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Computer underground Digest Wed Jan 26 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 10
ISSN 1004-042X

Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer ([email protected])
Archivist: Brendan Kehoe (Improving each day)
Acting Archivist: Stanton McCandlish
Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth
Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala
Ian Dickinson
Coppice Editor: P. Bunyan

CONTENTS, #6.10 (Jan 26 1994)
File 1--Elementary Students Make New Friends with E-mail
File 2--DEF CON ][ Initial Announcement
File 3--Re: Cu Digest, #6.09/Lobby the Feds via PC
File 4--Re: Clipp[er]ed again (fwd)
File 5--GOV-ACCESS--Cal Leg online; Minn PubInfo Net; Cal Emg Serv
File 6--What It Takes To Make It Happen: Key Issues For NII

Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are
available at no cost electronically from [email protected] The
editors may be contacted by voice (815-753-0303), fax (815-753-6302)
or U.S. mail at: Jim Thomas, Department of Sociology, NIU, DeKalb, IL
60115.

Issues of CuD can also be found in the Usenet comp.society.cu-digest
news group; on CompuServe in DL0 and DL4 of the IBMBBS SIG, DL1 of
LAWSIG, and DL1 of TELECOM; on GEnie in the PF*NPC RT
libraries and in the VIRUS/SECURITY library; from America Online in
the PC Telecom forum under "computing newsletters;"
On Delphi in the General Discussion database of the Internet SIG;
on the PC-EXEC BBS at (414) 789-4210; and on: Rune Stone BBS (IIRG
WHQ) (203) 832-8441 NUP:Conspiracy; RIPCO BBS (312) 528-5020
CuD is also available via Fidonet File Request from 1:11/70; unlisted
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COMPUTER UNDERGROUND DIGEST is an open forum dedicated to sharing
information among computerists and to the presentation and debate of
diverse views. CuD material may be reprinted for non-profit as long
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DISCLAIMER: The views represented herein do not necessarily represent
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violate copyright protections.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Fri, 21 Jan 1994 14:08:17 EST
From: [email protected](MR DAVID W BATTERSON)
Subject: File 1--Elementary Students Make New Friends with E-mail

Elementary Students Make New Friends with E-mail
by David Batterson

Elementary students lucky enough to have computers/modems at
their school can exchange e-mail regularly with pals their own age in
many states and other countries.

Since they are use keyboards to write with, the young students
call each other "keypals" rather than penpals. Unlike many adults who
still find it difficult, these students usually compose their messages
offline and then upload them.

For example, third through sixth grade students in two Maryland
elementary schools have been sending and receiving e-mail for over a
year now. The kids call the METNET BBS, sponsored by the Maryland
State Department of Education and Maryland Instructional Technology.
METNET is, of course, linked with The Internet.

Computer teacher Patricia A. Weeg is in charge of the e-mail
program at the Maryland schools. Mrs. Weeg told me "my kids are doing
super things with The Internet. My younger kids in grade two are part
of an 'Infant Project' with students in Peru, Iceland, Tasmania,
Hawaii and England. A fourth grader of mine has been messaging with a
class in London."

Another way Maryland students send and receive e-mail is on the
MTEBBS (Maryland Technology Education Bulletin Board Service). They
have their own conference called KIDTALK.

Students can correspond in real time too, by taking part in the
KIDLINK Internet Relay Chat (IRC). These IRC chats have included
students from many states and countries.

Students are learning about other countries by using e-mail.
They exchange questions and answers on subjects like customs,
holidays, housing, animals, the environment or careers. One fifth
grader who is interested in engineering wrote to an electrical
engineer in Guatemala to learn more about the field.

In addition to improving students' writing and editing skills,
the e-mail programs serve as an incentive. Students use e-mail as an
extracurricular activity, and have to finish regular class work before
they can take part.

Many teachers use educational games and quizzes to make sure that
time is spent wisely. Prior to 1982's November election, elementary
students in Oregon, Michigan and Maryland were polled on their choice
for President.

