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EFFector - Volume 15, Issue 19 - Support Public Hearings On The USA Patriot Act!


EFFector - Volume 15, Issue 19 - Support Public Hearings On The USA Patriot Act!

EFFector       Vol. 15, No. 19       June 21, 2002 

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424 

In the 219th Issue of EFFector: 

   *	ALERT: Support Public Hearings On The USA Patriot Act!
   *	The Quest for Tunes: Carabella Trades Rights for Music
   *	SCUBA Associations Give Records To FBI Without Telling           
Members; EFF's Legal Director Responds
   *	EFF Needs Your Financial Support!
   *	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! 

Support Public Hearings on the USA Patriot Act!

Electronic Frontier Foundation ACTION ALERT

(Issued: June 21, 2002 / Expires: July 2, 2002)

Join the call for accountability and openness in government! In a
recent letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft, Representatives James
Sensenbrenner and John Conyers have asked the Department of Justice to
provide a detailed report on the implications and effects of the USA
Patriot Act (USAPA). The letter suggests open hearings on the
practical application of new law enforcement tools and pointedly asks
how the tools relate to recent claims that impending terrorist attacks
have been averted.

The 50 point letter asks the DOJ to provide information on the effect
of the sweeping powers granted in USAPA, specifically mentioning
issues like privacy, electronic surveillance and access to library and
bookstore records.

EFF has drafted a letter in support of the inquiry and hearings
proposed by Reps. Conyers and Sensenbrenner. It reads as follows:

"Dear (Your Representative),

I am writing to express my support for the letter written by
Representatives Conyers and Sensenbrenner urging public review of the
USA Patriot Act (USAPA). The letter is available at:

USAPA was passed in the tumultuous weeks after September 11th and is
the most expansive grant of new law enforcement powers in recent
history. I encourage you to read and support the Conyers/Sensenbrenner

As a citizen concerned with both civil liberties and national
security, I support the letter's call for Congress to evaluate the
effectiveness and implications of these new powers. For instance, I am
eager to learn how lowering the bar to access library and bookstore
records (Section 215) and using foreign intelligence surveillance
techniques on U.S. citizens (Sections 206 & 218) have helped the
Department of Justice fight terrorism.

Further, I support the Conyers/Sensenbrenner letter's plan for public
hearings. It is my belief that good government not only responds to
crises, but rigorously and publicly examines those responses to ensure
that their implementation has not strayed from their intent.

Thank you for your attention to this matter."

What YOU Can Do:

  *	Read the Sensenbrenner/Conyers Letter here:

  *	If you have already subscribed to the EFF Action Center, send out our
editable support letter by visiting:

  *     OR, you can just reply to this email to send the letter quoted

  *	If you are not an EFF Action Center subscriber yet and would like to
send our support letter, go to:

  *	Join EFF! For membership information see:


Ren Bucholz
  Electronic Frontier Foundation
  +1 415 436-9333 x121 

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 and privacy online. EFF is a member-supported
organization and maintains one of the most-linked-to
websites in the world at

- end -

The Quest for Tunes: Carabella Trades Rights for Music

Video Game Spotlights Threats to Online Privacy and Freedom

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Privacyactivism recently
launched an interactive video game designed to educate players about
their privacy and fair use rights. The game highlights how those
rights are being trampled by digital rights management (DRM)
technologies, online spyware, and data profiling servers.

In Episode 1 of the Carabella Game - The Quest for Tunes, players
follow Carabella as she tries to find music by her favorite band while
dodging privacy perils and threats to her ability to use and enjoy
music that she's bought.

The game is designed to show players how they may forfeit privacy and
fair use rights while accessing music online, and how they can protect
those rights.

"Individuals aren't always aware that they are releasing personal
information when they download software from the Net, or subscribe to
a particular service," said Privacyactivism Executive Director Deborah
Pierce. "Privacy policies are often vague, and leave users in the dark
as to their data collection practices, so the game is designed to
spotlight some of these trouble areas and provide tools so people can
protect their privacy."

"We created this game to let people know about the impact of digital
rights management technologies on their current fair use rights in
music," said EFF Volunteer Attorney Gwen Hinze. "While digital music
technology offers the promise of more diverse and accessible music,
escalating use of digital rights management technology has actually
had the effect of limiting our ability to use and enjoy the music
we've bought."


