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GILC Alert
Volume 3, Issue 4

May 12, 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.

Privacy and Encryption

[1] Internet Facilitates Information Exchange in Cambodian Diaspora
[2] Web Site Attacks Journalists And Others Opposed To Fujimori Regime In Peru
[3] Australia Update On Net Censorship Bill And EFA's Campaign Against It
[4] German Government Intends To Install Strict Internet Surveillance Infrastructure
[5] Russian Human Rights Group Launches Challenge To Secret Police Surveillance Of Internet
[6] Email Introduced In Cuba
[7] FBI Founded Group ILETS Leads Initiatives To Build Comprehensive Interception Systems
[8] ISP In Singapore Apologizes To Its Subscribers After Scanning Their Computers
[9] E-mail Empowerment in Indonesia
[10] India Announces Net Surveillance Plan
[11] US 9th Circuit Rules Encryption Regulations Unconstitutional
[12] Dutch Law Goes Beyond Enabling Wiretapping To Make It A Requirement
[13] IC2000 Report Strasbourg and Barr Amendment, United States: On Communications Interception And ECHELON
[14] US Trade Embargo Threatens to Shut down B92 Internet Transmissions - only Remaining Access to Unbiased Info
[15] South Africa Amends Child Pornography Law To Cover The Internet

[1] Internet Facilitates Information Exchange in Cambodian Diaspora

Salon Magazine reports that In Cambodia the Internet has facilitated the work of Rainsy, a democratic political opposition leader. Rainsy fled to safety to the United Nations after Cambodian Strongman Hun Sen, in control of the army and courts, ordered his arrest based on unprecedented charges and initiated a crackdown on mass protests against his disputed electoral victory last year. According to the leader of that opposition, the Net in Cambodia today is a lifesaver.

The Sam Rainsy Party Web site has made it possible to make it views available. The web site was developed by members of the large Cambodian Diaspora after Hun Sen's crackdowns. Since then it has evolved into an impassioned website that receives about 300 hits per day. The site, which is updated three or four times weekly and the party's massive e-mail distribution list serve other crucial opposition needs including bringing in funds, forming a virtually uncensorable link to the hundreds of thousands of Cambodians in the United States, France and Australia. Emails make information available to human rights groups like Amnesty International and would result in fewer illegal arrests and murders, hopes Rainsy. "Dictatorships are afraid of the truth. . . Democracy is based on truth and truth is made of information." he asserts.

Before the growth of the Internet, distributing key information abroad was prohibitively expensive for the opposition. But now Rainsy's American information officer, Rich Garella, was able to set up his own server at minimal cost. Overseas supporters can print out e-mail and Web site information and photocopy it for acquaintances in places like the 50,000 member Cambodian community of Long Beach, California.

While Rainsy's gamble that international donors can save him from Hun Sen's wrath has generally served him well, the strategy has not always worked for vocal supporters in the remote countryside where communications are weak, and human rights organizations are not always able to keep tabs on Hun Sen's local party leaders.

Story adapted from "E-mail is a real revolution" by Kyra Dupont and Eric Pape. For full story see,

[2] Web Site Attacks Journalists And Others Opposed To Fujimori Regime In Peru

A Peruvian Internet site, "Aprodev" of the organization Association for the Defense of the Truth has published various defamatory accounts against journalists and politicians opposed to the Fujimori regime.

On Tuesday 30 March 1999, statements attacking [journalist] Baruch Ivcher appeared on the web site. Ivcher's former colleagues at the newspaper "Referendum", speculated of links between Aprodev and the National Intelligence Service (SIN, Servicio de Inteligencia Nacional). This speculation was published in the newspaper and the legal representative of Aprodev, Hector Ricardo Faisal, rejected it as defamation and asking for proof.

