TUCoPS :: Privacy :: priv_419.txt

Privacy Digest 4.19 9/1/95

PRIVACY Forum Digest     Friday, 1 September 1995     Volume 04 : Issue 19

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

   	  The PRIVACY Forum digest is supported in part by the 
	      ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy,
     		     and the Data Services Division 
	           of MCI Communications Corporation.

	Son-of-Clipper proposal (John Levine)
	Impossible to prevent non-escrowed encryption? (Peter Kaiser)
	Newsletter recommendation (Charles M. Preston)
	Medicare leak through FOIA analysis and 9-digit ZIP (Quentin Fennessy)
	Highway Surveillance (Phil Agre)
	Metromail chief loses job over privacy concerns (Phil Agre)
	Security & Privacy (Richard Owen)
	"New" Crypto Policy Announced: Clipper II? (David Sobel)

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   Quote for the day:

		"Where did I go wrong?"

			-- "Nix" (Daniel Von Bargen)
			   "Lord of Illusions" (1995)


Date:    Sun, 20 Aug 1995 18:20:27 -0400
From:    John Levine <johnl@iecc.com>
Subject: Son-of-Clipper proposal

A short and not terribly informative article in the Wall Street Journal a
few days ago reported on a sort of son of Clipper proposal that seemed to be
intended for software encryption.  It also seemed to allow multiple
competing escrow agents, with a passing comment that they needed some way to
prevent mob controlled fly-by-night escrow companies from popping up.

More detailed info would be quite interesting, particularly in view of the
recently released documents that showed that law enforcement anticipates
asking for mandatory escrowed encription.


Date:    Mon, 21 Aug 95 08:53:33 MET DST
From:    Peter Kaiser <kaiser@heron.enet.dec.com>
Subject: Impossible to prevent non-escrowed encryption?

(The PRIVACY Forum Moderator writes, in PRIVACY Forum Digest 04.18):
> Since it's clear that there's really no way to stop all non-Clipper
> encryption ....

If the meaning is really "no way to stop all non-escrowed encryption", this
seems to me far too sanguine a view.  You're really writing only about the
USA, where privacy policy is still in debate.  Nothing about the quality of
that debate encourages me to think that effective non-escrowed encryption
is safe from being made illegal.

There are places in the world where effective encryption is already illegal
or illegal if not licensed with a permit and escrowed.  Some of these
places have representative governments -- I live in one of them.  Why
shouldn't it happen in the USA?



   [ France (where you appear to be located) is indeed one of the few
     countries, perhaps the only one in the "West", that has actually made
     non-approved encryption illegal.  However, I did not say that
     non-Clipper (non-escrowed) encryption couldn't be made illegal--perhaps
     with quite harsh penalities for use (especially in conjunction with the
     commission of other crimes).  I said that there's no way to actually
     *stop* all use of such systems.  It is probably safe to assume that
     even where encryption is illegal, there are entities that still use it
     in violation of local laws.  Drunk driving is illegal, but people still
     drink and drive.  When it comes to encryption, there's no way to stuff
     that genie back into the bottle.

     In the hypothetical case of a non-escrowed encryption ban, whether or
     not any individual violation would be deemed sufficiently significant
     to be prosecuted in any given case would of course be a matter of
     judgement (based on whatever criteria they choose or are directed to
     use by statute) on the part of the appropriate authorities.
     Governments have significant, real concerns regarding the impact on law
     enforcement that strong, non-escrowed encryption might possibly have in
     some situations.  However, other concerns, such as freedom of speech
     and privacy rights, are (or at least should be) among the fundamental
     human rights and also should come into play.

     No freedoms or rights are absolute--it's always a delicate balancing
     act.  But in the opinion of many, the area of encryption is one where
     the most weight should be assigned to the personal privacy side of the
					-- MODERATOR ]


Date:    Sun, 20 Aug 1995 11:45:18 -0800
From:    cpreston@alaska.net (Charles M. Preston)
Subject: Newsletter recommendation

   I would like to recommend a new publication called The Jarvis Report.  It
is a quarterly newsletter about industrial espionage, and some technical
tricks of the trade.  Ray Jarvis, who puts out the newsletter, has an
extensive government background in technical surveillance and he provides
classes for government and private security in countermeasures and
associated subjects.  His stated aim is to collect and analyze verifiable
instances of the theft of proprietary information, and to provide an overall
look at trends and problems.
   All 6 sections of the July issue were either useful or entertaining.
This edition includes an account of widespread electronic eavesdropping in
Israel, and suggestions on balanced line detection of series telephone line
   A newsletter sample (article on Israel) can be found in the Info-Sec
Super Journal area at http://all.net 
   The Jarvis Report is published by Jarvis International 
Intelligence, Inc., 11720 E. 21st Street, Tulsa, OK, 74129
          Tel 918-437-1100       Fax 918-437-1191
Charles Preston   Information Integrity   cpreston@alaska.net


