########## | Volume I Number 6 |
########## | |
### | EFFECTOR ONLINE |
####### | |
####### | In this issue: |
### | NetNews: The EFF Wants You! |
########## | Computers and Academic Freedom |
########## | All I Really Need to Know I Learned from my Computer|
| The Prodigy Saga Marches On...and On |
########## | S.266: What You Can Do |
########## | -==--==--==-<:>-==--==--==- |
### | Editors: |
####### | Gerard Van der Leun (email@example.com) |
####### | Mike Godwin (firstname.lastname@example.org) |
### | Mitchell Kapor (email@example.com) |
### | Managing Editors: |
### |Chris Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org), Helen Rose (email@example.com)|
########## | Reproduction of Effector Online via all |
########## | electronic media is encouraged.. |
### | To reproduce signed articles individually |
####### | please contact the authors for their express |
####### | permission.. |
### | |
### | Published Fortnightly by |
### | The Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org) |
effector n, Computer Sci. A device for producing a desired change.
Net News from the Electronic Frontier
THE EFF WANTS YOU
After many months, the EFF has received its 501(c)3 Federal tax
exemption. This means that membership in, and donations to,
the EFF are fully tax-deductible.
For over a year, we have been funding the work of this
organization through the generosity of a few individuals who
believe in our mission and our goals. Now we are able to open
the EFF to people from all our various constituencies throughout
As a result, we would like to ask all of you who support us
to become members.
To sustain our current goals and programs, and expand our
efforts will take the commitment of time and money on the part
of many people and institutions from all areas of our society.
We will be raising funds in the near future from a variety
of sources, but without the concrete support of individuals
like you, we cannot pursue and achieve our goals of assuring that
Constitutional protections are extended to online media. Without your
and state level. Without you, we can't continue to effectively pursue
the education of the general public as to the benefits of online media
and the potential of the National Public Network of the future.
Nor can we continue to effectively defend the rights of those wrongly
Pioneer membership rates are $20.00 per year for students
and low-income supporters, $40.00 per year for regular members.
We are currently working on an institutional membership program.
The way this works is simple. We are going to be assembling all
the detritus of joining an organization: tidy forms, lots of
check-boxes, payment via Visa or Mastercard, and all the fancy stuff
you've learned to expect from well-meaning organizations over the
years. But you can cut to the chase right now and just mail a check.
And, yes, we are going to be handing out numbers. This means low
numbers will have a certain cachet with those who value such
things. And if you don't care, you'll still have the knowledge
that you've helped us move forward this year and in the future.
nformation about its members. We will, from time to time, share
consenting members names with other non-profit organizations which
But, even then, we will only share your name if you consent to it.
This means you have to state that you grant us the privilege of
actively grant us this permission, we will assume that you wish
your membership to be absolutely confidential.
You can send your membership fees and/or your additional
Cambridge, MA 02141. Please include your name, postal address, and
electronic mail address.
THE EFF AND SENATE BILL 266
At the EFF we continue to oppose the spirit and the letter of
those provisions of Senate Bill 266 that would require mandatory
cooperation of telecommunications providers with law enforcement.
We believe that those individuals and organizations that support
this initiative fail to understand the implications of compromising
encryption methods in this time of emergent online technologies.
In order to play an active role in shaping this legislation
the EFF expects to meet with the bill's sponsors in Washington
and express our fundamental opposition to any move on the part
of the Federal government that would prohibit or have a chilling
effect on the individual's right to use cryptography.
THE CPSR ANNOUNCES A WASHINGTON WORKSHOP
ON PRIVACY, ENCRYPTION, AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS POLICY
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, the
Electronic Frontier Foundation, RSA are sponsoring a one-day
This workshop will bring together a broad coalition of
as well as experts in cutting-edge cryptography, privacy
advocates, and civil liberties protectors. It will feature
a congressional briefing on current federal policy initiatives
ncluding S.266 and export restrictions.
The workshop will be followed at 2:00 by a press conference
and the National Press Club (14th & Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.). All
nterested parties are invited to attend the press conference.
EFF DOCUMENT FILES NOW AVAILABLE
THE DOCUMENT CASE -- a collection of briefs, judgements
of law and order on The Electronic Frontier--is now available via
FTP at eff.org. This represents our current and expanding collection
of legal papers of interest to attorneys and the net at large. It
(firstname.lastname@example.org). For details on how to access this archive
To add to the archive, send mail to Michael Godwin (email@example.com).
COMPUTERS AND ACADEMIC FREEDOM GROUPS NOW AT EFF.ORG
CAF discusses such questions as : How should general principles
of academic freedom (such as freedom of expression, freedom to read,
networks? How are these principles actually being applied? How can the
The EFF has given the discussion a home on the eff.org machine.
