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Net's hot topics on front burner

A cyberliberties conference will address two of the Net's hottest topics: commerce and confidentiality.

SAN FRANCISCO--This year's Conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy will hit upon two of the Net's hottest topics: the future of commerce and confidential communication on the Internet.

Ira Magaziner, senior adviser to the Clinton administration on electronic commerce issues, will be the keynote speaker when the seventh annual conference opens here tomorrow. He is drafting an outline for the federal government's strategy to promote the development of e-commerce on the Net.

Federal security agents, privacy advocates, industry leaders, lawyers, and cyberliberties groups will all be in attendance. A little more than a month ago, many of the same people met in the city for the RSA Data Security conference.

This week's gathering will address many issues to be raised at the Supreme Court hearing on the federal Communications Decency Act on March 19. It also convenes amid the administration's recent enactment of its controversial policy on encryption software exports.

Panels cover such topics as hacking, spamming, social issues raised by the commercialization of the Net, international perspectives in cryptography, and the technological and economic factors that threaten to overwhelm the Net. Regulation of Internet service providers, criminal law enforcement on the Net, and online personal privacy will also be addressed at the conference, which ends Friday.