Re: New way to dramatize the need to fight censorship [cr-95/10/3]


Sender: •••@••.•••

Sorry Andy,

I have to agree with RKM..
I feel it is ALWAYS better strategy to take the offense than go on the



On  7 Oct 95 at 1:03, Richard K. Moore wrote:

> Don Porter wrote:
> >I have a suspicion that some folks will read more into this
> >paragraph than is probably intended. They may well take references
> >to unsatisfied urges to include pedophilia and child pornography in
> >the literal, and not just literary sense. Some might accuse you of
> >declaring open season on kids.

Yes, perhaps this last paragraph should be tinkered with a little, and
the bit about "urges" clarified.

> I believe our mission (re/Exon) should be to continue to point out
> that it amounts to a very over-broad attack against online
> expression in general -- a jackhammer to kill a fly, as it were.
> If we --
>         (1) point out the dangers to political speech and open
>         discussion
>             on the net
>         (2) & the possibility that Internet culture as we know it is
>         at risk (3) underscore that means already exist to prosecute
>         pornography (4) help identify more appropriate ways that
>         those can be enhanced
> -- then we have a very strong case to make, and can enlist the
> maximum number of allies from all parts of the political/religious
> spectrum.

OK, fine, but pay close attention to the implications of (1) and (2)

> It seems clear to me (although Craig and others disagree) that a
> systematic demonization campaign against Internet culture is being
> carried out in the media.  There are many more articles about
> pedophile rings, pornography, bomb-recipes, and terrorism than is
> justified by the actual uses to which the Internet is put -- the
> famous Time article is only the most spectacular example from many.

I have never denied that there are huge distortions regarding the Net
spread about by the media.  But, I don't even know what "a systematic
demonization campaign against Internet culture" means. Sounds a little
too McCarthyist for my tastes. (Do you have "in your hands" Richard
the names of 100 newspapers/periodicals who are members of this
"demonization campaign?" :-) )

> I think we play into the hands of this campaign if we
> _unnecessarily_ extend our tactics to defending D.H Lawrence or
> Henry Miller or whomever. If Exon was more narrow, and only attacked
> such literature, then I'd be in favor of using tactics appropriate
> to that case.  I think we should employ the most politically
> effective strategy available to us, and be congizant of the kind of
> oppostion we're likely to encounter.  It isn't wise to
> _unnecessarily_ ignore the prudish, right-wing attitudes prevalent
> in today's political scene.

I think the most effective strategy, as pointed out in nos. (1) and
(2) above is not to "ignore the prudish right-wing attitudes" but to
engage the purveyors of such attitudes  directly on the grounds of
freedom of speech.

The point of Exon and other like measures is that they very well could
extend to Lawrence or Miller -- *for adults.*  This is the tragedy.

I fully support "extending our tactics" to defend D.H. Lawrence.  How
can anyone who values liberty not support this?  We should invite
opposition from those who would ban Henry Miller or Lawrence from the
Net.  These are the true barbarians of society.

In all honesty, I don't understand Richard's arguments here on
"tactics."  I don't think fear should govern our choice of
responses; *this* is what plays into the hands of censors and
suppressors of cyber liberties.



Observation from moderator:

On the topic of civil disobedience, an interesting challenge is going
on in the Netherlands regarding the Church of Scientology.  As you
remember from earlier postings, they came with the police to the
Internet provider XS4ALL and made it remove a file that a user had put
up on its system and which the Church claimed was a copyright
violation.  (In fact, it's a transcript of a court record and the
people posting it claim that it is in the public domain.)

When hearing of this, other Internet users around the country started
making the file available.  They made sure to use multiple access
providers so it would be seen as a general statement of principle
across the Internet.  I have some postings about this campaign; email
me if you want them.


 Posted by --  Andrew Oram  --  •••@••.••• --  Cambridge, Mass., USA
                 Moderator:  CYBER-RIGHTS (CPSR)

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