PRIVACY Forum Archive Document
PRIVACY Forum Digest Friday, 30 April 1993 Volume 02 : Issue 15 Moderated by Lauren Weinstein (firstname.lastname@example.org) Vortex Technology, Topanga, CA, U.S.A. ===== PRIVACY FORUM ===== The PRIVACY Forum digest is supported in part by the ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy. CONTENTS Clipper Observations (Rick Pavek) Re: Clipper key announcement (Ken Beal) Clipper chip (Alan J. Rosenthal) Wiretap Chip and Key Escrow Abuses (Paul Ferguson) Letter on SSN and Health Care (Dave Banisar) Clinton Administration Freedom of Information Policy (Paul Hyland) *** Please include a RELEVANT "Subject:" line on all submissions! *** *** Submissions without them may be ignored! *** ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- The PRIVACY Forum is a moderated digest for the discussion and analysis of issues relating to the general topic of privacy (both personal and collective) in the "information age" of the 1990's and beyond. 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For information regarding the availability of this digest via FAX, please send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org, call (310) 455-9300, or FAX to (310) 455-2364. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- VOLUME 02, ISSUE 15 Quote for the day: "You will say you lose your freedom. Freedom is an illusion. All you lose is the emotion of pride." -- Colossus "Colossus: The Forbin Project"; 1970 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1993 14:53:25 -0700 From: Rick Pavek <email@example.com> Subject: Clipper Observations Let's see if I can imagine a scenario... Drug dealer goes into an AT&T phone store and asks to see a cellular phone. Phone salesperson offers the new Clipper protected model. DD asks isn't this the new one that the government designed to be wiretapped? The salesman says "Yes". DD says "Let me see an unencrypted model..." First point, no one engaged in illegal conduct will knowingly purchase something designed to be wiretapped. Second, I imagine that there will be an aftermarket of products that will add layers of encryption to the devices and make wiretapping again impossible. The most successful of these will be ones that are cheap. Third, will the NSA also be using these Clipper Chips? Will law enforcement officials that find a CIA operatative using one be able to decrypt his transmission, as well? Obviously, the agencies that are the most likely to use encryption will not subject themselves to such an easily defeated means. (One warrant and two keys to go, please!) What we need to listen for are rumors of "clipper style" encryption that can't be busted by normal means. Just a hunch, but I'll bet that the NSA and other clandestine organizations will be purchasing "modified" chips that don't include that "family key F" with their encrypted transmissions, or that will include bogus ones... I think the last thing the NSA wants is to be exposed to the observations of "normal law enforcement agencies". OK, just realized that the keys to certain chips could be denied to the search warrants if they were tagged "National Security", eh? Anyone with an insight into how the actual process/protection will be setup? Just a curious bloke: Rick Pavek Halcyon.com ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 23 Apr 93 16:28:46 EDT From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ken Beal) Subject: Re: Clipper key announcement > From: email@example.com (Chuck Stern) [...] > Under the > current court, however, the exclusionary rule has been relaxed: if the police > were 'acting in good faith,' then the evidence obtained via an illegally or > improperly executed search warrant (for example) is admissable. While my input to this has little to do with the Clipper Chip per se (although I completely disagree with it and hope people will alert Intergraph's lawyers), I'd like to take issue with the "good faith" ruling. >Anyone< can >say< that they're acting in good faith. Why should we expect that a police officer won't lie? Especially if it means busting that so-and-so that he's been after for months? Alternatively: if the cops can do it, then I can too. "Judge, I didn't realize it was illegal to [insert offence here]." etc. Our society has to realize that, badge or no badge, everyone's an individual. Everyone has their own ideas and ideals, their own form of greed to deal with, their own morality and their own vices. Giving a segment of the population free reign like this is, quite simply, frightening. -- Kenneth L. Beal, Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1993 13:03:46 -0400 From: Alan J Rosenthal <email@example.com> Subject: clipper chip I'm not really picking on a particular posting, so let me quote anonymously. A poster supposes that he has purchased another cryptography unit which is not breakable by the authorities, as well as purchasing a clipper chip: >so that I can of course communicate