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FYI, die alte Ausgabe des GILC - Newsletter


>GILC Alert
>Volume 1, Issue 2
>November 10, 1997
>Welcome to the Global Internet Liberty Campaign Newsletter
>Welcome to  GILC Alert, the newsletter of the Global Internet Liberty
>Campaign. We are an international organization of groups working for
>cyber-liberties, who are determined to preserve civil liberties and
>rights on the internet.
>We hope you find this newsletter interesting, and we very much hope that
>you will avail yourselves of the action items in future issues.
>If you are a part of an organization that would be interested in joining
>GILC, please contact us at gilc@gilc.org. If you are aware of threats to
>cyber liberties that we may not know about, please contact the GILC
>members in your country, or contact GILC as a whole.
>    [A1] United States Senate Introduces "Son of CDA"
>  ++  [B1] Africa/Middle East
>        [B1.1]  Dubai and Censorship
>  ++  [B2] Asia/Oceania
>        [B2.1]  Hong Kong Issues Internet "Code of Practice"
>        [B2.2]  Singapore's New Guidlines
>        [B2.3]  Vietnam Monitors Internet
>  ++  [B3] Europe
>        [B3.1]  European Commission Examines French Proposal
>++    [B4] North America
>        [B4.1]  FCC: PC V-Chip?
>        [B4.2]  ADL Releases Report on Internet Hate-Speech
>   [A1] United States Senate Introduces "Son of CDA"
>U.S. Senator Dan Coats (Republican from Indiana), the original sponsor
>the failed Communications Decency Act, has introduced another piece of
>legislation that seeks to ban material that is "harmful to minors."
>Under this new law, the goverment would be able to imprison commercial
>online distributors for six months and fine them $50,000. Coats's law
>requires businesses to ask for a credit card or proof of age before
>diplaying any "harmful material."  The bill vaguely defines "harmful
>material" and fails to provide any guidance to what "harmful to minors"
>actually means.
>"By claiming that the bill addresses only web sites involved in
>commercial      distribution, Senator Coats says he is 'hunting with a
>rifle' but in fact, he has lobbed another virtual grenade into the heart
>of the Internet," said Ann Beeson, an ACLU National Staff Attorney and
>member of the legal team that defeated the CDA.
>Any business merely displaying material without first requiring a credit
>card or other proof of age could be found liable under the statute,
>criminalizes commercial distribution of words or images that could be
>deemed "harmful to minors," even if no actual sale is involved, Beeson
>Stay posted for more information on this new bill.  See the ACLU Press
>Release http://www.aclu.org/news/n111397a.html Read the bill:
>   [B1] Africa/Middle East
>        [B1.1]  Dubai and Censorship
>The second richest emirate in the United Arab Emirates federation will
>invest $2.7 million to aid in censoring the Internet.  The Inter Press
>Service reports that the Dubai Police Chief, Major General Dhahi Khalfan
>Tamim, acknowledged that "putting air tight restrictions on access to
>Internet is impossible.  But we (Dubai) have not lost hope especially
>since we came to know that Singapore has successfully done it."
>Dr. Mansour Al-Awar, from the Dubai Police, said that the Internet is "a
>danger to the high moral values, traditional practices and religious
>beliefs of Gulf States."  The Internet, according to Tamim needs the
>kind "of censorship applicable to books, publication and movies, and
>the spread of radical and racists ideas among children."  Therefore,
>Dubai has outlawed pornography, violence, nudity, homosexuality, and
>lesbianism on the Internet.  Dubai will use the $2.7 million to further
>police the Net.
>Dubai will employ the British Firm JBB Consultancy Services to analyze
>information being downloaded.  "The Net Map system traces user patterns
>by identifying how certain sites on the web are visited.  Through the
>of a collection device attached to the main telephone line and an alarm
>signal, the authorities can be alerted each time forbidden information
>viewed or downloaded."
>[B2]    Asia/Oceania
>   [B2.1] Hong Kong Issues Internet "Code of Practice"
>Back in July, the Hong Kong Internet Service Provider Association
>(HKISPA) thought the best way to keep children from "harmful" materials
>on the Internet was to equip parents with information.  They posted a
>statement from Hong Kong's Television and Entertainment Licensing
>Authority (TELA).  In "Protect Our Young Persons from Indecent Materials
>on the Internet," TELA and HKISPA inform parents about filtering
>software.  The statement ends: "Parental guidance is an effective means
>to protect young persons from objectionable materials on the Internet.
>Spend time with your children on surfing the Internet.  If your children
>surf the Internet by themselves, check up on them regularly to see how
>they are doing.  Encourage your children to discuss with you if they
>any offending sites particularly those with indecent or obscene
>HKISPA and TELA have lost their trust in parents.  The government and
>association of 40 internet service providers have recently issued a
>of Practice" to regulate "obscene" or "indecent" material on the
>Internet.  The Xinhua News Agency reports the guidelines as providing
>detailed procedures to deal with complaints.  Upon reciept of a
>complaint, and ISP will investigate and potentially block the Web site.
