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EFFector - Volume 9, Issue 14 - US Supreme Court Schedules CDA Appeal: The Showdown Begins in Jan


EFFector - Volume 9, Issue 14 - US Supreme Court Schedules CDA Appeal: The Showdown Begins in Jan

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EFFector Online Volume 09 No. 14      Dec. 10, 1996
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation        ISSN 1062-9424


US Supreme Court Schedules CDA Appeal: The Showdown Begins in Jan.
EFF Analysis of Draft "Database Protection" Treaty
   EFF's "Know Your CyberRights Sweepstakes" - Spread the Word!
   EFF Hosts Defense Fund
   SPA Drops ISP Lawsuits - "Code of Conduct" Still Advanced
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: US Supreme Court Schedules CDA Appeal: The Showdown Begins in Jan.

The US Supreme Court on Friday scheduled briefing in the government's 
appeal of the 3-judge Philadelphia federal court ruling that the 
Communications Decency Act provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 
1996 are unconstitutional, in the merged ACLU v. Reno and ALA v. Dept. 
of Justice cases against the recent Internet censorship law.

* Briefing Schedule for Supreme Court Appeal of CDA Constitutionality 
  Challenge (ACLU v. Reno, ALA v. DoJ merged case), as of Dec. 1996:

  Jan. 21, 1997 - Appellant (government) brief due

  Feb. 20, 1997 - Appellee (EFF, ACLU, ALA, CIEC, et al.) brief due

  Mar. 7, 1997 - Appellant reply brief due.

  Mar-Apr., 1997 - Oral arguments in the case will be scheduled

It is important to note the announcement was not about whether the Supreme 
Court has chosen to review the lower court's decision in ACLU v. Reno -- 
the Court has *no choice* as to whether it will review that decision, so 
long as the government's appeal is not a frivolous one.  According to 
Article III of the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Court can be compelled 
by Congress to hear certain kinds of appeals, even though normally 
Congress lets the Court set its own docket. Pursuant to Article III, the 
Telecom Act, like the Voting Rights Act and certain other legislative 
measures, grants the government an "appeal as of right" whenever a 
provision of the act is found unconstitutional by a lower court . This 
is very different from the normal petition-for-certiorari process by 
which cases normally come before the Court.  Congress intended that the
contentious provisions of the Telecom Act be settled quickly, and wrote 
provisions into the law itself to ensure this.

More importantly, the Court's announcement is not any indication, 
despite CDA supporters' claims, that the Supreme Court wants to overturn
the lower court's ruling.

What is significant about the news is that the Supreme Court has 
expressed 1) an interest in hearing oral arguments as well as 2) an
interest in speaking *directly* to the issues raised by the case (as
distinct from deciding the case summarily).

Legal teams from both of the original, now merged, cases will continue to 
work cooperatively on countering the Justice Department's appeal.

EFF remains very optimistic of the outcome of this case, as the CDA fails 
not one but *all* constitutionality tests.

Previous documents from cases are available at:

More information about the CDA and similar Internet censorship measures:


Subject: EFF Analysis of Draft "Database Protection" Treaty

Having failed to win the day in Congress, the US Administration is 
strongly pushing for international treaties to "reform" copyright law -
in ways that favor not the public interest, but a handful of commercial 
interests concerned with grabbing a property right to information itself 
- some of it information owned by you, the taxpayer. Patent and Trademark 
Commissioner Bruce Lehman, the primary architect of the would-be 
rewiring of global intellectual property law has brushed aside almost all
criticism of these measures, even from the industrial interests he 
claims would most benefit from the changes.

EFF, in response to a US Commerce Dept. "Request for Comments" has analyzed
the likely effects of the GII copyright overhaul, which range from making 
it impossible to obtain public information under the Freedom of 
Information Act if that data was processed by contractors, to making it 
illegal to browse a publicly accessible web page without explicit 
permission.  EFF's response to the Commerce Dept. RFC are appended below.
EFF also submitted additional comments, as a member of the Digital Future 
Coalition. The DFC analysis is available at

* Background

The PTO's theory has been that investment in information and communication
technology such as the Internet will be stimulated by granting more explicit 
copyright protection to online media, including an all-new, sweeping 
protection of databases that amounts to granting ownership over facts to 
those who catalog them.  The Computer and Communications Industry 
Association, which includes AT&T and Sun, begs to differ, saying that the 
draft treaties would produce a liability morass that would-be investors 
will scramble to steer clear of.  

