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    Volume 6.14                                  September 9, 1999
                            Published by the
              Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
                            Washington, D.C.
Table of Contents
[1] Free Speech Groups Attack Internet Rating Plan
[2] EPIC Releases Report on Filters and Freedom
[3] Privacy Commissioners, Advocates, Technologists Gather in Hong Kong
[4] Documents Reveal Secret Service Role in Identity Database
[5] EPIC and Privacy InternationaI Release Report on Privacy and Human
[6] FCC to Appeal Telephone Customer Privacy Decision
[7] EPIC Bookstore -  New EPIC Publications
[8] Upcoming Conferences and Events
[1] Free Speech Groups Attack Internet Rating Plan
Internet free speech groups from across the world released a statement
warning that adoption of a global "voluntary" Internet rating and
filtering scheme could suppress the free flow of information and
facilitate governmental censorship.  Nineteen organizations from the
Global Internet Liberty Campaign (GILC), an international coalition of
cyber-liberties and human rights groups, submitted the statement at
the Internet Content Summit in Munich this week, where 300 Net
industry executives, government officials, legal scholars, and
consumer advocates are joining to discuss proposals to regulate
material online. 
Over the past nine months, the Bertelsmann Foundation, a German think
tank associated with the media giant, has collaborated with
representatives from government, industry, law enforcement, and
non-governmental organizations to devise policies to control
objectionable material online.  The Bertelsmann Foundation, which
organized the conference, is presenting a memorandum that outlines a
range of resolutions for self-regulation of the Internet.  A key
proposal centers upon the creation of an international rating system
that will enable Web site operators to "voluntarily" rate their sites
and filtering software to block "inappropriate" content accordingly.
Free speech advocates argue that filtering mechanisms will have a
chilling effect on free expression and may undermine the democratic
nature of the Internet.  Cyber-liberties groups claim that the
widespread adoption of such technology would make it easier for
governments to mandate the use of filtering software and impose civil
or criminal penalties for "mis-rating."  GILC members warn in the
statement, "When closely scrutinized, these should be viewed more
realistically as fundamental architectural changes that may, in fact,
facilitate the suppression of speech far more effectively than
national laws alone ever could."
The GILC letter emphasizes that numerous undesirable effects are
likely to follow the implementation of rating and filtering software. 
It contends that the adoption of such mechanisms "may prevent
individuals from discussing controversial or unpopular topics, impose
burdensome compliance costs on speakers, distort the fundamental
cultural diversity of the Internet, enable invisible 'upstream'
filtering, and eventually create a homogenized Internet dominated by
large commercial interests."
The full text of the GILC member statement is available at:
[2] EPIC Releases Report on Filters and Freedom
EPIC has released a new collection of critiques and studies that
analyze the potential problems of Internet filtering and rating
systems.  "Filters and Freedom: Free Speech Perspectives on Internet
Content Controls" warns that the adoption of software to limit the
availability of material online may jeopardize free expression and
facilitate governmental censorship.
The EPIC publication includes articles by leading advocates of free
speech on the Internet, including the American Civil Liberties Union,
Electronic Frontiers Australia, Peacefire, Cyber-Rights &
Cyber-Liberties (UK), the Censorware Project, Computer Professionals
for Social Responsibility, the Global Internet Liberty Campaign, the
Internet Free Expression Alliance, and the National Coalition Against
Copies of the report will be distributed to participants of the
Internet Content Summit in Munich this week, where 300 Net industry
executives, government officials, legal scholars, and consumer
advocates are joining to discuss proposals for controlling content on
the Internet.  The most controversial policy centers upon the
implementation of a world-wide system of self-rating.
EPIC General Counsel David Sobel, who is attending the conference in
Munich, said it is imperative to examine the arguments presented in
"Filters and Freedom" before determining an approach for Internet
regulation.  "These views must be considered carefully if we are to
preserve freedom of expression in the online world," Mr. Sobel said.
"Filters and Freedom: Free Speech Perspectives on Internet Content
Controls," David Sobel, ed. (EPIC 1999, 182 pages, softcover, ISBN:
1-893044-06-8, $20.00) http://www.epic.org/filters&freedom/
[3] Privacy Commissioners, Advocates, Technologists Gather in 
    Hong Kong
The 21st International Conference on Privacy and Personal Data begins
on September 13 in Hong Kong SAR, China. The annual meeting is held in
conjunction with the International Privacy and Data Protection
Commissioners meeting. The theme of the 1999 conference is "Privacy of
Personal Data, Information Technology & Global Business in the Next
Millenium." The conference is organized by the Office of the Privacy
Commissioner for Personal Data, Hong Kong SAR, China.
