cr> Library Update (2/29/96)


Henry Huang

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:


The form letter I got has been filed as:


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.



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:
      Child Pornography
      Material Harmful to Minors
      Broadcast Indecent Material
      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 "**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


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.)  



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.