The provisions were first proposed in a Commerce Dept. "Green Paper", later 
surfacing in a "White Paper" with virtually no substantive fixes despite 
criticism from virtually all corners (see IPWG papers and critiques,, then proposed as 
the doomed NII Copyright Act of 1996 and related US legislation (see

At all stages, researchers and public interest organizations have drawn close
attention to the fact that the proposals would directly undermine the 
public's fair use rights, important educational excemptions, Supreme Court
precedent, and even the ability to test encryption systems. Hardly the 
way to foster increased online commerce.

According to a Dec. 5 USIA report, Lehman is "mildly optimistic" that his 
end-run around Congress will succeed.  The Commissioner's single-minded 
zeal in turning controversial ideas of how copyright should be "reformed" 
for the Information Age into international law may be flagging. Lehman 
admits that the database-related provision have raised "legitimate concerns"
and appears to be taking seriously the research community's complaints 
that it would make their work difficult if not impossible.  However, the 
Administration appears completely blind to fair use concerns in their 
rush to grant businesses ownership of facts themselves.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) considering the 
language of the draft treaties is not readily reachable by citizen advocacy.
However, should WIPO fail to heed the warnings and accept these shoddy
efforts at appeasing the database lobby at the expense of the rest of the 
world, remember that Congress rejected these proposals once. As treaties 
have to be ratified before they take effect, Congress can reject them 
again.  Please take a few moments to contact your legislators, and urge
them to reject both the WIPO Literary and Artistic Works Treaty and the 
WIPO Treaty on Intellectual Property in Respect of Databases, should either
survive the Dec. WIPO conference and be presented to Congress for 
ratification.  Copyright may indeed need some updating, but ramrodding 
ill-conceived and already-rejected proposals down the throat of the world 
is not the way to do it.

More information on the WIPO copyright "reform" is available at for the basics, or for a large amount of background material.

* EFF Analysis of WIPO Online Intellectual Property Draft Treaties

Mr. Keith M. Kupferschmid
Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks
Box 4, Patent and Trademark Office
Washington, DC  20231

November 22, 1996

Dear Mr. Kupferschmid,

I am writing in response to your request for comments on the Chairman's Text
of the Diplomatic Conference on Certain Copyright and Neighboring Rights 
Questions.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a civil liberties 
organization that works on issues involving personal rights and freedoms in 
digital technologies.  We are very concerned about several aspects of the 
current proposals, and we appreciate the opportunity to provide you with our 

Problems With the Database Treaty Proposal

There are many problems with the "Sui Generis Protection of Databases"
treaty proposal.  This treaty should be taken off the agenda in Geneva 
until interested parties within the United States have had the opportunity 
to discuss and debate the serious implications of its passage.  There have 
been no public hearings on this proposal.  It is premature to take any
official U.S. stance at this time.

This treaty would completely undermine the 1991 U.S. Supreme Court decision
in Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service.  In Feist, the Court 
rejected a claim of copyright for data from a telephone directory's white 
pages, finding that facts cannot be copyrighted and that obvious items, such 
as listing names, addresses, and telephone numbers in alphabetical order, 
are not sufficiently creative to qualify for copyright protection.

The Feist decision was based on the grounds that facts cannot be copyrighted
or otherwise removed from the public domain.  By creating a new property 
right for facts, the treaty will impose regulations on the use of facts.  
Under the treaty, private monopolies for the maintenance of public data will 
be sanctioned, and individuals will have to pay for facts in the public 

This is particularly troubling because in the United States many government
databases are maintained by private contractors.  The pieces of information 
contained within those databases rightfully are part of the public domain; 
there is no other source for this information.  The private vendors who 
receive government contracts to maintain information owned by the people 
should not be given a property interest in that government information.
Furthermore, under the proposed database treaty, the government will be 
permitted to avoid compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 
if it uses private contractors, since the contractors will be said to have 
property rights to the public information.

