The following file has been added to the CR Library: The OCAF "Agincourt Project" white paper referred to in that (not-so-subtly) threatening note I forwarded to the list has been filed as: "Net-Suppression/OCAF-Agincourt-Project" The form letter I got has been filed as: "Net-Suppression/OCAF-Form-Reply-Letter" I'm excerpting many of the disturbing parts of the OCAF white paper below. In particular, I'm excerpting parts which are either misleading, wrong, or just flat-out frightening. You figure out which is which. -H -- This document is intended as both an educational tool for the public and as a prosecution primer for local law enforcement agencies. There IS illegal pornography and child pornography on the Internet. It is being distributed by local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who know that it is on their local computers and who seek to profit from it. [OCAF Note: We understand that only a judge or jury can ultimately determine the illegality of a pornographic image. However, in our experience, many images similar to those found every day in the USENET newsgroups have previously been determined to be illegal.] The question is not "how much" illegal pornography and child pornography is on the Internet. The question is not "what percentage" of USENET newsgroups are represented by these illegal images. But the real questions are simple: "Is it there?" The answer is "yes". "Is it illegal?" The answer is "yes". "Do the local ISPs know it is on their local computers?" The answer is "yes". "Should these ISPs be prosecuted?" If they refuse to remove it, again, regrettably, the answer is "yes". This document, then, presents the facts about the destructive effects of illegal pornography and child pornography. It presents the details on how local ISPs select what illegal pornography and child pornography to make available to their subscribers and in what quantities. And it presents an action plan to eliminate illegal pornography and child pornography from the Internet. Our goal is to get this document in the hands of every local broadcaster. And in the hands of every local newspaper. And in the hands of every local prosecutor in the United States. <...> Since its beginning, OCAF helped close 150 sexually oriented businesses in Oklahoma County. (Of course, that could not have been achieved without the efforts of a supportive police department, DA's office, city council, and state legislature.) During that time, reported rapes in Oklahoma County decreased by over 26%! That, during a time when rapes statewide were increasing! There IS a direct connection between pornography and sexual violence. And there is a direct connection between citizen involvement and the solution to the pornography problem! But reported rapes in Oklahoma County are increasing again. And those increases correlate remarkably with the increased availability of illegal pornography and child pornography on the Internet. <...> Actually, most pornography IS illegal. Pornography is a broad general term which can be defined as "all sexually oriented material intended primarily to arouse the reader, viewer or listener." Types of Pornography: Illegal Obscenity Child Pornography Material Harmful to Minors Broadcast Indecent Material Legal Erotic & Semi-Nude As the above indicates, there are four clear categories of pornography that are illegal: 1) Adult obscenity (i.e. "hard-core pornography) 2) Child pornography 3) Material harmful to minors 4) Indecency While each category of illegal pornography has a specific legal definition established by the courts, some short-hand explanations can help you understand the differences. <...> 4.3 Material Harmful to Minors ------------------------------ Pornography that is not illegal for sale to adults may be illegal when sold to minors (children under 18). This is called "material harmful to minors" or "variable obscenity." [...] The term "harmful to minors" means any communication, picture, image, graphic image file, article, message, recording, writing, or other matter of any kind that: a) taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion, and b) depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, ultimate sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated, sado-masochistic sexual acts or abuse, or lewd exhibitions of the genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or post-pubertal female breast, and c) taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors. There are many magazines in America which mix their pornography with interviews, fashion articles, sports, etc. Thus, there are many videos or films which have some value and are not offensive to adults but are clearly unacceptable for children. It can be illegal to sell or exhibit these magazines to children. [OCAF Note: This is why many ISPs limit access to newsgroups to individuals who prove they are over 18. However, if the material in the newsgroups is otherwise illegal, the law is still being broken.] <...> 4.4 Indecency ------------- Similar in effect to harmful to minors laws, indecency laws aim to protect children from the harmful effects of pornography. Indecency involves the use of the telephone, radio or broadcast TV to transmit materials inappropriate for children over the airwaves. Indecency has been defined by the U.S. Supreme Court as "any language or material that depicts or describes in terms patently offensive as measured... by [national] contemporary community standards for the [telephone or] broadcast medium, sexual or excretory activities or organs." F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation (1978). Because the public airwaves are available to anyone (including millions of children) with access to a telephone, TV or radio, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has the authority to regulate the content of telephone and broadcast messages for the public good. "Indecent" sexually oriented material, while not illegal if distributed on the open market strictly to adults, becomes illegal if broadcast over the telephone, radio or TV because it invades the privacy of the home and exposes children to harmful materials. <...