Craig: News Brief: “Indecency” stays in bill [cr-951216]


Richard Moore

>From: "Craig A. Johnson" <•••@••.•••>
Date:          Fri, 15 Dec 1995
Subject:       News Brief:  "Indecency" stays in bill

House-Senate telecom conferees in a closed meeting today accepted the
"indecency" standard, with "defenses" and "good faith" actions to
protect providers.  The precise wording of this corporate security
blanket has not been made public.

The intention is to bring the bill to the House floor by Tuesday or
Wednesday.  There is some discussion that the 45 conference committee
members may sign off on the final language in circulation, without
calling a formal meeting.  The final report then would be filed with
the House, since it was the last body to act on the bill.

It really makes no little difference if there are "defenses" for
providers.  The "indecency" standard will wreak havoc on the Net.
Think of all the backwater communities with their absurd standards of
"indecency."  Think of innumerable Thomas BBS cases, only now applied
to the Net.

Basically, the "defenses" and "good faith actions," however they are
tacked on, are pure garbage, and will inflict untold costs on
nonprofit users and providers and small to medium-sized service

It is reported that White was successful in grafting on some of his
"good faith" stuff, but if the White proposal was flawed before,
with the "harmful to minors standard," now it is absolutely
nauseating.  Net cops, snoops, spooks, monitors, and goose-stepping
security patrols will rule the Net.

In my view (and many do not agree), the whole White thing was an
effort to rescue the big boys and damn the consumers.   It was a
high-risk gamble, but as one very senior Senate Democratic staffer
told me, "the Christian Coalition runs this place" now.   The
Christian Coalition of course argued that Exon was not hard enough on
porn; they wanted Hyde.

White, hopefully not wittingly, gave the Exonites political cover,
so they could argue their solution was to the left of Hyde.  We end
up with Exon-White, with the "indecency" standard intact.

Craig A. Johnson
Telecommunications/Information Policy Specialist
Transnational Data Reporting Service, Inc.


 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
 CyberRights co-leader  | Cyberlib=