In addition, there are problems with several definitions contained within
the treaty.  The definition of "database" is all-encompassing and will 
include many things that are not traditionally considered to be databases, 
such as collections of government documents.  The term "substantial" is 
troubling, in that it takes into account the database maintainer's 
perceived lost value in the marketplace.  Under this definition, it is 
reasonable to assume that even small portions of information used from a 
database would be considered a substantial portion of the database and 
would constitute violation of the treaty.  With no fair use rights, database
users would be precluded from using any bits of information they receive 
from a database if the database maintainer has charged for that information.

It is also unclear as to when the term of protection begins to start again.  
It seems from the language of the treaty that any changes to a database 
(i.e., any addition of data) will reset the clock for protection purposes.  
This will give database maintainers an infinite copyright in their databases.

The treaty also includes strong civil and criminal penalties for third-party
disseminators of this information.   Internet service providers and others 
who merely provide the conduit for communications should not be held liable 
for any unauthorized actions of their users.  Yet this treaty attempts to 
establish system operator liability under international law.

Finally, as in the proposed "Protection of Literary and Artistic
Works" treaty, the database proposal is accompanied by very strict
prohibitions against the "importation, manufacture or distribution of
protection-defeating devices . . . by any person knowing or having
reasonable grounds to know that the device" may be used for
circumventing the rights created in the treaty.  This turns current
Supreme Court law (See Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, 
Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1984)) on its head; today a technology is 
legitimate to make, import and distribute if it has ANY legitimate uses 
-- not if ALL of its uses are legitimate.  Under this novel theory, 
common office supplies like correction fluid and scissors could be 
outlawed because they can be used to eliminate copyright markings on 
documents.  The Supreme Court made the correct call for society; the 
social good of an entire technology should not be suppressed merely 
because it causes quantifiable or alleged harm to one party.

Furthermore, the "protection-defeating device" restriction obviously 
covers both reverse-engineering tools and encryption technology.  
Reverse engineering is the process of discovering exactly what a 
competitor has built by detailed examination of an end-user product.
Eliminating the legal right to reverse-engineer makes it much easier
to establish monopolies enforced by the state.  This harms society by
slowing the flow of improved products, benefiting the few at the
expense of the many.  The restriction also makes it illegal to
"crack" or seek to crack encryption systems, an essential part of 
building real security into encryption systems (including copy 
protection systems).  Only if a security system is constantly open to 
public testing and scrutiny can its worth be assured and its security 
be improved.  It's clear that this part of the law would not stop 
criminals from circumventing technical copy protection systems; the 
much larger crime they are involved in is the theft of the 
intellectual property itself.  But it would stop professors, students, 
and competitors from studying copy protection systems to analyze their 
flaws and propose improvements.  And it would prohibit consumers from 
being able to obtain products which they would use in completely legal 
and legitimate ways; for example, to recover access to their own 
encrypted files.

Problems with the Literary and Artistic Works Treaty Proposal

As with the "Sui Generis Protection of Databases" treaty proposal, EFF has
many concerns about the "Protection of Literary and Artistic Works" treaty 
proposal to be considered by the diplomatic conference.

The way it is currently written, Article 7 would inhibit browsing on the
World Wide Web.  Article 7 requires signatories to treat temporary copies, 
such as the ephemeral random access memory (RAM) copies made on servers 
as a piece of information moves through the Internet, as a "reproduction" 
that could violate the exclusive reproduction right.  Temporary 
reproduction for technological purposes should not be given copyright 
protection.  All electronic communications would be copyright violations 
under this provision.

Article 10 would substantially expand the exposure of online service
providers.  Article 10 creates a new exclusive right of communication to 
the public, which appears to be broader than either the distribution right 
or public performance right now granted by the U.S. Copyright Act.  This 
new right, when combined with Article 7's treatment of RAM copies as
reproductions, significantly increases the likelihood that an online 
service provider would be found directly liable for a subscriber's 

Article 12 would undermine many of the exceptions of the U.S. Copyright Act.
Article 12 would apparently eliminate exceptions that currently permit the 
use of copyrighted works for distance learning and performance of music in 
religious ceremonies.  These are but two examples.  It may also narrow the 
application of the fair use doctrine with respect to both commercial and 
non-commercial uses. 

Article 13 contains the exact same troubling language as the proposed "Sui
Generis Protection of Databases" treaty (discussed above) that would make 
reverse-engineering and the cracking of encryption illegal.

