============================================================== @@@@ @@@@ @@@ @@@@ @ @ @@@@ @@@@ @@@@@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @@@@ @@@ @ @ @@@@@ @ @@@ @@@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @@@@ @ @@@ @@@@ @ @ @@@@ @@@@ @ @ @ ============================================================== Volume 5.18 December 3, 1998 -------------------------------------------------------------- Published by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) Washington, D.C. http://www.epic.org ======================================================================= Table of Contents =======================================================================  ACTION: Oppose FBI Assault on Communications Privacy  International Crypto Agreement Modified  Library Internet Filters Held Unconstitutional  Order Blocking Enforcement of Net Censorship Law Extended  EU Finds Commerce Department Privacy Proposal Flawed  New Privacy Survey Finds High Level of Concern for Privacy  EPIC Bookstore Now Also Features Films  Upcoming Conferences and Events =======================================================================  ACTION: Oppose FBI Assault on Communications Privacy ======================================================================= The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is soliciting public comments on an FBI proposal to re-design the nation's tele- communications infrastructure to facilitate electronic surveillance. In the pending proceeding under the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), the FBI is seeking new surveillance powers, including the use of cellular phones as tracking devices and the monitoring of "packet mode communications" like the protocol used on the Internet. When it enacted CALEA in 1994, Congress explicitly stated that the law was intended to give law enforcement "no more and no less access to information than it had in the past." Nonetheless, the FBI has consistently interpreted the law as authority for increased wiretapping and surveillance powers. The FCC is now seeking comments on whether federal law enforcement agencies should be able to use cell phones as tracking devices and have easier access to the content of Internet communications. The deadline for the submission of comments is December 14. EPIC, joined by the ACLU and EFF, previously filed formal comments with the FCC urging the protection of communications privacy as the Commission considers the FBI's request under CALEA. We will again be opposing the Bureau's proposal in our forthcoming comments and urge other organizations and individuals to express their views on this important issue. Information on filing comments with the FCC is available at the EPIC Wiretap Page: http://www.epic.org/privacy/wiretap/ =======================================================================  International Crypto Agreement Modified ======================================================================= The U.S. Commerce Department reported on December 3 that the Wassenaar Arrangement, a 33-country group that works on exports of military goods, has reached an agreement on setting limits on international transfers of encryption. The new agreement reportedly allows for exports of crypto products up to 56 bits for all crypto and 64 bits for mass market software or hardware. These changes reflect both a relaxation and an increase in restrictions. Currently, cryptography items are strictly controlled. However, mass market software is exempt. Only a few countries including the U.S. currently restrict exports of mass market software. The decision to implement these changes will remain with each country and this agreement may not result in any changes in current practice. As the Secretariat notes on its web page: "The decision to transfer or deny transfer of any item will be the sole responsibility of each Participating State. All measures undertaken with respect to the arrangement will be in accordance with national legislation and policies and will be implemented on the basis of national discretion." The U.S. has been lobbying the other members to adopt more restrictive laws. However, many nations such as Finland, Canada and Ireland have announced domestic policies in the past year which allow for more liberal exports. Earlier this year, members of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign, an international organizations of civil liberties groups, wrote to the Wassenaar Secretariat and urged the removal of controls on cryptography. The GILC Statement said that "failure to protect the free use and distribution of cryptographic software will jeopardize the life and freedom of human rights activists, journalists and political activists all over the world." The announcement from the Department of Commerce on the new Wassenaar controls came in the same week that the White House said that it would pursue a policy of "self-regulation" for Internet commerce. More information on Wassenaar is available at: http://www.wassenaar.org/ The text of the GILC Statement is available at: http://www.gilc.org/crypto/wassenaar/gilc-statement-998.html =======================================================================  Library Internet Filters Held Unconstitutional ======================================================================= In the second recent victory for online free speech advocates, a federal judge in Northern Virginia ruled on November 23 that the use of Internet filtering software on public library computers violates the First Amendment. Judge Leonie Brinkema found in Mainstream Loudoun v. Board of Trustees of the Loudoun County Library that a government body "cannot avoid its constitutional obligation by contracting out its decisionmaking to a private entity." The judge ordered the library board to remove software (X-Stop Librarian) that was intended to filter content inappropriate for minors from the Internet, finding that placing