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EFFector - Volume 8, Issue 12 - ALERT - Public Input to FCC on Public Spectrum - July 10 Deadline


EFFector - Volume 8, Issue 12 - ALERT - Public Input to FCC on Public Spectrum - July 10 Deadline

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EFFector Online  Volume 08 No. 12      July 7, 1995
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation        ISSN 1062-9424


ALERT - Public Input to FCC on Public Spectrum - July 10 Deadline!
 What You Can Do Now
 For More Information
Bernstein Crypto Case Update: Justciability Motion Schedule
Calendar of Events
Quote of the Day
Errata - Typo in Baker Case Article Last Issue
What YOU Can Do

* See or, /pub/Alerts/ for more
information on current EFF activities and online activism alerts! *


Subject: ALERT - Public Input to FCC on Public Spectrum - July 10 Deadline!

* Background

On May 24, 1995, Apple Computer filed a petition with the FCC ("Petition 
for Rulemaking in the Matter of Allocation of Spectrom in the 5 GHz Band - 
to Establish a Wireless Component of the NII", Petition No. RM-8653, 
a.k.a. the "NII Band Petition"). The document summarizes itself: "This 
Petition for Rulemaking calls for the creation of a new band of
frequencies for high capacity, unlicensed wireless data -- the 'NII
Band.' Specifically, Apple proposes that the Commission allocate 300
MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz range, comprised of the 5150-5300 MHz
band (which has been allocated throughout most of Europe for
'HIPERLAN' unlicensed wireless local area networks) and the 5725-5875
MHz band (which currently is used by unlicensed Part 15 technologies;
industrial, scientific and medical ('ISM') devices; and Amateur

The meaning of all of this is, essentially, free and unregulated local 
and metropolitan communication, unmediated by monopolistic 
telecommunications companies.

The features and effects of the plan include the following:

 - Adequate bandwidth to support high-speed voice, video and data 
   applications (up to 24 Mbps or more) for large numbers of users; 

 - operation in protected spectrum and in conformance with an
   overarching set of technical rules, developed by the information
   industry, and set at the minimum level necessary to assure equal access;

 - open entry and equal access to the spectrum for all compliant devices and 
   all types of communications; 

 - longer distance communications (10-15 km or more), creating new
   possibilities for unlicensed community networks - much greater range than
   cellular sites; 

 - allows consumers to sidestep the upcoming telecommunications rate 
   increases almost certain to result from the Telecommunications "Reform"

 - essentially FREE voice and data communications for residential, 
   educational, business, community, city, county, rural and mobile 
   voice, video and data communications - including point-to-point exchanges
   and point-to-multipoint creator-controlled broadcasting;

 - no phone/data/video bills for this service, no mega-corporation 
   ownership and control, no wires, no fees or operator licenses;

 - security - spectrum-spreading algorithms make eavesdropping difficult,
   and communications can be further scrambled (while the trasmitted data
   itself can be pre-encrypted for another layer of security);

 - derails arguments for censorship - content is inherently scrambled, and
   the idea that children or unwilling adults will be subjected to unwanted
   offensive material just doesn't fly, if it ever did;

 - true competition in both content and conduit - like the Internet, the NII
   Band would not be controlled by monopolies or cartels, and the two-way
   nature of this extension to the medium would further allow consumers to
   be creators and service providers as well.

 - would greatly extend the future of rural, community and educational 

 - a boon to wearable computer technology, for the disabled and for 
   general computer-users, which depends upon wireless communications.

Apple's petition states: 

 "The NII Band would promote the full deployment of a National 
 Information Infrastructure ("NII"), extending the effective reach of the 
 NII by making possible high-bandwidth access and interaction throughout a 
 limited geographic area -- where mobility is key -- both on a peer-to-peer,
 ad hoc basis and through wireless local area networks. Moreover, it would 
 provide for unlicensed, wireless, wide area "community networks" 
 connecting communities, schools, and other groups underserved by existing 
 and proposed telecommunications offerings.

 The NII Band would advance a host of public policy objectives,
 including assuring that all segments of society have access to the
 'information superhighway;' extending advanced telecommunications
 offerings to schools, libraries, hospitals, and government agencies;
 and promoting the participation of small businesses, businesses owned
 by women or minorities, and pioneering firms in tomorrow's
 telecommunications marketplace.

