Computer underground Digest Sun Jul 14, 2020 Volume 8 : Issue 53 ISSN 1004-042X Editor: Jim Thomas ( News Editor: Gordon Meyer ( Archivist: Brendan Kehoe Shadow Master: Stanton McCandlish Field Agent Extraordinaire: David Smith Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala Ian Dickinson Cu Digest Homepage: CONTENTS, #8.53 (Sun, Jul 14, 2020) File 1--Meeks' article on site blocking software companies File 2--Singapore's Internet regulation to start on Monday July 15th File 3--Discussion Forum on Privacy on the Internet File 4--UK cyber-rights and cyber-liberties web site File 5--iStar memo: don't tell customers list of banned newsgroups (fwd) File 6--Tacoma decides to tax Internet File 7--DC-ISOC Event: July 16 File 8--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 7 Apr, 1996) CuD ADMINISTRATIVE, EDITORIAL, AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION ApPEARS IN THE CONCLUDING FILE AT THE END OF EACH ISSUE. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 09 Jul 96 00:38:26 -0700 From: "Vladimir Z. Nuri" Subject: File 1--Meeks' article on site blocking software companies Editor: I am writing in regard to Brock Meek's article on obtaining the secret databases of various blocking software companies. A lively discussion of some aspects of the article has followed on the Cypherpunks list ( and inspired many of the reactions herein. My first reaction to the article was of disappointment. Why are McCullagh and Meek obviously "picking a fight" with these companies? They have some decent points buried in the inflammatory rhetoric of the article (which I would rather not dissect line-by-line), but they seem to me to largely missing some key points that can be made about these "rating services": 1. These services are just starting-- they are in their infancy, an embryonic stage. They are sorting out how they want to deal with issues of publicity of their data, how they are to advertise their service to parents, how they are to differentiate themselves from each other, etc. It's just not very reasonable to criticize them for not having all the answers yet. Actually, I think they should be commended for advancing the technology so far in any extremely hostile, competitive, and emotionally-charged environment. 2. The services are NOT censorship. Use of the service is *entirely*voluntary*. Who are libertarians to rant at parents who independently have made the decision to use the service? While an informed and unbiased review of the services and their practices would be very valuable for those parents, Meeks' rabid reporting style is just the opposite of what is called for here. If the entire article were rewritten from a more unbiased and levelheaded point of view, it would be a public service. As it stands, it sounds like a call to arms. I suspect that not only are Meeks and McCullagh on the wrong side of the battle, the battle is exactly the wrong one to fight. 3. These services are right now *receiving*money* for their work. That is, a market has already arisen and apparently there is a valid economic role for these companies to play based on the fact there are already multiple, competing services operating on profits. This is really something to be delighted about-- it turns out that people who complain about material unsuitable for children are willing to put their money where their mouths are and actually support services that do the grunt work, and the whole endeavor can exist entirely independently of people who aren't interested in either funding or participating in it (no *taxes*, *lawyers*, or *bureacrats* required! hallelujah!). Why is Meeks making it sound so horrible? I believe we are witnessing the birth of a somewhat revolutionary new paradigm for information dissemination-- instead of burning books or libraries, zealots have an actual socially-acceptable channel for their seemingly inexhaustable energies, namely starting cyberspace ratings services! 4. Why is Meeks complaining that these services are preventing children from seeing certain material in all clearly borderline cases? A single rating service deciding that a site doesn't cut their criteria is not at all a verdict of global, deathly silence on that site. The mere fact that all the rating services are keeping their lists secret from each other would tend to prevent a global blacklisting. In fact this is one disadvantage of sharing the data! The services may tend to unify in their "blacklistings" where now there is a diversity of opinion. 5. Parents want to err on the side of caution. It is not a calamity if some legitimate mailing list or web site is filtered from their children, as Meeks tends to suggest. Parents who choose such services may already be making similar conservative judgements in other areas of the child's lives. Meeks seems to be trying to create a controversy where none exists, by calling up the sites that are supposedly being "censored" and telling them that they are being "blocked", when perhaps ignorance of this is bliss for everyone involved. Do the parents who use the service really care? 6. The services are typically aimed at YOUNG children. I am all for letting children eventually be exposed to every aspect of our society, even those considered socially repulsive. However, a gradual plan that is very restrictive at first for the child at a young age, to something that is extremely "permissive" when they are at a later age, seems like the most sensible approach for parents to me. Furthermore, I suspect this is exactly what happens in the real world right now, in a general sense, if there were a study of the general trend of "permissiveness" of parents associated with chronological stages of child-raising. 