Students, parents and educators who want to learn more about
keypals can write Mrs. Patricia Weeg, Chapter 1 Computer Teacher,
Delmar Elementary School, 700 S. Second St., Delmar, MD 21875. Her
e-mail address is: [email protected]

David Batterson welcomes comments. MCI Mail: 273-7218 or
[email protected]

------------------------------

Date: 22 Jan 94 19:32:19 -0500
From: [email protected](Conal Garrity)
Subject: File 2--DEF CON ][ Initial Announcement

Updated Last : 1.16.1994

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx DEF CON ][ Convention Initial Announcement

READ & DISTRIBUTE & READ & DISTRIBUTE & READ & DISTRIBUTE & READ & DISTRIBUTE

=============================================================================

What's this? This is the initial announcement and invitation to DEF
CON ][, a convention for the "underground" elements of the computer
culture. We try to target the (Fill in your favorite word here):
Hackers, Phreaks, Hammies, Virii coders, programmers, crackers,
Cyberpunk Wannabees, Civil Liberties Groups, CypherPunks, Futurists,
Artists, Etc..

WHO: You know who you are, you shady characters.
WHAT: A convention for you to meet, party, and listen to some speeches
that you would normally never hear.
WHEN: July 22, 23, 24 - 1994
WHERE: Las Vegas, Nevada @ The Sahara Hotel

So you heard about DEF CON I, and want to hit part ][? You heard
about the parties, the info discussed, the bizarre atmosphere of Las
Vegas and want to check it out in person? Load up your laptop muffy,
we're heading to Vegas!

Here is what Three out of Three people said about last years
convention:

"DEF CON I, last week in Las Vegas, was both the strangest and the
best computer event I have attended in years." -- Robert X. Cringely,
Info World

"Toto, I don't think we're at COMDEX anymore." -- Coderipper, Gray
Areas

"Soon we were at the hotel going through the spoils: fax sheets,
catalogs, bits of torn paper, a few McDonald's Dino-Meals and lots of
coffee grounds. The documents disappeared in seconds." -- Gillian
Newson, New Media Magazine

DESCRIPTION:

Last year we held DEF CON I, which went over great, and this year we
are planning on being bigger and better. We have expanded the number
of speakers to included midnight tech talks and additional speaking on
Sunday. We attempt to bring the underground into contact with
"legitimate" speakers. Sure it's great to meet and party with fellow
hackers, but besides that we try to provide information and speakers
in a forum that can't be found at other conferences.

While there is an initial concern that this is just another excuse for
the evil hackers to party and wreak havok, it's just not the case.
People come to DEF CON for information and for making contacts. We
strive to distinguish this convention from others in that respect.

WHAT'S NEW THIS YEAR:

This year will be much larger and more organized than last year. We
have a much larger meeting area, and have better name recognition.
Because of this we will have more speakers on broader topics. Expect
speaking to run Saturday and Sunday, ending around 5 p.m. Some of the
new things expected include:

> An INet connection with sixteen ports will be there, _BUT_ will only
provide serial connections because terminals are too hard to ship.
So bring a laptop with communications software if you want to
connect to the network. Thanks to cyberlink communications for the
connection.

> There will be door prizes, and someone has already donated a Cell
Phone to give away.

> Dr. Ludwig will present his virii creation awards on Sunday.

> A bigger and better "Spot The Fed" contest, which means more shirts
to give away.

> More room, we should have tables set up for information
distribution. If you have anything you want distributed, feel free
to leave it on the designated tables. Yes, this year there will be
a true 24 hour convention space.

> A 24 hour movie / video suite where we will be playing all type of
stuff. VHS Format. Mail me with suggested titles to show, or bring
your own.

> Midnight Tech Talks on Friday and Saturday night to cover the more
technical topics and leave the days free for more general
discussions.


WHO IS SPEAKING:

I was going to run a list of the current speakers we have lined up,
but at this point things are still fluid. In a few months when the
speakers list is more solidified I will release it. I'll name the
people who have committed to attending in the next announcement.
Trust me.

WHERE THIS THING IS:

It's in Las Vegas, the town that never sleeps. Really. There are no
clocks anywhere in an attempt to lull you into believing the day never
ends. Talk about virtual reality, this place fits the bill with no
clunky hardware. If you have a buzz you may never know the
difference. It will be at the Sahara Hotel. Intel as follows:

The Sahara Hotel: 1.800.634.6078
Room Rates: Single/Double $55, Triple $65, Suite $120
(Usually $200) + 8% tax
Transportation: Shuttles from the airport for cheap

NOTE: Please make it clear you are registering for the DEF CON ][
convention to get the room rates. Our convention space price is
based on how many people register. Register under a false name if
it makes you feel better, 'cuz the more that register the better for
my pocket book. No one under 21 can rent a room by themselves, so
get your buddy who is 21 to rent for you and crash out. Don't let
the hotel people get their hands on your baggage, or there is a
mandatory $3 group baggage fee. Vegas has killer unions.


