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EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 33 - EFF Condemns "Anti-Terrorism" Bill


EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 33 - EFF Condemns "Anti-Terrorism" Bill

   EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 33       Oct. 25, 2001

   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

    In the 193rd Issue of EFFector (now with over 29,400 subscribers!):

     * EFF Condemns "Anti-Terrorism" Bill
     * EFF Protects Scientists' Speech in RIAA Case
     * Chilling  Effects  of  Anti-Terrorism: "National Security" Toll on
       Freedom of Expression
     * EFF Contest: Announcing the Big Winners!
     * Administrivia

   For more information on EFF activities & alerts:

   To join EFF or make an additional donation:
   EFF is a member-supported nonprofit. Please sign up as a member today!

EFF Condemns "Anti-Terrorism" Bill

  Legislation Dramatically Curtails Online Civil Liberties

   An  overreaching  "anti-terrorism"  bill passed Congress today without
   adequate hearings and debate at the urging of the Bush Administration.
   Both  houses have passed the bill, now called the USA PATRIOT Act. The
   president will likely sign it into law by Friday.

   EFF  is  preparing  further commentary and analysis for publication on
   our website.


   Background information on anti-terrorism legislation:

  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 websites in the world:

                                  - end -

EFF Protects Scientists' Speech in RIAA Case

  Government, Record Industry Disagree on Digital Copyright Law

    Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

    For Immediate Release: October 25, 2001


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

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

   Trenton,  NJ  - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today replied
   to  the  US  Department  of  Justice's  request  to  dismiss a digital
   copyright  law  dispute.  EFF explained that the vagueness of the law,
   known  as  the  Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), prevents even
   the   DOJ   and   the   recording  industry  from  agreeing  on  their
   interpretation of the law in the Felten v RIAA case.

   The  DOJ's  dismissal  request  claims that the DMCA does not preclude
   scientists  from  pursuing  and  publishing  research  on digital copy
   prevention  schemes, while the recording industry seeks to dismiss the
   case  on  grounds  that  they have withdrawn legal threats against the
   scientific papers already written by Felten and his team. These papers
   discussed  the  weaknesses  in  the  music  industry's  proposed  SDMI
   technology designed to control consumers' use of digital music.

   EFF  points  out  that  the  case  must  go  forward  in spite of both
   dismissal  arguments.  First, the DOJ's argument that the DMCA exempts
   scientific research is not binding on them and is not supported by any
   court  ruling  or  by  the  recording  industry.  Second, although the
   recording  industry  threats  against  publication  of this scientific
   research  were  withdrawn, industry representatives have insisted that
   the  DMCA  permits  them  to  review  and  censor future research on a
   case-by-case basis.

   "Since  the  government  and  industry  cannot  agree on what the DMCA
   means,  it  is  not  surprising  that  scientists  and researchers are
   confused  and  decide  not to publish research for fear of prosecution
   under  the  DMCA,"  said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "Regardless of
   specific government or industry threats in the past, scientists should
   not  have  to  experience  the  ongoing chilling effects of this vague
   digital copyright law."

   Together with USENIX, an association of over 10,000 technologists that
   publishes  such scientific research, Princeton Professor Edward Felten
   and his research team have asked the court to declare that they have a
   First  Amendment  right  to discuss and publish their work, even if it
   may  discuss  weaknesses  in the technological systems used to control
   digital  music. The DMCA, passed in 1998, outlaws providing technology
   and information that can be used to gain access to a copyrighted work.

   "Three  more  independent scientists today joined six other scientists
   and  the Association for Computing Machinery and the Computer Research
   Association in filing declarations explaining to the court the ways in
   which  scientific  inquiry  and freedom of speech have been chilled by
   the  DMCA,"  said EFF Intellectual Property Attorney Robin Gross. "The
   chill  continues  because  neither  the  recording  industry  nor  the
   government  has  agreed  to  be bound to an interpretation of the DMCA
   that does not threaten normal, scientific publication."

   Recording  industry  attorneys  will  not agree to stop future threats
   against  scientists  for  discussing  the  insecurities  in  recording
   industry   security   systems.   Even   the   government  admits  this
   possibility,  stating  in  its brief that: "It is possible that making
   available  a  publication  that  describes  in  detail how to go about
   circumventing  a particular technology, if written or marketed for the
   express  purpose  of  actually circumventing that technology, would be
   prosecuted under the statute."

   The  chill  felt  by researchers working in this scientific discipline
   continues  to grow. As Plaintiff Scott Craver says in his Supplemental
   Declaration,  "We  do  not  write  and use programs such as tinywarp.c
   because  we  view  breaking a technology as an end unto itself. To the
   contrary,  breaking  a  technology is nothing more than a crucial step
   either  in  attempting  to  improve the technology or in attempting to
   prove  that the technology cannot be made to do what it is supposed to
   do. Both, of course, are legitimate research objectives, and in either
   case,  writing  and  using  tools to circumvent access or copy control
   technologies  is  essential  to  our work. If we can no longer use the
   necessary  instruments  of  science, then our field of scientific work
   will be paralyzed."

   Oral  argument  on  the  both  the  government  and recording industry
   motions  to  dismiss  the  scientists'  case  has  been  scheduled for
   November 28 before Judge Garrett E. Brown in Trenton, New Jersey.

   For  EFF's filing in opposition to the Department of Justice dismissal
   motion  in Felten v RIAA as well as for other motions and declarations
   in the case:

  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 -

Chilling Effects of Anti-Terrorism: "National Security" Toll on Freedom of

   Especially   now   during  the  US  Congress's  passage  of  the  most
   restrictive  measures on online civil liberties yet experienced in the
   United  States,  it is important to note that the right to free speech
   faces  the strongest challenges during times of crisis. Whether or not
   any  of us agree about each particular decision made to prevent public
   access  to  sensitive  information,  it  is  the  Electronic  Frontier
   Foundation's  responsibility to chart any such efforts so that we as a
   society are at least aware of what is no longer available to us.

   A  new  EFF  web  page  attempts  to  convey  the chilling effect that
   responses  to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, have had on
   information  availability on the Internet as well as some sense of the
   effect on people trying to provide this information.

   Currently, this page tracks websites shut down or partially removed by
   governments,  ISPs, and website owners, as well as government requests
   to   remove   information,  media  professionals  or  other  employees
   terminated  or  suspended  for  exercising  free speech in response to
   anti-terrorism, and other related incidents and links.

   Check out the Chilling Effects of Anti-Terrorism page at

   If  you  know  of  any  anti-terrorism chilling effects that should be
   listed, please let us know by email at

                                  - end -

EFF Contest: Announcing the Big Winners!

   Despite  a technological glitch, the EFF Contest of the Century (or at
   least  of  the week), is proud to announce the following three winners
   of vintage EFF T-shirts:

     1) Derek Balling
     2) Les Earnest
     3) Mike Castleman

   Those  on Netscape web browsers who reported the technological glitch,
   we  appreciate  your support. Instead of suing you like some companies
   we know would do, :-) we will reward the first two people who reported
   the bug with vintage EFF T-shirts too!

     1) Tim Valdez
     2) Steve Peltz

   Thanks so much to everyone who entered.

   You  can  see  the  answers  to  the contest at:

   Please  stay  tuned and read the EFFector careful to find out when the
   next  EFF  Contest of the Century (or at least of the week) will reach
   your inbox.

                                  - end -


   EFFector is published by:

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation
   454 Shotwell Street
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   +1 415 436 9333 (voice)
   +1 415 436 9993 (fax)

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

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