such filters on all library computers violated the First Amendment rights of adult patrons. The ruling came several days after a federal judge in Philadelphia issued a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the recently enacted "Child Online Protection Act" (see next item and EPIC Alert 5.17). The court found the library's Internet filtering policy to be an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech and concluded: Although [the library] is under no obligation to provide Internet access to its patrons, it has chosen to do so and is therefore restricted by the First Amendment in the limitations it is allowed to place on patron access. Defendant has asserted a broad right to censor the expressive activity of the receipt and communication of information through the Internet with a Policy that (1) is not necessary to further any compelling government interest; (2) is not narrowly tailored; (3) restricts the access of adult patrons to protected material just because the material is unfit for minors; (4) provides inadequate standards for restricting access; and (5) provides inadequate procedural safeguards to ensure prompt judicial review. Such a Policy offends the guarantee of free speech in the First Amendment and is, therefore, unconstitutional. In response to the court decision, the library board revised its Internet policy on December 1. Under the new policy, adults are permitted to use library computers with or without software filters. Children will not be allowed to access the Internet unless their parents sign a statement declaring whether they are allowed to use computers with or without filters. The full text of the decision is available at: http://www.techlawjournal.com/courts/loudon/81123op.htm =======================================================================  Order Blocking Enforcement of Net Censorship Law Extended ======================================================================= Enforcement of the "Child Online Protection Act" (COPA) is on hold at least until early next year. The Justice Department has agreed to an extension of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against COPA issued by U.S. District Judge Lowell A. Reed on November 19. The government and the plaintiffs challenging the law have signed a stipulation extending the TRO until February 1, 1999, to allow the parties additional time to prepare for trial on the constitutionality of the Internet censorship law. That proceeding is now scheduled to be held in Philadelphia on January 20 and 21. The TRO was issued in a legal challenge to the statute filed by EPIC, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of a broad coalition of Web publishers and users. COPA imposes criminal penalties against any "commercial" website that makes material that is "harmful to minors" available to anyone under 17 years of age. After a full-day hearing on November 19, Judge Reed enjoined enforcement of the new law, finding that the plaintiffs are likely to prevail on their claim that the law violates the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech. A complete archive of relevant materials is available at: http://www.epic.org/free_speech/copa/ =======================================================================  EU Finds Commerce Department Privacy Proposal Flawed ======================================================================= The European Union on November 23 expressed its view that the U.S. Department of Commerce's proposal for addressing privacy is not sufficient. The Commerce "Safe Harbor" proposal entails voluntary industry self-regulation to protect privacy (see EPIC Alert 5.16). A European Commission spokeswoman, Betty Olivi, said at a November 23 briefing said that all 15 members of the EU found the U.S. proposal "unacceptable." The EU's two major concerns were individuals' access to their records and ability to stop the sale and use of their personal information. The United States, led by Undersecretary of Commerce David Aaron, has heavily lobbied the EU to relax its laws on privacy to allow American businesses to freely transfer personal information. Thus far, the EU has rejected such efforts. The EU rejection of the "Safe Harbor" proposal could lead to embargoes on personal information being sent to the U.S. Under the EU Data Protection Directive, which went into effect in October, other countries must ensure equivalent privacy protection before information can be exported. A survey of 50 countries by Privacy International released in October found that nearly all industrialized countries have either adopted or are in the process of adopting comprehensive privacy laws. =======================================================================  New Privacy Survey Finds High Level of Concern for Privacy ======================================================================= A new survey by Lou Harris finds an increasing level of concern for privacy among Americans. It also shows that people are reporting more privacy invasions and are increasingly reluctant to provide personal information to companies. The survey found that women are slightly more concerned about privacy than men. The report finds that 88 percent of respondents were concerned with threats to their privacy. Fifty-five percent were "very concerned." This level has remained near 90 percent for the last several years, up sharply from 64 percent in 1978. Reports of privacy invasions were also up. In the most recent survey, 41 percent indicated that they had been the victim of a privacy invasion by a business. Eighty-two percent believe that consumers have lost control over how their information is being used. Respondents are more skeptical of companies collecting personal information and are becoming less willing to provide information. Seventy-eight percent of those polled believe that businesses collect too much information. The same percentage of consumers refused