>The code also requires that HKISPA members "take reasonable steps to
>prevent users from placing or transmitting materials as class iii
>(obscene)."  Content providers must also also post warning notices to
>class ii (indecent) materials.
>To read the new Code of Practice:http://www.hkispa.org.hk/Obscene_e.htm
>    [B2.2] Singapore's New Guidlines
>Heeding an 18 member National Internet Advisory Committee (NIAC)
>suggestion to remove provisions of the Singapore Broadcasting
>Authority's (SBA) Internet Code that would "curtail genuine free speech,
>" Singapore's Ministry of Information and the Arts has released new
>guidelines that clarify prohibitions on speech.
>According to The Straits Time (Singapore), the revised code of practice
>has removed a clause that prohibited Internet content that might have
>incited contempt against the government.  Lim Hock Chuan, the SBA's CEO,
>felt the revision was appropriate because Singapore already has a
>Sedition Act.  Chuan argued that the "SBA has never censored political
>speech, and does not intend to do so.  The SBA is not against the
>freedom of political speech."
>Well, he means "registered" political speech.  The SBA has not removed
>provisions that call for Web sites to be registered with the government
>if they promote political or religious causes.  Three of Singapore's
>political parties and a dozen religious groups have chosen to freely
>advance their registered causes on the Internet.   Chuan says the
>registration is not an act of censorship; "we simply want to know who
>you are."
>The government has clarified its provision on hate speech.  Now, any
>content that "glorifies, incites or endorses ethnic, racial or religious
>hatred, strife or intolerance" is proscribed.  The SBA has also removed
>a provision that dealt with "religious deviations and occult practices."
>These are already regulated by Singapore's Society's Act.
>On the sex side, Chuan noted his concern that it would be impossible to
>monitor millions of sites the government deems objectionable, "including
>a quarter of a million that are pornographic."  That, however, hasn't
>stopped the government from blocking access to what it calls "100 mass
>impact pornographic sites" or from keeping eight monitors who surf the
>web regularly in search of sexual material. Chuan added that the SBA
>will still investigate complaints of offensive sites and block them, if
>In a bow to NIAC's recommendation that the SBA avoid vagaries and use
>specific language, the new regulations also prohibit sexual material
>that "depicts nudity of genitalia in a manner calculated to titillate"
>or "depicts a person, who is, or appears to be under 16 years of age in
>sexual activity, in a sexually provocative manner or in any offensive
>The SBA estimates that Singapore Internet users stand at 230,000, double
>last year's number.  Web sites have also seen an explosion from 2,003 in
>1996 to 5,400 by September of 1997.
>Read the new guidelines: http://www.sba.gov.sg/newsrel.htm#p26
>   [B2.3] Vietnam Monitors Internet
>Vietnam is the home of barely 100,000 computers, and only a few thousand
>citizens have access to simple E-mail.  Those facts, however, have not
>stopped the government from censoring the information superhighway.
>While Vietnam's communist government wants to catch up with the rest of
>the world, it still envisions an Internet infrastructure that can
>contain and monitor information.  Rulers from behind "the Bamboo
>Curtain" want the curtain's reach to cover the digital world as well.
>The Saigon Times Daily, recently reported that the Ministry of Interior
>decided that Internet access providers as well as Internet service
>providers must keep firewalls for Internet information.  IAPs and ISPs
>must keep track of the information that is transmitted on the networks
>for at least 30 days.  The ISPs must also block Web sites containing
>information "harmful to national security."  According to the Ministry
>of Interior's decision, people must not "take part in or organize
>seminars on political, economic, cultural and social issues relating to
>Vietnam of their own free will."  Furthermore, any organization wishing
>to use the Internet to send information must first submit to officials
>at the Ministry of Culture and Information a detailed list of all
>employees and official papers, which authorize the organization to use
>the Intenet.
>  [B3]  Europe
>    [B3.1] European Commission Examines French Proposal
>Even though the situtation has been volatile, the European Commission
>has been examining France's "liberalizing" of current encryption laws.
>The European nation was the only Western nation to completely ban
>domestic use of cryptography.
>While the Commission has approved of the "technical" aspects of the
>French proposals, more specific legislation might need to be developed
>for France's laws to correspond to European Commission Directives.
>Just ask the Dutch, who have moved to delay the entire EC process.  The
>Dutch believe that even France's new policy would violate European
>free-market ideals.
>The European Commission adopted on October 8th, 1997 a Communication on
>Ensuring Security and Trust in Electronic Communication (COM(97) 503 :
>http://www.ispo.cec.be/eif/policy/).  In this document, the EC analyzed
>the drawbacks of 'trusted-third-party'-based systems, and of restrictive
>cryptography laws (pointing out that, with this issue and in the union
>of European states, France stands alone).
