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EPIC Alert 8.01 [2001] EPICAlert 1


Volume 8.01 January 17, 2001

Published by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

[1] Attorney General Nominee and Electronic Privacy
[2] Justice Department Releases New Manual on Computer Crime
[3] EPIC and Privacy International Launch PRIVACY.ORG
[4] New Canadian Privacy Law Goes Into Effect
[5] Internet NGOs Hold Meeting on Emerging Market Economies
[6] EPIC Bill-Track: New Bills in Congress
[7] EPIC Bookstore - Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government
[8] Upcoming Conferences and Events

[1] Attorney General Nominee and Electronic Privacy

The Department of Justice has long been at the center of some of themost contentious debates over electronic privacy, includingimplementation of the Communications Assistance for Law EnforcementAct (CALEA), critical infrastructure protection, the FBI's Carnivoresystem and the proposed Council of Europe cyber-crime treaty. Ifconfirmed as Attorney General, former Senator John Ashcroft will havea great deal of influence over such matters, so it's interesting tolook back at his remarks on the privacy implications of lawenforcement surveillance initiatives. Appearing before the Computerand Communications Industry Association on October 8, 1997, in themidst of the debate on encryption controls, Sen. Ashcroft made thesecomments:

To date, we have heard a great deal about the needs of law enforcement and not enough about the privacy needs of the rest of us. Without the protection of privacy, the Internet is doomed to the status of an international party line or an international broadcast device and will never become a useful means of commerce, communication, and entertainment.
. . .

While we need to revise our laws to reflect the digital age,
one thing that does not need revision is the Fourth Amendment. The Founding Fathers crafted the Constitution to protect our most basic liberties. Those protections have kept Big Brother from intruding into our private lives for over 200 years. Removal of these protections is now being advocated, which would leave citizens open to the invasion of their privacy, for the sake of security. . . .

The outrages against privacy committed by federal law enforcement agencies means one thing: Now, more than ever,
we must protect citizens' privacy from the excesses of an arrogant, overly powerful government.

Law enforcement is using advances in digital technology as an excuse to insist on intrusions into privacy that were never allowed in the pre-digital era.

Information on the FBI's Carnivore system is available at:

Information on the proposed Council of Europe cyber-crime treaty isavailable at:

[2] Justice Department Releases New Manual on Computer Crime

The Justice Department's Computer Crime and Intellectual PropertySection has released a new investigative manual entitled "Searchingand Seizing Computers and Obtaining Electronic Evidence in CriminalInvestigations."

According to the Computer Crime Section, the manual "provides acomprehensive guide to the legal issues that arise when federal lawenforcement agents search and seize computers and obtain electronicevidence in criminal investigations. The topics covered include theapplication of the Fourth Amendment to computers and the Internet, theElectronic Communications Privacy Act, workplace privacy, the law ofelectronic surveillance, and evidentiary issues." The publicationsupersedes the "Federal Guidelines for Searching and SeizingComputers," which was produced in 1994. While the earlier manual wasmade public only after EPIC obtained its release under the Freedom ofInformation Act, the new document has been made available online.

The new DOJ publication discusses the Department's interpretation ofthe legal standards governing law enforcement access to packet-modecommunications, but does not address the Carnivore system, which theFBI uses to collect such data.

"Searching and Seizing Computers and Obtaining Electronic Evidence inCriminal Investigations" is available at:

[3] EPIC and Privacy International Launch PRIVACY.ORG

EPIC and Privacy International have launched, the site fornews, information, and action. The website contains brief summariesand links to news items appearing both in the domestic and theinternational press. Its database of news stories is searchable bytext, and it extends back two years. also features theEPIC-Digest, a weekly e-mail digest of news, information, and actionitems.

In related privacy news, a coalition of 17 public interest groups hasissued a letter urging greater action from the incoming Presidentialadministration, members of Congress, and state officials on privacyissues. As a basis for future initiatives, the letter points to thetraditional role that privacy has played in America and the currenthigh level of public support for greater privacy protection. Inmoving forward, the coalition of groups calls for the adoption of acomprehensive framework of privacy protection that will protectconsumers and citizens.

For the latest information and news visit:

To read the privacy coalition letter:

[4] New Canadian Privacy Law Goes Into Effect

On January 1, 2001, the Canadian Personal Information Protection andElectronic Documents Act went into effect. The new law establishesrules that govern the collection, use, and disclosure of personalinformation by private sector entities.

