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EFFector - Volume 15, Issue 21 - Action Alert: Congress Takes Aim at Your Privacy!


EFFector - Volume 15, Issue 21 - Action Alert: Congress Takes Aim at Your Privacy!

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

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-

In the 221st Issue of EFFector: 
*Action Alert: Congress Takes Aim at Your Privacy! 
*ICANN Director Demands Disclosure 
*Tech CEOs Write Letter to Hollywood 
*Blogging to Benefit EFF 
*DRM Comments Filed with Commerce Department 
*Word Training Request 

For more information on EFF activities & alerts: 

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* Congress Takes Aim at Your Privacy, Increases Sentences for 
Computer Crime

Electronic Frontier Foundation ACTION ALERT

(Issued: July 19, 2002)

On July 15, 2002, the House of Representatives passed the Cyber 
Security Enhancement Act (CSEA) in a landslide vote of 385-3.   CSEA 
is a bill that, among other things, makes it easy for the government 
to get your electronic communications without a warrant or probable 
cause.  Here's a brief summary:

-  If CSEA is passed by the Senate, your stored communications like 
voicemail and email will be available to any "government entity" (not 
just law enforcement agencies) that can convince your service 
provider that releasing your personal information is necessary to 
prevent "death or serious physical injury."  Instead of appearing 
before a judge and getting a warrant, any government agent may be 
able to get your information for nothing more than a scary story that 
might never get checked against the evidence.

-  Building on the USA Patriot Act and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 
CSEA dramatically increases penalties for computer crime.  It adds 
two new kinds of criminal offenses for a person who uses a computer 
in an attempt to cause serious bodily injury or death.  It is unclear 
how this would be applied and we are concerned that this law will 
punish crimes committed with computer more harshly than non-computer 

-  Instead of advocating cryptography and other technical protections 
for cell phone traffic, CSEA expands on the misguided law that 
criminalizes radio receiver technology by tacking on stricter 

The act is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  No hearings have 
been scheduled, but Congress' August recess is quickly approaching.  
Make your voice heard and help stop the rampant expansion of  
government powers; tell Congress not to pass the CSEA!

What YOU Can Do:
-  Use the new EFF Action Center to send an email or fax to your 
representatives. You are welcome to send our pre-written letter, but 
we encourage you to personalize it for greater impact!

-  If you have already subscribed to the EFF Action Center, send out 
a letter by visiting:

-  If you are not an EFF Action Center subscriber yet and would like 
to send a letter, go to:

-  Join EFF! For membership information see:

-  Read the text of the Cyber Security Enhancement Act (H.S. 3482):

- end -


* ICANN Director Demands Disclosure

ICANN's Actions Illegal and Hampering Reform

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

For Immediate Release: Monday, July 15, 2002

Los Angeles - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today asked 
the Los Angeles Superior Court again to grant Internet Corporation 
for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Director Karl Auerbach access 
to records ICANN management has withheld improperly for over eighteen 

EFF explained in a legal brief that ICANN's excuses have no 
foundation in case law or California statutes. ICANN falsely portrays 
Auerbach as a malicious "dissenter-for-the-sake-of-dissenting," which 
is an insufficient basis for denying Auerbach the legal rights and 
responsibilities of a corporate director. 

"I'm simply trying to do the job I was elected to do," explained 
Auerbach. "ICANN management and other directors have a different view 
of reform, but that doesn't justify denying me the right to inspect 
corporate records." 

"Mr. Auerbach was elected to his current position as an ICANN 
director on the basis of his sincere belief that ICANN must change," 
explained EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "He has no hidden agenda 
to 'harm' ICANN; instead he has a very public agenda to reform and 
improve ICANN." 

Auerbach, the North American Elected Director of ICANN, began asking 
for corporate records in November 2000 shortly after he was elected 
to the Board. After ICANN management delayed for nine months, it 
granted Auerbach conditional access to corporate records if he signed 
a "policy" -- which the Board of Directors had not ratified -- that 
placed his ability to access and copy the records at the discretion 
of ICANN. 

