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EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 17 - Protest Russian Programmer's Detainment & Help Pack the Courtroom


EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 17 - Protest Russian Programmer's Detainment & Help Pack the Courtroom

    EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 17       Aug 3, 2001

   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

    In the 177th Issue of EFFector (now with over 28,400 subscribers!):

     * ALERT: Protest Russian Programmer's Detainment & Help Pack the
     * Write a Letter-to-the-Editor to Help Free Dmitry!
     * EFF Welcomes Sklyarov Counsel
     * NSI Supports Forcing All Domain Disputes to Virginia
     * Donate Your Tax Refund to EFF!
     * Join EFF in Fundraising Dinner with Ed Felten
     * EFF Thanks Red Hat for Generous Software Donation
     * Administrivia

   For more information on EFF activities & alerts:

   To join EFF or make an additional donation:
   EFF is a member-supported non-profit. Please sign up as a member

ALERT: Protest Russian Programmer's Detainment & Help Pack the Courtroom

  What YOU Can Do To Help Set Dmitry Sklyarov Free

    Electronic Frontier Foundation ACTION ALERT

    (Issued: Aug. 3, 2001 / Deadline: Aug. 6, 2001)

   Jump straight to What YOU can do.


   MONDAY, AUGUST 6: Join other freedom lovers in renewed protest against
   the arrest of Russian software engineer Dmitry Sklyarov. Dmitry was
   arrested in Las Vegas on July 16 by the FBI after presenting a paper
   on cryptography software he developed in Russia. The US Attorney for
   the Northern District of California (i.e., the Dept. of Justice) has
   filed criminal charges against Dmitry in Calif., under the Digital
   Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for providing software that decrypts
   Adobe eBook files so that their content can be accessed in ways that
   Adobe's own software does not provide (e.g. text-to-speech translation
   for the blind). We believe that this prosecution is a reprehensible
   assault on the free expression rights of programmers (and ultimately
   of end users), under a law that will not withstand constitutional
   scrutiny. What YOU can do.

   Dmitry has been held in custody from his arrest, until the present
   time. He is finally being transferred to San Jose, and will have
   another bail hearing at the San Jose Federal Building, San Jose, CA,
   before Magistrate Judge Edward A. Infante, Mon., Aug. 6, at 11am PT.

   At a bail hearing there are two issues: Is the person likely to
   continue committing the alleged crime, and is the person a flight risk
   (unlikely to return to court). In this case the real issue is flight
   risk, since Sklyarov is a citizen of another country and has no ties
   (job, property, family) to the United States. He already had a bail
   hearing in Las Vegas (in the district where he was arrested), but is
   entitled to another one upon his arrival in San Jose (in the district
   where he will be tried). The judge in such a case will look at the
   defendant's circumstances and determine whether there are any
   safeguards or combination of safeguards that will ensure that the
   person will come back to court and not become a fugitive from trial.
   What this means for Dmitry Sklyarov is that it will be very hard for
   him to get out of jail pending trial unless he can come up with some
   real ties to this district and/or some other means of ensuring he
   remains in the U.S. for trial can satisfy the District Attorney and
   the court (e.g., electronic location-tracking bracelet, house arrest,

  What YOU Can Do:

     * Attend the 10am-to-noon+ protest rally at the San Jose Federal
       Building (or one of the protests in other areas).
     * Attend the bail hearing and help pack to courtroom to show the
       judge that this is an important issue that real people care about.
     * Contact your legislators about this issue. Let them know that the
       questionably constitutional DMCA is being abused to threaten and
       now even arrest and charge innocent academics and programmers. For
       information on how to contact your legislators and other
       government officials, see EFF's "Contacting Congress and Other
       Policymakers" guide at:
     * Join EFF! For membership information see:



   RALLY AT "THE SNAKE": We will be meeting at 9:30-9:50am PT in downtown
   San Jose at the snake sculpture, "Quetzalcoatl", which is at the south
   end of Cesar de Chavez Park, at the corner of South Market St. and
   West San Carlos St. Cesar de Chavez Park is across San Carlos from the
   Hyatt St. Claire Hotel, and about a block from the First Street
   location of the Federal Building.