with other normal Clipper units, but >also so that a "casual eavesdropper" would detect nothing amiss on my line: >since I possess said Clipper unit, one of course expects my communications >to be encrypted. If the government holds true to its word ... >Without using the completed Clipper key, the authorities cannot distinguish a >data stream generated by my [secure] unit from a data stream generated by my >decidedly legal Clipper unit. I think that now would be a good time for all to re-read Ken Thompson's "Reflections on Trusting Trust", which was published as an ACM Turing Award lecture and appears in a collection book called "ACM Turing Award lectures: the first twenty years, 1966 to 1985", ACM Press, New York, 1987, 0897911830. Wouldn't it be cool if when you switched off the switch on your telephone which activates the clipper chip (so that you could use your other chip), the clipper chip listened in and tried to determine if you were using some other encryption method and if so, the next time you used the clipper chip, it integrated some evidence of this fact into the encrypted data stream? But that's kind of far out; hopefully others can come up with more plausible scenarios. But that's not what I came to talk about here today... The cryptographic algorithm could insert (and remove upon decrypting) a short literal sequence every specified number of bytes, or anything like that to prove that you were really using that algorithm to a "casual eavesdropper". If the algorithm is unpublished or if the published algorithm is somewhat abstract so that you can't do it yourself just from reading the article, there would be no way for a normal person to detect this. Of course the hypothetical non-clipper cryptography unit could be designed to contain this sequence as well, but only if the makers knew it was there. It is also possible for more sophisticated characteristics of the stream to indicate that it's really a clipper chip stream. One thing which comes to mind is bizarre distribution properties of the output bytes, assuming the encrypted stuff was digital, which it probably isn't, but heck this is just an example. For example, let's say that data is encoded so that bytes range only from 0-200 rather than 0-255. Now add 0 to the first byte, 1 to the next byte, and so on, up to adding 55, then add 0 to the subsequent byte, and so on. The resulting stream will never have a value less than (n mod 56) for the nth byte (zero-origin) nor a value greater than (n mod 56) + 200 for the nth byte. So the stream would be easily identifiable but still probably look normal if you didn't know what you were looking for. This is just an example and may be flawed because I don't know too much about cryptology but I think the principle is correct. In the absence of a published algorithm, we can't make ANY assumptions. It's also still possible that the code is easily broken, or that only one half of the key (i.e. from only one escrow agent) makes it become easily broken. Without knowing something about key distribution it's hard to say too much either; perhaps the keys are assigned in some pattern such that knowing the manufacturer and the year in which the equipment is manufactured gives you only a couple of possible values for one of the halves. Or, say, only a hundred possibilities, which still renders it feasible to try all of 'em. Someone else made a good point that it sure would simplify things to encode the serial number of the chip into its broadcast now and then so that the cops didn't have to enter your home to look at the serial numbers on your equipment. Wouldn't it save them a lot of time to encode the key instead? Unless I missed it, I haven't seen the DES concerns repeated yet. They should be. The concerns are that one has to be suspicious about the government promoting a particular cryptographic standard so heavily. People suspected the NSA of having some influence over the choice of encryption method for DES. And no one ever suggested that DES would have some legal status with respect to individuals. in solidarity, Alan "V guvax jr fubhyq cebzbgr ebg13 nf gur arj rapelcgvba fgnaqneq" Rosenthal ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Apr 93 11:19:44 EDT From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Paul Ferguson) Subject: Wiretap Chip and Key Escrow Abuses I've been following the discussions on several newsgroups and mailing lists (RISKS, PRIVACY and Cypherpunks) concerning the Wiretap Chip (Clipper/Capstone) and the proposed key escrow system. Here's my $.02, as well. In RISK 14.55, <jim@RSA.COM> Jim Bidzos wrote - JB> Since Clipper, as currently defined, cannot be implemented in JB> software, what options are available to those who can benefit JB> from cryptography in software? Was a study of the impact on JB> these vendors or of the potential cost to the software industry JB> conducted? (Much of the use of cryptography by software JB> companies, particularly