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EFFector - Volume 13, Issue 5 - ALERT: Drug Speech Censorship Bill Nearing Passage

   
   EFFector       Vol. 13, No. 5       June 23, 2000       editor@eff.org
                                      
   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424
                                      
  IN THE 153rd ISSUE OF EFFECTOR (now with over 24,000 subscribers!):
  
     * ALERT: Drug Speech Censorship Bill Nearing Passage
          + Introduction
          + What YOU Can Do
     * Third Circuit Appeals Court Upholds COPA Injunction
     * Changes at EFF 
          + Shari Steele Named Executive Director
          + EFF Launches Radio EFF Streaming MP3 Audio Programs
          + CAFE-News List Available (Frequent DVD Case Updates)
          + EFFector List Changes (New Subscribe/Unsubscribe Instructions)
          + EFF Web Site Changes
     * Administrivia
       
   For more information on EFF activities & alerts: http://www.eff.org
     _________________________________________________________________
   
ALERT: Drug Speech Censorship Bill Nearing Passage

  Contact Legislators: Stop the Censorship Provisions of Bankruptcy Reform Act,
  and the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act!
  
    Introduction
    
   Both the Bankruptcy Reform Act and The Methamphetamine
   Anti-Proliferation Act may sound like a good ideas from their titles,
   but their effect would be to stop constitutionally protected speech on
   the Internet and in print, and there are several other very disturbing
   aspects.
   
   The BANKRUPTCY REFORM ACT, H.R. 833, is in House/Senate conference and
   the closest to passing. It passed the House intact (as a bankruptcy
   reform measure), but passed the Senate with the full text of
   Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act (see below) attached as a
   "rider", Title XVII.

   The Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act also remains in circulation
   as a stand-alone bill. H.R. 2987.
   
   Some of the provisions H.R. 833 Title XVII/H.R. 2987 that EFF objects
   to:

     * Makes it illegal to share information about harm reduction and
       growing hemp even for industrial purposes. Not only does it
       criminalize speech, it makes it illegal to even LINK TO sites with
       these types of articles and gives the government power to order
       Web sites censored and shut down without due process of law. It
       gives the DEA and the FBI the right to order ISPs to close down a
       site without notice to the owner on a police judgement call
       without an order from a court. This provision violates the First,
       Fourth and Fifths Amendments (free speech, freedom from
       unreasonable search and seizure, due process).

     * H.R. 833 and H.R. 2987 will allow secret searches. This provision
       was beaten down before but is trying to come in through the back
       door again. The government could enter your home or office with a
       warrant, search or copy files from your computer and not tell you
       till months later. Another section of this bill removes the
       responsibility of the government to give an inventory of what was
       seized as is currently required under the law. This provision also
       violates the Fourth Amendment.

     * The bill would also create new federal drug offences and
       incarcerate a whole new wave of low-level "drug offenders", this
       time for merely expressing themselves. This is a major threat to
       the First Amendment and American democracy in general.
       
   There is a broad coalition of organizations and people opposing both
   H.R. 833 Title XVII and H.R. 2987. These include the ACLU, the Drug
   Reform Coordination Network, the Media Awareness Project, and the
   November Coalition among many others.
                    ___________________________________
   
    WHAT YOU CAN DO
    
   Contact your Representatives and Senators, and urge the rejection of
   these senseless and highly controversial Net censorship (and offline
   privacy violation) provisions.
   
   A) Ask your legislators to pressure the House/Senate conference
   committee conferrees to remove the Methamphetamine Antiproliferation
   Act section (Title XVII) from the Bankruptcy Reform Act, H.R. 833; and
   B) Ask your legislators to vote *against* the Methamphetamine
   Anti-Proliferation Act, H.R. 2987, and any similar legislation.
   
   The key part of your message is that, regardless of the intent of the
   legislation, the censorship and secret search provisions are
   unconstitutional and violate the rights of all Americans.
   
