EFFector Online Volume org Publicati

Found at: gopher.meulie.net:70/EFFector/effector5.04

           //////////////     //////////////     //////////////
         ///                ///                ///
       ///////            ///////            ///////
     ///                ///                ///
   //////////////     ///                ///
EFFector Online Volume 5 No. 4       3/19/1993       editors@eff.org
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation   ISSN 1062-9424

                        In this issue:
            Victory in the Steve Jackson Games Case
              EFF Pioneer Award Winners for 1993
               Issues for K-12 Access to the Internet

                  AGAINST U.S. SECRET SERVICE

A games publisher has won a lawsuit against the U.S. Secret Service 
and the federal government in a ground-breaking case involving 
computer publications and electronic mail privacy.

Sparks of the federal district court for the Western District of Texas 
announced that the case of Steve Jackson Games et al. versus the U.S. 
Secret Service and the United States Government has been decided 
for the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs, which include Steve Jackson, the company he founded, 
and three users of the company's bulletin board system (BBS), sued 
the government on claims that their statutory rights to electronic 
mail privacy had been violated when the BBS and other computers, 
computer crime investigation.  These rights are protected under the 
Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), which extended most 
of the protections of the federal Wiretap Act ("Title III") to electronic 

Jackson and his company also claimed violations of the Privacy 

Mitch Kapor, founder and chairman of the board for the Electronic 
Frontier Foundation, the public interest/civil liberties organization 
that has underwritten and supported the case since it was filed in 
our position that users of computer bulletin board systems are 
engaging in Constitutionally protected speech," Kapor said.

"This decision shows that perseverance pays off," he added.  "We've 
been at this for almost three years now, and we still don't know if it's 
over -- the Justice Department might appeal it."  Nevertheless, Kapor 

Judge Sparks awarded more than $50,000 in damages to Steve 
Jackson Games, citing lost profits and violations of the Privacy 
$1,000 under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act for the 
Secret Service seizure of their stored electronic mail.  The judge also 

The judge did not find that Secret Service agents had "intercepted" 
the electronic communications that were captured when agents 

The case was tried in Austin, Texas, by the Austin-based media law 
firm George, Donaldson & Ford, with case assistance provided by the 
Boston, Massachusetts, law firm of Silverglate & Good.

litigated the case, calls the decision "a solid first step toward 
believes the case has particular significance for those who use 
computers to prepare and distribute publications.  "There is a strong 
ndication from the judge's decision that the medium of publication is
rrelevant," he said, adding that "electronic publishers have the same
computers should be heartened by this decision.  It indicates that the 
the Privacy Protection Act.

"The case also demonstrates that there are limits on the kinds of 
"the judge made it very clear that it is no excuse that the seizure of 

Mike Godwin, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation who 
of the decision.  "This case is a major step forward in protecting the 
or who use computers to create and disseminate publications."



On March 10, at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference in 
Burlingame, California, the Electronic Frontier Foundation presented 
ts Second Annual Pioneer Awards to five recipients who were
field of computer-based communications.  The 1993 Pioneer Award 
Hughes and the USENET software developers,  represented by the 

Nominations for the Pioneer Awards were carried out over national 
and international computer-communication systems from November 
from these nominations.

The Pioneer Award Recipients

transmission of many messages from many sources to many 
and related technologies have led him to co-found a number of 
companies in Silicon Valley including Telebit, Packet Technologies (a 
Communications, Metricom, InterFax and his current venture, Com21. 

Dr. Vinton Cerf led the research project which developed the TCP/IP 
used today by schools, government, corporations and an increasing 
number of individuals to communicate with each other over the 
ARPANET host protocols and managed the Internet, Packet 
Communications and Networked Security programs for DARPA.  
While working at MCI, he led the engineering effort to develop MCI 
Mail.  He is now vice president of the Corporation for National 
Research Initiatives where he is responsible for projects involving 
the Internet, electronic mail, and Knowledge Robot research.

Ward Christensen wrote the original software program, 
"MODEM.ASM", which came to be called "Xmodem" or the 
"Christensen protocol".  For untold numbers of early-to-present day 
computer communications users, Xmodem has made it possible to 
transfer files, error-free, over phone lines from one computer to 
another.  Xmodem file transfer has been the major means of 
nformation exchange for computer hobbyists and small business
users through the first decade of the personal computer revolution.  
Mr. Christensen also programmed the first microcomputer dial-in 
BBS, CBBS/Chicago, is still in operation.  He is in his 25th year at IBM. 

Dave Hughes has been an outspoken and effective grassroots 
evangelist and spokesperson for popular computer networking and 
electronic democracy for over a decade.  He fashioned his own 
computer system at Old Colorado City Communications in1985, and 
online.  He helped design and implement a personal computer 
network connecting  one-room rural schoolhouses in Montana to 
connections and new applications to new populations here and 
abroad.  Perhaps most importantly, he is a tireless and enthusiastic 
communicator, offering  his experience, his inspiration and his vision 
to any and all on the Net.

USENET is a distributed bulletin board system with approximately 
two million readers worldwide. It came into being in late1979 
through the inspiration of Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis combined with 
the design and programming efforts of Steve Bellovin, Stephen 
Daniel, and Dennis Rockwell.  Following USENET's introduction in 
began to be carried and circulated by a growing number of 
networked sites.  The ongoing work of numerous individuals has 
allowed Usenet to survive its increasing popularity.  The daily traffic 
s now approximately 20,000 articles, totaling 50 megabytes, posted
to 2000 different newsgroups.

Tom Truscott is currently a distributed computing professional at 
number of UNIX-related articles, and is a member of ACM, IEEE, and 
Sigma Xi.

