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EPIC Alert 10.13  EPICAlert 13
EPIC ALERT E P I C A l e r t
Volume 10.13 June 25, 2003
Published by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y G E O R G E O R W E L L !
 Birthday Greetings
 Selections from EPIC Advisory Board
 Orwell and Language
 Orwell and Commercialism
 Orwell on Poverty and Inequality
 Orwell on Perpetual War
 EPIC Bookstore: Rise of the Computer State
 Birthday Greetings
Dear Mr. Orwell,
Greetings on your 100th Birthday! You might be gratified to know thata new generation of readers have a growing interest in your writing.
Your insights resonate as never before in these times.
We take this occasion to share some of our personal reflections onthemes you brought attention to, including language, commercialism,
inequality, and war. The theme of surveillance is notably missing; wehope interested readers of the EPIC Alert might contribute a
1000 wordessay on the subject and send it to orwellepic.org. Contributionswill be edited and posted on our website.
The EPIC Team
 Selections from EPIC Advisory Board
Philip E. Agre
The dramatic improvements in the underlying technology are hardlyspeculative. We know what technologies are in the lab, and we knowroughly
how long it will take before those technologies reach themarket. We are therefore justified in extrapolating historical costtrends
into the foreseeable future. The capabilities of the technologyin the next couple of decades are hardly in doubt.
Nor can there be much doubt about the potential for abuse. We haveabundant precedents from other technologies, and the burden is reallyon
the person who would argue that automatic face recognition inpublic places will be an exception to these precedents. Databases willleak,
technologies will exhibit function creep, information will bediverted to secondary uses, law enforcement will make use oftechnologies
originally designed for other purposes, repressivegovernments will make use of technological advances pioneered inrelatively free
societies, and people's lives will be disrupted byquality control problems in the data. The argument here is not thatautomatic face
recognition in public places will turn society intoOrwell's 1984 overnight, or at all. The harms from automatic facerecognition will
develop slowly because the technology will not bedeployed instantaneously, and because institutions change slowly. Butthe danger
is great enough, and backed up by enough history and logic,
and will be hard enough to reverse if it does materialize, that we arejustified in acting now.
Your Face Is Not a Bar Code: Arguments Against Automatic Face Recognition in Public Places, May 5, 2003,
Today, individuals provide substantially the same identifyinginformation to each organization with which they have a relationship.
In a new paradigm, individuals provide different "pseudonyms" oralternate names to each organization. A critical advantage of systemsbased
on such pseudonyms is that the information associated with eachpseudonym can be insufficient to allow data on an individual to belinked
and collected together, and thus they can prevent the formationof a dossier society reminiscent of Orwell's "1984".
A system is proposed in which an individual's pseudonyms are createdand stored in a computer held and trusted only by the individual.
Newcryptographic techniques allow an organization to securely exchangemessages or payments with an individual known under apseudonym
without the communication or payments systems providersbeing able to trace messages or payments. Other new techniques allow adigitally
signed credential to be transformed by the individual, fromthe individual's pseudonym with the issuing organization, to theindividual's
pseudonym with a recipient organization. Credentials canbe transformed only between pseudonyms of a single individual, and anindividual
can obtain at most one pseudonym with a particularorganization, but even a conspiracy of all organizations can gain noinformation
from the pseudonyms about their correspondence. Thecombination of these systems can prevent abuses by individuals, whileaverting
the potential for a dossier society.
A New Paradigm for Individuals in the Information Age, 1984 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, April 29 - May 02,
Each week that passes sees one more strand of the web completed. Everystrand is woven delicately, and we are told each time that the
effortis all for our benefit. True, every strand catches another tax dollaror snares another criminal. But every strand binds honest
citizensmore tightly to the administration of government...Your finances,
purchases, employment, interests, telephone activity and even yourgeographical movements are losing their anonymity. Not everything
willbe bad, however; technology will bring wonderful possibilities. Itwill also bring the nightmare of total nakedness.
