TUCoPS :: Privacy :: priv_521.txt

Privacy Digest 5.21 11/24/96

PRIVACY Forum Digest      Sunday, 24 November 1996      Volume 05 : Issue 21

            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.

	 Key Escrow & Govt. Crypto Controls (Prof. Dorothy Denning) on PFR
	    (Lauren Weinstein; PRIVACY Forum Moderator)
	 PRIVACY Forum Radio Interviews via Tape, CD-ROM, etc.
	    (Lauren Weinstein; PRIVACY Forum Moderator)
	 Southwestern Bell and SSNs (Rex Black)
	 Canadian private sector legislation by the year 2000 (Colin Bennett)
	 University plans to publish personal info (Edward Fischer)
	 Big Internet is Watching You (Martin Minow)
	 La Belle Province Vous Aime [re: Hydro Quebec] (Alan P. Burke)
	 The final version of the NRC crypto report is now available! (CRYPTO)
	 New Bihman-Shamir Fault Analysis Paper (Bruce Schneier)
	 Community Space and Cyberspace (Susan Evoy)

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

The Internet 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@vortex.com" and must have
RELEVANT "Subject:" lines; submissions without appropriate and relevant
"Subject:" lines may be ignored.  Excessive "signatures" on submissions are
subject to editing.  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@vortex.com".  Mailing list problems should be reported to

All messages included in this digest represent the views of their
individual authors and all messages submitted must be appropriate 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 "ftp.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.  

All PRIVACY Forum materials are available through the Internet Gopher system
via a gopher server on site "gopher.vortex.com".  Access to PRIVACY Forum
materials is also available through the Internet World Wide Web (WWW) via
the Vortex Technology WWW server at the URL: "http://www.vortex.com";
full keyword searching of all PRIVACY Forum files is available via
WWW access.


   Quote for the day:

	"Is... a... puzzlement."

		-- King Mongkut of Siam (Yul Brynner)
		   "The King and I" (Fox; 1956)


Date:    Sun, 24 Nov 96 11:05 PST
From:    lauren@vortex.com (Lauren Weinstein; PRIVACY Forum Moderator)
Subject: Key Escrow & Govt. Crypto Controls (Prof. Dorothy Denning) on PFR

Greetings.  A new PRIVACY Forum Radio installment is now available for your
information and listening enjoyment.  In this approximately half-hour show,
I speak with Professor Dorothy Denning (Georgetown University), a well-known
advocate of key escrow, key recovery cryptographic systems.  During the
program our discussions cover a range of topics including third-party key
systems, possible future government controls over domestic cryptography,
international crypto concerns including competition and export controls, and
other related issues.

To access the show (along with software and instructions for playback),
please follow the links to PRIVACY Forum and PRIVACY Forum Radio


Thanks much.



Date:    Sun, 24 Nov 96 14:38 PST
From:    lauren@vortex.com (Lauren Weinstein; PRIVACY Forum Moderator)
Subject: PRIVACY Forum Radio Interviews via Tape, CD-ROM, etc.

Greetings.  I've been receiving increasing numbers of queries from persons
interested in obtaining PRIVACY Forum Radio interview materials through
non-online mechanisms, either for initial listening or archival purposes.
This is certainly technically possible--all of the interviews are produced
and preserved as CD-quality digital audio. 

Interviews could be made available via cassette tape, conventional audio
CDs, and/or via CD-ROMs, either on a one-shot or subscription basis.
Whether or not this would be a practical exercise would be largely dependent
on demand.  If sufficient numbers of individuals, libraries, and/or other
institutions and entities are interested, I'll certainly see about making
the materials available in this manner.  I can't make any cost estimates at
this point, since demand would again be an important factor; certainly the
Forum could use the support that such distribution might potentially provide.

If you have possible interest in any of these alternate forms of PRIVACY
Forum Radio distribution, please drop an e-mail note to:


Please be sure to specify which format (tape, CD, or CD-ROM) is of
most potential interest.  Thanks very much.



Date:    29 Oct 96 11:20 CST
From:    Rex Black <Rex_Black@dell.com>
Subject: Southwestern Bell and SSNs

Hi all--
Yesterday I called Southwestern Bell to order a fax/modem line for 
my home office.  In the course of the discussion, I found out that 
they had my social security number in my file as an identifier.  I 
suppose I thoughtlessly gave it to them when I ordered service.  
(I've occasionally been worn down by clerks who insist that they 
just can't proceed on their precious form without my SSN, and 
therefore I can't get X service or Y product, which, in the case of 
a telephone, could be a problem. :-)

Anyway, I raised somewhat of a stink about this, asking the clerk 
if she could remove my SSN from the file and replace it with my 
driver's license number.  She went off for a while, spoke with a 
supervisor, then came back and said, yes, she would do that for me. 
I probably need to call back in a couple days with some spurious 
inquiry and make sure that this indeed happened.

