1998-02-10 - Re: Cyber ‘Nannys”

Header Data

From: “WebWarrior3@InfoWar.Com” <WebWarrior3@InfoWar.Com>
To: cypherpunks@Algebra.COM
Message Hash: 513017b78b209e22b926aa45fd6ad13284c1129fb7f5e76d5a7391fb61aeded2
Message ID: <34E01274.4531F0CD@InfoWar.Com>
Reply To: <v03102804b105af4a91ed@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1998-02-10 08:47:28 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 16:47:28 +0800

Raw message

From: "WebWarrior3@InfoWar.Com" <WebWarrior3@InfoWar.Com>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 16:47:28 +0800
To: cypherpunks@Algebra.COM
Subject: Re: Cyber 'Nannys"
In-Reply-To: <v03102804b105af4a91ed@[]>
Message-ID: <34E01274.4531F0CD@InfoWar.Com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Tim May wrote:

> I don't mean to be flippant . At issue here is a very real issue of free
> choice and contracts. Customers cannot "demand" a list of criteria for
> blocked sites any more than customers can demand a list of the selection
> criteria a bookstore uses, or a magazine editor uses, and so on.

Ever hear of consumer protection laws? There are many cases where consumers
are allowed to "demand" information regarding their purchases...you were being
flippant. One subscribes to a magazine because one knows what the focus of the
content is and one chooses to receive that periodical; not because the
magazine MAY have an editorial policy to not cover any stories on the
"Oddities of Toenail Fungus in Bleached Blonde Yaks from Manhattan."

> I make fun of Cyber Sitter and other Net.Nannies, but there's no role for
> "disagreeing with the fact" (whatever that infelicitous expression may
> mean) that they usually don't publicize their criteria.

Pardon my poor choice of words, please.  Looking back on it, I can see that I
could have chosen a better way to express my meaning.  In case you did not get
the gist, let me clarify it for you:  I find it to be an irresponsible
business practice for a company not to provide a customer with information on
exactly what a product does and does not do.  In a case where a product claims
to 'protect' children from certain 'harmful' material, parents should be able
to view these criteria in order to:A) discern whether they agree that the
material is harmful
B) make an educated choice regarding which, if any, of these products they
want to purchase.

Saying that a customer can not demand to know what the product does is like
saying that a car manufacturer should not have to tell potential customers if
the engine block is made of aluminum, cast iron, or wood.  Likewise, remember
an agency called the FDA?  Hmm, wonder if one of the reasons we have
ingredient labels on our packaged food is so people can verify that certain
ingredients are not in the products.  Have any allergies, Tim?

> If you can figure out their criteria, great...

Huh?  Where did that come from?

> But make sure that your "disagreeing with the fact" is not translated into
> calling
> for disclosure laws. That way lies statism.

There are already consumer protection laws.  I don't think that this is a
concentration of extensive economic controls in the State, do you?  Really,

It is neither my option nor is it my responsibility to change someone's little
paranoid mind should they confuse consumer protection with statism, that is a
job for a psychiatrist or a professor.

Scott R. Brower