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   Volume 7.04                                      March 2, 2000
                            Published by the
              Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
                            Washington, D.C.
Table of Contents
[1] DoubleClick Drops Plan to Utilize Personal Information
[2] Current State of Internet Content Filtering
[3] European Parliament Holds Hearing on Echelon
[4] U.S. State Department Releases Human Rights Report
[5] Possible Safe Harbor for Children's Privacy?
[6] FTC Opens Telemarketing Service Rule for Public Comment
[7] EPIC Bookstore -- Behind Closed Doors
[8] Upcoming Conferences and Events
[1] DoubleClick Drops Plan to Utilize Personal Information
The Internet's largest advertising network announced today that it had
made a "mistake by planning to merge names with anonymous user
activity across Web sites in the absence of government and industry
privacy standards."  DoubleClick CEO Kevin O'Connor added that "We
commit today, that until there is agreement between government and
industry on privacy standards, we will not link personally
identifiable information to anonymous user activity across Web sites."
Privacy organizations supported the move by DoubleClick, though
several noted that it would be important to determine whether
DoubleClick would continue to maintain the Internet Address Finder
(www.iaf.net) and Get Away From It All Sweepstakes sites
(www.netdeals.com).  Both of these web sites are used by DoubleClick
to tie people's names, mailing addresses, and email addresses to their
DoubleClick cookies.
Jason Catlett, CEO of Junkbusters Corp., commended DoubleClick for
their announcement and said that it was important that DoubleClick
recognized the need to develop appropriate legal and technical
safeguards for online privacy.
DoubleClick's announcement followed growing public protest, formal
complaints before the Federal Trade Commission, and efforts by state
attorney generals to bring legal actions.
On February 10, EPIC had filed a complaint at the FTC alleging that
the company had engaged in "unfair and deceptive" trade practices in
their surreptitious collection of personal information and data
indicating Internet users' behavior.  EPIC had earlier raised
questions about the privacy implications of the DoubleClick-Abacus
merger at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing held in July 1999.
For more information about the DoubleClick controversy:
     http://www.epic.org/doubletrouble/ and
EPIC's complaint against DoubleClick filed with the Federal Trade
EPIC's testimony on Internet Privacy and DoubleClick before the U.S.
Senate Commerce Committee :
[2] Current State of Internet Content Filtering
Last week, voters in the conservative town of Holland, Michigan
rejected a ballot proposal requiring public libraries to install
filters on computers.  The measure, which would have withheld funding
for the library unless it blocked access to sites containing "obscene,
sexually explicit or other material harmful to minors," was defeated
55 percent to 45 percent.  Critics also noted that Holland shares the
library with other townships whose residents were excluded from the
vote.  The American Family Association of Michigan sponsored the
measure and contributed more than $35,000 to the campaign.  Filtering
proponents outspent free-speech advocates by a ratio of 14 to 1.
The Utah Senate unanimously approved a measure on Monday to block
funding from public libraries that fail to install filtering software
to prevent children under the age of 18 from accessing "obscene"
materials on the Web.  The legislation awaits the signature of Gov.
Mike Leavitt.  The Smartfilter system is widely used in Utah to shield
Internet users from pornography.  A study conducted by the Censorware
Project in 1998 showed that Smartfilter blocked access to documents
useful for educational and research purposes, such as the Declaration
of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, as well as sites discussing
safe sex and AIDS prevention.
Peacefire released a report this week about sites banned by the
filtering program I-Gear.  The study found that 38 of the first 50
sites in the ".edu" domain blocked as "pornography" were errors.
I-Gear also blocked web pages on sites for EPIC, the Electronic
Frontier Foundation, and American Civil Liberties Union as falling
within the "Sex/Acts" category.  I-Gear describes sites in the
"Sex/Acts" category as "Sites depicting or implying sex acts,
including pictures of masturbation not categorized under sexual
education.  Also includes sites selling sexual or adult products." One
of the blocked EPIC webpages contains a transcript of the trial
proceedings in the legal challenge to the Communications Decency Act,
a federal law that attempted to ban certain categories of Internet
The Censorware Project's findings on the Smartfilter system are
available at:
For the full report and analysis of I-Gear and other types of
filtering software, visit Peacefire:
To learn about attempts to outlaw content on the Internet and
filtering technology, peruse the Internet Free Expression Alliance
Also available through the EPIC Bookstore, "Filters and Freedom: Free
Speech Perspectives on Internet Content Controls":
[3] European Parliament Holds Hearing on Echelon
The European Parliament held hearings last week on the "Echelon
Network," which has been described as a global spy network that is
reputed to involve the governments of the  U.S., U.K., Canada, and
Australia. The purpose, according to some, is to intercept and gather
electronic signals, such as faxes, phone calls and e-mails for
commercial espionage.