The moral of this story is that Southwestern Bell customers who 
don't want their SSN floating around in a file that also includes 
home address, home phone number, spouse's name, etc., may want to 
call and get it removed.


		[ It is indeed possible that they removed your SSN.
		  It is also possible that they simply added your DMV
		  number, and your SSN is still buried in there somewhere.
		  Since these systems are so dependent on single unique 
		  identifiers, it is often the case that really replacing
		  one identifier with another isn't at all simple, even
		  if the customer service agent *thinks* that's what
		  they are doing.

		  On one hand, many people don't want their SSN used in
		  commercial situations where it isn't necessary.  However,
		  most people don't want their records confused with those
		  of other individuals.  As you'll recall from the
		  Lexis-Nexis controversy, sometimes the surest way to find
		  a record to correct or delete, is by using the SSN, since
		  most other fields (name, address, etc.) can easily change
		  over time.  The big problem of course is that with only the
		  data elements protected by the Fair Credit Reporting Act
		  really being under any sort of control, SSNs can be used
		  for a variety of fraudulent or other criminal purposes by
		  unscrupulous individuals.

		  Meeting the often opposing goals of personal privacy and
		  accurate identification is a decidedly non-trivial task.
		  User chosen passcodes and PINs are one possibility that
		  can help with the identification side of the equation.
		  Unfortunately, many organizations have been unwilling to
		  implement or continue using such systems, sometimes after
		  getting poor response to them from customers who complain
		  about needing to remember codes for account access.  The
		  right way to deal with this problem, of course, is to let
		  those individuals who want to have a unique passcode use
		  that system, and allow those who don't to opt-out.
			-- MODERATOR ]	


Date:    Sat, 2 Nov 1996 16:13:25 -0800
From:    Colin Bennett <cjb@UVic.CA>
Subject: Canadian private sector legislation by the year 2000

Subscribers should be aware that Allan Rock, the Canadian Minister of 
Justice, made the following commitment to the International Privacy 
Commissioners Conference in September:  "By the year 2000, we aim to 
have federal legislation on the books that will provide effective, 
enforceable protection of privacy rights in the private sector." 

It is probable that any private sector policy will be based on the 
Canadian Standards Association's recent Model Code for the Protection of 
Personal Information.   But there will continue to be considerable 
discussion over oversight and enforcement questions, and in particular 
about federal/provincial jurisdictional questions.  

An analysis of these issues can be found in "Regulating Privacy in 
Canada:  An Analysis of Oversight and Enforcement in the Private 
Sector."   This is now on the epic website:  

Colin Bennett
Department of Political Science
University of Victoria
Victoria, B.C.  Canada, V8W 3P5

			[ In general, there seems to be much more activity
			  in the direction of privacy legislation outside
			  the U.S., though in some countries the situation
			  is getting worse, not better.

			  Sometimes well-intentioned legislation can have
			  unexpected side-effects.  Broadcasters in Europe
			  have expressed concern that new regulations
			  regarding registration of and access to databases
			  could extend to digital audio and video recordings
			  created and archived during the preparation of
			  news stories, with a number of possibly alarming

			  Still, as we've seen before, privacy issues
			  often cannot be reasonably dealt with in a
			  piecemeal fashion through the commercial sector,
			  and legislative efforts seem to represent the only
			  feasible approach in many cases.
				-- MODERATOR ]			  


Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 16:17:28 -0500
From: EdFischer@aol.com
Subject: University plans to publish personal info, apparently without

I received a solicitation for a "Carnegie Mellon University Alumni
Directory," available in book or CD-ROM form, from a commercial publisher
called Publishing Concepts, Inc. of Dallas, Texas. I was surprised to learn
that I would be included in the directory even though I had not consented to
it.  Here's the letter I wrote to my alma mater:

--- begin quoted text ---

Mr. Steven L. Calvert
Director, Alumni Relations
Carnegie Mellon University
Alumni House
5017 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213

Dear Steve:

Thanks for taking a few moments with me on the phone yesterday to 
allow me to express my concerns about the alumni directory. As I 
promised, I've outlined my objections on paper for you.