In conclusion, the Electronic Frontier Foundation believes that it is
premature for the United States to take a public stance on the issues
involved in the "Sui Generis Protection of Databases" treaty proposal.
If the United States does take a stance, we strongly urge that it
propose the rejection of the current draft.  We hope that the U.S.
delegation will pull that proposal from discussion in Geneva until a
national debate has taken place.  EFF has the same level of
reservations about the "Protection of Literary and Artistic Works"
treaty proposal in its current form.

Thank you for consideration of our views on these important issues.  Please
feel free to contact me if I can provide you with any additional information.



Shari Steele, Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
P.O. Box 649				301/375-8856 (voice)
Bryans Road, MD  20616			301/283-5337 (fax)


Subject: NewsNybbles

* EFF's "Know Your CyberRights Sweepstakes" - Spread the Word!

As part of its educational and public awareness mission, EFF has launched 
a sweepstakes based on a series of online civil liberties questions and 
answers. Winners will receive a variety of prizes, including a Gibson 
guitar signed by UK recording artists The Cure.  The guitar was signed at 
Eden MusicFest, a 3-day mega-concert EFF helped organize to raise 
awareness of Internet privacy and free speech.

EFF members might not find the challenges very tough, but perhaps you'll 
consider passing around the following contest announcement to your 
favorite online haunts, posting it on your web page, etc.  Please feel 
free to simply create links to the sweepstakes' official web page at

[Please redistribute widely in appropriate places, but no later than Dec.
16, 1996.]


Play EFF's "Know Your CyberRights Sweepstakes," and win one of the 60+
great prizes we're giving away - maybe even the the Gibson guitar
autographed by the Cure!

Every day, decisions are being made that will affect your life online.
Since 1990, The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been looking out for you
- and your Constitutional rights.

EFF's "Know Your CyberRights" Sweepstakes is your chance to pick up
pointers while you earn chances to win great prizes. Just by answering one
multiple choice question in each of the four rounds, entering your e-mail
address and clicking on "Submit answer," you could win the guitar, an EFF
T-shirt signed by The Spin Doctors, one of 10 EFF T-shirts, or one of 50
Blue Ribbon pins!

To participate in EFF's "Know Your CyberRights Sweepstakes," go to  Answers to Round 1's free speech question are
due Monday, December 16, at 11:59 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).  So,
enter now, know your cyberrights, and play to win!

The "Know Your CyberRights Sweepstakes" is organized by the Electronic 
Frontier Foundation, and nonprofit public interest organization devoted 
to protecting civil liberites and promoting responsibility in new media,
and Yoyodyne Entertainment, a privacy-conscious and innovative Internet 
company specializing in free online games. 

[end announcement]


* EFF Hosts Defense Fund

As reported in previous issues of EFFector, Johan Helsingius, operator
of the (former) pseudonymous remailer will appeal a Finnish 
court ruling that Penet's thousands of users, who depended on the remailer
to protect their privacy, have no expectation of privacy under Finnish law,
in response to Church of Scientology legal actions to gain access to
the real identity of a Penet user accused of copyright infringement.  
Helsingius is also considering legal action against a UK newspaper who 
slandered the remailer and it its operator in an attempt to paint yet 
another "Internet is an evil den of child pornographers" schlock stories.
Helsingius, who has long had a policy against illegal abuse of the 
remailers services was needlessly investigated for child pornography as a 
result of the unfounded accusations - and cleared of any wrongdoing.

As the US is the largest aggregate of Net users who may wish to support
Helsingius's appeal of the Finnish court's anti-privacy ruling and 
recovery of damages for defamation (of not just himself but essentially 
all privacy advocates and Internet users by implication), EFF will serve
as a clearinghouse for US donations to the Penet Legal Defense Fund.

Donations may be made by sending checks or money orders to:
Electronic Frontier Foundation
attn: Penet Fund
1550 Bryant St., Suite 725
San Francisco CA 94103

IMPORTANT! Checks/MOs should be made out to "EFF" or "Electronic Frontier 
Foundation", and clearly marked "Penet Fund" or "Penet Legal Defense Fund"
in the note space at the bottom.  Otherwise they could be mistaken for
donations to EFF itself.  

a business license and a new account in that name.  Please also note that 
small donations such as $5 would be consumed by currency conversion fees 
and such. Please be generous. Consider it a holiday spirit gift to 
Internet privacy.  If you wish to send non-US funds (or even, better for 
Penet, Finnish funds), your best bet is to contact Helsingius directly at and make arrangements, so the donation is not reduced by
the US-to-Finland exchange and transfer process.

