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EPIC Alert 2.16 [1995] EPICAlert 16


Volume 2.16 December 11, 1995

Published by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
Washington, D.C.
JOIN THE INTERNET DAY OF PROTEST ON DECEMBER 12 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Table of Contents

[1] House Conferees Adopt Unconstitutional Speech Restrictions
[2] EPIC Files Suit to Obtain Secret Gov't Crypto Report
[3] Privacy International Publishes Report on Surveillance Trade

[4] House To Vote on Revised Terrorism Bill
[5] Avrahami Case Delayed
[6] Anonymous Cash System wins EU Award (Press Release)

[7] EPIC Alert to Move to New Distribution System
[8] Upcoming Conferences and Events

[1] House Conferees Adopt Unconstitutional Speech Restrictions

On December 6, members of the House of Representatives working on thetelecommunications reform legislation agreed to adopt a provision thatwould censor "indecent" speech on the Internet. The language is widelyviewed by civil liberties organizations and Constitutional scholars asan impermissible restraint on free speech.

The ACLU, EFF, EPIC, ACA, NWU, and a number of other civil libertiesorganizations had sent a letter to the conferees urging them to opposeall restrictions on speech. Unfortunately, the committee continued topress for a Washington-style deal as they had been urged by some
lobbyists and produced a measure that is one of the most sweeping
restrictions on speech ever proposed by the US Congress.

More information about Internet Censorship is available at:

[2] EPIC Files Suit to Obtain Gov't Crypto Report

EPIC filed suit on December 4 against the U.S. Department of Commerceunder the Freedom of Information Act to force the release of a surveyconducted by the Department on the foreign availability of encryptionsoftware. According to Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown the study has
been completed and is being held up by the White House Office of
Science and Technology Policy and the National Security Agency, the
two agencies most strongly pushing the Mandatory Key Escrow (MKE)

Observers believe that the report will confirm the existence of asubstantial amount of commercial and free software available fromnon-U.S. companies worldwide. An ongoing survey conducted by theSoftware Publishers Association has found over 450 products from 27countries. Of those products, 179 use the U.S. Data Encryption Standard(DES). The existence of a substantial amount of commercial softwareoverseas cuts against arguments that export controls on encryptionsoftware should be maintained.

The report was created after Congress decided not to pass legislationlast year that would have relaxed export controls on encryption.
The legislation would have required the Department of Commerce to
complete the foreign availability report by April 1995. Although the
legislation was not enacted, the Commerce Department nonetheless agreed
to conduct the study.

More information on U.S. Cryptography Policy is available at:

In a related development EPIC Legal Counsel David Sobel appeared beforethe National Institute of Standards and Technology on December 5th to
offer comments on NIST's "Draft Export for Key Escrow Encryption". Sobelblasted the latest proposal for Mandatory Key Escrow (MKE) and said that
the administration continues to ignore the interests of the public.

EPIC also put forward seven recommendations to reform national
cryptography policy. The recommendations follow from a presentation tothe National Research Council earlier this year. The EPIC Statement on
the NIST standard and the EPIC proposal for cryptography policy is
available at:

[3] Privacy International Publishes Report on Surveillance Trade

Privacy International, a London-based international human rights groupdedicated to improving privacy worldwide, has published a 150 pagereport on the international trade in surveillance technologies. Thereport, entitled _Big Brother Incorporated_, provides details on over100 companies worldwide that sell surveillance technologies, especiallyto developing countries with poor records on human rights, including
China, Indonesia, Nigeria, Angola, Rwanda and Guatemala.

According to the report, the U.S. and the United Kingdom are leaders inexporting surveillance technology, and much of the activity is related
to the arms trade. Western surveillance technology is providinginvaluable support to military and totalitarian authorities throughoutthe world. Much of this technology is used to track the activities ofdissidents, human rights activists, journalists, student leaders,
minorities, trade union leaders and political opponents.

The report is available at

PI has also initiated a listserv for people interested in internationalprivacy issues. To subscribe, email with the word"subscribe" (no quotes) in the subject line.

