EFFector Online Newsletter

EFFector       Vol. 15, No. 22       July 25, 2002     ren@eff.org

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

In the 222th Issue of EFFector:

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*This alert is from our friends at the ACLU.

In the last several days, a national firestorm has started to build around a program proposed by President Bush to recruit one million volunteers to act as spies and informants against their neighbors. Under the proposed program -- which the President is calling Operation TIPS -- the government would recruit letter carriers, utility workers, cable installers, and others whose jobs allow them access to private residences to report "suspicious activities."

But the plan has run into trouble in Congress. The House is moving to reject the President's program. It is not clear what the Senate will do, but it is likely to vote on the bill in the coming days. The fate of this deeply misguided program could very well rest with the Senate.

Take Action! Your Senators will play a key role in deciding whether or not Operation TIPS will go ahead. You can read more and send a FREE FAX to your Senators, urging them to reject this misguided program, from our action alert at:



EFF board chairman Brad Templeton's parody of the TIPS proposal:

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New Project Tracks Wireless-Friendly Service Providers

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 25, 2002

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today posted a list of Internet service providers (ISPs) that allow customers to share wireless Internet access with their neighbors and passers-by through the use of low-cost wireless hubs.

Wireless community networks provide Internet services to anyone in the vicinity of a wireless hub in the network without all participants having to sign up with a traditional Internet Service Provider (ISP). This relatively new and grassroots phenomenon democratizes access to Internet services and helps to span the digital divide by providing anyone within the physical vicinity access to the Internet. In more concentrated wireless service areas, wireless networks provide seamless Internet connectivity to people who travel through a geographical area.

"Sharing wireless access is a valuable community service, but many ISPs don't see it that way," said EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "Some, like New York's Time Warner Cable, have begun enforcing radical terms of service that let them sue customers who share wireless access."

"There's a huge demand for the freedom to operate community wireless access points," von Lohmann added. "We're making sure people have the information to make informed decisions when they choose their ISPs and identifying vendors who can provide that service."

Wireless community networks are an explosive phenomenon, with millions of wireless cards sold in the US every year. One community wireless network group, NYC Wireless, provided critical infrastructure after the September 11th tragedy. Just as today's amateur radio operators backstop emergency services in times of need, so will tomorrow's community "freenets" form a bulwark against disaster.

For this release:


For the list:


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Sen. Ernest Hollings, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Rep. Billy Tauzin, chairman of the House Commerce Committee, sent letters last week to Michael Powell, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) encouraging him to adopt a controversial "broadcast flag" for digital television.

The proposed broadcast flag is a an identifier embedded in digital broadcasts that would tell hardware devices whether or not the material is copyrighted and the manner in which it may be copied. The rules would require makers of digital TV hardware and software to apply controls which restrict the public's use of copyrighted materials broadcast over digital TV. For instance, the flag could damage the public's fair use rights, including its ability to transfer materials over home networks or share single copies of material with family members.

Hollywood studios have been the chief proponents of broadcast flag regulations. In fact, a copy of the Microsoft Word document containing Hollings' letter shows that it originated from a computer belonging to Nicole Stevenson from the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) Washington, D.C. office.

Previously, many observers had expected Tauzin to consider legislation mandating that manufacturers comply with the broadcast flag rules. There is considerable controversy over whether the FCC has jurisdiction to impose such a mandate without specific legislation. Contrary to what Hollings suggests, there is also considerable debate about whether these rules are in the public's interest. EFF believes that they are not.

It remains to be seen whether the FCC believes it has authority to act, and, if so, whether it will choose to act. EFF plans to send its own comments to Chairman Powell and to continue working with critics of the broadcast flag mandate to ensure that our concerns are heard.


