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GILC Alert
Volume 3, Issue 3

April 1, 1999


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 human 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

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.

Please feel free to redistribute this newsletter to appropriate forums.

[2] Web Site protests reported EU monitoring plan
[3] Censored Internet Access in Utah Public Schools and Libraries
[4] Internet Regulation in Bulgaria threatens ISPs with License Requirements
[5] Electronic Frontiers Austraila Appoints Cassidy as New Executive Director
[6] Egypt: Seminar Discusses Freedom of Expression and National Security Concerns in the Information Age
[7] SORM-2 in Russia Threatens Privacy, Anti-SORM Movement is Yet to Galvanize
[8] New French Decrees on Crypto Released
[9] French Court Decision Making ISP Liable Generates Response
[10] GILC Member Statement Resists Australian Internet Censorship
[11] Appearance of patches to Disable Intel’s PSN Feature
[12] ACLU Reports in Employee Monitoring in the American Workplace
[13] Human Rights body criticizes attempts to control Internet (Africa)


Enforcement Police (ENFOPOL) is the draft of a resolution for the Council for Justice and Interior of the European Union. It shall extend the resolution of the Council from January 17 1995 on new technologies, such as satellite communication and the Internet.

According to the draft law enforcement agencies shall have access to the entire telecommunications, the traffic and associated data of suspect persons in real time. Moreover network operators shall not only provide appropriate interfaces but have to enable interception in the shortest possible time.

In the case of Enfopol the discussion is avoided by shifting the demands onto the level of the European Union. Yet Enfopol increases the necessity of a public discussion for the following reasons. The draft excludes the question of the costs for such measures; yet it as demonstrated through discussions about the TKÜV in germany last year already neither service providers nor the state can finance such measures.

Various European countries show tendencies to refrain from a regulation of cryptography. Enfopol opposes them with the frank demand for the provision of plaintext. Thereby a backdoor is opened for attempts to restrict the use of cryptographic methods. The consequences such an interception machinery would have for the privacy of citizens and data protection are disregarded as well. Without doubt new technologies pose new challenges for investigations of the police. Answering this with an excessive expansion of the competences of the police disregards the proportion of means.

The Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft (FITUG) urges the Council of the European Union to stop the plans of the EU-Council Group Enfopol. FITUG asks the European Council to defer the Enfopol plans, make the draft including technical details public and set going a europewide discussion of the scheme.

Background Material- The resolution of 1995 is available online at (
- The Enfopol papers (German) are available (
- About FITUG (German):
Contact: Rigo Wenning (, Axel Horns (

Various protest and discussion sites are now running regarding Enfopol. These include:
ENFOPOL timeline 91-99
Discussion site(
Protest Site (

[2] Web Site protests reported EU monitoring plan

By Mary Lisbeth D'Amico InfoWorld Electric
Posted at 12:55 PM PT, Mar 10, 1999

Privacy advocates in Germany have erected a Web site called Freedomforlinks to protest what they perceive as plans by the European Union (EU) to allow "legally empowered authorities" to put in place European-wide surveillance systems.

The protest comes in response to reported plans by the European Commission's Council of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) to put into place mechanisms for law-enforcement agencies to access all kinds of transmitted messages, including data traffic over the Internet. The JHA is the organization within the European Council responsible for coordinating police, customs, and justice activities of the EU's 15 member states.

The planned surveillance system, called Enfopol, was reported on by Telepolis, a German online technology magazine that late last year began publishing excerpts over the Internet from what it said were top-secret internal EU memos.

Contacted about the reports, Telepolis editor Erich Moechel said that Telepolis reporters have received numerous copies of these memos from more than one source, which he called "100 percent reliable."

"People still don't understand the technical aspects [of surveillance]," said Moechel, who has authored some of the articles on Enfopol. "They still think cellular phones are anonymous and they can't imagine what people would even do with their data."

Now, German privacy advocates have launched the "Stop Enfopol" campaign, publicized on the Freedomforlinks Web site (, to raise public awareness of what they see as a potential threat to citizens' privacy. The Web site's sponsors, who call themselves online advocates, have asked concerned citizens to send e-mails to the European Union's Ombudsman (citizen's representative), Jacob Sodermann, demanding that the issue be clarified. But Sodermann has responded with a form letter stating that he is not responsible for the matter, according to information posted on the Freedomforlinks Web site. He has directed the thousands who sent him e-mails to contact the European Parliament in Luxembourg, according to the Web site authors.

