cr> the CDA thread


Richard Moore

Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996
Sender: Stan Bernstein <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cr> OPPOSITION: Cleaver on "Net Filth"

Is it conceivable that someone like Cathleen A. Cleaver simply does not
know the difference between the accepted legal definitions of "obscenity"
and "indecency" or is her editorial another deliberate instance of

Stan Bernstein
Editor - Internet '96
Harris Publications - New York City
Standard disclaimer

Larry or Lynn Tunstall
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996
Subject: re: cr> Post-"Reform" Perspectives

Larry or Lynn Tunstall wrote:
> If needed, Clinton and others can join in the effort to get rid of
> the "obvious excesses" of the censorship measure.  If what is left

Clinton has not restrained the DoJ so far -- whereas, according to
the Cypherpunks list, he *has* done so in the case of the new HIV
military ban.

Read into that what you will.


Date: Fri, 16 Feb 1996
Sender: •••@••.••• (Charles Levendosky)
Subject: Re: CR Web Page Updated

The Casper Star-Tribune First Amendment Web site has linked to the CPSR
Cyber-Rights Web page and its Library: Net-Suppression page.

YOu can find it at

Charles Levendosky
Editorial Page Editor/FACT Web Site Editor
Casper Star-Tribune
Box 80
Casper, Wyoming 82602
Tel: 307-266-0619
FAX: 307-266-0568
E-mail: •••@••.•••

Date: Fri, 16 Feb 1996
Sender: Joe Shea <•••@••.•••>

        A brief for our action has been filed to supplement the complaint
filed Feb. 8.  It appears below, along with a story on the fact we were not
protected by the TRO issued yesterday, as I first believed.


Joe Shea
The American Reporter

by American Reporter Staff
Hollywood, Calif.

                           American Reporter Staff

        LOS ANGELES -- A Federal judge has thrown a constitutional safety
net over the Communications Decency Act, but it missed The American
Reporter.  A statement issued yesterday by the paper was incorrect in
that respect.
        "We will continue to fight for vindication in the courts, and we
expect to find it following our hearing in the New York matter," AR
editor Joe Shea said Friday afternoon.
        According to American Reporter attorney Randall Boe, this paper is
not covered by the temporary restraining order issued yesterday by
Philadelphia U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Buckwalter.
        "The judge refused to enjoin (or restrain) enforcement of the
provision that would presumably apply to [the American Reporter]. The
judge found that the use of "indecent" in one section of the CDA was
vague, but that the definition in section 502(d)(2) -- was not vague.
        "This is why the ACLU should never have asked for a TRO -- they
have succeeded only in muddying the issues and creating a little bad law
for everyone else," Boe said.
        The American Reporter's complaint against the CDA, filed in
federal court in New York on Feb. 8, minutes after President Clinton
signed the telecom reform bill into law, will be heard by a separate
three-judge panel in New York.
        In the latest action in Shea v. Reno, a brief prepared by Boe was
filed today in New York, and Federal Judge Denise Cote has given the
government 30 days to answer it.
        The American Reporter is represented by Arent, Fox, Kintner,
Plotkin and Kahn, the Washington-based law firm that also defended George
Carlin in the famous "seven dirty words" case.


                        *       *       *

Date: Fri, 16 Feb 1996
Sender: John Whiting <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Plotnikoff on decency debate (clipping)

---------- Forwarded Message [excerpted -rkm] ----------

From:   Larry or Lynn Tunstall, INTERNET:•••@••.•••
TO:     John Whiting, 100707,731
DATE:   16/02/96 01:57

RE:     Plotnikoff on decency debate (clipping)



IT'S been true since the days data was recorded on a papyrus roll: Real
leaders and real heroes are not schooled -- rather, they are forged by
extraordinary events. For them, the defining moment is the darkest
moment. When others are retreating, they stand fast and deliver the

While much of Washington was taking leave of its senses, two veteran on-
line observers distinguished themselves with dead-on-target commentary
that will resonate for years to come. Brock Meeks and John Perry Barlow
are not new to this arena. They've fought so-called ''decency''
provisions at every step in the process. They saved their best shots for
the hour when the whole world was watching.

Meeks, former Washington bureau chief for Inter@ctive Week and a
reporter for Communications Daily, is a respected investigative reporter
who has developed a second voice as the angriest dog in the Internet
kennel with his Cyberwire Dispatch e-mail newsletter. Recent issues of
the 100,000-circulation Dispatch have seen Meeks, a ''serious'' industry
analyst, toy with the idea of taking up the gonzo journalism mantle.
With his Feb. 6 installment, ''We're Not in Kansas Anymore,'' he finally
goes over the top with an article that uses his personal paranoia and
anger as an allegory for the paranoia and anger washing over the
Internet community.