7. Why does Meeks assume that parents want to know exactly what is on the lists? I think it is clear even from his own account that at least some of the services he mentions do a decent job of indicating the kinds of categories and criteria that they are blocking, and any more information than this may not be of any interest to the parent. Again, I think the best point is that the market *right*now* "deciding" what the optimal blocking service is. The fact that there are already so many different services is a sign that it is a healthy, fledgling new industry. 8. In the long run, so what if some kids are prevented from seeing material that may be important to them at some later age? What is there that is all that important to kids at young ages? As I suggested above, as long as the parents are following a plan of gradually exposing the child to everything in slow installments that finish when they reach 18, what we have here is "delayed exposure" to material, not so much "blocking". I suspect that these services are very soon going to have different age level categories if they don't already. And this can be simulated right now, apparently, by the parent simply picking appropriate categories they feel are correct out of the spectrum of ratings made by the agencies and revising as necessary. 9. If Meeks got the plans to the Pentium chip on a CD from an anonymous informant, would he publish it? Why then does he feel the need to broadcast and publicly ridicule the trade secrets of these blocking companies to the world, the information that they make their money by? Why does he insinuate he is doing a noble and daring public service? Why is there the subtle insinuation in the article, "if it's secret, it's not legitimate"? 10. Meeks doesn't seem to conceive of a simple observation. It's not a *problem* if the blocking services vary in their opinions of what is not acceptable to children. The decision of what is inappropriate to children is *subjective*, and all that is going on is that parents are hiring companies to help them make those subjective decisions. That's the beauty of the whole system-- the government is completely uninvolved, nor should it ever need to be, and the entire system is voluntary by all parties. Internet sites do not even have to be aware of the rating services. In general, I agree with an underlying theme of the article that perhaps more candor about selection criteria among the blocking services is in order. They do seem to have an atmosphere of paranoia and secrecy somewhat reminiscent of an intelligence agency. Nevertheless, Meeks could have written his article from a totally different view that takes the above points into account more fairly. It could have been a rosy article about how new information rating services are starting to flourish. Instead his article is bordering on what might be called, not merely a hatchet job, but buzz-saw journalism. That's his style. He doesn't appear to have ever met a new Internet development that he likes, at least based on his past articles. In fact Meeks at times seems to be an even bigger source of FUD than some scaremonger government bureacrats that he's targeted in the past. Can Meeks draw the basic distinction between blocking services, and companies like Point Communications whose awards are proudly displayed on web pages all over the planet? I see no difference. All these services have something basic in common: they are sifting through information to rate it and present the valuable stuff to their clients. The blocking companies simply do this through the process of elimination, and Point Communications (and other "cool web site compilations" that litter cyberspace everywhere) simply start from one of inclusion. Imho, we are right now witnessing the birth of a new industry--the meta-information industry, exemplified in e.g. Yahoo, which helps the world sift through information (and also includes blocking some of it). I highly recommend that libertarians reconsider any opposition they may have to these services under the different perspectives I offer above. Are these services the beginning of the end of the zest of cyberspace? Or are they instead possibly the beginning of a system whereby that zestiness is amplified in a positive feedback loop? Perhaps because there is a fresh new safety net being woven as we speak to prevent children from exposure to "inappropriate" material, the overall freedom of information dissemination benefits as a result. I am fully aware that Meeks recently won an award from a group of admirers, and I do have some respect for his past articles and scoops and willingness to donate his time toward a cause. However, I suggest that there is a narrow edge between what helps and hurts