 Because the NII Band would build upon, but transcend, both the
 European HIPERLAN effort and existing Part 15 unlicensed use, it would
 increase U.S. competitiveness and create new export opportunities;
 provide interconnectivity between U.S. and European markets, thereby
 furthering the creation of a Global Information Infrastructure
 ("GII"); and dramatically expand the applications that can be
 supported by, and the market for products operating in, the 5 GHz ISM

 These goals can be achieved while accommodating most current and
 proposed uses of the 5150-5300 and 5725-5875 MHz bands...

 Accordingly, Apple requests that the Commission expedite creation of
 the NII Band and adopt technical rules to hasten the development and
 deployment of new technologies."

* What You Can Do Now

Submit comments to the FCC by July 10, 1995!

Dewayne Hendricks, who's Warp Speed Imagineering site is hosting 
materials on the topic, including the petition itself, says that 
if a fair number comments from the publice aren't filed in favor of this 
conenct, "then it will die an early death. Asking for 300 MHz of spectrum 
to be turned over to the public for its own use, without an auction, was 
a pretty gutsy move on Apple's part I believe.  It continues in the 
tradition of the original Data-PCS petition they submitted to the FCC 
four years ago.  At that time, no one really thought that the Commission 
would respond favorably to such a bold move on the part of the computer 
industry.  Well, they did and the spectrum allocation for Data-PCS is 
history.  Problem is, I don't think that in this case, without major 
public support, lightning will strike twice in the same place."

Public comments on petitions to the FCC, normally filed in the form of a
letter addressed to the Secretary of the FCC, are included in the
docket and made a part of the proceeding. They will be reviewed by
members of the Commission staff, and made available for public
inspection. To be included in the process, you should snail-mail one
signed original along with one copy of your comments to:

   Mr. William Caton, Acting Secretary
   RE: RM-8653
   Federal Communications Commission
   1919 M Street, N.W.
   Washington, D.C. 20554

Simply say in your own words why you believe the FCC should
give serious consideration to Apple's petition for an NII band.

IMPORTANT: The first page of your comments should clearly reference the 
Apple petition, by labelling your submission "Re: RM-8653".  Those 
wishing to send addtitional comments in criticism of the WinForum 
"SUPERNET" counter-petition, which would use this bandwidth for regulated 
and expensive communications services controlled by telecom conglomerates, 
can do so by sending to the same address, with submissions marked "Re: 

After the July 10 deadline, more comments can be submitted until July 25. 
However, this second comment period is technically for comments on the 
original comments, and sending original comments during this period is 
unlikely be anywhere near as effective as sending them by the July 10 

Unfortunately, the FCC does *not* accept emailed or faxed comments.
If you find this questionalble, you may wish to send polite, concise, but 
firm faxes regarding this matter to the FCC commissioners (Chairman Reed 
Hundt, Andrew Barrett, Rachelle Chong, Susan Ness, and James Quello) at
the FCC's Office of Public Affairs: +1 202 632 0942.  There appears to be 
no more general fax number for FCC, much less for the Commission secretary.
You should also send copies to your Congresspersons, who can effect 
chages in FCC policy.  See the "What YOU Can Do" section of this 
newsletter for info on contacting your Senators and Represenatatives.

* For More Information

See Dewayne Hendrick's archive of information on the Apple Petition. The 
text of the petition and more detailed instructions for sending comments 
are here, and more material is expected soon.

Gopher and FTP users can access the petition at:, /pub/Alerts/apple_fcc_rm8648.petition, 1/Alerts, apple_fcc_rm8648.petition

NB: Thanks to Jim Warren, Paul Baran, Dewayne Hendrick and W. Curtiss Priest.


Subject: Bernstein Crypto Case Update: Justciability Motion Schedule

Things are moving along in the early stages of Bernstein v. US Dept. of 
State, et al. - the groundbreaking EFF-sponsored suit against the US 
government for freedom of speech violations in the restriction of 
encryption export.

To date, EFF and Dan Berstein have filed a suit against the State 
Department, NSA, and other agencies.  The government has responded with a 
motion to dismiss, arguing that the court does not have jurisdiction over 
the issue (e.g. because it's a "national security" matter, and because, 
they claim, software is not speech and therefore there is no 
constitutional issue involved.).

