Cyberqueer Credit Shafting (fwd)


Henry Huang

Stumbled across this some time ago, but didn't have time to post
it.  There are some really serious civil-liberties and privacy
implications to this case ... which so far hasn't seen the light
of day.

Relevant URL:



** Heavily Trimmed Excerpts from alt.politics.datahighway:

From: •••@••.••• (NY Transfer News Collective)
Subject: Privacy too high a price for Credit Card services
Date: 11 Jan 1996 02:23:14 GMT
Organization: Blythe Systems
Lines: 205

More on the credit-card services trials of CyberQueer Lounge.
We think this is a serious threat to system security and user
privacy, internet-wide. We are appalled that a company would
ask ANY ISP for access to their system, without paying for an
account, as part of the price for having them perform credit
card services.  Worse -- this demand was made AFTER the credit
services application was signed, and none of their alleged "decency"
concerns are listed in their literature or in their contract. 


We HOPE that the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and
other organizations involved with freedom of access take this
bizarre demand from a financial services outfit very seriously
indeed. If it turns out that they have given services to other
systems, without this demand, then Mr. Hicks has one hell of a 
discrimination case. If the company makes such demands of
only those systems with sexual or political information, then they
are engaging in biased behavior and should be challenged legally.

If they make this absurd demand of ALL online systems, they are
engaging in pure stupidity and should be educated. They should
not, it seems to us, be permitted to enforce this idiotic demand.
They should not be permitted a free account to read any system's
information without applying for an account, like anyone else, and
paying for it.



                            THE CYBERQUEER LOUNGE
    Presented January 8, 1996. Updates will continue.
  "Go ahead laugh, it up. Convince yourself this is NO big deal."

   "They will only do this to the Queers. I'm safe, right???"
   On January 5, 1996 a merchant credit card application representative
   informed The CyberQueer Lounge the premises needed to be searched for
   unacceptable materials.

   The QLounge had applied for merchant credit card status December 1995.
   The Lounge maintains certain areas that are locked from the public.
   Areas are protected by password to encourage visitors interested in
   using all the areas to join and donate money to the Lounge maintenance
   costs. Members of the lounge have access to locked areas with a login
   name and password.
   The Lounge was informed on the 5th of January it was required to
   provide a password and login to the merchant credit card company
   representatives and allow them to view the entire contents of the
   The request for a login and password to the entire site was at first
   denied. The credit representative stated the application would be
   denied and the Lounge would lose the $110 application fee if the
   credit company(s) were not allowed to enter all areas of this system.
   The Lounge was also informed that if there was ANY information that
   was found on the system that the credit people found unacceptable the
   application would be denied.
   The CyberQueer Lounge representative Tom Hicks had signed a lengthy
   "standardized" merchant credit application in December. There was no
   mention at that time the credit card companys restricted what
   information would be allowed or not allowed to be in the Lounge if
   accepted for merchant credit status. There was no list of what the
   credit card companys would allow to be displayed in the Lounge before
   the signing of the contract, after, or to this date.
   The CyberQueer Lounge can not find any records waiving its right to
   private property, free speech or right to assemble. If you find such a
   contract please send it to •••@••.•••


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