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   Volume 5.18	                                 December 3, 1998
                            Published by the
              Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
                            Washington, D.C.
Table of Contents
[1] ACTION: Oppose FBI Assault on Communications Privacy
[2] International Crypto Agreement Modified
[3] Library Internet Filters Held Unconstitutional
[4] Order Blocking Enforcement of Net Censorship Law Extended
[5] EU Finds Commerce Department Privacy Proposal Flawed
[6] New Privacy Survey Finds High Level of Concern for Privacy
[7] EPIC Bookstore Now Also Features Films
[8] Upcoming Conferences and Events
[1] ACTION: Oppose FBI Assault on Communications Privacy
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is soliciting public
comments on an FBI proposal to re-design the nation's tele-
communications infrastructure to facilitate electronic surveillance.
In the pending proceeding under the Communications Assistance to Law
Enforcement Act (CALEA), the FBI is seeking new surveillance powers,
including the use of cellular phones as tracking devices and the
monitoring of "packet mode communications" like the protocol used on
the Internet.
When it enacted CALEA in 1994, Congress explicitly stated that the law
was intended to give law enforcement "no more and no less access to
information than it had in the past."  Nonetheless, the FBI has
consistently interpreted the law as authority for increased wiretapping
and surveillance powers.  The FCC is now seeking comments on whether
federal law enforcement agencies should be able to use cell phones as
tracking devices and have easier access to the content of Internet
communications.  The deadline for the submission of comments is
December 14.
EPIC, joined by the ACLU and EFF, previously filed formal comments with
the FCC urging the protection of communications privacy as the
Commission considers the FBI's request under CALEA.  We will again be
opposing the Bureau's proposal in our forthcoming comments and urge
other organizations and individuals to express their views on this
important issue.
Information on filing comments with the FCC is available at the EPIC
Wiretap Page:
[2] International Crypto Agreement Modified
The U.S. Commerce Department reported on December 3 that the Wassenaar
Arrangement, a 33-country group that works on exports of military
goods, has reached an agreement on setting limits on international
transfers of encryption.
The new agreement reportedly allows for exports of crypto products up
to 56 bits for all crypto and 64 bits for mass market software or
hardware. These changes reflect both a relaxation and an increase in
restrictions. Currently, cryptography items are strictly controlled. 
However, mass market software is exempt.  Only a few countries
including the U.S. currently restrict exports of mass market software.
The decision to implement these changes will remain with each country
and this agreement may not result in any changes in current practice. 
As the Secretariat notes on its web page: "The decision to transfer or
deny transfer of any item will be the sole responsibility of each
Participating State.  All measures undertaken with respect to the
arrangement will be in accordance with national legislation and
policies and will be implemented on the basis of national discretion." 
The U.S. has been lobbying the other members to adopt more restrictive
laws.  However, many nations such as Finland, Canada and Ireland have
announced domestic policies in the past year which allow for more
liberal exports.
Earlier this year, members of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign, an
international organizations of civil liberties groups, wrote to the
Wassenaar Secretariat and urged the removal of controls on
cryptography.  The GILC Statement said that "failure to protect the
free use and distribution of cryptographic software will jeopardize the
life and freedom of human rights activists, journalists and political
activists all over the world."
The announcement from the Department of Commerce on the new Wassenaar
controls came in the same week that the White House said that it would
pursue a policy of "self-regulation" for Internet commerce.
More information on Wassenaar is available at:
The text of the GILC Statement is available at:
[3] Library Internet Filters Held Unconstitutional
In the second recent victory for online free speech advocates, a
federal judge in Northern Virginia ruled on November 23 that the use of
Internet filtering software on public library computers violates the
First Amendment.  Judge Leonie Brinkema found in Mainstream Loudoun v.
Board of Trustees of the Loudoun County Library that a government body
"cannot avoid its constitutional obligation by contracting out its
decisionmaking to a private entity."  The judge ordered the library
board to remove software (X-Stop Librarian) that was intended to filter
content inappropriate for minors from the Internet, finding that
placing such filters on all library computers violated the First
Amendment rights of adult patrons.  The ruling came several days after
a federal judge in Philadelphia issued a temporary restraining order
against enforcement of the recently enacted "Child Online Protection
Act" (see next item and EPIC Alert 5.17).