Enfopol surveillance plans target any form of telecommunications, be it data, encrypted or not; mobile telephony; or communications over the new Iridium system and other satellite mobile phone services that may follow, according to a document compiled by Moechel based on numerous Telepolis reports.

"If these plans can be implemented, Enfopol will be able to monitor almost every communications mode, leaving no gaps," the report said.

If Enfopol becomes legal reality, police forces will get any surveillance power they wish, the article said. As soon as the surveillance gateways to Internet providers, Global System for Mobile Communications, Iridium (the communications network), and other networks are established, "legally empowered authorities" other than police forces are expected to log on, the article said.

"The danger here is that the EU is mixing police issues with secret service issues," Moechel told the IDG News Service. According to the language of the Enfopol documents, the interception of messages would be allowed for any "legally empowered authority," which he said could mean secret service employees as well as police. Citing the internal memos published by Telepolis, Moechel suggests that Enfopol is even targeting the central terrestrial masterstation of the Iridium network in Italy as a main spot from which to monitor telecommunications traffic.

Diplomatic sources confirmed that efforts to define "interception" were underway, but said that statements that a European surveillance system was being established were "overdoing it." The origin for the proposal, the sources said, was a 1995 resolution signed by all European Union members which detailed the technical requirements that had to be fulfilled to enable interception of telecommunications messages in cases where member states work together. This is the genesis of the Enfopol drafts, the sources confirmed.

This document was a memorandum of understanding with the file number Enfopol 112 10037/95, according to Telepolis. Although it was signed by all EU members it was never officially published, Telepolis said. A copy was published, however, by the British anti-surveillance group Statewatch in February 1997.

With the technological progress that occurred over the ensuing years, the diplomatic sources said, there has been an effort to update this agreement. Talks have gone on among what the sources call "police experts" and technical experts as to which technical requirements would have to be fulfilled to enable data interception. Some kind of final draft could be expected around May, the sources said.

When a draft in this area is finalized, the diplomatic sources said, ministers of the JHA would have to decide whether it would be implemented. And, even if adopted, it would be up to individual judges on a national level to decide whether to apply the recommendations, the sources said.

Officials with the JHA Council could not be reached for comment. The topic will reportedly be brought up at the next JHA ministers meeting, scheduled for Friday, March 12, in Brussels, according to Telepolis.

But the diplomatic sources contradicted that.

"That meeting will discuss interception in the framework of criminal investigations, whereas Enfopol has to do with interception for intelligence or security reasons," the sources said.

Telepolis' Moechel, however, thinks this simply isn't true. "It's going to be the number one topic among the JHA secretaries when they meet," Moechel said.

Telepolis, in Hannover, Germany, can be reached at

Mary Lisbeth D'Amico is a correspondent in the Munich bureau of the IDG News Service, an InfoWorld affilate.

-- Richard Hornbeck EF-Texas

[3] Censored Internet Access in Utah Public Schools and Libraries

The Censorware Project today released a report, "Censored Internet Access in Utah Schools and Libraries". The report examines the state of Utah's use of a commercial internet censoring product in all Utah public schools and some public libraries, as recorded in the log files generated by the software itself. The log files prove incriminating - they reveal that Utah students are highly unlikely to use the internet for non-scholastic purposes, and that when students or adults are banned from a site by the software, more likely than not, the site was completely innocent.

Among the documents banned by Utah: the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, all of Shakespeare's plays, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

The Salt Lake Tribune has a front page story on this subject at (

Press release at (

The Report is available online at (

[4] Internet Regulation in Bulgaria threatens ISPs with License Requirements

The Internet Society of Bulgaria ( is struggling against a decree accepted by the Bulgarian Committee for Post and Telecommunications (, under which Internet Service Providers should be licensed (i.e. obtain a permission from the state to work as ISPs).

In its claim motion, the Internet Society of Bulgaria opposes Subsections 4, 9 and 11 of Title II of Decree RD 09-235/1998 by the head of the Posts and Telecommunications Committee (6 Gourko str., Sofia 1000), published in the State Gazette, issue 154/12. 28. 1998. In their motion, the Internet society of Bulgaria asks the Supreme Administrative Court to repeal the decrees. For futher details, the motion is available online at (

The motion claims that the decree contradicts various laws including provisions of the Telecommunications Act, the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, and the European Convention on Human Rights. (See motion for details on violations) For example, the decree violates the procedures for issuance which require a discussion about any promulgation of any decree.