cyberspace, and often it is not clear what effect a particular development will have in the long run. I hope Mr. Meeks will be less smug and hasty in his future judgements of such (to say the least) in the future. Also, I have seen a very long and intricate discussion among cypherpunks about how to evade the blocking software. I suggest to everyone that trying to evade the basic situation that is going on here-- i.e. parents deciding how they want to raise their own children--is extremely dangerous territory. I would like to see libertarians instead come to the conclusion, and advocate it publicly, that it's not a big deal if kids are prevented from seeing significant aspects of the world before they are 18, and that they as adults are willing to support such a system, or at least not try to sabotage one that is put into place by others who are directly involved (i.e., parents, educators, child welfare specialists, etc.). Sincerely, Vladimir Nuri Note: more information on a sophisticated new ratings protocol called PICS that may be in widespread use sometime in the future by various ratings agencies is available at ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2020 14:15:51 +0100 From: Jean-Bernard Condat Subject: File 2--Singapore's Internet regulation to start on Monday July 15th By Geoffrey Pereira SINGAPORE'S cyberspace will be regulated from Monday under a new licensing scheme that aims to safeguard public morals, political stability and religious harmony. Two groups -- those who provide or sell Internet access and those who provide information with business, political and religious content -- will be deemed to be licensed automatically. They will have to follow a set of Singapore Broadcasting Authority guidelines on what material can enter Singapore's cyberspace. While the first group will also have to be registered with the SBA, not all of the second group, except for those whose home pages engage in local political or religious discussion and on-line newspapers which target Singapore subscribers, need to. To register, they will have to provide information such as the targeted readers, the names of the editors and publishers and the nature of the organisation behind them, a move to promote responsible use of the medium. The SBA announced the new Class Licence Scheme yesterday in a follow-up to moves earlier this year. The scheme will cover two main categories of Internet providers. Internet Service Providers (ISPs). These include access provi ders such as CyberWay and secondary access providers such as cybercafes and schools. They must block out objectionable sites when the SBA tells them to and pay a licensing fee. The Internet has thousands of newsgroups in which people discuss topics that include homosexuality, sex and religion, sometimes with pictures. Service providers will also have to follow the SBA's guidelines on content in deciding which newsgroups to offer to the public. Schools and other places which offer access to children will need tighter control; the SBA said it was working with the Education Ministry and the National Library Board on this. Internet Content Providers (ICP). The term refers to anyone who provides information on the World Wide Web, a publishing platform on the Internet, including those who put out their own home pages. But Mr Goh Liang Kwang, the SBA's chief executive officer, told a press conference that regulatory efforts would focus only on groups which provide content on an organised basis. Individuals who put up web pages that are not for business, political and religious purposes will be exempted unless they are notified by the SBA. He said the scheme aimed to encourage responsible use of the Internet while allowing its healthy development here. He said: "It encourages minimum standards in cyberspace and seeks to protect Net users, particularly the young, against the broadcast of unlawful or objectionable materials." He added that political and religious organisations are free to conduct discussions provided they do not break the law or disrupt social harmony. The SBA guidelines on content also prohibit other types of material. They include material which: Jeopardises security or defence, or which undermines confide nce in the administration of justice; Misleads and alarms the public; Tends to bring the Government into hatred or contempt, or excites disaffection against it. When asked to elaborate on the kind of material which would fall under the third point, Mr Goh replied that it would be a matter of judgment on the part of the SBA. The penalties for those who break the rules have not been spelt out under the scheme, but he said that they could have their licence withdrawn or be fined. The Internet was impossible to control fully, he said, and added: "Our licence conditions are directed at what is necessary and possible. As technology evolves, so will our regulatory framework." He added that the Ministry of Information and the Arts will appoint a National Internet Advisory Committee to help formulate a good framework. Although the SBA will have up to 10 people monitoring cyberspace, he added that the success of its regulation would depend a lot on industry and community action. People can help, he said, by informing the SBA of the objectionable sites that they come across. ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2020 10:53:07 -0700 From: Berliner Datenschutzbeauftragter Subject: File 3--Discussion Forum on Privacy on the Internet The International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications is currently working on Data Protection and Privacy on the Internet. The Group was founded in 1983 and has been initiated by Data Protection Commissioners from different countries in order to improve Data Protection and Privacy in Telecommunications. The Secretariat of the Group is located at the Berlin Data Protection Commissioner=B4s Office, Berlin, Germany. At its spring meeting 1996 in Budapest the Group has agreed on a Draft Report and Guidance on Data Protection on the Internet. It was agreed to publish the Report on the Net in order to receive comments from the network community. The Secretariat of the Working Group has initiated a discussion forum located at the WWW-Server of the Berlin Data Protection Commissioner ( The comments received will be published on the server. We are looking forward to your comments on the report. Yours sincerely, Hansj=FCrgen Garstka (Chairman of the Group) ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 7 Jul 2020 20:54:31 -0700 (PDT) From: Declan McCullagh Subject: File 4--UK cyber-rights and cyber-liberties web site [Kindly forwarded by Eric Freedman. --Declan] // // I do not represent the EFF // // ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date--Thu, 04 Jul 2020 08:00:56 -0500 (CDT) From--Y. AKDENIZ A NEW WEB PAGE DEALING WITH FREEDOM OF SPEECH & PRIVACY ON THE INTERNET - "CYBER-RIGHTS & CYBER-LIBERTIES" AT: PLEASE WIDELY REDISTRIBUTE THIS DOCUMENT I have created a new web page called "CYBER-RIGHTS AND CYBER-LIBERTIES: Materials related to Internet and the Law" It is located at the Criminal Justice Studies of the Law Faculty of University of Leeds, UK where I am a current MA Research student. My research involves freedom of speech and privacy issues on the Internet. I cover such issues as pornography, encryption and defamation on the Internet in my MA thesis. The web site will deal with these issues and will concentrate on the UK law though current developments in the US (such as the CDA) will be covered and there will be links to articles I have written on the subject matter and links to relevant web sites. I have also included a reading list which will be updated regularly. I would appreciate if you contact me for non-listed web sites (especially UK but all welcome) so that I can develop the relevant links and try to create a strong web site dealing with freedom of speech and privacy on the Internet. The address for the web site is: Yaman Akdeniz ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2020 23:31:00 -0500 (CDT) From: David Smith Subject: File 5--iStar memo: don't tell customers list of banned newsgroups (fwd) Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII ---------- Forwarded message ---------- See - - - M E M O R A N D U M TO: iSTAR Technical Support Staff FROM: Margo Langford, Corporate & Regulatory Counsel SUBJECT: USENET News Groups DATE: July 3, 2020 CC: David Ralston, COO Michael Martineau, VP, Engineering John Cryer, VP, Western Region Steve Doswell, VP, Central Region Denis Choquette, VP, Eastern Region Eric Carroll, Sr. Director, Network Services David Chaloner, Manager, Integration Please be advised that effective today, we will be enforcing the attached policy by deleting the appended list of USENET newsgroups from all iSTAR USENET news servers. The attached quote is for public distribution, and should be made available on all iSTAR web servers. Quote Pursuant to iSTAR internet Inc's policy to prohibit use of the iSTAR network for illegal purposes, on the advice of legal counsel, certain newsgroups have been deleted as they contain material that contravenes the laws of Canada. iSTAR will not tolerate the use of its network for illegal purposes. Any incidence of illegal use reported to iSTAR internet will be investigated and the information will be turned over to the appropriate authorities. iSTAR reserves the right to cancel a customer's account for illegal use of its network, or for interference with other users or networks. Unquote In specific, we have deleted the following newsgroups per legal counsel. NOTE This list is for the information of the technical support staff of iSTAR internet only, and is not for general redistribution or publishing to the customer base. Please only give out examples, or confirmation of deleted groups when customers ask, but do not otherwise make the full list available. alt.binaries.warez**** alt.binaries.lolita.misc** ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2020 10:41:57 -0500 From: Declan McCullagh Subject: File 6--Tacoma decides to tax Internet [From Dave Farber's IP list. More fodder for Rich's state-censorship page, I think. -Declan] Tacoma's Internet Tax News Flash The News Tribune on 7-8-96 has a Front Page story on this taxing issue. The City of Tacoma has sent out demand letters to Internet Providers declaring that they are a "Network Telephone Service" and are subject to a utility tax.

