************************************************************ ************************************************************ *** EFF News #1.03 (March 7, 1991) *** *** The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Inc. *** *** Welcome *** ************************************************************ ************************************************************ Editors: Mitch Kapor (firstname.lastname@example.org) Mike Godwin (email@example.com) REPRINT PERMISSION GRANTED: Material in EFF News may be reprinted if you cite the source. Where an individual author has asserted copyright in an article, please contact her directly for permission to reproduce. ************************************************************ *** EFF News #1.03: EFF update *** *** By Mitch Kapor *** ************************************************************ EFF Report Compiled by Mitch Kapor 1/15/91 - 2/28/91 *** CASE UPDATES, by Mike Godwin*** Len Rose EFF's support and Mitch's independent funding of Len's defense have led to good results. Our efforts have limited the extent to which Len is being made an example of, and the extent to which he can be used as justification for increased law-enforcement activity in this area. Had we not intervened in Len's support, it seems likely not only that he would have faced far harsher penalties after a plea bargain or trial, but also that bad law would have been made by his federal and state cases. Acid, Optik, and Scorpion "Acid Phreak" and "The Scorpion" received preindictment letters from federal prosecutors in New York, while "Phiber Optik" was indicted by a state grand jury. Phiber's case has been resolved; he pled guilty to a misdemeanor count, and at this writing his sentence is expected to be limited to community service when he is sentenced on April 4. EFF has chosen not to become involved in these cases at this early stage, primarily because it is unclear whether the cases will raise important Constitutional or civil-liberties issues, but we are tracking them closely. Washington v. Riley Although we initially favored involvement in this case, EFF's legal committee later decided that prudent management of our financial and legal resources dictated that we withhold our formal involvement here. This case raises important issues, but control of our costs and management of our time has forced us to make some hard decisions about investing in new cases, and in this light we determined that this case would not represent the best investment of our limited resources. We have remained in touch with Riley's attorney, however, and we have offered to act informally as a legal and technical resource for her to the extent it does not detract from our work on other projects; she has accepted our offer. Other Other important legal matters are currently receiving considerable attention. Because these are of a sensitive nature, we will not be able to disclose details until some time in the future. Please bear with us. *** LEGAL CASE MANAGEMENT, by Mitch Kapor *** On February 6, Harvey Silverglate, Sharon Beckman, Tom Viles, and Gia Baresi (all of Silverglate and Good), Mike Godwin, and I all had dinner together at Harvey's house. We reached a number of important conclusions about improving the effectiveness and reducing the cost of the legal programs of the foundation. S&G want are willing to allocate additional people to the EFF account in order to have some extra capacity to handle peak loads. Tom Viles will be working with us. He's very ACLU-knowledgeable. He is serving on a national ACLU committee which has just recommended that the ACLU take a position on national info infrastructure. S&G sees EFF as being its ongoing client, as opposed to their usual mode of operation which is to represent an individual or organization for a particular case. In essence, S&G is becoming the EFF's outside litigation counsel. With both parties located in Boston, it will make coordination more convenient and less expensive. They have also agreed to work at a very large discount from their usual client fee schedule. We discussed streamlining the legal review process. Everyone felt that it's wasteful and inefficient to have several lawyers looking into each possible new case and to have conference calls for making decisions. Mike and Sharon are going to prepare a joint plan on how we will manage the legal process efficiently. Now that there are fewer parties involved and that all of the lawyers are in town, it should be simpler. *** LEGAL AND POLICY PROJECTS, by Mitch Kapor *** Sysop liability We are engaged in an internal discussion about the limits of sysop liability. We hope to build a consensus on what the law should be in this area in order to provide a philosophical framework for whatever action we choose to take in current and future BBS seizure cases. Massachusetts Computer Crime Bill We are once again working with the Mass. Computer Software Council in an effort to pass a progressive computer crime bill which protects civil liberties as well as security interests. Two different bills have been filed: one is our bill, while the other has serious problems of overbreadth. Sharon, Mike, and I are all working on this. Sharon has prepared testimony which will be used in public hearings nest week. There will be a series of briefings for legislators and other