The conference will explore a wide range of topics such as the EU 
Data Directive, Privacy, New Media, Consumer Rights and Electronic
Commerce, as well as Data Security and Privacy Audits.
The Honorable Justice Michael Kirby, Justice of the High Court of
Australia, will present the keynote session on "Privacy in the New
Millenium: A Critique of Existing Privacy Standard in the Light of
Technology Innovation." Justice Kirby chaired the working group of the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that produced
the influential OECD Privacy Guidelines.
Privacy advocates will be participating in the conference and also
organizing a separate event titled "A Privacy Agenda for the 21st
Century." The Privacy Agenda conference announcement states:
	As the twentieth century draws to a close, the future of personal
	privacy stands at a crossroads. Never has there been greater 
	public support for the protection of privacy, and never has the 
	end of privacy appeared more imminent. Around the world political 
	leaders are responding to an increasingly engaged public about the
	need to develop new safeguards, rights, and technologies to protect 
	privacy. At the same time, the most extensive systems of 
	surveillance, tracking and monitoring for are being widely 
	deployed. The United States and Europe remain unable to resolve a 
	dispute over privacy standards, while proposals to extend 
	surveillance to every aspect of private life are moving forward.
The annual meeting of the privacy and data protection commissioners in
Hong Kong in September 1999 offers an historic opportunity to develop
a Privacy Agenda for the 21st Century.
The conference chair of the Privacy Agenda conference is Privacy
International Director Simon Davies.
A meeting will also take place on possible International Standards on
Privacy and the Protection of Personal Data. That meeting is sponsored
by the Standards Council of Canada.
The 21st International Conference on Privacy and Data Protection
Privacy Agenda for the 21st Century
[4] Documents Reveal Secret Service Role in Identity Database
Newly discovered documents reveal the prominent financial and
supervisory role of the U.S. Secret Service in the Image Data pilot
programs.  EPIC recently obtained these documents through Freedom of
Information Act requests.  
Image Data LLC seeks to establish a national database of photographs
and personal information &endash; including social security numbers to
prevent credit card and check fraud.  The system proposed by Image
Data, TrueID, would allow for instantaneous identification checks at
the point of purchase by displaying photographs of the customer. 
These pictures, already used by Image Data in its pilot program in
South Carolina, were bought from state DMVs without notification of
the photographed individuals.  Soon after the activities of Image Data
were made public, the Attorney General of South Carolina filed a suit
seeking an injunction against Image Data's use of the images.  
The new documents reveal the extent to which the U.S. Secret Service
is involved in Image Data's pilot programs.  In the past, Image Data
has attempted to downplay the role of the federal government in what
is proposed to be a national identity database. A document titled
"Identity Crime Prevention Pilot Program &endash; Digitization Process
Development Justification" contends that through the pilot program of
digitizing driver's licenses in Colorado "we ensure the viability of
deploying such service throughout the United States."   Another memo
-- with the heading "Application of Identity Verification and Privacy
Enhancement To Treasury Transactions" -- states as the first project
task to "work with Secret Service to define list of proposed
applications of the technology for the pilot."  Also included in these
initial proposals are timelines for monthly reports and meetings with
the U.S. Secret Service in Washington, D.C.
The role of the government in what has been a startling and secretive
attempt to collect DMV records and personal data is still not entirely
clear. While the Secret Service does regularly investigate credit card
and check fraud cases, the questionable need for a national identity
database does not outweigh the privacy violations that have already
taken place.
Some of the FOIA documents obtained by EPIC are at:
[5] EPIC and Privacy InternationaI Release Report on Privacy and Human
A new report on the current state of privacy around the globe will be
released Monday at the annual meeting of Privacy Commissioners in Hong
Kong.  "Privacy & Human Rights 1999: An International Survey of
Privacy Laws and Developments" investigates world-wide trends in
privacy laws and technologies of privacy.  It was compiled by Privacy
International and EPIC.  Covering over fifty countries in Europe,
Asia, and the Americas, the report reached several important
conclusions about the current state of privacy.