Institute for Press and Society (IPYS), Lima, spoke with Ivan Garcia, "Referendum's assistant manager, who said "Faisal is apparently unaware of the Aprodev Internet page contents focused on Peru." He pointed to the fact that Aprodev web site is critical of a long list of people who all those who oppose the regime. In fact Aprodev Internet pages referring to other countries present Hitler's biography on the Germany site, Pinochet's biography on the Chile site, and information on Almirante Macera, one of the generals involved in serious human rights violations in Argentina. This suggests Aprodev's political viewpoint. Garcia further stated. "Aprodev has revealed its stance against the truth, against freedom of the press and expression, and its intolerance for those who have a critical opinion of or disagree with the government, and particularly with SIN's modus operandi." Adapted from Source: ACTION ALERT: Institute for Press and Society (IPYS), and IFEX-News from the international freedom of expression community, Lima, April 9, 1999.

[3] Australia Update On Net Censorship Bill And EFA's Campaign Against It

On April 21, 1999, the Australian Government, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, introduced legislation to censor "illegal and highly offensive material" online. The government is now rushing the Bill through the Senate before it loses the crucial vote of ultra-conservative Senator Brian Harradine on July 1. The Bill is scheduled for debate on Thursday 13 May. GILC member, Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) has been running a campaign against this legislation. (For details on the EFA Campaign against 1999 Internet Censorship Legislation visit

The Bill includes provisions to require Australian content hosts to remove all X-rated material (explicit sexual content), and to require ISPs to block access to such content from overseas sites if so required by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) acting on a complaint. For full text of bill see,

On 25th March 1999 the Senate had established the Select Committee on Information Technologies. One of its functions was to examine the Government's decision to establish this censorship regulatory framework. The Select Committee invited written submissions from interested persons and organizations. Through the submissions, this Committee encountered overwhelming opposition to the Bill from industry and community organizations, even from conservative groups. In fact 49 of 50 submissions received by the Committee recently were opposed to the Bill. Michael Baker of EFA on behalf of GILC members submitted a letter to the Select Committee as well, highlighting how the filtering/blocking regime restricts freedom of expression, violates human rights protections, is unreasonable in light of the dynamic nature of the Internet and pointing out how the "effectiveness of the proposed regime will be minimal."

There hearings of the Select Committee can be accessed now. Transcripts of the hearings are available at:

[4] German Government Intends To Install Strict Internet Surveillance Infrastructure

Axel H. Horns of GILC member FITUG writes of a recent and urgent report regarding the German government's intention to install a strict Internet surveillance infrastructure on provider's expenses. According to the report, the German government intends to impose on all Internet providers a duty to install and maintain a surveillance infrastructure like the FAPSI approach known from Russia for tapping Internet traffic on IP level. It is said that at least on the political scale this is a concise consequence of the ENFOPOL plans pushed by the European Union and previously existing requirements of the German Telecommunications Act.

Similar plans had been made one year ago by the former conservative government by Mr. Kanther and others under Helmut Kohl. Now, after SPD and Greens have taken office, it looks as if there will be not much less surveillance pressure than under CDU/CSU/FDP before general elections last year.

Report available on-line in German at

[5] Russian Human Rights Group Launches Challenge To Secret Police Surveillance Of Internet

Russian human rights group, Citizen's Watch in St. Petersburg, has filed suit against secret police surveillance of Internet communications. The Russian Federation, the Federal Security Service (FSB) has taken steps to monitor all Internet traffic demanding that each service provider give the FSB, without charge, a separate room in its headquarters with the computer and software necessary to monitor all Internet traffic carried by that service.

Boris Pustintsev, a longtime dissident and internationally respected director of Citizens' Watch is leading a group of human rights activists in this lawsuit. According to Pustintsev, the FSB's Internet arrangement is "illegal" and it uses illegal intimidation to achieve its goals. The objections of service providers are met with threats from FSB officers to cancel the provider's license. This lawsuit is filed on the basis of a complaint by a new Internet service provider, Oleg Syrov, whom Pustintsev called "a rebel." Based in Volgograd, Syrov recently refused to bend to the FSB's demand for the usual accommodations, and he is now in danger of losing his license. Pustintsev suggested that there is "a very good chance" that Syrov, backed by Citizens' Watch attorneys, will win the case.