* SPA Drops ISP Lawsuits - Code of Conduct Still Advanced

In late Nov., the Software Publishers Association dropped two suits
against internet service providers (ISPs). SPA had intended to hold the 
ISPs liable for the alleged coyright infringments of users. SPA had also 
been advancing an "ISP Code of Conduct" demanding, among other things, 
the appointing of a staff member to monitor and censor not only what all 
of the ISPs customers said and posted online, but also to screen all 
pass-through Net traffic being routed through their sites.

Though SPA had already dropped suit against one service provider, 
Community ConneXion, by mid-Nov., and backpeddaled from one of the other
suits so forcefully as to give the access provider what amounts a lot
of free advertising in an SPA press release about settling 
the case, the industry group curiously still proposes it's "Code" 
(renamed "ISP Guidelines for Intellectual Property Protection", 
apparently in the hope to make it sound more attractive. Industry likes 
"guidelines" it can subscribe to but bridles at being force-fed a "code 
of conduct").

The ISP industry just isn't going for this ostensible carrot, and the 
SPA's stick has no sting.  The Association of Online Professionals issued
a warning to Internet access companies to avoid the SPA "Code" like the 
plague, as it undermines the ISP raison d'etre (to provide open access to 
communications) and would greatly increase ISP liability for user actions, 
with no return.  EFF analyzed the problems inherent in the "Code", and 
also criticized SPA's "kill the messenger" legal tactic of suing 
providers for the actions users beyond their control - and for such 
"crimes" as making WWW links to pages that might be infringing or even 
providing information about software cracking.  Electronic Frontiers 
Georgia proposed a counter-policy addressing the SPA document's
complete lack of any requirement that copyright infringement complainants
show any evidence that they actually have a valid claim.  

As of e-press time, SPA has yet to respond to any of the above, though
their dropping of the remaining suits against ISPs is certainly a good sign.

The above documents may all be found at:


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:


Dec. 18 - MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - first meeting of the Bay Area Chapter of 
	  the Webmasters' Guild; The Webmasters' Guild is an organization 
	  dedicated to providing industry education and business networking 
	  opportunities for web site professionals.
	  6:30 PM; Netscape Communications, 487 E. Middlefield Rd., 
	  Mountain View, CA; Customer Briefing Center (Mozilla room); 
	  Registration will begin at 6:30 PM with the meeting starting 
	  promptly at 7:00 PM.  
	  R.S.V.P. to the Bay Area Chapter President, Bob Koche, at

Jan. 10 - PHILADELPHIA - CALL FOR PAPERS!! - SIGIR '97 seeks original 
	  contributions (i.e. never before published) in the broad field 
	  of information storage and retrieval, covering the handling of 
	  all types of information, people's behavior in information
	  systems, and theories, models and implementations of information 
	  retrieval systems. Subscribe now to SIGIR '97 mailing list by 
	  writing to   Information on 
	  SIGIR '97 will periodically be sent to the mailing list as well as 
	  posted at
	  The conference will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel in 
	  Philadelphia, PA, USA, July 27 -- July 31, 1997

Jan. 13 + LANCASTER, UK - ECSCW'97, the Fifth European Conference on
          Computer Supported Cooperative Work; deadline for paper
          submissions is January 13, 1997; papers must contain an abstract
          of not more than 100 words and not exceed 16 pages in length; full
          formatting instructions are available from

          for more information:
          snail mail: ECSCW'97 Conference Office
                      Computing Department
                      Lancaster University
                      Lancaster  LA1 4YR  UK

Jan. 15-
     17 - WASHINGTON, DC - Universal Service '97: Redefining Universal 
	  Telecommunications Service for the Emerging Competitive
	  Environment; for more information contact:
	  tel: +1 800 822 MEET
	       +1 202 842 3022 x317

