Declan McCullagh | 1 Apr 03:47 2004

Congress takes aim yet again at P2P users, film at 11 [ip]

Copy of PDEA:


House panel approves copyright bill
March 31, 2004, 4:55 PM PST
By Declan McCullagh

A House of Representatives panel has approved a sweeping new copyright 
bill that would boost penalties for peer-to-peer piracy and increase 
federal police powers against Internet copyright infringement.

The House Judiciary intellectual property subcommittee voted for the 
"Piracy Deterrence and Education Act" (PDEA) late Wednesday, overruling 
objections from a minority of members that it would unreasonably expand 
the FBI's powers to demand private information from Internet service 

The PDEA--the result of intense lobbying from large copyright holders 
over the past six months--has emerged as a kind of grab-bag that 
combines other proposals unsuccessfully advanced in the past. One 
section that first surfaced last year punishes an Internet user who 
makes available $1,000 in copyrighted materials with prison terms of up 
to three years and fines of up to $250,000. If the PDEA became law, 
prosecutors would not have to prove that $1,000 in copyrighted materials 
were downloaded--they would need only to show that those files had been 
publicly accessible in a shared folder.
(Continue reading)

Declan McCullagh | 1 Apr 04:40 2004

It's official: File sharing is legal in Canada, by Milana Homsi [ip]

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Canada does it again- Filesharing is now officially legal!
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 19:59:27 -0500
From: Milana Homsi <mhomsi <at>>
To: 'Declan McCullagh' <declan <at>>


I thought fellow Politech subscribers would be interested in today's
victory against the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA - The
RIAA's Canadian cousin). A federal court decision denied a motion by
CRIA to disclose the identities ISP subscribers who allegedly shared
copyrighted files on Kazaa.  Most importantly, the court also held that
sharing files using a P2P service is apparently legal in Canada - one 
reason being that having facilities "that allow copying does not amount 
to authorizing infringement".

According to news reports, CRIA plans to appeal. See

Following is a brief summary of this very interesting decision.  The
full 30 page decision is available at The case name
is BMG Canada Inc.v. Jane Doe (2004 FC 488).

[It should be noted that ISP subscribers have an expectation of privacy
based on Canada's privacy act (PIPEDA).  Identities can only be
disclosed without consent by a court order - in contrast to the simple
subpoena signed by a court clerk that is sufficient in the U.S.]
(Continue reading)

Declan McCullagh | 1 Apr 18:15 2004

HHS announces program to implant RFID tags in homeless [priv]

[This is a joke... I hope! --Declan]


From: DELETED <at>>
Subject: latest HHS outrage... please circulate widely! (REMOVEEMAIL)
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2004 09:26:25 -0500
Message-ID: <458A4338E341439F321483331CDB4S3414941E6B <at>>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
X-Spam-Status: No

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
said Thursday that it was about to begin testing a new technology 
designed to help more closely monitor and assist the nation's homeless 

Under the pilot program, which grew out of a series of policy academies 
held in the last two years, homeless people in participating cities will 
be implanted with mandatory Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags 
that social workers and police can use track their movements.

The RFID technology was developed by HHS' Health Resources and Services 
Administration (HRSA) in partnership with five states, including 
California and New York. "This is a rare opportunity to use advanced 
technology to meet society's dual objectives of better serving our 
homeless population while making our cities safer," HRSA Administrator 
Betty James Duke said.

The miniscule RFID tags are no larger than a matchstick and will be 
(Continue reading)

Declan McCullagh | 1 Apr 20:19 2004

Google in plans to buy Acxiom data-mining firm [priv]

Just to be clear, the HHS RFID article was an April Fool's day joke. I 
certainly hope this one is as well! --Declan

-----Begin forwarded message -----

Google plans to buy data mining firm
Published: April 1 2004 12:33 | Last Updated: April 1 2004 12:33

Google is in negotiations to purchase Acxiom Corporation, the massive
data warehousing company that has been embroiled in numerous privacy
scandals over the last few years.

Sources close to the talks said Thursday that the search engine company 
hoped to use Acxiom's databases, which feature information on nearly 
every American family, to optimize search results, share more 
information with law enforcement, and target advertisements with greater 
accuracy. Acxiom's expertise is intended to allow Google to make money 
from its new Gmail concept, which gives every user a gigabyte of free 
email space.

"This is a great way to leverage Acxiom's industry-leading collections
of personal information on Americans and deliver more value to all of
Google's customers and advertisers," a Google executive participating
in the talks said. While no details are final, one source said the
purchase could be around $1.8 billion, an affordable sticker price for
a company valued at over $15 billion in an expected initial public

Acxiom, based in Little Rock, Ark., sells police and corporate customers 
products including InfoBase, touted as the "largest collection of U.S. 
(Continue reading)

Declan McCullagh | 1 Apr 21:24 2004

John Gilmore on the homeless, RFID tags, and kittens [priv]

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Politech] HHS announces program to implant RFID tags in 
homeless [priv]
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 2004 11:13:21 -0800
From: John Gilmore <gnu <at>>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan <at>>
CC: politech <at>

Last year I found it almost impossible to adopt a kitten or cat that
didn't have an RFID tag implanted under its skin.  The city animal
shelter and the SPCA both "chip" all their animals -- and pet
hospitals who offer adoption get all their pets from these shelters.
The people we spoke with in the shelters were confused by our
opposition to their "safe, sane, and humane" policy of RFID-tracking
every animal that came within chip-gun range of them.  When a cat is
lost, they scan 'em like a bag of potato chips, pull 'em up in the
database, and call their owner.

