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EFF, Mike Godwin, Cliff Stoll
*** PLEASE REDISTRIBUTE FREELY ***
Wednesday, August 16th BayFF (Bay Area Chapter of EFF) held a meeting in
San Francisco with speakers Mike Godwin and Cliff Stoll. Attached are a
few notes for those of you who missed the opportunity to attend.
See you in the future,
[email protected] Bacard wrote "The Computer Privacy
Stanford, California Handbook" [Intro by Mitchell Kapor].
http://www.well.com/user/abacard Published by Peachpit Press, (800)
Enjoy your privacy... 283-9444, ISBN # 1-56609-171-3.
Notes from the BayFF Semi-Underground
Andre Bacard <[email protected]>
Wednesday, August 16, 1995, I found myself cruising through Golden Gate
Park. Suddenly I swerved into the right lane and shouted "Eureka." For
those who don't know, Eureka is the California state motto which, in the
tradition of the Gold Rush, means "I found it!" In San Francisco IT means
a parking place. Feeling euphoric about my good fortune, I started the
short walk long on memories towards the Haight-Ashbury district. It was
delightful and fogless. The salty air was cool. The smell of grass (the
type that city gardener's mow) was fresh. Passing a guitarist, I thought
of the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia, recently deceased. My mind flashed
back twenty-five years ago when I first visited Haight-Ashbury. Twenty-
five years ago at the dawn of the Computer Age... So many silicon chips
under the bridge... I thought of all the people in the Haight mourning
Garcia and donating to the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic in Garcia's memory.
I flashed back upon my first meeting with John Perry Barlow, lyricist for
the Grateful Dead and co-founder of EFF. That meeting helped inspire me
to write COMPUTER PRIVACY HANDBOOK. Such were a few of the images that
danced through my mind as I entered the Cole & Page Street Public
Library... It was appropriate to be attending an EFF meeting.
John Gilmore, EFF Board Member, was the first person I saw. Gilmore
reminds me of a lean Chesire cat. He has a mischievous smile as if to
say, "You won't believe what just happened." Maybe we'll never discover
what just happened with John, since he's so much into crypto. In any
case, Gilmore introduced Mike Godwin as "The first lawyer in Cyberspace
and EFF's first employee."
Mike Godwin ("a cool guy who survived law school with his personality
intact" according to an anonymous EFF publicist) spoke for 90 minutes
about how to deal with reporters and, more specifically, about his role
in trying to correct the damage done to cyberspace by TIME's infamous
"CyberPorn" cover story. Godwin detailed many flaws in Carnegie Mellon
University undergraduate Mr. Rimm's study of cyberporn that led to the
"CyberPorn" piece. Godwin said of Rimm's paper: "It's as if you surveyed
the bookstores in Times Square in Manhattan and generalized to all
bookstores in America."
Cliff Stoll ("a wild and crazy guy with interesting hair" according to
the same anonymous EFF publicist) is the author of the best-selling book
SILICON SNAKE OIL. Stoll personifies the eccentric heritage of the San
Francisco counter-culture. With lots of humor and drama, Stoll presented
a critical view of the Internet. "The Internet is a perfect diversion
from learning" and "The Internet opens many doors that lead to empty
rooms" were two of his many memorable lines. Stoll noted that wisdom and
experience play little role in the Computer Cult (i.e., all the Hype
surrounding the Information Superhighway).
The EFF events that I've attended at WIRED's office in the San Francisco
Mission District and last night are well worth the hassle of hunting down
a parking place.
To learn more about future monthly BayFF meetings, send this e-mail:
To: [email protected]
See you at future events,
P.S. I'm the guy with the fedora hat who people mistake for Indiana