Subject: EFFector Online 08.07 - June 6 '95 - ALERT: Last chance on Exon bill!
summary: IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED: Comm. Decency act passes or fails immediately!
Worse yet - new even more threatening net censorship bill!
organization: Electronic Frontier Foundation
keywords: EFF EFFector activism activist Senator Sen Sen. Exon Leahy Gorton
Dole Grassley Lott Feinstein terrorism terrorist Communications Decency Act
indecency CDA censor censorship free speech freedom of S. S 314 652 714 735
H.R. HR 1004 S.314 S.652 S.714 S.735 H.R.1004 S314 S652 S714 S735 HR1004
Prodigy liability liable bomb bombmaking ban
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EFFector Online Volume 08 No. 07 June 22, 1995 edit...@eff.org
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation ISSN 1062-9424
IN THIS ISSUE:
ALERT: Communications Decency Act - Imminent Passage or Failure - Act NOW!
The Latest News
What You Can Do Now -- U.S. and non-U.S. citizens
Senate Contact List
For More Information
List Of Participating Organizations
Dole/Grassley Legislation Threatens Online Free Speech - Worse Than CDA
New Draft of Communications Decency Legislation
Sen. Lott to Attempt to Rip Sysop Defenses from Exon Bill
The Other Side of the Coin: Feinstein Bill v. Bomb Material Online
Prodigy Potentially Liable for User Postings
Calendar of Events
Quote of the Week
What YOU Can Do
* See http://www.eff.org/Alerts/ or ftp.eff.org, /pub/Alerts/ for more
information on current EFF activities and online activism alerts! *
Subject: ALERT: Communications Decency Act - Act NOW!
* EMERGENCY UPDATE: Just as this issue was going to virtual press, more and
* very dire news has arrived. Senators Bob Dole (R-KS) and Charles Grassley
* (R-IA) have announced they are sponsoring, and probably introducing very
* soon, new Internet censorship legislation even more threatening
* to free speech than the Exon "Communications Decency Act". Unlike the
* Leahy alternative to the CDA, the Dole/Grassley legislation is not,
* according to sponsor Grassley, intended to be offered as a replacement
* for the Exon language in the Senate telecom reform bill, but rather is
* intended as free-standing bill. As CDT, a member of the Stop314 Coalition
* with EFF, notes, the advent of the Dole/Grassley bill creates an even
* greater need for support of Senator Leahy's alternative (S. 714). If
* the Senate rejects Senator Leahy's alternative, it will pass either the
* Exon bill or the even more draconian Dole/Grassley proposal, and the
* net as we know it will never be the same again. Please, take the very
* few minutes it will require to call your Senators and sign the Leahy
* petition, as detailed in the lead article below. More info on the
* Dole/Grassley proposal is in the Newsbytes section of this newsletter.
Below is the latest action alert from the Stop314 Coalition (including EFF).
*This may look like alerts you've seen on previous days and weeks, but it
is new.* Please take the time to check it out - the time has come to
direct your activism toward your Senators. The petition drive for the
Leahy opposition bill has receive over 20,000 signatures in a very short
time, but it is not enough. Please pardon the length of this EFFector,
but this is the most important action alert that has appeared in EFFector
CAMPAIGN TO STOP THE EXON/GORTON COMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT
Update: -Senate changes gears, we're caught with little time
-What You Can Do Now (US and non-US citizens)
CAMPAIGN TO STOP THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL COMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT
June 6, 1995
PLEASE WIDELY REDISTRIBUTE THIS DOCUMENT WITH THIS BANNER INTACT
REDISTRIBUTE ONLY UNTIL June 20, 1995
REPRODUCE THIS ALERT ONLY IN RELEVANT FORUMS
Distributed by the Voters Telecommunications Watch (v...@vtw.org)
[NOTE: EFF has added two bracketed additions to the "What You Can Do Now"
section, in light of the sudden appearance of the Dole/Grassley bill
and the Lott amendment.]
The Latest News
What You Can Do Now -- U.S. and non-U.S. citizens
Senate Contact List
For More Information
List Of Participating Organizations
THE LATEST NEWS
The Senate is ready to act on the Telecommunications Reform Bill this
week, perhaps as soon as Wednesday, June 7th. We had thought the
Counter Terrorism bill would take all week, but the Senate changed its
schedule without consulting us. :-)
(We sincerely apologize for issuing another alert on the heels of the
prior one, but the Senate's readiness to move on this legislation was
not anticipated. We'll watch out for such a situation again and avoid
releasing two alerts so close together in the future. We also apologize
for the length of this Alert, but it contains the entire Senate contact
Note that there are few people who don't know about the bill. However
if you are unfamiliar with the bill, take a moment to retrieve the
materials listed in the "For More Information" section.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW -- U.S. and non-U.S. citizens
The Telecomm Reform Bill, will, in all likelihood, include either the
Exon Amendment (formerly the Communications Decency Act) or the Leahy
Amendment. It is essential that the Leahy language be substituted for
Exon's, and therefore it is essential:
1. That all citizens call or fax their Senators as soon as possible.
There is no time for written letters and email is too easily
discounted or ignored. Non-U.S. citizens should contact Vice
President Gore. Note, if you decide to send a fax, you'll want to
write an expanded version of the statement below.
