1996-04-20 - Re: Protocols at the Point of a Gun

Header Data

From: Declan McCullagh <declan@eff.org>
To: Alan Bostick <abostick@netcom.com>
Message Hash: 0dee405b6f2ed3ec51a22ccd4e835a40c0330c9391872c8ec0132d3be33341f7
Message ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.960419192512.4950B-100000@eff.org>
Reply To: <OTwdx8m9LYbG085yn@netcom.com>
UTC Datetime: 1996-04-20 07:50:17 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 20 Apr 1996 15:50:17 +0800

Raw message

From: Declan McCullagh <declan@eff.org>
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 1996 15:50:17 +0800
To: Alan Bostick <abostick@netcom.com>
Subject: Re: Protocols at the Point of a Gun
In-Reply-To: <OTwdx8m9LYbG085yn@netcom.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.960419192512.4950B-100000@eff.org>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Thu, 18 Apr 1996, Alan Bostick wrote:

> Don't forget: There are lots of colleges and universities on the net,
> and most of these universities have undergraduates, and a significant
> fraction of these undergraduates are minors.  The potential user base is
> going to be mixed and must be presumed to be so.  (That, I'm told, is
> the chief justification of the Carnegie-Mellon ban on the alt.sex.*
> Usenet newsgroups.) *Lots* of systems are affected by this problem.

This is an excellent point, and one worth repeating. The Chronicle of
Higher Education has been quite diligent in covering the CDA hearings in
Philadelphia since their readership is concerned about this issue. 

As for CMU's justification for censoring USENET newsgroups, the legal
justification for protecting minors is non-existent -- the
administration's reasons are financial and PR. Check out this February
1996 thread on the fight-censorship list: 

  The attached excerpt from a Carnegie Mellon University PR newsletter
  shows how top administrators are basking in the publicity sparked by the
  Rimm study and CMU's CompuServe-esque censorship of sexual discussion
  groups in November 1994. The Warner Hall bureaucrats are smug in
  claiming they were justified in "limiting the access of pornography on
  our campus computers." 

Of course, that's not to say that CMU administrators aren't prudes as well.

For more info:


// declan@eff.org // I do not represent the EFF // declan@well.com //