The report concluded that privacy is an increasingly recognized
fundamental human right and the most recent laws promote protection
and control over personal information. Furthermore, these recently
drafted laws often offer comprehensive protection over personal
information in any storage or transmission format.  But, despite the
legal protection that these laws provide, new surveillance
technologies and invasive government agencies undermine continued
respect for the right to be left alone.
EPIC Executive Director Marc Rotenberg said that the report will
contribute significantly to the ongoing discussion about privacy
protection and human rights.
"Privacy and Human Rights: An International Survey of Privacy Laws and
Developments," David Banisar and Simon Davies, eds. (EPIC and Privacy
International 1999, 180 pages, softcover, ISBN: 1-893044-05-X, $15.00)
[6] FCC to Appeal Telephone Customer Privacy Decision
On September 3, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
announced that it would seek rehearing of a case before the 10th
Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver before the full court.
At issue is the FCC's interpretation of provisions in the 1996
Telecommunications Act. Those provisions required telecommunications
companies to gain customer approval before they could use, disclose or
permit access to information about customer phone usage for marketing
purposes. Such information -- called customer proprietary network
information or CPNI --includes their name, address and telephone
number, as well as the telephone numbers that the customer calls. To
clarify the consumer protections in the Telecommunications Act, the
FCC issued the CPNI Order in 1998. The CPNI Order required
telecommunications companies to adopt an "opt-in" standard of customer
approval; telecommunications companies had to receive written, oral or
electronic permission to distribute CPNI data. Telecommunications
companies contended that this violated their First Amendment right.
The August 18th decision of the three-judge panel found that the
companies' First Amendment rights were violated. Appellate Judge Mary
Broscoe dissented on the grounds that the court was improperly
interfering with the FCC's authority.
[7] EPIC Bookstore - New EPIC Publications
The two recently released reports, "Filters and Freedom: Free Speech
Perspectives on Internet Content Controls" and "Privacy and Human
Rights 1999: An International Survey of Privacy Law and Developments",
are now available through the EPIC Bookstore and Amazon.com.
EPIC Bookstore 
To order "Filters and Freedom"
To order "Privacy and Human Rights 1999"
[8] Upcoming Conferences and Events
The 21st International Conference on Privacy and Personal Data
Protection.  Hong Kong, September 13-14, 1999.  A distinguished group
of over 50 speakers/panelists from overseas and Hong Kong will explore
the theme of  "Privacy of Personal Data, Information Technology &
Global Business in the Next Millennium."" Sponsored by the Office of
the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data in Hong Kong.  Contact:
"A Privacy Agenda for the 21st Century." September 15, 1999. Hong Kong
Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong PRC. Contact:
"Certified Wide Area Road Use Monitoring." September 21-23, 1999.
Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Sponsored by the New Mexico State Highway
and Transportation Department Research Bureau in cooperation with the
University of New Mexico Alliance for Transportation Research
Institute. An intensive 2 1/2 day educational and developmental
symposium on a single rapidly evolving concept in Intelligent
Transportation Systems (ITS).  For more information:
Final Call for Papers - Fourth Annual Conference on Financial
Cryptography '00. Submissions due by September 24, 1999. For more
information: http://www.fc00.cs.uwm.edu/esub.html
Governing the Commons: The Future of Global Internet Administration.
September 24-25, 1999. Alexandria, Virginia. For more information:
Information Security Solutions Europe 1999. October 4-6, 1999. Maritim
proArte Hotel. Berlin, Germany. For more information:
The Public Voice in Electronic Commerce. October 11, 1999.
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Paris, France.
Contact: rotenberg@epic.org
The Internet Security Conference (TISC). October 11-15, 1999. Boston
World Trade Center. Boston, MA. For more information:
The 1999 BNA Public Policy Forum: E-Commerce and Internet Regulation.
November 15, 1999. Mayflower Hotel. Washington, D.C. For more
information: http://internetconference.pf.com/
Integrating Government with New Technologies '99 Policy vs Technology:
Service Integration in the New Environments - A two-day Seminar and
Training Session. December 13-14, 1999. Government Conference Center.
Ottawa, Canada. For more information: http://www.rileyis.com/seminars
RSA 2000. The ninth annual RSA Data Security Conference and Expo.
January 16-20, 2000. San Jose McEnery Convention Center. San Jose, CA.
For more information: http://www.rsa.com/rsa2000/
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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 info@epic.org, http://www.epic.org or write EPIC,
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Thank you for your support.
  ---------------------- END EPIC Alert 6.14 -----------------------
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