If you have not received a notice yet, here is the scoop.

This tax is levied at a rate of 6.38% on every dollar of revenue derived from a customer located in the city of tacoma. It does not matter where YOU are doing business.

This tax was intended to be levied on real utilities such as us west. The city of tacoma has expanded the scope to include telephone related services such as answering services and pager companies. The have established a precident of taxing non telephone companies by getting away with taxing them.

The really bad news is that EVERY city in Washington has the ability to levy this tax and in fact Bellevue, Seattle and Spokane have already stated that if Tacoma is successful they will begin demanding that this tax be levied. Every internet provider will be required to report revenues and pay a tax based on the zipcode of every customer.

A little history.

My role in this issue started in February of this year while employed in the State Senate as an Aid to Sen. Bill Finkbeiner (R-45). It was brought to the attention of the Senator by a constituent.

I investigated the story and found out that it was indeed true. My conversations with the City of Tacoma were very unproductive. The person who came up with this tax idea stated that he could "not let internet providers go untaxed" and refused to back off of his plan.

I contacted the State Department of Revenue to find out what there interpretation of law was and they did not agree with Tacoma but has no athority over the City.

My next step was to request an opinion from the Attorney Generals' office. I finally received a non-answer last week. The AG will not issue an opinion on the interpretation because they feel that it is too close of a call and that they feel that it will have to be settled in court.

What to do?

There are several options available at this point. The first of which should be a plea before the City Council. I am willing to organize a group meeting with the council, but it will take a strong show of unity to go before them. It should consist of several ISP's as well as users.

If you would like to be part of this, either send me email or you can reach me voice at 922-3552 (tacoma) or 878-9282 (seattle).

At this point there is nothing the Senator can do until the next legislative session in January.