It's very important that you always be cool, collected, and polite.
<call your Senators' offices, contact info below>
"Hello, Senator ________'s office"
"Hi, I'm a constituent and would like to register my
opinion on the Telecommunications Reform bill to the
"Hold On please. Alright, go ahead."
"Please vote to remove the Communications Decency Act provision
(Title 4 of S652) from the Telecomm Reform bill and
replace it with the Leahy alternative (S714). My name and
address is ________."
"Thanks for calling."
[Addition in light of emergency update: Ask your Senators to also
oppose the Lott amendment S.714, and to oppose the Dole/Grassley
alternative to the CDA.]
<call, fax, or send email to Vice President Gore>
"Dear Vice President Gore,
The world looks to the United States as one leader in
developing a Global Information Infrastructure. Title 4 of
the Telecomm Reform bill (the Communications Decency Act)
[like the Dole/Grassley Internet censorship bill,]
imperils that leadership. Please work to remove it from the
Telecomm Reform bill (S652) and replace it with Senator
Leahy's sensible alternative (S714). I'm calling from
2. Send VTW a note telling us what you did. If you contacted your two
Senators, send a letter to v...@vtw.org with a subject line of
"XX ack" where "XX" is your state. For example:
Subject: OH ack
I called my Ohio Senators and expressed my opinion.
If you contact Senators outside your state, please let us know what
state you're from.
If you contacted Vice President Gore, send a letter to v...@vtw.org with
a subject line of "gore ack". For example:
Subject: gore ack
I called VP Gore and expressed my opinion. I'm from France.
An automatic responder will return an updated contact tally.
3. Forward this Alert to relevant forums on other online services and
BBS's. Check the letter you get back to see which Senators are
underrepresented by citizen contacts. Forward the Alert to any
friends and colleagues in those states.
4. If you haven't yet signed the petition to support Sen. Leahy,
do so now. Send mail to v...@vtw.org with a subject line of
"send petition" for directions.
5. Congratulate yourself! Your two-minute activism joins that of many
thousands of others over the past two months.
SENATE CONTACT LIST
Vice President Gore can be reached at:
White House comment line
Telephone: (202) 456-1111 (M-F 9-5 EST)
Facsimile: (202) 456-2461 (M-F 9-5 EST)
US Senate Listing:
D ST Name (Party) Phone Fax
= == ============ ===== ===
R AK Murkowski, Frank H. 1-202-224-6665 1-202-224-5301
R AK Stevens, Ted 1-202-224-3004 1-202-224-1044
D AL Heflin, Howell T. 1-202-224-4124 1-202-224-3149
R AL Shelby, Richard C. 1-202-224-5744 1-202-224-3416
D AR Bumpers, Dale 1-202-224-4843 1-202-224-6435
D AR Pryor, David 1-202-224-2353 1-202-224-8261
R AZ Kyl, Jon 1-202-224-4521 1-202-224-2302
R AZ McCain, John 1-202-224-2235 1-202-228-2862
D CA Boxer, Barbara 1-202-224-3553 na
D CA Feinstein, Dianne 1-202-224-3841 1-202-228-3954
D CO Campbell, Ben N. 1-202-224-5852 1-202-225-0228
R CO Brown, Henry 1-202-224-5941 1-202-224-6471
D CT Dodd, Christopher J. 1-202-224-2823 na
D CT Lieberman, Joseph I. 1-202-224-4041 1-202-224-9750
D DE Biden Jr., Joseph R. 1-202-224-5042 1-202-224-0139
R DE Roth Jr. William V. 1-202-224-2441 1-202-224-2805
D FL Graham, Robert 1-202-224-3041 1-202-224-2237
R FL Mack, Connie 1-202-224-5274 1-202-224-8022
D GA Nunn, Samuel 1-202-224-3521 1-202-224-0072
R GA Coverdell, Paul 1-202-224-3643 1-202-228-3783
D HI Akaka, Daniel K. 1-202-224-6361 1-202-224-2126
D HI Inouye, Daniel K. 1-202-224-3934 1-202-224-6747
D IA Harkin, Thomas 1-202-224-3254 1-202-224-7431
R IA Grassley, Charles E. 1-202-224-3744 1-202-224-6020