   You should send a letter or fax (or, at the very least, an e-mail), or
   make a phone call to the office of, 1) your Representative, 2) your
   two Senators, and if you have time both 3) members of the conference
   committee, and 4) for good measure, the offices of the President and
   Vice-President as well.
   
   To find out who your legislators are and to get contact information
   for them (and the White House), please see EFF's Contacting Congress
   Fact sheet:
   http://www.eff.org/congress
   
   Short sample message about the issue for phone calls or telegrams
   (faxes & letters should be more detailed):
   
   [The letter begins "I'm a constituent"; this statement should be
   removed when sending to the President, VP, and any member of the
   conference committee, unless (s)he actually is your Representative or
   Senator.]
   
     I'm a constituent, and am contacting you to oppose controversial
     and misguided provisions of
     H.R. 833 - The Bankruptcy Reform Act, and
     H.R. 2987 - The Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act
     
     Please OPPOSE the inclusion in H.R. 833, The Bankruptcy Reform Act
     (currently in conference committee) of the provisions of the
     unconstitutional Methamphetamine Antiprofileration Act.
     I urge you to push for the conferees to REMOVE this language
     (Title XVII) from the Bankruptcy bill.
     
     Please also vote AGAINST H.R. 2987, The Methamphetamine
     Anti-Proliferation Act, the original bill, which is currently in
     the Judiciary Committee, and any similar bill, including H.R. 4553
     and S. 2612.
     
     This legislation removes rights that our forebears fought and died
     for, including government accountability for searches and seizures,
     and our right to speak and write freely.
     
   Additional material (to ADD to, not replace, the above) for longer
   letters/faxes/e-mail; feel free to rework it in your own words.
   
     H.R. 2987, the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act, and the
     identical Title XVII rider on the H.R. 833 bankruptcy bill, contain
     provisions that directly conflict with the First Amendment,
     specifically the provisions entitled "Criminal Prohibition on
     Distribution of Certain Information Relating to the Manufacture of
     Controlled Substances," and "Advertisements for Drug Paraphernalia
     and Schedule I Controlled Substances" These provisions may seem
     reasonable on their face, but they will undermine the ability of
     any and all interested parties to provide information that people
     in the modern world need to have to secure their own safety and
     make good decisions. The language is so vague as to threaten
     prosecution for the publication of basic educational chemistry
     material, or the open discussion of drug treatment options.
     
     Along with this are provisions that, in violation of the 4th and
     5th Amendments, allow police to enter homes and offices and conduct
     secret searches. Computer files and papers could be removed or
     copied and no notice be given till months later. H.R. 2987/833-XVII
     even removes the necessity to provide an inventory of what was
     taken, so there is no chance for the target of the search to put
     the material in context. Furthermore, this legislation enables law
     enforcement agencies to force the shut-down of Web sites police
     don't like, without court orders, in violation of due process.
     
     Our freedoms to speak, read and publish, and to enjoy protection
     from unreasonable intrusion into our private lives, are our
     nation's most precious assets. Please don't allow a handful of
     extremist lawmakers to sacrifice the Bill of Rights over highly
     questionable drug war grandstanding.

     I urge you to do what's right and take steps against this
     poorly thought-out legislation as soon as possible.

     Thank you.
     
   Please see http://www.eff.org/congress for more information on how and
   where to contact your legislators.
   
   "Democracy is not a spectator sport"   -- anonymous
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
Third Circuit Appeals Court Upholds COPA Injunction

   June 22, 2000, the US federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a
   District Court order granting a preliminary injunction against
   enforcement of the "Child Online Protection Act" (COPA, a.k.a.
   "CDA-2"), and reaffirmed that the EFF/ACLU/EPIC plaintiffs are likely
   to succeed on the merits of the case at the final hearing
   
   EFF Executive Director Shari Steele comments, "It's nice to see that
   the Courts, unlike Congress, are still willing to uphold the First
   Amendment."
   
