1994-07-29 - NYET to censors, REPOST

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From: nzook@math.utexas.edu
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 749fc455888fd0882cdee540499c4e12d5d55a674f0d296b791021ac3c8e468b
Message ID: <9407291409.AA24554@pelican.ma.utexas.edu>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1994-07-29 14:11:33 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 29 Jul 94 07:11:33 PDT

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From: nzook@math.utexas.edu
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 94 07:11:33 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: NYET to censors, REPOST
Message-ID: <9407291409.AA24554@pelican.ma.utexas.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

For those of you who didn't read it all last time...

Copyright 1994, Nathan Zook.  All rights reserved.  Intelectual copyrights

NYET-- Non-Youths Exhibit Temperance.

Before I start, it may be informative to consider that I consider myself to
be a hard-line member of the Christian Conservative movement, and a hard-
line advocate of electronic privacy.  I am a PhD candidate in mathematics
at the University of Texas of Austin, and I got the Electronic Privacy
language added to the 1994 Republican Party of Texas platform.  I am a
member of Trinty Evangelical Free Church, and am twenty-seven years old.

As the Internet community continues to grow, the differences of conviction
that exists generally in the world find their way into the community.  Some
demand that newcomers to the net adapt to the mores of this society.  Some
demand that the net, as a newcomer to the world, adapt to the outside.  As
recent events have demonstrated, the less reasonable, on both sides, may be
endangering the integrity and availablity of the net.  Calls for net
censorship, it may be expected, will continue to grow unless the net can
find some way to police itself.  Yet "police itself" is a term that sends
the net into fits.  My solution, NYET, is for the appropriate users to
directly censor the data that they might legitmately lay claim to
censoring--data that flows to minors over which they have legal authority
and responsibility.

Specifically, this is a plan to create two sorts of accounts to the net--
adult and minor.  Adult accounts may only be obtained by persons of age
eighteen.  Minor accounts may only be obtained as adjuncts to adult
accounts, refered to as supervisor accounts.  Adult accounts would have
full access to anything on the net.  News readers, telnet, ftp and like
software being operated from a minor account would check a file in the
adult account to allow access.  Newsreaders, in particular, would censor
any posts crossed from a non-allowed account.  The control files in the
supervisory accounts would default to allow-only mode, but could be
selected to deny-only.

The legal framework that I see important in aiding such a system is as

State Level:
1)  Declare to hold harmless those BBS operators for charges of Contributing
to the Delinquacy of a Minor that obtain and verify the age of account
holders, and maintain a NYET system of access for minors.  Certain
acceptable verification methods specified, with authority to add methods
delegated to a regulatory agency.  Emphasis to be on ease and speed of
verification.  Special consideration for in-house systems.

2)  Make it illegal to misrepresent age and name data to a BBS.  Require
BBS operators to maintain a record of age and name of account holders for
thirty days after opening of account for hold harmless agreement, and
allowing deletion of said data afterwards.

3)  Declare aiding in tampering with NYET system to be "Contributing to the
Delequency of a Minor".

Federal Level:
Pass paralell laws for BBSs operating with local numbers from two or
more states, or for BBSs operating with 800 numbers.

I believe that such a system would protect the full free expression 
currently enjoyed by the net, while reaffirming parental responsibility in 
the upbringing of their children.  The burden of controlling access
devolves all the way to the parents, making charges against BBS operators
patently frivolous.  Porno charges would then be MUCH more difficult to
press, since a jury could be told that specific steps were being taken to
prevent access to minors.  If parents complained that they didn't want to
go to the trouble of spelling out what their children could access, the
response is clear:  "Oh, so it's not worth the effort to you?"

Despite slurs in this group to the contrary, I believe that the proposed 
us.* heirarchy may well be the first in a series of attempts to censor 
the net.  Remember, we already have had a censor for TV, movies, and radio.
It is not really a question of _if_ but _who_ and at _what level_ will this
censoring take place.


(Adjusting flame gear)