I've just read Declan's politech article sent out this morning, 
referencing his full report at:

I was shocked to see that Michigan has *already* passed such a law!

I've found the new law(s), and they basically outlaw my living in 
Michigan starting March 31st:



This was passed in a lame duck session (December 11, 2002) as part of 
a big omnibus crime act that covered everything from "adulteration of 
butter and cream", to "trick or acrobatic flying" to "false weights and 
measures", mostly increasing fines and/or jail for existing offenses.  
Michigan is a leader in overcrowding its prisons.  

There was other lame duck legislation passed, before a new Governor 
took office, almost all of it bad for civil liberties!

The Bill analysis basically quotes the MPAA website!


"Steven M. Bellovin" wrote:
> The question is more complicated than that.  The full text of the Texas
> bill is at http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/data/docmodel/78r/billtext/pdf/HB02121I.PDF
> (I haven't found the Mass. version).  It is far from clear to me that
> intent to commit a crime is needed.
> Section 2 of the billl, which does contain the phrase "with the intent to
> harm or defraud a communication service", bars theft of service.  (I'm
> speaking loosely here; read it for yourself.)
> Section 3 and 4 also contain that phrase; they bar possession of devices
> for defrauding providers.  (The language is rather broad, and seems to
> bar possession even a computer or modem if you have evil intent.)
Michigan's version was done by modifying existing statute concerning 
"cable or satellite television" service providers, and drastically 
broadening it to "TELECOMMUNICATIONS". 

Michigan 750.219a outlaws avoiding a communication charge.  Period.  No 
defraud.  "avoid or attempt to avoid ... by using any of the following: 
   "(a) A telecommunications access device. 
   "(b) An unlawful telecommunications access device. 

Configuring your ISDN to be a voice device, and then sending data over 
the device, would be a violation (SBC/Ameritech charges more for data 
than voice).  Most folks around here are willing to settle for 56Kbps
+ 56Kbps (fixed fee) instead of 64Kbps + 64Kbps (per minute).

Configuring a wire pair purchased as a "burglar alarm circuit" (lower 
fee) and then using it as DSL (avoid high fee) would be a violation. 
I run an ISP using this technique. 

Note that the equipment can equally be "a" device, *OR* an "unlawful" 
device.  This was a major change from previous law, which required 
that the device be (a) stolen or (b) counterfeit.

Note that an "unlawful" device would be, among many things listed, a 
"wireless scanning device".  Also, reprogramming or modifying anything. 

> The ban on concealing origin or destination is in Sections 5 and 6.
> That section does *not* have the "intent to harm" phrase.  Given that
> the bill is amending three consecutive sections of the state penal code
> (31.12, 31.13, and 31.14), and given that the first two sections have
> that language but the third doesn't, it's hard for me to see that evil
> intent is required by the proposed statute.
> But it's worse than that:  the bill bars concealment of "existence or
> place of origin or destination of any communication" from "any lawful
> authority".  In other words, it would appear to outlaw many forms of
> cryptography or steganography.
In Michigan, 750.540c(1):

  "(b) Conceal the existence or place of origin or destination of any 
  telecommunications service."

Subsection (2) is against programmers. 

Subsection (3) is against documentation writers.

Subsection (4) is 
   "A person who violates subsection (1), (2), or (3) is guilty of a 
   felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a 
   fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both. ... Each unlawful 
   telecommunications access device or telecommunications access device 
   is considered a separate violation. "

Writing documentation used by many persons who write programs for many 
more persons could land me in gaol for a very long time.

> What's unclear to me is who is behind this.  Felten thinks it's content
> providers trying for state-level DMCA; I think it's broadband ISPs who
> are afraid of 802.11 hotspots.
Michigan included both.

Also, using any device "without the express authority of the 
telecommunications service provider", which pretty clearly covers NAT. 
(Some cable companies try to charge per machine, and record the 
machine address of the devices connected.) 

Also, reprogramming a device (and software and computer chips are 
explicitly included) "that is capable of facilitating the interception, 
transmission, retransmission, decryption, acquisition, or reception of 
any telecommunications, transmissions, signals, or services" would seem 
to prohibit mod'ing of M$ Xboxen. 

Linux/*BSD users reading DVDs (or just about anything else) are outlaws. 

This is a breathtakingly broad Act.
William Allen Simpson
    Key fingerprint =  17 40 5E 67 15 6F 31 26  DD 0D B9 9B 6A 15 2C 32

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