EFFector Online Newsletter

EFFector       Vol. 15, No. 21       July 19, 2002     ren@eff.org

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

In the 221st Issue of EFFector:

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Congress Takes Aim at Your Privacy, Increases Sentences for Computer Crime

Electronic Frontier Foundation ACTION ALERT

(Issued: July 19, 2002)

On July 15, 2002, the House of Representatives passed the Cyber Security Enhancement Act (CSEA) in a landslide vote of 385-3. CSEA is a bill that, among other things, makes it easy for the government to get your electronic communications without a warrant or probable cause. Here's a brief summary:

What YOU Can Do:

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ICANN Director Demands Disclosure

ICANN's Actions Illegal and Hampering Reform

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

For Immediate Release: Monday, July 15, 2002

Los Angeles - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today asked the Los Angeles Superior Court again to grant Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Director Karl Auerbach access to records ICANN management has withheld improperly for over eighteen months.

EFF explained in a legal brief that ICANN's excuses have no foundation in case law or California statutes. ICANN falsely portrays Auerbach as a malicious "dissenter-for-the-sake-of-dissenting," which is an insufficient basis for denying Auerbach the legal rights and responsibilities of a corporate director.

"I'm simply trying to do the job I was elected to do," explained Auerbach. "ICANN management and other directors have a different view of reform, but that doesn't justify denying me the right to inspect corporate records."

"Mr. Auerbach was elected to his current position as an ICANN director on the basis of his sincere belief that ICANN must change," explained EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "He has no hidden agenda to 'harm' ICANN; instead he has a very public agenda to reform and improve ICANN."

Auerbach, the North American Elected Director of ICANN, began asking for corporate records in November 2000 shortly after he was elected to the Board. After ICANN management delayed for nine months, it granted Auerbach conditional access to corporate records if he signed a "policy" -- which the Board of Directors had not ratified -- that placed his ability to access and copy the records at the discretion of ICANN.

EFF contends that only a court can constrain Auerbach's access to corporate documents and that ICANN's specious "policy" is unreasonable.

"ICANN's arguments are disingenuous," asserted Cohn. "ICANN has presented no evidence that Mr. Auerbach's beliefs about the need to reform ICANN in any way imply that he will engage in self-dealing or otherwise violate his duties as a director."

EFF also argues that recent corporate collapses illustrate the importance of management oversight.

Mr. Thomas H. Wyman, former Board Director of General Motors and of Delphi Automotive Systems, recently observed in the New York Times: "The director's real role is to smell trouble. And to find out if it's real. And to ask questions, again and again... think of the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the lives that would have been better, if somebody had blown the bugle at Enron two years ago."

The case, entitled Auerbach v. ICANN, case no. BS074771, was filed in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County.


For this release:

Documents related to the Auerbach v. ICANN case:

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IT CEOs Write Letter to Hollywood

On July 15th, technology industry CEOs responded to a letter from entertainment executives asking how the two industries could address digital movie piracy. Focusing on voluntary, consensus-based solutions and a respect for technologies that would encourage innovation, the letter is a firm response to Hollywood's aggressive legislation and litigation tactics.

The motion picture industry has been involved in several legislative bids to mandate technology standards and harm consumers' fair use rights in the last year. The Broadcast Protection Discussion Group (BPDG), Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA) and Representative Berman's proposal on regulating peer-to-peer technologies are examples of Hollywood's legislative agenda.

EFF welcomes the technology industry's strong stance on these issues. The letter correctly states that peer-to-peer file sharing is "a basic functionality of the computing environment" and this functionality must not be disregarded when fighting piracy. EFF also supports the idea that "focusing on technology in isolation, and only on digital rights management technologies in relation to piracy, will limit the search for solutions to only one aspect of a multifaceted challenge."


IT CEOs to Hollywood Letter:


EFF comments presented to Department of Commerce:

"California Lawmaker Calls for P2P Vigilantism":

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Blogathon to Benefit EFF!

Karen Kelly is blogging for bucks and sending them to EFF! She has been kind enough to select us as her charity of choice in the upcoming Blogathon, where webloggers are getting sponsors, typing for 24 hours and giving the cash to good causes. The Blogathon promises to be an entertaining look at sleep depreived digital-charity. The 24-hour period kicks off at 6am PST July 27, 2002. Check out her site and make a tax-deductible pledge of support today!


Sponsor Karen Kelly:

Visit Karen Kelly's blogathon site:

Visit the Blogathon site:

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Commerce Dept. Considers Digital Rights Management

Electronic Frontier Foundation Submits Fair Use Comments

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Advisory

Washington, DC - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed comments to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration pointing out the dangers that digital rights management (DRM) technologies pose to the doctrine of fair use under American copyright law.

DRM technologies seek to restrict use of online materials while the fair use doctrine permits the public to make use of copyrighted works without authorization for commentary, parody, education, research, time-shifting, space-shifting, and other purposes.


For this advisory:

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Word Training Request

The EFF Legal Team is seeking a volunteer legal secretary or other advanced Microsoft Word user to give us an in-house training. We're hoping someone can help us better use styles, templates, captions, line numbering, tables of contents, tables of authorities, footnotes and other features of Word that are regularly used in litigation. Alternately, we'd love someone who can introduce us to (and teach us to use) an open source tool that can easily handle all of these while at the same time seamlessly interoperating with the many volunteer lawfirms with whom we work, all of whom use Microsoft Word or Wordperfect.

If you can help, please contact Henry Schwan, owlswan@eff.org

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