He said that Russian statutes and the constitution itself are clearly on the side of honoring the privacy of personal communications such as Internet's e-mail service. Many Western experts think Pustintsev may succeed. American University's Louise Shelley, a leading authority on crime in the Russian Federation, notes that Pustintsev has an "unusual ability to build bridges, both to other NGOs and to different sections of the government." Pustintsev believes that the court action may also block a technologically more sophisticated new regulation now being developed known as SORM-2 -- System for Ensuring Investigated Activity .

SORM-2 is based on a complex new piece of computer equipment which incorporates both hardware and software, and is designed to instigate real-time monitoring of every e-mail message and Web page sent or received in Russia. Such an arrangement would allow the FSB to play fast and loose with the official presentation of warrants required by law. SORM-2 will cost service providers several thousand dollars a month or technical upgrades required to establish 'hotlines' automatically bouncing information directly to FSB computers. Such costs will be passed on to the consumer in the form of higher monthly fees, which may then "decimate" the number of users, which in turn will ultimately lead to fewer service providers. "SORM-2 is a clear violation of the European convention on human rights, to which Russia is a signatory," according to GILC member James Dempsey of Washington-based NGO that seeks to defend Internet privacy, "What's more, the European Court recognizes that laws on electronic surveillance must be extra precise because of the great advances in technology." Dempsey is concerned that SORM-2 will enable FSB to activate surveillance at will and that there would be no way for the service provider to know if the government had provided a warrant for surveillance or even if the FSB intercepted communications at all. For more information on SORM online see

Source: Russian FSB surveillance of Internet Challenged, by Charles Fenyvesi, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Prague, Czech Republic - RFE/RL Watchlist Vol. 1, No. 7, 25 February 1999.

[6] Email Introduced In Cuba

Steve Kettman reports for Wired magazine online at on email recently becoming available to significant numbers of Cubans for the first time. It was introduced at the University of Havana, where there's always a wait to use one of the five 1986 IBMs that serve as the email center at the university's Central Library. Other than government offices and luxury hotels, Havana University is one of the few places that have email.

None of the Cubans interviewed by Wired magazine had any illusions about email privacy. It's known that every email sent from the university account is automatically copied into an archive. It's equally known that the email is being copied elsewhere, too. A new anti-sedition law enacted in February increases the penalty to 20 years' imprisonment for any act deemed to undermine the authority of Castro's government. How the law is applied remains to be seen, but so far there haven't been any publicized cases involving email. Someone who called himself Nick interviewed by Wired magazine said of a friend: "She wrote an article about Cuba today and sent it by email from the library here. Two days later, the police came around to her apartment with a citation. They gave her a warning that if she did it again, she would be fined -- or expelled from the country."

Some Cuban students have their own email accounts, although this is limited mostly to graduate students. They are free to contact graduate students in other countries, as long as it's to exchange ideas about things like pulsars in the constellation Aquila, or mitochondrial activity in infants. Faculty members are also new to email. Literature professor Guillermo Rodrigues Rivera was in the middle of planning a trip to Italy using email, a much more efficient method than he's endured in the past. "It's very new. Maybe we can all have it within a few months," said Rodrigues Rivera, who taught briefly both at Hunter College in New York and in Spain. "Cuba has always been open to the world. We are an island in the Gulf of Mexico between the two Americas. Story excerpted from: Cubans Embrace Email, Warily, by Steve Kettmann, Wired, April 30, 1999. For full story see,

[7] FBI Founded Group ILETS Leads Initiatives To Build Comprehensive Interception Systems

According to a report in Telepolis edited by Erich Moechel the FBI founded organization, "International Law Enforcement Telecommunications Seminar", ILETS, met in secret for 6 years, and unknown until a story was published it led initiatives around the world to build comprehensive interception systems into new telecommunications systems. The NSA (National Security Agency), was behind this effort as its global surveillance operations could only benefit if global users were systematically denied telecommunications privacy in the information age.

