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EFFector - Volume 8, Issue 22 - Two More Days of National Protest! + Update on Progress


EFFector - Volume 8, Issue 22 - Two More Days of National Protest! + Update on Progress

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EFFector Online Volume 08 No. 22       Dec 12, 1995
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation        ISSN 1062-9424


Two More Days of National Protest! + Update on Progress
ALERT: NYC Anti-Censorship Rally/Press Conference, Thu. 2-3pm EST
ALERT: SF Anti-Censorship Rally, Rain or Shine! Thu. noon-1pm PST
ALERT: Seattle Anti-Censorship Rally, Thu. noon-1pm PST
ALERT: Austin Anti-Censorship Rally, Tue. Dec. 19
NIIAC Opposes Internet Censorship, Supports Filtering Technology
Upcoming Events
Quote of the Day
What YOU Can Do

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

 -> If you are organizing a rally in your area, please let us know.
 -> We'll keep the alerts page updated. -


Subject: Two More Days of National Protest! + Update on Progress 

* There was NO vote on this issue today by the Senate side of the joint 
conference committee, it *has not* passed yet.  This gives us at least 
another day of action!

for what steps you can take to protect free speech online. It's easy, and 
it's important!

Since the online activism efforts are still gaining rather than losing 
any steam, consider Dec. 13 and 14 the 2nd and 3rd Days of National 
Protest against the Internet censorship legislation.  Keep the web sites 
up, organize more rallys!  Tell your offline friends why this is so
important and get them to call and write their Congresspersons.

* The number of people sending notes to the Internet Protest tally 
address, indicating that they have contacted one or more legislators
on the Internet censorship topic, reached at least 14,000 today alone! 
(That was about 6 hours before this writing, so the likely total for 
today is closer to 20,000+.)  This only counts those people who bothered 
to let the tallying address know they had written or called legislators.
The real total is probably between 50,000 to 100,000 or more, and 
considering that many if not most respondents contacted more than one 
legislator, and that many who called also faxed and emailed, this could 
represent several hundred thousand instances of online citizens 
contacting legisators on this issue.   Even if the numbers are lower that 
these very rough guestimates, this is clearly the largest and fastest 
moving online activism effort to date.  KEEP IT UP!  WE CAN WIN THIS!

* Texas Criminal Court Judge Stephen Russell has vowed to team up with 
online newspaper _The_American_Reporter_, Internet access provider 
Newshare, and attorney Randall Boe of Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & 
Kahn, to publish online an "indecent" article in defiance of the CDA if 
it or similar legislation passes, and defend that publication in court.  
(from press release, full text at
EFF, ACLU and the National Writers Union have also committed to fighting 
this legislation in court if necessary.

* Sen. Ted Stevens has apparently changed his fax number since the most 
recent Senate contact info list we had, and as a result faxes to him at 
the old number *did not reach him*, but instead reached the Senate 
Education Subcommittee, who were deluged in faxes.  They seem to have 
given up trying to gather them and deliver them to Sen. Stevens.  If you 
want your voice to count, please resend your faxes, to the new number:
+1 202 224 2354.  We have heard from numerous people that conference 
committee Congresspersons fax machines have been kept so busy all day 
that Congressional offices are going through stacks of paper packages 
trying to keep up, and that staffers have been so inundated with calls 
against Internet censorship legislation that they sometimes don't even let 
callers finish, but interupt: "You're calling to oppose Internet 
censorship, right?", and have to take another call.  This is a very good 
sign. The issue is very much on their maps now, and they know that 
people are watching this issue very closely.  It will take at least this 
to break the Christian Coalition's chokehold on the conference 
committee's reins.  KEEP CALLING!  

* Stardot Consulting, the company that provides the free 
look-up-your-legislators service referred to in the "What YOU Can Do" 
section of EFFector, is strongly opposed to and actively engaged
in the battle against the Communications Decency Act, and set up a www -> 
telegram gateway for the first 100 people who used the new page 
( That didn't take very long at all.
After that first 100, responses are being batched and will be delivered 
to legislators en masse, so give it a go after you call and fax.

* Sen. Feinstein's staffer told a caller that the legislative language 
being considered by the conference committee would strictly limit the 
online distribution of information about abortion.  It would also 
restrict the King James Bible (which contains at least one "indecency")
and a lot of other material, including classic novels most of us read in 
high school as required reading (e.g. _Catcher_in_the_Rye_), and the 
poetry of Allen Ginsberg.  Interesting points to make in your faxes and 
calls to Congress.