For this release:

Play the game:

For more information about copyright and fair use: 


Deborah Pierce
  Executive Director
  +1 415 225-1730 

Gwen Hinze
  Volunteer Attorney
  Electronic Frontier Foundation
  +1 415 436-9333 x110 (office) 

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:

About Privacyactivism:

Privacyactivism was founded to help enable people to make
well-informed decisions both on a personal and societal level about
the importance of privacy. Through a mixture of education and
activism, we hope to show the importance of privacy as a fundamental
human right, not a commodity to be bought and sold. The
Privacyactivism website is located at:

- end -

SCUBA Associations Give Records To FBI Without Telling Members; EFF's
Legal Director Responds

Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 13:38:46 -0700
To: Jeff Nadler (
From: Cindy Cohn (
Subject: release of members' information 

Dear Jeff,

I am a PADI diver and the Legal Director of the Electronic Frontier
Foundation. I am extremely knowledgeable about both the legal and
regulatory environment surrounding the post 9/11 terrorism
investigations. I wrote one of the first publicly available analyses
of the Act as it relates to surveillance and have served as a regular
commentator in the media on the issue. You can see my analysis of the
USA Patriot Act at:

As you may know, one of the cornerstones of the U.S. Constitutional
protections for its citizens is the requirement that law enforcement
have some basis for investigating Americans. This idea, often called
the prevention of "fishing expeditions" by law enforcement, is rooted
in the 4th Amendment, but clearly visible throughout U.S. caselaw both
in wartime and in peace. Nothing about the 9/11 attacks changed this
bedrock principle; neither Congress nor the Courts have authorized its

Yet without giving me or any other of your customers a chance to
protect ourselves, you participated willingly in a fishing expedition.
There is no way that the FBI had any defensible basis to believe that
*all* PADI divers were potential terrorists. They apparently made no
efforts to narrow their requests to reflect the folks who they really
suspect from the rest of us.

I have also reviewed the letter you sent to Mikki Barry stating that
you did so in order to avoid being served by a subpoena and that you
received some sort of "assurances" in response from the FBI.
Unfortunately, this only increases my concern. Requiring law
enforcement to go through processes such as issuance of subpoenas and
retrieving the appropriate court orders is our only real protection
against fishing expeditions and other law enforcement abuses. I
suspect that had you required them to issue a subpoena it would have
itself been much narrower than what you voluntarily handed over, since
such things must usually be approved by those higher up in the FBI and
they face the prospect of having to defend the document before a judge.

Even if such a broad subpoena had been issued, you could have taken
further steps to protect your customers. First, you could have
notified your customers (including me) that the information was being
sought, thus allowing me and thousands of others the opportunity to
seek court protection for our private information. I would have gladly
done so.

Alternately, you could have sought court review of the subpoena
yourself. I have no doubt that the FBI would have narrowed its request
significantly, either through court order or voluntarily if faced with
the prospect of defending this to the judge.

As for the cost of this, had you contacted EFF or any of the other
civil liberties organizations, I'm quite confident that we would have
been willing to represent you for free in this matter or locate other
free counsel for you.

Instead, you participated in creating an FBI file on me and all the
rest of your customers, loyal Americans who have done nothing wrong
and who now face the process of increased surveillance by virtue of
the fact that we did business with you. As for the "assurances" you
received from the FBI about the use of our information, what steps did
you take to make those enforceable? If they misuse that information to
launch broader surveillance about me unrelated to terrorism, what
recourse do I have? What recourse do you have? 

And how will you know if they have kept their assurances? What steps
did you take to require the FBI to inform you about how they use the
information? Did they give you an enforceable description of the scope
counterterrorism investigation? Given the USA Patriot Act's
requirement of increased information sharing between the FBI and the
national security offices, I have great skepticism that the
information will only remain with the FBI or that the information will
be completely returned to PADI in a timely manner.
I think you have made a grave mistake, the kind that you will become
more and more embarrassed about as time goes by. I'm happy to discuss
this matter with you further, if you wish. 

Cindy A. Cohn
Legal Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation
454 Shotwell Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Tel: (415)436-9333 x 108
Fax: (415) 436-9993

- end -

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Kevin McLaughlin
  Membership Coordinator
  Electronic Frontier Foundation
  +1 415 436-9333 x120 (office) 

- end -


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) 

Ren Bucholz, Activist 

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