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Current Topic: Civil Liberties

U. S. Bureau of Industry and Security: Antiboycott Compliance Office
Topic: Civil Liberties 3:34 am EDT, Apr 16, 2003

] The antiboycott laws were adopted to encourage, and in
] specified cases, require U.S. firms to refuse to
] participate in foreign boycotts that the United States
] does not sanction. They have the effect of preventing
] U.S. firms from being used to implement foreign policies
] of other nations which run counter to U.S. policy.

(Comments from Shorty)

For those who didn't believe me at Interz0ne that such a department existed, here is your proof. If the US government decides that they don't want US citizens/businesses to participate in a boycott, they've already got a department set up to fine the heck out of you for going against the government's wishes. Right now the department is primarily focused on making sure nobody boycotts Israel.

U. S. Bureau of Industry and Security: Antiboycott Compliance Office

The Register - DMCA threats gag security researchers
Topic: Civil Liberties 6:31 pm EDT, Apr 15, 2003

] Threats of DMCA-inspired lawsuits have been used to gag a
] pair of security researchers due to give a talk on the
] shortcomings of smartcard technology at the
] conference last weekend.
] Blackboard Inc. found out security researchers Billy
] Hoffman (AKA Acidus) and Virgil Griffith (Virgil) were
] about to present a paper on security flaws involving its
] popular university ID card system, and called in its
] lawyers.

The Register - DMCA threats gag security researchers DMCA not part of judge's Interz0ne order over security flaws
Topic: Civil Liberties 12:54 am EDT, Apr 15, 2003

Declan is following..

] I should clarify one point. I (and some of the reports I
] forwarded) said the DMCA was one of the claims in the
] suit. That's incorrect. It was one of the points made in
] the lawyer nastygram but it was not part of the complaint
] and therefore not considered by the judge in granting
] the injunction.

Also see: DMCA not part of judge's Interz0ne order over security flaws | The copyright cops strike again
Topic: Civil Liberties 12:34 am EDT, Apr 15, 2003

Salon coverage of the chilling events at Interz0ne this weekend.

] Two researchers at a computer security conference are
] served cease-and-desist orders moments before they're
] scheduled to speak.

] Instead of the scheduled discussion, several hundred
] conference attendees were read the cease-and-desist
] letter, said Scott Milliken, an attendee. Attendees
] said they saw the case as a clear infringement on the
] First Amendment rights of the two students, and they
] contacted the Electronic Frontier Foundation and
] Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford law professor who
] specializes in copyright issues, seeking advice on
] what to do next.

] "We're concerned right off the bat when we hear of
] speakers at a conference being served with a [temporary
] restraining order] moments before they're supposed to
] speak," said Wendy Seltzer, an attorney at the EFF.
] "It's the kind of thing that makes us nervous."

] One attendee at the conference -- an engineer who goes
] by the name "Decius" -- said that after the
] cease-and-desist letter was read to the group, "a few
] of us got up and decided that the best thing that we
] could do was to make as many people aware of what
] happened as possible. In addition to contacting the
] press, several individuals said they wished to contact
] universities using the system to say they were unhappy
] to hear it was not secure and were unhappy to hear that
] the company was behaving in this manner."
] Decius added: "We live in a society in which we are
] increasingly dependent on this high-tech infrastructure
] which our lives are arranged around, and if we can't take
] these things apart and understand how they work, then I
] think we have a very serious threat to our freedom." | The copyright cops strike again

Court blocks security conference talk | CNET
Topic: Civil Liberties 12:20 am EDT, Apr 15, 2003

] A pair of students were blocked by a federal court from
] presenting information at a Georgia security and hackers'
] conference on how to break into and modify a university
] electronic transactions system.

] "The temporary restraining order pointed out that the
] irreparable injury to Blackboard, our intellectual
] property rights and clients far outweighed the
] commercial speech rights of the individuals in
] question," said Michael Stanton, a Blackboard spokesman.
] The company claims that the speech being blocked is
] commercial speech because the students were a "small
] competitor" to Blackboard. One of the students,
] Georgia Institute of Technology's Billy Hoffman, had
] threatened to give away code allowing any computer to
] emulate Blackboard's technology, the company claims.