   We will then march to the front steps of the Federal Building
   (courthouse) at 280 South First Street and begin our protest at
   10:00am sharp, and continue through until at least noon. (The hearing
   itself will begin at 11:00am and continue at the judge's discretion.
   Some may move from the protest to the court room, but we need enough
   people to turn up to keep a large and visible protest going throughout
   the hearing.)

   Additional protests will probably be organized all over the United
   States (several are already in the works), and in other countries. If
   you can make it to one of them, please show up to show your support
   for online freedom of expression and for Dmitry Sklyarov! These sites
   will have the latest information about the additional protests:


   VTA light rail: Take the Santa Teresa/Baypointe line to the Convention
   Center stop. Trains run approximately every 10 minutes. The convention
   center is on the south side of the street; walk 1/2 block east on W.
   San Carlos St. to the snake.

   VTA light rail schedules:

   Caltrain: Transfer from Caltrain to the Santa Teresa/Baypointe light
   rail line at the Tamien station.

   CalTrain schedules:


   Downtown San Jose is easily accessible from US 101, Interstate 280,
   and California 87. See the URL below for maps and recommended routes:

   Map to get to courthouse directly:


   Parking is available on Second Street right across from the courthouse
   (Valley Parking), not too far from Original Joe's restaurant. Also, an
   inexpensive pay parking lot is available at the San Jose Convention
   Center, across San Carlos from the snake sculpture. The entrance is
   from Almaden Blvd., one block west.

   Rideshare/Carpool Board for this protest


   Dan Martinez
   +1 408-768-3649 (cell)

   Jo Hastings
   +1 510-798-5040 (cell)
   +1 415-282-6964 (land line)

   There are also actions planned for Monday, August 6, in Boston, St.
   Louis and Pittsburgh. Details at:
   See this site also for updates about the details of the San Jose


   Please bring a sign, and/or or a U.S. or Russian flag, and a cell
   phone if you have one. Keep signs simple (4 words is ideal) so that
   they are easy to read for people passing by.

   "Drop the charges" and "Free Dmitry" are examples.

   For graphics to add to signs, see:


   You can help impress upon the judge just how important and
   closely-watched this case is, by appearing in-person for the hearing.
   We want to the completely pack the courtroom.

   The hearing is at 11:00am PT, Mon., Aug. 6, at the San Jose Federal
   Building (courthouse), 280 South First Street, San Jose, CA, in the
   courtroom of Magistrate Judge Edward A. Infante, Courtroom 7, 4th
   floor. Arrive early - You will not be admitted after the hearing
   begins if you arrive late.

   Important: Consider this a "dress-up day" - suits, or business-casual
   at worst. NO T-SHIRTs. We must show as much respect to and for the
   court as possible. No picket signs in the courtroom, no outbursts.

   See protest info above for maps, transit and parking information.


   This drive to free Dmitry Sklyarov is part of larger campaigns to
   empower the creative community in the digital age by protecting the
   public's access to and use of audiovisual technologies (CAFE), and to
   protect online freedom of speech and press (Blue Ribbon).

   Check the EFF CAFE & Blue Ribbon campaign websites regularly for
   additional alerts and news:


   For more information about the US v. Sklyarov Case see:

   For yet more information on the DMCA see:

   Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) About the US v. Sklyarov

   For more information on the grassroots effort to free Dmitry Sklyarov,

   To join the free-sklyarov mailing list, see:

  About EFF:

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties
   organization working to protect rights in the digital world. Founded
   in 1990, EFF 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:

  Media Contacts:

     Stanton McCandlish, EFF Online Activist / Webmaster
     +1 415 436 9333 x111

     Robin Gross, EFF Staff Attorney - Intellectual Property
     +1 415 436 9333 x112

                                  - end -

Write a Letter-to-the-Editor to Help Free Dmitry!