Big Brother: Australia's Growing Web of Surveillance (Simon & Schuster 1992)
David H. Flaherty
There appears to be a consensus against a totalitarian society or apolice state, because of the regrettable precedents for each. All
ofus shudder at living in the fictional worlds of George Orwell's "1984"
or Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. At what point doessurveillance become unacceptable, whether by private detectives, thepolice,
or welfare and taxation authorities? At what point doessurveillance actually take place, when data are collected or when theyare
used? The shaping of appropriate answers is the concern of thisentire volume. Officials privacy protectors have a basic role to playin
crafting society's answers to these questions, in part becausegovernment created their agencies in order "to protect privacy," butalso
because since data protectors were first established, problems ofsurveillance have become more severe owing to the exponential growthin
automation. The questions did not admit a one-time solution.
Protecting privacy in Surveillance Societies: The Federal Republic of Germany, Sweden, France, Canada, and the United States (University
of North Carolina Press 1989)
Public policy deliberations about privacy in Congress, or the spectreof the much feared "1984" and the dominance by "big brother,"
can beseen to be linked closely to increases in the number of citizens whoare concerned about privacy. A question that asked respondents
toindicate how close had come to the society that George Orwell haddescribed in his book 1984 found the proportion who though that
we hadalready arrived at such a society to have more than doubled between1983 and 1988 and to have trippled between 1983 and 1989
(from 6percent to 19 percent). p.140.
The Panoptic Sort (Westview Press 1993)
Extensive, undesired observation
what may be called "surveillance"--
interferes with this exercise of choice because knowledge ofobservation "brings one to a new consciousness of oneself, assomething
seen through another's eyes." Simply put, surveillance leadsto self-censorship. This is true even when the observable informationwould
not be otherwise misused or disclosed.
Information collection in cyberspace is more like surveillance thanlike casual observation. As explained above, data collection incyberspace
produces data that are detailed, computer-processable,
indexed to the individual, and permanent. Combine this with the factthat cyberspace makes data collection and analysis exponentiallycheaper
than in real space, and we have what Roger Clarke hasidentified as the genuine threat of dataveillance.
Information Privacy in Cyberspace Transactions, 50 Stan. L.
Rev. 1193, 1261 (1998)
Gary T. Marx
In considering current developments and trends in the study of socialcontrol, I have suggested the idea of the "maximum securitysociety"with
clear indebtedness to Bentham and Foucault I have foundit useful to note some parallels between control themes found in themaximum
security prison and the broader society. The maximum securitysociety is made up of six subcomponents: the engineered, dossier,
actuarial, suspicious, self-monitored, and transparent societies.
George Orwell equated Big Brother with the harsh reality of a boot ona human face. The concept of the maximum security society is
meant tocharacterize some softer social-control processes that have increasedin importance and sophistication in recent decades,
as the velvetglove continues to gain ascendancy over the iron fist. In contemporarysociety these forms of control are uncoupled and
the former is clearlydominant-using the creation and manipulation of culture through themass media, therapeutic and labeling efforts,
the redistributiverewards of the welfare state, the use of deception (e.g., undercovertechniques and informers), and the engineering
away of infractions.
The Engineering of Social Control: The Search for the Silver Bullet Published in J. Hagan and R. Peterson, Crime and Inequality (Stanford
University Press 1995)
George Orwell once wrote that "[g]ood prose is like a window pane."
What I take Orwell to have meant by that remark is that when peopleread good prose, it makes them feel as if they've `seen' something(whatever
the author was trying to convey) more clearly. Put anotherway, if a writer can induce his or her reader to feel that the readerwould
have come to the same conclusion that the author reached had thereader done his or her own investigation of the subject matter, thewriter
has achieved a kind of "window pane" effect on the reader.
Good Legal Writing: of Orwell and Window Panes, 46 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 149, Fall 1984,
Paul M. Schwartz
George Orwell carried out the classic analysis of how surveillance canexert this negative pressure. In the novel 1984, first published
in1949, Orwell imagined a machine called the "telescreen." Thisomnipresent device broadcasted propaganda on a nonstop basis andallowed
the state officials, the "Thought Police," to observe thepopulace. Computers on the Internet are reminiscent of the telescreen;
under current conditions, it is impossible to know if and when thecyber-Thought Police are plugged in on any individual wire. To extendOrwell's
thought, one can say that as habit becomes instinct andpeople on the Internet gain a sense that their every mouse click andkey stroke
might be observed, the necessary insulation for individualself-determination will vanish.