US intelligence allies like Canada, the UK and Australia attended the first ILETS meeting held by the FBI in 1993, in Quantico. Representatives from Norway, Denmark, Spain and even Hong Kong were present. The FBI tabled a document called "Law Enforcement Requirements for the Surveillance of Electronic Communications", written in July 1992. In June 1993, EU ministers met in Copenhagen and agreed to poll member states on the issues raised by the FBI and by ILETS. After discussions in Europe later in 1993, ILETS met in Bonn early in 1994. By now Austria, Belgium, Finland, Portugal and Spain had joined the 19 member group. At their Bonn meeting, ILETS agreed joint policy in a document called "International Requirements for Interception". Attached to this policy paper was a list of "International User Requirements" - a 4 page set of monitoring requirements called IUR 1.0 or IUR95.

ILETS wanted international standards bodies such as the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) and ISO (International Standards Organization) to build in tapping requirements to new system specifications. ILETS also wanted governments to agree on monitoring across international boundaries, so that one agency could intercept communications in another country.

In March 1994, the Dutch government proposed that Europe adopt IUR 1.0. European ministers were not told that the document had been written by ILETS as it was identified as an ENFOPOL document and eventually called ENFOPOL 90. European telecommunications operators were told to fall in line with its requirements. In a slightly modified form, IUR 1.0 became law in the United States in October 1994. Other European nations, and Australia, later incorporated it in their domestic legislation. Within two years from the first ILETS meeting, the IUR had, unacknowledged and word for word, become the secret official policy of the EU and law around the world. Through 1995- 1997 ILETS had successes in promoting IUR with international standards organizations and participating countries to adopt the IUR "requirements". The European Commission, ILETS effectively turned the IUR into an international treaty. The Member States of the European Union have been called upon to apply those Requirements to telecommunications operators and service providers.

Today ILETS had spawned two sub committees, one re-designing the IUR and the second, the Standards Technical Committee (STC) working on technical standards. ILETS and its experts met again in Dublin in 1997. In 1998, they met in Rome, Vienna and Madrid. The IUR was not changed in 1997. But ILETS and its expert committees were at work, defining new requirements to cover the Internet and satellite based systems. They also wanted stringent new security requirements to be imposed on private telecommunications operators. In Vienna on 3 September 1998, the revised IUR was presented to the Police Co-operation Working Group. The Austrian Presidency proposed that, as had happened in 1994, the new IUR be adopted verbatim as a Council Resolution on interception "in respect of new technology". Delegates were told that ENFOPOL 98's purpose was to "clarify the basic document (IUR 1.0) in a manner agreed by the law enforcement agencies as expressing their common requirement".

Afraid that the new IUR (ENFOPOL 98) at 36 pages was too explicit it was trimmed to 14 pages and some of its more controversial provisions were put into other papers. European police delegates met in November to consider and agree the revised ENFOPOL 98 (rev 1). Since the ENFOPOL story was published in Telepolis, it has been renamed ENFOPOL 19 and reduced to 6 pages with its key provisions being hidden elsewhere. ILETS secret processes are a shame to democracy and open discussion.

The full story about ILETS is published in Telepolis, the European on-line magazine, at
And in German at
The news story is in English in the Guardian (UK) at,3605,45981,00.html

[8] ISP In Singapore Apologizes To Its Subscribers After Scanning Their Computers

An Internet service provider in the city-state of Singapore apologized to its subscribers after scanning their computers without their knowledge. Anne Lee, 21, a student filed a police complaint with the police that someone with an account in the Home Affairs Ministry had hacked into her computer.

It was uncovered that he computers of nearly half the Internet subscribers in Singapore are being scanned without their knowledge to determine if the systems are vulnerable to hacker attacks. The screening of more than 200,000 SingNet and SingTel Magix customers was disclosed.

