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EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 39       Dec. 17, 2001     editors@eff.org 
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424 

  * Government Agrees to Defer Prosecution of Dmitry Sklyarov
  * California Court Decides E-mail Pamphleteer Case
  * NY Court Rules Online Coverage Protected Speech
  * USAPA Sunset Provisions Could Leave Congress in the Dark
  * Support EFF This Holiday Season!
  * Please Resubmit Nominations for the EFF Pioneer Awards
  * DMCA Slogan Contest - Help Protect the Intellectual Commons
  * Administrivia

For more information on EFF activities & alerts: http://www.eff.org/

To join EFF or make an additional donation:
EFF is a member-supported nonprofit. Please sign up as a member today!




Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 13, 2001

San Jose - U.S. Federal Court Judge Ronald Whyte today signed a court
agreement permitting Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov to return to
agreement should eventually clear him of all charges brought against
convert the Adobe e-book format so they can make use of e-books without
access restrictions.

As part of the agreement, Sklyarov will testify for the government in
the case that remains against Elcomsoft, Sklyarov's employer. He will
likely testify on behalf of Elcomsoft as well.

"Dmitry programmed a format converter which has many legitimate uses,
ncluding enabling the blind to hear e-books," explained EFF

"There was a tremendous outpouring of grassroots support for Dmitry and
against the current U.S. copyright law, and EFF is proud to have been
Steele. "I'm disappointed, however, that the government has decided to
charges against Dmitry in the first place."

EFF weakened the case against Sklyarov by negotiating with Adobe
Sklyarov. EFF also met with representatives of the U.S. Department of
Justice for the Northern District of California on July 27 pursuing
negotiations aimed at dropping all charges against Sklyarov and

The 27-year-old programmer was arrested on July 16 and held in jail
until August 6, when he was released on $50,000 bail on condition he

Sklyarov, who has been living in San Mateo with his wife and two
children pending resolution of the case, has often expressed his
eagerness to return to Russia.

Sklyarov's case is the first time a programmer was jailed simply for
coding and distributing software. The software developer faced up to 25
years in prison under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in
the first criminal prosecution brought under the controversial statute
the balance of copyright law too far toward the companies holding the
copyrights and away from traditional fair use of copyrighted materials,
for example in research and education.


Documents related to the US v. Sklyarov case:


    Robin Gross, EFF Intellectual Property Attorney
      +1 415-637-5310

    Shari Steele, EFF Executive Director
      +1 415-436-9333 x103

                                - end -                                



Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 11, 2001

Sacramento, California - A split California Court of Appeal decided
yesterday that companies can sue those who send unwanted e-mail to
their employees once the company warns them not to send more e-mail.

The case, called Intel v. Hamidi, arises from six e-mail messages sent
by Ken Hamidi during a two-year period to worldwide employees of Intel.
The messages admittedly did no harm to Intel's computer systems and
caused no delays in its computer services. Nonetheless, in a 34 page
opinion, the Third Appellate District Court in California ruled that

"If left standing, this ruling effectively breaks the Internet," said
Cindy Cohn, Legal Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which
messages after having been told not to could risk a lawsuit from

"Mr. Hamidi is a high-tech pampleteer. An injunction preventing him
from sending his messages when those messages did not harm Intel's
computer system violates his First Amendment rights," added Ann Brick
of the ACLU of Northern California, who argued the case on behalf of
Hamidi. The ACLU also submitted an amicus brief in the case.

One of the judges dissented from the majority and, agreeing with the
ACLU and EFF, wrote:

"Under Intel's theory, even lovers' quarrels could turn into trespass
fiancée not to call again and violently hangs up the phone. Fifteen
minutes later the phone rings. Her fiancée wishing to make up? No,
tresspass to chattel."


Documents related to the Intel v. Hamidi case:

Hamidi's website:

Former and Current Employees of Intel website:

ACLU brief in Intel v. Hamidi case:

About EFF:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties
organization working to protect rights in the digital world. Founded in
the most linked-to Web sites in the world:


    Cindy Cohn, EFF Legal Director
      +1 415-436-9333 x108

    Ann Brick, Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union of Northern
      +1 415-621-2493

    Lee Tien, EFF Senior First Amendment Attorney
      +1 415-436-9333 x102

                                - end -                                


Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

For Immediate Release: Monday, December 10, 2001

San Francisco - A New York state court agreed with the Electronic Frontier
Foundation (EFF) Dec. 5 that online journalists have the same First
Amendment protections as offline journalists.

The court dismissed a case seeking to hold Narconews.com liable for
Banamex, the Bank of Mexico, was engaging in the drug trade.

"This court finds that Narco News is a media defendant and is entitled
to heightened protection under the First Amendment," the decision

"We're pleased that the court flatly rejected attempts to treat
EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn.

The EFF had filed an amicus brief in support of Narconews.com in the
case brought by Banamex, referred to by the court decision.

