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   Volume 7.17                                 September 25, 2000
                            Published by the
              Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
                            Washington, D.C.
Table of Contents
[1] EPIC and PI Release Third Annual Privacy and Human Rights Survey
[2] It's Baaack ... Mandatory Filtering Returns to Congress
[3] Banned Books Week Celebrates Freedom of Expression
[4] Privacy Foundation Investigates :CueCat Scanning Device
[5] Int'l Data Protection Conference Brings Together NGOs
[6] Upcoming Forum Presents ICANN Candidates
[7] EPIC Bookstore - Privacy & Human Rights 2000
[8] Upcoming Conferences and Events
[1] EPIC and PI Release Third Annual Privacy and Human Rights Survey
On September 19, EPIC and Privacy International (PI) released their
third annual Privacy and Human Rights survey.  "Privacy and Human
Rights 2000: An International Survey of Privacy Laws and
Developments", reviews the state of privacy in over fifty countries
around the world.
The report finds worldwide recognition of privacy as a fundamental
human right.  Many countries around the world are enacting
comprehensive data protection laws to safeguard individual privacy.
Many of these countries, especially in South America, South Africa
and Central Europe, are introducing such laws to remedy privacy
violations that occurred under previous authoritarian regimes.  Others,
such as in Asia, are developing information privacy laws in an effort
to promote electronic commerce.  Others still, such as countries in
Central and Eastern Europe, are hoping to become members of the
European Union and are adopting laws based on the 1995 European Union
Data Protection Directive.
At the same time, both law enforcement agencies and private
corporations are extending surveillance powers through the use of new
technologies.  The report notes that many of the recent threats to
individual privacy result from new Internet-based commercial services,
such as interactive television -- or "SpyTV" -- that record the
preferences of individuals.  The report recommends improved oversight
and stricter enforcement of current laws to prevent such practices.
The report also argues that the United States government is leading
a multi-tiered effort to limit individual privacy and enhance law
enforcement surveillance powers.  For example, on the domestic front,
it is promoting domestic laws such as the Communications Assistance
for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) that make it mandatory for all
companies developing telephone switching, cellular, and satellite
communications technologies to build in surveillance capabilities.
The government has also sought to limit the development and
dissemination of encryption products that protect individuals'
private communications.  At the international level, the report finds
that the U.S. has been vigorously promoting greater use of electronic
surveillance and pressurizing countries, such as Japan, into adopting
wiretapping laws.  It has also been working through international
bodies such as the European Union, the Organization for Economic
Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Council of Europe and the
G-8 to promote surveillance and place restrictions on online privacy,
anonymity, and encryption.
"Privacy and Human Rights 2000: An International Survey of Privacy
Laws and Developments" by David Banisar is available at:
[2] It's Baaack ... Mandatory Filtering Returns to Congress
In what is becoming a perennial end-of-session strategy, proponents
of mandatory Internet filtering are again trying to push legislation
through Congress.  Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Ernest Istook
(R-OK) have attached a federal filtering mandate to the appropriations
bill for the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services (HHS).
The "Children's Internet Protection Act" would require all public
schools and libraries that receive federal funding for Internet access
to install Internet blocking software on their computer terminals.
Proponents of controversial measures often attempt to attach them to
major appropriations bills when it appears unlikely that the
legislation would survive if considered independently.  Supporters of
Internet censorship and filtering have often resorted to such tactics;
the Child Online Protection Act (since ruled unconstitutional) was
attached to an omnibus spending bill last fall, and there have been
several unsuccessful attempts to enact filtering requirements in
similar fashion.  With the election campaign now in full swing,
members of Congress are likely to feel political pressure to support
efforts to "protect" children, no matter how misguided or ineffective
they might be.
The McCain-Istook mandate would deny local schools and libraries the
ability to establish Internet policies and practices that conform
with the values and desires of their communities.  For instance, the
citizens of Holland, Michigan rejected a mandatory library filtering
initiative earlier this year (see EPIC Alert 7.04), despite a strong
campaign financed by a national pro-filtering group.  That community
decision, however, would be overturned by the "one-size-fits-all"
filtering requirements now pending before Congress.  In an effort to
preserve local choice, most of the major education and library
organizations are opposed to the McCain-Istook amendment.
