Skip to main content

EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 26 - ALERT: Surveillance Legislation Continues to Threaten Privacy

   EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 26       Sep. 21, 2001     editors@eff.org

   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

    In the 186th Issue of EFFector (now with over 29,100 subscribers!):

     * ALERT: Surveillance Legislation Continues to Threaten Privacy
     * ALERT: Defeat the "Security Systems Standards and Certification 
       Act" (SSSCA)
     * EFF Joins Electronic Frontier Canada in Opposing Canadian "DMCA"
       (CPDCI)
     * New MP3 Programs Now Available on Radio EFF
     * EFF Thanks Rebirth and Development, Inc for their generous donation
     * 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: Surveillance Legislation Continues to Threaten Privacy

  Act Today to Call for More Careful Consideration and Moderation

    Electronic Frontier Foundation ACTION ALERT

    (Issued: Friday, September 21, 2001 / Deadline: Monday, September 24, 2001)

  Introduction:

   San Francisco, California - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
   urges continued activism against the "Anti-Terrorism Act" (ATA)
   [a.k.a. "Mobilization Against Terrorism Act" (MATA)], proposed by the
   US Department of Justice, and related legislation (presently 3 bills),
   because many provisions of the bills would dramatically alter the
   civil liberties landscape through unnecessarily broad restrictions on
   free speech and privacy rights in the United States and abroad. Your
   urgent action is needed TODAY.

   EFF again urges Congress to act with deliberation in approving only
   measures that are effective in preventing terrorism while protecting
   the freedoms of Americans.

   EFF believes this broad legislation would radically tip the United
   States system of checks and balances, giving the government
   unprecedented authority to surveil American citizens with little
   judicial or other oversight.

   Ashcroft's proposed legislation (distributed Sep. 19) comes in the
   wake of the Senate's hasty passage of the "Combating Terrorism Act"
   (CTA) on the evening of Sep. 13 with less than 30 minutes of
   consideration on the Senate floor. On Sep. 20, Rep. Lamar Smith
   circulated a draft bill very similar to CTA, called the Public Safety
   and Cyber Security Enhancement Act (PSCSEA). A fourth and more
   reasoned bill of this nature, from Sen. Patrick Leahy, is expected
   soon.

   The ATA/MATA is currently a draft bill, subject to a Senate Judiciary
   Committee hearing and briefing on Mon., Sep. 24. The CTA is presently
   a Senate-passed amendment to a House appropriations bill. It is
   expected to be voted on in joint conference committee early next week.
   The only real pressure point on the CTA is the conference committee;
   whatever emerges will almost certainly pass both houses
   near-unanimously. PSCSEA's future is uncertain at this point, as is
   that of Sen. Leahy's (presently unavailble) draft.

  What YOU Can Do Now:

     * Contact your own legislators about the ATA/MATA, the CTA and the
       PSCSEA AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Call them, and fax and/or e-mail the
       EFF letter below today. For best effect, the messages you send
       should be sent the morning of Mon. Sep. 24 or this weekend if
       possible. Postal mail will be too slow on this issue. Feel free to
       use this letter verbatim, or modify it as you wish. Let them know
       that you do not believe liberty must be sacrified for security.
       Please be polite and concise, but firm. 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
     * Contact the conference committee members about the CTA AS SOON AS
       POSSIBLE. A similar sample letter for this purpose, plus contact
       information, is provided below.
     * Join EFF! For membership information see:
         http://www.eff.org/support/

  Sample Letters:

   To save space, since this issue has two alerts, please see the
   Web-posted version of this alert for the sample letters:
     http://www.eff.org/alerts/20010921_eff_wiretap_alert.html

   NEW: Easier committee contacts! All of the committee members' e-mail
   addresses (other than Hollings who only provides a web form, and
   several Represenatives who can only be e-mailed through the WriteRep
   form) are available as a copy-pasteable block of addresses you can
   simply paste into the "To:" header in your e-mail program to mail them
   all at once. Acting on this alert should only take a few minutes.
   Aren't your civil liberties worth that much time?

  Background:

   Attorney General John Ashcroft distributed the proposed Anti-Terrorism
   Act/Mobilization Against Terrorism Act to members of Congress after
   Monday's press conference at which he indicated that, among other
   measures, he would ask Congress to expand the ability of law
   enforcement officers to perform wiretaps in response to the terrorist
   attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Ashcroft asked
   Congress to pass anti-terrorism legislation including "expanded
   electronic surveillance" by the end of this week. The PSCSEA bill
   appears to be a "backup plan" for S.A. 1562; if it does not pass as
   part of H.R. 2500, it can be reintroduced separately in slightly
   different form as a new bill. Sen. Patrick Leahy is also expected to
   introduce a more moderate proposal sometime early next week.