* More and more online publishers, businesses and individuals are putting 
anti-censorship info and alerts on their sites.  Keep at it!  Ask your 
ISP to put a pointer to more info on the National Days of Internet 
Protest in their WWW welcome pages, in their login messages, and anywhere 
else people may see it.  Get your friends to put the alerts up on their 
home pages!


Subject: ALERT: NYC Anti-Censorship Rally/Press Conference, Thu. 2-3pm EST

Come good news or bad, Shabbir Safdar  of VTW and Ann
Beeson  of the ACLU will be running a press conference
regarding the outcome of Internet censorship legislation. It will be held at
the CyberCafe in New York's East Village, from 2-3pm EST, Thursday, Dec. 14.

Details and a complete announcement will be issued soon.  Check the VTW
pages on Wed. If you would like to participate (as opposed to just
attend) please write to and we will allocate your 1.5 minutes
of fame (you'll have 13.5 minutes remaining for future events).

Basically, this event ends just as the SF and Seattle rallies begin.

  Steven Cherry    -  Shabbir Safdar (
  Voters Telecomm Watch  
  gopher -p 1/vtw


Subject: ALERT: SF Anti-Censorship Rally, Rain or Shine! Thu. noon PST

This is an updated announcement for Thursday's Rally Against Censorship,
with the current list of speakers.  The rally will take place rain or
shine, so hope for the best, bring an umbrella, and spread the word.


                         Thursday, December 14, 1995
                     at South Park, 12:00 noon - 1:00 PM
                          San Francisco, California

                           --  Rain or Shine!  --


Amendment I: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of
speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble."


It's like illiterates telling you what to read. On December 6 members of
the House Conference Committee on Telecommunications Reform approved a
proposal to censor free speech in cyberspace. If the measures are adopted,
the Net and online media will become the most heavily regulated media in
the United States. They *will not* enjoy the First Amendment freedoms now
afforded to print media. Instead, online publishers and users will be held
to a vague and patently un-Constitutional "indecency" standard. "Violators"
will be subject to fines of up to $100,000 and prison terms of up to five

In response, ALL members of the Bay Area media, online, Internet, new
media, and telecommunications communities are invited to participate in a
protest rally to express our outrage that the politicians in Congress
(which is not even connected to the Internet!) are attempting to destroy
our First Amendment rights in cyberspace, and directly attack our

Help stop the demagogues in Washington! There is nothing "decent" about
denying free speech to us, our children, and our children's children.
Preserve our Constitutional rights! Join us!

WHEN: Thursday, December 14, 1995  12:00 noon - 1:00 PM

WHERE: South Park (between 2nd and 3rd, Bryant and Brannan) San Francisco.
       (In the event of rain, an indoor location will be announced)

SPEAKERS:Mike Godwin, EFF; John Gilmore, co-founder, EFF; Denise Caruso,
New York Times columnist; Jim Warren, online activist; Howard Rheingold,
author; Dave Winer, essayist and software developer; Audrie Krause,
Executive Director, CPSR; Jonathan Steuer, CEO, Cyborganic Corp; Michael
Goldberg, Publisher, Addicted To Noise.

BRING: Attention-grabbing posters, signs, and banners that demonstrate your
committment to free speech and expression, and your feelings about


(Although this event is being organized in the offices of Wired magazine
and HotWired, we are *actively* seeking participation and support from all
members of the local community. Please forward this message to anyone you
think should attend, and to all relevant news groups.)

CONTACT: Todd Lappin -- 415-222-6241 --


Subject: ALERT: Seattle Anti-Censorship Rally, Thu. noon-1pm PST

     Please distribute -- Please distribute -- Please distribute



		       Thursday, December 14th


	    Seattle Public Library Auditorium (3rd floor)
			  1000 Fourth Avenue

Congress is putting an axe to the Internet and Free Speech.  On-line
services as we know it could disappear and the free flow of
information will stop.  Join is in this rally against unreasonable

This rally is scheduled to coincide with a similar rally in San Francisco.


Sponsored by: CPSR-Seattle, ACLU-Washington, Seattle Community Network,
	      911 Media Arts Center

Speakers will include: Rob Glaser (EFF board of directors, founder of
                       Progressive Networks & RealAudio)

	Please distribute this notice to all concerned parties

    Sam Tucker                   
    Progressive Networks, Inc.                     
    Home of What's New In Activism Online


Subject: ALERT: Austin Anti-Censorship Rally, Tue. Dec. 19

An Austin, Texas, anti-censorship rally will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 19,
organized by EFF-Austin.  It is later than the others, but they didn't feel
that they could (a) get the word out in time and (b) find a suitable
location before then.

More details as they become available (expected evening of Dec. 13.)