As I'm sure you're aware, privacy and confidentiality are 
important issues. When alumni give you personal information such 
as home address and phone number, I'm sure they don't expect you 
to make that information public. At the very least, there seems 
to be a normal expectation that you'll be using the information 
only for "internal" purposes: annual fundraising, mailing 
newsletters, and similar things.

(I am referring to the alumni directory as "public," even though 
you may argue that it is only semi-public since it is only 
available to CMU alumni. But when potentially thousands of copies 
are being distributed, and when you immediately lose control of 
those copies, such distribution must be considered public.)

There may be circumstances where alumni would not want this 
information published. I can think of two examples of undesirable 
recipients, one quite ominous: telemarketers and stalkers. I 
don't think you can be sure that the community of CMU alumni 
doesn't include either or both of these.

By forcing alumni to "opt out" of the directory, rather than 
allowing them to "opt in," you are running the real risk of 
putting someone in danger -- someone who may not even be aware 
that you are publishing his or her home address and phone number. 
Remember that the CMU alumni community includes actors and 
actresses, business people, and possibly battered spouses.

Let me repeat my own preference: you do not have my permission to 
distribute my name, address, or phone number to anyone for any 

I would like to see CMU withdrawn plans for the alumni directory 
until an *opt in* procedure is implemented. Thanks again, Steve, 
for taking these issues seriously.

Very truly yours,

Edward Fischer
Class of '75

---end quoted text---

		[ This turns out to unfortunately be a common practice.  I
		  had a similar experience when UCLA solicited me for
		  purchase of the alumni directory along with a sheet of my
		  data that they wanted "updated".  No obvious "opt-out"
		  choice was apparent, and I had to call around trying to
		  find the right people, then write, to ask not to have my
		  information included.  It was a considerable effort.  

		  This is but another aspect of the current philosophy that
		  personal information (however you wish to define it) is
		  the property of the entity who currently holds it, and
		  that the person about whom that information exists has few
		  rights regarding that data.


Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 07:29:32 -0800
From: Martin Minow <minow@apple.com>
Subject: Big Internet is Watching You

Over the past month or so, a mailing list I subscribe to has endured a flame
war with a disgruntled (ex-)subscriber. A few days ago, an anonymous
participant provided what I'll call an Internet Biography of the subscriber.

The anonymous message began with "I had some free time this morning, and
just for fun, thought I'd  create a brief Net profile of our friend ..."
Among the discoveries are the following:

-- Home address and phone number from http://www.yahoo.com
   (Four11 people search)
-- Birthday from http://www.boutell.com/birthday.cgi/[Month]/[Day]
-- Company name and internet domain ownership from InterNIC.
-- An uncomplimentary "who is ..." from a private academic site.
-- A Usenet author profile showing over 500 messages posted to about 50
   newsgroups over the last 18 months from http://www.dejanews.com profile.
-- An uncomplimentary note from an academic, private "legends" homepage.
-- Several professional contributions to FAQ's.

Over ten years ago, when computer bulletin boards appeared at my former
employer, I formulated "Minow's law:" "never write anything you don't want
to see on your resume." I seem to have been more prophetic than I expected.

Martin Minow, minow@apple.com

		[ I remember discussing some of these issues with Martin
		  many, many years ago, back in the days when the Internet
		  community was very small and the information available via
		  the net comparatively very limited.  Even then, it was
		  becoming obvious that sending public messages was like
		  standing up on a soapbox and giving a speech.  Of course,
		  back then the crowd listening was typically orders of
		  magnitude smaller than what can occur today...



Date:    Fri, 08 Nov 1996 15:48:31 -0800
From:    "Alan P. Burke" <aburke@ibm.net>
Subject: La Belle Province Vous Aime [re: Hydro Quebec]

Hydro Quebec reassures us on each bill that:

"When you next call us, don't worry if we ask for your social insurance
number. We're only doing this in order to confirm your identity and
guarantee once and for all that your personal file is exclusively yours
and fully confidential."

Why would a government-owned corporation which has intimate knowledge of
its subscribers' location want to have confirmation of identity? Why
shouldn't I worry?


			[ Most likely it's for account access control.
			  As I discussed above in a comment to an
			  earlier message, the use of these numbers
			  as an expedient unique database identifier is
			  commonplace.  Also as discussed above,
			  use of PINs or passcodes could help provide
			  an alternative for account access identification
			  purposes, at least.

					-- MODERATOR ]


Date: Fri, 08 Nov 96 15:28:00 EST
From: "CRYPTO" <crypto@nas.edu>
Subject: The final version of the NRC crypto report is now available!

