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EFFector - Volume 9, Issue 10 - ALERT: Congress Rushing to Enact Anti-Privacy Bill - Call Congress!


EFFector - Volume 9, Issue 10 - ALERT: Congress Rushing to Enact Anti-Privacy Bill - Call Congress!

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EFFector Online Volume 09 No. 10      Aug. 1, 1996
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation        ISSN 1062-9424


ALERT: Congress Rushing to Enact Anti-Privacy Bill - Call Congress NOW!
 What you can do now
 Participating organizations
 EFF Web Site Now Features "What's Hot" News Updates and Search Engine
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! *


Subject: ALERT: Congress Rushing to Enact Anti-Privacy Bill - Call Congress NOW!

 **** Last minute update **** 

Just before ye editor was about to send this issue out, reports are 
filtering in that negotiations on the bill that is the subject of the 
alert below, have collapsed.

CNN reports: "Key members of the Senate blamed House conservatives for the
failure, saying they had insisted on linking proposed new
wiretapping authority for the FBI to an expansion of privacy laws."

CNN quotes Rep. Charles Schumer (D-NY) as saying that House Republican 
leaders "have come up with this smokescreen called privacy".  You may 
wish to let Rep. Schumer know how you feel about your right to privacy 
being labelled "a smokescreen":

     9th Dist. NY   Schumer, Charles E. (D)        
     1-202-225-6616 (voice), 1-202-225-4183 (fax)

The full text of the CNN article is available at:

The article also reports that "lawmakers said there is hope for 
agreement after the month long" Congressional recess beginning at the end 
of this week.  

We just have a short breathing space now.  


 ____  _____ ____     ___  _     _____ ____ _____ 
|  _ \| ____|  _ \   / _ \| |   | ____|  _ \_   _|  CONGRESS RUSHING TO
| |_) |  _| | | | | | |_| | |   |  _| | |_) || |    ENACT SURVEILLANCE
|  _ <| |___| |_| | |  _  | |___| |___|  _ < | |    LEGISLATION.  CALL
|_| \_\_____|____/  |_| |_|_____|_____|_| \_\|_|    CONGRESS NOW! 8/1/96



Table of contents
	What you can do now	
	Participating organizations


Late Wednesday, Congress and the Clinton Administration reached a
preliminary agreement on a sweeping new surveillance initiative. The
President and several Congressional leaders are pushing for a vote on the

If enacted, parts of the proposal would dramatically impact privacy and
security on the Internet and other advanced communications technologies.

Of particular concern are provisions which:

1. Allows law enforcement to wiretap "suspected terrorists" for up to
   48 hours BEFORE obtaining a court order
2. Provide funding for the Digital Telephony Proposal without any public
   accountability over how the FBI spends the funds

Other provisions are also circulating that would:

3. Threaten to impose new restrictions on encryption technologies
4. Seek to criminalize the distribution of 'bomb-making' information on
   the Internet that is legal in print.

Congress needs to hear from you.  Congress will rush through the passage
of massive new surveillance plans with privacy risks unless you
show them there is support for slow, deliberate, reasoned thought on
the issue.



	              NO LATER THAN FRIDAY (8/2/96)

Please contact as many elected officials on the list below as you can.
Urge them to "go slow" and carefully consider the impact these
surveillance proposals will have on the privacy and security of
all Internet users.

Tell them while you appreciate their concern about combating terrorism,
the measures being proposed have many potential side effects which must be
carefully considered.

1. Call the key members of Congress below and ask them to "go slow" and
   examine the issues before rushing into changing the delicate balance
   of law enforcement surveillance and the public.

2. If you are at a loss for words, use the following sample communique:


	Dear _________,

	Please do not rush the passage of counter terrorism legislation;
	I'm concerned that Congress is rushing without carefully
	considering the implications of privacy.  I'm from .


   You should call the following members of Congress because they
   are steering this legislation and need to hear there is support
   for slow, deliberate, thoughtful consideration of this issue.
   Some of thee members *have publicly expressed reservations* about this
   legislation, and we should support them in their efforts.

