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This is a "toolkit" of resources and informtion about privacy.
It is divided into reviews of:

----> Books
----> Newsletters and Journals
----> Reports/Pamphlets
----> Advocacy Groups
----> Online Resources for Computer Users
----> Other resources



Robert Luhn

Copyright 1993 Robert Luhn
1022 Curtis St.
Albany, CA 94706
MCI Mail:       302-9347
Internet:       [email protected]
America Online: PCW LUHN

"Privacy is the most comprehensive of all rights...the right to 
one's personality," wrote Louis Brandeis for the <<Harvard Law 
Review>>, back in the musty pre-fax 1890s. But Judge Thomas 
Cooley, an obscure contemporary of Brandeis', probably put it 
better: "Privacy is the right to be let alone."

Unfortunately, our clever founding fathers neglected to mention 
privacy specifically in either the Constitution or the Bill of 
Rights. The fourth amendment does secure you from "unreasonable 
searches and seizures", but it doesn't prevent your boss from 
bugging the company bathroom, a federal employer from demanding a 
urine sample, or your nosy neighbor from tapping into your 
cordless phone conversations with a police scanner. 

In sum, your safeguards against government, corporate, and 
freelance snoopers are pretty slim, dependent on a handful of 
narrow federal and state laws and scattered court precedents. 
California and a few other states embed broad privacy protections 
right up front in their constitutions, but this is an exception, 
not the rule. 

So don't leave home without protection. If you want to protect 
your credit rating, prevent your boss from rifling through your 
email, or keep the government out of your bladder, peruse this 
compendium of vital privacy resources that no one should be 
without. There's something here for everyone, from the casual 
reader to the privacy buff. 

----> Books

Your Right to Privacy
This omnibus pocket guide from the ACLU covers just about every 
privacy issue under the sun, such as what an employer can 
disclose from your personnel records, confidentiality of AIDS 
tests, who can ask for your Social Security number, how to 
correct government records, and how to deal with sneaky private 
investigators. "If there's enough money, you can get anything" 
boasts one anonymous PI in the book. "You have to find the weak 
link in the chain and go for it!" The book doles out advice in an 
accessible question and answer format, and includes just enough 
history to give you the proper context. If you buy only one book, 
buy this one. 
<<Your Right to Privacy: A Basic Guide to Legal Rights in an 
Information Society>>
Evan Hendricks, et al, 1990; 208pp.
$7.95 from Southern Illinois University Press, P.O. Box 3697, 
Carbondale, IL 62902-3697, or the ACLU.

Steal This Urine Test
If you've been asked to fill this cup, please, steal this book. 
"Fighting Big Brother's Bladder Cops!" shouts the back cover, and 
nothing could be truer. This classic 1987 volume by the late 
rabble rouser Abbie Hoffman is still in print--a testament to the 
growing acceptance of drug testing in America. Dear Abbie gives 
you scoop on everything: the history of drugs and the 
government's drug paranoia, the culture of employee surveillance, 
the facts (pro and con) about drug use, the inaccuracy of drug 
testing, and of course, how to <<beat>> a urine test, just in 
<<Steal This Urine Test: Fighting the Drug Hysteria in America>>
Abbie Hoffman and Jonathan Silvers, 1987, 262pp.
$7.95 from Viking Penguin

Privacy for Sale
What happens to that "confidential" credit form you fill out? To 
that workers compensation claim? <<Business Week>> reporter 
Jeffrey Rothfeder knows, and it isn't pretty. Rothefeder's book 
exposes the shadowy information underground--the marketplace 
where credit agencies, the IRS, private investigators, direct 
marketers, and other "data cowboys" legally and illegally acquire 
and sell sensitive information on just about anyone. To 
demonstrate the lax safeguards, the author easily nabs copies of 
both Dan Quayle's and Dan Rather's credit reports. Rothfeder's 
wry book is a cautionary tale of how our new electronic wild west 
of private and governmental databases threaten personal privacy, 
the economy, and more. 
<<Privacy for Sale: How Computerization Has Made Everyone's 
Private Life an Open Secret>>
Jeffrey Rothfeder, 1992, 224pp. 
$22 from Simon & Schuster