those in the entertainment industry, is JB> for the protection of their intellectual property. Using hardware JB> is not economically feasible for most of them.) Jim raises a valid concern. Although a hardware based system is ideal for voice encryption, the idea of registered key systems, where government and/or LE agencies have involvement, is not a popular one. The key escrow scheme in this proposal reeks of Big Brother. (As in, "Trust me. I'm from the government and I'm your friend.") In some circles, it is not even a consideration. Software encryption systems employed to protect intellectual and commercial data and electronic mail are much more flexible and desirable, especially when they are not governmentally proposed, imposed, designed and sanctioned by spook organizations such as the NSA. The real sore spot with the Clipper proposal is that private industry and citizenry were blind-sided by this entire process. The possibility that Uncle Sam will try to make this a de-facto standard and subsequently place restrictions on other forms of crypto (eg. software based) is real. Also in RISKS 14.55, <email@example.com> Bill Campbell wrotes - BC> There are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of commercial, criminal and BC> governmental entities with access to government resources who BC> would not hesitate for a moment to violate my rights if they BC> found it expedient to do so. These individuals and organizations BC> have demonstrated beyond question that they are not constrained BC> by legal or ethical considerations, and as has been suggested BC> in a number of other postings, the technology employed by Clipper BC> (including the dual escrow sham) will probably not even pose so BC> much as an inconvenience to a determined adversary. To suggest BC> otherwise is, at best, profoundly naive. I have a tendency to agree with Bill. In fact, California is currently embroiled in a scandal involving the release of confidential data (DMV addresses), by employees of the Anaheim Police Department, to third party interests. This is clearly in violation of their employer's policies, their own terms of employment, state criminal law, and civil law. What's to stop the same blatant, unethical breech of confidentiality with regards to the Clipper key escrow implementation? Nothing, that's what. In the future, information will be the most powerful possession and in the spirit of SNEAKERS, s/he who has control of and access to the information is the most powerful. Power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely. I think that Clipper offers maximum abuse in this scenario. Also in RISK 14.55, <firth@SEI.CMU.EDU> Robert Firth wrote - RF> You see, friends, if the Clipper becomes the normal, standard, or RF> accepted means of encryption, then *the use of any other encryption RF> scheme can of itself be considered "probable cause" for search and RF> seizure*. And thereby could be lost in the courts what was won at RF> such great cost. This is perhaps my greatest concern in all of the Clipper/Capstone hoopla. Personally, I don't have much faith in the law enforcment agencies to act responsibly. The Secret Service and FBI have, in the past, clearly demonstrated that do not grasp the scope of the problems technically challenging modern society. The Steve Jackson Games case is one instance that immediately springs to mind. Some parts of the country are demographically more at risk than others. For example, the criteria which may be deemed as "probable cause" for search and seizure in Jackson, Mississippi could very well be reason for the ACLU to file a suit against the LEA in New York City. Also in RISKS 14.55, <firstname.lastname@example.org> A. PADGETT PETERSON writes - PP> Like I said, both the government and corporate America need PP> Clipper, the designers are some of the best in the world, and PP> the administration has more to lose than we do. Given that, PP> Clipper will work as advertised. The only way that I can imagine the government actually needing Clipper is where Clipper is forced upon the country as the de-facto standard and other forms of cryptography are restricted. Uncle Sam tends to forget that what is desirable for the government, is not always acceptable to the public at large. Cynically, Paul Ferguson Network Integrator Centreville, Virginia USA email@example.com ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1993 9:42:58 EST From: Dave Banisar <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Letter on SSN and Health Care PRESS RELEASE April 26, 1993 Contact: Dave Banisar 202/544-9240 (tel) 202/547-5481 (fax) email@example.com (email) Experts Call for Medical Privacy Protection: Recommend that Social Security number be LEFT OFF Health ID Card Leading privacy experts have called on Hillary Rodham Clinton to establish privacy safeguards for medical identification cards. Mrs. Clinton chairs the Health Care Reform Task Force and is expected