The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of the National
Research Council (NRC) is pleased to announce the availability of its
cryptography policy study "Cryptography's Role in Securing the Information
Society".  This report was originally released in pre-publication form on
May 30, 1996.

The final printed version of this report can be obtained from the National
Academy Press, 1-800-624-6242 or Web site http://www.nap.edu/bookstore.  The
pre-publication version and the final printed copy differ in that the
printed copy contains an index and many source documents relevant to the
crypto policy debate; of course, editorial corrections have been made as

An unofficial ASCII version of the prepublication report can be found at
http://pwp.usa.pipeline.com/~jya/nrcindex.htm; the official NRC version
should become available online in ASCII form in December.

In addition, CSTB has been conducting briefings on this report at various
sites around the country; if you would like to arrange a briefing in your
area, please let us know (cstb@nas.edu, 202-334-2605).


Date: Thu, 31 Oct 1996 09:57:52 -0500
From: Bruce Schneier <schneier@counterpane.com>
Subject: New Bihman-Shamir Fault Analysis Paper

The next Stage of Differential Fault Analysis:
How to break completely unknown cryptosystems

Eli Biham                       Adi Shamir
Computer Science Dept.          Applied Math Dept.
The Technion                    The Weizmann Institute
Israel                          Israel

           October 30-th, 1996

The idea of using computational faults to break cryptosystems was first
applied by Boneh Demillo and Lipton to public key cryptosystems, and then
extended by Biham and Shamir to most types of secret key cryptosystems.  In
this new research announcement, we introduce a modified fault model which
makes it possible to find the secret key stored in a tamperproof
cryptographic device even when nothing is known about the structure and
operation of the cryptosystem. A prime example of such a scenario is the
Skipjack cryptosystem, which was developed by the NSA, has unknown design,
and is embedded as a tamperproof chip inside the commercially available
Fortezza PC cards. We have not tested this attack on Skipjack, but we believe
that it is a realistic threat against some smart card applications which
were not specifically designed to counter it.

The main assumption behind the new fault model is that the cryptographic key
is stored in an asymmetric type of memory, in which induced faults are much
more likely to change a 1 bit into a 0 than to change a 0 bit into a 1 (or
the other way around). CMOS registers seem to be quite symmetric, but most
types of nonvolatile memory exhibit some degree of asymmetry. For example, a
1 bit in an EEPROM cell is stored as a small charge on an electrically
isolated gate. If the fault is induced by external radiation (e.g.,
ultraviolet light), then the charges are more likely to leak out of the gate
than to be forced into the gate.

To make the analysis simpler, we assume that we can apply a low level
physical stress to the tamperproof device when it is disconnected from
power, whose only possible effect is to occassionally flip one of the 1 bits
in the key register to a 0. The plausibility of this assumption depends on
numerous physical and technical considerations, which are beyond the scope
of this note.

We further assume that we are allowed to apply two types of cryptographic
functions to the given tamperproof device: We can supply a cleartext m and
use the current key k stored in the nonvolatile memory of the device to get
a ciphertext c, or we can supply a new n-bit key k' which replaces k in the
nonvolatile memory.

The cryptanalytic attack has two stages:

1. In the first stage of the attack, we keep the original unknown secret key
k stored in the tamperproof device, and use it to repeatedly encrypt a fixed
cleartext m_0. After each encryption, we disconnect the device from power and
apply a gentle physical stress. The resultant stream of ciphertexts is
likely to consist of several copies of c_0, followed by several copies of a
different c_1, followed by several copies of yet another c_2, until the
sequence stabilizes on c_f. Since each change is likely to be the result of
one more key bit flipping from 1 to 0 (thus changing the current key k_i
into a new variant k_i+1), and since there are about n/2 1 bits in the
original unknown key k, we expect f to be about n/2,and c_f to be the result
of encrypting m_0 under the all-zero key k_f.

2. In the second stage of the attack, we work our way backwards from the
known all-zero key k_f to the unknown original key k_0. Assuming that we
already know some intermediate key k_i+1, we assume that k_i differs from
k_i+1 in a single bit position. If we knew the cryptographic algorithm
involved, we could easily try all the possible single bit changes in a simple
software simulation on a personal computer, and find the (almost certainly
unique) change which would give rise to the observed ciphertext c_i.
However, we dont need either a simulator or knowledge of the cryptographic
algorithm, since we are given the real thing in the form of a tamperproof
device into which we can load any key we wish, to test out whether it
produces the desired ciphertext c_i. We can thus proceed deterministically
from the known k_f to the desired k_0 in O(n) stages, trying O(n) keys at
each stage. The attack is guaranteed to succeed if the fault model is
satisfied, and its total complexity is at most O(n^2) encryptions.