David Smith, President, EFF-Austin
+1 512 304 6308

[Part or all of the above alerts borrowed from older announcents from the 
organizers of the rallies.]


Subject: NIIAC Opposes Internet Censorship, Supports Filtering Technology

EFF reports that at the National Information Advisory Council public 
meeting, the Council voted to send the following letter to Commerce Dept. 
Secretary Ron Brown.  NIIAC is a civilian advisory body to the Clinton 
Administration on NII issues, including privacy and free expression.  EFF 
board of directors chair Esther Dyson sits on this Council, as has EFF 
co-founder Mitch Kapor.


National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council

TO: Secretary of Commerce - Ron Brown

Dear Mr. Secratary:

As you know, the important subject of free speech in a digital environment
is currently being debated on Capitol Hill.  Today, the NII Advisory
Council has adopted recommendations on a number of issues, including that of
free speech. 

The Council has agreed on a KickStart Initiative, which recommends that
every community provide points of access to the information superhighway
though its schools, libraries and community centers.  We must provide
parents and teachers with the tools to guide children.  The NIIAC believes
that appropriate access to the data superhighway can be handled without
government intervention and restrictions.  Our KickStart Initiative gives
guidance to parents and schools on this issue and points to available means
of filtering out inappropriate material and rating systems which can be
used to guide children's access to material. 

The NIIAC believes that the rights of free speech should not be abridged in
the digital age.  Furthermore, content and services which may be appropriate
for some, may be innapropriate for others.  Rather than restrict all people
from access to these technologies, content and services, we should find
other ways to deal with the issue.  Also, to ensure that information
technology and services may evolve in a timely, productive and competitive
fashion, maximum freedom of choice by individuals and organizations in
selecting the technologies, content and services is critical.  Therefore,
the NIIAC has unanimously adopted the following recommendation:

	The government should not be in the business of regulating
	content on the Information Superhighway.  It should defer to
	the use of privately provided filtering, reviewing, rating
	mechanisms and parental supervision, as the best means of
	preventing access by minors to inappropriate materials. 

We hope that this recommendation will be useful to you in your
deliberations on this issue. 



Edward R. McCracken, Co-Chair
Delano Lewis, Co-Chair

 ***** end letter *****


Subject: Newsnibbles

* Newsbytes section renamed.  Due to legal threats from Newsbytes News 
Network, who perhaps dubiously claim our use of "Newsbytes" as an article 
title is a violation of their trademark, we're renamed this section 
Newsnibbles.  Only geeks will fully grok the pun. :)  No other 
Newsbytes^H^H^H^H^Hnibbles for this issue, due to the urgency of the lead 


Subject: Upcoming events

This schedule lists events that are directly EFF-related. A much more 
detailed calendar of events likely to be of interest to our members and 
supporters is maintained at:

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


Dec. 12 * National Day of Internet Protest against net censorship legislation

Dec. 13 * Second National Day of Internet Protest against net censorship 

Dec. 14 * Third National Day of Internet Protest against net censorship 

        * Rally & Press Conference Against Internet Censorship, 2-3pm EST
          CyberCafe, East Village, New York City, NY.  Speakers will 
          include Sabbir Safdar (VTW) and Ann Beeson (ACLU).  Others 
          expected.  No info available until the 13th.
          URL: (no info here yet)

        * Rally Against Internet Censorship, 12noon-1pm PST, South Park, San 
          Francisco Calif.  Help stop the demagogues in Washington! There 
          is nothing "decent" about denying free speech to us, our 
          children, and our children's children. Preserve our 
          Constitutional rights! Join us!  Speakers to include EFF staff 
          counsel Mike Godwin, EFF co-founder John Gilmore, Jim Warren 
          (GovAccess), Howard Rheingold (_Virtual_Community_ author), Dave
          Winer (essayist), CPSR exec. dir. Audrie Krause, Jonathan Steuer
          (Cyborganic Corp. CEO), and EFF boardmembers emeritus Denise 
          Caruso (_New_York_Times_) and Jane Metcalfe (_Wired_).
          Contact: Todd Lappin, +1 415 222 6241 (voice - please see URL first)

        * Rally Against Internet Censorship, 12noon-1pm PST, Seattle 
          Public Library Auditorium (3rd floor), 1000 Fourth Avenue, Seattle
          Wash.  Sponsored by: CPSR-Seattle, ACLU-Washington, Seattle 
          Community Network, 911 Media Arts Center. Speakers will include
          Rob Glaser (EFF/Progressive Networks/RealAudio).