December 10 also marked International Human Rights Day, the annual
celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 12
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "No one shall
be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home orcorrespondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone
has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or

The complete text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights isavailable at:

[4] House To Vote on Revised Terrorism Bill

A vote on HR 1710, the Comprehensive Antiterrorism Act of 1995, may
occur before the Christmas vacation. The Republican leadership continuesto oppose several provisions in the bill that would extend federal law
enforcement authority.

The bill was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on June 20, but
held up by the House of Representatives after several Republicans led byRep. Bob Barr, a former federal prosecutor, objected to many of the
provisions on civil liberties grounds.

A compromise between Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde and Barr
has been reached with the removal of the wiretap provisions, a scaling
back on the broad definition of "terrorism," rejection of provisions
allowing increased military involvement in law enforcement
investigations, and the removal of funding for last year's Digital
Telephony bill.

However, troublesome provisions that allow access to consumer credit
card and travel information without a requirement of a court order, andprovisions increasing use of pen registers still remain. In addition,
sections allowing for the use of secret information in extradition
hearings and broad discretion for the President to arbitrarily designategroups as "terrorist organizations" also are retained.

A broad coalition of groups are still opposing the bill. At a pressconference on December 6, civil liberties organizations, gun
owners, immigration and law enforcement groups released a letter from
25 organizations opposing the bill including the ACLU, EPIC, PrivacyInternational, the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America,
Law Enforcement Alliance of America, National Association of Criminal
Defense Lawyers and the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Former Senator Malcolm Wallop, chairman of Frontiers of Freedom called
the bill a "fishing expedition into everyone's private lives."

If the bill passes the House, a conference committee must be created toreconcile differences with the Senate bill, S-735. The Senate passed acounter-terrorism bill on June 7.

More information on the various terrorism bills is available at:

[5] Avrahami Case Delayed

On November 27 Ram Avrahami appeared in Arlington district court to
pursue his claim against US News & World Report. Mr. Avrahami ischarging that the magazine violated his property rights when it sold
his personal information to another publication without his permission.

About a month prior to the scheduled court date, US News & WorldReport hired the Washington law firm of Shaw, Pittman. Subsequently,
the magazine filed two elaborate procedural motions, attempting todeny Mr. Avrahami the opportunity to pursue the case in districtcourt. In one motion, US News & World Report urged the circuit court,
a court higher up than the district court where Mr. Avrahami filedsuit, to accept a motion for declaratory judgment in effect rulingthat Mr. Avrahami could not proceed with his case.

In a second motion to the district court, USN&WR urged the judge tostay the November 27 proceeding until the circuit court had ruled on themotion for declaratory judgment. When Avrahami's attorney JonathanDailey responded to both motions, USN&WR then hastily moved for a
continuance, arguing that it could not be fully prepared to go to trialon the scheduled trial date. (Shaw, Pittman is one of the largest lawfirms in Washington.)

On November 27, the district court judge denied the magazine's motion
for a stay but granted the motion for continuance. The trial has beenrescheduled for early February.

Additional information about the Avrahami case is available at:

[6] Anonymous Cash System wins EU Award (Press Release)

DigiCash Wins ITEA Award
On November 29, European Commissioner Martin Bangemann awarded DigiCashthe Information Technology European Award 1995 (ITEA `95). The prize wasawarded for DigiCash's e-cash technology and consists of a trophy plus
200,000 ECU (almost US$ 300,000).

E-cash technology was selected by the jury, based on the followingcriteria: technical excellence, innovative content, potential forimproving competitiveness, potential market value, capacity thegenerate employment by opening new markets, contribution towardsextending the acceptance and understanding of Information Technologyby society, and anticipated societal benefits.

Of the almost 300 applicants, 20 were invited to demonstrate theirproduct at the European Information Technology Conference EITCconference in Brussels.

[7] EPIC Alert to Move to New Mailing List

As part of the upgrade of our infrastructure, EPIC will be moving
distribution of its materials to an in-house listserver.