As of April 23, less than two week after its creation, the list has
There are three versions of the mailing list:
- you'll received dozens of e-mail notes every day.
- about once a day, you'll receive a compilation of the day's notes.
- about once a week you'll receive a compilation of the best
notes of the week. (I play the editor for this one).
To join a version of the list, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
" and "help").
In any case, after you join the list you can send e-mail to the
LIST BY addressing it to email@example.com.
These mailing lists are also available as the USENET alt groups
'alt.comp.acad-freedom.talk' and 'alt.comp.acad-freedom.news'.
the sand remembers
once there was beach and sunshine
but chip is warm too
The Need for a Discussion of Computers and Academic Freedom
by Carl Kadie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When my grandmother attended the University of Illinois fifty-five
years ago, academic freedom meant the right to speak up in class, to
created student organizations, to listen to controversial speakers, to
Today these rights are guaranteed by most universities. These days,
academic life was centered on the classroom and the student union.
Mine centers on the computer and the computer network. In the new
academia, my academic freedom is much less secure.
The suppression of academic freedom on computers is common. At least
once a month, someone posts on plea on Usenet for help. The most
common complaint is that a newsgroup has been banned because of its
content (usually alt.sex). In January, a sysadmin at the University of
Wisconsin didn't ban any newsgroups directly. Instead, he reduced the
newsgroup expiration time so that reading groups such as alt.sex is
almost impossible. Last month, a sysadmin at Case Western killed
a note that a student had posted to a local newsgroup. The sysadmin
university employees may be reading e-mail or looking through user
files. This may happen with or without some prior notice that e-mail
and files are fair game.
In many of these cases the legality of the suppression is unclear. It
may depend on user expectation, prior announcements, and whether the
university is public or private.
The legality is, however, irrelevant. The duty of the University is
not to suppress everything it legally can; rather it is to support the
free and open investigation and expression of ideas. This is the ideal
of academic freedom. In this role, the University acts a model of how
the wider world should be. (In the world of computers, universities are
If you are interested in discussing this issues, or if you have
first-hand experience with academic suppression on computers or
networks, please join the mailing list.
one with nintendo
hand thinks for itself
All I Really Need to Know I Learned from My Computer
All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I
learned right here in the CAEN labs. Illumination was not at the top of the
monitors. These are the things I learned. Everything you need to know is
1. Share all your executables.
2. Pay for your shareware.
3. Don't hit the computer.
4. Back up files after you have found them.
5. Clean up your own messy desktop.
6. Don't copy software that is not yours.
7. Make a smiley when you send someone a nasty message.
8. Wash your hands before you type.
9. Flush your buffers.
10. M&Ms and a cold can of Coke are good for you.
11. Live a student's life--learn some and think some and
MacDraw and IPaint and Readnews and play Tetris and hack
every day some.
12. Take a break every two hours from staring at the terminal.
13. When you go out in the world, watch out for network traffic,
hold connections and stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little bytes in the chip:
The code goes in and the graphics come out and nobody
really knows how or why, but computers are all like that.
15. Pets and Lisas and DN350s and even the little bytes in the
chip all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Computer Reference Manuals and the
first command you learned--the biggest command of all--Quit.
by Ann Gordon (email@example.com)
keyboard and mouse are his sword
THE PRODIGY SAGA CONTINUED....REDUX....ENCORE....
[Prodigy continued to be a main subject of conversation on the net over
the past two weeks. Here is a selection of one exchange of views on
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Brad Templeton)
Tom.Jennings@f111.n125.z1.FIDONET.ORG (Tom Jennings) writes:
>It's easy to support free-speech issues on "safe" subjects
>-- the real test is when it is an unpopular one, or even one
>you don't agree with.
But this is not a free-speech issue, so it is not relevant.
a) Nobody can tell you what not to print (freedom from censorship)
b) Nobody can tell you what *to* print. (editorial control)
Both are important. To insist that Prodigy allow gay/lesbian discussion
against their will is not much different from forbidding them from having
Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press. That's no
law in *either* direction.
From: email@example.com (Lee Story)
Well sorry, Brad, but it's not clear to many of us that a service like
of the service which presents (publishes) advertisements (mostly!) and
they would seem to deserve the same protections offered to the print
and broadcast media.
But in their provision of email service they would seem to be merely a
by-subscription carrier, and their unpleasant lack of interfaces to
other carriers does not disguise that fact. I don't see why the same
And I don't see why bulletin boards to which subscribers are welcome to
contribute shouldn't be considered either (1) simply useful extensions
of email, or (2) publishing ventures, but ones in which the subscribers
are the publishers and Prodigy remains the carrier.
codifying as law, and the added marketability of email and bulletin
boards sufficient to encourage commercial services to provide them
even if they aren't allowed to control the contents?