Dec. 19 * Rally Against Internet Censorship, Austin Texas.  Organized by
          EFF-Austin.  No other info available yet.
          Contact: +1 512 304 6308
          URL: gopher:// (no info here yet)


Jan. 17-
     18 * Innovation Now; Oregon Convention Center, Portland Oregon.
          Sponsored by American Electronics Association's Oregon Council,
          et al.  Speakers include EFF chair of the board Esther Dyson.


Subject: Quote of the Day

"[L]iberty of the press is the right of the lonely pamphleteer who uses
carbon paper or a mimeograph just as much as of the large metropolitan
publisher who utilizes the latest photocomposition methods."
  - judge's decision in _Branzburg_v._Hayes_, 408 U.S. 665, 704 (1972).

Find yourself wondering if your privacy and freedom of speech are safe 
when bills to censor the Internet are swimming about in a sea of of 
surveillance legislation and anti-terrorism hysteria?  Worried that in 
the rush to make us secure from ourselves that our government 
representatives may deprive us of our essential civil liberties? 
Concerned that legislative efforts nominally to "protect children" will 
actually censor all communications down to only content suitable for 
the playground?  Alarmed by commercial and religious organizations abusing
intellectual property law to stifle satire, dissent and criticism?

Join EFF!

Even if you don't live in the U.S., the anti-Internet hysteria will soon 
be visiting a legislative body near you.  If it hasn't already.


Subject: What YOU Can Do

* The Communications Decency Act & Other Censorship Legislation

The Communications Decency Act and similar legislation pose serious 
threats to freedom of expression online, and to the livelihoods of system 
operators.  The legislation also undermines several crucial privacy 

Business/industry persons concerned should alert their corporate govt.
affairs office and/or legal counsel.  Everyone should write to their own
Representatives and Senators, and especially the conference committee 
members, asking them to oppose Internet censorship legislation, and 
write to the conference committee members to support the reasonable 
approaches of Leahy, Klink, Cox and Wyden, and to oppose the 
unconstitutional proposals of Exon, Gorton and others.  Urge them to 
accept Whyte's demands that system operators not be held liable for 
crimes they did not commit, and that the FCC be barred from regulating the 
Internet. Participate in the National Internet Days of Protest. Take part 
in anti-censorship rallies.  See the first five articles in this newsletter 
for more detailed info.

For more information on what you can do to help stop this and other 
dangerous legislation, see:, /pub/Alerts/, 1/Alerts

If you do not have full internet access (e.g. WWW), send your request
for information to

* Digital Telephony/Comms. Assistance to Law Enforcement Act

The FBI is now seeking both funding for the DT/CALEA wiretapping provisions,
and preparing to require that staggering numbers of citizens be 
simultaneously wiretappable.  

To oppose the funding, write to your own Senators and Representatives 
urging them to vote against any appropriations for wiretapping. 
To oppose the FBI's wiretapping capacity demands, see the FBI Federal 
Register notice at the end of the second article in this newsletter, which
contains instructions on how to submit formal comments on the ludicrous 
and dangerous proposal - DEADLINE: Jan. 96!

* Anti-Terrorism Bills

Numerous bills threatening your privacy and free speech have been introduced
this year.  None of them are close to passage at this very moment, but 
this status may change. Urge your Congresspersons to oppose these 
unconstitutional and Big-Brotherish bills.

* The Anti-Electronic Racketeering Act

This bill is unlikely to pass in any form, being very poorly drafted, and 
without much support.  However, the CDA is just as bad and passed with 
flying colors [the jolly roger?] in the Senate. It's better to be safe 
than sorry. If you have a few moments to spare, writing to, faxing, or 
calling your Congresspersons to urge opposition to this bill is a good 
idea. If you only have time to do limited activism, please concentrate 
on the Internet censorship legislation instead. That legislation is far more 
imminent that the AERA.

* Medical Privacy Legislation

Several bills relating to medical privacy issues are floating in Congress 
right now. Urge your legislators to support only proposals that *truly* 
enhance the medical privacy of citizens.

More information on this legislation will be available at soon.  Bug to make 
it appear there faster. :)

* 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. (A House list is included in this
issue of EFFector). 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 are having difficulty determining who your Representatives are,
try contacting your local League of Women Voters, who maintain a great 
deal of legislative information, or consult the free ZIPPER service
that matches Zip Codes to Congressional districts with about 85%
accuracy at:

* 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:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation
1550 Bryant St., Suite 725
San Francisco CA 94103 USA
+1 415 436 9333 (voice)
+1 415 436 9993 (fax)
Membership & donations:
Legal services:
General EFF, legal, policy or online resources queries:

Stanton McCandlish, Online Services Mgr./Activist/Archivist (

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End of EFFector Online v08 #22 Digest


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