EFF contends that only a court can constrain Auerbach's access to 
corporate documents and that ICANN's specious "policy" is 

"ICANN's arguments are disingenuous," asserted Cohn. "ICANN has 
presented no evidence that Mr. Auerbach's beliefs about the need to 
reform ICANN in any way imply that he will engage in self-dealing or 
otherwise violate his duties as a director." 

EFF also argues that recent corporate collapses illustrate the 
importance of management oversight. 

Mr. Thomas H. Wyman, former Board Director of General Motors and of 
Delphi Automotive Systems, recently observed in the New York 
Times: "The director's real role is to smell trouble. And to find out 
if it's real. And to ask questions, again and again... think of the 
hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the lives that would have been 
better, if somebody had blown the bugle at Enron two years ago." 

The case, entitled Auerbach v. ICANN, case no. BS074771, was filed in 
California Superior Court, Los Angeles County. 

For this release: 

Documents related to the Auerbach v. ICANN case:

- end -


* IT CEOs Write Letter to Hollywood

On July 15th, technology industry CEOs responded to a letter from 
entertainment executives asking how the two industries could address 
digital movie piracy.  Focusing on voluntary, consensus-based 
solutions and a respect for technologies that would encourage 
innovation, the letter is a firm response to Hollywood's aggressive 
legislation and litigation tactics.

The motion picture industry has been involved in several legislative 
bids to mandate technology standards and harm consumers' fair use 
rights in the last year.  The Broadcast Protection Discussion Group 
(BPDG), Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act 
(CBDTPA) and Representative Berman's proposal on regulating peer-to-
peer technologies are examples of Hollywood's legislative agenda.  

EFF welcomes the technology industry's strong stance on these 
issues.  The letter correctly states that peer-to-peer file sharing 
is "a basic functionality of the computing environment" and this 
functionality must not be disregarded when fighting piracy.  EFF also 
supports the idea that "focusing on technology in isolation, and only 
on digital rights management technologies in relation to piracy, will 
limit the search for solutions to only one aspect of a multifaceted 

IT CEOs to Hollywood Letter


EFF comments presented to Department of Commerce: 

"California Lawmaker Calls for P2P Vigilantism"

- end -


* Blogathon to Benefit EFF!

Karen Kelly is blogging for bucks and sending them to EFF!  She has 
been kind enough to select us as her charity of choice in the 
upcoming Blogathon, where webloggers are getting sponsors, typing for 
24 hours and giving the cash to good causes.  The Blogathon promises 
to be an entertaining look at sleep-deprived digital-charity.  The 
24-hour period kicks off at 6am PST July 27, 2002.  Check out her 
site and make a tax-deductible pledge of support today!


Sponsor Karen Kelly:

Visit Karen Kelly's blogathon site: 

Visit the Blogathon site:

- end -


* Commerce Dept. Considers Digital Rights Management

Electronic Frontier Foundation Submits Fair Use Comments

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Advisory

Washington, DC - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed 
comments to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology 
Administration pointing out the dangers that digital rights 
management (DRM) technologies pose to the doctrine of fair use under 
American copyright law.

DRM technologies seek to restrict use of online materials while the 
fair use doctrine permits the public to make use of copyrighted works 
without authorization for commentary, parody, education, research, 
time-shifting, space-shifting, and other purposes.

For this advisory: 

- end -


* Word Training Request
The EFF Legal Team is seeking a volunteer legal secretary or other 
advanced Microsoft Word user to give us an in-house training. We're 
hoping someone can help us better use styles, templates, captions, 
line numbering, tables of contents, tables of authorities, footnotes 
and other features of Word that are regularly used in litigation. 
Alternately, we'd love someone who can introduce us to (and teach us 
to use) an open source tool that can easily handle all of these while 
at the same time seamlessly interoperating with the many volunteer 
lawfirms with whom we work, all of whom use Microsoft Word or 

If you can help, please contact Henry Schwan,

- end -


* Administrivia
EFFector is published by: 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation
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San Francisco CA 94110-1914 USA
+1 415 436 9333 (voice)
+1 415 436 9993 (fax) 

Ren Bucholz, Activist 

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