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EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 22 - ALERT: Stop Mandatory Monitoring of Federal Judges' Internet Use

 
   EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 22       Sep. 4, 2001     editors@eff.org

   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

    In the 182nd Issue of EFFector (now with over 28,800 subscribers!):

     * ALERT: Stop Mandatory Monitoring of Federal Judges' Internet Use
     * Dmitry Sklyarov and Elcomsoft Arraigned in San Jose, CA; Plead Not
       Guilty
     * Music Share-in Festival in Golden Gate Park
     * ALERT: Friday, September 7 - International Day of Action Against
       Video Surveillance
     * Update: Opt-Out Alert Correction
     * 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 nonprofit. Please sign up as a member today!
     _________________________________________________________________

ALERT: Stop Mandatory Monitoring of Federal Judges' Internet Use

  EFF Requests Citizen Comments to Judicial Conference

    Electronic Frontier Foundation ACTION ALERT

    (Issued: Tuesday, September 4, 2001 / Deadline: September 11, 2001)

  Introduction:

   On September 11, the Judicial Conference of the United States will
   consider mandating Internet use monitoring for all employees of the
   federal judiciary, judges included. The Administrative Office of the
   Courts, which already secretly monitored Internet use without consent,
   worries that "a significant factor contributing to the growth of
   [Internet] traffic appear(s) to be related to personal, rather than
   business usage," even though Internet usage immediately and
   dramatically declined voluntarily in response to an appropriate-use
   memo that office sent out in March. Moreover, judges of the 9th U.S.
   Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ordered a one-week shutdown
   of the monitoring asserting that it is inappropriate and possibly
   illegal.

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) believes that if we can't
   trust judicial employees to use computers appropriately, then we
   shouldn't trust them to administer our courts. The intrusive
   monitoring of e-mail, Internet usage, case-related materials, and even
   private correspondence -- perhaps to be conducted by an outside
   commercial company -- raises serious privacy issues. Regardless of the
   legalities, spying on employees is bad policy, and anathema to a
   working environment that would otherwise attract trusted professionals
   and produce outstanding performance.

  What YOU Can Do Now:

     * Mail or e-mail the EFF letter below, or your own, to the Judicial
       Conference today. Feel free to use this letter verbatim, or modify
       it as you wish. Let the Conference know that you oppose Internet
       monitoring of judges. Please be polite and concise, but firm.
     * Contact your legislators about online privacy issues. For
       information on how to contact your legislators and other
       government officials, see EFF's "Contacting Congress and Other
       Policymakers" guide at:
         http://www.eff.org/congress.html
       In addition, please also send a copy of your letter to Sen.
       Charles Schumer (D-NY) at senator@schumer.senate.gov and Rep.
       Howard Berman (D-CA-26) at howard.berman@mail.house.gov, the key
       legislators on this issue.
     * Join EFF! For membership information see:
         http://www.eff.org/support/

  Sample Letter:

   EFF requests that concerned citizens write politely worded letters to
   the Judicial Conference of the United States opposing the proposal to
   require Internet monitoring of federal judiciary employees.

   Please make sure your comments ARRIVE before the September 11 meeting
   of the Judicial Conference. Specify that Ms. Siegel forward your
   comments to the Judicial Conference. Do NOT send spam-like or rude
   messages as they will be counterproductive.

   Use this sample letter to the Conference or modify it, and send to:

   Karen K. Siegel
   Attn: Judicial Monitoring Proposal
   Assistant Director, Office of Judicial Counsel
   Executive Secretariat
   Administrative Office of the United States Courts
   One Columbus Circle, NE
   Washington, D.C. 20544 USA

   Phone: +1 202 502-2400
   Fax: +1 202 502-1144
   E-mail: karen_siegel@ao.uscourts.gov
   Cc: Mel Bryson, mel_bryson@ao.uscourts.gov
       Terry Cain, terry_cain@ao.uscourts.gov

     Dear Ms. Siegel and members of the Judicial Conference:

     Please forward my comments on this matter to all members of the
     Judicial Conference.

