TUCoPS :: Privacy :: priv_509.txt

Privacy Digest 5.09 4/20/96

PRIVACY Forum Digest       Saturday, 20 April 1996       Volume 05 : Issue 09

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

               The PRIVACY Forum is supported in part by the          
                 ACM (Association for Computing Machinery)
	         Committee on Computers and Public Policy,      
          "internetMCI" (a service of the Data Services Division         
      of MCI Telecommunications Corporation), and Cisco Systems, Inc.
                                 - - -
             These organizations do not operate or control the     
          PRIVACY Forum in any manner, and their support does not
           imply agreement on their part with nor responsibility   
        for any materials posted on or related to the PRIVACY Forum.

	Caller ID in Calif. (Beth Givens)
	Janet Reno's New Cyberwar Policy (nmunro@technews.com)
	EFF Opposes Ridiculous and Anti-Net Trademark Bill in Georgia
	State-level med/priv note (Peter Marshall)

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   Quote for the day:

        "I do believe in spooks!"
	     -- The Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr)
	        "The Wizard of Oz" (MGM; 1939)


Date:    Mon, 8 Apr 1996 11:35:15 -0700 (PDT)
From:    Beth Givens <bgivens@pwa.acusd.edu>
Subject: Caller ID in Calif.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        Contact: Beth Givens
April 4, 1996                                (619) 260-4160

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Funded to Conduct Education Campaign

     The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse joins a statewide campaign in
California to spread the word about the privacy impacts of Caller ID. It is
one of 43 consumer-related organizations to receive grant funds from Pacific
Bell and GTE as part of the massive consumer awareness campaign required by
the California Public Utilities Commission.
     "Telephone privacy is precious to many Californians," said Beth Givens,
director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. "Half of the households in the
state have unlisted numbers, the highest percentage of any state." 
     Starting June 1 in California, telephone numbers will be transmitted
when calls are made. Those who subscribe to the Caller ID service and who
purchase a special display device will be able to see and capture the
calling party's number. Phone users who do not want their number to be
released can take advantage of blocking options, offered free. The purpose
of the consumer education campaign is to alert consumers to those blocking
options -- Complete or Selective Blocking (called Per Line and Per Call
Blocking, respectively, in other states).
     "Our job, and that of the other grantees, is to reach people who might
not be aware of the announcements on TV, the radio and newspapers," said
Givens. "The Clearinghouse is especially concerned about those who are at
risk from the release of their phone number -- victims of domestic violence
and stalking, and the shelters which serve them; people who want to remain
anonymous when calling hotlines for AIDS counseling, suicide- prevention,
and the like; and people in professions like law enforcement, mental health
counseling, and teachers who need to shield their phone numbers when calling
clients from home." 
     The Clearinghouse offers an 8-page guide called "Caller ID and My
Privacy." Consumers can call (800) 773-7748 (California only, elsewhere
619-298-3396) to order. The guide provides an in-depth discussion of the
many privacy implications of Caller ID.
     The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is a grant-funded program administered
by the University of San Diego Center for Public Interest Law. In operation
for over 3 years, it has received 33,000 calls from California consumers. It
offers 19 guides on a variety of consumer privacy issues, including privacy
in cyberspace, telemarketing, credit reporting, government records,
workplace privacy and medical records.

### NOTE: The fact sheet "Caller ID and My
Privacy" is on the Clearinghouse's Web site: URL:http://www.acusd.edu/~prc
(Click on fact sheets / English / number 19.)