other parties as well. Guidelines for Computer Search and Seizure Previously Terry Gross and Nick Poser of Rabinowitz, Boudin had developed a series of guidelines for the conduct of computer-based searches for an ABA sub-committee working on this issue. Subsequently, Mike Godwin revised those for a paper and presentation to be given at the Computer Virus conference upcoming shortly. At the recent CPSR Policy Roundtable, it became apparent that we needed to take more of top-down approach in order to gain adoption and implementation of these guidelines by federal and state law enforcement agencies. We are now in the process of structuring an important project, to be led by Mike, which will target the FBI and other key agencies for a series of events to formally develop and present our finding and recommendations. Jerry Berman of the ACLU has offered to assist us in navigating our way through the bureaucratic maze in Washington. Computer Bulletin Boards, Computer Networks, and the Law In addition to the computer crime bill work and development of search guidelines, the third major legal project is to develop a position on the legal issues surrounding computer bulletin boards. There has already been a great deal of discussion about this issue on the net on the Well's EFF conference. There have been a small number of law papers published on the subject as well. Nothing to date though has offered a comprehensive proposal as to how to place BBSes and network carriers in the same legal framework as print publications, common carriers, and broadcasters. This project, which will involve a collective effort of all EFF principals, and which is being driven by Mike, will seek to identify both the fundamental common aspects and differentiating attributes of digital computer media as compared with their predecessors. This will be done in order to propose basic approaches to issues of government censorship, rights and restrictions of private network carriers and system operators to control content ("private" censorship) and liabilities of system operators and users for activities and communication using network facilities. This is an ambitious undertaking, which will commence with a formal issues development process, the deliverable of which will initially take some written form such as a published paper or position statement. We will attempt to incorporate input from many groups in this process in order to develop a consensus. As a starting point, I offer the notion that a computer bulletin board ought to be treated as a legal hybrid. For certain purposes, e.g., the right of the publisher to be free from government censorship of content, it should be treated as though it were a print publication. But a BBS operator should have less liability for the content of the board than the publisher of a magazine. In many cases it is simply impossible, given the volume of posting, for a sysop to review new postings in advance. The principled way to defend such a hybrid approach would be to show that the elements of the legal treatment desired are related to the particular attributes of the system itself and reflect, in each case, a desirable public policy goal. The ACLU is beginning to take an interest in this area. We will work cooperatively with them. Other There are other worthwhile projects competing for attention as well. In an informal feedback session to the EFF held at the CPSR Roundtable, there was a great deal of interest in a project to educate users of computers networks about their rights and responsibilities. There is also interest in understanding successful techniques in the self-management of "virtual communities" which lessens the necessity for external sanctions. My current judgment is that our "policy research" plate is already full and that undertaking these or other subjects will have to be deferred. CPSR FOIA Requests Mike Godwin attended a meeting in Washington between representatives of the Secret Service and David Sobel and Marc Rotenberg of CPSR. This meeting, initiated by the Secret Service, took place for the purpose of helping the agency define the scope of CPSR's two FOIA requests concerning, respectively, Sundevil and non- Sundevil computer-crime investigations by the Secret Service. Mike took part in the discussion, and is supporting CPSR's FOIA effort by seeking privacy releases from individuals who may be named in the files CPSR is seeking. The EFFECTOR The first issue of the EFFector print newsletter is at the printer. Gerard van der Leun contributed much time and energy to seeing this through. I think we will all be very pleased with its maiden voyage. EFFector is aimed at an audience not already assumed to be intimately familiar with issues on the electronic frontier. The newsletter will be distributed to people on our mailing list who have sent us postal addresses, every Well subscriber, and all participants at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference. We are printing about 10,000 copies. The production values are very professional without looking too slick or glitzy. (Gerard was able to persuade a graphic designer to develop the format and design the first issue for virtually nothing). I think it communicates our basic concerns and positions quite well. There is a piece by Barlow on the origins of the EFF. I have my "Why Defend Hackers" article. There are features on "20 Things You Can Do to Advance the Electronic Frontier" culled from postings on the Well, a Washington update by Marc Rotenberg, and many other worthwhile items. We are aiming for a four times yearly publication frequency. Beginning with issue two we will work out a subscription / membership plan and arrangement. EFF NEWS Mike published issue 1.02 of EFF News which contained excerpts from a dialog on the Well about searches and seizures, reader responses to our article on Prodigy, and an announcement of the CFP conference. EFF Host System The system is now fully connected to the Internet. Mike and I are using some better tools for managing mail and news which are having a major payoff (for me at least). Director of Communications Job A job description for this position was circulated on the net and to people whom I thought were likely to know good candidates. So far I have received about 25 inquiries, which exceeded my expectations. I expect to follow up on this matter intensively this week. At the same time, Gerard van der Leun and I are discussing ways he can be substantively involved in the EFF's publication and public education activities. Gerard has drafted a detailed plan of attack (strategy and tactics) for the director of communications. Online Services Comp.org.eff.talk has reached critical mass as a Usenet newsgroup, with discussions proceeding autonomously. Mike has been following the newsgroup, occasionally contributing to the discussions and answering questions, but allowing the group to take its own directions. The Telecom Forum on Compuserve has opened with an EFF section. Documents for the data library have been ported from the EFF Host. Scott and Marilyn Loftesness are the hosts. EFF Well participants with Compuserve accounts have been alerted and encouraged to drop in. John and I will be appearing on a live Genie conference on Sunday May 12th at 9 P.M. Tom Sherman organized this. Publications Plan Gerard van der Leun has been developing a strategic plan for an EFF publications department. I share here some of his thoughts. Purposes of EFF electronic and print publications: - to spread the word about the EFF - to alert the membership and the media to activities of the EFF - to increase active and supporting membership - to persuade and enlighten those who do not currently support the EFF - to argue persuasively for the positions of the EFF - to cover costs of all publications thru donations or sales of materials In addition to the print and online projects you are familiar with, he suggests we use brochures and pamphlets to create an impact. "Crime and Puzzlement" could be transformed into an informative short item which would provoke reflection of the part of many people. It and other items would be published ad hoc and used as part of membership packages and as handouts at key conferences and computer shows. Gerard's work will give whoever fills the Director of Communications role a big jump start. CPSR Policy Roundtable The event was a great success. We encountered the FBI face-to- face in the person of Al Bayse. This prompted us to work toward developing some concrete material on how the FBI and other law enforcement agencies could conduct computer-based investigations and searches more effectively and in a way which is fully respectful of civil liberties. "Freedom and Responsibility on Computer Networks" The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) approved my proposal to hold a strategic forum in the area of freedom and responsibility on computer networks. The proposal now must be approved by the higher-ups at the National Research Council, but this is more or less a formality. The forum will consist of an invitational workshop and a public forum on these issues. There will be some sort of report or publications produced at the end of the process which will bear the imprimatur of the National Academy of Science, whose findings carry a lot of weight in Washington. I expect to serve on the steering committee of this project. FINANCIAL 501c3 Application We were contacted by the IRS for routine followup information on our application. We responded promptly. It is usual that once applications reach this stage of active consideration they move through the pipeline quickly. I am cautiously optimistic that we will have our tax-deductible status granted in March or April. Membership and Fundraising Once we receive our tax-deductible status, we will be in a better position to conduct an active fund-raising program. It is a high priority for the Board to set a strategic direction for the long-term financial support of EFF once the seed funding runs out in mid-1992. We have to consider a wide range of alternatives which include individual and corporate donations, a membership campaign, and other creative alternatives. ARTICLES AND APPEARANCES Scientific American I will be writing a 3500 word article with the pseudo-title "Civil Liberties in Cyberspace" for the September issue of Scientific American. This is to be a single topic issue devoted entirely to computers and computer networks. I intend to provide an overview of the civil liberties issues we are confronting on the electronic frontier. American Bar Association The ABA held their mid-year meeting in Seattle on February 