TUCoPS :: Privacy :: priv_111.txt

Privacy Digest 1.11 8/1/92

PRIVACY Forum Digest      Saturday, 1 August 1992      Volume 01 : Issue 11

         Moderated by Lauren Weinstein (lauren@cv.vortex.com)
                Vortex Technology, Topanga, CA, U.S.A.
                     ===== PRIVACY FORUM =====

   	  The PRIVACY Forum digest is supported in part by the 
	      ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy.

	CPSR Testimony Regarding NREN Now Available
	   (Moderator--Lauren Weinstein)
        DNA databanking (Gary Chapman)
        Gateway/WINDO Action Notice (Chris Lewis)
	Aug 6 Workshop on Information Policy (James P. Love)

 *** Please include a RELEVANT "Subject:" line on all submissions! ***
            *** Submissions without them may be ignored! ***

The PRIVACY Forum is a moderated digest for the discussion and analysis of
issues relating to the general topic of privacy (both personal and
collective) in the "information age" of the 1990's and beyond.  The
moderator will choose submissions for inclusion based on their relevance and
content.  Submissions will not be routinely acknowledged.

ALL submissions should be addressed to "privacy@cv.vortex.com" and must have
RELEVANT "Subject:" lines.  Submissions without appropriate and relevant
"Subject:" lines may be ignored.  Subscriptions are by an automatic
"listserv" system; for subscription information, please send a message
consisting of the word "help" (quotes not included) in the BODY of a message
to: "privacy-request@cv.vortex.com".  Mailing list problems should be
reported to "list-maint@cv.vortex.com".  All submissions included in this
digest represent the views of the individual authors and all submissions
will be considered to be distributable without limitations. 

The PRIVACY Forum archive, including all issues of the digest and all
related materials, is available via anonymous FTP from site "cv.vortex.com",
in the "/privacy" directory.  Use the FTP login "ftp" or "anonymous", and
enter your e-mail address as the password.  The typical "README" and "INDEX"
files are available to guide you through the files available for FTP
access.  PRIVACY Forum materials may also be obtained automatically via
e-mail through the listserv system.  Please follow the instructions above
for getting the listserv "help" information, which includes details
regarding the "index" and "get" listserv commands, which are used to access
the PRIVACY Forum archive.

For information regarding the availability of this digest via FAX, please
send an inquiry to privacy-fax@cv.vortex.com, call (310) 455-9300, or FAX
to (310) 455-2364.


    Quote for the day:

	"There is nothing wrong with your television set.
	 Do not attempt to adjust the picture.
	 We are controlling transmission."

				-- The "Control Voice"
				   "The Outer Limits" (1963-1965)

Date:    Sat, 1 Aug 92 18:57 PDT
From:    lauren@cv.vortex.com (Moderator--Lauren Weinstein)
Subject: CPSR Testimony Regarding NREN Now Available

Greetings.  As noted in the previous PRIVACY Forum digest, CPSR (Computer
Professionals for Social Responsibility) recently testified regarding NREN
privacy issues before the National Commission on Library and Information
Science (NCLIS).  The complete text of that testimony is now available from
the PRIVACY Forum archives (it is approximately 20K bytes long).  I urge
everyone interested in the future directions of the Internet to consider
reading this document.

Those of you with FTP access can retrieve it as "/privacy/cpsr-nren.1.Z"
from "cv.vortex.com" (be sure to use image mode for a ".Z" transfer, or else
specify the filename without the ".Z" for automatic uncompression of the file
during transfer).

The text is also available automatically via e-mail for those without FTP
access through the PRIVACY Forum listserv system.  Send a message to the


with the first line of text in the BODY of the message being:

	get privacy cpsr-nren.1

The subject field of the message is irrelevant.  The testimony 
will be delivered to you via return e-mail.