Beth Givens				Voice: 619-260-4160
Project Director			Fax: 619-298-5681
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse		Hotline (Calif. only):
Center for Public Interest Law		   800-773-7748
University of San Diego			   619-298-3396 (elsewhere)
5998 Alcala Park			e-mail: bgivens@acusd.edu
San Diego, CA 92110			http://www.acusd.edu/~prc

		[ Informal reports have indicated that the
		  two main California telcos, Pacific Bell 
		  and GTE, have been swamped with calls from people
		  wishing to establish the "complete blocking"
		  service.  No actual figures have apparently been made
		  available yet.
			          -- MODERATOR ]


Date:    Mon, 15 Apr 1996 16:20:20 -0400 (EDT)
From:    nmunro <nmunro@technews.com>
Subject: Janet Reno's New Cyberwar Policy

	Attorney General Janet Reno has asked several cabinet members to
createt a cyberspace defense "entity" and to help establish a national
cyberwar defense policy.
	If approved by the cabinet members - and by President Bill Clinton -
the policy would be drafted by a government task force, according to Reno's
March 14 memo.  The task force would be chaired by a civilian appointed by
Clinton, and would recommend a national cyberspace defense policy within 12
months, following discussions with national security and law-enforcement
agencies, industry executives and privacy advocates.
	Reno's memo represents the latest government effort to counter what
intellligence and defense officials say is a new national security threat -
the threat of destructive hacker-attacks against the nation's electronic
infrastructure. Government officials say that the nation's phone system,
power-grid, and other critical information-based networks could be wrecked
by hacker attacks sponsored by foriegn countries.
	The cyberspace defense "entity" suggested by Reno would be headed 
by the FBI, and is intended to provide advice and technical help to 
agencies seeking to protect their critical information networks.
	Reno made her request in a March 14 memo to the secretaries of
commerce, energy, treasury and transportation. The memo was also sent to
John Deutch, the Director of Central Intelligence, John White, the deputy
secretary of defense, Louis Freeh, director of the FBI, and six other senior
	The memo was created after a White House battle debate lasting at
least one year, during which Deutch, White and others tried to win President
Bill Clinton's approval for a formal Presidential Review Directive on
"Information Assurance." If it had been approved, the PRD would have created
a government-wide board to study the dedvelopment of a national cyberspace
defense policy.
	Further information about the policy - and the rise and fall of the
proposed PRD - can be found at Washington Technology's website -
	Email nmunro@technews.com if you want a fax of the memo, complete
with Reno's signature. The NYT has already been faxed a copy of the memo.

	Washington Technology is a biweekly newspaper covering the business
and politics of information technology for its 40,000 subscribers, and is
based in Vienna, Va.


Date:    Wed, 17 Apr 1996 17:48:01 -0700
From:    editor@eff.org
Subject: EFF Opposes Ridiculous and Anti-Net Trademark Bill in Georgia

    [ From EFFector Online Volume 09 No. 04 -- MODERATOR ]

Note: That's the US state of Georgia, not the Republic of Georgia.
Many state and local governments have passed legislation that appear to be
unconstitutional restraints on speech sent over the Internet.  One state
that recently passed a Bad Law is Georgia.  Georgia House Bill 1620
currently sits on the governor's desk awaiting his signature.  EFF weighed
in and voiced our concerns about this legislation, asking the governor to
veto the bill.  

Among the problems with this legislation is that it would not only make 
it a crime to use someone else's trademark in user IDs, domain names, and 
other online contexts - regardless of the fact that in most cases the 
trademarks in question would not even apply, and it would also 
criminalize the use of pseudonyms, and furthermore make it illegal to 
link from your homepage to another site without permission.

The constitutionality of the law, as well as it's wisdom, is highly 
questionable, as is the compatibility of it with existing intellectual 
property law (for example it could essentially grant the first to 
trademark a term or name in a particular field a monopoly on online use 
of that term or name, in *all* fields, despite that fact that any number 
of non-competiting companies can have nearly identical trademarks in 
completely different areas of commerce.)

Incidentally, BellSouth appears to be a major mover-n-shaker behind this 
legislation, and has filed suit (two days before announcing plans to 
enter into the Internet service market, no less) against an 
online service, realpages.com, for alleged trademark violation 
(BellSouth's tradmark is "The Real Yellow Page". Confusingly similar?
Applicable at all?  Not likely.)