Paul Chong, SingTel chief executive officer for multimedia said that the ISP asked the Home Affair's Ministry's information technology security unit to conduct the scan after the March 6 arrest of two youths who had hacked into 17 SingNet accounts. He said customers were not informed of the scan so as not to alarm them. Also, "real hackers might lie low" if the scan was public knowledge. Mr Chong said the scanning so far had shown some users were vulnerable, and they would be informed.

See story, Singapore secret police computer scan scare at For more on story see,

[9] E-mail Empowerment in Indonesia

Moderator Nani Buntarian helped Indonesian women launch the women's egroups list in July of 1998 to provide a "clearing house tool" for the numerous women's organizations that emerged after the resignation of former president Soeharto. The sudden surge in women's activism prompted a group of activist women to form the Indonesian Women's Coalition for Justice and Democracy, which held weekly planning meetings to capitalize on the momentum for change. "We wanted our fair share of voice in the changes made for the country," Nani explained in a recent email message to NetAction webmaster Judi Clark. "A lot of information needed to be shared. We needed a mechanism to quickly disseminate information and circulate feedback to create parity of awareness between the women in Jakarta (the capitol) and our peers elsewhere in the vast archipelago."

Nani was able to establish an email list because many of the women's organizations scattered among the islands were already on-line. Not everyone involved had access, but with at least one email address per province, she established "local hotspots" from which information could be forwarded to other women's organizations or groups in the area through more traditional methods of communication. The list proved to be an effective means of generating awareness among the groups of each other's activities. This helped to foster coordinated action and commitment to common positions on such issues as human rights violations and violence.

The importance of the list was increasingly evident as women's groups were preparing for the Indonesian Women's Congress, which took place in December. Invitations to the conference were circulated to about 60 list subscribers. With only one week's notice to register, the organizers anticipated about 150-200 participants. Instead, they received more than 500 applications in just seven days.

"All this is due to the simple power of a humble email list," Nani told NetAction. "I dream of greater IT empowerment in the local women's movement that will give us greater independence in controlling our information access and distribution." The Indonesian women's egroups list has now grown to more than 100 subscribers.

In addition to political activism, women use the Internet to network with peers, conduct research, archive women's history, and support women's business ventures. Among the thousands of women-oriented web sites, NetAction found the following to be noteworthy:
WomensNet at IGC,
Online Women's Business Center,
The Backyard Project,
The Role Model Project for Girls,

This article is adapted from NetAction Notes, Issue No. 48, April 30, 1999.

[10] India Announces Net Surveillance Plan

S.J. Singh (New Delhi, India) reports for Data Communications, Networking News, that the Indian government announced an Internet surveillance plan mid April that could slow down 'Net traffic--and jack up prices. ( This story is available online at The plan would require Internet service providers to connect their routers to state security agencies such as the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing (both of New Delhi) so their traffic can be monitored. Industry sources say the surveillance will mean traffic reroutes and packet holdups. The government also wants ISPs to install and monitor surveillance equipment themselves. The cost of doing so could get passed on to corporate customers in the form of a price hike--and stifle the growth of India's fledgling Internet industry. The plan has been approved by an inter-ministry committee on Internet security set up by the prime minister's office. It must be ratified by the Indian parliament before going into effect.

[11] US 9th Circuit Rules Encryption Regulations Unconstitutional

A US Appeals Court on Thursday found that strict export limits on computer data scrambling technology violated the free speech rights of a computer scientist and University of Illinois professor, Daniel Bernstein who wanted to post his encryption software program on the Internet. Other academics and numerous high-technology companies that oppose the export rules are likely to seek a broader ruling to apply beyond Bernstein's case. The Department of Commerce, which oversees the export limits, could also appeal the decision to the full Ninth Circuit or the Supreme Court.

Bernstein's encryption program called Snuffle was written with instructions facilitating humans to understand "source code". In 1995 when he was a graduate student at the University of California, Bernstein asked the State Department for permission to put the source code and instructions for Snuffle on the Internet. The department said the posting would violate the export rules, International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and that Bernstein would need a license to "export" the Paper, the Source Code, or the Instructions. Bernstein with the support of GILC member the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) sued challenging the constitutionality of these regulations. In 1996 President Clinton shifted licensing authority for nonmilitary encryption commodities and technologies from the State Department to the Commerce Department which then enacted EAR regulations to govern the export of encryption technology, (regulations administered by the Bureau of Export Administration ("BXA")) Bernstein subsequently amended his complaint to add the Department of Commerce as a defendant.