Undercover: Police Surveillance in America 
Gary Marx knows about undercover police first hand. When the 
future MIT sociology professor was a student at UC Berkeley, his 
student organization promoting racial equality was nearly 
destroyed when the treasurer--a police agent--embezzled the 
group's funds. But Marx's book looks beyond political policing 
and tackles a tougher question: In the face of rising crime and 
political corruption, when is undercover police surveillance 
warranted? Marx examines this and many other uncomfortable 
questions in this surprisingly readable and lively book for 
academics and policy analysts, and arrives at a rather startling 
conclusion: "In starting this book, I viewed undercover tactics 
as an <<unnecessary evil.>> But, in the course of research I have 
conluded, however reluctantly, that in the United States they are 
a <<necessary evil>>." An extensively researched book that 
specialists--and some general interest readers--will find 
<<Undercover: Police Surveillance in America>>
Gary T. Marx, 1988, 284pp. 
$11.95 from University of California Press

Privacy: How to Get It, How to Enjoy it
This book is a Mulligan's stew of privacy advice, philosophy, 
resources, humor, and a little conspiracy paranoia thrown in for 
good measure. But as you read story after story--the "little 
Einstein" who hacked into 21 Canadian computer systems, banks 
blithely (and illegally) sharing depositor information with just 
about anyone--you begin to see the author's point of view. 
<<Privacy>>'s pithy chapters identify key privacy abuses (from 
credit card scams to the 24 federal agencies that gather 
intelligence on Americans), offers pointed remedies, explains 
obscure laws that help you keep a low profile, and suggests books 
to read. Sometimes the advice is right on ("consider the use of 
mail-drop services") and sometimes downright weird ("you and your 
friends might try learning an obscure foreign language to promote 
privacy"). Either way, it's a fascinating, eclectic read. Note: 
Eden Press offers half a dozen other privacy books, from 
<<Personal and Business Privacy>> to <<100 Ways to Disappear and 
Live Free>>. For the privacy anarchist within. 
<<Privacy: How to Get It, How to Enjoy it>>
Bill Kaysing, 1991, 128pp.
$18.95 from Eden Press, P.O. Box 8410, Fountain Valley, CA 92728

Privacy in America
David Linowes is one of the privacy experts that every writer 
cites, and with good reason--his knowledge is encyclopedic. 
Although this book mirrors <<Privacy for Sale>> in focusing on 
the abuse of computerized personal data, Linowes' thoroughly 
researched and chilling anecdotes will get your blood boiling. 
The book embraces everything from genetic screening to electronic 
fraud, showing time and again how privacy laws and other 
safeguards are regularly flouted by government and business 
alike. The book is light on advice, but its overwhelming 
evidence, copious studies, surveys, and polls make it worth the 
<<Privacy in America: Is Your Private Life in the Public Eye?>>
David Linowes, 1989, 192pp.
$19.95 from University of Illinois Press, 54 East Gregory Drive, 
Champaign, IL 61820

How to Get Anything on Anybody
Want to learn how the pros tap a phone, surreptitiously videotape 
someone, tail a bad guy, or crack into a "secure" computer? This 
ultimate hardware catalog-cum-how-to-manual for professional 
snoopers tells all, and even notes where you can buy neat-o spy 
stuff. It's also a boon for less nosy folk, says author Lapin, 
because "the first time someone kicks you right in the privacy 
act" you'll be prepared. If nothing else says Lapin, remember 
this: "law enforcement agencies are only the tip of the 
electronic eavesdropping iceberg. Most bugs are planted by people 
to spy on their spouses or to gain an advantage in business." 
<<How to Get Anything on Anybody: The Encyclopedia of Personal 
Lee Lapin, 1991, 224pp.
$38 postpaid from ISECO Inc., 2228 S. El Camino Real #349, San 
Mateo, CA 94403

Other books of interest:

<<Don't Bug Me: The Latest High-Tech Spy Methods>> (M.L. Shannon, 
$23.95 postpaid, Paladin Press). A companion volume to Lee 
Lapin's books, with emphasis on showing you how to protect 
yourself from electronic eavesdropping. 

