Skip to main content

EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 18 - Tell the DoJ to Drop the Charges Against Dmitry!

    EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 18       Aug 8, 2001     editor@eff.org

   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

    In the 178th Issue of EFFector (now with over 28,500 subscribers!):

     * Donate Your Tax Refund to EFF!
     * Join EFF in Fundraising Dinner with Ed Felten in DC
     * ALERT: Tell the DoJ to Drop the Charges Against Dmitry!
     * EFF Asks California Court to Quash "John Doe" Subpoena
     * California Court Asserts Jurisdiction Over Non-resident Internet
       Publisher
     * Administrivia

   For more information on EFF activities & alerts: http://www.eff.org

   To join EFF or make an additional donation:
   http://www.eff.org/support/
   EFF is a member-supported non-profit. Please sign up as a member
   today!
     _________________________________________________________________

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!

    http://www.eff.org/support/
     _________________________________________________________________


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 in
   Washington, DC, 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 6:30-7pm ET, on the evening of August 15th.

   Time's running out! There are only 10 spots left, so sign up early!
   Contact Contact Katie by e-mail at katie@eff.org 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.

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

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


ALERT: Tell the DoJ to Drop the Charges Against Dmitry!

  Letter-writing campaign to set Sklyarov free for real

    Introduction:

   Dmitry Sklyarov, a Russian programmer & cryptographic researcher
   visiting the US for a conference was arrested in Las Vegas on charges
   of "trafficking in a product designed to circumvent copyright
   protection measures" in violation of the anticircumention provisions
   of the questionably-constitutional Digital Millennium Copyright Act
   (DMCA), for helping create software that decrypts the Adobe eBook
   format to bypass hampering restrictions that publishers may impose.
   On. Mon., Aug. 6, Dmitry was released on bail pending trial in Silicon
   Valley, must remain in California, and has a pre-trial hearing slated
   for Aug. 23, 2001.

    What YOU Can Do:

   Write to, call, fax and e-mail the US Attorney General's office, and
   if you have time that of several other Justice Department officials.
   You can use the sample letter and phone script below, and the contact
   information that follows it.

      Sample Letter

   This is just a sample. It will be most effective if you send something
   similar but in your own words

     Dear Attorney General Ashcroft:

     I want to express my dismay and disappointment with the Justice
     Department that it arrested and plans to prosecute visiting Russian
     programmer Dmitry Sklyarov. This is a travesty of justice, all in
     the name of protecting software industry interests at the cost of
     basic civil liberties. This is fast becoming an international
     incident, with foreign academics dropping out of US-based research
     programs and conferences. Organized protests have been held around
     the country and in Moscow. This is a major embarassment for "the
     Home of the Free" and a grave injustice to an innocent foreign
     national.

     Sklyarov and the company he works for did nothing wrong, and
     nothing illegal under US or Russian law. Pointing out security
     weaknesses in poorly-designed systems is part and parcel of the
     computer security field. And helping people convert content from
     one format to another that they can use is not a crime.  The
     complainant, Adobe, has even backed out of the case, leaving no
     alleged victim for the Dept. of Justice to defend in the first place.

     The anticircumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium
     Copyright Act (DMCA) being used against him were clearly never
     intended to censor software with substantial legitimate uses, or
     research, in this way, as you yourself pointed out in the
     Congressional record, as a Senator when the DMCA was being
     considered for passage.

     The charges should be dropped immediately, and Dmitry should be
     allowed to return to his family in Russia where he belongs.

     Sincerely,
     [Your full name]
     [Your address]

   [Change "as you yourself" to "as Attorney General Ashcroft himself" in
   versions to be sent to Ashcroft deputies & others]

      Sample Phone Script

   This too would be best recast in your own words.

     I would like to address some comments to Attorney General Ashcroft.

     I want to express my dismay and disappointment with the Justice
     Department that it arrested and plans to prosecute visiting Russian
     programmer Dmitry Sklyarov. The provisions of the Digital
     Millennium Copyright Act being used against him were clearly never
     intended to censor research in this way. The charges should be
     dropped immediately, and Dmitry should be allowed to return to his
     family in Russia where he belongs.

     Thank you.

   [Probably the best approximation of the pronunciation of "Dmitry
   Sklyarov" that most English-speakers can muster will be "DiMEE-tree
   Skluh-YAH-roff", we're told, though it isn't exact.]

      Who to contact

   It is most effective to send postal letters, faxes, phone calls, and
   e-mail, in descending order, to the head of the DoJ, the Criminal
   Division deputy, the Deputy Assitant in charge of computer crimes, and
   the Northern District of California US Attorney, in descending order.
   If you have only a little time to spare, please at least fax A.G.
   Ashcroft. If you have more time to spare, please work your way down
   the list, sending letters, faxes and email, and calling, each
   government representative in turn (some of the numbers are the same,
   but you can call/fax and address your comments to each person
   separately). For e-mail, mention who it is addressed to in the subject
   line or in a salutation at the top of the message body. If you don't
   have writer's cramp yet, try sending letters-to-the-editor to your
   local (and even some national) papers and other media outlets (see
   last issue of EFFector for more information on how to do that.)
   