R ID Craig, Larry E. 1-202-224-2752 1-202-224-2573
R ID Kempthorne, Dirk 1-202-224-6142 1-202-224-5893
D IL Moseley-Braun, Carol 1-202-224-2854 1-202-224-2626
D IL Simon, Paul 1-202-224-2152 1-202-224-0868
R IN Coats, Daniel R. 1-202-224-5623 1-202-224-8964
R IN Lugar, Richard G. 1-202-224-4814 1-202-224-7877
R KS Dole, Robert 1-202-224-6521 1-202-224-8952
R KS Kassebaum, Nancy L. 1-202-224-4774 1-202-224-3514
D KY Ford, Wendell H. 1-202-224-4343 1-202-224-0046
R KY McConnell, Mitch 1-202-224-2541 1-202-224-2499
D LA Breaux, John B. 1-202-224-4623 na
D LA Johnston, J. Bennett 1-202-224-5824 1-202-224-2952
D MA Kennedy, Edward M. 1-202-224-4543 1-202-224-2417
D MA Kerry, John F. 1-202-224-2742 1-202-224-8525
D MD Mikulski, Barbara A. 1-202-224-4654 1-202-224-8858
D MD Sarbanes, Paul S. 1-202-224-4524 1-202-224-1651
R ME Snowe, Olympia 1-202-224-5344 1-202-224-6853
R ME Cohen, William S. 1-202-224-2523 1-202-224-2693
D MI Levin, Carl 1-202-224-6221 na
R MI Abraham, Spencer 1-202-224-4822 1-202-224-8834
D MN Wellstone, Paul 1-202-224-5641 1-202-224-8438
R MN Grams, Rod 1-202-224-3244 1-202-224-9931
R MO Bond, Christopher S. 1-202-224-5721 1-202-224-8149
R MO Ashcroft, John 1-202-224-6154 na
R MS Cochran, Thad 1-202-224-5054 1-202-224-3576
R MS Lott, Trent 1-202-224-6253 1-202-224-2262
D MT Baucus, Max 1-202-224-2651 na
R MT Burns, Conrad R. 1-202-224-2644 1-202-224-8594
R NC Faircloth, D. M. 1-202-224-3154 1-202-224-7406
R NC Helms, Jesse 1-202-224-6342 1-202-224-7588
D ND Conrad, Kent 1-202-224-2043 1-202-224-7776
D ND Dorgan, Byron L. 1-202-224-2551 1-202-224-1193
D NE Exon, J. J. 1-202-224-4224 1-202-224-5213
D NE Kerrey, Bob 1-202-224-6551 1-202-224-7645
R NH Gregg, Judd 1-202-224-3324 1-202-224-4952
R NH Smith, Robert 1-202-224-2841 1-202-224-1353
D NJ Bradley, William 1-202-224-3224 1-202-224-8567
D NJ Lautenberg, Frank R. 1-202-224-4744 1-202-224-9707
D NM Bingaman, Jeff 1-202-224-5521 na
R NM Domenici, Pete V. 1-202-224-6621 1-202-224-7371
D NV Bryan, Richard H. 1-202-224-6244 1-202-224-1867
D NV Reid, Harry 1-202-224-3542 1-202-224-7327
D NY Moynihan, Daniel P. 1-202-224-4451 na
R NY D'Amato, Alfonse M. 1-202-224-6542 1-202-224-5871
D OH Glenn, John 1-202-224-3353 1-202-224-7983
R OH Dewine, Michael 1-202-224-2315 1-202-224-6519
R OK Inhofe, James 1-202-224-4721
R OK Nickles, Donald 1-202-224-5754 1-202-224-6008
R OR Hatfield, Mark O. 1-202-224-3753 1-202-224-0276
R OR Packwood, Robert 1-202-224-5244 1-202-228-3576
R PA Santorum, Rick 1-202-224-6324 1-202-228-4991
R PA Specter, Arlen 1-202-224-4254 1-202-224-1893
D RI Pell, Claiborne 1-202-224-4642 1-202-224-4680
R RI Chafee, John H. 1-202-224-2921 na
D SC Hollings, Ernest F. 1-202-224-6121 1-202-224-4293
R SC Thurmond, Strom 1-202-224-5972 1-202-224-1300
D SD Daschle, Thomas A. 1-202-224-2321 1-202-224-2047
R SD Pressler, Larry 1-202-224-5842 1-202-224-1259*
R TN Thompson, Fred 1-202-224-4944 1-202-228-3679
R TN Frist, Bill 1-202-224-3344 1-202-224-8062
R TX Hutchison, Kay Bailey 1-202-224-5922 1-202-224-0776
R TX Gramm, Phil 1-202-224-2934 1-202-228-2856
R UT Bennett, Robert 1-202-224-5444 1-202-224-6717
R UT Hatch, Orrin G. 1-202-224-5251 1-202-224-6331
D VA Robb, Charles S. 1-202-224-4024 1-202-224-8689
R VA Warner, John W. 1-202-224-2023 1-202-224-6295
D VT Leahy, Patrick J. 1-202-224-4242 1-202-224-3595
R VT Jeffords, James M. 1-202-224-5141 na
D WA Murray, Patty 1-202-224-2621 1-202-224-0238
R WA Gorton, Slade 1-202-224-3441 1-202-224-9393
D WI Feingold, Russell 1-202-224-5323 na
D WI Kohl, Herbert H. 1-202-224-5653 1-202-224-9787
D WV Byrd, Robert C. 1-202-224-3954 1-202-224-4025
D WV Rockefeller, John D. 1-202-224-6472 na
