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EPIC Alert 8.05 [2001] EPICAlert 5


Volume 8.05 March 20, 2001

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

Table of Contents

[1] EPIC Joins Court Challenge to Library Internet Censorship Law
[2] Privacy Coalition Sends Letter on Medical Privacy Regulations
[3] National FOI Day Activities Include Speaking on Panels, Testimony
[4] ICANN Meets in Australia
[5] International Workshop Examines Consumer Protection Guidelines
[6] EPIC Bill-Track: New Bills in Congress
[7] EPIC Bookstore - The Public Domain
[8] Upcoming Conferences and Events

[1] EPIC Joins Court Challenge to Library Internet Censorship Law

A major legal challenge to a new federal law that forces libraries tocensor constitutionally protected speech on the Internet was filedtoday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. EPIC joined theAmerican Civil Liberties Union in filing the case on behalf of publiclibraries, library patrons and website authors nationwide. TheChildren's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires libraries thatparticipate in certain federal programs to install "technologyprotection measures" on all of their Internet access terminals,
regardless of whether federal programs paid for the terminals orInternet connections. There are more than 16,000 public librariesnationwide, and 95 percent of them currently provide Internet accessfor their patrons.

Congress approved the censorship law last year even after its own18-member panel established to study ways to protect children onlinerejected the idea because of the risk that "protected, harmless, orinnocent speech would be accidentally or inappropriately blocked."
Nonetheless, libraries must now install "blocking technology measures"
to prevent access to material that is "obscene, child pornography," or"harmful to minors," or forfeit much-needed federal funds. As today'slawsuit points out, even the makers of the blocking programs touted bythe law's proponents do not claim to block only the categories ofmaterial that CIPA designates. Additionally, as documented by EPIC's"Faulty Filters" report and other studies, the programs routinely andinexplicably block sites that clearly do not fall under the categoriesproscribed by the law. The installation of such programs in publiclibraries therefore has significant free speech implications.

The lawsuit also challenges CIPA on privacy grounds. The law providesthat library patrons engaged in "bona fide research" may request thatthey be given access to material blocked by a filtering system. Butsuch a procedure, according to the complaint, forces libraries toviolate "patrons' privacy and anonymity rights contrary to thelongstanding practices and policies of the library community."

The American Library Association today also filed a challenge to CIPAbefore the same Philadelphia court. The cases will likely beconsolidated and heard concurrently. Under CIPA's judicial reviewprovisions, a three-judge panel appointed by the Third Circuit Courtof Appeals will hear the case; any appeal of the panel's decision willgo directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is required to hearchallenges to the law. EPIC is serving as co-counsel in the case.

The complaint in Multnomah County Public Library, et al. V. UnitedStates, et al., is available at:
The text of the Children's Internet Protection Act is available at:

[2] Privacy Coalition Sends Letter on Medical Privacy Regulations

In a letter sent to the President and the Secretary of Health andHuman Services Tommy G. Thompson, a nonpartisan coalition of publicinterest groups supported recently promulgated medical privacyregulations while pointing out areas where the regulations could beimproved. The final Health Insurance Portability and AccountabilityAct (HIPAA) medical privacy regulations were released on December20, 2000 but due to an administrative oversight were reopened forcomments early this year. Some have seen the reopening of comments asan opportunity to delay or weaken the privacy regulations (see EPICAlert 8.03). The comment period is open until March 30 and commentscan be submitted electronically through the Department of Health andHuman Services website.

Sent on March 7th, the letter states that the HIPAA regulations offerthe first ever federal standard for the privacy of medicalinformation, an approach widely supported by the public. The lettergoes on to point out that the lack of medical privacy regulations hasled patients to be less forthcoming about their medical conditions,
doctors to be more reluctant about recording personal medicalinformation in files, and to the stigmatization of patients leading todifficulty in acquiring insurance or employment. While supporting theHIPAA regulations, the groups also point out several areas where theregulations could be improved such as greater patient control overinformation to be used for marketing, stronger requirements before lawenforcement access to medical records is granted, and assurances thathealth care providers would not be able to coerce patient consent toprivacy policies by withholding medical treatment.

In related privacy news, on March 8th, the U.S. House ofRepresentatives Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and ConsumerProtection held a hearing on the European Union Data ProtectionDirective. The witnesses included: Professor Stefano Rodota, Chairmanof the EU Data Protection Working Party, Mr. David Smith, AssistantCommissioner at the Office of the UK Information Commissioner,
Ambassador David L. Aaron, formerly of the International TradeAdministration at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Mr. Jonathan Winer,
Counsel at Altson and Bryd LLP, Professor Joel Reidenberg of FordhamUniversity School of Law, Ms. Barbara Lawler, Customer Privacy Managerat Hewlett Packard, and Mr. Denise E. Henry of Bell Canada. In hiswritten testimony, Professor Reidenberg stated that "United Statesinterests are ill-served by avoiding the creation of clear legalprivacy rights" and continued "Congress needs to act to establish abasic set of legal protections for privacy in the United States."

