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EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 6 - ALERT: EFF Calls for CHIPA Censorware Law Protests

   
   EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 6       Apr. 2[*], 2001     editor@eff.org
                                      
   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424
                                      
  SPECIAL INTERNET BLOCKING / CENSORWARE ISSUE
  
  IN THE 166th ISSUE OF EFFECTOR (now with over 27,300 subscribers!):
  
     * ALERT: EFF Calls for CHIPA Censorware Law Protests
     * EFF & ACLU Take on Library Internet Blocking Law in Court
     * EFF Sponsors BayFF Forum on Internet Blocking and Community
       Response
     * Joint Statement Opposing School & Library Internet Blocking
       Requirements
     * EFF Seeks Intern for Online Free Expression Campaign
     * EFF Proposes Study of Real-Life Internet Blocking Use in Schools
       and Libraries
     * "The Internet is a Terrible Thing to Waste" - Get Involved in
       Stopping Censorware!
     * ERRATA: Correction to Medical Privacy Alert, EFFector 14.05
     * Administrivia
       
   For more information on EFF activities & alerts: http://www.eff.org
     _________________________________________________________________
   
ALERT: EFF Calls for CHIPA Censorware Law Protests

    Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Advisory, April 2, 2001
    
   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
   
   Monday, April 2, 2001
   
  EFF Calls for Nationwide Protests to Counter CHIPA Internet Blocking
  Legislation
  
    Call to Action for Protests at FCC Offices, Libraries, and Blocking
    Companies
    
   Contacts:
   Will Doherty, Online Activist / Media Relations,
   wild@eff.org, 415-436-9333
  
   Katina Bishop, Offline Activist, 
   katina@eff.org, 415-436-9333 x101
   

   April 2, 2001 -- The Electronic Frontier Foundation today issued a
   call to action for nationwide protests on Friday, April 20, 2001,
   opposing implementation of Congressionally-mandated Internet blocking
   in schools and libraries. The protests will take place at Federal
   Communications Commission offices, other federal offices, libraries,
   and Internet blocking companies, as well as in "blackouts" of websites
   in support of the protest.
   
   Local organizers interested in protesting Internet blocking are
   invited to contact EFF to co-sponsor nonviolent protests, to obtain an
   Internet blocking protest kit, and for help in publicizing the
   protests.
   
   "The government-mandated requirement for Internet blocking in schools
   and libraries violates the free expression rights of American, adults
   and minors alike," explained Will Doherty, EFF Online Activist. "We
   must protest Congressionally-mandated Internet blocking because it
   censors Constitutionally-protected materials, stunts the intellectual
   growth of American children, and weighs unfairly on disadvantaged and
   'controversial' communities."
   
   Internet blocking technologies underblock what they are supposed to
   block and overblock what they are not supposed to block. They rely on
   subjective control from software product companies many of whom
   exhibit clear political and religious biases, rather than relying on
   local communities to decide for themselves. The products are
   error-prone, vulnerable, problematic, and unfairly discriminatory,
   denying access to constitutionally protected and educationally
   important materials that schools and libraries would otherwise
   provide. Government-mandated censorship does not solve problems better
   handled through local decision making and educational efforts.
   
   Some protests will take place at offices of the Federal Communications
   Commission because it is the agency tasked by Congress with
   enforcement of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CHIPA a.k.a.
   CIPA) blocking law.
   
   EFF, along with co-sponsors such as the Online Policy Group
   ( http://www.onlinepolicy.org ), called the protests to demonstrate
   the widespread public opposition to use of Internet blocking in
   schools and libraries.
   
   The San Francisco Bay Area protest will take place at 1200 noon on
   Friday, April 20, in front of the FCC office at 5653 Stoneridge Drive,
   Suite 105, Pleasanton, California 94588 (accessible by
   Dublin/Pleasanton BART).
   
   More information on the Internet blocking protests will be available
   on the EFF website at:
   http://www.eff.org/br/br1.html
   
   The Electronic Frontier Foundation ( http://www.eff.org ) 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 & ACLU Take on Library Internet Blocking Law in Court

   Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release, April 2, 2001
   
   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
   
   Monday, April 2, 2001
   
   EFF & ACLU Take on Library Internet Blocking Law in Court
   
   Contacts:
   Lee Tien, Senior Staff Attorney, tien@eff.org, 415-436-9333 x102
   Will Doherty, Online Activist / Media Relations, wild@eff.org,
   415-436-9333
   
   On March 20, 2001, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) joined the
   ACLU and other organizations in challenging new federal law requiring
   Internet blocking in schools and libraries participating in certain
   federal programs. Framed on free speech grounds, the lawsuit seeks to
   prevent Congress from requiring libraries to censor constitutionally
   protected speech under the Children's Internet Protection Act (CHIPA).
   
