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EFFector - Volume 5, Issue 3 - Representative Markey Speaks on Tech Policy


EFFector - Volume 5, Issue 3 - Representative Markey Speaks on Tech Policy

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EFFector Online Volume 5 No. 3       3/5/1993
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation   ISSN 1062-9424
321 lines

                          In this issue:
             Representative Markey Speaks on Tech Policy
       Announcement of Midwest Rural Datafication Meeting 
                           EFF Funding
      Coverage of Representative Markey's Speech to Computer
                    Execs on Technology Policy

In an article in the New York Times of Tuesday, February 23, 1993 
entitled "Computer Makers Told To Get Involved in Rules" by Steve 
Lohr, it was reported that Representative Edward J. Markey, 
Democrat of Massachusetts and chairman of the House subcommittee 
on telecommunications warned a gathering of computer industry 
executives at a conference in Phoenix that their industry was "in 
danger of losing out in the emerging but potentially enormous 
business of providing computer services to American homes and 
offices unless it became involved in the Federal standard-setting that 
will occur this year." Markey emphasized that, given the Clinton 
Administration's focus on technology policy, some critical steps will 
certainly take place this year toward the establishment of "a so-
called data superhighway that will eventually reach every home in 
the country." 

Markey said, "Decisions will be made this year that will affect the 
rest of your lives, and unless you participate, the rules will be cut in 
a way that may not be to your advantage." 

As the Times pointed out, "The regulated telephone industry is a 
seasoned practitioner of shaping government rules, but most 
computer and software companies are entrepreneurial upstarts that 
have grown and thrived outside the reach of regulatory controls. 
Traditionally, the industry rarely dealt with Washington."

Markey described the size of the potential market for services that a 
national network could create and how the speed at which that 
network will develop and which companies will benefit by it depend 
largely on Federal and state regulations which will be on the Federal  
table in the near future.

The Times then described ISDN as part of a plan promoted by some 
in the computer industry "to insure that digital phone service is 
available nationally at affordable rates" and as "a middle ground 
between the current technology and the super-speed fully fiber-
optic network that is often discussed. But the fiber-optics data 
highway, by most estimates, would not reach most households until 
after 2010 and at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars.

"By contrast, the digital network could reach every office and house 
in America in less than five years, estimates Mitchell Kapor, 
president of the Electronic Frontier Foundation." 

"A computer pioneer turned advocate, Mr. Kapor is pushing Federal 
and state regulators to insure that the digital network is available, 
standardized and affordable nationally." 

The Times said that "Markey is preparing Federal legislation to push 
the digital format later this year" and quoted him as saying, "ISDN. is 
something that can be done now, and it will help unleash the next 
wave of computer and software innovation, creating jobs and 

Markey was further quoted as saying, "The Government should set 
standards for openness and fund pilot projects, but it isn't going to 
pay for the information highway. The money just won't be there." 

                       Regional Group Activities:

Submitted by Ed Vielmetti in Ann Arbor:

                     Preliminary Program Announcement
                        Rural Datafication:
        Achieving the goal of Ubiquitous Access to the Internet 
                             May 14, 1993
                             Chicago, IL

A joint conference focused on extending the services of the Internet 
to difficult-to-reach and typically under-served user communities. 

          Jointly sponsored by CICNet and the following state networks 
                         Illinois:          netILLINOIS
                         Indiana:           INDnet
                         Iowa:              IREN
                         Michigan:          MichNet
                         Minnesota:         MRNet
                         New York:          NYSERNet
                         Pennsylvania:      PREPnet
                         Wisconsin:         WiscNet

Conference focus and theme:
CICNet is pleased to announce Rural Datafication as a major 
cooperative initiative among nine networking organizations 
committed to the creation of ubiquitous data networking services 
throughout their region and, indeed, throughout the nation. As part 
of this initiative, these organizations have agreed to co-sponsor a 
conference which builds on an already successful collaboration 
between CICNet and the above networks and which will focus on two 
primary areas: 

1. Ways to most effectively respond to user communities which
    desire Internet services but which are currently unable to obtain
    Internet access.
2. Ways to best enhance existing services to those populations which 
    which make use of non-dedicated connections: i.e., users whose
    access to the Internet is via dial-up modem rather than high speed
    dedicated lines. The focus includes users who use SLIP and PPP to
    get direct connections to the Internet, and users who use Internet
    facilities via dial-up terminal emulation. 

