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  LATEST NEWS (December 12, 2000)  

GILC Members Maintain Opposition to Cyber-Crime Treaty. Responding to the latest version of the Council of Europe's Convention on Cyber-Crime, twenty-one GILC member organizations have drafted a new letter arguing that the treaty's current provisions will continue to violate the rights of Internet users. The letter from the groups also points out the lack of public input in the drafting process.

GILC Members Release Letter Opposing Cyber-Crime Convention. Twenty-eight GILC member organizations from around the world have urged the Council of Europe to reject the current version of its Convention on Cyber-Crime. The letter from the organizations states that provisions of the treaty runs contrary to internationally accepted human rights norms and would infringe on the free speech and privacy rights of all Internet users.

Declaration of Internet Actors. Several GILC member organizations have joined French organizations in opposing the Liberty of Communication Act pending in the French Parliament. The bill would have a detrimental impact on the free speech and privacy of Internet users. See the statement and background materials produced by Imaginons un Réseau Internet Solidaire (IRIS).

G-8 Cyber-Crime Meeting Ends Without Significant Progress. The Group of 8 (G-8), the eight largest economies in the world, met in Paris to discuss a possible resolution on cyber-crime. Industry and governments agreed to cooperate more to fight cybercrime. Controversial suggestions to mandate that ISPs gather and keep more information about users were opposed. See Privacy International's new Cyber-Crime page for more information.

New Report on Internet Access in Central and Eastern Europe. "Bridging the Digital Divide: Internet Access in Central & Eastern Europe" has been released in updated and expanded version. The report, while offering a snapshot of the state of the Net in a single region, addresses one of the most fundamental Internet policy issues worldwide -- the challenge of affordable access -- and includes a discussion of the universal service principle and policies that promote wider Internet access.

GILC Releases Statement Opposing DVD Suit. Twenty-three GILC member organizations have signed onto a statement opposing the DVD Copy Control Association's (CCA) suit against people who have posted information about the DVD Content Scrambling System (CSS). The suit claims to protect trade secrets surrounding DVD CSS, but the letter points out that the controversial DeCSS software is legal reverse-engineering needed to provide interoperability of DVDs on different computer systems. The statement also explains that DeCSS does not enable the practical duplication DVDs and that DVDs can already be copied through other available means.

Public Interest Policy Forum Releases Internet Recommendations. Two years in a row, representatives from a number of "groups, associations, and trade unions" have met in Paris under IRIS to discuss policies that would create and preserve an "Internet that promotes non-commercial interests and solidarity." The final motion passed by the second forum, which took place on November 27, 1999, approved the document "85 recommendations for a democratic Internet in the year 2000." This document should interest people around the world who are concerned with access to information for all, even though a few of the statements touch on particular French laws. Supplementary statements are available in French.

EPIC Sues for NSA Interception Documents. On December 3, EPIC asked a federal court to order the release of controversial documents concerning potential government surveillance of American citizens. EPIC's lawsuit (PDF) seeks the public disclosure of internal National Security Agency (NSA) documents discussing the legality of the agency's intelligence activities. See the press release for more details, and EPIC's Former Secrets page for examples of other government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

No Licensing of ISPs in Bulgaria. On November 18, the Bulgarian government announced that it would not require Internet Services Providers (ISPs) to obtain licenses. By avoiding a governmental role in Internet access, Bulgaria managed to avoid a potential obstacle in the availability of online information. For more information, see the Internet Society (ISOC) Bulgaria.

Website on ECHELON Launched. Echelon Watch, a new website administered by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) along with the Omega Foundation and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), provides news and materials on Project ECHELON. ECHELON is a worldwide surveillance system run by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) with the cooperation of intelligence agencies in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. While the existence of ECHELON has remained largely unknown to the general public, recent proceedings by the European Parliament and an upcoming hearing in the U.S. Congress will shed light on the scope of the project.


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For other GILC actions, see the GILC Activities Page