More information on Internet filtering, including ways to weigh in
on the pending legislative mandate, is available at the Internet Free
Expression Alliance website:
[3] Banned Books Week Celebrates Freedom of Expression
A group of publishers, booksellers, and libraries have launched
the Nineteenth Annual Banned Books Week, to run from September 23rd
through the 30th.  The week-long event highlights the importance of
First Amendment freedoms and the need to protect controversial
expression against attempts at censorship.
For the period 1990-1999, 5,718 attempts to remove or restrict
materials have been reported to the American Library Association's
Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The top ten list of most challenged
books for the decade includes works such as "I Know Why the Caged
Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by
Mark Twain, and "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger.  In 1999
alone, there were 472 challenges to various publications.  The popular
Harry Potter books topped the list of the past year's most challenged
books due to the series' references to wizardry and magic.
As an illustration of the need for protecting free expression,
one-third of the Modern Library's list of the 100 best novels of the
20th century have been previously banned or challenged in bookstores,
libraries, or schools.  The banned books include notable works such
as "The Grapes of Wrath", "The Great Gatsby", and "Brave New World".
In the words of past ALA President Ann K. Symons, "Ideas can only
flourish-and democracy survive-if the right of everyone to choose for
themselves what they wish to read, hear and view is guaranteed".
More information about Banned Books Week is available at:
Exercise your right to free expression at the EPIC Bookstore:
[4] Privacy Foundation Investigates :CueCat Scanning Device
The Privacy Foundation, a privacy research center based in Denver, has
completed an analysis of a new product produced by Digital:Convergence
called :CueCat.  The device raises privacy concerns due the
incorporation of unique identifiers that potentially facilitate user
The device, distributed for free with upcoming issues of Forbes and
Wired magazines, attaches to a personal computer and scans bar codes
appearing in print advertisements and articles that will bring
consumers to web pages featuring the selected products.  The :CueCat
can also be attached to televisions and will present similar features
in response to audio signals included in broadcasts.  The information
gathered through the device will be provided to its marketing partners
as "demographic and psychographic data".  Digital:Convergence plans to
make the devices widely available, distributing up to 10 million by
the end of this year and 50 million by the end of 2001.
The privacy concerns of the product arise due to its use of unique
identifiers.  Unique identifiers have been at the center of recent
privacy controversies such as the Intel Processor Serial Number (PSN)
and online profiling conducted by Internet advertiser DoubleClick.
Much as in the situation surrounding those companies' products, when a
consumer uses :CueCat, the device will send an unique identifier with
the transmitted data.  Digital:Convergence also collects personal data
such as names, email addresses, and zip codes via registration but
claims to have no plans to link this information with profile data
about what individuals are scanning.
The Privacy Foundation recommends that the company distribute a
software patch that can disable unique identifiers and explicitly
disclose its information collection practices.
The :CueCat Bar Code Reader Privacy Advisory is available from the
Privacy Foundation:
[5] Int'l Data Protection Conference Brings Together NGOs
On September 27, EPIC and Privacy International will host a
conference, "The Public Voice in Privacy Policy," in Venice, Italy.
The meeting will be held in conjunction with the annual meeting of
the International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners to begin
on September 28.  Both events will be webcast live.
The conference will bring together leading academic experts, NGO
leaders, and privacy officials from around the world to explore
current issues in privacy protection.  Panel discussions will focus
on the globalization of surveillance; copyright protection and
privacy; the EU-US negotiations on transborder data flows (Safe
Harbor); and the need for an international convention on data
The first of these conferences was organized by Privacy International
and held in Sydney in 1992.  Subsequent meetings have taken place in
Manchester (1993), The Hague (1994), Copenhagen (1995), Ottawa
(1996), Brussels (1997), and Hong Kong (1999).
For program and registration details see:
For the webcasts and the International Data Protection Commissioner's
conference agenda, visit the Italian Data Protection Commission's
homepage at:
[6] Upcoming Forum Presents ICANN Candidates
The Internet Democracy Project and the Berkman Center for Internet &
Society at Harvard University are jointly presenting "A Day with the
ICANN North-American Candidates" on October 2 in Cambridge, MA.
