1996-02-01 - Re: Tim’s paranoid rant about Declan appearing on “Europe’s Most Wanted”

Header Data

From: “Declan B. McCullagh” <declan+@CMU.EDU>
To: rich@c2.org>
Message Hash: 705f750a03eecb693b65c99fc98a37f5b3ab623ceb4f8abb7cdbafd121ecfb48
Message ID: <gl4A=xu00YUr41Pol2@andrew.cmu.edu>
Reply To: <199602011002.CAA25917@infinity.c2.org>
UTC Datetime: 1996-02-01 14:01:26 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 1 Feb 1996 22:01:26 +0800

Raw message

From: "Declan B. McCullagh" <declan+@CMU.EDU>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 1996 22:01:26 +0800
To: rich@c2.org>
Subject: Re: Tim's paranoid rant about Declan appearing on "Europe's Most Wanted"
In-Reply-To: <199602011002.CAA25917@infinity.c2.org>
Message-ID: <gl4A=xu00YUr41Pol2@andrew.cmu.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Excerpts from internet.cypherpunks: 1-Feb-96 Tim's paranoid rant about
D.. by Just Rich@c2.org 
> I disagree. It is clear to me that there is absolutely no cloud hanging 
> over us. If any German court tried to press charges against me for 
> posting Zendel's materials, they'd be laughed across the Argonne. Most 
> mainstream Jewish groups *love* me right now.
> I find it curious, and I am beginning to get a little annoyed, that my
> name is rarely mentioned, though I set up the first mirror, and Declan got
> the files from me. 

So you're getting pissy that you're not The Only Zundel Mirror. Big
fucking deal. Get over it. The more the better.

I find it telling that you wrote me mail demanding that I alter my web
pages to your satisfaction or you'll smear me in the press, since your
web site (you informed me) is going to be featured in the next issue of
TIME, Internet World, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Hey, guy, kudos to you. Glad to hear it. Smear the fuck away.

> I am very annoyed that Declan has not responded to repeated requests to
> remove the cleartext "Stanford University" from the parts of his Web site
> that mention me. Of course the stanford.edu, or at least net 36.190, will
> remain in the URL, but there is no reason that the link text could not say
> "Rich Graves' mirror." First Declan sent me mail saying he would respect
> my wishes, but he didn't.

Let's get the facts right and ignore Rich's distortions. I wrote:

    "I'll honor your wishes and take your full name off."

I did *not* write that I'd take Stanford's name off the pages. I did
take your full name off, as I said I would.

The point of mentioning universities by name is to point out that to
restrict web access to a university site, Germany will have to cut of
*all* web access to that university. (Or at least to that hostname.)

(BTW, I did give you credit for supplying much of the Zundelschtuff:

>  Then a friend of mine reminded Declan of my
> request, and Declan responded with abuse. 

Your friend, Haggai Kupermintz, sent me unsolicited email demanding to
know why I didn't act on a request that was sent earlier that day. I
have better things to do than leap on every demand I get, so I flamed
him. *shrug* Big deal. I didn't know a rather mild flame was "abuse." If
you don't want to be "abused," don't send me demands in unsolicited
email. (I'm glad for the sake of other "abusers" at Stanford that your
school's speech code was struck down by a California court last year.)

> Declan wants me to believe that this disclaimer is enough:
>        "Please note that the
>        existence of a web site at any particular institution does not
>        in any way imply endorsement. Universities and businesses
>        do not take responsibility for what their community members
>        or customers place online."
> This is clearly untrue when the person in question is a staff member, as I
> am. Were I still a student, then I could more legitimately say that I'm a
> student at Stanford, and that I have the academic freedom to post whatever
> I want; but as someone who now merely works for a living at Stanford, I do
> whatever I want by the (very) good graces of my (very good) employer. 

I don't follow. In what way is that disclaimer untrue? You *do*
represent Stanford? The concept of academic freedom doesn't apply to
staff members? If that's true, you do have a point.

