1996-03-23 - http://anarchy-online.dementia.org/book/

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From: Declan McCullagh <declan@eff.org>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 4126e08902ebbf463130c9c5411cb5a186953fb5219f5cab691cb8aaa9d7df84
Message ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.960322210713.13941F-100000@eff.org>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1996-03-23 14:15:07 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 23 Mar 1996 22:15:07 +0800

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From: Declan McCullagh <declan@eff.org>
Date: Sat, 23 Mar 1996 22:15:07 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: http://anarchy-online.dementia.org/book/
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.960322210713.13941F-100000@eff.org>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

[I'm not associated with this book except that I helped HTMLize it.

                    For Immediate Release 
         A New Book Investigating Sex on the Internet 
        is Pre-Published, Free, via the World Wide Web 
While the fate of online freedoms is being determined by 
federal judges in Philadelphia, a contributing writer to 
Wired magazine has decided to give away his investigative 
book on the subject. 
Charles Platt spent six months gathering data about netporn 
for a book to be published later this year by HarperCollins. 
According to Platt, "My publishers hoped to rush the book 
into print. When their plans changed as a result of factors 
outside my control, I decided the material was so topical and 
so important, it should be placed freely on web sites." 
Titled ANARCHY ONLINE, the book is divided into two parts. 
The first deals with net crimes such as hacking, viruses, and 
data piracy. Platt includes first-hand descriptions of 
hackers and pirates and debunks myths created by melodramatic 
press coverage. 
Part Two of the book explores free speech online and examines 
netporn more frankly and in greater depth than has been 
achieved elsewhere. Platt concludes that although a genuine 
problem does exist, a "war on porn" will be as unwinnable, 
expensive, and divisive as the "war on drugs." 
Part Two of the book contains about 65,000 words and is being 
placed online in its entirety. It includes transcripts from 
pornographic IRC chat sessions and sexually oriented Usenet 
news groups; a look at pedophilia on America Online; a new, 
damning investigation of Martin Rimm (whose porn study was 
immortalized in Time magazine); and a reassessment of issues 
raised by Jake Baker (who faced years in jail after he placed 
sadistic stories on Usenet). Platt also examines federal 
attempts to control encryption; the Guardian Angels; 
anonymous remailers; repressive laws at the state level; 
content-filtering software; and content rating schemes. There 
are exclusive interviews with Scott Charney at the Department 
of Justice, Ann Beeson of ACLU, Louis Rossetto and Kevin 
Kelly of Wired magazine, anti-child-porn crusader Barry 
Crimmins, David Chaum of DigiCash, and Phil Zimmermann, 
creator of PGP. Many other industry figures and commentators 
make cameo appearances. 
Platt concludes that net fears have been exaggerated and 
demands for censorship are unwarranted. "Most people who want 
to censor the net don't use it and are willfully ignorant of 
it. They tend to be religious extremists and opportunistic 
legislators looking for a hot-button issue. I question their 
right to inflict laws on a community that they don't live in 
and know nothing about." 
Platt feels that if widely available methods are used to 
control access by children, the net can be safer than a day-
care center. "My daughter started net surfing when she was 
15. Even if children have totally unrestricted access, the 
net is still more benign than most real-world environments. I 
believe this is thoroughly substantiated by my book." 
ANARCHY ONLINE is freely available at 
Charles Platt is the author of 40 books, ranging from 
computer guides to science fiction. His novel PROTEKTOR was 
published this year by Avon Books. He is a contributing 
writer to Wired magazine and has an article on net censorship 
in the current issue, dated April. 
Platt can be contacted at (212) 929 3983 or via email at