<<The Law of Privacy in a Nutshell>> (Robert Ellis Smith, $14.50, 
Privacy Journal). Not for casual readers, but if you have an 
interest in the law and the historical underpinnings of privacy 
rights (from torts to "fair information" practices), this book is 
for you. 

<<Protectors of Privilege: Red Squads & Police Repression in 
Urban America>>. (Frank Donner, $34.95, UC Press) 
An exhaustively researched book on repressive police tactics over 
the last 30 years, with much coverage devoted to covert 
surveillance, and the illegal compilation and distribution of 

<<Cloak and Gavel: FBI Wiretaps, Bugs, Informers, and the 
Supreme Court>> (Alexander Charns, $24.95, Univ. of Illinois 
Press). You think you've got it bad? A gripping tale of how 
Hoover's FBI bugged, harassed, and otherwise attempted to 
manipulate the Supreme Court during the '50s and '60s. 

<<Confidential Information Sources, Public and Private>>
(John Carroll, $45, Butterworth-Heinemann).
The skinny on private and public databases--who maintains what 
data on whom and what rules (if any) regulate how that 
information is disseminated. A slow read, but a valuable 

<<The I.R.S. and the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts of 
1974>>  (Marcus Farbenblum, $32.50, McFarland & Company). 
Although the subject's arcane, this readable guide details how 
the IRS withholds records and obscures it own procedures--and how 
you can make the IRS "tell you everything you have a right to 

----> Newsletters and Journals

Privacy Journal
This indispensable 8 page monthly digest covers key privacy 
stories, legislation, abuses, and trends in the U.S. and abroad, 
with a special focus on computerized information and 
telecommunications. Publisher and gadfly Robert Ellis Smith has 
been puttin out <<PJ>> for nearly 20 years, frequently testifies 
before Congress on privacy legislation, and is a constant thorn 
in the side of credit bureaus. An accessible guide that will 
inspire you to get mad. Note: <<PJ>> also publishes a number of 
useful reference books and studies.
<<Privacy Journal>>, P.O. box 28577, Providence, RI 02908, 
401/274-7861. Subscription: $109/year; Special <<WER>> discount: 

Privacy Times
This biweekly 10 page newsletter put out by Evan Hendricks is 
more news oriented and more timely than <<Privacy Journal>>. If 
you're a privacy maven, you'll appreciate the in-depth coverage 
(such as why the Bush administration tried to shut down the FOIA 
office), and the summaries of recent court rulings affecting 
<<Privacy Times>>, P.O. Box 21501, Washington, DC 20009, 202/829-
3660, 202/829-3653 (fax). Subscription: $250/year for 26 issues 
($225 prepaid)

Worried about who's peeking in your genes? This bi-monthly 
newsletter is a one-stop source for news about the social, 
political, and ethical consequences of genetic engineering. 
Topics range from how insurers use genetic testing to weed out 
"bad" risks, to DNA identification, as well as non-privacy 
related issues. 
<<geneWatch>>, Council for Responsible Genetics, 19 Garden St., 
Cambridge, MA 02138, 617/868-0870, 617/864-5164 (fax). 
Subscription: $15-$30 for six issues 

----> Reports/Pamphlets

"If An Agent Knocks: Federal Investigators and Your 
This bargain pamphlet is the ultimate how-to privacy guide. Using 
a simple question and answer format, you learn what to do if a 
federal agent tries to question you, the scoop on agencies that 
gather political intelligence, how the feds infiltrate political 
organizations, and much more. In English and Spanish.
$1 from the Center for Constitutional Rights, 666 Broadway, New 
York, NY 10012, 212/614-6464

"How to Use Freedom of Information Statutes" 
Curious about what Big Brother has on you? This informative guide 
shows you how to use the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and 
California Public Records Act to access files maintained on you 
by the government. You learn what's open and what's exempt, and 
how to make a request (sample letters are included); relevant 
addresses and copies of the two acts in question are included. 
$12 from the Freedom of Information Project, 102 Banks St.
San Francisco, CA 94110, 415/641-0651

"Your Right to Privacy" 
This special report written for the <<Congressional Quarterly>> 
is an excellent introduction to personal and workplace privacy. 
Plusses: a summary of federal privacy laws, a table detailing 
privacy laws by state, and tips on how to protect yourself. $7, 
January 20, 1989 Editorial Research Report, 
Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1414 22nd St. NW, Washington, D.C., 
20037, 202/822-1439

