HUMAN-NETS Digest V8 #28

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The Moderator

Aug 28, 1985, 11:02:00 PM8/28/85

HUMAN-NETS Digest Wednesday, 28 Aug 1985 Volume 8 : Issue 28

Today's Topics:

Computers and the Law - Police and Press Conferences &
'Pornographic' BBoards &
Loss of fredom in communications (3 msgs)


Date: Tue, 27 Aug 85 12:28:54 pdt
From: reyn...@AMES-NAS.ARPA (Don Reynolds)
Subject: Re: "Inquiring Minds want to know"

Reply to Hobbit...

Please add me to your Security@Rutgers list. I am interested in the
issues of software piracy as well as encouraging "hacking" while pre-
venting "cracking".

Your initial message (H-Net, Volume 23, July 21) describing what I
would only term "police harrassment" almost prompted me to write. But
Lauren's comment (H-Net, Volume 25, August 3) did the trick. While I
most often agree with Lauren, I feel the issue of "hackers" and
"crackers" has another side in this instance. So to the issue in the
Human-Nets message:

I once attended one of Senator Proxmire's hearings. Upon entry to the
open hearing (it was not a "press conference" though the press were
there) the guard told me I could not take photographs without a press
card. They had bright "television" lights so I would have not needed
flash. That was not the issue. I suspect they wanted to know that I
had a valid, professional need for the photographs, and could be
tracked (if not controlled), should I take unflattering pictures. Of
course, I took no pictures.

Lauren must be correct that all press conferences need not be open to
the general public. The Peace Officers also have the right to use
force, if needed, in doing their duty. One could interpret that duty
to be to keep someone from FORCING their way into the press con-
ference. But did Walker do this?

Unfortunately, some Peace Officers watch movies like "Dirty Harry" and
"Rambo", then lapse into a distorted view of the world. It is a very
easy thing to do. Those of us who don't carry a gun all day, and live
many minutes being prepared to use it, find this Peace Officer disease
hard to understand. But it is real. Peace Officers are aware of it.
If you doubt me, as any one of them to tell you what a "John Wayne"
cop is.

I object to the intimidation by Officers who forget that their first
name is "Peace". With 20-20 hindsight, in the comfort by my terminal,
I can suggest saying to the officers, "Gentlemen, I will cooperate
with you completely. But for my records I need your names and badge

Then I would write them down and leave. Further actions would depend
upon discussions with an attorney (the ACLU, preferably). Our local
Bar Association refers people to attorneys for half-hour appointments
for $20.00. I'd like to know my rights in this particular case. But
the badge number request should flush the "John Wayne" out of the



Date: 27 Aug 85 09:06:09 EDT (Tuesday)
Subject: Re: BBS's: they're at it again
To: Mark Crispin <Cri...@SUMEX-AIM.ARPA>
Cc: MsgG...@BRL.ARPA
From: Dave <Mensin...@Xerox.ARPA>

So what if your BBS is "dirty", if people are offended by the
content of the messages, then they should not bother calling again. I
view this the same way I view "dirty" magazines in a book store, if
you don't like that kind of magazine don't buy it. No one is forcing
you to read/buy anything you don't want to.


Date: Wed, 28 Aug 85 09:31 EDT
From: taylo...@Xerox.ARPA
Subject: Re: Loss of fredom in communications!
To: Paul R. Grupp <GR...@MIT-MC.ARPA>
Cc: tel...@MIT-XX.ARPA, info...@SIMTEL20.ARPA

[Ed. Note: This and the following 2 messages are in responce to a
message that was not posted to Human-nets, describing a recent Supreme
Court decision that it is illegal for people to watch sattelite TV
that is intended to be a 'bought' cable service (that is, using a
sattelite receiver to do so). The message was forwarded to Telecom,
and Mr. Grupp (who forwarded it) added that he thought that the ruling
paved the way for a ruling that might make it illegal to monitor radio
signals without the sender's permission.]




Date: Wed, 28 Aug 85 9:22:32 CDT
From: Will Martin -- AMXAL-RI <wmartin@Almsa-2>
Cc: Paul R. Grupp <>,
Subject: Re: Loss of fredom in communications!

As a sidenote to this discussion, I recall running across a copy of a
House bill in the government-documents-repository section of my
university library (this was back in the early 60s) which was a
resolution or proposed legislation that explicitly stated that "No
regulation or law shall be interpreted to in any way restrict the
right of any individual to receive any or all signals transmitted via
the electromagnetic spectrum" (or words to that effect). However,
sadly, I believe that this, one of the few worthwhile pieces of
legislation I have ever read, was never passed. Too bad. If it had
been, this nonsense would have never arisen.



Date: 28 Aug 1985 16:44:46-EDT
From: d3unix!j...@mitre-bedford.ARPA
To: bccvax!GR...@MIT-MC.ARPA
Cc: bccvax!tel...@MIT-XX.ARPA, bccvax!info...@SIMTEL20.ARPA
Subject: Re: Loss of fredom in communications!

Maybe it's time to start pressing for an amendment to the U.S.
Constitution on this point. "No law, ordinance, regulation, or
executive order shall be valid or binding if it abridges the right of
a citizen to receive and gain information from radio signals from any
source whatever."

The manufacturers of scrambling and encryption equipment should be
more than glad to put their attorneys to work polishing up the
amendment into a suitable form of legalese. Likewise the
manufacturers of consumer satellite dish antennas and VCRs.

There are a lot of tricky issues within Government on this subject,
but right now the mood is to get everybody to "button up" their
communications. Therefore, stating this principle right in the
Constitution would be a good way to relieve everybody of any other
protection and force them to focus on encryption.

The key question is whether or not the public would care enough to
vote for it in a referendum.

-John Sangster
jhs at MITRE-Bedford


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