The court found the library's Internet filtering policy to be an
unconstitutional prior restraint on speech and concluded:
     Although [the library] is under no obligation to provide
     Internet access to its patrons, it has chosen to do so and
     is therefore restricted by the First Amendment in the
     limitations it is allowed to place on patron access.
     Defendant has asserted a broad right to censor the expressive
     activity of the receipt and communication of information
     through the Internet with a Policy that (1) is not necessary
     to further any compelling government interest; (2) is not
     narrowly tailored; (3) restricts the access of adult patrons
     to protected material just because the material is unfit for
     minors; (4) provides inadequate standards for restricting
     access; and (5) provides inadequate procedural safeguards to
     ensure prompt judicial review. Such a Policy offends the
     guarantee of free speech in the First Amendment and is,
     therefore, unconstitutional.
In response to the court decision, the library board revised its
Internet policy on December 1.  Under the new policy, adults are
permitted to use library computers with or without software filters.
Children will not be allowed to access the Internet unless their
parents sign a statement declaring whether they are allowed to use
computers with or without filters.
The full text of the decision is available at:
[4] Order Blocking Enforcement of Net Censorship Law Extended
Enforcement of the "Child Online Protection Act" (COPA) is on hold at
least until early next year.  The Justice Department has agreed to an
extension of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against COPA issued by
U.S. District Judge Lowell A. Reed on November 19.  The government and
the plaintiffs challenging the law have signed a stipulation extending
the TRO until February 1, 1999, to allow the parties additional time to
prepare for trial on the constitutionality of the Internet censorship
law.  That proceeding is now scheduled to be held in Philadelphia on
January 20 and 21.
The TRO was issued in a legal challenge to the statute filed by EPIC,
the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier
Foundation on behalf of a broad coalition of Web publishers and users.
COPA imposes criminal penalties against any "commercial" website that
makes material that is "harmful to minors" available to anyone under 
17 years of age.  After a full-day hearing on November 19, Judge Reed
enjoined enforcement of the new law, finding that the plaintiffs are
likely to prevail on their claim that the law violates the First
Amendment's guarantee of free speech.
A complete archive of relevant materials is available at:
[5] EU Finds Commerce Department Privacy Proposal Flawed
The European Union on November 23 expressed its view that the U.S.
Department of Commerce's proposal for addressing privacy is not
sufficient.  The Commerce "Safe Harbor" proposal entails voluntary
industry self-regulation to protect privacy (see EPIC Alert 5.16).
A European Commission spokeswoman, Betty Olivi, said at a November 23
briefing said that all 15 members of the EU found the U.S. proposal
"unacceptable."  The EU's two major concerns were individuals' access
to their records and ability to stop the sale and use of their
personal information.
The United States, led by Undersecretary of Commerce David Aaron, has
heavily lobbied the EU to relax its laws on privacy to allow American
businesses to freely transfer personal information.  Thus far, the EU
has rejected such efforts.
The EU rejection of the "Safe Harbor" proposal could lead to embargoes
on personal information being sent to the U.S.  Under the EU Data
Protection Directive, which went into effect in October, other
countries must ensure equivalent privacy protection before information
can be exported.  A survey of 50 countries by Privacy International
released in October found that nearly all industrialized countries
have either adopted or are in the process of adopting comprehensive
privacy laws.
[6] New Privacy Survey Finds High Level of Concern for Privacy
A new survey by Lou Harris finds an increasing level of concern for
privacy among Americans. It also shows that people are reporting more
privacy invasions and are increasingly reluctant to provide personal
information to companies.  The survey found that women are slightly
more concerned about privacy than men.
The report finds that 88 percent of respondents were concerned with
threats to their privacy. Fifty-five percent were "very concerned."
This level has remained near 90 percent for the last several years, up
sharply from 64 percent in 1978.
Reports of privacy invasions were also up.  In the most recent survey,
41 percent indicated that they had been the victim of a privacy
invasion by a business.  Eighty-two percent believe that consumers
have lost control over how their information is being used.
Respondents are more skeptical of companies collecting personal
information and are becoming less willing to provide information. 
Seventy-eight percent of those polled believe that businesses collect
too much information.  The same percentage of consumers refused to
provide requested information when they thought it was not necessary. 
In 1990, when the question was asked, 42 percent responded that they
had refused to provide information.