R WY Simpson, Alan K. 1-202-224-3424 1-202-224-1315
R WY Thomas, Craig 1-202-224-6441 1-202-224-3230
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information on the Communications Decency Act, visit the
v...@vtw.org (put "send help" in the subject line)
cda-i...@cdt.org (General CDA information)
cda-s...@cdt.org (Current status of the CDA)
LIST OF PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS
In order to use the net more effectively, several organizations have
joined forces on a single Congressional net campaign to stop the
Communications Decency Act.
In alphabetical order:
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) infoa...@aclu.org
American Communication Association (ACA) commi...@cavern.uark.edu
American Council for the Arts
Arts & Technology Society cyber...@well.com
biancaTroll productions bia...@bianca.com
Californians Against Censorship Together BobbyLi...@aol.com
Center For Democracy And Technology (CDT) i...@cdt.org
Centre for Democratic Communications (CDC) cshar...@aztec.co.za
Center for Public Representation (CPR) mgpri...@facstaff.wisc.edu
Computer Communicators Association commun...@pigpen.demon.co.uk
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility c...@cpsr.org
Cross Connections st...@xconn.com
Cyber-Rights Campaign cyber-rig...@cpsr.org
CyberQueer Lounge t...@cyberzine.org
Electronic Frontier Canada (EFC) e...@graceland.uwaterloo.ca
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) i...@eff.org
Electronic Frontier Foundation - Austin eff-aus...@tic.com
Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) efa-i...@efa.org.au
Electronic Frontiers Houston (EFH) e...@efh.org
Electronic Frontiers New Hampshire (EFNH) e...@mv.com
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) i...@epic.org
Feminists For Free Expression (FFE) F...@aol.com
First Amendment Teach-In cr...@omnifest.uwm.edu
Florida Coalition Against Censorship pipk...@mail.firn.edu
FACTS (Friendly Anti-Censorship Taskforce for Students)
Hands Off! The Net bab...@phanton.com
Human Rights Watch (HRW) info...@hrw.org
Inland Book Company David1...@aol.com
Inner Circle Technologies, Inc. aka. NovaLink
Inst. for Global Communications igc-i...@igc.org
National Libertarian Party 73163.3...@compuserve.com
Libertarian Party (national) (LP) l...@access.digex.net
Marijuana Policy Project MPProj...@AOL.com
Metropolitan Data Networks Ltd.
National Bicycle Greenway cycl...@cruzio.com
National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) n...@netcom.com
National Public Telecomputing Network (NPTN) i...@nptn.org
National Writers Union (UAW Local 1981 AFL-CIO) k...@world.std.com
Oregon Coast Rural Information Service Cooperative
Panix Public Access Internet i...@panix.com
People for the American Way jless...@reach.com
Rock Out Censorship TWiese...@aol.com
Society for Electronic Access s...@sea.org
The Thing International BBS Network (TTNet) i...@thing.nyc.ny.us
The WELL i...@well.com
Voters Telecommunications Watch (VTW) v...@vtw.org
(Note: All 'Electronic Frontier' organizations are independent entities,
not EFF chapters or divisions.)
[End of Alert]
* Dole/Grassley Legislation Threatens Online Free Speech - Worse Than CDA
[This summary provided by Center for Democracy & Technology, i...@cdt.org]
The Dole/Grassley bill would create new penalties in Title 18 for all
operators of electronic communications services who knowingly transmit
indecent material to anyone under 18 years of age. The bill would also
create criminal liability for system operators who willfully permit minors
to use an electronic communications service in order to obtain indecent
material from another service.
