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EFFector - Volume 6, Issue 4 - Markey Applauds Initiative to Put SEC Corporate Filings on Internet

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EFFector Online Volume 6 No. 4       10/29/1993      editors@eff.org
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation   ISSN 1062-9424


In This Issue:

Markey Applauds Initiative to Put SEC Corporate Filings on Internet
Commerce Dept.'s Economic Bulleting Board on the Internet
First European Conference on Computers, Freedom and Privacy
Extenisve Govt. Fax/Email Gateways Provided in Canada


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Subject: Markey Applauds Initiative to Put SEC Corporate Filings on Internet

WASHINGTON -- Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Chairman of
the House Telecommunications and Finance Subcommittee, today
applauded the National Science Foundation's decision to fund a
pilot project aimed at making corporate disclosure documents
available through the Internet computer network.  The project
will take corporate filings submitted to the SEC's Electronic
Data Gathering and Retrieval (EDGAR) system and make them
available electronically, where they can be accessed by the
public.

"This project will launch EDGAR right into cyberspace," said Rep.
Markey, who explained that, "Soon, the public will be able to
obtain low-cost electronic access to a mother lode of
information, including registration statements, and annual and
periodic reports from virtually every major U.S. corporation."

Rep. Markey said, "This pilot project may help to demonstrate new
and more efficient ways of making large government databases
available to the public over the information superhighway."

"It can potentially benefit investors seeking access to current
information about companies, economists and other researchers
interested in corporate trends and developments, journalists
covering the business beat, and other individuals or public
interest groups interested in understanding what is going on in
corporate America."

Since the early 1980's, the SEC has been developing the EDGAR
program to automate the filing, acceptance, dissemination, and
analysis of the more than 10 million pages of disclosure
information annually submitted by public companies.

In February, the SEC approved formal implementation of the EDGAR 
program, under which the first mandatory electronic filings began
earlier this week for about 500 large corporations and investment
companies.  Another 1,200 companies were required to use the
system starting in July, and over 3,0000 companies will be
required to file their disclosures using EDGAR by the end of this
year.  Eventually, all 15,000 SEC-registered companies will be
required to use the system.

As the EDGAR program has moved towards operational status, many
potential users of the filings -- such as investors, finance
professionals, journalists, researchers, and public interest
groups -- have expressed concerns about the potential high cost
of public access to EDGAR information under the SEC's current
dissemination strategy.  This strategy relies on a private
information vendor, who sells EDGAR at a regulated wholesale
price to other retial information vendors, who in turn resell the
data to the public.  Over the last several months, the
Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance, which has
jurisdiction over the SEC and is responsible for national
telecommunications policy, has been examining the adequacy of
this dissemination strategy.

In response to the Subcommittee's inquiries, in April, the SEC
announced two steps aimed at offering the public greater access
to corporate filings submitted through its Electronic Data
Gathering Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) system, including
providing CD-ROMs to Federal Depository Libraries and making
diskettes available through the SEC's public reading rooms.  At
the same time, the SEC expressed technical and cost concerns
regarding suggestions that it directly fund electronic access to
EDGAR data.

In July, the House of Representatives approved the SEC's
Authorization Bill (H.R. 2239), which earlier was reported by the
Subcommittee and the full Energy and Commerce Committee.  The
Committee report accompanying the bill expressed support for
initiatives aimed at making EDGAR data available over the
Internet, stating that:

     The Committee agrees that there exists a need for a
     broad-based government policy on information
     dissemination, and it also believes that it would be
     unacceptable if time- and cost-efficient access to
     Commission filings in electronic form were denied to
     significant groups of market participants and other
     interested parties because of a failure of the existing
     dissemination approach to meet their needs.

The Committee noted that the prospects for a significant retail
market for EDGAR data developing "are at present uncertain" and
that therefore, "a pilot project aimed at providing EDGAR data to
the university research community and other interested persons
over the Internet ... may prove to be a useful supplement to the
current dissemination strategy, which will continue to rely on
private vendors for distribution of EDGAR data."

Rep. Markey concluded, "I want to commend the National Science
Foundation for their leadership in taking the initiative to
provide the funding for this project.  Both the New York
University Stern School of Business and the Internet Multicasting
Service are performing an invaluable public service in agreeing
to investigate ways of making EDGAR data available over the
Internet, and I wish them success as they move forward with this
important project."

  ****

According to Carl Malamud of the Internet Multicasting Service, EDGAR
should be available for public access "sometime early in 1994."  To get a
copy of the press release, and info on how to get updates on the EDGAR
database's availability, send requests to  edgar-announce@town.hall.org.