The court ruled that computer source code Snuffle was protected by the First Amendment's free speech clause. The court found that the EAR regulations operate as a prepublication licensing scheme that burdens scientific expression, and vests boundless discretion in government officials, and lacks adequate procedural safeguards.

The court did not strike down the rules as applied to object code --working computer software programs. "To the extent the government's efforts are aimed at interdicting the flow of scientific ideas (whether expressed in source code or otherwise), as distinguished from encryption products, these efforts would appear to strike deep into the heartland of the First Amendment," the court said. Bernstein's attorney, Cindy Cohn, said the decision meant the export rules were unconstitutional for anyone living in the Ninth Circuit territory, which includes California. "This is precedent for them that it is unconstitutional in the ninth circuit," Cohn said.

See story by Aaron Pressman WASHINGTON, May 6 (Reuters)

See the full text of the 9th circuit's decision
See also the EFF's site at

[12] Dutch Law Goes Beyond Enabling Wiretapping To Make It A Requirement

In the wake of a deregulation movement, which has been sweeping through European telecommunications sector, some EU governments feel increasingly threatened in their ability to use communication networks for security and law enforcement ends. With the passage of a new Telecommunication Act, Dutch Parliament positioned itself in the forefront of the governments being "concerned". The Act stipulates, among other things, for cable operators and ISPs to make their networks tappable by police and security services.

The first article of the chapter 13 of the new Dutch law reads as follows: "Providers of public telecommunication networks and public telecommunication services shall not make their telecommunications networks and telecommunication services available to users unless they can be wiretapped."

A further provision adds that the operator of the network is required to supply and install the necessary equipment at its own expense. The Council of Central Business Organizations -- an association of biggest Dutch employers -- estimates the resulting cost to business to be in the hundreds of millions of guilders.

Privacy experts have warned that the new law does not provide enough guarantees for the adequate protection of privacy and, furthermore, opens new venues for the potential abuses by the enforcement organs. In monopoly times, telephone calls were routed by the phone companies "to tapping rooms where police officers diligently transcribed tape recordings," said Maurice Wessling, a spokesman for XS4all Foundation one of the largest Dutch ISPS with nearly 30,000 customers. "They are now trying to force every single operator in the communications market to set up tapping facilities at its own expense," he said. XS4all and other ISPs have opposed the new provision because "we don't want to become an extension of the judicial authorities," Wessling said.

Experts point out that the Act overlooks an important difference between the old phone networks and the information highways. The new digital technologies allow methods of investigation - such as massive scale scanning for words and patterns - which were not feasible with the old analog telephony.

The Telecommunications Act meat its share of opposition, notably from the Greens, but despite the numerous objections and sharp criticism, was passed by 121 of the 150 members of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament. The opposing parties, however, managed to obtain a separate resolution giving the operators of networks an additional delay in the implementation of the systems that make the tapping of the Internet possible. The time frame for the delay has not been set up yet, but "it will probably be two years", according to Henk Houtman, a spokesman for the Dutch Ministry of Transportation, Public Works and Water, in whose jurisdiction fall the provisions of the Act. English version of the Dutch Telecommunications Act:

[13] IC2000 Report Strasbourg and Barr Amendment, United States: On Communications Interception And ECHELON

The IC2000 report on communications interception and ECHELON was approved as a working document by the Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel of the European Parliament (STOA) at their meeting in Strasbourg on 6 May 1999.