In addition, it also violates the directives, recommendations, and principles of the European Union in the field of telecommunications. Although these are not binding on domestic legislation, they are the basis for the creation of the European Internet legislation, and are also used in the Sector Policy adopted by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria. The principles of the European Union in the field of telecommunications published in the official web server of the European Union ( do not provide for regulation (a general or individual license) of operators providing access to Internet.

Such regulation puts the internet in danger since general access to Internet in Bulgaria will depend on a permission, or lack of permission, by a state authority such as the State Telecommunications Commission. It will lead to impermissible and broad restrictions on the freedom to access information.

[5] Electronic Frontiers Austraila Appoints Cassidy as New Executive Director

On 23rd March 1999, Internet freedom watchdog Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) announced the appointment of its first Executive Director, Mr Jon (Darce) Cassidy of Adelaide. Mr. Cassidy joined EFA in 1997 and has taken up his appointment. He will the EFA national office from Adelaide.

Mr Cassidy has a background in broadcasting, having worked for the ABC for over 30 years. During this time he worked in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide on a variety of programs including Four Corners, This Day Tonight, AM, PM and Background Briefing. From 1989 to 1997 he was the ABC's manager for South Australia.

He taught Media Studies (broadcasting politics) at RMIT on a part time basis for two years and has long been an advocate of public access to the means of mass communication. He was active in the creation of the public broadcasting sector in Australia and served on the board of station 3CR between 1976 and 1989, and on the board of 3D Radio (5DDD Adelaide) in 1997-98.

Announcing the appointment, EFA Chair Kimberley Heitman said, "This is a major step forward for EFA, which has depended entirely on volunteer board members since its foundation in 1994. The appointment also comes at a crucial time in the development of the Internet in Australia. Only last week the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Alston, announced a draconian censorship proposal that will strangle the domestic Internet and mark Australia as a repressive nation."

[6] Egypt: Seminar Discusses Freedom of Expression and National Security Concerns in the Information Age

On 15-16 February 1999, the Group for Democratic Development (GDD) held a seminar entitled "Freedom of Expression and National Security Concerns in the Information Age". Some of the main recommendations were drafted in the final session for the government.

These recommendations included the need for a clear definition of what constitutes 'National Security' considering the current evolution of technology, information and communications. GDD recommended that 'National Security' should not be so wide as to encroach upon the right of individuals to disseminate and receive information and an appropriate balance must be achieved between the need to safeguard legitimate national security and the equally important need for freedom of expression and information.

There was talk about the issue of external or foreign funding and GDD recommended complete transparency and accountability with respect to the receipt and expenditure of foreign funds used for social research; and also that such funding should be subject of a national, objective dialogue.

GDD recommended that Restrictions on the circulation of information and the right to expression and communication must be lifted. There was a divergence in views with regards to the censorship of information. Some participants felt such is needed, in some cases, as 'a form of commendable restrictions' in order to protect society and national security. A second group believed that, in principal, there is no information that would threaten national security and that any information that could be a threat would be the exception, rather than the rule. Everyone agreed that in specific cases confidentiality of information was appropriate.

GDD also recommended that restrictions currently imposed on public freedoms must be removed in order to allow the people to practice their legitimate civil liberties. The participants believed that this would in turn facilitate the development of a public awareness that would provide a true protection for national security and identity in the face of any external threat.

For more information about the Group for Democratic Development, or to obtain GDD publications, contact
33B Ramsis Street, Ma'arouf Tower
12th Floor, Flat 124
Cairo, Egypt
T: (+202) 578-8636 or 579-9312
F: (+202) 393-0559

Also see, The Egyptian government is trying to hook Nile villages and big city neighborhoods on to the Internet and reduce subscription costs. to make internet and information accessible. More information on this is available online at,

[7] SORM-2 in Russia Threatens Privacy, Anti-SORM Movement is Yet to Galvanize

A Moscow Times March 16 article by Jen Tracy entitled "Who Reads Your Email?" reports on SORM (System for Operational-Investigative Activities.) A 1995 regulation called SORM -1 gave the security services the power to monitor all telecommunications transmissions provided they first obtained a warrant.