> > In Declan's case, I suspect France wants him for the Mitterand book and
> France doesn't want anyone for the Mitterand book, which was not, in 
> fact, criminally banned. It was censured, not censored, in a civil trial. 
> Declan is distorting the facts to suit his ego as Mr. Anti-Censorship.

I've never claimed to be Mr. Anti-Censorship. I've been trying my best
to resist certain specific censorship attempts for the last few years,
and I've even met with some limited success. Does the ego good and all.

> I find this breast-beating hype embarrassing and dishonest, and I am 
> seriously beginning to regret giving the Zundel files to Declan. Had I 
> known what he was going to do with them, and how he was going to behave, I 
> would have retained closer control.

Oh, spare me. You posted to cypherpunks that the files were available
via AFS, so I snagged them. You didn't "give" them to me any more than I
"gave" people the Zundelhausenfiles if they FTP 'em from my account.

How can you "retain closer control" over files that are publicly
available on the web? You can make them more difficult to get, I
suppose, but I think that defeats the purpose and is a simply fascist
thing to do -- if the purpose is to make them available anyway.

Hell, your files were out-of-date, so I had to go back to the Zundelsite

> One mirror site was enough. The German providers would not have blocked
> stanford.edu had it remained the only mirror site. The President of
> Stanford, Gerhard Casper, is a recognized constitutional scholar from
> Germany. The Stanford Provost, Condoleezza Rice, was one of the two or 
> three people most responsible for the Bush Administration's policy 
> towards German Unification. Dozens of Stanford students have studied in 
> Berlin.

One mirror site may have had a limited effect, but more mirror sites
have a more significant effect.

The press likes a local angle, and local mirrors are giving them just
that. I put a reporter from the Boston Globe in touch with the UMass
mirror operator, and a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer in touch
with the University of Pennyslvania mirror operator. I'd love to see
mirrors in every major city for greater coverage in every major paper.

If you don't understand that concept, you don't understand the way the
media works.

> Had they blocked stanford.edu, or had they gotten through to Stanford and 
> somehow gotten Stanford to force me to take down the pages, then we would 
> have set up more mirrors. I would have started, and maybe stopped, 
> by setting up mirrors on c2.org and netcom.com. Graduated response. 

As I've told you in email, I disagree. This is the first time a Western
government has tried to do something like this, and a strong (not a mild
or "graduated") response is necessary.

If there were just one mirror, I can see the German prosecutors cutting
off access to that one too. Sure, we can put up more and more, but if
the German government starts along the path of blocking sites
one-by-one, it may be difficult for them to back down, and we're faced
with a pitched battle. That's why a strong initial showing is necessary,
to demonstrate to them the futility of censoring the Internet.

So Rich, answer me this: "What articulable and demonstrable harm have
additional mirror sites done, besides hurt your ego?"

> This is ludicrous. I expect better from you.

I'm a big fan of Tim's, and I think that while he may have been jesting,
his comments have a serious undertone.

I don't really expect to be locked up for the rest of my life in a
German cellblock, but harassment at entry/exit points is possible.
Perhaps probable, given that other "distributors" of Neo-Nazi spew have
experienced just that.

> Ernst Zundel is a lying Nazi asshole who wants you to believe that there 
> is a Global Jewish Conspiracy to censor him. Fuck him.

Yep, exactly. The more you know about Mr. "UFOs in Antarctica," the
better you can do the job.

> Declan, if you don't fix up your page the way I want it by morning (please
> not that you have three more hours of morning than I do), I will post a
> modified (spell-checked) version of this note on my Web page, to
> alt.censorship, and to your "fight-censorship" mailing list.

Please send me in private email (or post it here if you really want)
exactly what you want me to change.

Rich, by now I suspect you've seen this joke, but what the hell:

   Q: What's a left-wing firing squad?

   A: Everyone stands in a circle and shoots at each other