"Banamex attempted to squash Narco News Bulletin's right to freely
Narconews.com. "By ruling that bare allegations alone cannot support a
Amendment rights."

[Note: Though the court is called the "Supreme Court" of its district,
t is the NY equivalent of what most states call Superior Court, and is


Documents related to the Narconews.com case:


    Cindy Cohn, EFF Legal Director
      +1 415-436-9333 x108

    Thomas Lesser, attorney at Lesser, Newman, Souweine & Nasser
    Attorney for Narconews.com
      +1 413 584-7331

                                - end -                                



The USA Patriot Act (USAPA) represents a sweeping increase in the power
of both domestic law enforcement and international intelligence
agencies. With almost no debate and a suspension of the normal review
both American citizens and immigrants.

During the abbreviated legislative process, several members of Congress
expressed concern about its breadth, about the lack of debate and the
concerns, USAPA Section 224 was added. This section, appropriately
titled "Sunset," set an expiration date of December 31, 2005 for several
of the surveillance provisions of the new law. The Sunset provision was
ntended to give Congress and the public the chance to evaluate how law
enforcement exercised some of its broad new powers and to decide
enacted by USAPA was worthwhile.

Yet without a vigilant public and diligent exercise of power by
Congress, there will be no objective factual basis on which to evaluate
the impact of USAPA. This is because little or no reporting is
currently required by intelligence agencies or law enforcement about

EFF urges Congress members, especially those of the Intelligence and
Judiciary Committees, to exercise their plenary powers to hold
oversight hearings and require ongoing comprehensive reports about how
these new powers are being used and that, whenever possible, the
nformation contained in those reports be provided to the public. Such
are already being used. They should continue periodically through 2005
and, if necessary, beyond that date.

The full text of this report (the above is just the introduction) is
available at:

                                - end -                                


As the holiday season of giving approaches, we ask that you support the
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the work that we do. EFF has
been fighting to protect rights in cyberspace for over 11 years. No
organization has our track record for effective advocacy in the online

The current legal/political climate is very difficult for civil
liberties. Indeed, many of the rights that EFF and others have fought
n preserving existing rights and in fighting new legislation that
a rational voice for individual rights continues to be heard.

You can make your donation at http://www.eff.org/support/ or you can

    Electronic Frontier Foundation
    454 Shotwell Street
    San Francisco CA 94110 USA

This year, give the gift of freedom! Support EFF.

                                - end -                                

We are re-issuing this call for nominations, as an unforeseen
complication with our mail system silently prevented the receipt of
nominations submitted up until Mon., Dec. 9. We have corrected this

expanding knowledge, freedom, efficiency, and utility. Many of today's
brightest innovators are working along the electronic frontier. To
the Pioneer Awards for deserving individuals and organizations. The
criteria and instructions below).

How to Nominate Someone

You may send as many nominations as you wish, but please use one e-mail

 1. The name of the nominee;
 2. The phone number or e-mail address at which the nominee can be
    reached; and, most importantly;
 3. Why you feel the nominee deserves the award.

You may attach supporting documentation as RTF files, Microsoft Word
Foundation's expense.

Nominee Criteria

There are no specific categories for the EFF Pioneer Awards, but the
following guidelines apply:

 1. The nominees must have made a substantial contribution to the
    health, growth, accessibility, or freedom of computer-based
 2. The contribution may be technical, social, economic, or cultural.
 3. Nominations may be of individuals, systems, or organizations in the
    private or public sectors.
 4. Nominations are open to all (other than EFF staff & board and this
    year's award judges), and you may nominate more than one recipient.
    You may nominate yourself or your organization.
 5. All nominations, to be valid, must contain your reasons, however
    brief, for nominating the individual or organization, along with a
    means of contacting the nominee (or heirs, if posthumous), and your
    own contact number. Anonymous nominations will be allowed, but we
    prefer to be able to contact the nominating parties in the event
    that we need further information.

The 2002 Awards

The 11th annual EFF Pioneer Awards will be presented in San Francisco,
California, in conjunction with the 12th Conference on Computers,
Freedom, and Privacy (CFP2002). All nominations will be reviewed by a

For more information please see:


CFP site:

                                - end -                                


The DMCA affects every American, indeed, every human on the planet. The
nput of our supporters to come up with slogans that will raise the
mainstream consciousness to the destructive effects of the DMCA and
nspire us all to continue the fight for free expression.

for slogans and "soundbytes" to help us fight the DMCA. If your idea is
chosen, you will win your choice of vintage EFF T-shirts. Send your
entry to slogan@eff.org. Thanks for your help.

                                - end -                                


EFFector is published by:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation
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+1 415 436 9333 (voice)
+1 415 436 9993 (fax)

Katina Bishop, EFF Education & Offline Activism Director
Stanton McCandlish, EFF Technical Director/Webmaster

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