Senate members:

      P ST Name and Address           Phone           Fax
      = == ========================   ==============  ==============
      R MS Lott, Trent                1-202-224-6253  1-202-224-2262
      D DE Biden Jr., Joseph R.       1-202-224-5042  1-202-224-0139
      D SD Daschle, Thomas A.         1-202-224-2321  1-202-224-2047
      R UT Hatch, Orrin G.            1-202-224-5251  1-202-224-6331
      R PA Specter, Arlen             1-202-224-4254  1-717-782-4920
      D VT Leahy, Patrick J.          1-202-224-4242  1-202-224-3595

House members:

   Dist ST Name, Address, and Party       Phone            Fax
   ==== == ========================       ==============   ==============
      6 GA Gingrich, Newt (R)             1-202-225-4501   1-202-225-4656
      3 MO Gephardt, Richard A. (D)       1-202-225-2671   1-202-225-7452
      6 IL Hyde, Henry J. (R)             1-202-225-4561   1-202-226-1240
     14 MI Conyers Jr., John (D)          1-202-225-5126   1-202-225-0072

President William Clinton:
	White House Comment Line: 1-202-456-1414

3. If you get a response, take a moment and send mail to
   with "feedback" in the subject line.

	$ Mail
	Subject: my feedback from calling Congress
	They said they're not going to pass most of Clinton's package,
	because it upsets the delicate balance between law enforcement and
	the public. 
	Mail sent!


Among other things, the law enforcement proposals circulating on Capitol
Hill include provisions which:


  Congress and the President have already agreed to provisions which
  would dramatically expand law enforcement surveillance authority. Both
  of these provisions were proposed by the President as part of the 1995
  counter-terrorism legislation, but were dropped from the final bill
  after Republicans and civil liberties advocates objected.

  The current proposal would expand law enforcement surveillance
  authority in two ways:

  - Emergency 48 Hour Wiretap Authority: Current law requires law
    enforcement officials to get the affirmative consent of a judge
    before installing a wiretap.

    The current proposal would expand law enforcement authority to
    wiretap "suspected terrorists" for up to 48 hours before obtaining a
    court order, limiting a critical 4th amendment safeguard.

  - Multi-Point "Roving" Wiretaps: Current law allows law enforcement to
    tap only specific LOCATIONS (i.e., a telephone number). In certain
    very limited circumstances, law enforcement can tap a specific
    INDIVIDUAL if it can be shown to a judge that the suspect is moving
    from place to place with the specific intent of thwarting law

  The current proposal would expand this so-called "roving" wiretap
  authority by making it much easier for law enforcement to tap specific
  INDIVIDUALS as opposed to specific physical locations.  This change
  would dramatically effect the balance between 4th Amendment privacy
  rights and public safety which has existed for nearly 30 years, and
  should not be enacted without careful consideration of the


  The Administration and Congress are seeking funding to implement the
  Digital Telephony Law in a way which eliminates any opportunity for
  public oversight of law enforcement surveillance ability.

  The controversial law, known officially as the Communications
  Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), granted the FBI new
  authority to influence the design of telecommunications networks.  At
  the same time, the law provided substantial public oversight over the
  FBI's surveillance ability by requiring the FBI to state, on the
  public record, what its surveillance needs are.

  The FBI has faced stiff resistance from civil liberties groups and some
  members of Congress and has not yet been able to obtain funding to
  implement the requirements of the law.

  As part of the current proposal, the FBI is seeking a mechanism which
  will provide funding for CALEA in a way which skirts the public
  oversight provisions of the law.  This is an extremely troubling move
  by law enforcement which, if enacted, would allow law enforcement
  essentially unlimited authority to influence the design of
  telecommunications networks without any accountability.

Other provisions which could show up in legislation in the next 72 hours are:


  In the wake of the recent public concern about terrorism, Senators
  Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Joseph Biden (D-DE) have renewed their
  efforts to pass legislation to restrict the availability of 'bomb-
  making' information on the Internet.