The report is therefore available for public distribution from the European Parliament office in Luxembourg. A web version has been prepared and will be placed on the on the EP web site. Until that version is loaded, specialist groups and media writers can obtain the report from the temporary web site

Key findings of the IC2000 report that comprehensive systems exist to access, intercept and process every important modern form of communications, with few exceptions. There is original new documentary and other evidence about the ECHELON system and its role in the interception of communication satellites. In excess of 120 satellite based systems are currently in simultaneous operation collecting intelligence information and submarines are routinely used to access and intercept undersea communications systems.

The report shows there is wide-ranging evidence indicating that major governments are routinely utilizing communications intelligence to provide commercial advantage to companies and trade.

The report finds that although "word spotting" search systems to automatically select telephone calls of intelligence interest are not thought to be effective, speaker recognition systems in effect, "voiceprints" have been developed and are deployed to recognize the speech of targeted individuals making international telephone calls.

Recent diplomatic initiatives by the United States government seeking European agreement to the "key escrow" system of cryptography masked intelligence collection requirements, forming part of a long-term program which has undermined and continues to undermine the communications privacy European companies and citizens. The report distinguishes legally authorized domestic interception and interception for clandestine intelligence purposes and separates law enforcement and "national security" interception activity.

Report states that providing the measures called for in the 1998 Parliamentary resolution on "Transatlantic relations/ECHELON measures may be facilitated by developing an in-depth understanding of present and future Comint capabilities. Protective measures may best be focused on defeating hostile Comint activity by denying access or, where this is impractical or impossible, preventing processing of message content and associated traffic information by general use of cryptography. Other points in report:

-- In relation to the manner in which Internet browsers and other software is deliberately weakened for use by other than US citizens, consideration could be given to a countermeasure whereby, if systems with disabled cryptographic systems are sold outside the United States, they should be required to conform to an "open standard" such that third parties and other nations may provide additional applications which restore the level of security to at least that enjoyed by domestic US customers.

-- It should be possible to define and enforce a shared interest in implementing measures to defeat future external Sigint activities directed against European states, citizens and commercial activities.
Source: IPTV Ltd

In the United States Representative Bob Barr, a former United States Attorney and CIA analyst who serves on the House Judiciary, Government Reform, and Banking Committees, made an important amendment to domestic law marking for the first time that the United States Congress may exercise some oversight of ECHELON. Barr successfully amended the Intelligence Reauthorization Act on the House Floor today, to require U.S. intelligence agencies to report to Congress on the legal standards justifying surveillance activities directed at American citizens. The Barr amendment requires the Attorney General, and the directors of the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency to provide a detailed report to Congress, explaining the legal standards the intelligence community uses to monitor the conversations, transmissions, or activities of American citizens.

"I am extremely concerned there are not sufficient legal mechanisms in place to protect our private information from unauthorized government eavesdropping through such mechanisms as Project ECHELON." Barr continued, noting recent reports that Protect ECHELON, run by the NSA in conjunction with Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom, intercepts some two million transmissions each hour, with no judicial review or safeguards whatsoever. (For more information on Barr, visit his website at

[14] US Trade Embargo Threatens to Shut down B92 Internet Transmissions - only Remaining Access to Unbiased Info

United States government April 30 trade embargo - Executive Order 13121 - on Yugoslavia may endanger the country's vital Internet links to the outside world and its transmission of unbiased information. Under this embargo US companies are forbidden from trading with Yugoslavia. Internet communications are one of the only remaining routes to independent information and debate for Yugoslav citizens after April 2, when B92, the leading independent broadcaster and the only non-governmental source of information in and from Yugoslavia was shut down, post NATO airstrikes.

Although the confiscation of the station's transmitter by the government officials on March 24 took the station off the air, B92 has continued to broadcast its programming via the Internet and satellite. The ban on the station, which took effect on April 2, ceased all communications altogether, relieved the production crew of their duties and replaced the station's manager Sasa Mirkovic with Aleksandar Nikacevic, a member of Milosevic's ruling Socialist Party.

Shortly after the closer of B92, a project "Help B92" was launched in Amsterdam. The project generated a great deal of support from around the world and reports 16,000 hits per day on its website.