OTHER STUFF:

If you check out Wired like 1.5 or 1.6 there was a blurb about the new
Luxor hotel with it's total VR experience. It looks like the first
true VR ride / experience for a group of people, it seats eight.
Intense. A friend was just over there, and tested out the various
rides. Not to be outdone the new MGM grand (Largest hotel in the
world) has a ride called the R360 which is basically a gyroscope they
trap you into with goggles. We should get a group together and make a
mass trek over there and check it out. If enough people are
interested I'll call and see if we can book a time to reserve space
for a bunch of us. Both are within walking distance.

I'll whip up a list of stuff that's cool to check out in town there so
if for some reason you leave the awesome conference you can take in
some unreal sites in the city of true capitalism.

MEDIA:

Some of the places you can look for information from last year
include:

New Media Magazine, September 1993
InfoWorld, 7-12-1993 and also 7-19-1993 by Robert X. Cringely
Gray Areas Magazine, Vol 2, #3 (Fall 1993)
Unix World, ???
Phrack #44

COST:

Cost is whatever you pay for a hotel room split however many ways,
plus $15 if you preregister, or $30 at the door. This gets you a
nifty 24 bit color name tag (We're gonna make it niftier this year)
and your foot in the door. There are fast food places all over, and
there is alcohol all over the place but the trick is to get it during
a happy hour for maximum cheapness.

============================================================================

UPDATE:

I wanted to thank whoever sent in the anonymous fax to Wired that was
printed in issue 1.5 Cool deal!

Dan Farmer posted his paper on unix security on the net, and I've put
a copy of it on the ftp site if you want to grab it and take a look.
It's called "zen.txt"

I've received more scanned images from last year, and they will be put
on the ftp site.

=============================================================================

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

For InterNet users, there is a DEF CON anonymous ftp site at
cyberspace.com in /pub/defcon. There are digitized pictures,
digitized speeches and text files with the latest up to date info
available.

For email users, you can email [email protected] for more
information.

For non-net people call:

The Alliance BBS [612] 251.8596 16.8k speed Dual Standard
Open Access. 24 Hours. Users get full access on 1st call.
iirg disto site, Syncro Net, text files galore.
Sysop: Metal Head (The huge guy from last year)
A DEF CON directory is maintained here

For Snail Mail send to: DEF CON, 2709 E. Madison Street Suite #102,
Seattle, WA, 98112

For Voice Mail and maybe a human (me), 0-700-TANGENT on an AT&T phone.

A DEF CON Mailing list is maintained, and the latest announcements are
mailed automatically to you. If you wish to be added to the list just
send email to [email protected] We also maintain a chat mailing
list where people can talk to one another and plan rides, talk,
whatever. If you request to be on this list your email address will
be shown to everyone, just so you are aware.

[Note: We need some good list-serv software for BSD, if anyone knows
where to find some, please e-mail me.]

STUFF TO SPEND YOUR MONEY ON:

> Tapes of last years speakers (four 90 minute tapes) are available
for $20

> DEF CON I tee-shirts (white, large only) with large color logo on
the front, and on the back the Fourth Amendment, past and present.
This is shirt v 1.1 with no type-o's. These are $20, and
sweatshirts are $25.

> Pre-Register for next year in advance for $15 and save half.

> Make all checks/money orders/etc. out to DEF CON, and mail to the
address above.

If you have any confidential info to send, use this PGP key to
encrypt:

-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
Version: 2.3

mQCrAiyI6OcAAAEE8Mh1YApQOOfCZ8YGQ9BxrRNMbK8rP8xpFCm4W7S6Nqu4Uhpo
dLfIfb/kEWDyLreM6ers4eEP6odZALTRvFdsoBGeAx0LUrbFhImxqtRsejMufWNf
uZ9PtGD1yEtxwqh4CxxC8glNA9AFXBpjgAZ7eFvtOREYjYO6TH9sOdZSa8ahW7YQ
hXatVxhlQqve99fY2J83D5z35rGddDV5azd9AAUTtCZUaGUgRGFyayBUYW5nZW50
IDxkdGFuZ2VudEBkZWZjb24ub3JnPg==
=ko7s
-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----

The next announcement will have more updated information. I'll hold off
on naming the speakers unless they commit to attending. It looks to be
a great line up.

