[lug] Colorado "Super-DMCA" bill impacts on Internet, privacy, security

Neal McBurnett neal at bcn.boulder.co.us
Thu Apr 10 23:06:33 MDT 2003

Colorado bill HB03-1303, "Unlawful Telecom Access Cell Phone Crime",
is being pushed by the Entertainment industry, in this case the MPAA.
Edward W. Felten <felten at cs.princeton.edu>, (609) 258-5906, Associate
Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University, says that the
model legislation would have the possibly unintended effect of
outlawing critical and popular Internet technologies like NAT (Network
Address Translation).  Many say that it clearly would outlaw Vitual
Private Networks (VPN), private email (TLS-SMTP), etc.

But some of the *intended* consequences of the bill also limit our
civil liberties and would raise confusion about and outlaw important
software and technologies used every day by system administrators who
are trying to keep their networks secure, and by individuals trying to
get popular hardware working on Linux and other non-commercial
operating systems, because more control is handed to manufacturers and
communications providers.

The law has redefinitions that are used to make laws sound good though
they actually restrict altrusitic and normal practices.  My reading
suggests that a standard 802.11 wireless computer interface ("wi-fi")
fits their definition of a "Cellular Phone" and it probably becomes an
illegal "Cloned Cellular Phone" if someone writes a driver so it works
on Linux.

The MPAA and the entertainment industry in general have been trampling
on our rights in recent years, trying to protect their distribution
monopoly at the cost of customers, artists, innovation, etc.

With DMCA they have sued people who write and give away software to
play DVDs using the free Linux operating system.

With CBDTPA they tried to regulate how ALL computers and media
players are made.  We are holding them at bay there.

Now they are trying to stifle innovation in the communications field
and are breaking basic Internet technology in the process.  As with
previous laws they have proposed, many of these new provisions are
broken even if there is no malicious intent.

I think they need to hear it again in the House, since the Senate made
amendments.  Please let your legislators know this is a bad bill,
carved out by special interests, which hurts consumers and businesses
in Colorado.

You can find out who your representatives are at

For more info:
  The best simple description I've seen:

  Central site about Super-DMCA:

  Colorado bill, as amended by the senate on April 9:

  Colorado Legislative History:


  If you're not tired yet:

Neal McBurnett                 http://bcn.boulder.co.us/~neal/
GPG/PGP signed and/or sealed mail encouraged.  Keyid: 2C9EBA60

More information about the LUG mailing list