Jan. 16-
     17 - ARLINGTON, VA - NCSA International Virus Prevention Conference '97;
	  event will investigate "the continuing, worrisome, costly 
	  problem of computer virus attacks, disasters and recovery; 
	  Crystal Gateway Marriott (+1 703 271 5212);
	  more information:
	  tel: +1 717 258 1816

Jan. 19-
     21 - PALM SPRINGS, CA - Upside Technology Summit; "Managing Digital 
	  Mania: An Extreme Sport for Technology Executives"; examining 
	  effective business models and strategies in the booming world of 
	  e-commerce; Al Franken has been invited to give a closing speech;
	  La Quinta Resort & Club, Palm Springs, CA; for more info contact:
	  tel: +1 888 33 UPSIDE
Jan. 23-
     25 - CAMBRIDGE, MA
	  The Economics of Digital Information and Intellectual Property
	  Harvard University symposium to broaden and deepen understanding 
	  of emerging economic and business models for global publishing 
	  and information access and the attendant transformation of 
	  international information markets, institutions, and businesses.
	  First Announcement and Call for Papers; Prospective authors should 
	  submit short abstracts for review and comment as soon as possible. 
	  Acceptances of abstracts and outlines are conditional pending 
	  receipt of a satisfactory draft by December 15, 1996. Sponsored by
	  Harvard Law School.
	  regular mail: Tim Leshan, Information Infrastructure Project, 
		John F. Kennedy School of Government, 79 John F. Kennedy St., 
		Cambridge, MA 02138
	  tel: 617-496-1389
	  fax: 617-495-5776

Jan. 28-
     31 - RSA Cryptography Conference - Computerworld called last year's 
	  event the sine qua non event of the crypto community; at various 
	  facilities atop Nob Hill in San Francisco, the luminaries of 
	  cryptography will gather; Right now, preparations for this 
	  conference are underway. There are many exciting ways for 
	  corporations and individuals to participate. Read on for 
	  information about presenting, exhibiting, or just attending

Feb. 10-
     11 - Internet Society Symposium on Network and Distributed System 
	  Security; for those interested in the practical aspects of network 
	  and distributed system security, focusing on actual system design 
	  and implementation, rather than theory. Dates, final call for
          papers, advance program, and registration information will be
	  available at the URL:

Feb. 18-
     20 - SAN JOSE, CA - DCI Internet Expo; the world's largest Internet, 
	  Web and email conference and exposition; comprehensive program 
	  will cover Web-enabled marketing, best practices for e-commerce 
	  and application development; San Jose Convention Center; also
	  will be held April 22-24 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL;

Feb. 24-
	  Financial Cryptography '97 - CALL FOR PAPERS; this is a new 
	  conference on the security of digital financial transactions.
	  FC97 aims to bring together persons involved in both the
	  financial and data security fields to foster cooperation and 
	  exchange of ideas. Send a cover letter and 9 copies of an extended 
	  abstract to be received by November 29, 1996 to the Program Chair 
	  at the address given below:
	  Rafael Hirschfeld
	  FC97 Program Chair
	  Kruislaan 413
	  1098 SJ Amsterdam
	  The Netherlands
	  phone: +31 20 592 4169
	  fax: +31 20 592 4199

Mar. 1-
     5 -  ACM97: The Next 50 Years of Computing; San Jose Convention 
	  Center, March 1-5, 1997; Registration information: 
	  tel: +1 800 342 6626		

Mar. 3-
     5 -  NEW YORK CITY - Consumer Online Services TV; Jupiter 
	  Communications conference featuring Steve Case of AOL and 
	  Steve Perlman of WebTV; for more information contact:
	  tel: +1 800 488 4345

Apr. 8-
     11 - FRACTAL 97: Fractals in the Natural & Applied Sciences 4th 
          International Working Conference; Denver Colorado.  Sponsored by
          IFIP; paper submissions due by Aug. 5, 1996.
          Contact: Miroslav Novak, +44 181 547 2000 (voice), 
                   +44 181 547 7562 or 7419 (fax)

Apr. 22-
     24 - CHICAGO, IL - DCI Internet Expo; the world's largest Internet,
          Web and email conference and exposition; comprehensive program
          will cover Web-enabled marketing, best practices for e-commerce
          and application development; San Jose Convention Center; also
          will be held February 18-20 at the San Jose Convention Center;