- The Dark Tangent

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 25 Jan 1994 14:24:54 -0600 (CST)
From: [email protected](Edward Bertsch)
Subject: File 3--Re: Cu Digest, #6.09/Lobby the Feds via PC

>Computer reporter/reviewer David Batterson looks forward to the day
>when most federal, state, county and city officials are online, so we
>can zap 'em with e-mail. [Will he live so long?] You may contact him
>via The Internet: [email protected], or:
>[email protected]
> * Evaluation copy of Silver Xpress. Day # 50
> --- via Silver Xpress V4.00 [NR]
> --
>uucp: uunet!m2xenix!puddle!290!David.Batterson
>Internet: [email protected]


You don't have to wait for them to be on-line. It is not realistic
to expect politicians to do this in your or my lifetime.

What you can do is get yourself a FAX modem and some print capture
software. This is what I use. I put together a document in a
Windoze word processor, then I say print (to the print capture
software). A box comes up asking me who to send it to. I have
the LOCAL phone numbers for my Congress- and Senate- critters,
as well as Governor, Mayor, City Council, and state house and senate.

I select an individual or multiple recipients, and the message
is sent to them. If there is a busy number, it goes on to the
next one on the list, and eventually gets through to all of
them. My words are read as I wrote them (much different
than what happens when you leave a verbal message) and are
dealt with in a timely manner, since so much of their day to day
business is conducted by FAX these days...

You can get internal data/fax modems for $99 and less these days,
and externals for little more. (even v.32bis/v.42bis/v.17 14400 data/14400 fax
modems)

The software to capture "printed" output to fax is usually included.

I would assume similar prices and packages exist for the Macintosh.

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 25 Jan 1994 10:17:19 +0200 (WET)
From: anonymous
Subject: File 4--Re: Clipp[er]ed again (fwd)


U.S. CODE AGENCY IS JOSTLING FOR CIVILIAN TURF
New York Times, Monday, January 24, 1994
By John Markoff

The National Security agency is trying to establish a standard tor
electronically scrambling computer communications, a move that would
go far beyond the agency's usual military and intelligence domain to
include civilian activities like electronic tax returns and
computerized medical payments.

The plan by the N.S.A., which may be announced as early as today,
worries business executives, who fear a Government encroachment on
privacy. And some officials in the Clinton Administration believe that
the N.S.A. is overstepping its bounds.

The N.S.A. is the Federal agency responsible for electronic
surveillance of global communications, though usually not civilian
communications, within the United States.

((The article explains in a few paragraphs how the
government prefers a government and civilian standard
approach to scrambling in order to crack codes authorized by
court-approved wiretaps))

Bidding Process

The agency will seek bids from companies to produce circuit cards
based on its technology, which would be used to scramble electronic
messages for Government agencies and, eventually, private companies.
Agency employees confirmed the plan late Friday, though no agency
officials could be reached over the weekend for further details.

((A few paragraphs deleted))

Many computer industry executives oppose the National Security
Agency's effort, saying there is no way for industry experts and
outsiders to determine the reliability and security of the underlying
scrambling technology, which the agency intends to keep secret.

Privacy-rights advocates, meanwhile, are wary of the system because
of the electronic "back door" it contains, permitting Government
eavesdropping. And some other Administration officials say the agency
is going too far by pushing the standard into civilian computing

"What these guys are trying to do is run ahead of the blocking," an
Administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.
"Trying to sell this as the wave of the future is premature as
Administration policy.

The circuit card, which is designed to fit into a personal computer
and which the agency calls Tessera, is based on technology similar to
a device known as the Clipper Chip, a telephone voice-scrambling chip
that provides a back-door means for letting law-enforcement officials
eavesdrop.

((The article explains that the Clipper plan was developed by
the NSA, NIST, and CDA, and has been strongly opposed by
professionals and public policy groups))

In a letter to be sent to President Clinton today, which was
released on Friday to The New York Times, a group of 38 of the
nation's leading computer scientists, computer-security specialists
and privacy experts have urged that the Clipper program be stopped.

"The current proposal was developed in secret by Federal agencies
primarily concerned about electronic surveillance, not privacy
protection," the letter states. "Critical aspects of the plan remain
classified and thus beyond public review."

((The article notes that lots of influential crypto-pioneers
signed the letter))

Moreover, the Government could insure widespread use of the Clipper
and Tessera technologies by insisting that they be used by businesses
and individuals when communicating electronically with Federal
agencies.