The Dole/Grassley bill would impose criminal liability on online service
providers, electronic bulletin board operators, as well as any other entity
that uses computer storage to deliver information to users, including video
dialtone services, cable television video on demand services, etc. The
degree of knowledge required to impose liability is unclear, but it appears
that an entity could be said to have the requisite knowledge if it is
merely informed by a third party that some material on its system is
The text of the Dole/Grassley bill (currently unintroduced and without a
bill number) is at:
gopher.eff.org, 1/Alerts, dole_grassley_95.bill
* New Draft of Communications Decency Legislation
Sen. Exon, the Dept. of Justice, and some unnamed online service providers
have attempted to fix the "bugs" in the Exon/Gorton Communications
Decency Act, recently folded into the Senate telecom reform bill, S.652.
All in all, the amendment fixes only superficial problems, leaving the
core faults of the bill intact.
The revisions are not currently out of the draft stage as far as can be
determined, but may be intended to be introduced by Exon on the Senate
floor in an attempt to convince the Senate that the CDA is "fixed" and
should be preferred over the Leahy counter-legislation. The draft changes
various minor parts of the bill (e.g. changes "knowingly and willfully" to
"knowingly"); allows but fails dismally to require that the implementation
of technology to enable the user to restrict or prevent access to "obscene,
lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent" material may be used to avoid
liability on the part of system operators; and separates out some
offenses from others more clearly. The revisions also aim to
satisfy the concerns the Justice Dept. had regarding the poorly written
CDA's negative effect on law enforcement's ability to enforce "dial-a-porn"
statutes and (to the DoJ's credit) its negative effect on the protection
citizens enjoy under privacy laws. Whether the changes actually do
address these problems is highly questionable.
The Exon legislation revised by this draft amendment will remain
unconstitutional, as it still attempts to ban expression protected by the
First Amendment. Even the regulation of indecency has been limited by
the courts to very narrowly defined circumstances - none of which apply
to online media. Such restrictions, even if eventually overturned after
years of expensive legal battles, will greatly hamper networking
development and will stifle freedom of expression online, rendering all
electronic communications subject to censorship so that adults are
limited to accessing and expressing only that which is suitable for
Additionally, the new version introduces a new problem: It protects only
large commercial service providers from more-restrictive state laws. The
draft states: "No State or local government may impose any liability
for commercial activities or actions by commercial entities...that is
inconsistent with the treatment of those violations under this section..."
EFF concurs with the Center for Democracy & Technology in finding no
valid argument for according greater protection to commercial than
non-commercial speech. Indeed the entire history of commercial
regulation and free speech jurisprudence in the U.S. points in the
opposite direction. The CDA revisions would leave individuals, educational
institutions, non-profit organizations, users' groups and all others
besides commercial interests subject to whatever censorship measures states
might wish to enact on whatever whim.
The draft changes to the Exon bill, showing what was deleted and what was
added, are available at:
gopher.eff.org, 1/EFF/Legislation/Bills_by_number, s652_051995_amend.draft
* Sen. Lott to Attempt to Rip Sysop Defenses from Exon Bill
CDT in their alert regarding the Dole/Grassley bill also note that
Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) has announced plans to introduce an amendment to
S.652 to remove all of the service provider defenses from the Exon
language (the CDA). *This move would make the Exon bill even more of a
privacy and free speech threat than the original Exon bill.* Holding
system operators liable for the posts of users over which they hold no
editorial control threatens to put most providers out of business, stifle
free expression online, and force the remaining providers to become
full-time censors and invaders of user privacy.
[Apologies to those who also receive CDT newsletters and get essentially
two copies of this information, but its relevance here and its effect on
the now extreme urgency of the main action alert in this newsletter and
on the Leahy petition drive requires at least summarizing the main points
The text of the Lott amendment will be available as soon as we receive it
Look for a file with "lott" in the filename.
* The Other Side of the Coin: Feinstein Bill v. Bomb Material Online
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has drafted an amendment to the Senate
Comprehensive Terrorism Prevention bill, S.735, of Sen. Dole. Like the CDA
revisions, this remains an unintroduced draft, on hold until its parent
bill is in open discussion in the Senate. The draft intends to:
"prohibit the dissemination of information on the making of explosive
materials with intent or knowledge that such information will be used for
a criminal purpose."
The draft amendment would mandate up to twenty years in prison for anyone
who "teach[es] or demonstrate[s] the making of explosive materials, or...
disseminate[s] by any means information pertaining to, in whole or in part,
the manufacture of explosive materials" if the person even "resonably
should know" that such explosives or information "is [sic] likely to be
used for, or in furtherance of, a federal offense or other criminal
purpose affecting interstate commerce."