     I write to express my grave concern regarding the proposal to
     require monitoring of Internet use for federal judiciary employees.

     For our constitutional system to work, federal judges must remain
     independent -- that's one of the reasons we appoint them for life
     and prevent their salaries from being reduced. If independence
     really matters, it is entirely inappropriate to monitor judges'
     computer use.

     Judge Edith H. Jones puts it precisely: the AOC's recommendations
     "appear to confer enormous discretion on the judicial bureaucracy
     to continue monitoring communications and to make policy decisions
     regarding Internet and computer use that each judge should make for
     his or her chambers."

     The special role the judiciary plays in our society counsels
     against the adoption of a possibly illegal policy, which may
     violate the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, a federal law
     that protects the privacy of electronic communications.

     The question of whether and how employers may monitor their
     employees' online activities is raised in several current cases
     before the courts. Can the public honestly believe that a court
     system that refuses to value the privacy of its own employees can
     objectively pass upon the legality of workplace surveillance? Only
     if the Judicial Conference rejects the proposal and decides - as a
     policy matter - not to monitor employees' usage of their computers,
     will judges across the country remain able to evaluate impartially
     the legality of monitoring programs in cases that come before them.

     Regardless of the legalities, spying on employees is bad policy,
     and anathema to a working environment that would otherwise attract
     trusted professionals and encourage outstanding performance.

     I urge you to reject the Internet use monitoring proposal for
     federal judiciary employees.

     Sincerely,
     [Your full name]
     [Your address]

  Privacy Campaign:

   This drive to contact the Judiciary bureaucracy about their invasive
   policies is part of a larger campaign to highlight how extensively
   companies and governmental agencies subject us to surveillance and
   share and use personal information online, and what you can do about
   it.

   Check the EFF Privacy Now! Campaign website regularly for additional
   alerts and news:
     http://www.eff.org/privnow/

  Background:

   Jeff Rosen's article on judicial monitoring in The New Republic:
     http://www.tnr.com/091001/rosen091001.html

   Judge Jones's letter criticizing the Internet monitoring policy:
     http://eff.org/sc/judiciary/20010818_jones_judiciarycat_letter.html

   Administrative Office of the US Courts press release on report
   recommending Internet monitoring policy:
     http://eff.org/sc/judiciary/20010813_aousc_monitoring_pr.html

   Judicial Conference Commission on Automation and Technology report
   summary recommending Internet monitoring policy:
     http://eff.org/sc/judiciary/20010813_judiciarycat_report_summary.html

  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

    Contacts:

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

     Will Doherty, EFF Online Activist / Media Relations
       wild@eff.org
       +1 415-436-9333 x111

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


Dmitry Sklyarov and Elcomsoft Arraigned in San Jose, CA

  Plead Not Guilty to Conspiracy and Circumvention Trafficking Charges

    Sklyarov Faces 25 Years for Providing eBook Format Converter

    Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

    For Immediate Release: Tuesday, August 30, 2001

    Contacts:

     Cindy Cohn, EFF Legal Director
       cindy@eff.org
       +1 415-436-9333 x108

     Will Doherty, EFF Online Activist / Media Relations
       wild@eff.org
       +1 415-436-9333 x111

   San Jose, California - Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov and his
   employer Elcomsoft today pled not guilty to charges of providing
   electronic book format conversion software in the United States.
   Sklyarov, who had the benefit of a court interpreter, spoke the plea
   himself in English.

   The court heard a five-count grand jury indictment against Elcomsoft
   and previously jailed programmer Sklyarov on charges of trafficking
   and conspiracy to traffic in a copyright circumvention device.

   Sklyarov -- who is out of custody on US$50,000 bail -- could face a
   prison term of up to twenty-five years and a US$2,250,000 fine. As a
   corporation, Elcomsoft faces a potential US$2,500,000 fine.

   "Dmitry has programmed a format converter which has many legitimate
   uses including enabling the blind to hear eBooks," explained Cindy
   Cohn, Electronic Frontier Foundation Legal Director. "The idea that he
   faces prison for this is outrageous. The EFF will support Dmitry
   through the end of this ordeal."