Date:    Wed, 29 Jul 1992 15:31:25 EDT
From:    Gary Chapman <chapman@silver.lcs.mit.edu>
Subject: DNA databanking

Today (7/28) the Wall Street Journal features an article (page B1) on
DNA databanking, the FBI's computer database of DNA data, and the
concerns of critics.  The article reports that fifteen states now have
DNA databanking programs, and it is estimated that double that number
will have such programs in place by 1995.  There have been 600 trials
using DNA as evidence since 1988.  Next year the FBI is scheduled to
link state programs in a nation-wide computer network.

The article describes the first "cold search" of DNA databanks, in a
Minnesota case in which a defendant was arrested for the rape and murder
of a Minneapolis woman on the basis of a DNA match appearing in the
state's computerized system.  The crime-scene DNA was acquired from a
sperm sample and it matched a sample collected from a convicted sex
offender when he was a prisoner.

Last week the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the highest court in
the state, ruled that DNA matching may not be used as conclusive
prosecutorial evidence in a criminal trial, although the lack of a match
can be used as a defense.  Massachusetts is the only state in the
country that has produced such a court ruling -- all of the other 40
appellate court rulings have been in favor of using DNA evidence in
support of the prosecution's case.  The Massachusetts court said that
there is insufficient scientific consensus on the validity of DNA
matching.  The court cited a recent report by the National Research
Council, which said that the state of the art leaves the technology open
to doubt.  But this could change in the future, and the Massachusetts
ruling does not rule out DNA evidence if the technology generates a
tighter scientific consensus.

Nachama Wilker, executive director of the Council for Responsible
Genetics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says that the collection of DNA
samples from all prisoners is a slippery slope that will affect the use
of DNA in non-criminal social transactions, such as eligibility for
insurance, employment opportunity, and other forms of discrimination.
She says in The Wall Street Journal that there are no guarantees that
DNA data collected from prisoners will be used exclusively for criminal
justice procedures, and she argues that DNA evidence should only be used
for serious crimes with demonstrated patterns of repeated offenses.
Some states have passed legislation protecting the confidentiality of
DNA data, such as Wisconsin, which prohibits DNA data from being used
for insurance eligibility or employment evaluation.  Only five states
have such laws on the books, however.  Some public interest advocates
are supporting a DNA Identification Bill in the Congress, already passed
by the House, that would enforce confidentiality, limit the use of DNA
data, and impose federal standards on state laboratories.  The NRC
report also called for laboratory accreditation by federal agencies.


Date:     July 29, 1992
From:     chris@essential.org (Chris Lewis)
Subject:  Gateway/WINDO Action Notice

GATEWAY/WINDO Action Notice:


The Congress is running out of time to consider S. 2813, the GPO
Gateway to Government, and H.R. 2772, the GPO Wide Information
Network for Data Online (WINDO), legislation this year. These
bills would provide for single point on-line access to government
information through the Government Printing Office (GPO).

The House Committee on Administration and the Senate Committee on
Rules and Administration will likely meet to mark up these bills
before the scheduled August 13 congressional recess.

It is critical that members of these committees, and their
staffs, hear from supporters of the legislation over the next two
weeks if these bills are to pass the Congress this year.

Phone calls to members and their staff are most needed, but
written letters are appropriate as well.  All communication
should emphasize the need for expanded public access to federal
data bases and the simple and efficient good government approach
incorporated in these two bills.

Members of congress can be reached by phone through the Capitol
switchboard at 202/224-3121.  Mail to Senators should be
addressed:  The Honorable ______, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC
20510.  Mail to Congressmen/women should be addressed: The
Honorable _______, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC

Members of the Committee on House Administration of the House of
Representatives are:

Charlie Rose, NC                   Bill Thomas, CA
Frank Annunzio, IL                 William Dickinson, AL
Joseph Gaydos, PA                  Newt Gingrich, GA
Leon Panetta, CA                   Pat Roberts, KS
Al Swift, WA                       Paul Gilmor, OH
Mary Rose Oakar, OH                James Walsh, NY
Bill Clay, MO                      Mickey Edwards, OK
Sam Gejdenson, CT                  Bob Livingston, LA
Joe Kolter, PA                     Bill Barrett, NE
Martin Frost, TX
Tom Manton, NY
Marty Russo, IL
Steny Hoyer, MD
Gerald Kleczka, WI
Dale Kildee, MI

Members of the Committee on Rules and Administration of the
Senate are:

Wendell Ford, KY                   Ted Stevens, AK
Claiborne Pell, RI                 Mark Hatfield, OR
Robert Bryd, WV                    Jesse Helms, NC
Daniel Inouye, HI                  John Warner, VA
Dennis DeConcini, AZ               Bob Dole, KS
Al Gore, TN                        Jake Garn, UT
Daniel Moynihan, NY                Mitch McConnell, KY
Christopher Dodd, CT
Brock Adams, WA

Note:  If you need copies of the legislation and a fact sheet,
send an email message to love@essential.org.

Chris Lewis                       voice:     202/387-8030
Director, Washington Office         fax:     202/234-5176
Taxpayer Assets Project        internet:     chris@essential.org
P.O. Box 19367
Washington, DC  20036


Date:    Fri, 31 Jul 1992 16:42:33 EDT
From:    James P Love <LOVE@pucc.Princeton.EDU>

                     TAXPAYER ASSETS PROJECT


                         AUGUST 6, 1992

           Computers, Technology, and Public access to
                     Government Information

You are invited to attend the first Taxpayer Assets Project
Workshop on Government Information Policy.


WHEN:     8:45 am to 4:00 pm;  August 6, 1992

WHERE:    The Carnegie Institution, 1530 P Street, NW,
          Washington, DC 20036

COST:     Free


The Taxpayer Assets Project will be hosting a series of workshops
on government information policy.  The first workshop will be
held on August 6, 1992 at the Carnegie Institution in Washington,
DC.  This workshop will focus on three issues relating to public
access to government information resources:  the proposed GPO
Gateway to Government/WINDO, OMB's proposed revision of Circular
A-130, and proposed restructuring of the federal Landsat program.




8:45 am to 9:00 am

James Love, Director, Taxpayer Assets Project

***************************Panel One***************************


9:00 am  to 10:00 am

Congress is now considering legislation that would require the
Government Printing Office (GPO) to establish a program for one-
stop-shopping for online access to federal information.  These
bills are S. 2813, the GPO Gateway to Government, introduced by
Senator Gore (D-TN), and H.R. 2772, the GPO Wide Information
Network for Data Online (WINDO), introduced by Representative
Charlie Rose (D-NC).  The supporters of the bills say the
Gateway/WINDO will revolutionize public access to government
information.  The panel will discuss the Gateway/WINDO proposals,
and report on the status of the bills.


     Anne Heanue, Associate Director of the Washington Office,
          American Library Association

Panel Members

     John Merritt, Staff Director, Joint Committee on Printing

     Bernadine Hoduski, Professional Staff, Joint Committee on

     Chris Lewis, Director of the Washington Office, Taxpayer
          Assets Project

***************************Panel Two***************************


10:15 am to 11:45 am

OMB recently proposed a revision of its Circular A-130, a policy
advisory which concerns the management of federal information
resources.  Circular A-130 has been at the center of information
policy debates for almost a decade.

The current version of A-130 was adopted in 1985, amid
considerable controversy, much of it related to the provisions
which told agencies to place "the maximum feasible reliance" upon
the private sector for the dissemination of government
information, and to avoid duplications of private sector
information products and services.

In 1989 OMB attempted, unsuccessfully, to amend A-130, placing
severe limits on the so called "value added" services that
agencies could provide to the public.  OMB proposed that agencies
only provide "wholesale" information products and services,
leaving "retail" value-added functions to the private sector.