Privacy and Democracy in Cyberspace, 52 Vand. L. Rev. 1609,
Numerous articles were written in 1984 boasting about how the worldhad escaped Orwell's dire predictions of governmental surveillance
andthe elimination of privacy. Many people rejoiced about the lack ofomnipresent telescreens and the Thought Police, but far fewer
peoplepaid attention to the development of technologies that facilitate BigBrother-style surveillance. Most U.S. citizens feel that
we are allprotected by the Bill of Rights from secret governmental surveillance.
Unfortunately, that has not always been the case historically, nor isit necessarily true today; worse, it may be still less true in
thefuture if we fail to be continually on guard against creepinggovernmental intrusion into our private lives.
Building Big Brother, Information Impacts Magazine, February 2000,
Robert Ellis Smith
We should remember that the laureates of the cybernetic nightmare
Kafka, Orwell, Huxley
were in fact rebelling against impersonalbureaucracies more than computerization. The anti-utopias in GeorgeOrwell's "1984," Yevgeny
Zamyatin's "We," and Aldous Huxley's "BraveNew World: are _bureaucratic tyrannies_, not necessarily _computerizedtyrannies_.
Our Vanishing Privacy and What You Can Do to Protect Yours (Loompanics Unlimited 1993)
 Orwell and Language
"Total Information Awareness of transactional threats requires keeping track of individuals and understanding how they fit into
models." - U.S. Department of Defense
The labeling of government methods of surveillance has taken an oddturn in the United States. As if officials were ever sensitive
toOrwell's warning in 1984 about the use of language to concealintent, recent naming exercises have adopted a strategy that mightalmost
satisfy the requirements of a truth in labeling law.
Consider "carnivore," the FBI's code name for a new system ofInternet surveillance that would enable the capture of messagesmoving
across the network. Carnivore was chosen, internalgovernments reveal, to make clear that the techniques was selective:
only the court-authorized evidence would be obtained. A separateprogram under consideration "omnivore" lacked the criticaljudgment
and was rejected.
Before Carnivore, the FBI described the system to wire surveillancecapability into the telephone network as "operation root canal."
Thepain of the project is palpable.
This history takes us then to the proposal from the Office ofInformation Awareness, which reminds us in a nod to Orwell that"knowledge
is power," to undertake "Total Information Awareness."
The intent is clear. The government must know everything abouteveryone. Where the data exists, it should be captured. Where itdoes
not yet exist, it should be produced. Models of human behaviormust be developed. Techniques to distinguish the abnormal from thenormal
devised. Your tax dollars at work.
But public opinion did not favor these proposals. Carnivore got amakeover. It became "DCS 1000." No change in functional capability,
just a new designation in government memos and on powerpoint slides.
And the creature of the Office of Information Awareness was alsoscrubbed clean. An investment in the acronym "TIA" was preserved.
The program renamed "Terrorist Information Awareness," which mayupset grammarians, but should now ease a public that once thought
ittoo could be the target of a system of total surveillance.
In Politics and the Language English, Orwell wrote that simplewriting was necessary to enable political debate. The government hasbeen
clear about its intent. The public has made clear itsassessment. And so the terms of debate are changed, the purposeconcealed, and
programs march forward.
- Marc Rotenberg
 Orwell and Commercialism
"Advertising is the dirtiest ramp that capitalism has yet produced,"
declared Orwell's Gordon Comstock in Keep the Aspidistra Flying.
Disgusted with the advertising industry's disrespect for the public'sintelligence, Comstock leaves his well-paying copy-writing job
to livea life of poverty. He rejects the modern Decalogue, which has beenreduced to two commercial commandments: "Thou shalt make
money" and"Thou shalt not lose thy job." For Orwell, society's civil religion ofthe money god represents a new social control.