to release a report on the program in the next few weeks. The letter specifically asks Mrs. Clinton to avoid using the Social Security Number for patient record identification. "Now is the right time to develop an appropriate identification scheme. A poorly designed system will create privacy problems for many years to come." The letter says that the widespread use of the SSN has led to an increase in credit and banking fraud. "The harm that can be inflicted from the disclosure of a SSN to an unscrupulous individual is alarming and potentially ruinous." The signatories of the letter include the countries leading experts on privacy protection, computer security, information law, and technology and society. Among the signers are Janlori Goldman, head of the ACLU Privacy and Technology Project and Evan Hendricks of the US Privacy Council. Mr. Hendricks said, "The privacy problems with medical records are frightening. If you don't prohibit Social Security numbers, you're left with a miniaturized ticking bomb inside every health care card." The letter was signed by Professor Eric Roberts, Department of Computer Science, Stanford University; President, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR); Janlori Goldman, Director, ACLU Privacy and Technology Project; Evan Hendricks, Chair, US Privacy Council; Sheri Alpert, author, "Medical Records, Privacy and Health Care Reform"; Michael S. Baum, Chair, EDI and Information Technology Division, Section of Science and Technology, American Bar Association; Professor Mary J. Culnan, School of Business Administration, Georgetown University; Simon Davies, Director General, Privacy International; Jack Esbin, Secretary, ACM; Professor Oscar Gandy, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania; Marc Greidinger, plaintiff in Greidinger v. Davis; Chris Hibbert, Chair, CPSR Palo Alto Civil Liberties Working Group; Professor Lance Hoffman, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, George Washington University; Jim Horning, Systems Research Center, Palo Alto, Digital Equipment Corporation; Larry Hunter, Chair, CPSR/DC; Professor Gary Marx, Director, Center for the Social Study of Information Technology, University of Colorado; Peter G. Neumann, Principal Scientist, Computer Science Laboratory, SRI International; Amy Pearl, Member of Technical Staff, Sun Microsystems; Professor Henry H. Perritt, Jr., Villanova University School of Law; Professor Priscilla M. Regan, Department of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University; Virginia Rezmierski, Information Technology Division, University of Michigan; Professor Ron Rivest, Laboratory for Computer Science, MIT; Marc Rotenberg, Director, CPSR Washington office; Professor Rohan Samarajiva, National Regulatory Research Institute, Ohio State University; Barbara Simons, Chair, ACM Public Policy Committee; Robert Ellis Smith, Publisher, Privacy Journal; Professor George Trubow, John Marshall School of Law; A. Joe Turner; Fred W. Weingarten, Executive Director, Computing Research Associates; and, Paul Wolfson, staff attorney, Public Citizen Litigation Group. -------------------------------------------------- April 26, 1993 Mrs Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chairperson Health Care Reform Task Force The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20550 Dear Mrs. Clinton, We are writing to you regarding privacy protection and the anticipated report of the Health Care Reform Task Force. There are many privacy issues in the management of medical records, but one issue we are specifically concerned about is the possible use of the Social Security Number as a patient identifier. It is our belief that the SSN should not be used for medical record identification and that an alternative identification scheme must be developed. Now is the right time to develop an appropriate identification scheme. A good plan will serve the goal of streamlining health care administration while avoiding the risk inherent in the use of the Social Security number. A poorly designed system will create privacy problems for many years to come. There are several reasons we believe the SSN should not be used as a patient identifier. First, the widespread use of the SSN has led to an increase in credit and banking fraud and invites many types of abuse. A recent decision from a federal appeals court said simply that "the harm that can be inflicted from the disclosure of a SSN to an unscrupulous individual is alarming and potentially financially ruinous." For this reason, the Social Security Administration has said that it opposes new uses of the SSN for record identification. Second, the use of the SSN increases the likelihood that medical information will be improperly disclosed to insurers, employers, and others. Direct marketing firms use the SSN to link discrete records about individuals. While it may be appropriate to collect the SSN for some purposes, there is no