The 1992 proposed revision of A-130 would reverse many
restrictions on agency dissemination programs, providing, for the
first time, a mandate for agencies to freely use computer
technologies to disseminate government information.  The proposed
revision also asks federal agencies to limit prices for
information products and services to the costs of dissemination.

However, despite its good pricing provisions and the less
restrictive dissemination mandate, the proposed Circular does
little to actively encourage broader access to federal
information resources.  Moreover, the Circular seeks to allow
federal agencies to withhold electronic information products and
services from the federal Depository Library Program, raising the
specter of a technological sunset of this important program which
provides free access to federal information through 1,400
libraries nationwide.

The panel will discuss the impact of the proposed Circular, and
how A-130 *should* be revised to make the best use of public


     Marc Rotenberg, Director of the Washington Office, Computer
          Professionals for Social Responsibility

Panel Members:

     Theresa Amato, staff attorney, Public Citizen, Director,
          Freedom of Information Clearing House

     James Love, Director, Taxpayers Assets Project

     Dr. David McMillen, Professional Staff, Senate Subcommittee
          on Government Information

     Anne Heanue, Associate Director of the Washington Office,
          American Library Association

     Bruce McConnell, Chief, Information Policy Branch, Office of
          Budget and Management

     Other panelists to be announced


Break for Lunch in Area Restaurants

12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

***************************Panel Three***************************


2:00 pm  to 4:00 am

The federal Landsat program provides satellite images which are
useful to researchers who study a wide range of natural resources
and environmental issues.  Since 1972 the federal government has
spent more than $3.5 billion to finance the Landsat program.
When the Landsat program was started the images were available to
researchers for free or for the costs of dissemination of the

In the early 1980's the Reagan Administration sharply increased
Landsat fees, hoping to defray some of the costs of collecting
the information.  In 1984, congress approved legislation to
privatize the Landsat program.  As a result of these initiatives,
the price of Landsat images increased sharply, and the use of the
data by academic and citizen group researchers plummeted.

EOSAT, a joint venture owned by General Motors and General
Electric, has exclusive rights to sell all data collected by
Landsat.  Despite the huge increases in the prices for the
Landsat data, EOSAT has contributed little to the costs of the
collection of the Landsat data.  Critics of Landsat privatization
have also made a number of complaints about EOSAT's poor customer
service and its failure to archive important data.

Congress is now considering two bills that would restructure the
Landsat program.  A senate bill (S. 2297), introduced by Senator
Pressler (R-SD), would require Landsat data to be sold at the
marginal cost of the dissemination of the information.  A house
bill (H.R. 3614) would give the federal government and certain
government funded researchers the right to buy Landsat data at
the marginal cost of dissemination, while requiring all others to
buy Landsat images from EOSAT, at market prices.

This panel will discuss the importance of the Landsat program to
the research community, the impact of the privatization
initiative, and the House and Senate proposals to restructure the
Landsat program.


     Dr. Keith Clark, Hunter College

Panel Members:

     Dr. Kathleen Eisenbeis, consultant in government information
          policy and resources

     Dr. Keith Clark, Hunter College

     Dr. Robert Summers, Director of the South Carolina Land
          Resources Commission

     Dan Nelson, Legislative Assistant for Commerce Science and
          Transportation Committee, Senator Pressler


The public is invited to attend the workshop.  While there will
be no fee and advanced registration is not required, confirmation
of your attendance will help us plan the workshop.

Please provide the following information to the Taxpayer Assets
Project, at:

     Taxpayer Assets Project
     P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC  20036
     voice: 202/387-8030; fax:  202/234-5176
     internet:  aug6@essential.org


yes, I will be attending the August 6, 1992 workshop on
     Computers, Technology, and Public access to Government

Name:               _____________________________________

Title:              _____________________________________

Affiliation:        _____________________________________

Address:            _____________________________________

Telephone:          _____________________________________

Fax:                _____________________________________

EMAIL:              _____________________________________


End of PRIVACY Forum Digest 01.11

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