The afternoon will bring together all of the North American candidates
to discuss the role of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
Numbers, as well as the issues confronting the organization.  Later
that evening, the candidates will participate in a question-and-answer
candidates forum.
Both events will be webcast live, open to the public, and allow for
remote participation.
For more information, visit the Internet Democracy Project homepage:
To register for the webcast:
[7] EPIC Bookstore - Privacy & Human Rights 2000
Privacy & Human Rights 2000: An International Survey of Privacy Laws
and Developments by David Banisar
This survey, by EPIC and Privacy International, reviews the state of
privacy in over fifty countries around the world. The survey examines
a wide range of privacy issues including, data protection, telephone
tapping, genetic databases, ID systems and freedom of information
The report finds that there is a worldwide recognition of privacy as a
fundamental human right. Many countries around the world are enacting
comprehensive data protection laws to safeguard individual privacy
However at the same time, privacy is increasingly being undermined by
technical advances and the demands of intelligence and law enforcement
agencies for increased surveillance powers. There is a strong need for
improved oversight and stricter enforcement of current laws to ensure
that legal protections are not ignored as threats to personal privacy.
EPIC Publications:
"The Privacy Law Sourcebook 2000: United States Law, International
Law, and Recent Developments," Marc Rotenberg, editor (EPIC 2000).
Price: $40. http://www.epic.org/pls/
The "Physicians Desk Reference of the privacy world." An invaluable
resource for students, attorneys, researchers and journalists who need
an up-to-date collection of U.S. and International privacy law, as
well as a comprehensive listing of privacy resources.
"Cryptography and Liberty 2000: An International Survey of Encryption
Policy," Wayne Madsen and David Banisar, editors (EPIC 2000).
Price: $20. http://www.epic.org/crypto&/
EPIC's third survey of encryption policies around the world. The
results indicate that the efforts to reduce export controls on strong
encryption products have largely succeeded, although several
governments are gaining new powers to combat the perceived threats of
encryption to law enforcement.
"Filters and Freedom - Free Speech Perspectives on Internet Content
Controls," David Sobel, editor (EPIC 1999). Price: $20.
A collection of essays, studies, and critiques of Internet content
filtering.  These papers are instrumental in explaining why filtering
threatens free expression.
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
KnowRight 2000 - InfoEthics Europe. Austrian Computer Society and
UNESCO. September 26-29, 2000. Vienna, Austria. For more information:
The Public Voice in Privacy Policy. EPIC and Privacy International.
September 27, 2000. Venice, Italy. For more information:
Media, Democracy & The Constitution. The Fund for Constitutional
Government. September 27, 2000. National Press Club. Washington, DC.
For more information: FunConGov@aol.com
One World, One Privacy: 22nd Annual International Conference on
Privacy and Personal Data Protection. September 28-30, 2000. Venice,
Italy. For more information: http://www.dataprotection.org/
Drawing the Blinds: Reconstructing Privacy in the Information Age.
CPSR's Annual Conference and Wiener Award Dinner. October 14, 2000.
Philadelphia, PA. For more information: http://www.cpsr.org.
Privacy: A Social Research Conference. New School University. October
5-7, 2000. New York, NY. For more information:
Call for Papers. Financial Cryptography '01. Cayman Islands. For more
information: http://www.fc01.uwm.edu
Call for Papers. Online, Offshore and Cross-Border:  Regulating Global
E-Commerce. Washington College of Law, American University. October
15, 2000. For more information: lawrev@wcl.american.edu
Measuring & Analyzing Online Customer Behavior. International Quality
and Productivity Center. October 23-24, 2000. Chicago, IL. For more
information: http://www.iqpc.com
Privacy2000: Information and Security in the Digital Age. October 31-
November 1, 2000. Columbus, Ohio. For more information:
Mealey's Internet Law 101 Conference. November 1-2, 2000. Tysons
Corner, VA. For more information: seminars@mealeys.com
2000 BNA Public Policy Forum: e-commerce and internet regulation.
November 15-16, 2000. Tysons Corner, VA. For more information:
Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS '01). Internet
Society. February 7-9, 2001. San Diego, CA. For more information:
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The Electronic Privacy Information Center is a public interest
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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.
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  ---------------------- END EPIC Alert 7.17 -----------------------