James Ellis is currently the Manager of Technical Development at the 
Computer Emergency Response Team, which is the team created to 
assist Internet sites with computer security incidents. At CERT, he is 


This year's judges for the Pioneer Awards were: Jim Warren, Pioneer 
Award recipient from 1992 who coordinated the judging process, 
Steve Cisler of Apple Computer, Esther Dyson, editor of Release 1.0, 
and Bob Metcalfe, Editor of Infoworld.



          CPF Airs Issues for K-12 Access to the Internet
                        by Andrew Blau

      The Communications Policy Forum (CPF), a non-partisan project 
of the EFF that brings stakeholders together to discuss 
communications policy issues, recently convened a roundtable to 
explore some of the legal questions that arise when K-12 schools 
legal experts with expertise in this and related areas, met to discuss 
ssues of legal liability as this new medium enters an educational
      A key concern is that students may be exposed to material that 
electronic media, such as broadcast television, cable TV, and 
audiotext, legal restrictions have been imposed to protect children 
from ÒharmfulÓ or ÒindecentÓ material, and liability has been 
assigned.  No such framework exists for the Internet.  Moreover, the 
very strengths of the Internet Ð its decentralized, unhierarchical, and 
essentially uncontrolled flow of traffic Ð offer distinct challenges to 
those who would seek to control it in the interest of protecting 
children.  Finally, the tools available in other media Ð safe harbors, 
lockboxes, or subscription schemes Ð don't fit in this environment. 
      Following a brief summary of the Internet and how it operates 
and a review of how it is being used by a handful of K-12 
nstitutions, participants identified specific problems and policy
ssues and considered existing statutes and case law for guidance.
The group also considered the potential effects of "harmful to 
minors" or "obscene as to minors" statutes, which are on the books in 
Court has agreed that it is constitutional to have such laws which 
the First Amendment and would be constitutional for adults, to 
      Discussion then turned to various practical measures that carriers 
and schools might take in light of what had been described.  One 
themselves, carriers could ensure that the school put in place a set of 
teacher or other adult in control of what students access through the 
      It was also suggested that carriers could develop a contract that 
only connects schools that agree to indemnify the provider.  
Moreover, the carrier could require assurance that when access is 
the minor's parent that includes provisions that hold the network 
      As an alternative, it was suggested that carriers could offer a 
enable access to materials inappropriate for minors, and that local 
modelled on those that parents are given before a field trip.
      A handful of technical solutions were suggested throughout the 
course of the meeting, and many elicited substantial interest.  For 
example, various participants suggested using encryption, programs 
that flag key words or phrases and route them for human 
ntervention, and mandatory password protection for all purveyors
of certain kinds of information.
      Many participants seemed intrigued by a proposal to develop an 
addressing standard under which someone who gets access by virtue 
of his/her status as a K-12 student could get an address tag that 
dentifies the student as such for various purposes.  One example
for K-12 students.  The appearance of the ".stu" tag would function 
like any other identification stamp for access to certain materials.
      Statutory immunity for carriers was also seen by almost all 
legislative strategy may also highlight how these issues in the K-12 
ssues and other sectors of the communications field.
      It was also noted that all those interested in K-12 networking 
need to educate the new Administration as it considers "information 
mplementation of the NREN, and other programs.  According to this
approach, a critical first step is to educate as many new players as 
that addressing these liability issues is part of the package of 
building the networks of tomorrow.
      By the end of the session, most participants agreed that there are 
no easy answers to the issues raised.
      Yet participants also agreed that if the community of interested 
educators, carriers, and public interest groups could establish 
nstead of waiting for problems to arise, the resulting legislative and
educational access, as well as to provide a model for broadband 
      The value of the Internet as an educational resource is clear.  As 
one educator pointed out, our schools lose both students and teachers 
because of inadequate access to resources; the Internet can enrich 
the resources available to both teachers and students and is not 
articulate a policy framework that can enable that potential to be 


     EFFector Online is published by
     The Electronic Frontier Foundation
     666 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC 20003
     Phone: +1 202 544-9237 FAX: +1 202 547 5481
     Internet Address: eff@eff.org
     Coordination, production and shipping by Cliff Figallo, EFF 
     Online Communications Coordinator (fig@eff.org)
 Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged.
 Signed articles do not necessarily represent the view of the EFF.
 To reproduce signed articles individually, please contact the authors
 for their express permission.

      *This newsletter is printed on 100% recycled electrons*


efforts and activities into other realms of the electronic frontier, we 
need the financial support of individuals and organizations.

becoming a member now. Members receive our bi-weekly electronic 
newsletter, EFFector Online (if you have an electronic address that 
can be reached through the Net), and special releases and other 
notices on our activities.  But because we believe that support should 
be freely given, you can receive these things even if you do not elect 
to become a member.

Your membership/donation is fully tax deductible.

Our memberships are $20.00 per year for students, $40.00 per year 
for regular members, and $100.00 per year for organizations.  You 
may, of course, donate more if you wish.

Our privacy policy: The Electronic Frontier Foundation will never, 
under any circumstances, sell any part of its membership list.  We 
organizations  whose work we determine to be in line with our goals.  
But with us,  member privacy is the default. This means that you 
must actively grant us permission to share your name with other 

Mail to: The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Inc.
         238 Main St.
         Cambridge, MA 02142

            $20.00 (student or low income membership)
            $40.00 (regular membership)

    [  ] I enclose an additional donation of $_______




City or Town:

State:       Zip:      Phone: (    )             (optional)

FAX: (    )              (optional)

Email address:

to my Mastercard [  ]  Visa [  ]  American Express [  ]


Expiration date:

Signature: ________________________________________________


other non-profit groups from time to time as it deems
appropriate   [ ].