1994-04-28 - Re: your mail

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From: Julietta <albright@scf.usc.edu>
To: nowhere@toad.com (Anonymous)
Message Hash: 6356373853b75bac95e27fe6506c32a5864402ec14db6d22f7bf5b5a873e5fef
Message ID: <199404280141.SAA23059@nunki.usc.edu>
Reply To: <199404280032.TAA11447@bsu-cs.bsu.edu>
UTC Datetime: 1994-04-28 01:42:14 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 27 Apr 94 18:42:14 PDT

Raw message

From: Julietta <albright@scf.usc.edu>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 94 18:42:14 PDT
To: nowhere@toad.com (Anonymous)
Subject: Re: your mail
In-Reply-To: <199404280032.TAA11447@bsu-cs.bsu.edu>
Message-ID: <199404280141.SAA23059@nunki.usc.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Stevens Miller wrote:

> I simply had to pass this article along to c'punks...

> I'm a computer programmer and attorney who is a member of the Committee
> on Technology and the Practice of Law, a task force assembled by the
> Association of the Bar of the City of New York.  Last Friday we held a
> conference on "Lawyers and the Internet."  Approximately 200 lawyers
> attended.
> Speaking in favor of the Clipper proposal was Stuart Baker of the NSA.
(Stuart said:) 
> - The debate over the Clipper proposal is "really just a culture clash
> among net-heads."

> - Those opposing the proposal are late-coming counter-culturists, "who
> couldn't go to Woodstock because they had to do their trig homework."
> - Opponents envision themselves as would-be "cybernauts in bandoliers and
> pocket-protectors."
  He has concluded that the members of that community are so beneath
> his respect that it is more appropriate to make fun of them tha..
> users of networks "are teenaged boys with inept social skills."

> That because the popular image of the bookworm can be juxtaposed against that
> of Rambo in a funny way, bookworms don't have to be taken seriously.
> That if you play with computers as a youngster, your community, your parents
> and your own brain can't save you.  That the government must protect you
> from your own ineptitude, whether you want its help or not.

	What a great letter! And what a sorry and inaccurate statement this
Stuart Baker has made regarding the Net. Not only is it not peopled solely
by "teenage boys with inept social skills"- the National Information
Highway is gearing up to be in every home, school, hospital, etc in
America.  By trying to pin the anti- Clipper campaign against a group of
young renegade computer hackers, Baker is trying to reduce the credibility
of the arguement against Clipper as a serious threat to our rights  by showing
that only a few, marginalized "punk" kids are opposing this issue. The NSA
is launching a smear campaign, obviously, to discredit those in opposition
to its grand scheme of being able to listen to every supposedly private
phone and data transmission in America. By marginalizing the opposition in
this way, the NSA hopes to gain the trust and backing of the mainstream,
who have bought the Image of the Net as some kind of haven for computer
	We obviously need to respond to this sort of tactic with some P.R.
work of our own. By utilizing some of the analogies which the average
person can understand, we can try to combat this serious threat to our
right to privacy. Perhaps we need to make a concerted effort to get more
articles published in mainstream magazines regarding this issue. I am
currently completing a piece on computer surveillance and privacy issues-
perhaps this summer I can put something together for the mainstream media.
I am sure that plenty of you all can write- we should make sure the word
gets out to the masses reagrding the true nature of the Net and regarding
the Clipper isssue in particular, now that we know what tactic the NSA is 
going to take.

Ciao for now,


"I am not a teenaged boy" :)

Julie M. Albright
Ph.D Student
Department of Sociology
University of Southern California