Very similar legislation has existed in draft form in California for 
some time, and may hit other states and countries soon. Keep and eye out!

EFF Staff Counsel Shari Steele send the following letter to Georgia Governor
Zell Miller, explaining the problems with the new act and encouraging a veto.

						Electronic Frontier Foundaton
						1550 Bryant Street, Suite 725
						San Francisco, CA  94103
						(415) 668-7171; (415) 668-7007 (fax)
						Internet e-mail:  eff@eff.org

Governor Zell Miller
State Capitol
Atlanta, GA  30334

April 16, 1996

Via Facsimile:  (404)656-5948

Dear Governor Miller,

I am writing to you in my capacity as Staff Counsel for the Electronic
Frontier Foundation (EFF) to ask that you veto Georgia House Bill 1630, 
Computer or telephone network; transmitting misleading data.  EFF was 
founded in July of 1990 to work on protecting the free speech and privacy 
rights of users of new technology.  Since that time, EFF has been 
involved in numerous battles against laws and actions that restrict the 
free speech rights of users of electronic bulletin board systems (BBSs) 
and the Internet.  I fear that the Georgia legislature has just passed a 
bill which, if signed into law, will significantly hamper the 
development of the Global Information Infrastructure (GII, frequently 
referred to the Information Superhighway) and will result in an 
unconstitutional restraint on the free speech rights of the citizens of
Georgia, the United States, and the global Internet.

To help you understand the ramifications of this legislation, I'd like to
take a minute to explain some basic things about electronic communications.
First, individuals are not identified online by their "real world" 
names.  Instead, they are identified by electronic mail addresses, which are 
composed of a "user ID" and the "location" of the individual's network
access provider.  Sometimes an individual gets to choose his or her own 
e-mail user-ID.  But sometimes a random user ID is assigned to the 
individual by the service provider.  For example, the online service 
provider CompuServe assigns user IDs like 102527.2327 and 75223.2153, which
do not clearly identify the sender of the electronic message.

Even where an individual gets to select his or her own user ID, it is rare
that a person identifies him or herself by full name.  In fact, many 
people identify themselves instead by words or heroes in which they have 
a personal interest.  For example, I know a person whose user ID is 
calliope.  I know another whose user ID is mnemonic, named for the 
character "Johnny Mnemonic" in the science fiction novel of the same 
name by William Gibson.  I know yet another whose user ID is elvis.  
Even my user ID, which is ssteele, does not clearly distinguish me
from others with the last name of Steele and the first initial "S."

This brings us to the first problem with the current bill.  The language of
the bill makes it illegal for a sender of a message to "falsely 
identify" him or herself.  All of the user IDs I've mentioned 
are false identifications, similar to the "handles" people use on citizen's
band radios.  It is and has always been legal for people to use any name 
they choose as long as it isn't for a fraudulent purpose.  I can be 
Samuel Clemens to one set of people and Mark Twain to another set and 
nobody is harmed.  Or Andrew Hamilton and Publius.  Or ssteele@eff.org and
Shari Steele.  While it is true that some people may be harmed when 
others intentionally create confusion, by sending a message designed to 
look like it came from an identifiable other person, the bill 
criminalizes a vast array of everyday conduct in its attempt to reach this
harm.  Besides, there are already laws on the books that make it illegal 
to commit fraud or to fraudulently use the likeness of another that can 
be enforced where harm has occurred.  Georgia House Bill 1630 makes 
criminals of the vast majority of us who communicate online.

Next, the Internet is comprised of thousands of computers connected to one
another.  The World Wide Web is a graphical area of the Internet that 
allows users to move seamlessly from site to site by simply clicking on 
a mouse button.  This is often referred to as "surfing the net" and is a 
basic quality to the World Wide Web.  For example, I could get to Wired 
magazine's web site by clicking on a button at the Electronic Frontier 
Foundation's web site.  I then would be seamlessly transported to 
Wired's site.  Wired magazine loves this arrangement, because
the more people they get visiting their web site, the more successful 
the site is.