Though the legislation does not directly mention the Internet, it is
certainly drafted to apply to online media, and was inspired by what
Feinstein perceives (or hears about in the media, since it is unlikely
the Senator has actually ever logged in and found any bombmaking
instructions online) as tools for terrorism on computer networks. The
agenda is clear. Feinstein, herself a near-victim of a failed letter-bombing
attempt, along with other legislators, representatives of the
Administration, and spokespersons from the civil liberties community,
participated in a May 11 Senate Terrorism Committee hearing on "The
Availability of Bomb Making Information On The Internet". Feinstein
suggested that bomb-making data be banned from the net, according to
_Interactive_Week_. Calling such materials information that "teaches
people to kill" she stated that it is "pushing the envelope of free
speech to the extremes." Feinstein was asked, and did not answer, if
she intended to ban such materials (e.g. the widely available
_Anarchist_Cookbook_) from bookstores, after she suggested
that the "doctrine of prior restraint is one we have to look at",
because such information "isn't what this country is all about."
Others likely to support the Feinstein amendment if introduced when the
anti-terrorism bill hits the Senate floor include Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) and
the Justice Department. Kohl at the same hearing commented that Americans
would be shocked at the "dark back alleys of the Internet... In other words,
the industry acts now, or Congress will do it for you... After all, if we
have the technology to get kids on the Internet, we have should have the
technology to get them off." Expanding on the overused outrage-generator of
protecting kids from the evils of electronic communications, Dep. Asst.
Atty. Gen. Robert Litt, testified, "Not only do would-be terrorists have
access to detailed information on how to construct explosives, but so do
Experienced BBS and Internet users may marvel at the seeming gullibility
of these hearing pronouncements. It is clear that Kohl, Feinstein and Litt
are unware, or choose to ignore, that most of the material they are
decrying is actually written by minors - neither very accurate nor
likely at all to be used by terrorists - and that far more reliable
information on topics like the anatomy of a bomb can be had from most
public libraries (e.g. in the _Encyclopaedia_Britannica_), and from the
U.S. government itself. Brock Meeks writing for _Interactive_Week_
notes that the very bomb type used to destroy the Federal Building in
Oklahoma City is covered in a "detailed recipe" in the Forestry
Service's own readily available _Blaster's_Handbook_.
Others at the hearing, including Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), warned against
looking to censorship for a solution. Leahy retorted that the real problem
is "harmful and dangerous conduct, not speech". Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA),
who chaired the hearing, appeared to remain rather neutral on the issue,
being neither certain that censorship and access restriction to online
material was technically feasible, nor encouraged to call for censorship
by the DoJ's admission that they had no evidence at all of crimes taking
place as a result of information gathered from the Internet.
The full text of the Feinstein draft can be found at
gopher.eff.org, 1/Legislation/Bills_by_number, s735_95_feinstein_amend.draft
There's plenty more to worry about from this and other anti-terrorism
legislation, most of which proposes one or more unconstitional
"solutions" to perceived problems, and many of which seek to expand, in
some cases radically, law enforcement and intelligence wiretapping
authority and abilities. These bills, archived by bill number, are
also available in the Bills_by_number directory at the sites above.
* Prodigy Potentially Liable for User Postings
In a case that could have major ramifications for BBS system operators and
Internet newsgroup moderators, a New York state trial court ruled that
communications service provider Prodigy Services Company may be liable for
potentially libelous statements made by one of its users. Prodigy was sued
by the securities investment banking firm of Stratton Oakmont, Inc., and
its president, Daniel Porush, for statements made by an unidentified poster
on Prodigy's Money Talk bulletin board. The statements claimed that
Stratton Oakmont committed criminal and fraudulant acts in connection with
the initial public offering of stock of Solomon-Page, Ltd.
Stratton Oakmont and Porush sued Prodigy, the volunteer moderator of the
Money Talk forum, and the anonymous user who made the postings. Prodigy
filed a motion for summary judgment, asking to be dismissed from the case
on the claim that Prodigy could not be held responsible for the postings of
On May 24, 1995, the court held that Prodigy had editorial control over the
messages in the Money Talk forum and was therefore liable for the content
of those messages. According to the New York Supreme Court (which is a
trial level court in New York), Prodigy's policy of systematically
monitoring messages made it liable for the content of these messages.
In addition, the court held that since Prodigy directed and controlled the
actions of volunteer Board Leaders, at least for the limited purpose of
monitoring and editing the Money Talk bulletin board, Prodigy was
responsible for the actions of its Board Leaders.
Subject: Calendar of 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, are
marked with "!" in place of the "-" after the date.