   EFF Senior Staff Attorney and CHIPA case co-counsel Lee Tien said,
   "EFF believes that Internet blocking in libraries violates the First
   Amendment not only by unnecessarily restricting the rights of adult
   library patrons, but also by depriving child library patrons of online
   access to information that they need to be fully informed citizens."
   Tien noted that U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner recently warned of
   "the danger of allowing government to control the access of children
   to information and opinion. Now that eighteen-year-olds have the right
   to vote, it is obvious that they must be allowed the freedom to form
   their political views on the basis of uncensored speech before they
   turn eighteen, so that their minds are not a blank when they first
   exercise the franchise."
   
   In addition to library patrons, the litigation also broadly addresses
   the rights of librarians and website owners who will be adversely
   affected by the law, including public libraries from Portland, Oregon,
   to Portland, Maine; Congressional candidates whose websites were
   blocked; PlanetOut.com, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
   community site; and the Planned Parenthood Federation.
   
   EFF's participation in this case also reflects its members' commitment
   to free speech; James Geringer, one of the individual library patron
   plaintiffs, is an EFF member.
   
   The legal challenge was filed at the U.S. District Court in
   Philadelphia, which previously ruled on the Communications Decency Act
   and the Child Online Protection Act. Participants in the litigation
   include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil
   Liberties Union, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the law
   firm Proskauer Rose, and Tom Sponsler, an attorney from Multnomah
   County, Oregon.
   
   The American Library Association (ALA), along with a number of local
   library associations, also filed a legal challenge to CHIPA on March
   20, 2001, in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.
   
   Each case challenges both CHIPA itself, and the closely related (and
   strangely named) Neighborhood Chldren's Internet Protection Act
   (NCIPA), passed as part of the same legislative package.
   
   More information on the ACLU case is available on the EFF website at:
   http://eff.org/Cases/Multnomah_Library_v_US/20010320_aclu_chipa_suit_pr.html
   
   More information on the ALA case is available on the EFF website at:
   http://eff.org/Cases/ALA_v_US/20010320_ala_cipa_suit_pr.html
   
   The Electronic Frontier Foundation ( http://www.eff.org ) 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 Sponsors BayFF Forum on Internet Blocking and Community Response

   Mark Your Calendars for BayFF on Sunday, May 6!!
   
   Join EFF in a Panel Discussion on Censorware in Schools and Libraries
   
   WHAT: "BayFF" Panel Discussion on Internet Blocking in Schools and
   Libraries - Law, Litigation, and Community Response
   
   WHEN: Sunday May 6th, 2001, at 200 PM Pacific Time
   WHERE: San Francisco Public Library
   Room: Koret Auditorium
   100 Larkin Street
   San Francisco, CA 94102
   Tel: +1 415-557-4400
   
   This event is free and open to the general public. The Electronic
   Frontier Foundation ( http://www.eff.org ) is the leading civil
   liberties organization working to protect rights in the digital world.
   
   This event is sponsored by:
     * Electronic Frontier Foundation
     * James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center
     * Friends and Foundation of the San Francisco Public Library
     * Online Policy Group
     * San Francisco Public Library
     * San Francisco Board of Supervisors Member Mark Leno
       
   For more information, see: The Electronic Frontier Foundation:
   http://www.eff.org
   
   BayFF Meetings Info Page:
   http://www.eff.org/bayff
   (more information on this event including speakers will be posted
   there as it becomes available.)
   
   Contact:
   Katina Bishop
   Director of Education & Offline Activism
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   +1 415 436 9333 x101
   katina@eff.org
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
Joint Statement Opposing School & Library Internet Blocking Requirements

   EFF has endorsed the following statement. Many prominent individuals
   and 20 organizations, such as the ACLU, the California Association of
   Library Trustees and Commissioners, the Electronic Privacy Information
   Center, and Rock Out Censorship, are also initial endorsers of this
   statement.
   
   Joint Statement Opposing Legislative Requirements for School and
   Library Internet Blocking Technologies
   
   With the United States Congress' passage of legislation requiring the
   use of Internet blocking technologies in all public schools and
   libraries participating in certain federal programs, it has become
   clear that these schools and libraries are facing a variety of
   challenges.
   
   The following individuals and organizations oppose mandatory Internet
   blocking technology requirements in public schools and libraries
   because blocking technologies
     * Underblock what they are supposed to block
     * Overblock what they are not supposed to block
     * Rely on subjective "expert" control
     * Are error-prone, vulnerable, problematic, and unfairly
       discriminatory
     * Deny access to constitutionally protected and educationally
       important materials that schools and libraries would otherwise
       provide
       
   We also believe government-mandated censorship does not solve problems
   better handled through local decision making and educational efforts.
   
   The undersigned organizations and individuals commit to working
   together on the legal challenges to legislation requiring Internet
   blocking technology.
   