The law establishes Fair Information Practices, based on the CanadianStandards Association (CSA) International Privacy Code, for personaldata collected by federally regulated private sector organizations.
Federally regulated sectors include telecommunications, finance, andtransportation. In three years, the provisions of the Act will alsoapply to provincially regulated industries unless provinces enact lawsproviding a similar level of protection. Data transfers are handledthrough the use of contracts that guarantee third parties operateunder the same privacy guidelines as the original recipient. The actis enforced by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

More information about the Canadian Personal Information Protectionand Electronic Documents Act is available at:
For background on other privacy laws and developments around theworld, see Privacy & Human Rights 2000:

[5] Internet NGOs Hold Meeting on Emerging Market Economies

On January 15, NGO representatives gathered from around the world todiscuss data protection, Internet access, and consumer protectionissues in emerging market economies. The Public Voice meeting washeld in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in conjunction with theOrganization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) EmergingMarket Economy Forum.

The Emerging Market Economies meeting is the latest in a series ofPublic Voice events. Previous Public Voice meetings have taken placein Venice, Paris, and Ottawa. The Public Voice program seeks topromote NGO participation in decisions affecting the future of theInternet on issues ranging from encryption policy and privacy toconsumer protection and Internet governance.

Information about the January 15th Public Voice in Emerging MarketEconomies meeting is available at:

Background on previous Public Voice events is available at:

[6] EPIC Bill-Track: New Bills in Congress


H.R.89. Online Privacy Protection Act of 2001. To require the FederalTrade Commission to prescribe regulations to protect the privacy ofpersonal information collected from and about individuals who are notcovered by the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 on theInternet, to provide greater individual control over the collectionand use of that information, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep.
Frelinghuysen, Rodney P. (R-NJ). Latest Major Action: 1/3/2001 Referredto House committee: House Energy and Commerce.

H.R.90. Know Your Caller Act. A bill to amend the Communications Actof 1934 to prohibit telemarketers from interfering with the calleridentification service of any person to whom a telephone solicitationis made, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Frelinghuysen, Rodney P.
(R-NJ). Latest Major Action: Referred to House Committee: Committee onEnergy and Commerce.

H.R.91. Social Security On-line Privacy Protection Act. To regulatethe use by interactive computer services of Social Security accountnumbers and related personally identifiable information. Sponsor: Rep.
Frelinghuysen, Rodney P. (R-NJ). Latest Major Action: 1/3/2001 Referredto House committee: House Energy and Commerce.

H.R.112. Electronic Privacy Protection Act. To prohibit the making,
importation, exportation, distribution, sale, offer for sale,
installation, or use of an information collection device withoutproper labeling or notice and consent. Sponsor: Rep. Holt, Rush D.
(D-NJ). Latest Major Action: 1/3/2001 Referred to House committee:
House Energy and Commerce.

H.R.113. Wireless Telephone Spam Protection Act. To amend section 227of the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit the use of the text,
graphic, or image messaging systems of wireless telephone systems totransmit unsolicited commercial messages. Sponsor: Rep. Holt, Rush D.
(D-NJ) (introduced 1/3/2001). Latest Major Action: 1/3/2001 Referredto House committee.

H.R.220. Identity Theft Protection Act of 2001. To amend title II ofthe Social Security Act and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 toprotect the integrity and confidentiality of Social Security accountnumbers issued under such title, to prohibit the establishment in theFederal Government of any uniform national identifying number, and toprohibit Federal agencies from imposing standards for identificationof individuals on other agencies or persons. Sponsor: Rep. Paul, Ron(R-TX). Latest Major Action: 1/3/2001 Referred to House committee:
House Ways and Means and House Government Reform.

EPIC Bill Track: Tracking Privacy, Speech, and Cyber-Liberties Billsin the 107th Congress, is available at:

[7] EPIC Bookstore - Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government

Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government - Saving Privacy inthe Digital Age, by Steven Levy.

"Crypto" is about privacy in the information age and about the nerdsand visionaries who, nearly twenty years ago, predicted that theInternet's greatest virtue -- free access to information -- was alsoits most perilous drawback: a possible end to privacy.

Levy explores what turned out to be a decisive development in thecrypto wars: the unlikely alliance between the computer geeks and bigbusiness as they fought the government's stranglehold on the keys toinformation in a networked world.

In the course of writing the book, the author relied in part ondocuments obtained by EPIC under the Freedom of Information Act.

For "Crypto," as well as other books recommended by EPIC, browse theEPIC Bookshelf at:

EPIC Publications:

"The Consumer Law Sourcebook 2000: Electronic Commerce and the GlobalEconomy," Sarah Andrews, editor (EPIC 2000). Price: $40.

