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RIGHTS_1 by thesiddharthsolanki


[The following is provided via the courtesy of the Internet Society White House Press Release Gopher Service.] E X E C U T I V E O F F I C E O F T H E P R E S I D E N T THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary ______________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release February 22, 1993 REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT TO SILICON GRAPHICS EMPLOYEES Silicon Graphics Mountain View, California 10:00 A.M. PST THE PRESIDENT: First of all, I want to thank you all for the introduction to your wonderful company. I want to thank Ed and Ken --we saw them last night with a number of other of the executives from Silicon Valley -- people, many of them with whom I've worked for a good length of time; many of whom the Vice President's known for a long time in connection with his work on supercomputing and other issues. We came here today for two reasons, and since mostly we just want to listen to you I'll try to state this briefly. One reason was to pick this setting to announce the implementation of the technology policy we talked about in the campaign, as an expression of what we think the national government's role is in creating a partnership with the private sector to generate more of these kinds of companies, more technological advances to keep the United States always on the cutting edge of change and to try to make sure we'll be able to create a lot of good new jobs for the future. The second reason -- can I put that down? We're not ready yet for this. The second reason I wanted to come here is, I think the government ought to work like you do. (Applause.) And before that can ever happen we have to be able to get the people, the Congress, and the press who have to interpret

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									From: (Richard Johnson)
Subject: Rights of Expression in Cyberspace [News Article] (long)
Message-ID: <johnsonr.683513550@horton.Colorado.EDU>
Date: 30 Aug 91 00:52:30 GMT

The following story appeared in my local free paper (advertising revenue
supported). It's sympathetic to those of us who think our rights
stop when we log in, and accurate as far as I can tell. So, there are
reporters out there who follow this sort of thing with the same sort of
attitudes I do. Some of them even have ideas for writing books...

The Colorado Daily is the private newspaper serving Boulder and the
of Colorado, Boulder community. Article below reproduced with


NEW QUESTIONS EMERGE ABOUT COMPUTER CRIME computer technology creates new legal, ethical boundaries

Colorado Daily Staff Writer

As technology outstrips the ability of the average person to understand
many law enforcement officials seem to be even further behind.

In the last two years, federal agencies, such as the U.S. Secret Service
the FBI, have rolled up computer networks and bulletin boards, in some
because they couldn't understand information that was being transmitted.

The closures have led to the establishment of a group seeking to extend
Amendment protections to a medium that was never envisioned by the
framers of
the U.S. Constitution -- computer communications between individuals and
small, independent groups.

The communication takes place in what is described as Cyberspace -- a
nervous system that is entered through a computer keyboard, connecting
millions of people around the world by radio waves and fiber optic

With as many as 7 million people around the world communicating through
Cyberspace daily, this form of communication may transmit more
than any other.

But in the United States, constitutional protection is usually
interpreted as
applying to the written or spoken word. The right to assemble, so the
goes, relates to a specific location.

Cyberspace is relatively unprotected and even less understood, its users

"We commonly think of freedom of the press beginning when a printing
hits a piece of paper," said Diane Dvorin, a spokeswoman for the First
Amendment Congress at CU-Denver's Graduate School of Public Affairs. "But
before that, people were scratching messages in the sand. The medium is
the issue. The issue is the freedom to express what comes into one's
mind. It
transcends technology.

But some police agencies do not agree.

In January 1990, the U.S. Secret Service launched Operation Sun Devil --
two-year investigation that involved 150 federal agents, several local
state law enforcement agencies, and the combined security divisions of
U.S. West, American Express, U.S. Sprint, and several [additional] baby

Four people were indicted. Three went to jail, and one had charges
But the raid, which involved 27 searches in 14 cities around the country,
down numerous bulletin boards, rolled up 40 computers and 23,000 disks,
phones, modems, tape players, compact discs and any other electronic
contraptions that were suspected of harboring evidence of wrongdoing.

Besides the four suspects, none of the owners of this equipment was
with any crime. Their equipment was held as evidence for months, and some
never returned.

The "crime" that instigated this sweep was the copying on a computer
board of a three-page text file that outlined the administrative
and responsibilities for marketing, servicing, upgrading, and billing for
South's 911 system.

At the time of the raid, Secret Service agents estimated the value of the
information at precisely $79,449. An agent told the mother of one of the
hackers who obtained the text that the theft may have caused more than a
billion dollars of damage to the U.S. economy.

The federal agents even confiscated the equipment of the systems operator
tipped them to the presence of the strange text on the Jolnet bulletin

The fourth suspect, who escaped a jail term, did so because a group
formed to
look into government abuses of computer-related freedom of speech learned
the same 911 information was available by mail for $13, according to Jack
Rickard, the publisher of Boardwatch, a Littleton based magazine dealing
computer bulletin boards and private computer networks.

"A lot of local police departments, the FBI and Secret Service have taken
action against bulletin board systems, and they haven't been very smart
it. They have pulled some enormously embarrassing boners. Essentially,
arrested a lot of computers. They've taken systems off-line and returned
a few months later."

Rickard and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, among others, sponsored a
convention in Denver last weekend to discuss ways of dealing with such

The EFF was co-founded by John Perry Barlowe, a Wyoming cattleman and
for the Grateful Dead, and Mitch Kapor, founder of the Lotus Development

"Their mission is to extend the same protection to online communications
exist for the written and spoken word in the U.S. Constitution," Rickard
"Part of that mission is to educate law enforcement personnel."

Lest the 911 incident be seen as an exotic, isolated incident, Rickard
out that a California man recently had his door broken down by armed
and had his equipment hauled away because he had tried to enter a network
up by a dermatologist using the wrong password.

"Unfortunately for him, the number the phone company assigned the
dermatologist's network had belonged to another popular bulletin board
had gone out of business a few weeks earlier," Rickard said. "He was just
trying to get into a system that didn't exist anymore.

"These agencies are running over the garden, the house and the baby just
get the bathwater."

Rickard said these mistakes can be devastating to a bulletin-board
especially if one is just starting a business.

"It doesn't matter that you are found innocent," he said. "By the time
you pay
all the lawyers, just to get your equipment back, it just wasn't worth

Dvorin said it is a case of overkill many times.

"A number of computer seizures had to do with taking the whole computer
search of a single document," she said. But the issues go even further.

"If we're looking at the Bill of Rights, we see we have the right to
out, to say what we think, to assemble peacefully," she said. "If we are
on a
network conference, where are we gathering?"

Rickard said the issues are going to become more important as bulletin
and grassroots computer networks continue to grow. "Boulder has
400 bulletin board users," he said. "Two hundred of them are active."

Worldwide, Rickard estimated that 7 million people use computer networks
bulletin boards on a daily basis. By contrast, Prodigy, the largest
network, claims 1 million users and probably has 250,000 he said.

His magazine was started in 1987 as a short newsletter listing current
numbers for Bulletin boards. At present, it is a full-size magazine and
distributed in 56 countries.

"There are 30,000 bulletin boards in the country. I can see a million of

At the convention in Denver, organizers were expecting 175 people, and
showed up.

But the problems with law enforcement misunderstanding of system's
"needs to be dealt with right away."

Dvorin agrees. "We need to make this a broad-based citizen issue
the integrity of communications, the integrity of data, the integrity of
information. The First Amendment should apply to all media."

Richard Johnson

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