> "Equally clear, however, is that when the ISP decides to carry the newsgroup "alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.teens.f**k", he knows exactly what he has downloaded for re-distribution and what will be posted there for his own customers to re-download from him. Such an ISP has brought it "in house" onto his own local server for re-sending to his own subscribers. The ISP's customers don't take it from the newsgroup directly or from the person who uploaded it onto the newsgroup. The ISP's customers take the newsgroup's contents directly from the ISP. In this respect, an ISP or access provider who supplies USENET groups must pre-select and "download" those groups and files, like a wholesaler does with retail goods ... Criminal liability is clearly appropriate for this intentional conduct in distributing illegal obscenity and child pornography. It may be reasonable to exempt ISPs and access providers for providing "mere access" to the Internet and Web sites, but certainly not for their deliberate and direct porn distribution with USENET pornography." The fact that new newsgroups can be so easily created will be a frustration for law enforcement, like the phony corporations and organized crime tactics by the hard-core pornography syndicates and the sneaky tactics attempted by pedophiles. At the same time, however, this will lend support to public cries to shut down or block nearly ALL newsgroups or to abandon the newsgroups entirely, if the Internet community refuses, for a variety of reasons or excuses, to filter out or police itself to eliminate the illegal pornography and child pornography. The USENET will pay its own price for letting its streams become so polluted that the public is sick of getting sick from its dangerous and offensive pornography. [...] To be sure, there are ENORMOUS benefits from the legitimate newsgroups. But there are other, albeit less efficient and more expensive, ways to maintain these dialogues. But cost efficiency is NOT an acceptable trade off for illegal pornography and child pornography. The fact that many ISPs have restricted access to these newsgroups, or refused to download and carry the porn-filled newsgroups, does indicate that they, too, realize they have ceased to act like common carriers with respect to USENET. <...> Why are people staying away from the Internet? We submit that a significant factor is fear. Immediately after news reports that tout the incredible value of the Internet seem to come the news reports of the children being stalked on the Internet by pedophiles. And reports of easily available pornography. Why would any sane family expose their children to such things? Clearly, they wouldn't and they don't. American business needs to get a message, too. That unless they aid in the fight against illegal pornography and child pornography on the Internet, their investments will NOT pay off. The Internet is NOT now safe for families. And that means it is NOT now safe for consumers. <...> While the details of running an ISP are complex, we believe they can be made understandable to a jury and that successful prosecutions would result. Furthermore, we are now faced with the prospect of more-or-less respectable people entering into the pornography business. (Make no mistake about it, profit drives the ISPs to include these pornographic news groups.) THE LOCAL PROSECUTION OF LOCAL ISPs IS A NECESSARY STEP IN CONTROLLING PORNOGRAPHY ON A NATIONAL LEVEL. <...> 8.1 Contact Local Law Enforcement --------------------------------- Take this document to your local police and District Attorney (or County Attorney). We believe that once they understand how ISPs operate, they can quickly take action against them. As we hope we have made clear in other sections of this document, illegal pornography is illegal. Period. And most ISPs know exactly what they are doing when they distribute it. And most know exactly how much money they make when they do so. 8.2 Contact Local Media ----------------------- Make this document available to your local news media. They need to understand how local ISPs are distributing illegal pornography and child pornography. Since cyber-porn is talked about nationally so often, local news media should jump at the chance to turn it into a local story. Also, of course, the public needs to understand that illegal pornography and child pornography is a local problem, too. 8.3 Contact Local Elected Officials ------------------------------------ Make this document available to your local elected officials. From city councilpersons to US Senators. Email it to them. Put it on a disc and mail it to them. DEMAND that action be taken at all levels. DEMAND that existing laws be enforced. DEMAND that laws be strengthened if need be. 1996 is an election year and we can make this into an election issue. 8.4 Contact Local Businesses on the Internet -------------------------------------------- Contact local businesses that have a presence on the Internet. REQUEST that they remove their electronic storefronts, Web pages and/or home pages from the systems of ISPs that are distributing illegal pornography and child pornography. Let them know you will boycott their products if they do not. Explain this situation to your non-computer literate friends and ask that they contact those businesses too. As you can read in 9.3 Appendix A - Excerpts from an ISP FAQ, this is all about money. So let's also hit them where it hurts - their pocketbooks. <...> 8.6 Contact National Online Services ------------------------------------ Contact any national online services to which you subscribe, such as CompuServe, Prodigy and America Online. DEMAND that they remove the newsgroups that feature illegal pornography and child pornography. They know which ones are involved. Give them a little time to measure the impact of this document, but cancel your subscription if they refuse. If you live in a county in which a national online service operates a news server, contact the police and DA's office and DEMAND that they prosecute, just like in 8.1.