cr> 2Feb96 Tidbits


Richard Moore

Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996
Sender: "David E. Anderson" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: re: John. Hall's notion of provocation in our defense

John said in the cr-tidbits of January 31, 1996:

"If the assertion that pro_Nazi speech in Canada is a crime when heard or
viewed in Germany seems absurd to some, could we not extend this logic to make
some assertions of our own that would seem absurd to most?  Could we not
arrange for a friendly prosecutor in, say, <pick your favorite fundamentalist
Islamic country> to prosecute the League of Women Voters for advocating
female sufferage?  I'm sure with a little more thought, this group could
come up with many better ideas, but seriously, shouldn't we fight this fire
with more fire?"

That's the kind of suggestion I was looking for when I posted the telescope


Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996
Sender: "Steve Eppley" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cr> Reply to Arun on QUESTION of open net survival

Arun Mehta wrote:
>My advocacy of satellite broadcasting of Usenet was not to suggest a
>"private" Usenet, rather a means to make it more public. Those that do
>not have access to all of Usenet today, and most don't, should be able to
>get it cheap. Cable modems will soon become affordable. Of course 2-way
>is better than 1-way, but 1-way is better than no-way.

If it's all 1-way, what's the source of the content?  Sounds like tv,
not usenet.

---Steve     (Steve Eppley    •••@••.•••)

Date: Thu, 1 Feb 1996
Sender: "Steve Eppley" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: CITS Policy Statement on Spectrum Auctions

>From:          "W. Curtiss Priest" <•••@••.•••>
>Subject:       CITS Policy Statement on Spectrum Auctions

I think that if you want to express the argument against the proposed
auctions in more general economics terms, you'll discuss the
uncompensated externalities caused by the auctions, both to future
generations and to the current generation.

Noninternalized externalities are one of the classic ways that market
systems may fail.

---Steve     (Steve Eppley    •••@••.•••)

Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996
From: •••@••.••• (Marsha Woodbury)
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: International Internet NewsClips (@)

Hello folks -

     Just got back from Jakarta's first Internet and World Wide
Web conference. The Internet is alive and well and growing in
Indonesia, despite some obstacles of an infrastructural and
policy nature.
     Here are excerpts from the past 3 weeks' edition of my
column, "International Internet NewsClips." The full version plus
archives are at MecklerMedia's Internet World site (http://www. You can also find my reviews of
books on Internet-related subjects at this site.
     Comments, feedback, etc. most welcome as always.
                                                      - madan
  Madanmohan Rao (•••@••.•••), Communications Consultant,
     United Nations Inter Press Service bureau.



French Decision Banning Book Defied On Internet
On the Internet, the French are finding ways to sneak around a
ban on a new book that reveals that Francois Mitterrand lied
about his health during his entire presidency. Pascal Barbraud,
manager of Le Web (http:/, a cybercafe for
computer enthusiasts in the eastern town of Besancon, has
transcribed all 190 pages of "Le Grand Secret'' into his Internet
site. Within a day, at least 1,000 people an hour were reportedly
swamping the Web site, mostly from France, Belgium, Switzerland,
Canada and other francophone countries. A Paris court had banned
further sale of the book, agreeing with Mitterrand's family that
his right to medical privacy had been breached. The case raises
the thorny question of whether a nation's legal decisions apply
to the Internet.
(International Herald Tribune, Associated Press; January 24,


Internet Is A "Fantastic Resource" For Human Rights Activists
Afghanistan to Zaire, violators of human rights suddenly  face a
potent new foe: the Internet. The global computer network  is
being used increasingly by human rights groups to monitor and
speak out against those trample on human rights. "The Internet
just makes it far more possible to get information out,'' said
Mike Jendrzejczyk, Washington director for Human Rights
Watch/Asia. In the past, it could take weeks for rights activists
to learn about alleged violations and put together effective
letter-writing campaigns. That entire process can happen now
literally in a half a day, using e-mail and other Internet
publishing tools. The Internet gives activists a platform and an
amplifier. Oppressive regimes, however, can still track down
their electronic critics at home and impose retribution. "Not all
of the information on the Internet is accurate, or it may have a
real agenda behind it," cautioned Martha FitzSimon, a human
rights analyst.
(Cox News Service; January 26, 1996)


Malaysian Prime Minister Urges Caution In Use Of Internet
"The Internet is like a knife which can be used either to kill or
to carve a beautiful sculpture," said Malaysian Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, at the launch of a Malaysian
online service. The Internet should be used to benefit people,
broaden their knowledge, and help them keep up to date on
technology - but unlimited access to materials on the Internet
could have a negative impact on society unless people had a
"moral fortress" to censor undesirable information, he cautioned.
"Without the moral fortress, people would become victims and use
their information sources for the wrong purposes, such as viewing
pornography," he said.
(The Straits Times, Singapore; January 19, 1996)


The Internet In 1995: Much Hype, Little Substance
1995 was the year when anyone could be an Internet expert.
Techno-hippies who had been on the net for years, revelling in
its anarchy, turned into consultants helping advertisers put up
Web sites. Advertising and publishing executives suddenly turned
techie and paraded their new net knowledge (or lack of it) when
and wherever possible. Anyone who had spent a little time Net
surfing suddenly became an expert, happily proffering advice to
those who were only slightly more ignorant. The result was a
vibrant debate based on a complete lack of experience. Never has
so much been said by so many who knew so little.
(Weekly Mail and Guardian, South Africa; January 10, 1996)


Japanese Agricultural Group To Sell Farm Produce Via Internet
Japan's largest grouping of agricultural cooperatives will begin
selling farm produce through its own Internet computer network
later this month. The Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives
(Zenchu) has opened a Web site and concluded agreements with more
than 10 member cooperatives to market green tea, beans and other
produce. Niigata Prefecture, a wholesaler of fruit, rice and
marine products in Niigata City, has already begun marketing its
products through the Web as of last July.
(Kyodo News Service, Japan; January 8, 1996)

Date: Thu, 1 Feb 1996
Sender: Mark Stahlman (via RadioMail) <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Abort That Speech


Things get wackier everyday.  The New York Times reports that Pat Schroeder
is now upset that the "indecency" provisions which she personally put into
the bill by supplying the one *key* vote might also block discussion of
abortion.  Talk about CYA.  One still wonders what games she was/is

And, Donna Hoffman tells us that Net-users are real people who vote so,
therefore, the Congress should leave the Net alone.  One presumes that
those who listen to the radio or watch TV -- where indecency regulations
currently apply -- aren't mainstream so the Congress and FCC could assault
those media with impunity.  The logic of such appeals is staggering.

And after all this, no one has been able to document any real or tangible
harm likely to be caused by the "indecency" provisions in the bill.  Not a
harm to the citizens, the elected or to the economy or the nation.  Where
is our collective wisdom?  Where is the research?  Where is the rational,
well reasoned Net defender?

I sometimes wonder what would happen if the Congress tried to ban
"subliminal" messages on the Net.  There are already PC apps which flash
anti-smoking messages.  So why not a Java applet which flashed "Buy Sun"
(or even the Sun logo) in the backgound?  I wonder if there was any free
speech argument put forward when the TV ban on "subliminals" was first put
in place?

Mark Stahlman
New Media Associates
New York City


 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
 Materials may be reposted in their entirety for non-commercial use.