   We commit to a public education campaign on the effects of blocking
   technology on online access, free speech rights, and civil liberties
   of students and library patrons. We commit to sharing effective
   strategies to assist young people in learning to use the Internet
   safely and effectively to enhance their education.
   
   We will share our research and documentation and will provide
   educational materials and consulting services to school and library
   administrators, the general public, and the media. Our goal is to
   educate everyone potentially affected by the operation of Internet
   blocking technology in public schools and libraries, regardless of the
   outcome of legal challenges to legislative requirements for the use of
   Internet blocking technology.
   
   Any individuals or organizations in agreement with this joint
   statement are welcome to sign on by sending an email to
   statement@onlinepolicy.org.
   
   The joint statement and full list of endorsers is available on the EFF
   site at:
http://eff.org/Censorship/Censorware/20010117_joint_censorware_statement.html
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
EFF Seeks Intern for Online Free Expression Campaign

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation seeks an Online Free Expression
   Campaign intern to focus on issues related to Internet blocking
   technology and related public policy. This intern will research
   Internet blocking issues, prepare leaflets, reports, and media
   releases, and organize forums and protests.
   
   Basic HTML skills and general computer competence necessary. Very
   helpful if you have your own laptop and/or home Internet access.
   
   Interns will be in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in the EFF office
   at least two days per week. School credit may be available.
   
   Timeframe Needed immediately, for summer and fall semesters. Minimum
   commitment 2 days per week for at least three months.
   
   For more information, see the EFF website at:
   http://www.eff.org/jobs#vol5
   
   Or contact Will Doherty, Online Activist / Media Relations,
   wild@eff.org
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
EFF Proposes Study of Real-Life Internet Blocking Use in Schools and Libraries

   EFF has been assessing the feasibility of a study to examine real-life
   conditions of Internet access in schools and libraries.
   
   We are seeking university partners for this project, volunteers with
   experience in social science study design, administration, and
   research, as well as potential funding sources.
   
   For more information, please contact Will Doherty, wild@eff.org
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
"The Internet is a Terrible Thing to Waste" - Get Involved in Stopping
Censorware!

   Here are some basic ideas about how to get involved in preventing the
   spread of Internet blocking, especially in schools and libraries:
     * Endorse the Joint Statement Opposing Internet Blocking
       Requirements in School and Libraries (send your endorsement to
       statement@onlinepolicy.org). Joint statement text:
http://eff.org/Censorship/Censorware/20010117_joint_censorware_statement.html
     * Request a copy of your local school and library Internet use
       policies. Examine them closely and reply with polite,
       constructive, and firm criticism if they are defective.
     * Attend public hearings about school and library Internet policies
       and voice your views about the effects of Internet blocking on
       students and library patrons.
     * Organize or attend a local protest opposing requirements for
       Internet blocking at schools and libraries. Try to enlist the aid
       of librarians, educators and sympathetic library officials and
       school board members.
     * Write your representatives in Congress and your state legislature
       to urge repeal of the federal Children's Internet Protection Act
       and any similar state or local legislation or regulations. For
       more information on how to contact your legislators, see EFF's
       guide on the topic at:
       http://www.eff.org/congress
     * Join the anti-blocking speakers' bureau to help educate and
       influence opinion on Internet blocking in your local area.
       (Contact statement@onlinepolicy.org to join.)
       
   For more information about community responses to Internet blocking,
   see the EFF Blue Ribbon Campaign website at http://www.eff.org/br
   
   To let EFF know what you are doing about Internet blocking so we can
   work together and publicize our activities, you can email
   freespeech@eff.org
   
   For additional background on the blocking debate, see:
   http://www.censorware.net
   http://www.peacefire.org
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
ERRATA: Correction to Medical Privacy Alert, EFFector 14.05

   We seemed to be implying in the last issue's alert on medical privacy
   regs that we supported both implementation and repeal. This of course
   made no sense. Actually we DON'T want it both ways. What happened was
   an editing error. The following paragraph was accidentally cut off
   after the introduction header to Rep. Paul's letter:
   
   "Rep. Paul identifies clear loopholes in the existing proposal, in the
   dear-colleague letter below, and EFFector readers should be aware of
   them. While we agree with Rep. Paul's observations, we believe his
   position, that the entire HIPAA should be repealed, is too extreme.
   The regs - even with these loopholes - would be a net gain for
   American privacy. Instead we hope that either Congress will fix the
   loopholes directly with an amendment, or that recently announced plans
   to amend the regs from within HHS are carried out, and that these
   problems are solved."
   
   We apologize for any confusion created by the omission.
   
   PS: The editor would like to apologize further to any who received two
   copies of the last issue, one with an incorrect subject line. I was
   unable to stop the mail queue fast enough to prevent some of the
   incorrect copies going out.
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
Administrivia

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