Official Reasoning

Law-enforcement officials say the technologies are intended to
resolve a longstanding problem of the information age: how to preserve
the right of businesses and citizens to use codes to protect all sorts
of digital communications without letting criminals and terrorists
conspire beyond the law's reach. Businesses and individuals who often
communicate over computer networks already make use of a variety of
scrambling systems-either of their own devising or those commercially
available.

Many of these scrambling systems are unbreakable by anyone who does
not hold the electronic keys to the code, something generally known
only by the sender and the recipient of scrambled messages.

That is a problem for the National Security Agency, which routinely
listens to many of the world's telephone and computer conversations -
although it has no jurisdiction for monitoring non-Government
conversations within the United States. The N.S.A.'s Tessera and
Clipper systems would have an independent agency hold master keys to
the codes, which could be obtained with a court's permission for
surveillance by law-enforcement officials.

((For a few paragraphs, the article notes that the agency
intends to purchase between 10,000-70,000Tessera cards and
notes that the card can be used for civilian functions such
as e-mail and cable tv scrambling))


The National Security Agency's new standard-setting effort is being
introduced a couple of weeks before the Clinton Administration
completes a classified review of the Clipper proposal, and several
industry executives said the announcement had been timed to apply
pressure to the Administration's decision making.

The proposal angers industry executives who believe that the agency
is rushing to establish a de facto standard that will undercut efforts
to adopt a competing commercial standard without a built-in back door.
That standard, being developed by RSA Data Security, a Redwood City,

((A bunch of background information paragraphs deleted))

Secret Formula

These companies are particularly troubled by the National Security
Agency's refusal to disclose the mathematical formula, or algorithm,
on which-its scrambling technology is based.

"The issue here is: Should a secret algorithm developed by the
intelligence community be used for unclassified civilian uses?" said
Stephen Walker, a computer security industry executive and a member of
the Government's Computer System Security and Privacy Advisory Board.
l think the answer is it should not.

((A bunch more deleted summarizing some of the conflict the
agency has experienced regarding the surveillance issue.
Marc Rotenberg of CPSR is quoted as saying that the
proposals are going in the wrong direction))


"These guys are fighting for job security," said William Ferguson,
vice president of Semaphore Inc., a , Santa Clara, Calif., computer
network security firm. "Now that the K.G.B. has gone commercial, the
N.S.A. is trying to start its own initiatives that say, 'all we're
trying to do i is keep up with the K.G.B.' "

White House officials said the agency's actions would not
necessarily force the Administration to authorize, an unpopular coding
technology. One official said the Administration policy review was
likely to establish a permanent working group that, would limit the
National Security, Agency's role in policy making.

((The article concludes by explaining that the NSA intended to
announce its RFPs last week, but was delayed by a snow storm))

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 22 Jan 1994 17:11:30 -0800
From: Jim Warren
Subject: File 5--GOV-ACCESS--Cal Leg online; Minn PubInfo Net; Cal Emg Serv

Jan. 22, 1994

On Friday, Jan. 21, 1994, the California Legislature began offering
global online access to almost-all public information about
legislation-in-process, all current state statutes, and the voluminous
California Constitution.

The state is prohibited from charging *anything* for access to or
re-use of this electronic information.

Access is by Internet ftp and ftpmail ["ftp" = file transfer
protocol]. Note: ftpmail allows anyone with access to the Internet
at least for email purposes to access these files (that are often
large). ftpmail provides access for users of FidoNet, CompuServe,
GEnie, Prodigy, etc., as well as offering Internet users an option to
direct ftp .

README and help files provide complete details.


FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL ...
To receive the help file, send the following email:
To: [email protected]
subject:
Message lines: connect leginfo.public.ca.gov
help
quit

To receive the two README files, send the following email:
To: [email protected]
subject:
Message lines: connect leginfo.public.ca.gov
get README_WELCOME
cd pub
get README_FIRST
quit

And await details of how you may finally participate in the process of
your own governance.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures,
California is the first state in the nation to offer almost all of its
public legislative, statutory and constitutional information via the
Internet, *especially* without charge by the state.

================================================================

Subject--Cal.Emergency Svcs.online + Net-fax + MINN Pub Info Net


Jan. 22, 1994

CALIFORNIA OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES INFO AVAILABLE ONLINE

The state Emergency Digital Information Service is working fine

Telnet to telnet oes1.oes.ca.gov 5501
=====
Is the OES system open/intended to permit public use?
--jim
=====
It seems to be. No login at all is required. You telnet to that port
and get a menu listing the last 20 or so press releases.