   In Oct. 1998, Congress passed and President Clinton signed into law a
   new "sequel" to the unconstitutional "Communications Decency Act".
   This new Internet censorship bill, the "Child Online Protection Act",
   would establish criminal penalties for any "commercial" distribution
   of material deemed "harmful to minors". The numerous problems with
   this legislation include overbreadth, vagueness of definitions of key
   terms such as "commercial", an illegal attempt to force adults to give
   up privacy to excerise their right to read, prior restraints on
   publication, and a flawed "community standards" approach that would
   allow the most conservative jurisdiction in the US country to set the
   "decency" standards for all Web content nationally.
   
   Just days after passage of this legislation, EFF in conjunction with
   the ACLU and EPIC (two other civil liberties organizations) filed a
   lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of this law and seeking to
   have it overturned.
   
   The 3rd Circuit ruling focuses principally on the "community
   standards" issue. The government has the option of appealing to the
   3rd Circuit en banc and then to the Supreme Court, appealing directly
   to the Supreme Court, or abandoning appeals on the injunction and
   allowing the main body of the case (to have the law completely struck
   down or upheld) to proceed in the Eastern District Court for
   Pennsylvania (in Philadelphia).
   
   The full text of the 3rd Circuit ruling is available here:
   http://www.eff.org/copa/20000622_copa_3rdcir.ruling
   
   More background material on the case (full text of law, previous legal
   documents, etc.) available at:
   http://www.eff.org/copa/"
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
Changes at EFF

  Shari Steele Named Executive Director
  

				   For Immediate Release: June 6, 2000
        
   EFF Welcomes New Executive Director Shari Steele
      
   Civil Liberties Attorney Returns EFF to its Roots
      
    Contacts:
        
    Katina Bishop - EFF Communications Manager
    +1 415 436 9333 x101
    katina@eff.org
   
    Shari Steele - EFF Executive Director
    +1 415 436 9333 x0
    ssteele@eff.org
   
   The Electronic Frontier Foundation is pleased to announce the return
   of attorney Shari Steele as our new Executive Director. Ms. Steele
   brings with her a rededication to the founding principles of the
   organization-- making sure that basic rights are protected in our
   increasingly digital world. She starts the job immediately and will
   relocate her family to the San Francisco area in July.
   
   "These issues are in my blood," says Steele. "I'm looking forward to
   working again with the EFF staff and board on getting the organization
   back to its roots, the cutting edge where technology and law collide."
   
   Shari returns to the EFF after a starting up a new non-profit called
   Bridges.org, which works on technology policy issues related to
   developing countries. She is a civil liberties attorney who worked for
   the EFF for eight years, most recently as Director of Legal Services.
   Steele was a driving force in many of EFF's precedent setting cases,
   including Steve Jackson Games, Bernstein vs. State, and ACLU vs. Reno
   II. Prior to joining EFF, she was an advocacy fellow at Georgetown
   University Law Center, where she earned her Masters of Law degree.
   
   John Gilmore, board member and co-founder of EFF, came out of
   retirement to serve as Interim Executive Director for three months
   while EFF looked for a permanent director. "Shari is not just the best
   candidate we could find -- she's the best we could imagine," he said.
   "Her years of experience working with our issues; her familiarity with
   our board, staff, and collaborators; and her straightforward and
   easygoing management style make it a pleasure to hand her the job."
   
   "Shari has been with the EFF for most of its life, so she is extremely
   experienced with both the organization and all the issues we deal with
   every day," said board chairman, Brad Templeton. "Plainly put, there's
   nobody else on the planet with her qualifications. We were extremely
   sorry when the call of being at the top of a new organization took her
   away from us, and we are thrilled to be able to win her back."
   
   EFF continues to pursue its long-term mission of educating the public,
   policymakers, and courts about the issues that arise when traditional
   expectations conflict with the new worlds created by computers and the
   Internet. The organization remains focused on civil liberties and
   civil responsibilities in cyberspace and continues to offer legal
   advice, referrals, and a large archive of current and historical
   online civil liberties information.
   
