1998-02-10 - Re: Cyber ‘Nannys”

Header Data

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
To: “WebWarrior3@InfoWar.Com>
Message Hash: 2cbaa99c4475583b50243e5dda402e56f19c8d8c81dc387822c12571b1806ffd
Message ID: <v03102804b1066c52d1f9@[]>
Reply To: <v03102804b105af4a91ed@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1998-02-10 21:02:08 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 05:02:08 +0800

Raw message

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 05:02:08 +0800
To: "WebWarrior3@InfoWar.Com>
Subject: Re: Cyber 'Nannys"
In-Reply-To: <v03102804b105af4a91ed@[]>
Message-ID: <v03102804b1066c52d1f9@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 10:38 AM -0800 2/10/98, WebWarrior3@InfoWar.Com wrote:

>When you purchase or sell anything you enter into a contract with the
>other party,
>hence:UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE Article 21) In this Article unless the context
>otherwise requires "contract" and "agreement" are limited to those
>relating to the
>present or future sale of goods. "Contract for sale" includes both a
>present sale
>of goods and a contract to sell goods at a future time. A "sale" consists
>in the
>passing of title from the seller to the buyer for a price (Section 2-401). A
>"present sale" means a sale which is accomplished by the making of the
mer Protection Laws."

I suppose that your point is that the UCC somehow relates to your argument
that filtering companies must supply customers with their filtering

This is a serious distortion of the UCC, and, if applied, would mean:

-- a chip company would have to provide the internal workings of chips
sold, else they would be violating the disclosure laws

-- a restaurant critic (analagous to a net.nanny filter, essentially) would
have to provide access to his selection criteria

-- the editor of any magazine or newspaper would have to explain his
reasons for reporting some stories and not others, for including some
editorial remarks and not others, and so on.

My point about "absent a contract" is that sometimes there _are_
arrangements to supply internal workings of chips, restaurant selection
criteria, etc. If there are such arrangements, then a customer can sue to
get performance. But absent such prearrangements, a customer cannot
generally demand information on how products were built, on what went into
them, and so on.

A customer of Cyber Sitter or Net Nanny is free to ask the companies
involved what their criteria are, just as  in the above cases he may ask
the companies for more details. But if these companies decline to give
trade secret information, or information they choose for whatever reason to
keep to themselves, there is no recourse.

Except in a few cases (wrongly, I believe) involving food and drug
products, under FDA rules. Importantly, there are absolutely no such
requirements for labelling of "speech," or editorial decisions, which is
precisely the service being provided by Cyber Sitter and Net Nanny types of

I believe any attempts to force, through law, the disclosure of editorial
selection criteria would quickly be struck down by the courts as a
violation of the First Amendment.

(Except in the usual cases involving recommendations about drugs, health
benefits, etc. And, no, I don't believe "psychological health" could be a
justifiable reason for the courts to accept laws forcing editors to
disclose their selection criteria.)

Face it, Cyber Sitter is saying "We think these are sites your child can
visit. " Forcing them to disclose their criteria--or even forcing them to
list all sites they disapprove of--is an infringement on their editorial

(And please don't anybody cite "commerce" as a justification...it hasn't
been a justification to regulate the speech of newspapers, publishers, or
other commercial ventures....)

--Tim May

Just Say No to "Big Brother Inside"
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
ComSec 3DES:   408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^3,021,377   | black markets, collapse of governments.