   "We were hoping that the government would see the wisdom and justice
   in not pursuing a case against Sklyarov," said his attorney, Joseph M.
   Burton of Duane Morris in San Francisco. "Even if one were to ignore
   the serious legal questions involving the DMCA, this case hardly cries
   out for criminal prosecution. Sklyarov's and Elcomsoft's actions are
   not conduct that Congress intended to criminalize. We will vigorously
   contest these charges."

   Sklyarov and his attorneys appeared at the arraignment with US
   Magistrate Judge Richard Seeborg presiding. The next court appearance
   scheduled in the case is 9:00 AM Pacific on September 4 before Judge
   Ronald Whyte in the San Jose Federal Court building.

   Well-dressed observers attended the arraignment and nonviolent
   protests occurred in Moscow (Russia), London (England), Boston, San
   Francisco, Los Angeles, Reno, and Black Rock City, Nevada.

  UPDATE: Sept. 4, 2001

    Russian Programmer & Co. Case Continued

      Trial Schedule and Company Counsel Cause Delay to September 24

   San Jose, California - Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov and his
   employer Elcomsoft appeared briefly in court today regarding charges
   of providing electronic book format conversion software in the United
   States.

   At the hearing -- described as "pretty routine" by defense attorney
   Joseph Burton -- the case was continued to 9:00 AM on September 24,
   2001, in the same San Jose Federal court building. The case was
   continued so that Elcomsoft will have sufficient time to choose their
   legal representation and so that both prosecution and defense teams
   may present a joint schedule for motions and discovery in the case.

   The next court appearance scheduled in the case is 9:00 AM Pacific on
   September 24 before Judge Ronald Whyte in the San Jose Federal Court
   building.

   Background on the Sklyarov case:
     http://www.eff.org/IP/DMCA/US_v_Sklyarov/

   Calendar of protests related to the Sklyarov case:
     http://freesklyarov.org/calendar/

   Sklyarov Defense Fund (not affiliated with EFF):
     http://www.freesklyarov.org/defensefund.html

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


Music Share-in Festival in Golden Gate Park

  Hosted by Wavy Gravy and John Perry Barlow

   EFF Music Share In
   Saturday, September 8, 2001, 2pm-5pm PT
   Golden Gate Park (corner of Haight & Stanyan)

   Join the Electronic Frontier Foundation and ten Independent bands for
   an afternoon of music supporting artists' rights. All bands performing
   grant permission for their Share - In performances to be recorded and
   shared with friends under EFF's Open Audio License. Tapers are
   encouraged and welcome.

   Ten bands will play in two stage areas in the meadow. Hosting the main
   stage are Wavy Gravy and EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow. Musicians
   performing at the event include singer/songwriter Adrian West, the
   jazzy Alex Buccat Quartet featuring Sanaz, folk/pop band Atticus
   Scout, high-altitude bluegrass string band Hot Buttered Rum, soulful
   solo performer Michael Musika, the political satirists of The Planning
   Commission, Berkeley-based party band Shady Lady, classical Indian
   instrumentalists Srini and Raja, acoustic rock performer Vanessa Lowe,
   and singer/songwriter Wendy Haynes.

   Come with friends and family! Hear great music, feast on Ben and
   Jerry's ice cream and support a great cause. Best of all, It's FREE!
   There will also be booths, t-shirts and CDs. Visit our website at:
     http://www.eff.org/cafe
   for more information or call +1 415-436-9333 x101

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


Friday, September 7 - International Day of Action Against Video Surveillance

  Join privacy-minded citizens in raising awareness of public video
  surveillance

    Electronic Frontier Foundation ACTION ALERT

    (Issued: Friday, August 31, 2001 / Deadline: Friday, September 7, 2001)

  Introduction:

   On Friday, 7 September 2001, a variety of groups from around the world
   will be collaborating on an international day of autonomous protests
   against the constant, indiscriminate and technologically sophisticated
   video surveillance of public places by both businesses and law
   enforcement agencies, and in favor of the right to privacy, which is a
   fundamental human right. The protests will take the form of short
   skits and plays, the majority of which will take place in front of
   "webcams," so that people all over the world can watch them via the
   Internet.