In August 1998, however, the FSB and the State Communications Agency, Goskomsvyaz, drew up an addendum to the SORM regulations called SORM-2. It would require all 350 of Russia's Internet service providers to install an FSB-provided "black box" monitoring device in their main computers, and to build a high-speed fiber-optic line from that device to the FSB. Because SORM-2 is to be enacted as a regulation and not a law, it will be reviewed by the Justice Ministry, but will not need the approval of either parliament or President Boris Yeltsin.

These SORM-2 listening devices would route copies of all Internet traffic to FSB computers with or without warrant. In theory, a warrant would be needed to actually read any of the documentation piling up in the FSB's hands. But in practice, human rights groups say, the FSB is unlikely to worry about such legal niceties when the information it wants is just a mouse-click away. In other words, human rights activists are predicting a complete loss of Internet privacy for the more than 1 million people in Russia who use the Internet and for tens of thousands more who use credit cards or other electronic banking instruments here.

"This is a police-state practice. (The FSB) should not be alone in its right to surveillance. Society should be able to audit the agency in return. It's a step toward dictatorship," said Anatoly Levenchuk, a Moscow-based Internet expert.

In SORM-2, however, the FSB has come up with its own solution to the expensive problem of setting up a Russian-style ECHELON system ( ECHELON a system of communication interceptions owned by the United States’ national Security Agency) The FSB wants Internet service providers to pay for the installation and maintenance of the SORM-2 black boxes and dedicated FSB hotlines. Such costs would mean huge set-backs for all internet service providers and in turn users.

Human-rights activists and internet service providers face conflicts in together resisting SORM-2. Given that FSB power over their fate, it's not surprising that many providers disdain the fiery talk of the human rights and privacy rights activists, and instead try to speak carefully of SORM-2 - as a narrow business dispute with the FSB over who will pay for it. "There is no conflict now (over SORM-2)," said Andrei Sibrant, director of Moscow's Glasnet. "When the FSB comes to me with specific documents detailing what technology I need to install and how much I will have to pay for it, then there will be a massive conflict ..."

Levenchul, the internet analyst has long been trying to organize a movement against SORM but due to lack of sufficient provider interest, it hasn’t been very successful. Prygov who works with Levenchul set uo an anti-SORM website at ( The fear of financial loss and the alleged futility of opposing the FSB are some of the reasons why the movement has not gained internet service provider interest.

"We refused to give [the FSB] information, but they're professional," said Sorokin of Peterlink. "They threaten to revoke our operating license. We want to protect our clients' rights - but we also have to protect our business.

Boris Pustintsev of Citzen’s Watch is pessimistic about an anti-SORM movement among providers, but expresses some hope for it if half the providers and human rights activists could unite. "We will broadcast (news of the battle) throughout the world. The FSB can't close them all down. That would be a scandal of international proportion and Russia can't have that right now," Pustintsev added.

Citizens' Watch has set a self-imposed deadline of June to draft proposals, to be read in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, on creating a system of checks and balances on SORM-2. One such proposal described by Vdovin would involve giving a "key" to the FSB computers receiving information from SORM-2 black boxes and hotlines to an independent third party. That key would only be loaned to the FSB when its agents can produce a court order; the third party would also keep a log of all FSB SORM-2 eavesdropping activity. But human rights and privacy activists are quick to add that SORM-2 raises fundamental questions about freedom that can't be solved with a few laws and clever ideas.

[8] New French Decrees on Crypto Released

For more information online available in French only, see,

[9] French Court Decision Making ISP Liable Generates Response

Several organizations signed IRIS’s stament against this French court decision. The follwing is the IRIS Press Release - February 15, 1999.

Following the judgement passed by the Paris Appeal Court comdemning the French Internet Service Provider (ISP) AlternB, IRIS recalls its position in relation to rights and responsibilities with regards to Internet content.

Making an ISP liable for Internet content created by a third party (whether the ISP has been aware or not of this content), puts this technical intermediary in the position of a judge and a censor. However, it should be noted that the role of the ISPs is limited to automatic transport and hosting of information written and published by third parties, who should remain the only responsible for the information they provide. Such an assimilation of responsibilities would hurt the Rule of Law.