   More analysis and commentary is available in the Web-posted version of
   this alert:
     http://www.eff.org/alerts/20010921_eff_wiretap_alert.html

   For bill texts and analyses, see the EFF Surveillance Archive:
     http://www.eff.org/Privacy/Surveillance/

   Senator Leahy's testimony on the Combating Terrorism Act:
     http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2001/s091301.html

   Why "backdoor" encryption requirements reduce security:
     http://www.crypto.com/papers/escrowrisks98.pdf

  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

    Contact:

     Shari Steele, EFF Executive Director
       ssteele@eff.org
       +1 415-436-9333 x103

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

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


Defeat the "Security Systems Standards and Certification Act" (SSSCA)

  Draft Bill Would Require All Software and Digital Devices to Include
  Federally-Mandated Copy-Prevention Systems

    Electronic Frontier Foundation ACTION ALERT

    (Issued: Friday, September 21, 2001 / Expires: Wednesday, October 21, 2001)

  Introduction:

   Widespread public outcry has resulted from the circulation of draft
   legislation titled "Security Systems Standards and Certification Act"
   (SSSCA) that would require that all future digital technologies
   include federally-mandated "digital rights management" (DRM)
   technologies that will enable Hollywood to restrict how consumers can
   use digital content. The EFF opposes this proposed legislation and
   urges its members to send their concerns to the sponsoring Senators.

  What YOU Can Do Now:

     * Mail or email the EFF letter below to Senator Hollings and Senator
       Stevens today. Feel free to use this letter verbatim, or modify it
       as you wish. Inform both Senators of your concerns regarding the
       SSSCA. Please be polite and concise, but firm.
     * Contact your own legislators about this issue. 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/

  Sample Letter:

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

   The Honorable Fritz Hollings
   Washington, D.C.
   125 Russell Senate Office Building
   Washington, D.C. 20510
   +1 202-224-6121
   +1 202-224-4293 (fax)
   To send e-mail, use the form at:
     http://www.senate.gov/~hollings/webform.html

   and

   The Honorable Ted Stevens
   United States Senate
   522 Hart Senate Office Building
   Washington, D.C. 20510
   +1 202-224-3004
   +1 202-224-2354 (fax)
   senator_stevens@stevens.senate.gov

   and most importantly, your own legislators.
   -------------------------------------------

   You can get your legislators' contact information from Project Vote
   Smart:
     http://www.vote-smart.org/vote-smart/data.phtml?dtype=C&style=
   or the House:
     http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.html
   and Senate:
     http://www.senate.gov/senators/index.cfm
   websites.

     Dear Sen./Rep. [Surname]:

     I am writing to express my grave concern about the draft
     Hollings/Stephens copyright legislation, "Security Systems
     Standards and Certification Act" (SSSCA), principally authored by
     the Walt Disney corporation. This bill, would force virtually all
     consumer electronics to include mandatory "digital rights
     management" (DRM) copy-prevention and use-control mechanisms to
     "protect" all digital content (whether copyrighted or not), and
     essentially destroy completely the public's already endangered fair
     use rights, first sale doctrine, and public domain rights. I urge
     you to oppose this legislation.

     Congress and the courts have always struck a careful balance
     between preserving incentives for authors while ensuring public
     access to our cultural heritage. The SSSCA represents an outright
     assault against this balanced view of copyright. Under the SSSCA,
     Congress would abdicate its responsibility to protect the public's
     interest in copyright, leaving content owners to dictate terms to
     technology companies behind closed doors. The public would be left
     with no voice in this process, and with crippled technologies that
     permit only the uses that Hollywood has the unilateral ability to
     control.

     Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), University
     professors and visiting foreign programmers are already being
     legally threatened by the music industry and even criminally
     prosecuted at the behest of software companies for what always have
     been and should be legal activities such as research and making
     proprietary formats more accessible. The DMCA was a major step
     backwards for both the public side of the copyright bargain and the
     rights of scientists and researchers to study and report on
     computer security.

     Hollywood forces are now hoping that this "DMCA 2" will reach even
     further, creating a direct federal mandate that DRM systems be
     included in every technology that interacts with digital content.
     Please do not let this happen. I urge you to vote AGAINST SSSCA
     when introduced. The pendulum has already swung too far away from
     the public interest.

     Sincerely,

     [Your name & address]

   (Be sure to correct the salutation - use EITHER Sen. or Rep., and use
   the correct name.)