If you know of an event of some sort that should be listed here, please
send info about it to Stanton McCandlish (m...@eff.org)
The latest full version of this calendar, which includes material for
later in the year as well as the next couple of months, is available from:
ftp: ftp.eff.org, /pub/EFF/calendar.eff
gopher: gopher.eff.org, 1/EFF, calendar.eff
Updated: Jun. 6, 1995
9 - Third International Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Applications on Wall Street; Pace University, New York City, NY.
Contact: +1 914 763 8820 (voice), +1 914 763 9324 (fax)
10 - Exploring the VideoClass Alternative; Raleigh, N. Carolina.
14 - Society & the Future of Computing (SFC'95); Tamarron Lodge,
Durango, Colorado. Sponsored by the Assoc. for Computing
Machinery, LANL, U. of Md., IEEE. Speakers will include Phil Agre
(UCSD), Leslie Sandberg (Institute for Telemedicine), Wm.
Halverson (PacBell), Don Norman (Apple), Linda Garcia
(Congressional Office of Technology Assessment), John
Cherniavsky (Natl. Science Found.) and several others.
15 - IDT 95 - 12th Congress on Information Markets and Industries;
Paris, France. Organized by ADBS (a society of information
professionals), ANRT (National Association of Technological
Research), and GFII (French association of information industries).
Contact: +33 1 43 72 25 25 (voice), +33 1 43 72 30 41 (fax)
19 - NECC'95: Emerging Technologies and Lifelong Learning: 16th Annual
National Educational Computing Conf., sponsored by International
Society for Technology in Education; Baltimore, Maryland.
VP Gore and Sec'y. of Labor Robert Reich invited as keynote
speakers. Other speakers include: John Phillipo (CELT), Frank
Contact: +1 503 346 2834 (voice), +1 503 346 5890 (fax)
21 - ED-MEDIA'95; Graz, Austria. A world conference on educational
multimedia and hypermedia. Sponsor: The Association for the
Advancement of Computing.
Contact: +1 804 973 3987 (voice)
28 - Workshop on Ethical & Professional Issues in Computing;
Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., Troy, NY. Deadline for submissions:
Contact: +1 518 276 8503 (voice), +1 518 276 2659 (fax)
29 - Women in Technology Conference: Channels for Change; Santa Clara
Conv. Ctr., Santa Clara, Calif. Speakers include: Gloria Steinem.
Sponsored by Int'l. Network of Women in Technology (WITI).
Contact: +1 818 990 1987 (voice), +1 818 906 3299 (fax)
30 - INET '95 Internet Society 5th Ann. International Networking
Conf.; Honolulu, Hawaii. Sponsored by Internet Society (ISoc).
See Jan. 13 for proposal deadline
Contact: +1 703 648 9888 (voice)
FTP: ftp.isoc.org, /isoc/inet95/
Gopher: gopher.isoc.org, 1/isoc/inet95
7 - Key Players in the Introduction of Information Technology: Their
Social Responsibility & Professional Training; Namur, Belgium.
Sponsored by CREIS.
Email: no...@ccr.jussieu.fr, clo...@info.fundp.ac.be
8 - Alliance for Community Media International Conference and Trade
Show. [See Jan. 31 for proposal submission deadline info].
Contact: Alliance c/o MATV, 145 Pleasant St., Malden, MA 02148
Fax: (617) 321-7121; Voice: Rika Welsh (617) 321-6400
8 - 18th International Conf. on Research & Development in Information
Retrieval; Sheraton Hotel, Seattle, Wash.
7 ! Interoperability & the Economics of Information Infrastructure;
Freedom Forum, Rosslyn, Virginia. IITF/NSF/Harvard/FFMSC joint
workshop to "analyze and evaluate economic incentives and
impediments to achieving interoperability in the National
Information Infrastructure. The goal is to help agencies,
associations, the Administration, and the Congress to develop
sound policies for realizing the vision of a seamless,
interoperating NII. Deadline for proposals: Mar. 17. Deadline
for submissions: June 15.
Contact: +1 617 495 8903 (voice), +1 617 495 5776 (fax)
15 - '95 Joint International Conference: Association for Computers and
the Humanties, and Association for Literacy and Linguistic
Computing; UCSB, Santa Barbara, Calif. Will highlight the
development of new computing methodologies for research and
teaching in the humanities
Contact: Eric Dahlin, +1 805 687 5003 (voice)
26 - Syllabus'95; Sonoma State U., Rohnert Park, Calif.
"The premier conference covering the use of technology in the
Contact: 1-800-773-0670 (voice, US-only), +1 408 746 200 (voice,
Subject: Quote of the Week
In light of the advent of Sen. Feinstein's draft bill, we'll keep last
issue's quote of the week for this issue too:
"It is no solution to define words as violence or prejudice as
oppression, and then by cracking down on words or thoughts pretend that
we are doing something about violence and oppression. No doubt it is
easier to pass a speech code or hate-crimes law and proclaim the streets
safer than actually to make the streets safer, but the one must never be
confused with the other...Indeed, equating "verbal violence" with
physical violence is a treacherous, mischievous business."