"Genetic Monitoring and Screening in the Workplace" (S/N 052-003-
01217-1) and "Medical Monitoring and Screening in the Workplace" 
(S/N to come)
For privacy and medical buffs. These two reports from the Office 
of Technology Assessment aren't exactly light reading, but they 
contain a wealth of information about the state of genetic 
testing; the ethical, political and privacy implications; surveys 
on use and attitudes; and copious references. 
$12 each from the Superintendent of Documents, Government 
Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 20402-9325, 202/783-3238

"Privacy Law in the United Sates: Failing to Make the Grade"
This 32 page report by the US Privacy Council and the Computer 
Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) spotlights the 
huge gaps in American privacy laws, lax enforcement by federal 
agencies, and argues persuasively for the creation of a national 
data protection board. Somewhat technical, but a good source. 
$10 from CPSR, P.O. Box 717, Palo Alto, CA 94301, 415/322-3778, 
Internet: [email protected]

"Protecting Electronic Messaging: A Guide to the Electronic 
Communications Privacy Act of 1986"
Is an email message as protected as the U.S. Mail? A phone call? 
A conversation in the company cafeteria? This pricey and somewhat 
technical guide clarifies this and other questions, helps 
employers interpret federal law, and if nothing else, will 
motivate your boss to adopt strict guidelines on email privacy. 
$195 ($55 for members), Electronic Mail Assocation, 1555 Wilson 
Blvd., Suite 300, Arlington, VA, 22209-2405, 703/875-8620. 

----> Advocacy Groups 

American Civil Liberties Union 
There's no national 911 for privacy emergencies, but the ACLU is 
the next best thing. This granddaddy of all privacy organizations 
lobbies, educates, and sues on just about every privacy front. 
Your local ACLU chapter is a resource for cheap reports covering 
many privacy concerns (from student rights to FOIA access), can 
offer legal referrals, and in certain cases, represent you in 
Membership: $20/year. ACLU, 122 Maryland Ave. NE, Washington, DC 
20002, 202/544-1681

Electronic Frontier Foundation 
The EFF was co-founded by <<1-2-3>> creator and former Lotus 
Development chairman Mitch Kapor to "promote privacy services for 
network users and examine the interaction of computers and 
society." In short, EFF advocates electronic democracy in all its 
forms, and is a force in ensuring that new communications 
technologies are open to everyone and receive proper 
Constitutional protection. The group lobbies Congress and various 
federal agencies, defends users wrongly accused of computer 
crimes, educates and publishes reports, sponsors various 
conferences, provides legal referrals and counseling, and 
sometimes sues federal agencies under the FOIA. <<EFFector 
Online>>, the EFF's newsletter packed with tips, information, and 
recent testimony, is posted on popular online services and 
electronic bulletin boards. 
Membership: $20/year (students); $40 (regular); $100 (corporate). 
Electronic Frontier Foundation, 155 Second Street #35, Cambridge, 
MA 02141, 617/864-0665, 617/864-0866 (fax)

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility 
Like the EFF, CPSR is concerned about civil liberties, computing, 
and telecommunications. The well-regarded group has testified at 
more than a dozen Congressional hearings, led the campaign to 
stop the FBI's wiretap proposal earlier this year, and recently 
recommended privacy guidelines for national computer networks. 
Current CPSR priorities include medical record privacy, curbing 
the misuse of Social Security numbers, and promoting privacy for 
communications users. 
Membership: $40/year (basic); $75/year (regular). CPSR, P.O. Box 
717, Palo Alto, CA 94301, 415/322-3778.