  Campaign for Audivisual Free Expression:

   This drive to stop this "DMCA 2" copyright land-grab is part of a
   larger campaigns to empower the creative community in the digital age
   by protecting the public's access to and use of audiovisual
   technologies.

   Check the EFF CAFE campaign website regularly for additional alerts
   and news:
     http://www.eff.org/cafe/

  Background:

   The draft legislation, "Security Systems Standards and Certification
   Act" (SSSCA) is being developed by Senators Fritz Hollings (D-SC) and
   Ted Stevens (R-AK) with the assistance of the Walt Disney Company. A
   draft of the measure was leaked to the press two weeks ago. If
   enacted, the proposed SSSCA would forbid the making, selling or
   trafficking in any "interactive digital device" that fails to include
   federally-mandated "Digital Right Management" (DRM) copy-prevention
   systems intended to protect all digital content (whether copyrighted
   or not).

   The SSSCA's scope is breathtakingly broad, forcing technology
   companies to add support for copy and use restrictions into virtually
   all future digital technology. This would include not only all
   software, PCs, hard drives, CD-Rs and other computer peripherals, but
   also many non-PC technologies like cellular phones, TiVos, set-top
   boxes, video game consoles, digital watches, CD players, MP3 players,
   GPS receivers, ATM machines, digital cameras, digital photocopiers,
   and fax machines. Although existing devices are grandfathered under
   the statute, all future models of these devices would have to be
   revised to incorporate federally-mandated technology intended to help
   Hollywood control how its content may be used by consumers. The SSSCA
   also applies to anyone who sells or distributes these digital
   technologies, and to anyone who bypasses or modifies any DRM systems
   in them. Those who violate the SSSCA would face civil fines and
   criminal penalties.

   And who gets to define the particulars of the DRM systems? According
   to the SSSCA, Congress will rely on technology companies and content
   companies to select DRM systems based on criteria set by Congress. If
   the industries are unable to agree, federal bureaucrats will choose.
   The public is not invited to participate, nor do the criteria set out
   in the SSSCA require the preservation or protection of fair use, first
   sale, the public domain, or any of the other rights reserved for the
   public by copyright law.

   In the American legal tradition, Congress and the courts have always
   struck a careful balance between preserving incentives for authors
   while ensuring public access to our cultural heritage. The SSSCA
   represents an unvarnished attack on this balanced view of copyright.
   Under the SSSCA, Congress would abdicate its responsibility to protect
   the public's interest in copyright, leaving content owners to dictate
   terms to technology companies behind closed doors. The public would be
   left with crippled technologies that permit only the uses that
   Hollywood unilaterally permits.

   The freedom to innovate, without the shackles of burdensome government
   mandates, has been the engine that has driven the information
   revolution. Now at the behest of powerful business interests, Congress
   threatens to shut this engine down by forcing technological innovators
   to beg permission from the content industries before introducing new
   tools and products.

   As illustrated by the threats made to Professor Felten's research team
   by the record companies, as well as the criminal prosecution of Dmitry
   Sklyarov, the DMCA was a major step backwards for both the public side
   of the copyright bargain and the rights of scientists and researchers
   who seek to study and report on computer security. Apparently
   unsatisfied with this, Hollywood forces are now hoping that the SSSCA
   will reach even further, creating a direct federal mandate that DRM
   systems be included in every technology that interacts with digital
   content.

   The draft of the proposed SSSCA legislation can be viewed at:
     http://216.110.42.179/docs/hollings.090701.html

    Contact:

     Fred von Lohmann, EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney
       fred@eff.org
       +1 415-436-9333 x123

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

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


EFF Joins Electronic Frontier Canada in Opposing Canadian "DMCA" (CPDCI)

   Electronic Frontier Canada (EFC) on Friday submitted comments in
   response to the Canadian Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright
   Issues (CPDCI), known colloquially as the "Canadian DMCA". EFF
   assisted in drafting the comments and was a co-signatory, along with
   several concerned Canadian technology companies.

   The Departments of Industry Canada and of Canadian Heritage issued the
   Consultation Paper to seek public input about whether Canada should
   prohibit the circumvention of technological restrictions used on
   copyrighted works, as the United States has done with the Digital
   Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In light of the U.S. experience with
   the DMCA, including the threats against Princeton Professor Ed
   FeltenÕs team of researchers and the arrest of Russian programmer
   Dmitry Sklyarov, the joint EFC/EFF comments urge Canadian lawmakers
   not to enact a similar law. In the United States, the DMCAÕs
   anti-circumvention provisions have upset the balance between copyright
   owners and the public, as well as chilling free speech and scientific
   research. The EFC/EFF comments urge Canadian lawmakers, at a minimum,
   to include exceptions to preserve these crucial Canadian public
   priorities from the over-reaching demands of the American copyright
   industries.