  EFF Offers Some Advice

    Marc's Revolutionary Corner

   by Marc Perkel, EFF sysadmin, activist

   One way to help Dmitry is to write letters to the editor and e-mail
   them to newspapers. Most people don't realize how easy it is to get
   published. Many people think that newspapers are flooded with people
   writing good letters and that it's difficult to compete. This is not
   the case. Many papers get few letters to the editor and much fewer
   that are acceptable for publication. Your chances of getting a letter
   published are very good. And this is especially true if you e-mail
   several newspapers. Here is a short tutorial on how to get your letter

   The first rule is to always include your name, address, and phone
   number so they can contact you for verification. Anonymous letters are
   almost never published, so don't even try. Local newspapers prefer to
   publish local letters, so your area paper is a good place to start.
   But go after the big ones too. I personally have had 3 letters
   published in USA Today this year, and there's nothing special about

   The second rule is to keep it short, the shorter the better. No more
   than 3 short paragraphs. There is limited space so the easier your
   letter fits in, the more likely it will be printed. So resist the
   temptation to ramble on, and edit your work to make your point in as
   few characters as possible.

   Third, keep it to the point. Try to focus on a single issue and stick
   with it and stay on track. (That also helps you keep it short.) There
   may be more you want to say but sometimes you have to not say
   everything in the interest of making it in print.

   Fourth, keep it interesting, balanced, accurate (check your facts) and
   if possible use a little humor (sparingly). Write the kind of letter
   that will keep the reader's interest and make them grin. Write the
   kind of letter you would want to read. Keep in mind your message and
   your target audience. Are you preaching to the choir or are you trying
   to reach the undecided and uninformed? Try to keep in mind what you
   want your letter to accomplish.

   Here is a sample of a letter to the editor. Feel free to work from
   this and send off your own letter to newspapers, magazines and news

    Has America become the Enemy of Freedom?

     As an American I am very upset and ashamed over the arrest of
     Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov. Dmitry was arrested under
     American law for a computer program he wrote in Russia that was
     legal in practically every country in the world except America.

     When I was in school I was taught that the US was the land of the
     free. Our freedom is what distinguished us from the "evil
     Communists". How ironic it is then that the US is throwing Russians
     in jail and imposing American law on the entire planet. If one of
     OUR programmers were arrested in Russia, this would be a major
     international indicident, and our government would probably be
     taking a lot of steps to get him/her back.

     If we start arresting people from other countries for breaking our
     laws from afar, then we might get arrested in their countries for
     breaking their laws. We are a planet of many nations and we have to
     realize that we put Americans in danger abroad if we put foreigners
     in danger here. I therefore urge the Justice Department to free
     Dmitry and let him return home to his family.

   More Sample letters on a variety of topics:
   [EFF does not endorse the personal opinions expressed in these
   letters; I wrote them off-duty. But they may serve as examples of how
   to do it.]

   More tips on writing letters-to-the-editor:

EFF Welcomes Sklyarov Counsel

  Praises Experience of Joseph Burton, Russian Programmer's Attorney

    Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

    For Immediate Release: August 3, 2001


     Lee Tien, EFF Senior Staff Attorney,,
       +1 415 436 9333 x102

   San Francisco, CA - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today
   welcomed the announcement of Joseph M. Burton as defense attorney for
   jailed Russian computer scientist Dmitry Sklyarov. Burton has
   represented Sklyarov since July 20.

   Sklyarov was arrested July 16 on charges of distributing software that
   circumvents copyright protections, in violation of provisions of the
   Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

   The FBI arrested Sklyarov shortly after he gave a presentation at the
   DEF CON conference in Las Vegas outlining security flaws in Adobe
   eBook software. A Ph.D. student from Moscow, Russia, Sklyarov showed
   that industry claims about electronic book software were unfounded.

   "I believe absolutely in Dmitry's innocence," Burton said Thursday. "I
   feel particularly confident, given the widespread support he's
   garnered, that we will be able to prove that innocence. This
   prosecution raises serious issues that need to be addressed if we are
   to enjoy the same rights in the new digital millennium as we have in
   the past."

   Burton, a former Assistant United States Attorney, was chief of the
   Silicon Valley Office of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern
   District of California, where he brought several pioneering high
   technology prosecutions. He is a member of the White Collar Crime and
   Complex Crimes committees of the Section of Litigation of the American
   Bar Assocation and former chair of the Computer Crime Subcommittee.
   Burton is also a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco's
   Judiciary Committee, the Federal Bar Association and the Charles
   Houston Bar Association.