(By the way, I think the trashy, ad-oriented nature of Prodigy has
encouraged many of us to criticize them for practices that would
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Brad Templeton)
They are not press, but an E-mail provider, when it comes to E-mail.
But in all the public areas of the system, they are indeed press, and
can tell. I am not sure how other people have gotten any other impression.
How can you consider them anything but press?
[The discussion continues in comp.org.eff.talk.]
frequency notch treachery
people are not fooled
S.266: WHAT YOU CAN DO
From: email@example.com (Perry E. Metzger)
[Editor's Note:After sending a letter to Biden's office protesting
the language of S.266, Mr. Metzger received, as did many others,
a form letter reply.In comp.org.eff.talk, this is what he did next.]
Sen. Biden's office.
committee staff (not his personal staff), who claims to have been the
He's more or less unmovable, though he is friendly.
He has already heard from lots and lots of people from the net about
this. His claim is more or less this: the stated section of the law is
ntended more to get communications providers to help with the tapping
of things like Cellular Phones and the like, which he claims is now
cellular phone with a radio scanner and some patience, but never mind
that). He also claims that they understand that there are technical
He also claims that this is not the proverbial crack in the dike, and
that the Senator has no intention of following through with additional
legislation to enforce a ban on secure cryptosystems.
trust a politico, and that he is trying to sell me a bridge. That's not
the part that matters, though. The part that matters is whether or not
My suggestion is that we, the UseNetters, organize an attempt to get
S.266 Section 2201, and S.618 Section 545, discussed in a
My suggestion: Call up as many of the following Senators as you can.
(Maybe you can leave out Biden, he's probably useless at this point.)
Ask to speak to an actual human on their staff for a few minutes;
"I'd like to speak to a member of the senators staff about a bill
coming before the Judiciary committee that I am very concerned about."
When you get someone, calmly and quietly tell them why you oppose
S.266 section 2201 and S.618 section 545. (the wording in both is
dentical, and be sure to mention that the two sections are
dentical). Explain to them that there are lots of other people who
think the same way and tell them you would like to see hearings held
Electronic Freedom Foundation, the ACLU, and other similar groups
the ones who we have to count on to rescue us. (Gawd help us all!)
Here, again, is the text of what we are opposing, which is identical
n both S.266 sec. 2201 and S.618 sec. 545:
COOPERATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROVIDERS WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT
the plain text contents of voice, data, and other communications when
appropriately authorized by law.
The members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will be acting on
these bills, are:
Chair: Joseph R. Biden, Delaware
Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts
Howard M. Metzenbaum, Ohio
Dennis DeConcini, Arizona
Howell Heflin, Alabama
Herbert Kohl, Wisconsin
Strom Thurmond, South Carolina
Orrin G. Hatch, Utah
Alan K. Simpson, Wyoming
Charles E. Grassley, Iowa
Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania
Hank Brown, Colorado
The phone number of the U.S. Senate Switchboard, which will get you
any of these men's staff's, is...
Their specific numbers and addresses are...
Senator Joseph Biden (Del)
U.S. Senate, Washington DC 20510 <-- for all of them
Senator Edward Kennedy
Senator Howard Metzenbaum (Ohio)
Senator Dennis DeConcini (Arizona)
Senator Patrick Leahy (Vermont)
Senator Howell Heflin (Alabama)
Senator Paul Simon (Illinois)
Senator Herbert Kohl (Wisconsin)
Senator Strom Thurmond (South Carolina)
Senator Orrin Hatch (Utah)
Senator Alan Simpson (Wyo)
Senator Charles Grassley (Louisiana)
Senator Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania)
oh no godzilla
guns and planes cannot stop him
tokyo is ablaze
COMPUTING & VALUES CONFERENCE, AUG 12-16
The National Conference on Computing and Values will convene August
National Science Foundation and the Research Center on Computing and
Society. Specific themes (tracks) include
- Computer Privacy & Confidentiality
- Computer Security & Crime
- Ownership of Software & Intellectual Property
- Equity & Access to Computing Resources
- Teaching Computing & Values
- Policy Issues in the Campus Computing Environment
The workshop structure of the conference limits participation to
approximately 400 registrants, but space *IS* still available at this
Confirmed speakers include Ronald E. Anderson, Daniel Appleman, John
Ward Bynum, David Carey, Jacques N. Catudal, Gary Chapman, Marvin
Croy, Charles E. M. Dunlop, Batya Friedman, Donald Gotterbarn,
Barbara Heinisch, Deborah Johnson, Mitch Kapor, John Ladd, Marianne
LaFrance, Ann-Marie Lancaster, Doris Lidtke, Walter Maner, Diane
Martin, Keith Miller, James H. Moor, William Hugh Murray, Peter
Neumann, George Nicholson, Helen Nissenbaum, Judith Perolle, Amy
Rubin, Sanford Sherizen, John Snapper, Richard Stallman, T. C. Ting,
Willis Ware, Terry Winograd, and Richard A. Wright.