Any constructive action, however, which would return B92 to the Yugoslav airwaves, is largely impossible while the NATO bombing continues. The infrastructure of the country is heavily damaged and such essentials as office space and telephone lines are almost impossible to obtain. Furthermore, the key members of the B92 production team are under constant surveillance. All these adverse circumstances substantially retard their efforts to advance the cause.

Since May 11 B92 could be heard again, for the first time since the government ban, on its new website. FreeB92, which was launched by the Amsterdam support group HelpB92, featured daily news, press reviews, radio documentaries and live debates produced by the B92 team of journalists and associates from around the world. Now the United States embargo threatens even this access to information. as a US satellite carrier Loral Orion may be ordered to drop a satellite uplink arrangement that supplies bandwidth to two of Yugoslavia's major Internet service providers - and BEOnet.yu. (Also visit protest site at http://shutdown.beonet.yu)

Help B92 warns that the loss of this link would deal a fatal blow to freedom of expression in Yugoslavia, as Internet communications are one of the only remaining routes to independent information and debate for Yugoslav citizens. Help B92 is further concerned that the all-encompassing wording of the embargo - which appears to ban US companies and citizens from exporting software and supplying services and technology (including technical data) to Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro - could have further negative repercussions for freedom of expression in Yugoslavia.

Drazen Pantic, founder of OpenNet, Serbia's first ISP and host of independent radio B92's Web site before the Serbian Government shut it down is quoted in Wired Magazine online. He said that the Internet has stepped in to fill the information vacuum created by biased reporting from TV Serbia on one side and CNN on the other. "People are exposed to bad propaganda on both sides," he said. "The Internet is the only place there's some kind of sanity. It's crucial. At this particular moment it's crucial." Pantic noted that, should the Loral link be severed, Yugoslavia still has three other connections to the rest of the world. The nation has two land lines and another satellite link through a European carrier that is exempt from the US trade embargo. However, in addition to the loss in bandwidth, Pantic said it is significantly easier for the Serbian government to tap land lines than satellite traffic.

For full article see Leander Kahney, Wired News available online at

Help B92 has consistantly argued that vibrant and open communication, without frontiers, is crucial to ending the current conflict in Kosovo and Yugoslavia and building a long and lasting peace for all people in the region. It calls on those committed to freedom of information and freedom of expression to uphold the right to communicate freely on the Internet and to protest this threat to Internet access for all the people of Yugoslavia. HelpB92 is a support group for independent broadcast media in Yugoslavia.

Visit support web sites:
To express your support and involvement:
Some information provided for this item by Maurice Wessling of XS4All Foundation.

[15] South Africa Amends Child Pornography Law To Cover The Internet

In their last session, the South African Parliament passed a into law, an amendment to the Film and Publications Act of 1996. The Amendment changes the definition of child pornography and extends the definition to the Internet. The new definition of "child pornography" includes "any image, real or simulated, however created, depicting a person who is or who is shown as being under the age of 18 years, engaged in sexual conduct or a display of genitals which amounts to sexual exploitation, or participating, or assisting another person to engage in sexual conduct, which amounts to sexual exploitation or degradation of children".

The Amendment extends the definition of a "publication" to include any message or communication, including a visual presentation, placed on any distributed network, including, but not confined to, the Internet." Accordingly, "visual presentation" is amended to include a drawing, picture, illustration, painting, photograph or image produced through or by means of computer software on a screen or a computer printout."

A further amendment affords broad powers of appointment, removal and suspension from office on the Board and Review Board to the Minister. As the Act stands, prior to the Amendment coming into law, only the President could effect this on the advice of an advisory panel. The Minister is also now given standing to lodge a complaint with the Board. This was previously only to be done by an aggrieved party.

The Act has been passed, but not yet signed into law by the President. Efforts are being coordinated to appeal to the President's office not to sign the Act into law as it stands. Earlier this year, the President office sent back 3 pieces of legislation before signing them into law - to be changed to meet constitutional muster. Source: Tracy Cohen of GILC Member the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, University of the Witwatersrand School of Law.


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