Judge Patel has set several dates for papers to be filed in preparation 
for a hearing on the jurisdiction matter, has put on hold motions 
from all parties, and has stayed discovery (i.e., argument and 
evidentiary proceedings over the facts of the case and of parties' 
arguments), until justiciability is settled.

* August 15: Government to file motion on justiciability (they hope to 
  demonstrate that the case cannot even be brought before the court, and to 
  show that software is not protected speech.  Good luck.

* September 22: Our opposition papers will be filed, arguing that the 
  restriction on export of cryptographic software is unconstitutional.
  We believe our case is very strong.

* October 6: Government may file reply papers in response to our opposition.

* October 20, 10:30am: Hearing to be held on the government's motion.

When the justiciability issue is settled, it will most likely be in EFF 
and Bernstein's favor. At this point the trial begins in earnest.


Subject: Calendar of Events

This schedule lists EFF events, and those we feel might be of interest to
our members.  EFF events (those sponsored by us or featuring an EFF speaker)
are marked with a "*" instead of a "-" after the date.  Simlarly, government
events, such as deadlines for comments on reports or testimony submission, are
marked with "!" in place of the "-" after the date.

If you know of an event of some sort that should be listed here, please
send info about it to Stanton McCandlish (

The latest full version of this calendar, which includes material for
later in the year as well as the next couple of months, is available from:

ftp:, /pub/EFF/calendar.eff
gopher:, 1/EFF, calendar.eff

Updated: July 5, 1995


July 11-
     15 - '95 Joint International Conference: Association for Computers and
          the Humanties, and Association for Literacy and Linguistic
          Computing; UCSB, Santa Barbara, Calif. Will highlight the
          development of new computing methodologies for research and
          teaching in the humanities
          Contact:  Eric Dahlin, +1 805 687 5003 (voice)

July 12-
     14 * Interactive Services Association 10th Annual Conference & Expo;
          Marriott Copley Place Hotel, Boston, Mass.  Featured speakers
          include Esther Dyson (EFF Board of Directors), and executives
          of CompuServe, Prodigy, Netcom, AOL, Tribune Co., MCI Info. 
          Services, NYNEX, Continental Cablevision, AT&T, WordPerfect,
          Microsoft, eWorld, Arlen Comms., BFD Prod., Fujitsu, and others.
          Fax: +1 301 495 4959

July 22-
     26 - Syllabus'95; Sonoma State U., Rohnert Park, Calif.
          "The premier conference covering the use of technology in the
          Contact: 1-800-773-0670 (voice, US-only), +1 408 746 200 (voice,

Aug. 4-   
     6  - DEF CON III; the Tropicana Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada; "a     
          convention for the "underground" elements of the computer
          culture...the Hackers, Phreaks, Hammies, Virii Coders,
          Programmers, Crackers, Cyberpunk Wannabees, Civil Liberties
          Groups, CypherPunks, Futurists, Artists, Etc."  Members of
          the enforcement & security communities are also regularly in
          Email: or

Aug. 4-
     9  - Seminar on Academic Computing '95: Tough Choices, Radical
          Opportunities; Snowmass Village, Colorado.

Aug. 6-
     11 - SIGGRAPH '95 - International Conference on Computer Graphics and
          Interactive Techniques; Los Angeles, Calif.; sponsored by the Assoc.
          for Computing Machinery.

Aug. 10-
     12 - Tenth Annual Conference on Computing and Philosophy (CAP);
          Pittsburgh, Philadelphia.
          Contact: +1 412 268 7643 (voice)

Aug. 13-
     16 - Conference on Organizational Computing Systems (COOCS'95);
          Silicon Valley Sheraton, Milpitas, Calif.; sponsored by the
          Assoc. of Computing Machinery. 
          Contact: +1 408 456 7667 (voice), +1 408 456 7050 (fax)

Aug. 14-
     18 - Computers in Context: Joining Forces in Design; Aarhus, Denmark.
          Contact: Computers in Context, Aarhus University, Dept. of
                   Computer Science, Bldg. 540, Ny Munkegade 116, DK-8000
                   Aarhus C, Denmark.

Aug. 16-
     19 - Libraries of the Future - IFLA; Istanbul, Turkey.