  The Feinstein/Biden amendment was added to the Senate Defense
  Appropriations bill (S. 1762) in early July, and is not currently part
  of the new law enforcement initiative.  However, the amendment poses a
  serious threat to chill the the free flow of information on the


  While no specific legislation has been proposed, the Clinton
  Administration has circulated an outline to Congress which states:

    "We will seek legislation to strengthen our ability to
    prevent terrorists from coming into the possession of the technology
    to encrypt their communications and data so that they are beyond the
    reach of law enforcement."

  This statement marks the first time that the Administration has
  suggested legislation to restrict encryption.  This is especially
  troubling because it comes at a time of growing Congressional support
  for legislation to promote privacy and security tools for the Net.
  Of even more concern, the Administration is clearly attempting to use
  the recent suspected terrorist incidents to push for a new and more
  restrictive encryption policy.

  If the Administration succeeds in passing new restrictions on
  encryption as part of the new surveillance legislation, the future
  of the Internet as a secure and trusted platform for commerce and
  private communication will be threatened.

Some or all of these provisions may be included in a package voted
on by both houses by August 3rd.  It is not clear what a final bill
will look like, and some of these provisions may not be considered by
Congress until later this summer.



The following organizations all urge you to take this action to combat the
surveillance initiatives.   Check their pages for more background
information on these issues.

	American Civil Liberties Union (
	American Communication Association
	Center for Democracy and Technology (
	Electronic Frontier Foundation (
	EFF-Austin (
	Electronic Privacy Information Center (
	Feminists for Free Expression (
	National Libertarian Party (
	National Writers Union (
	People For the American Way (
	Voters Telecommunications Watch (
	Wired Ventures Ltd. (


Subject: NewsNybbles

* EFF Web Site Now Features "What's Hot" News Updates and Search Engine

To help you navigate our award-winning web site more easily, EFF has
installed a set of "What's Hot" buttons near the top of our front page.
These buttons take you to news pages with summaries of important events 
on encryption, privacy & surveillance, censorship & online free 
speech, and intellectual property & fair use rights as they relate to the 

We've also instituted a search engine that allows you to quickly locate 
keywords in our archive index.  The EFF archives hold over 20,000 files.

All of this is at

For those new to our unique archive, there's a short help file available


Upcoming 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,
or conferences at which government representatives are speaking) are marked
with "!" in place of the "-" ("!?" means a govt. speaker may appear, but
we don't know for certain yet.)  And likewise, "+" in place of "-"
indicates a non-USA event.  If it's a foreign EFF event with govt. people,
it'll be "*!+" instead of "-".  You get the idea.

The latest version of the full EFF calendar is available from:

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

See also our new Now-Up-to-Date HTML calendar at:

Aug. 5- * Progress and Freedom Foundation; annual summit held in Aspen,
     6    Colorado, will feature EFF Chairman Esther Dyson, Alvin Toffler
          and Congressman Rick White and Senator Bill Bradley; "An
          exploration of the Electronic Frontier's impact on American
          Info: +1 202 289 8928   Email to:

Aug. 5-
     9 +  International Conference on Computational Linguistics;
          University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Aug. 8  - Registration deadline for SAB96, Sep. 9, 1996.

Aug. 8-
     10 - Conference on Computing and Philosophy; Carnegie Mellon
          University, Pittsburgh, PA. Deadline for submissions: Feb. 19.
          Contact: +1 412 268 7643

Aug. 14-
     16 + Information Seeking in Context: an International Conference on
          Information Needs, Seeking and Use in Different Contexts; Tampere,
          Finland.  Deadline for submission of abstracts: October 15, 1995.
          Contact: +358 31 215 7039 (voice), +358 31 215 6560 (fax)

Aug. 14-
     17 - 7th Macintosh Summit Conference; learn the latest tips, tricks
          and techniques of the Mac platform from the Mac giants.
          University of California, Santa Barbara.
          Contact: Fati Erdogan
          Tel: 805 893 2811
          Fax: 805 893 4943

Aug. 21-
     23 + China-U.S. Meeting on Global Information Access: Challenges and
          Opportunities; Beijing, China.