Letter from Sen. Hollings:

Letter from Rep. Tauzin:

A brief overview of our concerns with the broadcast flag:

Our rebuttal to the MPAA's FAQ on the broadcast flag:

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CAFE 2002 - A Benefit for EFF's Campaign for Audio-Visual Free Expression

Thursday, August 22nd, 2002 9pm - afterhours

On Thursday, August 22nd, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the DNA Lounge present CAFE 2002 - a Benefit for EFF's Campaign for Audio-Visual Free Expression. Join the hottest DJs of the electronic dance music scene, celebrity boxers and the foremost cyberspace activists as we party to protect the future of music. All proceeds from the event will directly benefit EFF's CAFE project, helping to preserve your freedom to express yourself in innovative ways.

The night features world-class electronic music artists and a special treat: celebrity boxing with Wil Wheaton and Barney! Wil Wheaton, of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Stand By Me fame, will take on Barney the purple dinosaur in a celebrity boxing matchup for the history books. Watch and see if Wil with his backing from EFF can protect free speech and parody on the Internet and defeat Barney and his team of corporate lawyers. Get down and party-and know you're helping protect the rights and future of your favorite artists. Hear a great mix of breaks, dnb, techno, experimental, and industrial.

Featured acts include:

DDR (Stay Up Forever, Smitten/UK): DDR has been an active player on the London Acid Techno/Trance underground since 1990 with his involvement with the Full-On and Bedlam sound systems, throwing parties and festivals in and around London and later throughout Europe. DDR's production skills led to a meeting of minds with the Liberator D.J. trio which resulted in a first vinyl release on Stay Up Forever No. 2. Since then an excess of over 100 releases have been clocked up on labels that include; Stay Up Forever, Cluster, Smitten, Routemaster, Antidote, Choci's Chewn's, Input, and his own imprints Hazchem and C.O.S.H.H.

Kid606 (Tigerbeat6, Ipecac): While trying to be the youngest person to make power electronics a popular form of music, he discovered rhythm after sampling zena-geva and breaking his sampler in the process of making a breakbeat. Many many samplers later (the kid currently favors a kurzweil k2000rs and akaiS3000xl) he joined spacewurm on their quest to "intellectualize" gabber and also started ariel with fellow wurmer V to "deintellectuallize" techno. Both projects went the way of andy warhols vital signs so he started recording under the name Kid606. When not working on more emo-jungle-digital-indie-trashy-punk-noisy -wicked-electro-techno-hardcore-IDM-soul to follow up his "don't sweat the technics" full length, in his spare time kid606 likes to do remixes for other people or get other people to do remixes for him.

RSVPs are appreciated. For more information, contact:

To reserve your ticket, contact:
Katina Bishop
EFF Education Director
415-436-9333 x101

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Did you love/hate him on Star Trek: The Next Generation? Did you laugh/cringe in sympathy at the leeches scene in Stand By Me? Need one last signature to round out your autograph collection of childhood movie stars?

Do we even need to ask how you feel about Barney the purple dinosaur?

RSVP quickly for the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) VIP Party with Wil Wheaton immediately preceding CAFE 2002: a Benefit for EFF's Campaign for Audio-Visual Free Expression.

Join Wheaton and the foremost cyberspace activists for drinks in the upstairs room of the DNA Lounge, San Francisco's leading dance club. Enjoy free drinks, good company, and excellent music. Take the battle against Barney and his legal thugs into your own hands with a swing at EFF's ferocious Barney pinata.

Former technology entrepeneur and cypherpunk Sameer Parekh, now an electronic musician and event promoter, will play a mix of fresh minimal techno and electro for your aural edification.

All proceeds from the event will directly benefit EFF's CAFE project, helping to preserve your freedom to express yourself in innovative ways. Tictets are $50 (includes cost of CAFE 2002 and two drinks).

When: August 22, 2002 at 8:00 p.m.
Where: The DNA Lounge 375 Eleventh Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

To reserve your ticket, contact:
Katina Bishop
EFF Education Director
415-436-9333 x101

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EFFector is published by:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation
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San Francisco CA 94110-1914 USA
+1 415 436 9333 (voice)
+1 415 436 9993 (fax)

Ren Bucholz, Activist

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