cr> re: OCAF, ISP’s, & role of Internet


Richard Moore

Date: Sun, 18 Feb 1996
Sender: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: Suggested modification in your approach

Regarding OCAF's call to sue ISP's and such: I agree with you that
it's ridiculous to call for shutting down the internet if it looks like
it would be impossible to reduce the amount of pornography
distributed by it.  But I don't really think that you can compare
the internet to the postal service or the telephone networks,
simply because mail and telephones are indespenible to our nation
while the Internet isn't: if you shut down the internet, many
companies would be hurt (like mine), and some would be put out
of business (like Clarinet and ISPs), but the country would keep
on operating effectivly.  However, if you closed down the postal
service or the telephone networks, the country would screech to
a halt.

Also, you say that ISPs act as common carriers.  If you read their
"manifesto" (I have a copy and can send it to you), you would see
that they are caling for ISPs to not carry any of the sex newsgroups.
When an ISP carries a sex newsgroup, they know they're going to be
getting pornographic stuff, and so OCAF feels that the ISP is
responsible for pornographic stuff that is in the sex newsgroups.
They recognize the fact that if all of the sex newsgroups were
eliminated, that people who wanted to post to ponography could
just post in a newgroup totaly unrelated to pornography, like
sci.physics.  However, they probably figure that (I'm guessing

1) Even though pornography could be posted to any existing newsgroup,
   that much less of it would be posted if there were no official
   newgroups to put them in.
2) That the pornography that is posted to non-germane newsgroups,
   like sci.physics, would be harder to find, thus reducing the
   consumption of pornography.

OCAF want's to reduce the consumption of pornography not just to
keep children from seeing it, but because they consider it to be

1) harmful to the consumer
2) something which can induce male consumers to commit sexual violence
   against women

They base these conclusions on studies that back up these claims.
When I have some time, I intend to send them references to studies
showing that their studies are faulty and questionable.  However,
this won't change their minds, becuase they seem to be religously
opposed to pornography: even if you proved to them beyond a doubt
that pornography casuses no harm to anyone, they'd still be trying
to ban it.


        I like this posting because it endeavors to understand where "the
other side" is coming from, so that some way of "reaching them" might be

        I'd like to take strong exception, however, to the notion "mail and
telephones are indespenible to our nation while the Internet isn't".
Here's where the Robber Barons are showing insight and vision: they realize
that cyberspace will essentially _replace_ mail, telephones, video stores,
television, radio, and much else as well.  They know switched broadband
_is_ the future.

        I'm old enough to remember the days before television.  There was a
program on radio one evening where someone said "You know, television will
take over entertainment, radio will become a venue for mainly news and
music."  Back in the days of Fibber McGee & Molly, I thought he was crazy,
but I learned.



 Posted by Richard K. Moore  -  •••@••.•••  -  Wexford, Ireland
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