   The Consultation Paper also asks whether Canada should impose a
   Ònotice and takedownÓ obligation on Canadian ISPs and other network
   intermediaries in exchange for a Òsafe harborÓ from copyright
   liability. The joint EFC/EFF comments recommend that any Òsafe
   harborsÓ from copyright liability must protect consumer privacy and
   the end-to-end architecture of the internet. The U.S. experience with
   Ònotice and takedownÓ suggests that such procedures, if not carefully
   limited, can be abused by copyright owners to stifle free expression
   and compromise the privacy of consumers.

   The EFC/EFF comments can be found at:   
     http://www.eff.org/sc/20010915_efc_eff_cpdci_comments.html

   Comments submitted by others can be viewed at:
     http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/SSG/rp00007e.html

   Replies to the comments already submitted may be sent to the
   Departments of Industry Canada and of Canadian Heritage until October
   5, 2001. Additional information about the Canadian copyright reform
   process can be found at:
     http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/SSG/rp01100e.html

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


New MP3 Programs Now Available on Radio EFF

   Radio EFF proudly presents a set of five new programs on a variety of
   core EFF cases and campaigns. You can find them all at:
     http://www.eff.org/radioeff/

     Program One: DVD-CCA v Bunner: Oral Arguments
     Location: California State Court of Appeals (6th
     Appellate Circuit) San Jose, CA
     Date: August 23, 2001
     Downloadable MP3 (O)pen Audio:
       http://radio.eff.org/radio_shows/rfc8.mp3

   Summary: Oral arguments in the appeal of the January 2000 preliminary
   injunction banning dozens of netizens from posting DeCSS under a
   California state trade secret misappropriation claim.

   Arguing for Andrew Bunner: David Greene, Executive Director of the 1st
   Amendment Project. Arguing for the DVD-CCA: Robert Sugarman, Weil
   Gotshal & Manges

   Running Time: 40:35

     Program Two: Free Dmitry: Outside the Bail Hearing
     Location: California State Superior Court in San Jose, CA
     Date: August 13, 2001
     Downloadable MP3 (O)pen Audio is available at:
       http://radio.eff.org/radio_shows/dmitry.mp3

   Summary: Messages to all who support the "Free Dmitry" and "Reform the
   DMCA" movements from Shari Steele, EFF Executive Director and Joe
   Burton, Dmitry's lead defense attorney. Several protesters also
   explain why they feel the DMCA dangerously places the protection of
   property above liberty.

   Running Time: 7:36

     Program Three: Free Dmitry: Anti-DMCA Protest
     Guests: Nine protesters share their stories from the front lines
     Date: July 30, 2001
     Location: San Francisco, CA
     Downloadable MP3 (O)pen Audio is available at:
       http://radio.eff.org/radio_shows/rfc5.mp3

   Summary: Over 100 people gathered at the US Federal building in
   downtown San Francisco to protest for the release of Dmitry Sklyrov,
   who is the first scientist to be arrested and jailed under criminal
   provisions of the DMCA. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
   endows publishers with new rights to exercise and exert control over
   your private and personal experience of copyrighted works.

   Running Time: 5:54

     Program Four: The Emerging Rules of Cyberspace
     Speaker: Robin D. Gross, EFF Staff Attorney for Intellectual
     Property
     Date: February 6, 2001
     Location: Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
     Downloadable MP3 (O)pen Audio is available at:   http://
     radio.eff.org/radio_shows/robin1.mp3

   Summary: The threat to freedom of expression presented by excessive
   copyright protections in the digital age.

   Running Time: 26:31

     Program Five - Coming Soon : Audio from EFF's 1st annual Share-In
     Music Festival that was held on September 8th in San Francisco's
     Golden Gate Park.

   Share-In Information is available at:
     http://www.eff.org/events/share-in/

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


EFF Thanks Rebirth and Development, Inc.

   EFF would like express our gratitude to Rebirth and Development, Inc.
   with a special thnk you to Kenneth Peralta for their donation of a
   large wooden conference table that allows us to work even more
   effectively.

   Rebirth and Development, Inc. is working on setting up a documentary
   film makers resource facility. EFF appreciates their generosity and
   support.

                                  - 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 or unsubscribe from EFFector via the Web, go to:
     http://www.eff.org/signup/mailserv.html

   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 automatically. You can also get, via the Web:
     http://www.eff.org/pub/EFF/Newsletters/EFFector/current.html
     _________________________________________________________________
JavaScript license information