Commercialism creates anew orthodoxy, a climate where thinking is unnecessary becausepropaganda ministers have provided all beliefs
and ideas that need beknown. Orwell remarks in Nineteen Eighty-Four that once thisorthodoxy is established, people can have a right
to intellectualliberty because "they have no intellect."
Nowhere else in Orwell's work is the emptiness of commercialism moresharply criticized than in Keep the Aspidistra Flying. Orwell
bitesthe conscience of the reader, making one painfully aware of how thelack of money inhibits many of life's joys. Eventually Comstockreturns
to his advertising agency job, where he arrives just in timeto evaluate a colleague's new advertisement for an antiperspirant footpowder:
"P.P. What about YOU?" "P.P" stands for pedic perspiration,
and while the word "pedic" is an advertising-industry neologism, thecompany men nevertheless admire the slogan because it induced
a"guilty tremor" in those who encountered it. Comstock writes the copyfor the advertisements, which attempted to spread fear of lonelinessand
rejection amongst those who didn't buy the product.
Orwell's criticism of commercialism is relevant today becauseadvertising's reach has become both more pervasive and invasive.
Marketers know no boundaries. They are on a quest to invade yourprivate thoughts; to make commercials the "fabric" of your life.
Andthus, captivity seems to be important to advertisers. Propagandashould be force fed, just like the mandatory two minutes of hate
inOrwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Emerging technologies that could beused for captive advertising include directed sound devices
that beammessages at a specific individual. Targets of the device cannot ignorethe message, and feel as though the sound is literally
inside theirhead. Others are working on "instant customer recognition" in order tocreate pervasive personalized marketing along the
lines of Speilberg'sMinority Report.
Orwell's contribution to criticism of commercialism closely followsthemes that were introduced by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World.
InHuxley's book, individuals were persuaded to love their own servitudethrough genetic influence, social engineering, and healthy
doses ofadvertising-like propaganda. The selective release and repetition ofinformation, Huxley's Bernard Marx observed, can "make
Today's advertisers follow the same model, inundating us withcommercial messages until they are incorporated in popular culture andlanguage.
The marketing ministers have been so successful that anumber of commentators have suggested that the First Amendmentrecognize advertising
as fully protected free expression, on par withour prayers and political advocacy. Apparently, the Constitution canserve both God and mammon.
In recent years, there have been new calls to limit commercialism.
Often, these ventures focus on marketing to children, as they may notpossess adequate critical thinking skills and autonomy to evaluateadvertising
and commercial messages. In October 2002, the editors ofBritish Medical Journal The Lancet recommended that "[m]ore radicalsolutions
should be considered" to curb commercialism's effect onchildren, including "taxing soft drinks and fast foods; subsidisingnutritious
foods, like fruits and vegetables; labeling the content offast food; and prohibiting marketing and advertising to children."
However, in 1980 when the Federal Trade Commission attempted to curbthe reach of invasive marketing to children, the advertising industryresponded
vigorously. The Industry successfully limited the agency'sauthority by getting Congress to bar the agency from promulgatingrules
to protect children from advertising.
Perhaps I've been too hard on advertisers. Some argue thatadvertising eases the difficult burdens of modern life by providinguseful
information to ease our roles as consumers. The effect ofadvertising and commercialism might in fact be the opposite. That is,
since it so frequently relies upon appeals to emotion and is devoid ofpricing and objective quality information, advertising might
actuallyharm individuals' understandings of products and the market.
Orwell's view of commercialism as a subtle but powerful form of socialcontrol is finding a new following in a new generation, a generationthat
reads Stay Free! and Adbusters Magazine. A generation that iscreating art such as Matt Groening's The Simpsons (where the localnewspaper
is called the Springfield Shopper), Chuck Palahniuk's FightClub (1996), and Mike Judge's Office Space (1999). There may be somehope
yet for a societal religious conversion away from the money god.