While current laws are naturally, and without restriction, applicable to the content provider, the legislator should explicitly recognise that the ISPs are incapable of estimating the illegal or harmful character of an information, especially when it is published by a third party. However, the justice should have means to identify the authors of publicly available Internet content.

To be able to do that, there is absolutely no necessity to require each content provider to put his personal details on his web site (except in the case of sites offering commercial transactions). Preserving this from of anonymity with regards to the public access is in many cases legitimate and necessary for protecting the content provider and also for ensuring personal data protection. IRIS recalls its position with regards to anonymity of publicly available content: the ISPs have the technical means to identify the author of a content hosted by them, and can provide these means to the law authorities if needed. This applies to AlternB.

The signatories urge all the commentators not to be mislead : this case, and this debate, is not the only one involving total anonymity. The signatories call to a large mobilization in support to the French ISP AlternB, and more generally for the defence of the founding principles of our society, with respect to the protection of human rights and the public liberties. Statement in French is at Statement in English is at List of signatures is at For those of you who are able to read French, you can find at a summary of the reactions got from the government, political parties, deputies and senators, and trade-unions.

[10] GILC Member Statement Resists Australian Internet Censorship

GILC has issued a statement in response to the Australian ministry for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts’ announcement of a proposal to introduce draconian measures to block information on the internet that is rated RC, X or R according to Australian film and video classification standards. The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) will administer this regime. GILC members oppose efforts to restrict the free flow of information on the Internet as these would place unreasonable burdens on well established principles of privacy and free speech.

- GILC members oppose the filtering and blocking regime that has been announced by the Australian government will restrict freedom of expression and limit access to information. Government-mandated use of blocking and filtering systems violates basic international human rights protections.

- These measures will prevent individuals from using the Internet to exchange information on topics that may be controversial or unpopular by blocking any domain or page which contains a specific key-word or character string in the URL, and over-ride self-rating labels provided by content creators and providers.

- Government mandated blocking and filtering of content is unreasonable because it does not consider the dynamic nature of the Internet.

- It is unlikely that the government blacklist will cover a substantial percentage of adult or offensive content, as there are millions of such locations on the Internet. Tunneling and other technologies that are available make it relatively easy for informed users to access any website they wish despite the existence of a filter.

- The proposals will not protect minors on the Internet, as they intend to, but will prevent lawful access to information by adults. Additionally the introduction of mandatory adult verification mechanisms poses a threat to privacy of adults.

Note: The Australian Government requires that online service providers take responsibility to remove RC and X-rated material from the Internet once they have been notified of its existence. The regime also provides for self-regulatory codes of practice for the online service provider industry, to be overseen by the ABA. These codes of practice must include a commitment by an online service provider to take all reasonable steps to block access to such content hosted overseas, once the service provider has been notified of the existence of the material by the ABA. Many millions of websites are likely to be blocked if the proposals are effectively implemented.

RC rated content, to be completely censored from the Internet under this regime, includes, but is not limited to, the following types of content: Information that depicts, expresses or otherwise deals with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults, depicts it in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult. Or if the content promotes, incites or instructs in matters of crime or violence, the use of proscribed drugs, depictions of practices such as bestiality. Or if it appears to purposefully debase or abuse for the enjoyment of viewers, and which lack moral, artistic or other values, to the extent that they offend against generally accepted standards of morality, decency and propriety. And also includes gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of violence with a very high degree of impact or which are excessively frequent, prolonged or detailed, cruelty or real violence which are very detailed or which have a high impact, sexual violence, sexual activity accompanied by fetishes or practices which are offensive or abhorrent, incest fantasies or other fantasies which are offensive or abhorrent.

X-rated content, to be completely censored from the Internet under this regime, is material which contains real depictions of actual sexual intercourse and other sexual activity between consenting adults, including mild fetishes.

R-rated content, to be subjected to a mandatory adult verification scheme, includes information about, or containing, drug use, nudity, sexual references, adult themes, horror themes, martial arts instruction, graphic images of injuries, medium or high level coarse language, sex education, health education and drug education.