Which brings us to the second problem with the current bill.  The language
of the bill would make it illegal to create a button on our web site 
with Wired's "trade name" or "logo" without first obtaining "permission 
or authorization" from Wired magazine.  Of course Wired magazine would 
give us permission -- they do not want to have a web site that no one
visits.  In fact, the more sites that "link" to Wired's site, the better 
it is for Wired.  It's like making it illegal to take a copy of a 
newspaper that is labeled "free" on the top without first obtaining
permission from the publisher.  Or like making it illegal to look up a 
friend's phone number in the phone book and put it into a neighborhood 
directory or a bridge club newsletter.  The problem is that H.B. 1630 
would make criminals out of virtually everyone with a web site (for all web
sites link to others) when the sites being linked to would always give 
permission for the link.

Furthermore, because of its vague language, it appears that the bill would
make it a crime even to mention Wired magazine in writing an electronic 
review of their magazine or their articles without first obtaining their 
permission.  The right to criticize other peoples' work is basic to our open 
society; it is how errors are corrected and differences of opinion are
aired.  It would be senseless to have the right to criticize a story 
from the New York Times without being able to mention that the story was 
printed in the New York Times!  Even if reviewers went to the
effort contemplated in the bill of contacting the company and asking its 
permission, many companies would refuse permission to use their names in 
reviews that disagreed with the companies. This sabotages the 
whole process of critical review that keeps our society tending toward truth.

Finally, the entire purpose of the bill seems to be to protect intellectual
property, such as trademarks and logos.  But there are already laws in 
place on both federal and state levels that protect these things.  The 
legislature has created a poorly crafted, unconstitutional law to protect 
something that is already protected.  There is no rational reason to make
criminals out of all users of the Internet.

I hope that I have helped shed some light on the dangers of this
legislation.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation urges you to veto H.B. 
1630 as an unnecessary and unconstitutional restriction on the free 
speech right of Internet users.  I invite you to contact me if you have any 
questions or concerns about the legalities surrounding electronic
communications as you consider your actions regarding this bill.  My 
telephone number is (301)375-8856. And you can reach me via Internet 
e-mail at ssteele@eff.org.

Thank you for your consideration.


Shari Steele
Staff Counsel
Electronic Frontier Foundation

cc:	Ms. Mary Beth Westmoreland, Georgia Department of Law, 
                                          fax:  (404) 651-6459
	Mr. Michael Bowers, Attorney General, fax:  (404) 657-8733


Date:    Thu, 18 Apr 1996 18:40:20 -0700 (PDT)
From:    Peter Marshall <rocque@eskimo.com>
Subject: state-level med/priv note

WA State seems to pride itself on its Basic Health Plan and seemed to also
deserve privacy strokes for its all-too-unusual policy of *not* asking
applicants to disclose their SSNs. Indeed, the BHP is quite willing to
assign a non-SSN identifier. The BHP's application packet even contains some 
examples of how an applicant's SSN could be used should one choose to
disclose it. So far so good....  

But, curiously perhaps, according to state sources, the take-rate for
those opting *not* to disclose their SSN in these circumstances is a mere
1.5% of the 60,000 "families" the state says are currently enrolled.
Erosion of "expectation of privacy" and all that? Perhaps--at least to an

But services under the BHP are--of course--provided through HMOs. It turns
out that the state seems to omit to disclose subsequent uses of one's SSN
by participating *HMOs*; thus raising questions not only about adequacy of
disclosure, but also about informed consent, relationship to that 1.5%
take-rate; and, perhaps most interestingly, to what at first--and
superficial blush--is what *looks like* a "progressive" posture toward
personal information-privacy. That, they said, is what some of their
consumer research told them WA's citizens wanted, after all....

Peter Marshall


End of PRIVACY Forum Digest 05.09

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