Duncan Campbell, a British journalist, presented his assessment of
Echelon before the European Parliament on February 23.  Campbell
alleged that Echelon has been used to block deals between European
firms and other countries and contributed to a decision by Saudi
Arabia to drop a contract with Airbus.
The Echelon matter has attracted interest at the highest levels of
government.  British Prime Minister Tony Blair denied that his
government was engaged in corporate espionage.  The French government
has indicated that it will begin a formal investigation.  The European
Commission is also likely to pursue the Echelon matter.
In the United States, a spokesperson for the Department of State said
that it was not US policy to engage in corporate espionage.  CIA
Director George Tenet told Reuters "We do not spy on foreign
companies for the economic gain of American companies. We don't do
this. It's our policy, it's our regulation, we do not do this."  The
National Security Agency circulated a letter to members of Congress
saying it was "not authorized to provide intelligence information to
private firms for their economic advantage."
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is urging public hearings on
Echelon.  Congressman Bob Barr has asked the Government Reform
Committee to hold public hearings on Echelon.
European Parliament Hearing on "The European Union and Data
National Security Agency Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Duncan Campbell's Echelon Study for the European Parliament,
Scientific and Technological Options Assessment:
ACLU's Echelon Watch page:
Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy:
[4] U.S. State Department Releases Human Rights Report
The Department of State has released the 1999 edition of its annual
Country Reports on Human Rights.  The report examines 194 nations'
compliance with internationally recognized individual, civil,
political, and worker rights, as stated in the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights.  Section 1, part (f) documents nations' respect for
the integrity of the person, including freedom from arbitrary
interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence.  Section
2, part (a) covers nations' respect for civil liberties, including
freedom of speech and press.
The report documents numerous cases in which national governments
invade citizens' right to privacy.  In Angola, for example, the
government utilized an elaborate security system to facilitate the
surveillance and wiretapping of opposition party leaders, journalists,
and foreign officials.  The Belarus Constitution claims to protect its
citizens from invasion of privacy and interference with telephone or
other communications.  In practice, however, the government routinely
monitors individuals' homes, telephones, and computers.  The KGB
reportedly enters residences without warrants, conducts illegal
searches, and intercepts mail.
Violations of free speech also persist throughout the world according
to the State Department study.  For example, the Turkish government
banned or confiscated publications and police physically attacked
journalists.  In China, an estimated several thousand individuals who
peacefully expressed their political, religious, or social views were
detained by authorities.  Leaders of political reform or human rights
groups were frequently harassed and imprisoned.
The Department of State's annual report on human rights is available
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights can be found at:
[5] Possible Safe Harbor for Children's Privacy?
The Federal Trade Commission has posted a notice soliciting comments
on a proposal from PrivacyBot.com to provide a Safe Harbor -- a
self-regulatory alternative -- for the Children's Online Privacy
Protection Act (COPPA).  COPPA, passed in 1998 and set to go into
effect in April, protects the collection and use of personal
information from children up to the age of thirteen.
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act is the first and only
piece of federal legislation to address Internet privacy.  Under the
safe harbor component of COPPA, an industry group or a seal program
that offers an approved set of guidelines would be responsible for
oversight and compliance of companies that claim to adhere to those
Comments on the PrivacyBot.com safe harbor proposal are due thirty
days from when the notice appears on the Federal Register.
The notice is currently available at:
To download a PDF copy of the FTC's final rules implementing the
Children's Online Privacy Protection Act:
[6] FTC Opens Telemarketing Service Rule for Public Comment
On February 23, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) opened up a comment
period on the Commission's Telemarketing Services Rule (TSR).