to provide requested information when they thought it was not necessary. In 1990, when the question was asked, 42 percent responded that they had refused to provide information. =======================================================================  EPIC Bookstore Now Also Features Films ======================================================================= Just in time for Holiday gift-giving, the EPIC Bookstore has added something new and different to its lineup -- videos. We have carefully selected some of our favorite flicks pertaining to computers, state surveillance and censorship. Get out the popcorn and check out the following films for yourself or someone you love: - The Tin Drum - This Oscar-winning film based on Gunter Grass' universally acclaimed book made headlines in 1997 when it was seized from local video stores and a private home by Oklahoma City police without a court order or search warrant. Recently, a federal judge in Oklahoma City ruled that the film does not violate Oklahoma's child pornography laws. - 1984 - The movie version of George Orwell's modern classic captures the book's oppressive atmosphere of hopelessness and paranoia while depicting one man's struggle against the Mother of all Big Brothers. A visually stunning movie you won't want to miss. Stars John Hurt and Richard Burton in his last feature role. - Blade Runner: The Director's Cut - This movie's shadowy visual style, along with its classic private detective/murder mystery plot line (with Harrison Ford on the trail of a murderous android, or "replicant"), makes Blade Runner one of the few science fiction pictures to legitimately claim a place in the film noir tradition. And, as in the best noir, the sleuth discovers a whole lot more about himself and the people he encounters than he anticipates. Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah, Rutger Hauer, and M. Emmet Walsh star along with Ford. These films and other titles (and lots of books!) are available for purchase online at the EPIC Bookstore: http://www.epic.org/bookstore/ =======================================================================  Upcoming Conferences and Events ======================================================================= From Aspiration to Activist Agenda: Achieving Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the U.S. December 4-6. New York, NY. Sponsored by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Contact: http://www.iatp.org/iatphr50/ Defending the National Critical Infrastructure. December 7-8. Sponsored by Defense Week. Contact: http://www.kingpublishing.com/ Computer Ethics. Philosophical Enquiry 98 (CEPE'98). December 14-15. London, UK. Sponsored by ACMSIGCAS and London School of Economics. http://is.lse.ac.uk/lucas/cepe98.htm 1999 RSA Data Security Conference. January 18-21, 1999. San Jose, CA. Sponsored by RSA. Contact: http://www.rsa.com/conf99/ FC '99 Third Annual Conference on Financial Cryptography. February 22-25, 1999. Anguilla, B.W.I. Contact: http://fc99.ai/ Electronic Commerce and Privacy Legislation -- Building Trust and Confidence. February 23, 1999. Ottawa, Canada. Sponsored by Riley Information Services. http://www.rileyis.com/seminars/Feb99/ CYBERSPACE 1999: Crime, Criminal Justice and the Internet. 29 & 30 March 1999. York, UK. Sponsored by the British and Irish Legal Education Technology Association (BILETA). http://www.bileta.ac.uk/ Computers, Freedom and Privacy (CFP) '99. April 6-8, 1999. Washington, DC. Sponsored by ACM. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. 1999 EPIC Cryptography and Privacy Conference. June 7, 1999. Washington, DC. Sponsored by EPIC. Contact: email@example.com. Cryptography & International Protection of Human Rights (CIPHR'99). 9-13 August 1999. Lake Balaton, Hungary. Contact: http://www.cryptorights.org/ ======================================================================= Subscription Information ======================================================================= The EPIC Alert is a free biweekly publication of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: "subscribe" (no quotes) or "unsubscribe". A Web-based form is available at: http://www.epic.org/alert/subscribe.html Back issues are available at: http://www.epic.org/alert/ ======================================================================= About EPIC ======================================================================= The Electronic Privacy Information Center is a public interest research center in Washington, DC. It was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging privacy issues such as the Clipper Chip, the Digital Telephony proposal, national ID cards, medical record privacy, and the collection and sale of personal information. EPIC is sponsored by the Fund for Constitutional Government, a non-profit organization established in 1974 to protect civil liberties and constitutional rights. EPIC publishes the EPIC Alert, pursues Freedom of Information Act litigation, and conducts policy research. For more information, e-mail email@example.com, http://www.epic.org or write EPIC, 666 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Suite 301, Washington, DC 20003. +1 202 544 9240 (tel), +1 202 547 5482 (fax). If you'd like to support the work of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, contributions are welcome and fully tax-deductible. Checks should be made out to "The Fund for Constitutional Government" and sent to EPIC, 666 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Suite 301, Washington DC 20003. Your contributions will help support Freedom of Information Act and First Amendment litigation, strong and effective advocacy for the right of privacy and efforts to oppose government regulation of encryption and funding of the digital wiretap law. Thank you for your support. ---------------------- END EPIC Alert 5.18 ----------------------- .
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