   EFF, which has called for Sklyarov's release, praised the choice of
   Burton, a partner in the San Francisco office of national law firm
   Duane, Morris & Heckscher LLP.

   "His experience in criminal law and technology cases is exactly what
   Dmitry needs," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien.

   Cindy Cohn, legal director of the San Francisco-based EFF, said "We
   are very pleased that Dmitry Sklyarov has capable criminal

   "We did not seek to represent Mr. Sklyarov ourselves because our legal
   expertise is concentrated in civil liberties, not in direct criminal
   defense," said Cohn. "However, as experts in the implications of the
   Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we plan to work closely with Mr.
   Burton and the rest of Mr. Sklyarov's defense team. And, of course, we
   will continue our role in informing the public and in organizing and
   participating in other efforts to free Dmitry."

   The DMCA, enacted in 1998, imposes civil and criminal penalties for
   circumventing technologies that protect a copyright holder's
   interests. EFF, along with computer professionals, academics,
   librarians, and others, has maintained that the law goes too far,
   criminalizing legitimate activity and threatening computer security

   EFF is counsel for defendants in an earlier civil DMCA case, Universal
   City Studios v. Reimerdes. In that case, currently on appeal, the
   defense team argued for 2600 Magazine's right to publish and link to a
   computer program that decrypts DVDs, allowing them to be played on
   Linux and other operating systems. In addition, EFF represents
   Princeton University Professor Edward Felten and his colleagues in a
   recent civil case challenging the DMCA and defending their right to
   publish academic research on copy protection systems.

   For the latest information on the Sklyarov case, including media
   releases and legal filings, see:

  About EFF:

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties
   organization working to protect rights in the digital world. Founded
   in 1990, EFF 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:

                                  - end -

NSI Supports Forcing All Domain Disputes to Virginia

  Opposes EFF in Case Seeking Fairness in Where Such Disputes Are Heard

    Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

    For Delayed Release: August 2, 2001


     Eric Grimm, Attorney, Cyberbrief PLC,,
       +1 734-332-4900

     Cindy Cohn, EFF Legal Director,,
       +1 415 436 9333 x108

   San Francisco - The EFF expressed dismay that Network Solutions, Inc.
   (NSI) has stepped in to support the opposing side in an EFF case
   involving a dispute between Canadian parties over a Canadian
   trademark. NSI filed an amicus brief supporting the position that
   small domain holders located all over the world should be forced to
   defend their domain names in Virginia simply because NSI, which holds
   the master list of domain names, is located there.

   Pro bono counsel Eric Grimm of Cyberbrief PLC and the EFF had argued
   that due process guarantees prevent a Virginia court from using the
   fact that NSI is located in Virginia as a basis to force the Canadian
   individual, Elliot Salmons, to defend his domain name in Virginia
   rather than Canada. The case is a dispute between Mr. Salmons and a
   large Canadian company about a Canadian trademark. NSI is not a party
   to the suit.

   Grimm said, "The notion that the United States Courts should extend
   their reach extraterritorially to adjudicate wholly foreign lawsuits
   is stunningly wrong and defies common sense. U.S. residents and
   companies have found themselves on the receiving end of this problem
   -- for example the recent Yahoo! case about electronic auctions. The
   United States should set a better example."

   The dispute arises from the domain name "" Canadian
   citizen Elliot Salmons registered the domain and was using it in a web
   site for use by theater workers in Canada. Subsequently, a large
   Canadian company, Heathmount A.E. Corporation decided that it wanted
   to use the name for a planned amusement park, also to be located in
   Canada. Rather than sue Mr. Salmons in Canada, where it clearly could
   do so, Heathmount brought an action in Virginia under the
   controversial Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA)
   against the domain name itself, forcing Mr. Salmons to locate
   attorneys to defend the domain in a far away location under the
   foreign law. Heathmount later abandoned its case, but on July 25,
   2001, NSI filed an amicus brief supporting Heathmount's position over
   that of the small domain holder.