        - AI-ED'95: 7th World Conference on Artificial Intelligence in
          Education.  Washington, DC.  Sponsor: The Association for the
          Advancement of Computing in Education
          Contact: +1 804 973 3987 (voice)

Aug. 16-
     20 * ONE BBSCon '95; Tampa Conv. Ctr., Tampa, Florida
          Largest BBS sysop/user convention in the world
          Probably will feature EFF speakers.
          Contact: +1 303 693 5253 (voice)


Subject: Quote of the Day

"History has shown that there are very few mechanisms as effective at
maintaining the status quo as a set of institutionalized regulations. Once
set in regulatory concrete, reconsideration of the basic underlying
assumptions is very difficult. While it will be an uphill fight to
re-examine the basic underlying assumptions of any law or administrative
rule, it is clearly not impossible. It will just take longer than if not so
well institutionalized."
  - Paul Baran, "Is the UHF Frequency Shortage a Self-Made Problem",
    Marconi Radio Centennial Symposium, Bologna Italy, June 23 1995.

The time has come to act, and act quickly on numerous issues - free 
speech on the Internet, an end to monopolized communication, the right to 
privacy and security, and many others.  There are many things you can do 
(see the What YOU Can Do section of this newsletter) about many issues 
(see the EFFWeb Alerts at, or at, /pub/Alerts).  YOU can help change things, no matter how 
entrenched the status quo may be.

You can also join EFF and help us make these and others efforts a winning 


Subject: Errata - Typo in Baker Case Article Last Issue

The final directory in the paths give for more information on the Baker 
case was wrongly given as Baker_UMinn_Case.  It's is actually 
Baker_UMich_Case. Apologies to the University of Minnesota and our 
readers for any confusion.  The full sites and paths are:, /pub/Legal/Cases/Baker_UMich_Case/, 11/Legal/Cases/Baker_UMich_Case


Subject: What YOU Can Do

* The NII Band FCC Petition

Submit comments to the FCC by July 10, 1995!

   Mr. William Caton, Acting Secretary
   RE: RM-8653
   Federal Communications Commission
   1919 M Street, N.W.
   Washington, D.C. 20554

Simply say in your own words why you believe the FCC should
give serious consideration to Apple's petition for an NII band, and 
reject the competing "SUPERNET" petition (RM-8646).

* The Bernstein Privacy Technology Liberation Case

Please contribute to the EFF Cyberspace Legal Defense Fund, which fuels 
important cases like this. See for more 
info, or send queries to

* Anti-Net Hysteria

Write letters to the editors and op-ed pieces for your local publications,
cricize hypey and inaccurate reporting (especially on tv), call in to 
talk radio shows, and set these people straight.  Fight b.s. with the 
inescapable facts.

* Internet Censorship Legislation

Business/industry persons concerned should alert their corporate govt.
affairs office and/or legal counsel.  Everyone should write to their own
Representatives and ask them to support the Cox/Wyden bill.

For more information on Internet censorship (and anti-censorship!) 
legislation, see:, /pub/Alerts/, 1/Alerts

If you do not have full internet access, send your request
for information to

* Find Out Who Your Congresspersons Are

Writing letters to, faxing, and phoning your representatives in Congress
is one very important strategy of activism, and an essential way of
making sure YOUR voice is heard on vital issues.

EFF has lists of the Senate and House with contact information, as well
as lists of Congressional committees. These lists are available at:, /pub/Activism/Congress_cmtes/, 1/EFF/Issues/Activism/Congress_cmtes

The full Senate and House lists are senate.list and hr.list, respectively.
Those not in the U.S. should seek out similar information about their
own legislative bodies.  EFF will be happy to archive any such
information provided.  If you do not know who your Representatives are, 
you should contact you local League of Women Voters, who typically maintain
databases that can help you find out.

* Join EFF!

You *know* privacy, freedom of speech and ability to make your voice heard
in government are important. You have probably participated in our online
campaigns and forums.  Have you become a member of EFF yet?  The best way to
protect your online rights is to be fully informed and to make your
opinions heard.  EFF members are informed and are making a difference.  Join
EFF today!

For EFF membership info, send queries to, or send any
message to for basic EFF info, and a membership form.



EFFector Online is published by:

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End of EFFector Online v08 #12 Digest


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