reason that it should be publicly disseminated. Third, section 7 of the Privacy Act of 1974 creates a presumption that the Social Security number should not be used for record-keeping purposes unrelated to Social Security and taxation. Congress recognized the dangers of widespread use of the SSN as a universal identifier. The Senate report stated that the widespread use of SSNs is "one of the most serious manifestations of privacy concerns in the Nation." Since passage of the Privacy Act, concern about SSN confidentiality and misuse has become even more compelling. Fourth, from a technical viewpoint, the SSN is not a good identifier. It is not unique, there are multiple users of a single SSN, and the absence of certain technical features makes it difficult to determine whether a random nine-digit number is in fact an SSN. The use of the current SSN as a patient identifier will likely lead to record misidentifications that could otherwise be avoided. Many organizations that provide comprehensive health services do not use the SSN as a patient identifier. For example, the Harvard Community Health Plan, with over half a million subscribers, uses a separate number for patient identification in its automated records system. The SSN is collected for administrative use but is not publicly disclosed. Also, when Canada confronted the issue of patient record identification several years ago, the province of Ontario decided not to use the Social Insurance Number, and instead to develop a separate Medical Identification Number. Ontario also passed legislation restricting the use of the MID for health care purposes. We believe that a similar approach, based on an identification scheme unique for medical records and supported by clear legal safeguards, should be pursued in the United States. The protection of privacy is a critical part of the delivery of quality health care services. Patients and health care providers both require the assurance of confidently so that accurate and complete information will be available for diagnosis and ongoing patient care. Absent clear safeguards for privacy protection, patients may not be forthcoming about potentially embarrassing but medically relevant facts which providers should know. For these reasons, privacy protection must be incorporated into the recommendations of the Health Care Reform Task Force. Identification schemes that diminish the confidentiality of patient records should be avoided. In spite of the superficial attractiveness of the SSN, we urge the Health Care Task Force to state clearly in the anticipated report that the Social Security Number should not be used as a patient identifier. We would be pleased to meet with those members of the Task Force that you have asked to examine privacy concerns, and also to work with you personally or any other members of your staff regarding the problems with the use of the SSN. Sincerely yours, Professor Eric Roberts, Department of Computer Science, Stanford University; President, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) Janlori Goldman, Director, ACLU Privacy and Technology Project Evan Hendricks, Chair, US Privacy Council Sheri Alpert, author, "Medical Records, Privacy and Health Care Reform" Michael S. Baum, Chair, EDI and Information Technology Division, Section of Science and Technology, American Bar Association Professor Mary J. Culnan, School of Business Administration, Georgetown University Simon Davies, Director General, Privacy International Jack Esbin, Secretary, Association of Computing Machinists Professor Oscar Gandy, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania Marc Greidinger, plaintiff in Greidinger v. Davis Chris Hibbert, Chair, CPSR Palo Alto Civil Liberties Working Group Professor Lance Hoffman, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, George Washington University Jim Horning, Systems Research Center, Palo Alto, Digital Equipment Corporation Larry Hunter, Chair, CPSR/DC Professor Gary Marx, Director, Center for the Social Study of Information Technology, University of Colorado Peter G. Neumann, Principal Scientist, Computer Science Laboratory, SRI International Amy Pearl, Member of Technical Staff, Sun Microsystems Professor Henry H. Perritt, Jr., Villanova University School of Law Professor Priscilla M. Regan, Department of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University Virginia Rezmierski, Information Technology Division, University of Michigan Professor Ron Rivest, Laboratory for Computer Science, MIT Marc Rotenberg, Director, CPSR Washington office Professor Rohan Samarajiva, National Regulatory Research Institute, Ohio State University Barbara Simons, Chair, ACM Public Policy Committee Robert Ellis Smith, Publisher, Privacy Journal Professor George Trubow, John Marshall School of Law A. Joe Turner Fred W. Weingarten, Executive Director, Computing Research Associates Paul Wolfson, staff attorney, Public Citizen Litigation Group (Affiliations listed for identification purposes) cc: Ira Magaziner Dennis Steinhauer, NIST ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1993 11:23:41 EDT From: Paul Hyland <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Clinton Administration Freedom of Information Policy [ Original posting source: email@example.com in igc:alt.news-media -- MODERATOR ] White House Official Outlines Freedom of Information Strategy at 'Information Summit' To: National Desk, Media Writer Contact: Ellen Nelson of The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, 615-321-9588 NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 13 -- A White House official today outlined a broad open government strategy for the Clinton administration, throwing support behind legislation to apply the Freedom of Information Act to electronic records. "At the Clinton White House, most of the debate over the E-mail system is about how we can interconnect it to public services rather than how we can destroy the records or tear out the hard drives before the subpoenas come to reach us," said John Podesta, assistant to the president and staff secretary. Podesta made his comments in front of 70 participants in the nation's first Freedom of Information Summit, sponsored by The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University. Though the economy dominates the headlines, Podesta said the new administration was quietly working across a broad front to open government. His "predictions for the first year," included: -- Working with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) to win approval this session for a bill allowing access to dozens of electronic databases in the federal government. -- Developing an electronic mail system within the federal government to improve citizen participation in government. -- Making the government's archives available on the nation's "information highway," and appointing a national archivist "who cares more about preserving history than about preserving his job." --Creating a "mood of declassification" with new executive orders from the president outlining what government may keep secret. -- "Reinventing government" under initiatives developed by the fall by Vice President Gore to require more openness on the part of civil servants throughout the bureaucracy. Podesta also pledged lobbying reform and political reform to "get rid of the soft money in campaigns." The Freedom of Information Act may need strengthening in addition to electronic access, he said. Pinched by a dozen years of tight information policy, news organizations have sent President Clinton a freedom of information policy paper calling for wholesale personnel changes in FOIA-related jobs, junking the secrecy classifications of President Reagan's Executive Order 12356, overhauling the Freedom of Information Act and ending military censorship of war reporting. "People working on behalf of the public on more openness in government at all levels are heartened by the prospect of the White House taking the lead in this area," said Paul McMasters, executive director of The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University. The conference, sponsored by The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, is focusing on issues ranging from the Clinton administration's policies on open government to restrictions on public access to crime, accident and disaster scenes. The conference, open to the public, is at the Stouffer Hotel in downtown Nashville. Speakers on the Clinton FOI Agenda included Richard Schmidt Jr., general counsel to the American Society of Newspaper Editors and partner in the law firm of Cohn & Marks in Washington, D.C.; Theresa Amato, the director of the FOI Clearinghouse in Washington, D.C. and staff counsel for Public Citizens Litigation Group in Washington, D.C.; and Quinlan Shea, former Carter administration official who discussed problems of access to government. Former American hostage Terry Anderson will give the keynote address at the dinner tonight. The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University is an independent operating program of The Freedom Forum. The Center's mission is to foster a better public understanding of and appreciation for First Amendment rights and values, including freedom of religion, free speech and press, the right to petition government and peaceful assembly. The Freedom Forum is a nonpartisan, international organization dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people. It is supported entirely by an endowment established by Frank E. Gannett in 1935 that has grown to more than $700 million in diversified managed assets. Its headquarters is The Freedom Forum World Center in Arlington, Va. -30- -- Canada Remote Systems - Toronto, Ontario 416-629-7000/629-7044 ------------------------------ End of PRIVACY Forum Digest 02.15 ************************
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