   John Ashcroft
   Attorney General
   US Deptartment of Justice
   950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
   Washington, DC 20530-0001

   Fax: +1 202-514-6113 (Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section)
   attn: AG Ashcroft

   Phone: +1 202-514-2601 (Criminal Division)
   "I would like to address some comments to Attorney General
   Ashcroft..."

   E-mail: askdoj@usdoj.gov
   attn: AG Ashcroft


   Extras:

   Michael Chertoff
   Assistant Attorney General
   Criminal Division
   950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
   Washington, DC 20530-0001

   Fax: +1 202-514-6113 (Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section)
   attn: AAG Chertoff

   Phone: +1 202-514-2601 (Criminal Division)
   "I would like to address some comments to Assitant AG Chertoff..."

   E-mail: askdoj@usdoj.gov
   attn: AAG Chertoff

   Mary Ellen Warlow
   Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General
   US Deptartment of Justice
   Criminal Division
   950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
   Washington, DC 20530-0001

   Fax: +1 202-514-6113 (Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section)
   attn: DAAG Warlow

   Phone: +1 202-514-1026 (Computer Crime & Intellectual Property
   Section)
   "I would like to address some comments to Deputy Assitant AG
   Warlow..."

   E-mail: askdoj@usdoj.govBR> attn: DAAG Warlow

   David Shapiro
   Acting US Attorney / Criminal Chief
   450 Golden Gate Ave., Box 36055,
   San Francisco, CA 94102

   Phone: +1 415-436-7200
   "I would like to address some comments to US Attorney Shapiro..."

   Fax: +1 415-436-7234
   attn: US Atty. Shapiro
   
   E-mail: no address known


      Tips:

   Please remember to be polite but firm. Ranting, swearing,
   incohesiveness or lack of clear resolve will not make a good
   impression. Try to make it brief (1-3 paragraphs written, or a few
   sentences spoken) and clear, without getting into nitpicky details.
   "Super-activists" may also wish to send similar communiques to the
   office of the President, the Speaker of the House, the President
   Pro-Tempore of the Senate, and the Majority and Minority leaders of
   both houses of Congress. See EFF's "Contacting Congress and Other
   Government Representatives" Factsheet for more information:
     http://www.eff.org/congress/

      Activists Around the World

   If you are not a US resident, the US Department of Justice is unlikely
   to care about your opinion. It will be more effective for you to write
   to your country's equivalent of our Department of State (i.e., the
   branch that covers international diplomacy) and urge them to express
   their concerns to the US Dept. of State, and the US President (who
   ultimately controls the Justice Department). Ask your government to
   let our government know that prosecution of innocent foreign nationals
   under injust and questionably-valid laws is not going to go unnoticed
   anywhere, and can only harm trade and other relations.

    Background:

   For more information about the US v. Sklyarov Case see:
     http://www.eff.org/IP/DMCA/US_v_Sklyarov/

   For yet more information on the DMCA see:
     http://www.eff.org/IP/DMCA/

   Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) About the US v. Sklyarov
   Case:
     http://www.eff.org/IP/DMCA/US_v_Sklyarov/us_v_sklyarov_faq.html

   For more information on the grassroots effort to free Dmitry Sklyarov,
   see:
     http://www.freesklyarov.org/

   To join the free-sklyarov mailing list, see:
     http://zork.net/mailman/listinfo/free-sklyarov/

    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:
     http://www.eff.org

    Media Contacts:

     Will Doherty, EFF Online Activist / Press Relations
     help-dmitry@eff.org
     +1 415-436-9333 x111

     Robin Gross, EFF Staff Attorney - Intellectual Property
     robin@eff.org
     +1 415-863-5459

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


EFF Asks California Court to Quash "John Doe" Subpoena

  Argues that High Standard is Required Before Terminating First Amendment
  Rights of Anonymous Internet Speakers.

    For Immediate Release: Aug. 7, 2001

    Contacts:

     Lee Tien, EFF Senior Staff Attorney,
       tien@eff.org
       +1 415-436-9333 x102

     Lauren Gelman, EFF Public Policy Dir.
       gelman@eff.org
       +1 415-436-9333

   San Francisco, CA - A California state court will hear oral argument
   this week in a case that may determine the legal standard California
   will apply to subpoenas requesting the identity of anonymous Internet
   speakers.

   The case involves a subpoena issued by Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc. of
   Oklahoma (PPLS) requesting the identity of eight posters on Yahoo!'s
   "Pre-Paid" message board. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
   represents two of the J. Does whose identities were subpoenaed, in a
   dispute between PPLS and another (known) party.

   PPLS argues that it needs the Does' identities to determine whether
   they are subject to a voluntary injunction preventing former sales
   associates who work for a competitor from revealing PPLS's trade
   secrets. The messages cited by PPLS, however, indicate only that the
   eight Does were critical of the company and how it treats its
   associates. EFF will argue that revealing the identity of these
   speakers will give PPLS the opportunity to punish its critics for
   speaking out against it.