Date: Sun, 20 Aug 1995 09:35:01 -0500
From: Quentin Fennessy <Quentin.Fennessy@sematech.org>
Subject: Medicare leak through FOIA analysis and 9-digit ZIP

   [ From Risks-Forum Digest,  Volume 17 : Issue 28  -- MODERATOR ]

I read an article on Medicare in the 20 Aug 1995 _Austin American-Statesman_.
The article was evidently done for the Cox Newspaper chain.  The article
talks of the deterioration of the service, and also touches on that fact
that a handful of doctors earn a disproportionate share of Medicare funds
paid out.

The article has a sidebar, which says, in short: Cox analyzed 100 million
computerized Medicare payment records for the report.  The information was
obtained via FOIA.  The doctors names were not released.  Evidently there is
an ongoing court case to release the doctors' names.  Cox was able to
identify some of the doctors.  The doctor's id codes were obscured by
Medicare, but the 9 digit zip codes of the doctor's offices were not.  Cox
was able to pinpoint individual doctors given this level of detail.

Risks: If information needs to be split into private and public components
then care needs to be taken for the job to be done correctly.  9-digit zip
codes divide the US into fairly small areas and so can (and have) given away
the store.

This is not to say that I think this Medicare information should be kept
secret.  However, 9 digit zip codes in databases can be used to pinpoint all
sorts of details about folks.

Quentin Fennessy  quentin.fennessy@sematech.org


Date:    Tue, 22 Aug 1995 23:48:04 -0700
From:    Phil Agre <pagre@weber.ucsd.edu>
Subject: highway surveillance

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has been conducting
surveys of people who drive particular roadways.  They collect all license
plate numbers of cars driving past a certain point in a certain direction
during a certain window of time, they look those plates up in DMV files,
and they mail survey forms to the people whose names are attached to the
plates.  This practice raises serious civil liberties concerns.  It is
part of a larger push by state and regional transportation authorities
to expand their collection of statistical information on driving patterns.
Although the information they seek is aggregate in nature, it is gathered
through the capture and storage of significant amounts of individually
identifiable information which can be highly sensitive in nature.

This clearly sets a very poor precedent for citizens' ability to drive on
public roads without fear of surveillance.  It is far from clear that the
advantages to the public of creating these additional statistics in this
manner outweigh the danger of chilling the fundamentally important freedom
of association upon which democracy is based.

I have attached the text of the survey that one citizen received in the
mail.  This individual called the ACLU, who suggested passing the survey
along to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse at the University of San Diego,
from whom I obtained it.  Bold type is bounded by *asterisks*.


  Dear Motorist:

  The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is studying
  potential transportation improvements in the Sacramento - Stockton
  region.  We would greatly appreciate your assistance with this effort.

  On *Sunday, March 5, 1995*, Caltrans observed traffic on *Interstate 5*
  between Sacramento and Stockton.  On this day we believe we observed a
  vehicle registered to this address traveling *southbound*.

  Please have the vehicle driver take a few minutes to fill out and
  return the entire survey below.  This response is anonymous; *no
  personal information about you will ever be revealed.*  All records of
  names, addresses, and data sources connected with this survey will be
  destroyed.  Postage is pre-paid.

  If you should have questions regarding the survey or the study please
  call (916) 327-4577.  Thank you for your contribution to this important


  Cindy McKim
  Deputy Director

  If the vehicle license number appearing on the front of this survey
  was recorded in error, please check here [box] and return this form.


The "Intercity Travel Survey" asks questions about trip origin (home,
work, etc, city, zip, cross streets, time to the minute), destination
(likewise), number of people in the vehicle, frequency with which one
makes such trips, driver's age and sex, how many people live in the
household, how many motor vehicles are owned or used by members of that
household, the household's total annual income (six boxes for successive
income brackets), and "comments or suggestions".

It should be emphasized that this kind of routine surveillance is
probably not now illegal under US law.  For example, the Supreme Court,
in US v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276 (1982), has asserted that, so far as the
Constitution is concerned, "[a] person traveling in an automobile on
public thoroughfares has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his
movements from one place to another" (at 281).  But that doesn't make
it right.