   Founded in 1990, the Electronic Frontier Foundation
   ( http://www.eff.org ) is a non- profit organization that actively
   encourages and challenges industry and government to support free
   expression, privacy, and openness in the information society. EFF is a
   member-supported organization and maintains one of the most-linked-to
   Web sites in the world.
   
   For more information about Shari Steele see:
   http://www.eff.org/homes/steele.html
   
   For more information on the Electronic Frontier Foundation see:
   http://www.eff.org
   
   For information about joining us in our fight to protect your rights,
   see:
   http://www.eff.org/support
   
                    ___________________________________
   
  EFF Launches Radio EFF Streaming MP3 Audio Programs
  
    Radio EFF - http://www.eff.org/radioeff
    
      Soundtracking The Digital Revolution
      
        Log On, Tune In, Sound Off!
        
   EFF's streaming Internet radio shows, exploring the conjunction of
   high technology, cyberlaw, and your rights as both netizen and artist.
   
   Featuring music, informative interviews, how-to's, and more
   
   Station manager: Patrick Norager
   
    RADIO EFF PROGRAMS
    
      THE DIGITAL DIALECTIC:
      
        Soundtracked discussions with the guardians of your cyber-rights
        
     * Chris DiBona, Linux Evangelist: DeCSS and Napster, MP3.com and
     other Cyberspace IP issues. (Coming soon)
     * Deborah Pierce, EFF Staff Attorney: The use of defamation
     lawsuits to squelch the free speech rights of netizens. (May 2000)
     * Robin Gross, EFF Staff Attorney: DVD litigation background and
     progress report. (May 2000)
     * Deborah Pierce, EFF Staff Attorney: Ways to better shield your
     privacy from big business. (May 2000)
     * Stanton McCandlish, EFF Program Dir.: Censorware (Internet
     filtering software) and freedom of expression. (May 2000)
     * Andrew Bunner, Defendant #2 in the California DVD case: The movie
     industry's attempts to use litigation to pirate our fair use
     rights. (Feb. 2000)
     * Andrew Bridges, Head of the Trademark Practices Group of the law
     firm Wilson Goodrich & Rosati: The Legality of MP3 players; and the
     Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 (AHRA). (Feb. 2000)
     * Larry Lessig, Professor at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet
     & Society: Constitutional values in cyberspace. (Feb. 2000)

     
      THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER:
      
        Electronic music and cyberspace news for netizens
        
     * Denial of service attacks in cyberspace: the Jim Warren theory.
     (Feb. 2000). Music by: John Williams
     * RIAA vs MP3.com; fair use under attack. (Feb. 2000). Music By:
     MI5; Ubar Tmar, Mind Warped, & Looping Lizards (BooM! Records,
     Amsterdam); and Nova
     * Jon Johansen, Norwegian teenage programmer: first person account
     of search, interrogation and indictment in DVD DeCSS case. (Feb
     2000). Music by: UKUSA & NSA
     

      THE NET MUSICIAN:
      
        How high technology empowers artists Tips and tools for digital
        musicians How best to move music from your mind to mine via cyberspace
        
     * Low frequency oscillators and how they can enhance your creative
     control of electronic music. (Coming Soon)
     * What is "open source music" and how can I make some? Guests: John
     Gilmore and musicians NSA. (Coming Soon)

     
    Why Radio EFF Uses Streaming MP3: The Value of Open Source
    
   The basic idea behind open source is simple. When programmers on the
   Internet can read, modify and even redistribute the source for a piece
   of software, it evolves. People improve it, people adapt it, and build
   upon the work of others. And this can happen at a speed that, if one
   is used to the slow pace of conventional proprietary software, seems
   astonishing.
   
   The same principles from the development of open source software also
   apply to musicianship. The codes that make music possible may be
   different from the codes required to write software, but the
   collaborative spirit of free expression remains the same.
   