- Chris Hoofnagle
Adbusters Magazine: http://adbusters.org/
Stay Free! Magazine: http://stayfreemagazine.com/
Bad Ads: http://badads.org/
Commercial Alert: http://www.commercialalert.org/
 Orwell on Poverty and Inequality
"You thought it would be quite simple; it is extraordinarily complicated. You thought it would be terrible; it is merely squalid
and boring. It is the peculiar lowness of poverty that you discover first; the shifts that it puts you to, the complicated
meanness, the crust-wiping." (Down and Out in Paris)
Why does poverty have to be so low? Is it not enough that one mustsuffer from hunger and deprivation? Why must one also suffer fromhumiliation?
Poverty as pure deprivation is understandable, but whymust it carry social stigma? George Orwell believed that the lack ofdignity
in poverty results from a social structure that perpetuates aseparation between classes. Those in power have incentive not to enactreforms
to benefit the poor and they benefit by buttressing the socialstructures that perpetuate disparity.
The theme of poverty and the separation between those that have andthose that do not runs through his writings. He writes about separateclasses
in 1984, he contrasts the aristocratic pigs with the otherfarm animals in Animal Farm, he recounts the brutal poverty inMarrakesh,
and he tells of his own personal encounter with povertyin Down and Out in Paris. For Orwell, poverty is a personal matter,
and it goes to the heart of his understanding of human dignity.
In Down and Out in Paris Orwell describes the work conditions of adishwasher or "plongeur." The work is brutal. The work hours arelong.
The conditions are terrible. Orwell finds that the plongeur "isno freer than if he were bought and sold. His work is servile andwithout
art; he is paid just enough to keep him alive; his onlyholiday is the sack. Except by a lucky chance, he has no escape fromthis
life, save into prison." Orwell writes, "an idle man cannot be aplongeur; they have simply been trapped by a routine which makesthought
Orwell examines why "comfortably situated people" are fond ofidentifying hard work with honest work. One reason could be to softenthe
tough nature of hard work. Transforming work that is senselessand brutal into something virtuous salves the conscience of the welloff.
Another reason is more instrumental
the "comfortably situated"
actually perpetuate the current conditions to maintain their position.
He writes, "I believe that this instinct to perpetuate useless workis, at bottom, simply fear of the mob. The mob (the thought runs)
aresuch low animals that they would be dangerous if they had leisure; itis safer to keep them too busy to think."
The danger of the mob is not a physical danger, but rather simplyforcing the upper class to share some of their wealth. Allowing
theworking class time to think and organize would be a threat to theupper class way of life. This is central to Orwell's point.
Theconditions of the working class are perpetuated by a social structurethat benefits the upper class, who in turn have little incentive
tocorrect the disparity in the system. When the disparity is madeapparent, the upper class brush it aside using convenient myths
aboutthe virtues of honest work.
What really separates the classes then, is money. Orwell explains thatbeggars, even though they work hard, are universally despised
simplybecause they fail to make money. "In practice nobody cares whetherwork is useful or useless, productive or parasitic; the
sole thingdemanded is that it shall be profitable." Thus, Orwell concludes,
"[m]oney has become the grand test of virtue." There can be nodignity in poverty. Dignity is precluded by the defining condition
ofpoverty, a simple deficiency of money.
Orwell's comments on poverty resonate today. In a time of increasingunemployment and hardship, it takes a peculiar twist of logic
tojustify a tax cut that only benefits the wealthiest fraction of thepopulation. Rather than trying to reconcile the disparity,
the richmight be better off trying to ignore it. Ignoring the problem shouldbe easy, since, as Orwell says, "[a]ll people who work
with theirhands are partly invisible." With the aid of private walledcommunities, ghettos, and twelve lane freeways the poor can
remaininvisible to the well off.
Technologies of surveillance are often first aimed at minorities andthe impoverished. The State of Connecticut invested in an expensivebiometric
system to combat welfare fraud
the saving from catching afew bad actors far exceeded by the total cost of the surveillancesystem. Since September 11, the use of
background checks on newemployees has seen increasing use. Companies are less likely today tohire someone who has a minor offense.
If poverty encourages crime,
these kinds of practice only encourage more poverty and crime.
Private companies in the name of risk management use supposedlyrational factors to discriminate among their customers, but thesefactors
might actually be serving as proxies for factors that, ifknown, would be unlawful or obnoxious. New government risk profilingsystems
such as the air passenger profiling system or TotalInformation Awareness might result in furthering race, class, andethnic divisions.