   "Without proper safeguards on Doe subpoenas, a company can use a court
   as a detective agency to ferret out its critics," said EFF's Lee Tien.
   "We hope that the court will adopt a standard that protects anonymous
   speech against such subpoenas."

   Tien will ask the court to apply a four part test adopted by the
   federal court in Doe v. 2TheMart.com, Inc., 140 F. Supp.2d 1088 (W.D.
   Wash., 2001) ("2TheMart") to determine whether a subpoena for the
   identity of non-party Internet speakers should be upheld. That test
   asks:
    1. Was the subpoena brought in good faith?
    2. Does the information relate to a core claim or defense?
    3. Is the identifying information directly and materially relevant to
       that claim or defense?
    4. Is the information available from other sources?

   The 2TheMart decision was issued as a result of a motion to quash
   brought jointly by the EFF and the ACLU of Washington on behalf of a
   J. Doe whose identity had been subpoenaed by 2TheMart.com, Inc. "We
   were extremely pleased that the court set such a high standard for
   protecting the identity of anonymous online speakers in 2TheMart,"
   said Lauren Gelman, EFF's director of public policy. "EFF will
   continue to defend the rights of J. Does to speak anonymously on the
   Internet until companies realize that they can no longer turn to the
   courts when they want to silence their critics."

   The case will be heard on Friday, August 10th, at 9:00 AM, before the
   Honorable Neil Cabrinha in Department 18 of the Santa Clara County
   Superior Court.

   The documents filed in the case (PPLS v. Sturtz) are available at:
     http://www.eff.org/Legal/Cases/PrePaid_Legal_v_Sturtz/

   More information on the 2TheMart case can be found at:
     http://www.eff.org/Legal/Cases/2TheMart_case/

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


California Court Asserts Jurisdiction Over Non-resident Internet Publisher

    For Immediate Release: August 8, 2001

    Contact:

     Robin Gross, EFF Staff Attorney - Intellectual Property,
       robin@eff.org,
       +1 415-436-9333 x112

     Lee Tien, EFF Senior Staff Attorney,
       tien@eff.org
       +1 415-436-9333 x102

   On August 7th, the California Sixth Appellate District issued an
   opinion denying Matthew Pavlovich's motion to dismiss the case against
   him for lack of personal jurisdiction over him.

   Pavlovich, who was a college student in Indiana and now lives in
   Texas, claims postings made to the LiVID mailing list, which he ran
   from his home computer should not subject him to defending himself in
   California. LiVID is an open source development team working to build
   a DVD player compatible with the Linux operating system that could
   compete with the movie studios' monopoly on DVD players. In January
   2000, a California judge issued an injunction banning dozens of
   individuals, including Pavlovich, from publishing DeCSS computer code.

   Today, the court held that because Pavlovich knew the movie business
   was in California, publishing information that might have an effect on
   its profits was a sufficient connection to find Pavlovich within the
   court's purview.

   This ruling magnifies the ability of Hollywood or other businesses to
   successfully sue anyone in the world who publishes information on the
   Internet which the movie studios claim could hurt their profits.
   Pavlovich is considering an appeal of the order to the California
   Supreme Court on Constitutional Due Process grounds.

   Text of ruling:
     http://www.eff.org/Cases/DVDCCA_case/
   20010807_pavlovich_appelate_ruling.html

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


Administrivia

   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)
   http://www.eff.org/

   Editors:
   Katina Bishop, EFF Education & Offline Activism Director
   Stanton McCandlish, EFF Technical Director/Webmaster
   editors@eff.org

   To Join EFF online, or make an additional donation, go to:
   http://www.eff.org/support/

   Membership & donation queries: membership@eff.org
   General EFF, legal, policy or online resources queries: ask@eff.org

   Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged.
   Signed articles do not necessarily represent the views of EFF. To
   reproduce signed articles individually, please contact the authors for
   their express permission. Press releases and EFF announcements &
   articles may be reproduced individually at will.

   To subscribe to EFFector via e-mail, send to majordomo@eff.org a
   message BODY (not subject) of:
    subscribe effector
   The list server will send you a confirmation code and then add you to
   a subscription list for EFFector (after you return the confirmation
   code; instructions will be in the confirmation e-mail).

   To unsubscribe, send a similar message body to the same address, like
   so:
    unsubscribe effector

   (Please ask listmaster@eff.org to manually remove you from the list if
   this does not work for you for some reason.)

   To change your address, send both commands at once, one per line
   (i.e., unsubscribe your old address, and subscribe your new address).

   Back issues are available at:
    http://www.eff.org/effector

   To get the latest issue, send any message to
   effector-reflector@eff.org (or er@eff.org), and it will be mailed to
   you automagically. You can also get, via the Web:
    http://www.eff.org/pub/EFF/Newsletters/EFFector/current.html
     _________________________________________________________________
JavaScript license information