The letter sent from the groups is available at:
Comments on the Department of Health and Human Services Final PrivacyRule can be submitted at:

Testimony presented before the U.S. House of Representatives hearingon the EU Data Protection Directive:

[3] National FOI Day Activities Include Speaking on Panels, Testimony

EPIC participated in a number of National Freedom of Information Dayactivities on March 16, 2001. Freedom of Information Day is held inrecognition of the public benefits realized from open government.
This year, its celebration coincided with James Madison's 250thbirthday.

Executive Director Marc Rotenberg spoke at a panel held at theNational Press Club on privacy rights and cyber crime. GeneralCounsel David Sobel spoke on a panel at the Freedom Forum on theprivacy implications associated with providing public access to courtfiles. Senior Fellow David Banisar spoke at a Freedom Forum panel aswell on international freedom of information developments. StaffCounsel Chris Hoofnagle gave testimony to the Judicial Conference ofthe United States on public access to electronic case files.

EPIC created a web page in celebration of National Freedom ofInformation Day and open government. The FOIA Gallery details EPIC'stop requests under Freedom of Information and state open records acts.

EPIC Freedom of Information Act Gallery:
Information about the 2001 National Freedom of Information DayConference at the Freedom Forum:

[4] ICANN Meets in Australia

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
recently held one of its quarterly meetings in Melbourne, Australia onMarch 9-13. Notably, it was the first ICANN meeting in which the fiveAt Large elected Board of Directors participated. Also, despite theshort amount of time since the first At Large elections and in whichAt Large Directors have had to work, ICANN also took its first stepstowards the formation of an At Large Study Committee that willre-examine the concept of At Large membership. ICANN representativeshave previously stated in public and Congressional hearings that theAt Large, and its election of nine members of the Board of Directors,
will be an integral part of ICANN.

The five At Large Directors, as well as the rest of the Board, willalso face their first tough decision over what was certainly the mostcontroversial topic at the meeting - the renegotiated contractsbetween ICANN and Verisign (current owner of Network Solutions, Inc.).
To the surprise of the Internet community, ICANN staff hadrenegotiated a new contract that would offer Verisign control over top level domain for the foreseeable future and which would relinquished as soon as next year. In addition to the envisionedseparation of .com, .net and .org, some ICANN personnel have alsosaid that they would try to return .org to its original purpose as anarea for non-profit organizations rather than for the more generalpurposes it has been used for in recent years.

In conjunction with the ICANN meeting, the Civil Society InternetForum (CSIF) held a series of meetings on the At Large membership aswell as other cyber-liberties issues. Sponsored by ElectronicFrontiers Australia (EFA), the meetings examined a range of issues andbrought together Internet activists from around the world (see EPICAlert 8.04). The CSIF first formed during the Yokohama ICANN meetingthat took place in July 2000.

Information about these issues, as well as other general backgroundon ICANN, is available at:

Minutes of the CSIF meetings as well as other information about theorganization is available at:

[5] International Workshop Examines Consumer Protection Guidelines

On March 13-14, the Organization for Economic Co-operation andDevelopment (OECD) held a workshop in Berlin examining its e-commerceconsumer protection guidelines released in December 1999. Due to thegrowing number of international business to consumer transactions, theOECD is attempting to coordinate varying national policies on a rangeof consumer issues. The guidelines address topics such as advertisingand marketing practices, payment mechanisms, dispute resolution,
privacy and consumer education.

At the workshop, OECD staff, national delegates and internationalconsumer and business organizations discussed business to consumer(B2C) e-commerce statistics, government and industry implementation ofthe OECD consumer protection guidelines, and steps to increaseinternational cooperation. After the workshop, the OECD will continueto solicit public comments on its efforts in e-commerce consumerprotection.

For more information about the OECD Consumer Protection guidelines,
the Berlin workshop or to submit comments:
For other information about international consumer protection issues:

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


H.R.90 Know Your Caller Act. A bill to amend the Communications Act of1934 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: 3/12/2001 House preparation for floor.

H.R.333 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of2001. To amend title 11, United States Code, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Gekas, George W. (R-IA). Latest Major Action: 3/5/2001Received in the Senate. Read twice. Placed on Senate LegislativeCalendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 17.

H.R.733 Parent-Child Privilege Act of 2001. To amend the Federal Rulesof Evidence to establish a parent-child privilege. Sponsor: RepAndrews, Robert E. (D-NJ). Latest Major Action: 2/27/2001 Referred toHouse committee: House Judiciary.

H.R.751 Religious Communication Sanctity Act of 2001. To amend title18, United States Code, to protect the sanctity of religiouscommunications. Sponsor: Rep King, Peter T. (R-NY). Latest MajorAction: 2/27/2001 Referred to House committee: House Judiciary.