Those with clean records, good credit can sailthrough the system, while those who have a pale of suspicion struggleto make ends
meet. Orwell reminds us to pay close attention to theimpact of these practices; the privileged have always tried to shieldthe true
nature of discriminatory practices.
- John Baggaley
 Orwell on Perpetual War
"Winston could not definitely remember a time when his country had not been at war, but it was evident that there had been a
fairly long interval of peace during his childhood, because one of his earliest memories was of an air raid which appeared to
take everyone by surprise." (1984)
In Orwell's 1984, Big Brother maintains a totalitarian grip upon thecountry of Oceania, by means of informers and constant surveillance.
Constantly in the background of this society of paranoia is aperpetual war, waged against one of two remaining superpowers in theworld-Eurasia
or Eastasia. Which two powers are at war at any giventime is largely irrelevant, as no victory can ever be achieved. Thepurpose
of the war is not, in fact, to win, but to do two things:
control Oceania's economy and maintain in its citizens the credulityand fanaticism required to maintain complete devotion to the Party.
In America we appear to be in the midst of a perpetual war on Terror.
Like the Cold War, it is a constant pressure and concern, bloomingoccasionally from an ideological war on a concept to actual wars
Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq. This war may notbe directed by a small cabal intent on consolidating and expanding itspower, but
the consequences might be similar. Are we adequatelyprepared for the consequences of this new war?
Actual wars have, traditionally, been well defined in time
there areopening shots and final surrenders. And the two years following theshock of September 11th have been accompanied so far
by two definitemilitary actions against two different nations. These two actionshave been linked, not just by time, but also in
the justificationsgiven for them. Both were viewed by the administration and the publicas extensions of the War on Terrorism. Yet
it was not a link betweenSaddam Hussein and Al Qaeda that justified a war in Iraq, but a moregeneralized fear of a potential attack
from abroad. And SaddamHussein's Iraq was certainly not the last unfriendly regime to plandevelopment of weapons of mass destruction.
The list not aparticularly short one, and as governments and politics change, thelist may extend indefinitely. Threats and dangers
have alwaysexisted, and will always exist. In looking for potential enemies, oneis always sure to find them, in one state of nascence
"The self-satisfied sheeplike face on the screen, and the terrifying power of the Eurasian army behind it, were too much to
be borne; besides, the sight or even the thought of Goldstein produced fear and anger automatically. He was an object of hatred
more constant than either Eurasia or Eastasia." (1984)
The image of the burning World Trade Center towers is imprinted on theAmerican consciousness. So are the images of the "enemy." The
facesof Osama bin Laden and Mohammed Atta are filed in our minds in adrawer labeled "terrorist," as the face of Hitler and the swastika
arefiled under "Nazi." They are the faces of an enemy, people to rallyagainst, effigies to burn. Given a face to hate, we can personify
ourfears and hatreds, and create in our minds an enemy that we feel aneed to fight. This emotional response can often bypass good
commonsense. People often express a willingness to do anything, everythingthey can to "get the terrorists." We talk about wanting
to "dosomething." Those "somethings" that get done run the gamut fromsensible (securing cockpit doors) to nonsensical (confiscating
nailclippers from traveling grandmothers) to egregious (detainees held formonths without charges in cells brightly lit around the
"[T]o those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists
for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies and pause to America's
They encourage people of good will to remain silent in the face of evil. - John Ashcroft
Attorney General Ashcroft's admonishment to the Senate JudiciaryCommittee does not merely raise concern about the chilling of open
andhonest debate. Suspicion and paranoia have all-too real consequencesfor real people. In the days following the attacks of 9/11,
the FBIand other law enforcement agencies were flooded with tips fromcitizens well-meaning and otherwise, reporting "suspicious"
activities. A recent New York Times article reported on scores ofinnocent people having their lives overturned by another person'sunwarranted
suspicion. In one example, nine men in Evansville, Indianawere rounded up, handcuffed, and imprisoned for a week on a false tip.