National Consumers League 
For activist consumers and workers, NCL is the party to join. The 
group tackles everything from food irradiation to workplace 
safety to telemarketing fraud. But the NCL has a special place in 
its heart for privacy issues, and recently commissioned a 
national survey on workplace privacy. The bimonthly <<NCL 
Bulletin>> reports on these and other issues. 
Membership: $20/yr. National Consumers League, 815 15th Street 
NW, Suite 928-N, Washington, DC 20005. 202/639-8140

Privacy International
Like Amnesty International, Privacy International is a global 
organization dedicated to fostering human rights--in this case, 
privacy rights. Only 2 years old, PI's first task is to sound the 
alarm over privacy abuses throughout the world and to push for 
the adoption of practices that "guard against malicious or 
dangerous use of technology". PI raises awareness internationally 
about privacy assaults, repressive surveillance practices, 
coordinates privacy advocates around the world, and like Amnesty 
International, monitors and reports on abuses country by country. 
Members also receive the <<International Privacy Bulletin>>, a 
quarterly newsletter with privacy reports from around the world, 
legislative updates, and news on related civil liberties issues. 
Membership: $50. Privacy International, c/o CPSR, 666 
Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003. 

----> Online Resources for Computer Users

CompuServe is the Macy's of online services--there's something 
for everyone. Privacy buffs should check out the Electronic 
Frontier Foundation (GO EFFSIG), whose rallying cry is "Civilize 
Cyberspace!". EFFSIG offers online conferences, Q&A with EFF 
staff, and a well-stocked library that includes back issues of 
<<EFFector Online>>, essays on privacy issues, online cyberpunk 
magazines, and more. Other relevant special interest groups 
(SIGs): "The Journalism Forum" (GO JFORUM), which focuses on 
privacy, ethics and journalism; "The Legal Forum" (GO LAWSIG), 
which includes chitchat and papers about privacy and 
telecommunications law; and the "Legal Research Center" (GO 
LEGALRC), an online legal search service that includes indexes 
for over 750 law journals, studies, publications, plus access to 
a handful of legal databases. 
Membership: $39.95 one-time fee, plus $7.95/month. CompuServe, 
5000 Arlington Centre Blvd., P.O. Box 20212, Columbus, OH 43220, 

This laid-back online service is <<the>> online privacy resource. 
Put out by the same people who, gosh, put out <<Whole Earth 
Review>>, the WELL offers a cornucopia of databases, online 
conferences, electronic mail, access to USENET "newsgroups" 
(including privacy groups), and much more. Three forums are 
largely dedicated to privacy issues: EFF (Electronic Frontier 
Foundation), CPSR (Computer Professionals for Social 
Responsibility), and CFP (Computers, Freedom & Privacy). You get 
online privacy experts, conferences, updates on legislation, the 
status of court cases, and a chance to truly interact with 
privacy professionals. The WELL's interface is a little clunky, 
but you won't find more privacy resources online anywhere. 
Subscription: $15/month, $2/hr of connect time. The WELL, 27 Gate 
Five Road, Sausalito, CA 94965-1401, 415/332-4335 (voice),
415/332-6106 (modem)

----> Other resources:

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Hotline 
10am to 3pm, M-F
Cost: Free
Unlike other informational phone lines that play back canned 
tapes, the Clearinghouse is staffed by live, savvy privacy 
advocates who can answer questions on a range of privacy issues 
affecting Californians. Funded by the Public Utility Commission 
and provided by the Center for Public Interest Law at the 
University of San Diego, the Hotline can answer questions, 
provide referrals (such as an insider's phone number at a credit 
bureau), and send you privacy fact sheets on everything from 
workplace privacy to using cordless phones. Lucid, sharp advice--
and its free!

"The Privacy Project: Personal Privacy in the Information Age"
This engaging 13 part series, originally produced for Western 
Public Radio, is now available on cassette. The half hour 
episodes combine humor, hard-nosed advice, and interviews with 
privacy experts. An excellent introduction to privacy issues, 
from Caller ID to credit bureaus. The company also sells audio 
tapes of recent Computers, Freedom & Privacy conferences. 
$11/tape, $75 for all 13. Pacifica Radio Archive, 3729 Cahuenga 
Blvd. West, North Hollywood, CA 91604, 800/735-0230

"The Complete Video Library of Computers, Freedom & Privacy"
This video collection from various CFP conferences captures 
legal, computer, privacy, and ethics experts debating key privacy 
issues. See Lawrence Tribe on "The Constitution in Cyberspace", 
the Secret Service on law enforcement problems, Gary Marx on 
computer surveillance, the FBI on phone tapping, and more. 
$55/tape; $385-$480 for complete sets. Sweet Pea Communications, 
Computers, Freedom & Privacy Video Project, P.O. Box 912, 
Topanga, CA 90290, 800/235-4922.