Aug. 26 - ACM SIGCOMM '96: Applications, Technologies, Architectures and
          Protocols for Computer Communication; Stanford University,
          Stanford, CA


Subject: Quote of the Day

"All fear of 'offensive' speech is bourgeois and reactionary.
Historically, profane or bawdy language was common in both the upper
and the lower classes, who lived together in rural areas amid the
untidy facts of nature.  Notions of propriety and decorum come to the
fore in urbanized periods ruled by an expanding middle class, which is
obsessed with cleanliness, respectability, and conformism."
  - Camille Paglia, From "Language and the Left," in _The_Advocate_ (March
   7, 1995)

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
the judicial and legislative processes to stifle satire, dissent and 

Join EFF! (or send any message to

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, letting them know that such abuses of 
public trust will not be tolerated, that legislators who vote against
your free speech rights will be voted against by you in the next elections.

Join in the Blue Ribbon Campaign - see


Support the EFF Cyberspace Legal Defense Fund:

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

censorious legislation is turning up at the US state and non-US 
national levels.  Don't let it sneak by you - or by the online activism 
community. Without locals on the look out, it's very difficult for the 
Net civil liberties community to keep track of what's happening locally 
as well as globally.

* New Crypto-Privacy Legislation

Urge your Represenatitives to support the Pro-CODE crypto export bill 
(and to fix the few remaining bugs in it).  

For years US export controls on encryption have hampered the development
of secure communications online. This technology is vital for online 
commerce, for national security, and for YOUR electronic privacy.

The new Pro-CODE legislation will go a long way to rectifying the situation.

Join in the Golden Key Campaign - see


Support the EFF Cyberspace Legal Defense Fund:

See also:
for more info.

* Digital Telephony/Comms. Assistance to Law Enforcement Act

The FBI has been 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. 

In the wake of the Olympics bomb, the US government, both legislative and 
executive branches, are hot to pass new wiretapping laws, and fund the 
DT/CALEA wiretapping provisions.  SPEAK OUT NOW. There is not a moment to 
lose! See lead article in this issue for more information.

See for more info.

* Anti-Terrorism Bills

Several bills threatening your privacy and free speech have been introduced
recently.  One passed, but none of the rest of them are close to passage at 
this very moment - however, this status may change. Urge your 
Congresspersons to oppose these unconstitutional and Big-Brotherish 
bills, which threaten freedom of association, free press, free speech, 
and privacy. One such bill passed some time ago, stripped of some of the 
more onerous provisions.  It could have been worse, and could yet still 
be worse: A new anti-terrorism bill posing many threats to YOUR privacy
is nearing passage. SPEAK OUT NOW. There is not a moment to
lose! See lead article in this issue for more information.

Keep up the pressure. Write to your legislators: No 
secret trials and deportations, no expansion of wiretapping scope or 
authority, no national or "smart-card" ID systems!

For more information on some of this legislation, see

* 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 Congress. 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 

* 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. :)

* Child Privacy Legislation

A new bill to protect children from unethical marketing practices (e.g. 
tricking kids into revealing personal information by offering prizes or 
games) has been introduced.  EFF and other civil liberties organizations
like, and dislike, various points in this bill.  The legislators 
sponsoring the bill appear interested in resolving the problems in the 
statutory language they have proposed.  More information on this will be 
provided soon.

* 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 to us, so pass it on!

If you are having difficulty determining who your US legislators are,
try contacting your local League of Women Voters, who maintain a great 
deal of legislator information, or consult the free ZIPPER service
that matches Zip Codes to Congressional districts with about 85%
accuracy at:

Computer Currents Interactive has provided Congress contact info, sorted 
by who voted for and against the Communcations Decency Act:

* 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:

Editor: Stanton McCandlish, Online Activist, Webmaster (

This newsletter is printed on 100% recycled electrons.

Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged.  Signed
articles do not necessarily represent the views of EFF.  To reproduce
signed articles individually, please contact the authors for their express
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To subscribe to EFFector via email, send message body of "subscribe
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Back issues are available at:, /pub/EFF/Newsletters/EFFector/, 1/EFF/Newsletters/EFFector

To get the latest issue, send any message to (or, and it will be mailed to you automagically.  You can also get
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longer to prepare after issue of the ASCII text version.


End of EFFector Online v09 #10 Digest


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