Electronic Privacy -- A Call to Action
Orr at ASUCHM.LA.ASU.EDU
Wed Feb 23 15:23:47 EST 1994
I am posting this as a matter of concern primarily to US email users.
Larry Orr (acting alone, not as a representative of any group)
>(Sorry for those of you who have seen this before. For those that haven't,
>this is a one-time mailing - further mass mailings will only be done over the
>HotWired mailing list. Thanks!)
>=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=PLEASE REDISTRIBUTE THIS MESSAGE WIDELY!!=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
>-=-=-=-For copyright information, please see the end of this file.-=-=-=-=-
>To: WIRED Online Information Services <hotwired at wired.com>
>Subject: Electronic Privacy -- A Call to Action
>This is a pivotal moment in history.
>The national security state, with the backing of the Clinton-Gore
>administration, is attempting a stealth strike on our rights. If they
>succeed, we could shortly find ourselves under a government with the
>automated ability to log the time, origin, and recipient of every call and
>e-mail message, to monitor our most private communications, to track our
>physical whereabouts continuously, and to keep better account of our
>financial transactions than we do -- all without a warrant.
>Fact: On Friday, February 4, 1994, the Clinton administration announced
>support for the Clipper Chip and SKIPJACK encryption scheme as national
>Fact: Federal security agencies have been meeting with telecommunications
>companies to design back doors into the entire National Information
>Infrastructure (NII), including every telephone and data network, even
>including fax machines. In other words, any system connected to the NII
>would be required to include a "back door" in order to facilitate
>monitoring by government agencies.
>We at WIRED Online believe that the adoption of these administration
>initiatives could result in a profound infringement of individual freedom
>and privacy, ours as well as yours. We urge you to read the rest of this
>letter, to examine the available materials, to consider these important
>issues for yourself, and to act to preserve the Bill of Rights in
>The proposed encryption scheme, which uses the SKIPJACK encryption
>algorithm and the Clipper Chip, relies on a "key escrow" system with a
>built-in "back door" so that security agents can decrypt and monitor even
>supposedly "secure" communications. While the administration claims that
>there will be "safeguards," the technology was developed by the virtually
>insular National Security Agency, and its algorithms remain classified.
>The scope of Clipper is significantly broader than any previous
>surveillance strategy. The Clipper Chip will be installed directly into
>telecommunications devices such as telephones, computers, and digital set-
>top boxes for interactive TV. Since the system can be used to encrypt any
>communications that pass across telecommunications lines (including text,
>sound and images), ANY AND ALL communication that passes through your
>system has the possibility of being intercepted.
>In addition, the administration's Information Infrastructure Task Force
>Working Group on Privacy is attempting to "front load" the NII with
>trapdoor technologies that would allow security agencies easy access to
>digitial conversations, including capturing electronic communications
>midstream. No communication system would be exempt from this effort, from
>the national telephone network to your local office computer network.
>Of course, the administration claims that these trapdoors will be used only
>to catch criminals and that your privacy will be protected. But, as John
>Perry Barlow has put it, "trusting the government with your privacy is like
>trusting a Peeping Tom to install your window blinds."
>These government inititatives, taken together, constitute one of the most
>grievous threats to our constitutional liberties in modern times. The
>security agencies and the administration are involved in a stealth strike
>at our freedoms that could effectively abrogate the Bill of Rights in
>cyberspace, where we and our descendants will be spending increasingly
>larger parts of lives.
>The Clipper initiative and the plans to require "back doors" throughout the
>NII demands immediate critical assessment. WIRED encourages you to
>seriously consider how these proposals might affect you. To help inform
>your decision, WIRED Online has set up a Clipper information archive
>through our Infobot mail server, Internet Gopher, World Wide Web, and other
>The WIRED Online Clipper Archive features crucial essays written for WIRED
>by John Perry Barlow and Brock N. Meeks. If you do nothing else, read these
>stories. You can have them sent to you immediately by electronic mail by
>copying the following three lines into the body of an electronic mail
>message addressed to infobot at wired.com:
> send clipper/privacy.meeks
> send clipper/privacy.barlow
>The WIRED Online Clipper Archive also includes re-posted comments from
>Jerry Berman (of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)) and Dorothy
>Denning (encryption expert and Clipper proponent), a copy of the EFF's
>_EFFector Online_ newsletter documenting the Clipper controversy, and an
>electronic anti-Clipper petition circulated by the Computer Professionals
>for Social Responsibility (CPSR). We have also set up links to other
>valuable sources of information on Clipper, including those maintained by
>the EFF and CPSR.
>You can access our archive via the following WIRED Online services:
> o WIRED Infobot e-mail server send e-mail to infobot at wired.com,
> containing the words "send
> clipper/index" on a single
> line inside the message body
> o WIRED Gopher gopher to gopher.wired.com
> select "Clipper Archive"
> o WIRED on World Wide Web http://www.wired.com
> select "Clipper Archive"
> o WIRED on America Online keyword: WIRED
> o WIRED on the WELL type "go wired" from any "OK" prompt
> type "clipper" to access the menu
>WIRED Online encourages you to take the time to familiarize yourself with
>these issues, beginning with the tools and access we've provided. Then take
>the next step -- ACT!!!
>Support the Cantwell bill. Write cantwell at eff.org and put "I support HR
>3627" in the Subject header. This bill is designed to give rise to a mass-
>market in cryptographic software, which is a necessary step to beating
>Clipper. Feel free to include in your letter to Rep. Maria Cantwell your
>reasons for supporting the growth of the encryption industry and reasons
>for opposing Clipper.
>To call for Senate hearings on Clipper, write Sen. Patrick Leahy to
>leahy at eff.org and express your concern that the Clipper process has been
>closed to the public.
>Express your sentiments to Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Indiana, the House
>Committee on Foreign Affairs chair, by e-mailing hamilton at eff.org.
>Sign the CPSR petition against Clipper.
>Call or write your Congressional representatives and let them know how you
>feel about the Clipper and NII "backdoor" initiatives, BEFORE a decision is
>made for you that will have a profound effect on the future of your freedom
>Please do not reply to this message directly. To discuss these issues with
>WIRED readers and staff members, please use discussion areas on the WELL,
>America Online, and USENET (alt.wired). If you have questions or comments
>about Clipper that are not answered in the online archives or these
>discussion spaces, please address them to online at wired.com and be sure to
>include the word "clipper" in the subject line.
>If you would like to receive future WIRED-related bulletins, you can
>subscribe to our new Hotwired mailing list. To do so, just send an e-mail
>message to infobot at wired.com containing the line
> subscribe hotwired
>This low-volume moderated list is a great way to keep abreast of important
>issues on the Digital Frontier and to find out about new services offered
>here at WIRED Online.
>Thanks for your attention.
>-- The staff of WIRED Online
>=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=WIRED Online Copyright Notice=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
> Copyright 1993,4 Wired Ventures, Ltd. All rights reserved.
> This article may be redistributed provided that the article and this
> notice remain intact. This article may not under any circumstances
> be resold or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior
> written permission from Wired Ventures, Ltd.
> If you have any questions about these terms, or would like information
> about licensing materials from WIRED Online, please contact us via
> telephone (+1 (415) 904 0660) or e-mail (info at wired.com).
> WIRED and WIRED Online are trademarks of Wired Ventures, Ltd.
More information about the Photosyn