>According to the EC Communication : "Key access schemes are considered
>by law enforcement agencies as a possible solution to cope with issues
>like encrypted messages. However, these schemes and associated TTPs
>raise a number of critical questions that would need to be carefully
>addressed before introducing them.  The ongoing discussion of different
>legislative initiatives in the US is an illustrative example of the
>implied controversy. The most critical points are vulnerability,
>privacy, costs and effectiveness".
>The European Information Service reports,  France, under the new
>legislation,will have the option of maintaining instruments that
>contribute to "public security," like monitoring, while it has increased
>the flexibility of provisions on encryption use.  Under the French
>proposals, final users have access to encryption tools.
>The French proposals would allow users to use encryption for an
>electronic signature or to verify the authenticity of an unscrambled
>message.  Users may also use encryption to scramble messages, as long as
>a "trustworthy third party" is involved.  The licensing agreement for
>these "pre-approved" key-recovery banks, mandates that they surrender
>encryption keys to the government when requested.
>For a 10 page legal, economical and political analysis (in French) of
>why France should liberalize their current laws:
>   [B4.1] FCC: PC V-Chip?
>The controversial content-censoring V-chip being developed to filter out
>violent or sexually-explicit television programs, might soon be coming
>to a computer near you.  Last year's  telecommunications deregulation
>law compels makers of "any apparatus" with screens larger than 13 inches
>and designed to receive television signals to insert the signal-blocking
>The FCC cites technological advances that allow some computer models to
>receive TV programs, as a basis for their "concern."  The proposal
>reads: "Personal computer systems, which are not traditionally thought
>of as television receivers, are already being sold with the capability
>to view television and other video programming."  While arguing that the
>chip will not be able to control Internet sites or censor content, the
>FCC has solicited comment on this proposal.
>Some have already commented.  The Washington Times reported United
>States Congressman and chairman of the House Telecommunications
>Subcommittee, W.J. Tauzin's (a Louisiana Republican) critiques.  He
>said, "It's a typical overreach by the FCC.  Clearly, the FCC can expect
>a fight with Congress on this issue."
>Remarkably, Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Edward J. Markey (who first
>proposed the V-chip concept) tried to reassure the public that "the
>intent is not to impose the V chip on the computer."
>Dave Banisar, an attorney at the Electronic Privacy and Information
>Center, a GILC Founding Member, concludes that "this is a veiled attempt
>to back-door things like the [failed] Communications Decency Act.  Most
>computers are accepting video, and the distinction between what's going
>to be video for broadcast and video for the Internet is getting
>increasingly slim."
>   [B4.2] ADL Releases Report on Internet Hate-Speech
>On October 21st the Anti-Defamation League issued its report, "High Tech
>Hate: Extremist Use of the Internet."  In it, the ADL identifies more
>than 250 Web sites that preach Holocaust revisionism,  neo-Nazi
>doctrine, racism, and anti-Semitism.  The number of hate-sites have more
>than doubled, since the group released its 1996 report, "The Web of
>Hate."  In a press conference, Abe Foxman, the ADL's National director,
>pledged that the organization will "continue to expose [such groups], to
>hold them to public scrutiny and to counter their messages of hate."
>The ADL insists that "technology [has been] perverted" by haters, but is
>careful about proposing new government regulations.  In addition to
>examining the speech of  Internet "hate-groups," it also examines topics
>such as censorship, spamming, rating, filtering, and encryption. When
>dealing with encryption policy, the report cites criticisms from the
>business world, the scientific community and the civil libertarians:
>first, businesses are concerned that "they are being required to
>sacrifice income opportunities . . . [and a] technological leadership
>role  . . . for little or no compensating gain in national security."
>Next, computer experts believe that the United States  and Britain's
>proposed key recovery system is "effectively unworkable."  Finally,
>civil libertarians have privacy worries and view the policy advocated by
>certain governments as "an attempt to enhance government power."
>Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR), a GILC member,
>is quoted as saying that it's "an age-old attempt to remove privacy and
>liberty from the entire populace in the guise of protecting it from
>unsavory elements."
>"High Tech Hate" asserts, "hate must be countered with information that
>promotes understanding, tolerance and truth."  Even though the report
>offers no concrete solutions, it argues that "government regulation of
>the content of speech is more likely to interfere with the free exchange
>than to encourage it.  The interest of encouraging freedom of expression
>in a democratic society outweighs any theoretical but unproven benefit
>of censorship."  According to Austin American-Statesman, the ADL is
>working with America Online to develop software that allows people to
>filter out hate sites.
>Barry Steinhardt, Associate Director of the ACLU, a GILC founding
>member, has said that "filtering technology can be easily used to censor
>and to remove the decision making power from the end user and give it to
>governments and service providers. The ACLU applauds the ADL for
>bringing to light what they view as hate speech and for responding to it
> . . . But we are waiting to see precisely how the ADL software is to
>work and what their alliance with American Online will be."
>Read the ADL Press release: 
>Raafat S. Toss
>GILC Organizer Developer
>American Civil Liberties Union
>125 Broad Street
>New York, New York 10004
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