Additional links for more information on this are at: The Global Internet Liberty Campaign - media release by the minister of IT, arts and communications. Australian Broadcasting Authority Australian Office of Film Literature Classification HRW report, SILENCING THE NET: The Threat to Freedom of Expression On-line. GLAAD report, Access Denied: The Impact of Internet Filtering Software on the Lesbian and Gay Community. ACLU report, Fahrenheit 451.2: Is Cyberspace Burning? How Rating and Blocking Proposals May Torch Free Speech on the Internet. Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) Report: Who Watches the Watchmen: Internet Content Rating Systems, and Privatised Censorship.

[11] Appearance of patches to Disable Intel’s PSN Feature

As predicted, patches to disable Intel's PSN 'feature' have already begun to appear. Phil Karn, a Qualcomm engineer, wrote a patch for Linux, as described below. The patch and the explanation can be found at:

Karn is also a long-standing plaintiff in a suit against the U.S. Department of Commerce, Department of State, and William Reinsch, Undersecretary, Bureau of Export Administration, Dept. of Commerce. He is seeking a declaratory judgment relating to export controls over encryption algorithms, in book and diskette form. His latest amended complaint can be found at

[12] ACLU Reports in Employee Monitoring in the American Workplace

IBM to pull ads over privacy issues
By Jon G. Auerbach, ZDNet - 31 March 1999

Big Blue is taking on Big Brother -- with a little encouragement from Uncle Sam.

Aiming to allay growing fears about privacy intrusions on the Internet and to head off possible government regulations IBM Corp. (NYSE:IBM) has decided to pull its Internet advertising from any Web site in the U.S. or Canada that doesn't post clear privacy policies. Such policies typically tell Web surfers what information about them is being collected when they visit a site, and how it will be used, sold or otherwise disseminated for marketing purposes.

IBM, the No. 2 advertiser on the Internet behind Microsoft Corp. (NYSE:MSFT), estimates that only about 30% of the 800 sites where it advertises world-wide make such disclosures.

full story at

Richard Hornbeck

[13] Human Rights body criticizes attempts to control Internet (Africa)

March 29, 1999
By Paul Redfern

Nairobi - Human rights NGO Article 19 has expressed its concerns at the attempts by some African governments to control the use of the Internet.

The London-based media freedom watchdog said that the number of African countries with full Internet access has nearly tripled in the last three years from 16 in 1996 to 46 last year. Only three countries still have no Internet connection - Eritrea, Libya and Somalia - and the first two are expected to obtain full Internet access soon.

While Internet access is largely confined to an educated and affluent elite living in major cities, around one million Africans use the Internet regularly, although around three quarters of these are in South Africa.

But the growth of a medium over which governments has little control has already caused some concern and the first official act of Internet censorship came in February 1996 when the Zambian government succeeded in removing a banned edition of The Post from the newspaper's website by threatening to prosecute the country's main Internet Service Provider, Zamnet.

The particular edition of the paper contained reports based on leaked documents which revealed secret government plans for a referendum on the adoption of a new constitution. A presidential decree warned the public that anyone caught with the banned edition, including the electronic version, would be liable to prosecution.

But the futility of the government's action was shown when a US reader, who specialises in banned editions, published The Post on his own Internet site enabling interested readers to read it there.

The case illustrates the difficulty of controlling the Internet but this has not stopped other governments trying either through charging exorbitant fees for access to an Internet provider, or by screening out sites deemed unsuitable as has Tunisia with Amnesty International's website in what Amnesty describes as "the most sophisticated country (in Africa) with regard to web censorship".

Article 19's report, "The Right to Communicate - the Internet in Africa" says that the Internet has proved to be an important information tool for education purposes and health workers across Africa, enabling them to have ready access to vital information which might not otherwise be available or be too expensive.

Article 19 says that the Internet is particularly important for journalists and human rights organisations who need to have access to a reliable and quick means of communication which was previously not available.


The GILC News Alert is the newsletter of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign, an international coalition of organizations working to protect and enhance online civil liberties and human rights. Organizations are invited to join GILC by contacting us at To alert members about threats to cyber liberties, please contact members from your country or send a message to the general GILC address.

To submit information about upcoming events, new activist tools and news stories, contact: GILC Coordinator, American Civil Liberties Union 125 Broad Street 17thFloor, New York, New York 10004 USA. email:

More information about GILC members and news is available at You may re-print or redistribute the GILC NEWS ALERT freely. To subscribe to the alert, please send an mail to with the following message in the body: subscribe gilc-announce