============================================================== @@@@ @@@@ @@@ @@@@ @ @ @@@@ @@@@ @@@@@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @@@@ @@@ @ @ @@@@@ @ @@@ @@@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @@@@ @ @@@ @@@@ @ @ @@@@ @@@@ @ @ @ ============================================================== Volume 6.14 September 9, 1999 -------------------------------------------------------------- Published by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) Washington, D.C. http://www.epic.org ======================================================================= Table of Contents =======================================================================  Free Speech Groups Attack Internet Rating Plan  EPIC Releases Report on Filters and Freedom  Privacy Commissioners, Advocates, Technologists Gather in Hong Kong  Documents Reveal Secret Service Role in Identity Database  EPIC and Privacy InternationaI Release Report on Privacy and Human Rights  FCC to Appeal Telephone Customer Privacy Decision  EPIC Bookstore - New EPIC Publications  Upcoming Conferences and Events =======================================================================  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: http://www.gilc.org/speech/ratings/gilc-munich.html =======================================================================  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 Censorship. 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/ =======================================================================  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 http://www.pco.org.hk/info/international.html Privacy Agenda for the 21st Century http://www.epic.org/events/privacyagenda/ =======================================================================  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: http://www.epic.org/privacy/imagedata/image_data_scan.html =======================================================================  EPIC and Privacy InternationaI Release Report on Privacy and Human Rights ======================================================================= 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) http://www.epic.org/privacy&humanrights99 =======================================================================  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. =======================================================================  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 http://www.epic.org/bookstore To order "Filters and Freedom" http://www.epic.org/filters&freedom To order "Privacy and Human Rights 1999" http://www.epic.org/privacy&humanrights99 =======================================================================  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: email@example.com "A Privacy Agenda for the 21st Century." September 15, 1999. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong PRC. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org "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: http://www.unm.edu/~nmtrans/CWARUM-1.html 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: http://www.cpsr.org/conferences/dns99/dnsconf99.htm Information Security Solutions Europe 1999. October 4-6, 1999. Maritim proArte Hotel. Berlin, Germany. For more information: http://www.eema.org/isse/ The Public Voice in Electronic Commerce. October 11, 1999. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Paris, France. Contact: email@example.com The Internet Security Conference (TISC). October 11-15, 1999. Boston World Trade Center. Boston, MA. For more information: http://tisc.corecom.com 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/ ======================================================================= Subscription Information ======================================================================= The EPIC Alert is a free biweekly publication of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. A Web-based form is available for subscribing or unsubscribing at: http://www.epic.org/alert/subscribe.html To subscribe or unsubscribe using email, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: "subscribe" (no quotes) or "unsubscribe". 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 expanding wiretapping powers. Thank you for your support. ---------------------- END EPIC Alert 6.14 ----------------------- .
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