Come, join, and assist us as we plan for increased access for such 
communities. Examples include elementary and high schools, public 
libraries, small businesses, organizations located in remote 
geographic areas, and the rapidly evolving community of users who 
need Internet access from their homes. Help us develop ideas for 
new programs and services both useful and interesting. Meet other 
people who are committed to expanding the network's usefulness. 

Intended Audience:

We invite you to meet with us to share information and successes 
you may have, to learn from the information and successes of others, 
to talk with people interested in developing the potential of 
networks, and to discuss ways to develop the rural datafication 
theme as a major initiative focused on meeting the needs of the user 
communities discussed throughout this announcement. This 
conference is specifically intended for three key communities: 

1. Providers of networked information, whether they be network 
    organizations or not, who are committed to assisting us as we
    pursue our rural datafication strategy.
2. Users of networked information: teachers, researchers, librarians, 
    scientists, lawyers, bankers -- in short, those who are interested in
    contributing to and gaining from the growing electronically-
    connected community. We are particularly interested in attracting
    users interested in the rural datafication concept. 
3. Perhaps of most importance, potential users of networked 
    information who which to either learn about the network or
    advise us on how best to construct a truly pervasive and
    ubiquitous data network.

Agenda, dates and times:
Friday, May 14th:
Opening remarks begin at 9:15 am
Closing remarks will conclude at 4:30 PM 
An optional early registration and opening Reception will be held on 
Thursday, May 13th from 5 - 7pm.

Location and fees:
          McCormick Center Hotel
          Lake Shore Drive at 23rd Street
          Chicago, IL 60616
          Conference room rates: Single $85; Double $95 
Conference fee: $69 -- includes Friday lunch, morning and afternoon 
breaks, and Thursday's registration reception 

To be placed on the list to receive additional information, please 
email, mail, or fax your request for additional information to: 

          fax: +1.313.998.6105
          mail: Rural Datafication
                    2901 Hubbard
                    Ann Arbor, MI 48105

We will need either your e-mail or postal address with the request 
for additional information. We would like you to list a particular area 
of interest that you have, relevant to the theme of the conference. 

Queries may also be directed to Julie-Elise Burroughs at 
+1.313.998.6103 or to Glee Cady at +1.313.998.6419 


                           EFF Funding

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, 
nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C.  Our total budget for 1993 
will be in the neighborhood of $1.7 million.

Like many other public interest advocacy groups, EFF sustains its 
activities through membership dues, individual donations and gifts, 
and foundation and corporate grants.

Much of EFF's research on public policy and technology is conducted 
through the Communications Policy Forum (CPF).  Jointly sponsored 
by EFF, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), and the American 
Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), CPF brings together consumer groups, 
communications and computer firms, and public policy experts to 
explore communications policy options.  CPF does not engage in 
lobbying or take positions on issues.  It is broadly supported by 
foundations and corporations with widely divergent and conflicting 
views on communications policy.  Funders include:

Adobe Systems              Apple Computers
AT&T                       Bauman Foundation
Bell Atlantic              Benton Foundation
Dun & Bradstreet           Electronic Mail Association
IBM                        Interval Researc
Lotus Development Corp.    MCI Telecommunications
Microsoft Corporation      Newspaper Assoc. of America
NCTA                       RSA Data Security
Sun Microsystems           Tides Foundation

EFF's policy goals and advocacy positions are determined by EFF's 
board and staff.  In support of these positions, EFF does, from time to 
time, assemble political coalitions that include EFF corporate funders 
and other public interest organizations.  For example, corporations 
such as Lotus Development Corporation, Microsoft, and Apple 
Computer have contributed funding for EFF's digital privacy work.

Major individual donations and foundation and corporate grants
range from $10,000 to $250,000.  EFF also receives many smaller
donations from individuals supportive of its work.  EFF has over 
1,000 members who pay dues of either $40 or $20 annually.

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