<<Robert Luhn writes about the politics of technology and is co-
author of "The Green PC," a syndicated column about the 
environmental impact of personal computing. You can reach him 
online via MCI Mail (302-9347) or American Online (PCW LUHN).>>

Sidebar #1:

"Personal Stealth: Ten Things You Can Do to Protect Your Own 

1.	Minimize data collection. Only give out information that 
<<you>> believe is really essential. And be careful: data is 
often gathered automatically without your knowledge or 

2. 	Check for accuracy when data is collected for credit, 
medical, and personnel records. Check the information 
periodically for accuracy and to see who else has accessed these 

3.	Exercise your right to opt out. If you feel like it, write 
to the Direct Marketing Association's mail and telephone 
preference services, to be removed from list exchanges. [Write 
to: Direct Marketing Association, 11 West 42nd St., P.O. Box 
3861, New York, NY 10163-3861.] Unlist your name and address from 
the phone book. Use call blocking when you don't want to identify 
yourself over the phone. If you don't want your information 
shared, say so. 

4.	Follow privacy issues. You'll find ongoing coverage in the 
<<Wall Street Journal>> and in newsletters such as <<Privacy 
Journal>> and <<Privacy Times>>. Look for them in your library, 
along with books and other materials on privacy. Educate others 
about what you've learned about privacy. Share your insights with 
family, friends, and co-workers. 

5.	Advocate changes in law and public policy. Let your views be 
known to your state and federal lawmakers. Write to your public 
utilities commission about telephone privacy issues. Write 
letters to the editor; let them know your views about privacy and 
that you'd like to see more coverage. 

6.	Advocate from within. In the organizations where you have 
influence, make sure there's a coherent privacy policy that meets 
the needs of all stakeholders. 

7.	Read the fine print. Ask hard questions. Support businesses 
that respect your privacy; avoid those that don't.

8.	Defend and respect the privacy of others.

9.	Beware of wireless conversations. People do hear your 
cordless, cellular, mobile, and ship-to-shore communications. If 
you don't want to be overhead by your boss, your employees, the 
police, reporters, or two-bit criminals, don't broadcast it. And 
remember: the person on the other end of the conversation may use 
a cordless phone. If this is a problem for you, scramble your 
communications with encryption. The same goes for electronic mail 
and voice mail. Change your passwords frequently and don't trust 
any service 100%, even if it's encrypted. 

10.	Be alert, but not overly paranoid. If you follow steps 1 
through 9, you're doing all you can. 

<<From: "The Privacy Project: Personal Privacy in the Information 
Age", a radio series produced by Pacific Multimedia for Western 
Public Radio.>>

Sidebar #2

"Marc Rotenberg's Privacy Shelf"

Marc Rotenberg is the director of the Washington office of the 
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, chair of the 
ACM Committee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights, and 
something of an expert on privacy and telecommunications. In an 
informal electronic interview conducted over Internet, Rotenberg 
shared some of the resources he thinks every privacy buff should 

The Handbook of Personal Data Protection
(Wayne Madsen, 1992, $170 from Stockton Press)
"Outstanding and comprehensive. The bible of international 
privacy law."

Regulating Privacy: Data Protection in Europe and the United 
(Colin Bennet, 1992, $16.95 from Cornell University Press, )
"The first comparative study of privacy protection law. Well 
written and informative."

Uneasy Access: Privacy for Women in a Free Society, 
(Anita Allen, 1988, $21 list, $24 post-paid from University Press 
of America)
"Explores the role of gender in privacy. An important book by a 
leading privacy scholar."

Privacy Laws & Business
"An excellent [British] publication that's timely and 
comprehensive. A little expensive, but invaluable for people who 
are interested in following closely privacy developments around 
the world." Subscription: 240 pounds/year, 4 issues. Call 081-

"The Right to Privacy"
(Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis, 1890, in the <<Harvard Law 
"For history buffs and privacy experts, this 1890 article is the 
starting point for privacy law. Considered one of the most 
important law review articles of all times (it essentially 
created the legal right of privacy in the U.S.), it is still a 
valuable resource for understanding the right of privacy."