EPIC-News will carry the EPIC-Alert newsletter, EPIC press releases,
action alerts and other related material. Beginning in January, EPIC
will no longer distribute EPIC-Alert over the CPSR-Announce listserv,
so persons who wish to continue receiving it need to subscribe to theEPIC-News list.

To subscribe to EPIC-News, email with the messagesubject "subscribe" (no quotes).

Back issues of the Alert are available at

[8] Upcoming Privacy Related Conferences and Events

11th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference. December 11-15,
1995, New Orleans, Louisiana. Contact Vince Reed at (205) 890-3323

RSA 6th Annual Data Security Conference:Cryptography Summit. January17-19, 1996. FairmontHotel, San Francisco. Contact Layne KaplanEvents, at (415) 340-9300, email at, or register at

The Gathering: The Computer Security Conference with a Difference.
February 13-15, 1996.University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Speakers include Fred Cohen, Chris Goggans, Bruce Schneier, WinnSchwartau, Robert Ellis Smith, and Philip Zimmermann.

Computers Freedom and Privacy '96. March 27-30, 1996. Cambridge, Mass.
Sponsored by MIT, ACM and WWW Consortium. Contact or

Conference on Technological Assaults on Privacy, April 18-20, 1996.
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York. Papers shouldbe submitted by February 1, 1996. Contact Wade, by FAX at (716) 475-7120, or by phone at (716)

IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, May 6-8, 1996. Oakland, CA.
Sponsored by IEEE. Contact: or

Australasian Conference on Information Security and Privacy June24-26, 1996. New South Wales, Australia. Sponsored by AustralasianSociety for Electronic Security and University of Wollongong. Contact:
Jennifer Seberry (

Visions of Privacy for the 21st Century: A Search for Solutions. May9-11, 1996. Victoria, British Columbia. Sponsored by The Office ofInformation and Privacy Commissioner for the Province of BritishColumbia and the University of Victoria. Program at
Privacy Laws & Business 9th Annual Conference. July 1-3, 1996. St.
JohnÕs College, Cambridge, England.Contact: Ms. Gill Ehrlich +44 181423 1300 (tel), +44 181 423 4536 (fax).

Advanced Surveillance Technologies II. Sponsored by EPIC and PrivacyInternational. September 17, 1996. Ottawa, Canada. or

18th International Conference of Data Protection and PrivacyCommissioners. Sponsored by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
September 18-20, 1996. Ottawa, Canada.

International Colloquium on the Protection of Privacy and PersonalInformation. Commission d'acces a l'information du Quebec. May 1997.
Quebec City, Canada.

(Send calendar submissions to

The EPIC Alert is a free biweekly publication of the ElectronicPrivacy Information Center.To subscribe, send the message"subscribe" (no quotes) as the subject to

Back issues are available via orFTP/WAIS/Gopher/HTTP from /cpsr/alert/ and on Compuserve (GoNCSA), Library 2 (EPIC/Ethics).

The Electronic Privacy Information Center is a public interest
research center in Washington, DC.It was established in 1994 to focus
public attention on emerging privacy issues relating to the National
Information Infrastructure, such as the Clipper Chip, the Digital
Telephony proposal, medical record privacy, and the sale of consumer
data. EPIC is sponsored by the Fund for Constitutional Government, a
non-profit organization established in 1974 to protect civil liberties
and constitutional rights. EPIC publishes the EPIC Alert, pursues
Freedom of Information Act litigation, and conducts policy research. For
more information, email, WWW at HTTP:// or
write EPIC, 666 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Suite 301, Washington, DC 20003.
+1 202 544 9240 (tel), +1 202 547 5482 (fax).

If you'd like to support the work of the Electronic Privacy InformationCenter, contributions are welcome and fully tax-deductible. Checks
should be made out to "The Fund for Constitutional Government" and sent
to EPIC, 666 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Suite 301, Washington DC 20003.

Your contributions will help support Freedom of Information Actlitigation, strong and effective advocacy for the right of privacy andefforts to oppose government regulation of encryption and funding ofthe National Wiretap Plan.

Thank you for your support.

END EPIC Alert 2.16

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