SACRAMENTO INTERNET LOCALS: HOW 'BOUT LEGI-FAX ?

Are you familiar with the internet fax gateway service? You can send to an
internet address and IF that telephone exchange is covered by a fax server,
your mail will be delivered via fax. If it is not covered you get a bounce.
For more details send mail to:
[email protected]

A very cool service! Maybe someone in Sacramento would like to put up a
gateway that would transmit faxes to the legislators? 🙂

use this from and to anywhere. -JW>



MINNESOTA DRAFT ONLINE-ACCESS PROPOSAL
Date: Thursday, 20 January 1994 3:15pm CT
To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected], [email protected],
[email protected], STEVEN.CLIFT
From: [email protected]
Subject--Draft Legislative Proposal - Minn Public Info Network

This is a DRAFT proposal from the Electronic Access to Public Information
Task Force of the Information Policy Office, Minnesota Department of
Administration. This is probably the first time a draft proposal of this
nature has been released electronically within government and to the public.

Please send us your comments and suggestions by February 4, 1994 as indicated
in the text of this document. As of January 20, this proposal has been
presented to the full Electronic Access Task Force and the Information
Policy Council. They are just beginning to review this proposal. The
one thing that is guaranteed is that this proposal will change as it
moves toward and through the legislature process. This draft proposal
is more of a concept paper and much of this proposed activity does not
require legislative action, but the overall concept and funding will
need legislative support.

While I have been researching and developing this proposal since early fall,
(I have been on the Internet for two years and run a public policy (PUBPOL-L)
electronic mail list at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs)
the timing of its release is very good. It should be of interest to a
number of people and gain some public attention. On a lighter note, I think
government interest was illustrated by the good turnout we had at our
Task Force meeting on January 18 when it was about -20F. I have a new
theory about why Minnesota is known for having innovative government programs:
we spend our cold winters thinking up good ideas for public services because
there is little to distract us. If this is a relative theory inversely
related to how cold it is, the Minnesota Public Information Network should
be a great proposal. However, we need you feedback to ensure that it is
developed with broad government and public support.

Electronic Access to Public Information Task Force
c/o Steven Clift
Information Policy Office
Minnesota Department of Administration
320 Centennial Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155 Telephone: (612)297-5561 Fax:(612)296-5800
Electronic Mail: [email protected]
=====
Send a request to Steven Clift if you wish the full document.

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 26 Jan 1994 21:23:20 CST
From: CuD Moderators
Subject: File 6--What It Takes To Make It Happen: Key Issues For NII

((MODERATORS' NOTE: The full text of the following paper summary can
be obtained from the CuD ftp archives (see CuD header for addresses))

What It Takes To Make It Happen: Key Issues For
Applications Of The National Information Infrastructure

Committee on Applications and Technology
Information Infrastructure Task Force

January 25, 1994

This paper is intended for public comment and discussion. Your
comments can be sent to any of the following addresses:

Post: Committee on Applications and Technology
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Building 101, Room A1000
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
Phone: (301) 975-2667
FAX: (301) 216-0529
E-Mail: [email protected]

THE COMMITTEE ON APPLICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY

This issue paper was prepared by the Committee on Applications and
Technology of the Information Infrastructure Task Force (IITF) in
support of the President's action plan for developing, in partnership
with the private sector, an advanced information infrastructure for
our country -- the National Information Infrastructure. The Committee
is charged with coordinating Administration efforts:

to develop, demonstrate, and promote applications of
information technology in manufacturing, electronic
commerce, education, health care, government services,
libraries, and other areas, and to develop and recommend
technology strategy and policy to accelerate the
implementation of the NII..

The Committee works with the Subcommittee on High-Performance
Computing and Communications and Information Technology, which was
established as part of the Federal Coordinating Council for Science,
Engineering and Technology to coordinate the development of new
information technologies. The Committee on Applications and Technology
also is responsible for implementing many of the recommendations of
the Vice President's National Performance Review that pertain to
information technology.

((ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS DELETED))

ABSTRACT

This paper highlights important issues that need to be addressed in
the development, demonstration, and promotion of applications for the
National Information Infrastructure (NII). The paper is intended for
three important audiences: the public, the committees and working
groups of the Information Infrastructure Task Force (IITF), and other
agencies and departments in our government. The goal is to identify
and describe the issues so they can be considered and discussed by
these audiences, leading to their eventual resolution. Some of these
issues, such as privacy, intellectual property rights, information
security and the scalability of projects are already being addressed
by the committees and working groups of the IITF. Others, such as user
acceptance and organizational learning, still need to be addressed by
the IITF in order to allow the private/government partnership to
evolve and to work together to build and shape the National
Information Infrastructure.

KEY ISSUES FOR NII APPLICATIONS

The publication of the Agenda for Action on the National Information
Infrastructure (NII)1 in September 1993 greatly heightened the level
of public debate on information technology and social change.

That and other white papers, studies, and commentaries dramatically
sketched a vision of the near future, in which a web of advanced
communications networks and computers would bring vast amounts of
information and greatly improved services to the homes of virtually
every citizen - if we as a nation properly manage the technology.

With this paper, the Committee on Applications and Technology of the
President's Information Infrastructure Task Force proposes a basic set
of critical issues which our nation will face as the NII evolves. Our
perspective in selecting these issues is that of applications that
will use the NII. The reasons for taking this perspective - indeed,
for creating this Committee - are grounded in the unique role the
Federal government plays in the development of the NII. The National
Information Infrastructure is not a cliff which suddenly confronts us,
but rather a slope - and one society has been climbing since postal
services and semaphore networks were established. An information
infrastructure has been with us for a long time, continuously evolving
with each new advance in communications technology. Why the sudden
debate? Change is coming much faster, and more thoroughly, than ever
before. In our lifetimes we will see information technology bring more
changes to more aspects of our daily lives than have been witnessed in
the preceding century. Digital technology is merging the functions of
television sets, telephones, and computers. Fundamental changes are
in store for us in the ways we work, learn, shop, communicate,
entertain ourselves, and get health care and public services. And
those are just the applications we can foresee.

Private industry will be responsible for virtually every major facet
of the NII and the information marketplace it creates. Private
industry will build and manage the networks, provide the information
tools and much of the information that travels the networks, and
develop the many of the applications that use the networks.
But government remains a major participant in the NII. One
reason is obvious - government policies are a major force in the
information infrastructure. One of the principal goals of the
Information Infrastructure Task Force is to develop and foster
informed government policy that promotes our societal goals for
the NII without unnecessarily hampering industry.
As Vice President Gore has observed, "Our goal is not to
design the [information] market of the future. It is to provide
the principles that shape that market. And it is to provide the
rules governing this difficult transition to an open market for
information. We are committed in that transition to protecting
the availability, affordability and diversity of information and
information technology as market forces replace regulations and
judicial models that are simply no longer appropriate."2
Less obvious, however, is the fact that government plays a
major role in the development of NII applications:

As one of the nation's biggest users of information
technology, the government develops NII applications to speed and
improve the delivery of its services. Examples include making

((600 LINES OF TEXT DELETED))

NEXT STEPS AND FOLLOW THROUGH

For the IITF to follow through on the remainder of the issues
identified in this paper requires at least two steps. First, the IITF
committees and interested individuals and groups from the private
sector should review this paper and the issues we have presented to
broaden our understanding and perspective. We welcome comments.

Next, the IITF should review the issues reported here, the framework
for assessing the issues, and the comments from the private sector and
the other committees to decide if its organization is adequately
structured to address the key issues. For example, if the
categorization of issues outlined here - according to the components
of the infrastructure: people, information, processes (software,
especially applications), hardware and networks - is useful, we should
consider whether our current IITF structure covering information,
telecommunications, and applications and technology adequately
addresses people and hardware.

Some steps are already being taken in this direction. A working group
of the Committee on Applications and Technology has been formed to
address technology policy issues, and the Committee has instituted a
public issues discussion program as part of its regular meetings to
facilitate a dialog on the issues outlined in this paper.

In closing, we would like to repeat and emphasize the point made
earlier. In presenting this issues paper, the Committee on
Applications and Technology intends only to describe an initial
catalog of critical issues that must be addressed and resolved in the
development of the NII. We see this is a starting point for
discussion, and not a document to close off discussion of other
issues.

Your comments on this paper can be sent to any of the following
addresses:

Post: Committee on Applications and Technology
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Building 101, Room A1000
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
Phone: (301) 975-2667
FAX: (301) 216-0529
E-Mail: cat_[email protected]

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End of Computer Underground Digest #6.10
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