] Although an initial cease and desist letter sent to the
] Interz0ne conference organizers hinted that the students
] may have violated the DMCA, the complaint that resulted
] in the temporary restraining order did not touch on that
] copyright law.

Slightly different versions of this article by John Borland (CNet Staff Writer) are also running on BusinessWeek Online and ZDNet AU.,2000024985,20273726,00.htm

Court blocks security conference talk | CNET

Slashdot | Blackboard Campus IDs: Security Thru Cease & Desist
Topic: Civil Liberties 11:36 pm EDT, Apr 14, 2003

] On Saturday night, Virgil and Acidus, two young security
] researchers, were scheduled to give a talk at Interz0ne
] II on security flaws they'd found in a popular ID card
] system for universities. It's run by Blackboard, formerly
] by AT&T, and you may know it as OneCard, CampusWide, or
] BuzzCard. On Saturday, instead of the talk, attendees got
] to hear an Interz0ne official read the Cease and Desist
] letter sent by corporate lawyers. The DMCA, among other
] federal laws including the Economic Espionage Act, were
] given as the reasons for shutting down the talk (but --
] update -- see the P.P.S below). I spoke with Virgil this
] morning.

Slashdot coverage of the chilling effects at Interz0ne..

Slashdot | Blackboard Campus IDs: Security Thru Cease & Desist

Interz0ne: Cease and Desist Letter - 20030411
Topic: Civil Liberties 8:19 pm EDT, Apr 12, 2003

Interz0ne talk censored due to DMCA notice (blogging from the sequestered talk (which is instead a discussion about what occured)).

(Rattle here blogging live from my talk.. There is a reason I have been going around all day chanting "Chilling Effects" in ominous tones..)

Interz0ne: Cease and Desist Letter - 20030411

Librarians Use Shredder to Show Opposition to New F.B.I. Powers
Topic: Civil Liberties 1:56 am EDT, Apr  9, 2003

] In the old days, staff members in the nine-branch Santa
] Cruz Public Library System would destroy discarded
] paperwork as time allowed, typically once a week.
] But at a meeting of library officials last week, it was
] decided the materials should be shredded daily.
] "The basic strategy now is to keep as little historical
] information as possible," said Anne M. Turner, director
] of the library system.
] The move was part of a campaign by the Santa Cruz
] libraries to demonstrate their opposition to the Patriot
] Act, the law passed in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks
] that broadened the federal authorities' powers in
] fighting terrorism.

Librarians Use Shredder to Show Opposition to New F.B.I. Powers

Wired News: Due Process Vanishes in Thin Air
Topic: Civil Liberties 1:29 am EDT, Apr  9, 2003

] Asif Iqbal, a Rochester, New York, management consultant,
] must get FBI clearance every Monday and Thursday when he
] flies to and from Syracuse for business. Iqbal can't get
] off a government watch list because he shares the same
] name as a suspected terrorist.
] What's more, the suspected terrorist Iqbal has been in
] U.S. custody at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
] since January 2002 when he was captured in Afghanistan.

Transportation Security Administration = Totally Stupid Assholes?

If you haven't read about it yet, you should follow the link through to CAPS II... Think all this added anti-terror security is temporary? Think again. Of course, they are promising that the institutionalized revision will actually include a way to remove yourself from the list ( :-O, these people are absolutely BRILLIANT). How one gets on the list will, of course, remain secret. So, basically, if everyone flies, and they need to get rid of someone they don't like, its really easy, and its impossible for anyone to ever find out what occured. You can bet your ass a hell of a lot more then "due process" will be "vanishing" under this system (Mike Hawash anyone?). Look for it to eventually get applied to every single mode of transportation in the country. Look for the Supreme Court to "interpret" that this is "legal." I'm sure that one or two of the justices will agree to "take one for the team" and write a dissent, if that makes you feel any better.

Wired News: Due Process Vanishes in Thin Air

Yahoo! News - Oregon Law Would Jail War Protesters as Terrorists
Topic: Civil Liberties 4:59 pm EST, Apr  3, 2003

] An Oregon anti-terrorism bill would jail street-blocking
] protesters for at least 25 years in a thinly veiled
] effort to discourage anti-war demonstrations, critics
] say.

Yahoo! News - Oregon Law Would Jail War Protesters as Terrorists

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