Rights Awakened [cr-95/10/9]


Sender: •••@••.••• (El Tiburon)

From: The Internet Users Consortium
(•••@••.•••  and  •••@••.•••)

The recent discovery of Cyberspace has caused a national reexamination of
many aspects of the Bill of Rights. Freedom of the Press is no longer
restricted to those who happen to own a Press, as in A.J. Leibling's famous
quip. Almost overnight, anyone with a computer and a modem can tell the
world all about their own personal opinions and beliefs, regardless of
whether they agree or disagree with the government. We can express and
detail much more information in a much shorter period of time thanks to the
new Information Technology.

Historically, those who have occupied the halls of power in our country have
always had an ambivalent relationship toward Rights. In fact, the best way
to hold on to a Right in the USA is to not use it. The best way to lose a
Right is to use it a lot, to go around acting as if it were a bloody Right
or something. The Freedoms given to us by the Contract with America (better
known as the Bill of Rights), are even more intensely scrutinized and
rationed by the government in the Information Age.

We all know that the U.S. government is afraid of non-centralized control of
any commodity.  They wish to have power over any medium (or the brokers of
any medium) that could be used against them. Information can be used for
good or for evil. Unquestionably, the Information Superhighway is used by
Smut Farmers to get their produce to market and twisted sexgoons hang out in
the parks and playgrounds of Cyberspace to prey on innocent young minds and

Well, Buenos freaking Dias! Wake up and smell the toner, folks! This sounds
like the human race to me. When we're good, we're so good and when we're bad
we're so bad and there's so much good in the worst of us, etc., etc., and
we're all over the board! Don't be fooled by calls from the government to
ignore the Right of Free Speech on Internet in order to "save our youth".
That same ploy has been used by governments thousands of times over
thousands of years. The democratic government of Athens sentenced Socrates
to death for "corrupting the youth". (He was teaching them to think - to
question authority).

We need to support and contribute to the rebirth of an awareness of our
Rights. Many Americans don't know exactly what these Rights consist of and
the distribution thereof. The fact is that powerful individuals in NSA and
FBI, who have direct access to the ears of our lawmakers, are filling those
ears with their paranoid world view. Theirs is a world view which interprets
Constitutional Rights as a Threat to Government. They see Our Constitutional
Freedoms as a Threat to Government. Above all, they see Internet as a Threat
to Government.

Their argument is that these Constitutional Rights are too dangerous now
that we have networked computers and strong encryption. It is a sad fact
that we will lose many of our Rights in the next few years if we do nothing
to stop these tendencies of our government to destroy or ignore our Rights.
We Must Organize and fight for our Rights. If we perceive that we have a
voice that will be heard, we are much more inclined to use it. I know its
much like saying, "I will only try if I know I will succeed". We don't know.
We won't know. How could we? But we Must know that if we do nothing now,
many of our Constitutional Rights will soon be history.

We need to give people a sense of hope that they can be heard and if nothing
else that they will be able to speak their thoughts and opinions. The
sensation of powerlessness leads to paralysis. Lets re-explore the rights we
have. WE MUST NEVER GIVE UP and allow a few living fossils from the Cold War
Era to take away our Constitutional Freedoms.

Cyberspace is an opportunity for a new awakening to our Rights, a new access
to our Rights and a new ability to use and experience our Constitutional
Rights, which are our birthright as Americans. Our forefathers fought for
these Rights and gave them to us on a silver platter in the Constitution. It
is our duty as Americans to defend the Constitution. If those whose honor
is held most high in the senate and house will not honor the Constitution
they have sworn to defend, then it is up to us as US citizens to uphold
this document. It is well within our ability. It is essentially a contract
with our government that they will not become overbearing or oppressive.
When the Bill of Rights is sacrificed for political gain or aid to
transitory problems, our Freedom and our Rights are soon to wither and
shrivel away.


                      Internet Users Consortium
                    7031 E. Camelback Ste 102-515
                        Scottsdale, AZ 85251

The only way to be heard, is by making a little noise.
Put the IUC URL on your homepage.

<A HREF="http://www.indirect.com/www/molsen/index.html">Internet Users
Consortium HomePage</A><BR>


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

Sender: •••@••.••• (El Tiburon)

The ACLU has always been defenders of civil liberties and have been on
the fore-front of protecting civil liberties in Cyber-space.  In their most
recent mailing they have discussed the senate bill of Orrin Hatch that
would make illegal any image, computer generated or not, that could be used
by pedophiles in an erotic sense.  Sounds good... on the surface.

I am a strong proponent of children and am *strongly* opposed to child
pornography, as are the vast majority of people in the U.S. and the world.
But the problem with this bill is two-fold.  For starters, as we have
stated before, there are numerous laws on the books that can be used, and
should be used, to prosecute pedophiles.  All of these laws can be used in
conjunction with the Internet.  Why create more laws?  Secondly, if an image
is computer-generated, no children were exploited, or abused, in the
creation of these images.  It undermines the rationale for child
pornography laws.

The purpose of these laws is to protect children, and if no children were
used, where is the abuse and exploitation?  This is a knee-jerk attempt to
chip away civil liberties in Cyber-space.  If this law is passed, the
result could be used to pass other, more threatening laws with the
rationale that this law was fine, why not take it a step further?

Personally, I could do without this topic.  I guess I wish that I could have
a clean argument over civil rights and such without the topic of child
pornography ever occurring.  I don't like it and like others who give up their
rights 'in the name of protecting the kids'.   I too want child pornography
to stop and also don't see a need to alter images and say its only 'virtual'
kiddie porn.

But I need to defend our rights for you and me who are passionate about our
rights and for fascists like the Christian Coalition who are on power kicks
(God in '96).  I want freedom for him too.  Its not pleasant but we may have
to tolerate some things we don't like and deal with it OURSELVES rather than
being co-dependent upon a government that is leaning to the right (look at
what Conservatism did for Germany in 1936).

It is the rallying cry of those who want to sterilize the Internet.  From
porn to talking about chemistry to encryption.  THEY WANT THE ABILITY TO
SILENCE YOU WHEN IT FITS THEIR NEEDS.  We wish they would not remove the
freedom and rights we were Constitutionally guaranteed.  But they are, and
so here I am.  Its our fight!


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

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