H.R.1017 Anti-Spamming Act of 2001. To prohibit the unsolicited e-mailknown as spam. Sponsor: Rep Goodlatte, Bob (R-VA). Latest MajorAction: 3/14/2001 Referred to House committee: House Judiciary.


S.420 Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2001. An original bill to amend titleII, United States Code, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen Grassley,
Charles E. (R-IA). Latest Major Action: 3/15/2001 Passed/agreed to inSenate.

S.450 Financial Institution Privacy Protection Act of 2001. A bill toamend the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to provide for enhanced protection ofnonpublic personal information, including health information, and forother purposes. Sponsor: Sen Nelson, Bill (D-FL). Latest Major Action:
3/1/2001 Referred to Senate committee.

S.451 Social Security Number Protection Act of 2001. A bill toestablish civil and criminal penalties for the sale or purchase of asocial security number. Sponsor: Sen Nelson, Bill (D-FL). Latest MajorAction: 3/1/2001 Referred to Senate committee.

S.536 Freedom From Behavioral Profiling Act of 2000. A bill to amendthe Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to provide for a limitation on sharing ofmarketing and behavioral profiling information, and for otherpurposes. Sponsor: Sen Shelby, Richard C. (R-AL). Latest Major Action:
3/14/2001 Referred to Senate committee: Senate Banking, Housing, andUrban Affairs.

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

[7] EPIC Bookstore - The Public Domain

The Public Domain: How to Find Copyright-Free Writings, Music, Art andMore by Stephen Fishman
Even though grade-school teachers have told us otherwise for years,
you can copy other people's creative work and get away with it. How?
By dipping into the public domain, where everything is free for thetaking.

The first book of its kind, The Public Domain is the definitive guideto the creative works that are not protected by copyright and can becopied freely or otherwise used without paying permission fees.

The book explains step-by-step how to recognize when a work is in thepublic domain. Chapters cover: writings, music, art, architecture,
maps, choreography, photography, film and video, computer software anddatabases.

The book also lists hundreds of resources, such as websites, librariesand archives, useful for locating public domain works.

Destined to become a classic reference guide, The Public Domain isindispensable for anyone who deals with creative works, includingpublishers, web developers, writers, musicians and composers, artists,
librarians, photographers and filmmakers.

For other books recommended by EPIC, browse the EPIC 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, authors (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, as well as films and DVDs can beordered through the EPIC Bookstore:

[8] Upcoming Conferences and Events

Privacy. New School University. March 23-24, 2001. Budapest, Hungary.
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:
Call For Papers - March 31, 2001 (prizes available for graduatestudent papers). The 29th Research Conference on Communication,
Information and Internet Policy. October 27-29, 2001. Alexandria, VA.
For more information:
BNA Public Policy Forum: Cybersecurity and Privacy. Pike and Fischer,
Inc. April 4, 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:
Corporate Privacy Officers Program 2001: Washington Briefing and PeerWorkshop. Privacy and American Business. April 11-12, 2001.
Washington, DC. For more information:

National Summit on Electronic Privacy. The National Institute forGovernment Innovation. April 23-24, 2001. Washington, DC. For moreinformation:

The First Annual Privacy and Data Protection Summit. Privacy OfficersAssociation. May 2-4, 2001. Arlington, VA. For more information:
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:
Future of the Internet: Preserving the Internet's Openness, Freedom,
and Diversity. Center for Media Education and Center for DigitalDemocracy. May 9, 2001. Washington, DC. For more information:
The Internet and State Security Forum (ISSF). Cambridge Review ofInternational Affairs. May 19, 2001. Cambridge, England. For moreinformation:

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:

ETHICOMP 2001: Systems of the Information Society. Telecommunicationsand Informatics Technical University of Gdansk, Poland. June 18-20,
2001. Gdansk, Poland. For more information:

Democracy Forum 2001: Democracy and the Information Revolution.
International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. June27-29, 2001. Stockholm, Sweden. For more information:
Call for Papers - June 30, 20001. CEPE2001: Computer Ethics,
Philosophical Enquiries. Lancaster University (UK). Centre for Studyof Technology in Organizations, Institute for Environment, Philosophyand Public Policy. December 14-16, 2001. For more information:

Call For Submissions - August 3, 2001. Workshop on Security andPrivacy in Digital Rights Management 2001. Eighth Association forComputing Machinery (ACM) Conference on Computer and CommunicationsSecurity. November 5, 2001. For more information:

ICSC 2001: International Conference on Social Computing. University ofBremen. October 1-3, 2001. Bremen, Germany. For more information:

Privacy2001: Information, Security & Ethics for the New Century.
Technology Policy Group. October 3-4, 2001. Cleveland, Ohio. For moreinformation:

Learning for the Future. Business for Social Responsibility's NinthAnnual Conference. November 7-9, 2001. Seattle, WA. For moreinformation:

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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In the event you wish to subscribe or unsubscribe your email addressfrom this list, please follow the above instructions under"subscription information". Please contact if you haveany other questions.

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 8.05


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