10th. I appeared on a panel concerned with the future of the Bill of Rights and spoke to civil liberties issues on computer networks. The turn-out at this event was modest, as was the impact, and I would not repeat it. PSI Tech On February 15th I spoke about the EFF to the PSITech user group. PSI is a commercial TCP/IP internetworking company. Attendees included system managers from NYU, Columbia, and other NYC area universities and research institutions. National Council of Churches of Christ During the same trip in which Mike attended CPSR's meeting with the Secret Service, he also spoke at a New York meeting of the National Council of Churches of Christ, at their invitation. The audience, which was composed of members of several technically oriented subcommittees of this ecumenical organization, and they listened with interest as Mike discussed the social and civil-liberties implications of computer-based communications. The NCCC already sponsors a network called "ECUNET," so there was interest in how this network might serve as the basis for an online virtual community. Whole Earth Review Mike Godwin has written both a review of Tom Forester's computer ethics book and a short article on EFF and electronic communities for an upcoming issue of Whole Earth Review. Stanford Wednesday, January 30th. I spoke to Dennis Allison's class. The speech was broadcast over the Stanford campus and industry affiliate TV network. UPCOMING EVENTS Esther Dyson Personal Computer Forum Tuscon, March 12. John Barlow will be speaking to the luminaries of the PC industry about the EFF. Mitch will be attending. Computer Freedom and Privacy Conference Upcoming March 25-29 in San Fransisco. Mitch, Mike, John, Harvey Silverglate, and Sharon Beckman are all planning on attending. The EFF will be sponsoring Craig Neidorf, Steve Jackson, and Optik (partial support). American Society for Industrial Security Washington, D.C. April 17th. Speech by Mitch. Xerox PARC On 3/29 John and I will be speaking at Xerox PARC. Boston Computer Society I will be speaking to the Telecommunications user group about the EFF on Monday April 22nd. Asilomar Microcomputer Conference On April 24-26, I will be attending and speaking about the EFF. John is also attending. Asilomar is an invitational event sponsored by the IEEE which is a small, informal, interactive forum for people involved in the design and applications of microcomputers. Federal High-Tech Crime Investigation Committee At the invitation of Gail Thackeray, I will be appearing in Tuscon at a meeting of this committee in June. The committee consists of about 35 law enforcement professionals from various federal agencies. From John Barlow: 'April Fool's Day: (appropriately) I will be banquet speaker at the Multimedia Roundtable in Los Angeles. I will talk about "thickening Cyberspace", the process by which we introduce a greater sense of presence to the digital domain and will take up a number of the issues relating to EFF. I'm also part of an Intellectual Property panel the next day. 'April 16: I will orate over more digestion at the Annual Conference on High Speed Computing in Salashan, Oregon. Title of the speech is "Civilizing Cyberspace." The themes will be as familiar as the phrase, but may be news to some of these boys. 'April 20: I will be speaking at the 2nd Conference on Cyberspace in Santa Cruz on the usual stuff. 'May 7: I will give the keynote at the Department of Energy's Computer Security Group Annual meeting in Concord, California. 'June 4: Same deal for the Pacific Military Computer Conference in Hawaii. 'And so on and so forth. 'Somewhere in there I hope to get a book finished too.'
------------------------------------------------------------ FYI SECTION: E-mail subscription requests: firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial submissions: email@example.com We can also be reached at: Electronic Frontier Foundation 155 Second St. Cambridge, MA 02141 (617) 864-0665 (617) 864-0866 (fax) USENET readers are encouraged to read this publication in the moderated newsgroup comp.org.eff.news. Unmoderated discussion of topics discussed here is found in comp.org.eff.talk. This publication is also distributed to members of the mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org. ************************************************************ The EFF has been established to help civilize the electronic frontier; to make it truly useful and beneficial to everyone, not just an elite; and to do this in a way that is in keeping with our society's highest traditions of the free and open flow of information and communication. EFF News will present news, information, and discussion about the world of computer-based communications media that constitute the electronic frontier. It will cover issues such as freedom of speech in digital media, privacy rights, censorship, standards of responsibility for users and operators of computer systems, policy issues such as the development of national information infrastructure, and intellectual property. Views of individual authors represent their own opinions, not necessarily those of the EFF. ************************************************************ >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>END OF EFF NEWS 1.03<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<