[7] EPIC Bookstore Now Also Features Films
Just in time for Holiday gift-giving, the EPIC Bookstore has added
something new and different to its lineup -- videos.  We have
carefully selected some of our favorite flicks pertaining to
computers, state surveillance and censorship.  Get out the popcorn and
check out the following films for yourself or someone you love:
- The Tin Drum -
This Oscar-winning film based on Gunter Grass' universally acclaimed
book made headlines in 1997 when it was seized from local video
stores and a private home by Oklahoma City police without a court
order or search warrant.  Recently, a federal judge in Oklahoma City
ruled that the film does not violate Oklahoma's child pornography
- 1984 -
The movie version of George Orwell's modern classic captures the
book's oppressive atmosphere of hopelessness and paranoia while
depicting one man's struggle against the Mother of all Big Brothers.
A visually stunning movie you won't want to miss.  Stars John Hurt
and Richard Burton in his last feature role.
- Blade Runner: The Director's Cut -
This movie's shadowy visual style, along with its classic private
detective/murder mystery plot line (with Harrison Ford on the trail
of a murderous android, or "replicant"), makes Blade Runner one of
the few science fiction pictures to legitimately claim a place in the
film noir tradition.  And, as in the best noir, the sleuth discovers a
whole lot more about himself and the people he encounters than he
anticipates.  Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah, Rutger
Hauer, and M. Emmet Walsh star along with Ford.
These films and other titles (and lots of books!) are available for
purchase online at the EPIC Bookstore:
[8] Upcoming Conferences and Events
From Aspiration to Activist Agenda: Achieving Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights in the U.S.  December 4-6. New York, NY. Sponsored by
the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Contact:
Defending the National Critical Infrastructure. December 7-8.
Sponsored by Defense Week. Contact: http://www.kingpublishing.com/
Computer Ethics. Philosophical Enquiry 98 (CEPE'98). December 14-15.
London, UK. Sponsored by ACMSIGCAS and London School of Economics.
1999 RSA Data Security Conference. January 18-21, 1999. San Jose, CA.
Sponsored by RSA. Contact: http://www.rsa.com/conf99/
FC '99  Third Annual Conference on Financial Cryptography. February
22-25, 1999. Anguilla, B.W.I. Contact: http://fc99.ai/
Electronic Commerce and Privacy Legislation -- Building Trust and
Confidence. February 23, 1999.  Ottawa, Canada. Sponsored by Riley
Information Services. http://www.rileyis.com/seminars/Feb99/
CYBERSPACE 1999: Crime, Criminal Justice and the Internet. 29 & 30
March 1999. York, UK. Sponsored by the British and Irish Legal
Education Technology Association (BILETA). http://www.bileta.ac.uk/
Computers, Freedom and Privacy (CFP) '99. April 6-8, 1999. Washington,
DC. Sponsored by ACM. Contact: info@cfp99.org.
1999 EPIC Cryptography and Privacy Conference. June 7, 1999.
Washington, DC. Sponsored by EPIC. Contact: info@epic.org.
Cryptography & International Protection of Human Rights  (CIPHR'99).
9-13 August 1999. Lake Balaton, Hungary. Contact:
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About EPIC
The Electronic Privacy Information Center is a public interest research
center in Washington, DC.  It was established in 1994 to focus public
attention on emerging privacy issues such as the Clipper Chip, the
Digital Telephony proposal, national ID cards, medical record privacy,
and the collection and sale of personal information.  EPIC is sponsored
by the Fund for Constitutional Government, a non-profit organization
established in 1974 to protect civil liberties and constitutional
rights.  EPIC publishes the EPIC Alert, pursues Freedom of Information
Act litigation, and conducts policy research.  For more information,
e-mail info@epic.org, http://www.epic.org or write EPIC, 666
Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Suite 301, Washington, DC 20003. +1 202 544 9240
(tel), +1 202 547 5482 (fax).
If you'd like to support the work of the Electronic Privacy Information
Center, contributions are welcome and fully tax-deductible.  Checks
should be made out to "The Fund for Constitutional Government" and sent
to EPIC, 666 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Suite 301, Washington DC 20003.
Your contributions will help support Freedom of Information Act and
First Amendment litigation, strong and effective advocacy for the right
of privacy and efforts to oppose government regulation of encryption
and funding of the digital wiretap law.
Thank you for your support.
  ---------------------- END EPIC Alert 5.18 -----------------------

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