This seems to be the first cryptanalytic attack which makes it possible to
find the secret key of a completely unknown cryptosystem in polynomial time
(quadratic time in our case). It relies on a particular fault model which
seems to be realistic, but requires further study.  In the full version of
this paper we'll discuss numerous extensions of the attack, including the
analysis of more complicated fault models in which the sequence of corrupted
keys forms a biased random walk in the space of 2^n possible keys.

Bruce Schneier              
Counterpane Systems         


Date:    Sat, 2 Nov 1996 00:13:55 -0800
From:    Susan Evoy <sevoy@Sunnyside.COM>
Subject: Community Space and Cyberspace

                      Community Space and Cyberspace

                         What's the Connection?

             Exploring the Directions and Implications of
               Computer Networking Technology on Society

       Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing (DIAC-97)

                         *** A Conference ****

   Sponsored by Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR)

                       Seattle, Washington, USA
                            March 1-2, 1997

Visionaries, hucksters, social critics, politicians, and cyber-pundits of all 
stripes -- both amateur and professional -- have been more than
generous with their theories and prognostications on what
computer-mediated communication will mean for children, families,
neighborhoods, civic life, and society.

     What's the reality?     What's the hype?

          What do we hope for?      What do we dread?

               What is the potential?     What are the pitfalls?

         And what -- if anything -- can we do about it?

Will new forms of cyberspace media usher in a new egalitarian age or
will the distance between economic haves and have-nots grow ever
larger? Perhaps -- and this may be the likeliest -- cyberspace will
just carry on business as usual and nothing much will actually change
shape as a result.

The Community Space and Cyberspace conference will be an exciting mix
of informative and provocative presentations.  Howard Rheingold, author
of the best-selling book on how people commune in cyberspace, "The
Virtual Community:  Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier", will give
the keynote address on how "virtual" and geographical communities are
related to one another.  Also on the first day, numerous activists,
practitioners, and thinkers will discuss the significance of the new
communication technology on children, education, the economy and jobs,
social action, civic and cultural values, and many other topics

What will computer networking do *for* us and what will it do *to* us??

                        Help us answer this question!
                   Please join the discussion in Seattle!

DIAC-97 needs co-sponsors and supporters.  If your organization
endorses DIAC-97 (no charge!) your members can attend at the CPSR
rate.  We only ask that you help promote attendance at the conference.
We are also looking for financial support for the conference and for
our fundraiser the evening of March 2 at the fabulous Speakeasy
Internet Cafe in Seattle.  Please help us make this conference as
successful as possible with your personal or company donation.  If you
or the organization or company you represent would like to be listed or
linked as a co-sponsor or supporter, please contact Doug Schuler via
e-mail (douglas@scn.org) or by telephone (206-634-0752).  Thanks for
your support!

On Sunday, March 2, participants will be able to attend many of the 20
- 40 workshops that we are planning.  If you have skills, research, or
ideas to share PLEASE consider proposing a workshop.  The workshops in
previous DIAC conferences have been outstanding thanks to the
innovation, enthusiasm, and experience of the convenors.

Workshops will feature work being done in the Puget Sound region as
well as that from around the country, and possibly the world.  If you
are interested in convening a workshop, please fill out the workshop
proposal form at our web site.  Although any relevent workshop proposal
is welcome we especially encourage those around the following themes.

   * Computer Basics and Cyberspace Survival Skills
   * Changing Lives: Community Projects and Programs
   * Organizing With and Around Technology
   * Critical Issues: Public Policy at Local, Regional, National and 
        Global Levels
We hope to collect relevant papers and workshop proposals into a
proceedings that will be available to attendees and other interested

                     Confernce Registration Form
NAME: ___________________________________________________________

ADDRESS: ________________________________________________________


CITY:  ______________________   STATE: ____  ZIP: _______________

COUNTRY: ________________________ E-mail:________________________

                       Registration Fees (Check one)

CPSR member $50            __
Co-sponsoring org $50      __    Which Organization?  _________________
Regular $75                __
Student/Low Income $25     __

Please print and complete this form and send it with your check to:

CPSR/Seattle - Conference Registration
P.O. Box 85481
Seattle, WA  98145-1481


End of PRIVACY Forum Digest 05.21

TUCoPS is optimized to look best in Firefox® on a widescreen monitor (1440x900 or better).
Site design & layout copyright © 1986-2023 AOH