The registration fee is low ($175) and deeply discounted air fares are
available into New Haven.
To request a registration packet, please send your name, your email AND
InterNet firstname.lastname@example.org (188.8.131.52)
or, by fax ...
or, by phone ...
(419) 372-8719 (answering machine)
(419) 372-2337 (secretary)
or, by regular mail ...
Professor Walter Maner
Dept. of Computer Science
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403 USA
USENIX EFF BOF UPDATE: TIME CHANGE
At the Summer 1991 USENIX Conference, being held in Nashville, TN, from
Frontier Foundation (EFF) will be held. The EFF BOF will be held from
located in the Jefferson A room (the same room as the GNU BOF). The
EFF BOF will now be held *before* (instead of after) the GNU BOF.
We will give an update of recent EFF activities, an overview of cases
the EFF has been involved with and their outcomes, the EFF's missions,
current and future projects, etc. John Gilmore, a member of the EFF's
Board of Directors, will co-chair the BOF and will talk about some of
the work EFF has been doing on privacy technology, also known as
encryption, and the threats and promise we see in it. There will be a
[Here are a few of the comments received on Effector Online 1.05:]
From tachyon@ucscb.UCSC.EDU Sun May 26 07:59:28 1991
Just two quick, unpolished comments, so I'm mailing them rather than
t would be a simple enough matter for CPSR to include something like
"We periodically send out announcements and other mailings to people
on our mailing list. Check here if you would prefer NOT to receive
these unsolicited mailings."
Mitch Kapor is being a little too quick in telling a Prodigy person
that the Well's conflict resolution methods do not involve
throwing people off the system, because I know that at least one
nsulting and harassing other users. I have thrown one user off
my own BBS for that reason.
Subject: Cryptography, Mythology, and S. 266
all over the networks attacking a provision placed by Senator Biden into two
Senate bills (S. 266 and S. 618), which make it the "sense of the Senate" that
can provide, in response to proper court order, a clear-text version of any
material transmitted using their systems.
Caruso, and many others, have argued that such a law would require the use of
a "trap door", or in generally weakened cryptographic algorithms. THIS IS
COMPLETELY FALSE. What it mainly requires is record keeping.
The technical details get very complex, but in fact choosing a good crypto-
Key distribution is as big a headache. In most proposed systems, one uses a
unique "session key" for each communication session. This key is provided to
the two participants by a central server. A server that recorded the keys it
assigned would have no problem with the provisions of these bills. Compromise
of the server is deadly to the entire system, whether it keeps records or not,
not require the insertion of any trap door or other weakness into the under-
lying cryptographic algorithms.
The public-key-based systems that Caruso refers to, as far as I know, do NOT
use public key cryptography to encrypt most user data. Rather, they use it
to make the communication with the session-key server simpler. Today, and
for at least the near-term future, known public-key algorithms are too ex-
combined public/private key systems to get good performance with most of the
advantages of private key systems.
Why should anyone care about this technical detail? (By now I'm sure I've
lost the real flamers, who know nothing but how to repeat catch phrases like
"trap door".) Because basing an attack on S. 266 and such measures on some-
thing that is verifiably false is a good way to lose arguments. Badly.
Suppose someone introduced a bill requiring the registration of all computer
equipment. Would you argue against it on the grounds that only MS/DOS systems
could meet the registration requirement?
The problems with S. 266 and similar measures are NOT technical. If you want
to object to them, do so on the basis of rights to privacy, protection of free
technically feasible, or you'll lose.
From: Jerry Leichter
Effector Online would like to thank Damon A. Koronakos and Brian Roberts
at stanford.edu for the Hi-Tech Haikus that grace this issue.
We also would like to extend our thanks to Leila Gallagher, a great
volunteer and true pioneer of the Electronic Frontier. Without her constant
and generous efforts here at the office, the EFF would have floundered during
our first year.
We are always interested in news, pointers, tall tales, quotes
Write to us with comments and criticism, or write for us if you
or sent directly to the editor of Effector Online: email@example.com.
We'll be back in a fortnight with another edition.
In the meantime, you are still on the Electronic Frontier.
Be careful out there.