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Cypherpunks Lobbying? (fwd)



I posted this idea of mine about a month ago, when toad was having 
problems bouncing mail and the router on my own system was going crazy; I 
thought it had gone up but I got absolutely _no_ response about it, 
either pro or con, so I thought maybe I'd better repost it just in case 
it's still bouncing around sura or something.  I'll probably get flamed 
for starting up an old thread again, but this isn't so much an invitation 
for discussion as it is a call to action.  I've updated it, since some 
things have changed since then.

-=Kathleen M. Ellis=-

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 1995 04:11:23 -0400 (EDT)
From: K. M. Ellis <[email protected]>
To: "Timothy C. May" <[email protected]>
Cc: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected],
    [email protected]
Subject: Cypherpunks Lobbying?

On Thu, 13 Jul 1995, Timothy C. May wrote:

> 
> I'd hardly call my view "throwing in the towel." What I said clearly enough
> was that the Washingtonians can throw out repressive legislation much
> faster than we can--and I speak in terms of "we" as being the EFF, EPIC,
> NRA, ACLU, etc., and _not_ the Cyherpunks, who have no lobbying activities
> to speak of.

I'm glad you brought this up, Tim, because Pat Farrell, Carl Ellison, and
I have been discussing the possiblility of doing just that over the past
week or so.  The three of us, in addition to many others (we like to call
ourselves "The Mid-Atlantic Cypherpunks") are very near DC and thought we
might take advantage of this on behalf of others who don't have the luxury
of living near their legislators. 

Our idea (and it was originally limited to lobbying against the CDA, but
we can expand it now to lobby against that and S.974) was to have Cypherpunks
send letters (yes, authentic _snail mail_) to a Cypherpunk willing to go
deliver it in person, (namely me) and talk to whoever is there, be it the
congressperson or one of his/her aides.  The strategy of this action would
be to say,"hello, we represent <insert your organization here> and we
oppose <insert appropriate legislation title here> and we feel this way
because <insert very reasonable and diplomatic explanations in easy,
mono-syllabic words so that the congresscritter can understand here> and
here is a letter from one of your constituents who feels the same way we
do."  A simple lobby. 

I thought this might be beneficial to cypherpunks because it seems that a
lot of representatives are difficult to get in touch with, since not all
of them have e-mail addresses.  I think there is a certain advantage in
this kind of action from an educational standpoint, considering that the
House doesn't seem to have a strong backer for this bill like the Senate
did, and the many Congresscritters who know nothing about the net only
need someone to explain the consequences of such a bill to them. 
Furthermore, to those ignorant of the net and its ways, a printed out list
of names and e-mail addresses collected through the web is completely
foreign and perhaps intimidating to them, and therefore not all that
helpful to us, IMHO.  Hand-signed letters (or hand-written, if your
printing is more legible than mine) in good, old-fashioned envelopes is
just what critters of this sort need to see. 

If any US citizens here would like me (and hopefully some older, wiser 
cypherpunks willing to join me on this trip) to deliver a letter to their 
congressperson please send a letter to this address:

                          The Hon. Whoever
                        c/o Kathleen M. Ellis
                           TSU box 898
                        Towson State University
                         8000 York Road
                          Towson, MD  21204

On the envelope you must include:

	The name of the congressperson (if I have to open the letter to be able 
			to tell who it is meant for it'll lose some of its 
			authenticity)

	My full address (yes, all five lines of it, or i'll never get it)

	If you can get it, the office location of representative 
			(building name and room number) printed on the 
			back. If you can't find it don't 
			worry, I'll find it, but if you can provide it I'd 
			appreciate it.  You can get it at the URL below.

	A return address

	A postmark from your district

The letter must have:

	The specific bill you are against; its number, title, and sponsors 
			(the CDA is H.R.1004/S.652 sponsored by 
			Senator James Exon, from Nebraska)

	Possible alternatives (my suggestion is H.R. 1978, sponsored by 
			Cox and Wyden)

	A polite introuduction, a concise body, and a gracious 
			conclusion :). 

	Your address and signature.

If you need more information for your letter, good URLs on the subject are:

http://www.cdt.org/cdw.html
http://www.cdt.org/petition.html
http://www.eff.org/pub/EFF/Issues/censorship/Exon_bill/
http://uvacs.cs.virginia.edu/~hwh6k/public/S314_stuff.html
http://www.phantom.com/~slowdog
http://www.panix.com/vtw/exon/

If you don't know who your representative is, try to find her/him through

http://www.house.gov

and look for a familiar looking name from your state.  Unfortunately 
there's no "point-and-click" US map to refer to to find out which 
district is yours, but you should be able to find out fairly easily by 
looking for familiar names.  If you really get stuck, try your local 
League of Women Voters.

The main thing is, I need these letters soon.  In order to have a shot at
getting to talk to anyone, I must make appointments with the offices of
the respective representatives.  The house is expected to vote on this
topic any day now; the clock's a-ticking.  I ask that all letters be sent
so that I can recieve them by August 11, 1995.  I aim to raid congress on
Wednesday, August 16.  This date could be changed, depending on the definite
responses I get from people willing to help. 

I have lobbied before, and I'm up to the task, but it would be nice to
have some other politically-oriented cypherpunks along for, at the very
least, moral support.  Anybody interested, Please Please Please send me
some e-mail.  Carl or Pat might go, and if we get enough people to help we 
can split the workload among teams.

If anyone has comments/questions/suggestions, don't hesitate.  I'd
appreciate whatever isn't necesary to go up on the list to be sent to me
privately, so's I don't get into trouble for "inciting spam". 

-=Kathleen M. Ellis=-

[email protected]              http://zeus.towson.edu/~kelli/
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