status: No House version is known about. Citizen action required: None. Where to get more info: Email: (with "send s892" in the subject line) WWW: URL: Gopher: URL:gopher:// ____________________________________________________________________________ Anti-Electronic Racketeering Act of 1995 (HR n.a., S 974) Description: S 974 has many effects (not good) on law enforcement's use of intercepted communications. It would also make it unlawful for any person to publicly disseminate encoding or encrypting software including software *currently allowed* to be exported unless it contained a "universal decoding device". This more than likely means that Clipper-style key escrow systems could be disseminated, but not strong, private cryptography. Senate sponsors: Grassley (R-IA) Senate status: Currently not active and probably won't move before the August recess. Senate citizen action required: Request bill below and familiarize yourself with it. VTW is tracking this bill, and will alert you when there is movement. There is no Congressional action to take right now; as other bills (such as the Communications Decency Act) pose a greater, more immediate threat. House of Representatives status: No House version is currently enrolled. Where to get more info: Email: (with "send s974" in the subject line) Gopher: URL:gopher:// ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1995 22:51:01 CDT From: CuD Moderators Subject: File 5--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 19 Apr, 1995) Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically. CuD is available as a Usenet newsgroup: Or, to subscribe, send a one-line message: SUB CUDIGEST your name Send it to 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. 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