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Subject: Commerce Dept.'s Economic Bulletin Board on the Internet

The Commerce Department's Economic Bulletin Board (EBB) will be accessible
through the Internet without charge between July 26, 1993 until September 30,
1993.  During this introductory period, the EBB will be available via telnet.
To access the EBB, telnet to EBB.STAT-USA.GOV and login as TRIAL; no password
is required.

The EBB is a one-stop source for current information from the Department of
Commerce, Department of Labor, Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Board,
and many others federal agencies.  Over 2,000 files covering topics such as
gross domestic product, employment, foreign trade information, financial and
monetary indicators, and regional statistics, are available.

You can search for files among the following general topics:

 Summaries of Current Economic Conditions    U.S. Treasury Auction Results
 National Income and Product Accounts        Regional Economic Statistics
 Major Economic Indicators                   Energy Data
 Price and productivity Data                 Daily Trade Opportunities (TOPS)
 Foreign Trade Data                          International Market Insights
 Industry Sector Analysis                    Current Business Statistics
 Industry Statistics                         Fiscal and Monetary Policy Data
 U.S. Trade Representative Press Releases    Employment data
 Bureau of Export Administration Notices     Special Studies and Reports

For more information, please call (202) 482-1986 or send E-mail to
awilliams@esa.doc.gov


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Subject: First European Conference on Computers, Freedom and Privacy

ECPF-93

The New Cavendish Club
London, England

20th November 1993

Organised by ECFP Ventures Limited

Co-operating organisations :
  The Libertarian Alliance
  Privacy International, UK
  UK Cryptoprivacy Association


SCOPE
______________________________

The widespread use of computers and 
communication systems has brought considerable 
benefits to our business and personal lives and will 
continue to change and shape the way in which we 
live. However, with those benefits come unprecedented 
threats to our personal privacy and potential for abuse.

A variety of different models for protection of 
individual privacy in the electronic age have been 
suggested, ranging from state regulation to individual 
action through the use of strong cryptography. 
However, these solutions bring with them their own 
class of problems, including excessive state 
involvement in private matters and the frustration of 
law enforcement and national security objectives.

The First European Conference on Computers, 
Freedom and Privacy will both provide an introduction 
to these issues and the technological developments 
that drive them, and examine different ways in which 
individual rights can be guaranteed. These questions
are central to the preservation of a free society in the 
Information Age.

John M. Brimacombe
Conference Chair


KEYNOTE SPEAKER
______________________________

John Gilmore
Email: gnu@cygnus.com

OTHER SPEAKERS
______________________________

John Brimacombe (Chairman)
Email: john@mantis.co.uk

Simon Davies
Email: davies@privint.demon.co.uk

Tom Burroughes
Email: tom@reptile.demon.co.uk (after 10 October 1993)

David Chaum
Email: chaum@digicash.nl

Duncan Frissell
Email: frissell@panix.com

Elaine Fletcher

Chris Tame

Russell Whitaker
Email: whitaker@eternity.demon.co.uk

FEES
______________________________

   Student                         10.00  ($16.00 U.S.)
   Normal                          17.50  ($28.00 U.S.)
     Normal before 1 Nov 93:       15.00  ($24.00 U.S.)
   Press                           (Contact for arrangements)


You may pre-order copies of transcripts of the proceedings,
which will be shipped within 90 days after the conference:

Video and audio recordings will be made of the conference, in
its entirety.  No pre-sales will be made; tapes go on sale in
December 93/January 94.

For more detailed information, contact:

   16 Circus Road
   MM Box 8593
   London  NW8 6PG
   England

Please direct any further enquiries to the above address, or:
   ecfp-1st@eternity.demon.co.uk  (Email)
   +44 81-812-2661  (Manned message service; quick response)


Note: this is a shortened form of the conference announcement.  The full text,
giving information on the speakers, registration form, directions, schedule,
etc., is available as /pub/EFF/Temp/Confs/cfp1.uk, by anonymous ftp to
ftp.eff.org.


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Subject: Extensive Govt. Fax/Email Gateways Provided in Canada

Planet Communications & Computing Facility in association with
Digital Chicken is pleased to announce a new fax/email gateway
for City and Metropolitan Toronto Politicians, Greater Toronto
Members of Parliament, Hospitals, Ontario Government ministries,
churches, etc. etc.

As many of you know, we have a funny mailing address, and since
our node is still unregistered (registration Nov. 5th - we hope)
in order to take advantage of this gateway you must address your
email as follows.

        utgpu!plan9!chyk!

Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged.  Signed
articles do not necessarily represent the view of the EFF.  To reproduce
signed articles individually, please contact the authors for their express
permission.

*This newsletter is printed on 100% recycled electrons.*

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