June 2-
     4  - American Society for Information Science 1997 Mid-Year Conference;  
          gathering will focus on privacy and security issues online; 
          Scottsdale Arizona; paper submissions due Nov. 1, 1996.
		Gregory B. Newby, Co-Chair GSLIS/UIUC
	  	 Tel: (217) 244-7365; Email:
		Mark H. Needleman, Co chair UCOP
		 Tel: (510) 987-0530; Email:
		Karla Petersen, Panel  Sessions
		 Tel: (312) 508-2657; Email:
		Richard Hill, Executive Director, ASIS
		 Tel: (301) 495-0900; Email:

June 14-
	  ED-MEDIA/ED-TELECOM 97--World Conference on Educational 
	  Multimedia and Hypermedia and World Conference on Educational 
	  Telecommunications are jointly held international conferences, 
	  organized by the Association for the Advancement of Computing 
	  in Education (AACE). These annual conferences serve as multi-
	  disciplinary forums for the discussion and dissemination of 
	  information on the research, development, and applications on all 
	  topics related to multimedia/hypermedia and distance education.  
	  We invite you to attend ED-MEDIA/ED-TELECOM 97 and submit proposals 
	  for papers, panels, roundtables, tutorials, workshops, 
	  demonstrations/posters, and SIG discussions. Proposals may be 
	  submitted in either hard copy (send 5 copies or fax 1 copy) 
	  or in electronic form.  Electronic proposals in the form of 
	  URL addresses or ASCII files (uncoded) are preferred.
	  Submission Deadline: Oct. 25, 1996; Send to:
	  Program Chairs
	  P.O. Box 2966
	  Charlottesville, VA 22902, USA
	  E-mail:; Phone: 804-973-3987; Fax: 804-978-7449

June 19-
     20 - WASHINGTON, DC - CyberPayments '97
	  Conference will investigate issues of online commerce including
	  electronic cash and checks, credit cards, encryption systems 
	  and security products; Sheraton Washington Hotel, Washington, DC
	  For more information contact:
	  tel: +1 216 464 2618 x228
	       +1 800 529 7375

July 13-
     17 - ACUTA 26th Annual Conference; Atlanta, Georgia.
          Contact: +1 606 278 3338 (voice)

Sep. 7 -
     11 + LANCASTER, UK - ECSCW'97, the Fifth European Conference on 
	  Computer Supported Cooperative Work; deadline for paper 
	  submissions is January 13, 1997; papers must contain an abstract 
	  of not more than 100 words and not exceed 16 pages in length; full 
	  formatting instructions are available from
	  for more information:
	  snail mail: ECSCW'97 Conference Office
		      Computing Department
		      Lancaster University
		      Lancaster  LA1 4YR  UK

Sep. 12-
     14   SAN DIEGO - Association of Online Professionals Annual 
	  Conference; sysop trade association's yearly gathering to 
	  discuss issues of relevance to the industry

Oct. 28-
     31 - EDUCOM '97; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.
          Contact: +1 202 872 4200 (voice)

Dec. 1  - Computer Security Day (started by Washington DC chapter of the
          Assoc. for Computing Machinery, to "draw attention to computer
          security during the holdiay season when it might otherwise become


Subject: Quote of the Day

"Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but, unlike charity, it 
should end there."
  - Clare Boothe Luce

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 
protections.  The CDA is likely to be found unconstitutional by the 
Supreme Court. But, bowing to pressure from theocratic organization,
Congress is likely to introduce and attempt to pass a slightly modified 
version.  Let your legislators know you will not stand for censorship,
nor for the wasting of millions of tax dollars on years of Supreme Court 
litigation over laws that should never have even been proposed much less 
passed in a democracy.

Business/industry persons concerned should alert their corporate govt.
affairs office and/or legal counsel about such censorship measures, 
TODAY, while there is still time to plan.

Join in the Blue Ribbon Campaign - see

Support the EFF Cyberspace Legal Defense Fund:

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.

* 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.

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 Communications Decency Act: (NB: Some of these folks have, 
fortunately, been voted out of office.)

* 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
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San Francisco CA 94103 USA
+1 415 436 9333 (voice)
+1 415 436 9993 (fax)
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Legal services:
General EFF, legal, policy or online resources queries:

Editor: Stanton McCandlish, Online Activist, Webmaster (

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