You can contact Sen. Finbeiner via email at

67 total hits since Wednesday May 15. 10 hits today.
Last access on Monday July 8 at 16:31:56 from
Page was last updated on Monday July 8, 2020 at 14:41:37
------------------------------ Date: Sat, 6 Jul 2020 01:19:24 -0400 From: russ@NAVIGATORS.COM(Russ Haynal) Subject: File 7--DC-ISOC Event: July 16 The Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society (DC-ISOC) announces its Next Event! INET '96 Mirror Tuesday, July 16, 2020, 7:00pm The Internet Society just held its annual conference, INET '96, in Montreal, Canada. This event included over 2500 delegates from around the world to discuss the latest Internet developments. 200 papers presented at the fifty theme sessions covered issues such as world policy, financing, ethics and technical problems. Additional information about INET '96 can be found at the Internet Society's Home page; Since many of us did not have the opportunity to attend this event in person, the DC-ISOC is organizing an "INET '96 mirror event" for a recapping of INET'96. D.C.-area ISOC members who attended the INET '96 will share their impressions and insight from this global event. D.C.-area ISOC members who attended INET '96 are invited to contact Ross Stapleton-Gray at to confirm your participation in the our INET'96 Mirror event (do not reply to this message). Additionally, NASA may provide a brief overview of a meeting to be held the following week. The subject: "Live from Mars--the Virtual Conference" show which is being sponsored by NASA and the National Science Foundation. The actual show will take place on Saturday, July 20th and will consist of 2 teachers from every state in the U.S. The general public will view the show via television and the Internet. The INET '96 Mirror event will be held from 7-9 pm, July 16th, at NASA Headquarters, Washington DC. Attendance will be on a first-come, first-seated basis, though we expect that there should be room for all those interested. As with all of our previous events, there is no charge to attend this event. Directions: NASA Headquarters, 300 E St. SW, Washington, DC Main Auditorium (Enter through the East Lobby Entrance) Via Metro: Federal Center (South) Upon Exiting the Metro station, turn right Walk under the overpass Turn right to NASA Headquarters Individuals who are interested in becoming members of DC-ISOC can do so by joining the Internet Society. See their web site at for more information. The Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society maintains its own web site at: Please feel free to pass this announcement message along to other interested individuals. If this message was forwarded to you, you can join our announcement mailing list through out web site ( ________________________________________ Russ Haynal - Internet Consultant, Instructor, Speaker "Helping organizations gain the most benefit from the Internet" Author:"Internet; A Knowledge Odyssey" (Top-rated CD-ROM Tutorial) Available from MindQ Publishing: 703-729-1757 ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2020 22:51:01 CST From: CuD Moderators Subject: File 8--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 7 Apr, 1996) Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically. CuD is available as a Usenet newsgroup: Or, to subscribe, send post with this in the "Subject:: line: SUBSCRIBE CU-DIGEST Send the message to: DO NOT SEND SUBSCRIPTIONS TO THE MODERATORS. The editors may be contacted by voice (815-753-0303), fax (815-753-6302) or U.S. mail at: Jim Thomas, Department of Sociology, NIU, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA. To UNSUB, send a one-line message: UNSUB CU-DIGEST Send it to CU-DIGEST-REQUEST@WEBER.UCSD.EDU (NOTE: The address you unsub must correspond to your From: line) Issues of CuD can also be found in the Usenet news group; on CompuServe in DL0 and DL4 of the IBMBBS SIG, DL1 of LAWSIG, and DL1 of TELECOM; on GEnie in the PF*NPC RT libraries and in the VIRUS/SECURITY library; from America Online in the PC Telecom forum under "computing newsletters;" On Delphi in the General Discussion database of the Internet SIG; on RIPCO BBS (312) 528-5020 (and via Ripco on internet); and on Rune Stone BBS (IIRGWHQ) (860)-585-9638. CuD is also available via Fidonet File Request from 1:11/70; unlisted nodes and points welcome. EUROPE: In BELGIUM: Virtual Access BBS: +32-69-844-019 (ringdown) Brussels: STRATOMIC BBS +32-2-2019119 2:291/ In ITALY: ZERO! BBS: +39-11-2019540 In LUXEMBOURG: ComNet BBS: +352-466893 UNITED STATES: ( in /pub/CuD/CuD ( in /pub/Publications/CuD/ ( in /pub/eff/cud/ in /src/wuarchive/doc/EFF/Publications/CuD/ in /doc/EFF/Publications/CuD/ EUROPE: in pub/doc/CuD/CuD/ (Finland) in pub/cud/ (United Kingdom) The most recent issues of CuD can be obtained from the Cu Digest WWW site at: URL: COMPUTER UNDERGROUND DIGEST is an open forum dedicated to sharing information among computerists and to the presentation and debate of diverse views. CuD material may be reprinted for non-profit as long as the source is cited. Authors hold a presumptive copyright, and they should be contacted for reprint permission. It is assumed that non-personal mail to the moderators may be reprinted unless otherwise specified. Readers are encouraged to submit reasoned articles relating to computer culture and communication. Articles are preferred to short responses. Please avoid quoting previous posts unless absolutely necessary. DISCLAIMER: The views represented herein do not necessarily represent the views of the moderators. Digest contributors assume all responsibility for ensuring that articles submitted do not violate copyright protections. ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #8.53 ************************************