You can see it for
yourself, along with a year's worth of previous Dispatches, at (For what it's worth, Meeks walked
the walk: A few hours after he filed that Dispatch, he signed on as one
of the plaintiffs in the ACLU legal challenge to the decency

On Feb. 8, two days after Meeks weighed in, John Perry Barlow, the
closest thing the wired world has to poet laureate, delivered ''A
Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace'' on the ''24 Hours in
Cyberspace'' Web site.

DEPT. OF REALLY BAD TIMING: When the call went out last Thursday for
Web-masters to turn their pages black for 48 hours to protest the
signing of the ''decency'' law, my first thought was what impact the
move would have on the ''24 Hours in Cyberspace'' crew. You have to
wonder if project director Rick Smolan did something to offend the gods:
He had his pick of any day of the year on which to spend $5 million
shooting a humanistic documentary of cyberspace. Long after it is too
late to reschedule, it turns out the day he picked is both literally and
figuratively the darkest day in the history of the Net.

Tom Melcher, the ''24 Hours'' chief operating officer, says they didn't
let the blackout ruin their project, which produced 65 stories and
recorded 4 million hits in 24 hours. ''The White House had told us a
week in advance they'd decided to do (the signing) specifically to be
part of our project,'' says Melcher. ''When it became apparent there'd
be a lot of protests, we as journalists decided to cover both sides of
it -- the signing and the protests. As for our own editorial stance, we
did add a blue ribbon on the front page.''


Date: Sat, 17 Feb 1996
Sender: John Whiting <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Net censorship (clipping)

---------- Forwarded Message ----------

From:   Larry or Lynn Tunstall, INTERNET:•••@••.•••
TO:     John Whiting, 100707,731
DATE:   17/02/96 18:39

RE:     Net censorship (clipping)

Sun, 11 Feb 1996 17:00:16
School's Online Policy Rapped

        ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) -- Winthrop students Brian Walker and Josh
Campbell have had their university Internet accounts pulled after
officials said they violated school policy.
        Walker created a web page soliciting money and Campbell created
one including a nude woman. While the two admitted they crossed the
line, the Feb. 2 suspension has risen free speech debates and
computer policy review through the school.
        Both students deleted their web pages, and their two-week
suspension was reduced to one.
        Nathaniel Felder, Winthrop's associate vice president for
information technology, said work on amending the computer policy
has been ongoing. School officials planned to submit the proposals
Friday to Winthrop's board of trustees.
        But Internet users, particularly professors and students,
thought the new policy included language that infringed on their
rights and violated their freedom of speech. So, the policy will be
forwarded to a computer committee for further review.
        Professors and students opposed language in the policy that said
e-mail be used only for official university business. The policy
also allows officials to randomly audit e-mail for compliance.
        ``It could be a violation of the principles of the free change
of ideas at the university,'' political science professor Glen
Broach said.
        But Bob Thompson, Winthrop's board chairman, said Internet
policy is to protect the users and Winthrop from liability.

Date: Sat, 17 Feb 1996
Sender: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: IP: "Has the government gone mad?" Re: DoJ Brief

Donna Hoffman <•••@••.•••> wrote:
>What?  How can the plaintiffs dispute that which has not been
>demonstrated!  Is there really a "large and growing amount of
> exceeding anything available prior to the
>advent of on-line computer services"?

While they may be wrong about the "large and growing" part, the
"easily accessible to children in the home, far exceeding anything
available prior to the advent of on-line computer services" isn't too
far off the mark.  For example, go to Infoseek and do a seek on
"hot babes".  You'll get a bunch of hits, including pictures that
would fall under the CDA.  However, while doing this little experiment
of mine proved how easy it was for kids to find porn on the net, it
also showed how futile the CDA is: some of the porn that I found
were in places outside the USA, where the CDA has no effect.  Thus,
search engines like Infoseek have rendered the CDA useless.

>Now, what about the idea that the amount of pornography on the
>Internet far exceeds anything available in the terrestrial world?

You could make the case for unprecedented availablilty, since it's
so easy to find porno sites from search engines, and it's something
that any minor coould do.

While using Infoseek to find pornography, some questions have popped into
my mind.  One of the web pages the search showed had no ponography of its
own, it was simply a hot list of pornograhic sites.  Would this fall under
the CDA?  I don't think so, but I'm not a lawyer.  Similarly, would
search engines that allow minors to find ponography be doing anything
illegal under the CDA?

Date: Sun, 18 Feb 1996
Sender: Assembly of IaHUShUA MaShIaChaH <•••@••.•••>
Subject: FREE to SPEAK? lets take a VOTE!!!

THANKYOU for your efforts! Together we WILL be heard!
I would like to call your attention to Yet another FREE SPEECH... Blue
Ribbon SUPPORT page... ""
you think VOTE page...  ""

and then there is ...  A Cyberspace DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE...

SHALOM!!! OK??     IaHU-NaTaN


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