The rule seeks to protect consumers from deceptive and abusive
telemarketing practices.  As dictated by the Telemarketing and
Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act which directed the formation
of the rules, the FTC is soliciting comments on the costs and benefits
of TSR.  The FTC is also taking advantage of the comment period to
examine the telemarketing industry in general and its impact on
Comments on TSR are due by April 27, 2000.  On July 27-28, 2000, the
FTC will also be holding a public forum to discuss TSR and related
For more information about filing comments or the upcoming forum:
[7] EPIC Bookstore -- Behind Closed Doors
Behind Closed Doors: Privacy from Plymouth Rock to the Information Age
by Robert Ellis Smith, Editor and Publisher of Privacy Journal
Behind Closed Doors: Privacy from Plymouth Rock to the Information Age
provides the complete story of privacy in the U.S. since its
beginnings.  This new 340-page book delves into the hidden niches of
American history, from monitoring during the Colonial period and the
devotion of the Founders to privacy, to the clamorous newspapers of
the Nineteenth Century and the creation of a right to privacy in 1890;
then the story of wiretapping and of credit bureaus and how Social
Security numbers grew into national ID numbers, and finally the impact
of all of this on our current use of the Internet.  It's all here - a
book you will not put down and one you will go back to often to arm
yourself for the debates to come.  In a special section, author Robert
Ellis Smith offers practical advice for protecting yourself, advice
similar to what Ben Franklin would have provided on Poor Richard's Web
Additional titles on privacy, open government, free expression,
computer security, and crypto, as well as films and DVDs can be
ordered through the EPIC Bookstore: http://www.epic.org/bookstore/
[8] Upcoming Conferences and Events
Public Meeting, Child Online Protection Act Commission. U.S.
Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information
Administration. March 7, 2000. Department of Commerce. Washington, DC.
For more information:
Privacy, Security & Confidentiality of Medical Records 2000: Complying
With New HIPAA Regulations. NonProfit Management. One Day Seminars.
Various Locations and Times. For more information:
Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) Program 2000. Privacy & American Business.
For more information: http://www.pandab.org/
Federal Trade Commission Advisory Committee on Online Privacy and
Security. Series of Meetings. Federal Trade Commission Headquarters.
Washington, DC. For more information: http://www.ftc.gov/acoas/
Protection, Property, and Privacy: A Symposium on Electronic Commerce.
University of Virginia School of Law, Journal of Law and Technology.
March 8-10, 2000. For more information: http://www.vjolt.net
The New Wave of Privacy Protection in Canada. BC Freedom of
Information and Privacy Association and Riley Information Services.
March 9-10, 2000. Hotel Vancouver. Vancouver, British Columbia. For
more information: http://www.rileyis.com
National Freedom of Information Day Conference -- Access & Technology:
Recovering the Promise. The Freedom Forum in cooperation with the
American Library Association. March 16, 2000. Rooftop Conference
Center, The Freedom Forum. Arlington, VA. For more information:
Consumer Assembly 2000: 21st Century Public Policy Challenges.
Consumer Federation of America. March 16-17, 2000. Washington Plaza
Hotel. Washington, DC. For more information:
Is It Any of Your Business? Consumer Information, Privacy, and the
Financial Services Industry. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
March 23, 2000. Seidman Center Auditorium. Arlington, VA. For more
information: http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/press/2000/pr0014.html
HIPAA Security and Privacy Requirements: A How To Blueprint for
Compliance. MIS Training Institute. Two-day Seminars. Various
Locations and Times. For more information: http://www.misti.com
Access Act Reform: The Destruction of Records and Proposed Access Act
Amendments. Riley Information Services. May 1, 2000. Westin Hotel.
Ottawa, Canada. For more information: http://www.rileyis.com/seminars/
Call for Papers -- Freedom of Expression in the Information Age.
Stanford Journal of International Law. Deadline April 15, 2000. For
more information: http://www.stanford.edu/group/SJIL/
Entrust SecureSummit 2000. May 1-4, 2000. Hyatt Regency Dallas at
Reunion. Dallas, TX. For more information: http://www.securesummit.com
Shaping the Network: The Future of the Public Sphere in Cyberspace.
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR). May 20-23,
2000. Seattle, WA. For more information:
Telecommunications: The Bridge to Globalization in the Information
Society. Biennial Conference of the International Telecommunications
Society. July 2-5, 2000. For more information:
KnowRight 2000 - InfoEthics Europe. Austrian Computer Society and
UNESCO. September 26-29, 2000. Vienna, Austria. For more information:
Privacy2000: Information and Security in the Digital Age. November 29,
2000. Adam's Mark Hotel. Columbus, Ohio. For more information:
Subscription Information
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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 expanding wiretapping powers.
Thank you for your support.
  ---------------------- END EPIC Alert 7.04 -----------------------
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