The Supreme Court made its decision before a reasonable prospect arose
that individuals' travels might be routinely, automatically tracked
from origin to destination on a large scale.  This scenario is becoming
entirely imaginable, however, and proposals to this effect are found
in a variety of documents.  Citizens of Washington State, for example,
recently uncovered a report to the state Department of Transportation by
a prominent consultant suggesting that individuals' movements be routinely
tracked for statistical purposes by automatically tracking their cellular
telephones (see Risks 17.23).

This is a very serious matter.  Individuals who feel they may have been
subjected to automated surveillance on public roadways without probable
cause should certainly make inquiries with their local transportation
authorities and publicize what they learn on the net.

Phil Agre

	[ Another "interesting" system now being deployed here in California
	  is a remote infrared sensing system (combined with automated
	  license plate photography) to try detect (and ultimately subject
	  to various sanctions) vehicles in motion on public roads which
	  exceed emission standards.  The technology appears to be rather
	  unproven however, and reportedly has an annoying tendency toward
	  false positives--sometimes close to 70% false positives!

					-- MODERATOR ]


Date:    Wed, 23 Aug 1995 15:52:46 -0700
From:    Phil Agre <pagre@weber.ucsd.edu>
Subject: Metromail chief loses job over privacy concerns

The Privacy Journal 21(10), August 1995, reports that James D. McQuaid,
CEO of R.R.Donnelley's Metromail company will retire.  Back in December
the Wall Street Journal revealed that Metromail had been making commercial
use of voter registration lists in states where such use is prohibited by
law, and that it had used a fake survey about ice cream to add information
about individuals' ages to the data.  The company then became the subject
of a number of class action lawsuits.  PJ notes that the Direct Marketing
Association "never issued any sanctions against the company".  This is 
bound to raise questions about the effectiveness of self-regulation in
the highly controversial direct marketing industry.

Privacy Journal (PO Box 28577, Providence RI 02908) is an excellent montly
publication edited by Robert Ellis Smith.

Phil Agre


Date:    Fri, 01 Sep 1995 11:57:10 -0600
From:    Richard Owen <Richard.Owen@OAG.STATE.TX.US>
Subject: Security & Privacy

Does anyone know how this works in other states/countries?

In looking forward to the October meeting of the Capital of Texas ISSA
Chapter, which will be a debate on Privacy, does anyone know the official
position on the following question:

When I go to renew my driver's license (or possibly any other state record
or license - this case just came to mind because my wife just got a notice
to renew) they ask for you SSN and it appears may also take a digital photo
and digital image of your finger prints.  If someone else puts in an open
records request for all, or specifically your, Texas Driver's License info
what do they get?  Do they get everything including my SSN, picture, finger
prints, record, etc.?  Is there some way that the individual can protect
themselves and limit what can be given the state agency or limit personal
information the agency can hand out?

Does anyone know the official answers?  Does anyone know of similar
requests, uses, and dissemination of private data by public agencies
(federal, state, or local)?

If someone knows of official limitation in the collection, processing or
dissemination of private information, what controls are used to ensure that
the limits are followed?


Date:    Tue, 22 Aug 1995 01:47:24 -0700
From:    "David Sobel" <sobel@epic.org>
Subject: "New" Crypto Policy Announced: Clipper II?

   [ From Epic Alert 2.09 -- MODERATOR ]

"New" Crypto Policy Announced: Clipper II?

The Clinton Administration ended a year of silence on August 17 when
it issued a long-awaited statement on the Clipper Chip and key-escrow
encryption.  Unfortunately, the "new" policy is merely a re-working of
the old one -- the Administration remains committed to key-escrow
techniques that ensure government agents access to encrypted
communications.  The only changes are a willingness to consider the
export of 64-bit encryption (if "properly escrowed"), the possibility
of private sector escrow agents to serve as key-holders, and
consideration of software implementations of key-escrow technologies.

As EPIC Advisory Board member Whit Diffie observed in an op-ed piece
in the New York Times, the new approach won't work.  "While other
nations may share our interest in reading encrypted messages for law
enforcement purposes, they are unlikely to embrace a system that
leaves them vulnerable to U.S. spying.  They will reject any system
that gives decoding ability to agents in the United States."  Diffie
further notes that "64-bit keys are not expected to be adequate."

In a statement re-printed below, the National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST) announced two public workshops "to discuss key
escrow issues."  More information concerning these meetings can be
obtained from Arlene Carlton at NIST, (301) 975-3240, fax: (301)
948-1784, e-mail: carlton@micf.nist.gov.


End of PRIVACY Forum Digest 04.19

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