   Besides these reasons for using open source technology instead of a
   proprietary audio format, Radio EFF also showcases open source MP3
   streaming as a demonstration of the quality and usabilty of open
   source "products" and "services" - a model of content and technology
   deployment that is under attack by entrenched interests among
   "infotainment" intellectual property holders, including the mainstream
   music industry.

   
   For more information about the conflict between intellectual property
   interests on the one hand, and fair use rights and open creative
   development on the other, participate in EFF's Campaign for
   Audiovisual Free Expression:
   http://www.eff.org/cafe
   
   For more information about the open source movement, see:
   http://www.opensource.org
   
   For more information about the related (but different in important
   ways) free software movement, see:
   http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
  
   Radio EFF's streaming open source MP3 signal can be received by at
   least the following MP3 Players:
   For Windows: WinAmp, Sonique, FreeAmp, Quicktime Player 4, &
   RealPlayer G2.
   For Mac: Quicktime Player 4, Soundjam, Macast (a.k.a. MacAmp), Audion
   Sub-Band Millennium, Maczilla, & RealPlayer G2.
   For Linux: x11amp, Freeamp, & MPG123.
   
   Available in 3 speeds:
   16Kbps (slow modem)
   24Kbps (fast modem/ISDN)
   64Kbps (DSL/cable/T1)
   
                    ___________________________________
   
  CAFE-News List Available (Frequent DVD Case Updates)
  
   EFF's Campaign for Audiovisual Free Expression project is defending
   fair use, free speech and open software development from attacks by
   the entertainment industry's intellectual property trade associations
   in a number of precendent-setting legal cases:
   DVDCCA v. McLaughlin, Bunner, et al. (California)
   MPAA v. Reimerdes, Corley & Kazan (New York)
   MPAA v. Hughes (Connecticut)
   
   For those who would like more detailed and more frequent information
   about the progress of EFF-CAFE's DVD cases, we have set up a CAFE-News
   mailing list. Subscribers will get several DVD Update bulletins every
   week (except during major lulls in the litigation).
   
   Here's full information on the list:
   
    EFF'S CAMPAIGN FOR AUDIOVISUAL FREE EXPRESSION (CAFE) ANNOUNCEMENTS LIST
    
   cafe-news@eff.org
   
   News and announcements regarding CAFE and it's activities, including
   the DVD/DeCSS cases. Messages will be no more frequent than one per
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   occasionally including press releases or other documents.
   
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                    ___________________________________
   
  EFFector List Changes (New Subscribe/Unsubscribe Instructions)
  
   EFFector (and all our other mailing lists) are now distributed and
   administered through the majordomo program, instead of listserv. This
   means that the subscribe/unsubscribe instructions are a little
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                      _________________________________
     
  EFF Web Site Changes
  
   EFF has a new "look and feel" at our web site:
   http://www.eff.org
     
   Among the new features:
     
   * A clean, lean design, checked for readability and functionality on
     many platforms (and more than 10 different browsers). No functions
     are dependent on javascript, stylesheets or other "fancy" stuff,
     but newer browsers can take advantage of some enhancements (such
     as autoloading of Browse menu selections without having to click
     submit).
   * A navigation menu sidebar, with links to our main subsections.
   * More membership & support options
   * A Search/Browse bar at top and bottom.
     
   Many more improvements are on the way, and this new design will
   begin to "propagate" throughout our archives and other sections. We
   appreciate your patience while our enormous site is in this
   transitional phase. All features should remain functional during
   and after these changes.
   
   We also apologize for our overly-long downtime in March (due to
   "technical difficulties" as they say on TV. Our site is much more
   robust today. We have moved to a custom multiprocessor Intel
   machine (donated by VA Linux) on a UPS, and running OpenBSD, the
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   Please report any bugs, typos, or other problems you find to
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   of browsers. Please contact mech_filter@eff.org
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     ______________________________________________________________
   
                               Administrivia
                                     
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