Eventually by reading the bulletin boards in pet stores, we found a
local Mexican family who had two litters of kittens.  They had been
born at home and never subjected to "chipping".  Our kittens are now
grown and healthy (and untracked).

I would not be a bit surprised to see bureaucrats at any level
advocating RFID tracking of the homeless.  They're already taking
blood samples of every newborn, storing them away "just in case we
ever need to check their DNA".  And giving every infant their own
Social Security Number, just to make sure they get tracked from birth
to death.  A kitten or an infant who comes to the attention of the
(Continue reading)

Declan McCullagh | 1 Apr 21:22 2004

Replies to HHS announces program to implant RFID tags in homeless

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Apr1st?] HHS announces program to implant RFID tags in homeless
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2004 13:24:19 -0600
From: Parks <parks <at>>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan <at>>, hclp <at>

>[This is a joke... I hope! --Declan]

I think not.

What's not a joke is that animal implants were used in humans in SE Asia
(Can't remember where - Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia?)  to track poor
women who had birth control implants. Sorry I don't have a reference since
I read it several years ago.

I know this is Apr. 1st, but there was a re-authorization bill for the PATH
program, so it does exist  I couldn't find the original authorization Bill
for PATH but its on the HHS web search. Also they have a HMIS (Homeless
Management Information System) see EPIC. None of this is shocking from the
New World Orderers. - search homeless, HMIS, RFID

Since the homeless may need medical care, and sometimes get state benefits,
they need identification they don't carry around. So HHS may want to put an
ID chip in them like a dog at the vet or the women aforementioned.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: [Politech] HHS announces program to implant RFID tags in 
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2004 11:15:37 -0500
(Continue reading)

Declan McCullagh | 1 Apr 21:27 2004

MIT Media Lab project on "Things that Fink?" [priv]

[April fool's warning, of course... --Declan]

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Things that Fink: For Politech (anonymous posting, please)
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2004 14:24:01 -0500
From: deleted
To: Declan McCullagh <declan <at>>


I found this announcement on an internal Media Lab mailing list.  I
thought it might be of interest to your readers.  Please remove my
name and email address if you choose to post it.



Embargo: April 1, 2004.

Today the MIT Media Lab announced the "Things that Fink" research
consortium, a ground-breaking joint academic/industry/government
venture to explore the benefits of ubiquitous surveillance in the
public and private sectors.

The "Things that Fink" consortium is an extension of the Media Lab's
successful "Things that Think" (TTT) research consortium, with an
emphasis on RFID, data mining, sensor networks, biometrics, and
(Continue reading)

Declan McCullagh | 1 Apr 21:29 2004

Richard Smith on why you should purge those Google cookies

[I just deleted mine -- it's very easy under Mozilla Thunderbird. --Declan]

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: [Politech] Google in plans to buy Acxiom data-mining firm 
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2004 13:01:10 -0500
From: Richard M. Smith <rms <at>>
To: 'Declan McCullagh' <declan <at>>

The Google server logs are a good reason to purge those Google cookies!  I
have a script on my laptop which tosses all cookie files on a daily basis
for all Web sites except for the NY Times, WSJ, and My Yahoo.


Politech mailing list
Archived at
Moderated by Declan McCullagh (

Declan McCullagh | 1 Apr 21:50 2004

Heather MacDonald lashes out at "privacy fanatics" opposed to TIA, CAPPS II [priv]

This is not an April Fool's joke (I'm serious). We've mentioned Heather 
MacDonald's work on Politech before 
( and she's had these opinions 
for a long time (see and

MacDonald's column is part of the Bush partisans' attempt to 
rehabilitate these programs by demonizing their critics. It's a shame 
that it's published under the aegis of the Manhattan Institute, which 
does good work in other areas and, I thought, sought to advance the 
principles of limited government and individual liberty.



The 'Privacy' Jihad
"Total Information Awareness" falls to total Luddite hysteria.

Thursday, April 1, 2004 12:01 a.m. EST

The 9/11 Commission hearings have focused public attention again on the 
intelligence failures leading up to the September attacks. Yet since 
9/11, virtually every proposal to use intelligence more effectively--to 
connect the dots--has been shot down by left- and right-wing 
libertarians as an assault on "privacy." The consequence has been 
devastating: Just when the country should be unleashing its 
(Continue reading)

Declan McCullagh | 1 Apr 22:02 2004

Email saying "Judge, you f--ked up" lands Ohio man in hot water [fs]

If anyone wishes to express their opinion about Americans' right to free 
speech to U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley 
(algenon_marbley <at>, please let me know what happens as 
a result. Of course you should not violate the law in the jurisdiction 
in which you reside.

It looks like this might be the web site of the fellow who sent the 
illegal email message to Judge Marbley:


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: email stating, "Judge, you fucked up" lands consumer in hot	water
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 2004 14:33:33 -0500
From: Paul Levy <plevy <at>>
To: <declan <at>>

Paul Alan Levy
Public Citizen Litigation Group
1600 - 20th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 588-1000

>>> Mark Niquette <mniquette <at>> 04/01/04 12:38PM >>>

By Kevin Mayhood and Mark Niquette
(Continue reading)