  What YOU Can Do:

     * If you are concerned about surveillance cameras in your area, and
       would like to get involved in the protests, then see New York's
       Surveillance Camera Players' (SCP) "How to Stage Your Own
       'Surveillance Camera Theater' in 10 Easy-to-Follow Steps!" at:
         http://www.notbored.org/scp-how-to.html

     * To add your group to the confirmed list of activists, email SCP
       at:
         notbored@panix.com

     * Contact your legislators about online privacy issues. For
       information on how to contact your legislators and other
       government officials, see EFF's "Contacting Congress and Other
       Policymakers" guide at:
         http://www.eff.org/congress.html

     * Join EFF! For membership information see:
         http://www.eff.org/support/

  Privacy Campaign:

   This drive to contact the Judiciary bureaucracy about their invasive
   policies is part of a larger campaign to highlight how extensively
   companies and governmental agencies subject us to surveillance and
   share and use personal information online, and what you can do about
   it.

   Check the EFF Privacy Now! Campaign website regularly for additional
   alerts and news:
     http://www.eff.org/privnow/

  Background:

   The proposal reads as follows:

     We propose --

    1. that an international day of action against video surveillance --
       specifically: the constant, indiscriminate and technologically
       sophisticated video surveillance of public places by both
       businesses and and law enforcement agencies -- take place on
       Friday, 7 September 2001;
    2. that people who wish to intensify the struggle to protect and
       strengthen the right to privacy (a fundamental human right) should
       undertake autonomous actions at the local level and in a
       completely de-centralized fashion;
    3. that, if and when possible, at least some of these actions should
       be undertaken in front of webcams that have already been installed
       in public places by private companies that are insensitive or even
       hostile to privacy concerns (in addition to disrupting "business
       as usual" for these companies, the use of webcams will allow the
       entire world to see 7s01 anti-videosurveillance actions as they
       take place);
    4. that all individuals and groups participating in the 7s01 day of
       action keep in touch with at least one of the groups listed below
       and/or each other;
    5. that at least one Web site links to or actually displays images
       from these actions as they take place;
    6. that this proposal should be posted on-line and sent to as many
       people as possible and as soon as possible; and
    7. that this proposal be translated into as many foreign languages as
       possible, but especially French, German, and Italian, for it is in
       France, Belgium, Germany and Italy that the anti-videosurveillance
       struggle is the most visible at the moment.

   List of participating groups:
     http://www.notbored.org/7s01.html

   EFF's action alert:
     http://www.eff.org/alerts/20010831_surveil_cam_alert.html

    Contacts:

     Bill Brown, Surveillance Camera Players
       notbored@panix.com
       +1 212-561-0106
       http://www.surveillancecameraplayers.org/

     Will Doherty, EFF Online Activist / Media Relations
       wild@eff.org
       +1 415 436 9333 x111

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


Update: Opt-Out Alert Correction

   Last issue's alert about opting out of credit card-related marketing
   now contains outdated information, because the credit card trade
   association hosting the opt-out number has changed the system's
   options. We reported that one should wait thru the introduction
   message and then press 3. This now does nothing.

  Revised instructions:

   Call the credit agencies' 1-888-567-8688 number to opt out of postal
   and telemarketing (and possibly e-mail) "credit spam".

   When you dial this phone number, you will first be prompted to press 1
   if you're calling about the Internet email with a July 1 deadline, or
   2 if not.

   Press 2. Do NOT
   press 1.

   Then, listen carefully and wait until given the option to press 3 (do
   not press 1 - this will only opt you out for 2 years, while option 3
   will opt you out permanently).

   Thanks to EFFector reader Patrick Woolsey for being the first to
   notify us of the change.

                                  - 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:
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