The Consumer Law Sourcebook provides a basic set of materials forconsumers, policy makers, practitioners and researchers who areinterested in the emerging field of electronic commerce. The focus ison framework legislation that articulates basic rights for consumersand the basic responsibilities for businesses in the online economy.

"Privacy & Human Rights 2000: An International Survey of Privacy Lawsand Developments," David Banisar, author (EPIC 2000).
Price: $20.

This survey, by EPIC and Privacy International, reviews the state ofprivacy in over fifty countries around the world. The survey examinesa wide range of privacy issues including, data protection, telephonetapping, genetic databases, ID systems and freedom of informationlaws.

"The Privacy Law Sourcebook 2000: United States Law, InternationalLaw, and Recent Developments," Marc Rotenberg, editor (EPIC 2000).
Price: $40.

The "Physicians Desk Reference of the privacy world." An invaluableresource for students, attorneys, researchers and journalists who needan up-to-date collection of U.S. and International privacy law, aswell as a comprehensive listing of privacy resources.

"Cryptography and Liberty 2000: An International Survey of EncryptionPolicy," Wayne Madsen and David Banisar, editors (EPIC 2000).
Price: $20.

EPIC's third survey of encryption policies around the world. Theresults indicate that the efforts to reduce export controls on strongencryption products have largely succeeded, although severalgovernments are gaining new powers to combat the perceived threats ofencryption to law enforcement.

"Filters and Freedom: Free Speech Perspectives on Internet ContentControls," David Sobel, editor (EPIC 1999). Price: $20.

A collection of essays, studies, and critiques of Internet contentfiltering. These papers are instrumental in explaining why filteringthreatens free expression.

Additional titles on privacy, open government, free expression,
computer security, and crypto can be ordered through the EPICBookstore:

[8] Upcoming Conferences and Events

Are You Covered?: Navigating the New Federal Health PrivacyRegulations. Health Privacy Project. February 5, 2001. Washington, DC.
For more information:

Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS '01). InternetSociety. February 7-9, 2001. San Diego, CA. For more information:

Privacy in the New Environments: What the Personal InformationProtection and Electronic Documents Act Means to Your Organization.
Riley Information Services. February 19, 2001. Ottawa, Canada. Formore information:

CFP 2001: the Eleventh Conference on Computers, Freedom and Privacy.
March 6-9, 2001. Cambridge, MA. For more information:

EUROSEC 2001: Forum sur la Sécurité des Systèmes d'Information. XPConseil. March 13-15, 2001. Paris, France. For more information:

Online, Offshore and Cross-Border: Regulating Global E-Commerce.
Washington College of Law, American University. March 30, 2001.
Washington, DC. For more information:
First International Conference on Human Aspects of the InformationSociety. Information Management Research Institute, University ofNorthumbria at Newcastle. April 9-11, 2001. Newcastle upon Tyne,
England. For more information:
National Summit on Electronic Privacy. The National Institute forGovernment Innovation. April 23-24, 2001. Washington, DC. For moreinformation:

The 26th Annual AAAS Colloquium on Science and Technology Policy.
American Association for the Advancement of Science. May 3-4, 2001.
Washington, DC. For more information:
The Internet Security Conference (TISC) 2001. Core Competence, Inc.
June 4-8, 2001. Los Angeles, CA. For more information:

INET 2001: A Net Odyssey, Mobility and the Internet. The 11th AnnualInternet Society Conference. June 5-8, 2001. Stockholm, Sweden. Formore information:

Subscription Information

The EPIC Alert is a free biweekly publication of the ElectronicPrivacy Information Center. A Web-based form is available forsubscribing or unsubscribing at:
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About EPIC

The Electronic Privacy Information Center is a public interestresearch center in Washington, DC. It was established in 1994 tofocus public attention on emerging privacy issues such as the ClipperChip, the Digital Telephony proposal, national ID cards, medicalrecord privacy, and the collection and sale of personal information.
EPIC publishes the EPIC Alert, pursues Freedom of Information Actlitigation, and conducts policy research. For more information,
e-mail, or write EPIC, 1718Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20009.
+1 202 483 1140 (tel), +1 202 483 1248 (fax).

If you'd like to support the work of the Electronic PrivacyInformation Center, contributions are welcome and fullytax-deductible. Checks should be made out to "EPIC" and sent to1718 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20009.
Or you can contribute online at
Your contributions will help support Freedom of Information Act andFirst Amendment litigation, strong and effective advocacy for theright of privacy and efforts to oppose government regulation ofencryption and expanding wiretapping powers.

Thank you for your support.

END EPIC Alert 8.01


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