- Jonathon Rauch, in an essay in _Harper's_Magazine_, May 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 protect us from ourselves that our government representatives
may deprive us of our essential civil liberties?
Subject: What YOU Can Do
* Communications Decency Act (the Exon Legislation)
The Communications Decency Act poses serious threats to freedom of
expression online, and to the livelihoods of system operators. The
legislation also undermines several crucial privacy protections.
Business/industry persons concerned should alert their corporate govt.
affairs office and/or legal counsel. Everyone should write to their own
Senators and ask them to support the replacement of Exon's
communications decency language in the Senate telecom reform bill s.652
with S. 714, Sen. Leahy's alternative to the Comm. Decency Act. Explain
quickly, clearly and politely, why you feel the Exon language is dangerous.
S.652, the Senate telecom deregulation bill, now contains Sen. Exon's
"Communications Decency Act" (formerly S.314.) The House version of the
CDA, H.R.1004, is essentially stalled. The House telecom reform bill
will almost certainly include the Leahy language, a fact that may be
worth mentioning to your Senators.
For more information on what you can do to help stop this and other
dangerous legislation, see:
If you do not have full internet access, send your request
for information to a...@eff.org.
* The Dole/Grassley Draft Internet Censorship Bill
As above, contact your Senators, and ask them to oppose this legislation,
and to support the Leahy amendment to S.652.
* The Lott Draft Amendment to the Exon Legislation
As above, contact your Senators, and ask them to oppose this amendment to
the Senate Telecom Bill. Ask the to not only oppose this but oppose all
of the Communications Decency Act, urging them to support the Leahy
alternative, currently S.714.
* The Feinstein Draft Internet Censorship Bill
As above, contact your Senators, and ask them to oppose the addition of
any such legislation, particular that authored by Sen. Feinstein, to the
Dole "Comprehensive Terrorism Prevention Act", S.735. You may also wish
to express your concerns about other civil liberties problems raised by
the bill, and encourage your Senator to vote against such proposals until
a proper study and period of public evaluation an input have taken place.
* 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:
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. If you do not know who your Representatives are,
you should contact you local League of Women Voters, who typically maintain
databases that can help you find out.
* 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
For EFF membership info, send queries to members...@eff.org, or send any
message to i...@eff.org for basic EFF info, and a membership form.
EFFector Online is published by:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation
1667 K St. NW, Suite 801
Washington DC 20006-1605 USA
+1 202 861 7700 (voice)
+1 202 861 1258 (fax)
+1 202 861 1223 (BBS - 16.8k ZyXEL)
+1 202 861 1224 (BBS - 14.4k V.32bis)
Membership & donations: members...@eff.org
Legal services: sste...@eff.org
Hardcopy publications: p...@eff.org
General EFF, legal, policy or online resources queries: a...@eff.org
Stanton McCandlish, Online Services Mgr./Activist/Archivist (m...@eff.org)
This newsletter 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
permission. Press releases and EFF announcements may be reproduced individ-
ually at will.
To subscribe to EFFector via email, send message body of "subscribe
effector-online" (without the "quotes") to lists...@eff.org, which will add
you to a subscription list for EFFector.
Back issues are available at:
To get the latest issue, send any message to effector-reflec...@eff.org (or
e...@eff.org), and it will be mailed to you automagically. You can also get
the file "current" from the EFFector directory at the above sites at any
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End of EFFector Online v08 #07 Digest
NOISE C R Y P T O C I V I L R I G H T S /\
IN N O N S E R V I A M O N L I N E A C T I V I S M //()\
THE VIRTUAL CULTURE INTELLIGENCE INCREASE TECHNOFETISH / / \
VOID Stanton McCandlish <m...@well.com> <m...@nitv.net> \/______\
USENET (Users’ Network) was a bulletin board shared among many computer
systems around the world. USENET was a logical network, sitting on top
of several physical networks, among them UUCP, BLICN, BERKNET, X.25, and
the ARPANET. Sites on USENET included many universities, private companies
and research organizations. See USENET Archives.
SCO Files Lawsuit Against IBM
March 7, 2003 - The SCO Group filed legal action against IBM in the State
Court of Utah for trade secrets misappropriation, tortious interference,
unfair competition and breach of contract. The complaint alleges that IBM
made concentrated efforts to improperly destroy the economic value of
UNIX, particularly UNIX on Intel, to benefit IBM's Linux services
business. See SCO vs IBM.
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