It took nineteen months before their names were cleared from thenational crime registry, and in the meantime, they were prevented
fromflying, renting apartments, or getting jobs.
In the name of combating terrorism, the FBI and other agenciescontinually argue for broader powers to expand domestic surveillance.
Suggestions that the restrictions exist to counter the FBI excesses ofthe Hoover era are ignored in the face of wartime necessity.
Wartimenecessity has often been used as a justification for many excesses
the U.S. internment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry duringWorld War II was justified as a wartime necessity.
Rights given up under an immediate crisis or for a specified durationmay seem reasonable in the aftermath of a disaster, but in a
crisis, awar that has no victory conditions, these rights may be gone for good.
The fact that there is no clear end to the War on Terrorism haslasting implications not just on the attitudes and policies ofAmerica,
but it also has dire consequences for some. About 680 peoplecaptured in Afghanistan are still being held prisoner at GuantanamoBay,
where they have not had a trial, access to legal counsel, nor thebenefit of prisoner-of-war status. When they will be released orcharged
has never been answered, but for references to "the end of theconflict."
We are told to look for threats from within
among our neighborhoods,
our neighbors. Yet there are so few terrorists and so many neighbors,
and the suspicion that this new cold war creates can only havedetrimental effects on communities around the country. These rifts maynot
be repaired until we can overcome an "us versus them" mentality,
until we can look past a war that can end simply by us saying that itis over.
"This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while."
- George W. Bush
- Sherwin Siy
 EPIC Bookstore: The Rise of the Computer State
The Rise of the Computer State; The Threats to Freedoms, Our Ethicsand Our Democratic Process, by David Burnham (Random House 1980)
David Burnham's 1980 book examining the proliferation of computers andtheir effects on society was prescient. There is hardly a person
inthis country not affected by the computer; its usefulness isunquestioned. In this work, however, Burnham asks about theliabilities
just how close to Orwell's 1984 have wecome?
In this examination of the computer state, Burnham, a former New YorkTimes investigative journalist, scrutinizes telephone companies,
theFBI, the IRS, Social Security, credit reporting agencies, the NSA, theCIA, and cable companies to discover what their computers
already knowand are trying to find out about us. The book also examines how thisinformation can be put to unforeseen and harmful
Burnham marshals a wealth of evidence that hadn't been availableelsewhere to document the case that the rise of the computer state
canthreaten privacy, legal procedures, and democratic process.
"The Privacy Law Sourcebook 2002: United States Law, InternationalLaw, and Recent Developments," Marc Rotenberg, editor (EPIC 2002).
Price: $40. http://www.epic.org/bookstore/pls2002/
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.
"FOIA 2002: Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws," HarryHammitt, David Sobel and Mark Zaid, editors (EPIC 2002). Price:
This is the standard reference work covering all aspects of theFreedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, the Government in theSunshine Act, and the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The 21stedition fully updates the manual
that lawyers, journalists andresearchers have relied on for more than 25 years. For those wholitigate open government cases (or
need to learn how to litigatethem), this is an essential reference manual.
"Privacy & Human Rights 2002: An International Survey of Privacy Lawsand Developments" (EPIC 2002). Price: $25.
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, video surveillance, location
tracking, IDsystems and freedom of information laws.
"Filters and Freedom 2.0: Free Speech Perspectives on Internet ContentControls" (EPIC 2001). Price: $20.
A collection of essays, studies, and critiques of Internet contentfiltering. These papers are instrumental in explaining why filteringthreatens
"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.
"Cryptography and Liberty 2000: An International Survey of EncryptionPolicy," Wayne Madsen and David Banisar, authors (EPIC 2000).
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.
EPIC publications and other books on privacy, open government, freeexpression, crypto and governance can be ordered at:
EPIC Bookstore http://www.epic.org/bookstore/
"EPIC Bookshelf" at Powell's Books http://www.powells.com/features/epic/epic.html
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The Electronic Privacy Information Center is a public interestresearch center in Washington, DC. It was established in 1994 tofocus
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Thank you for your support.
END EPIC Alert 10.13