   "The EFF joined this case because we'd like to see an end to this kind
   of rank 'forum shopping.' Individuals like Mr. Salmons, many of whom
   have never even been to the United States -- much less Virginia --
   should not be forced to defend their domains far from home, especially
   when their opponents are located in the same jurisdiction and the case
   arises under foreign law," noted Cindy Cohn, EFF's Legal Director. "It
   is bad enough when large corporations do this kind of jurisdictional
   maneuvering to gain an unfair advantage over smaller domain holders,
   but now NSI has thrown its support behind this unconstitutional abuse
   of the legal system. This act belies NSI's often made claim that it
   remains neutral during domain name disputes. By filing a brief in
   support of forcing small businesses and individuals to defend their
   domains in Virginia, it has clearly shown itself to be on the side of
   the large businesses that are seeking to gain an unfair advantage by
   suing smaller domain holders far from home."

   The case, Heathmount A.E. Corporation v., 106 F.Supp.2d
   860 (E.D. Va. 2000), is on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
   Fourth Circuit. EFF will file a reply brief in August and oral
   argument in the case is expected to be heard in September.

   EFF's Brief in the Technodome case is available at:

   The NSI brief is not available in electronic format currently. If it
   becomes available, the EFF will publish it on our website at as soon as possible.

  About EFF:

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties
   organization working to protect rights in the digital world. Founded
   in 1990, EFF 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:

                                  - end -

Donate your tax refund to the EFF!

  Free the Internet with help from President Bush & Co.

   We need your help now more than ever! Please make a US-tax-deductible
   contribution to the Electronic Frontier Foundation!

Join EFF in Fundraising Dinner with Ed Felten

  Washington, D.C., Aug. 15.

   Join the Electronic Frontier Foundation in celebration of the
   presentation of Professor Ed Felten's Reading Between the Lines:
   Lessons from the SDMI Challenge at the USENIX Security Symposium on
   August 15th, 2001! Come and meet Professor Felten, his research team,
   and legal team, and support EFF's legal battle to get this paper
   presented. We will be dining at the prestigious Red Sage restaurant
   after the panel discussion on SDMI/DMCA, which runs from 6:30 - 7:00
   on the evening of August 15th.

   The Red Sage is just around the block from the J.W. Marriott Hotel. We
   will be gathering in the Continental room at 7:30, and dinner will
   begin at 8:00.

   Come support the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in defending our
   rights to think, speak, and share our ideas, thoughts, and needs using
   new technologies!

   Based in San Francisco, EFF is a donor-supported membership
   organization working to protect our fundamental rights regardless of
   technology; to educate the press, policymakers and the general public
   about civil liberties issues related to technology; and to act as a
   defender of those liberties. Among our various activities, EFF opposes
   misguided legislation, initiates and defends court cases preserving
   individuals' rights, launches global public campaigns, introduces
   leading edge proposals and papers, hosts frequent educational events,
   engages the press regularly, and publishes a comprehensive archive of
   digital civil liberties information at one of the most linked-to
   websites in the world:

   There are only 21 spots left, so sign up early! Contact Contact Katie
   by e-mail at or by phone at +1 415-436-9333 x104 to
   reserve a spot. The price of admission to the celebration with the
   Electronic Frontier Foundation, Ed Felten, his research team, and the
   legal team is $250, which includes dinner and wine at the legendary
   Red Sage restaurant.

EFF Thanks Red Hat for Generous Software Donation

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation would like to say a special thank
   you to our friends at Red Hat ( ) for their
   contribution of Red Hat Linux for our servers. We are currently
   running several computers on Red Hat including our web servers as well
   as our office file server. We at the EFF also appreciate the financial
   support that Red Hat has given us over the years.


   EFFector is published by:

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation
   454 Shotwell Street
   San Francisco CA 94110-1914 USA
   +1 415 436 9333 (voice)
   +1 415 436 9993 (fax)

   Katina Bishop, EFF Education & Offline Activism Director
   Stanton McCandlish, EFF Technical Director/Webmaster

   To Join EFF online, or make an additional donation, go to:

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