Computer Underground Digest Volume 3, Issue #3.18 (May 28, 1991) SPECIAL ISSUE: GENIE
>C O M P U T E R U N D E R G R O U N D<
>D I G E S T<
*** Volume 3, Issue #3.18 (May 28, 1991) **
** SPECIAL ISSUE: GENIE ON-LINE CONFERENCE: FREE SPEECH AND PRIVACY **
MODERATORS: Jim Thomas / Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.bitnet)
ARCHIVISTS: Bob Krause / / Bob Kusumoto
AGING ARROGANTIST: Brendan Kehoe
USENET readers can currently receive CuD as alt.society.cu-digest.
Back issues are also available on Compuserve (in: DL0 of the IBMBBS sig),
PC-EXEC BBS (414-789-4210), and at 1:100/345 for those on FIDOnet.
Anonymous ftp sites: (1) ftp.cs.widener.edu (22.214.171.124);
(3) dagon.acc.stolaf.edu (126.96.36.199).
E-mail server: firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMPUTER UNDERGROUND DIGEST is an open forum dedicated to sharing
information among computerists and to the presentation and debate of
diverse views. CuD material may be reprinted as long as the source is
cited. Some authors, however, do copyright their material, and those
authors should be contacted for reprint permission. It is assumed
that non-personal mail to the moderators may be reprinted unless
otherwise specified. Readers are encouraged to submit reasoned
articles relating to the Computer Underground. Articles are preferred
to short responses. Please avoid quoting previous posts unless
DISCLAIMER: The views represented herein do not necessarily represent
the views of the moderators. Contributors assume all
responsibility for assuring that articles submitted do not
violate copyright protections.
The following is an edited transcript of a real-time conference held
in the Public Forum Nonprofit Connection (PF*NPC) Roundtable on GEnie
(General Electric Network for Information Exchange). Copyright 1991.
Reprinted with permission.
Finding CuD on GEnie: Back issues and selected other items from the
CuD archives are located in the Legal Forum (LAW) and Public Forum
Nonprofit Connection (PF*NPC) libraries.
Contacting CuD on GEnie: CuD readers without Internet access may
contact the moderators via GEnie email to: GRMEYER
Free Speech and Privacy Online
Mitch Kapor and John Perry Barlow
Public Forum* NonProfit Connection (page 545)
Real time conference (RTC) 9 pm ET Sunday, May 12
[minutes of the RealTime Conference, captured & edited by Ric R.HELTON]
Why do I have to tie my car to the parking meter?
It's hard to govern new technologies with old laws. When wiretap
technology let the government listen in without physical
trespass, for example, existing privacy laws didn't protect
telephone calls. In today's electronic communication, rights of
free speech and privacy may be violated by yesterday's policies.
To address the social and legal issues involved in computer-based
communication and information, Mitch Kapor and John Perry Barlow
last June founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
Lyricist for the Grateful Dead and former Republican candidate
for the Wyoming State Senate, Barlow is a retired cattle rancher
who describes himself as a "hippie mystic and professional
techno-crank." He's working on a book called _Everything We Know
Is Wrong_. Founder of Lotus Development Corporation and ON
Technology, Mitch Kapor interested in the future of computers and
networks and is active on the Well and in the Internet community.
According to the EFF, electronic mail and computer conferencing
enable us to build online communities, "the first settlements on
an electronic frontier." But, in a new form of frontier
injustice, government raids on bulletin board systems have gone
beyond legitimate prosecution of computer crimes. Through
programs in public education and policy development, the EFF
hopes to extend "our society's highest traditions of the free and
open flow of information and communication."
Join Kapor and Barlow in a realtime discussion in the Public
Forum*NonProfit Connection on May 12 at 9 p.m (ET). For more
information about these issues and the EFF, look in the PF*NPC
library (keyword: EFF) or bulletin board (Category 9, Electronic
Networking). To get to the Public Forum*NPC, type PF.
[Mitch] PRESS30 [John Perry] PRESS27
[Tom] SHERMAN [Paul] CHERNOFF
[Ric] R.HELTON [Sherry] S.PERUZZI
[Sarah] CALC-SMC [Steve] S.RATZLAFF
[steve] S.AVES1 [GHANA JACK] J.COBB1
[Gordon (CuD)] GRMEYER [Paul] LONE.WOLF
[[frosty]] R.JONES113 [Tom] T.YERGEAU
T.HAY4 [Robert] LAW-ASST
[Linda] L.MCKENNEY [Satish] AFOS
[Anne] A.BUBNIC1 [Rick] R.ADAMS42
[PETER] S.MURPHY3 C.NELSON28
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Here we go . . .
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Ok. Now they can see us but we can't see them unless
they "raise their hands?"
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Mitch and John can talk but, for the moment, no one else
can. . .
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Kinda scary...
<[Tom] SHERMAN> In a minute, we'll begin with Mitch and John's opening
remarks . . .
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Followed by the questions which people have already posted .
<[Tom] SHERMAN> And then you can ask questions "from the floor" . . .
<[Tom] SHERMAN> To ask questions, just type /RAI on a new line. I'll see
your raised hand and call on you one at a time.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> That was cacophony. This is too quiet...
<[Tom] SHERMAN> It's possible that the press may want to print some of the
material from this conference....
<[Tom] SHERMAN> If you want to be off the record, please say so...
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Oh, I rather doubt that given the demands of the
<[John Perry] PRESS27> That is, I can't imagine either of us saying anything
quotable under these rather pressing circumstances.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> But if they choose, anything I say at any time is
available for public use.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> OK, Mitch first . . . you're ON! GA
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Hi, everyone!
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Hi from me too.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> I've seen audiences with a flat affect before, but
this is ridiculous.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> I'm glad you're all here...
<[Mitch] PRESS30> We're probably one of the larger simultaneous gatherings
in Cyberspace at this very moment.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Well, don't forget the tinyMUDS
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Let's start with the posted questions . . .
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Let's start with some questions to get things going.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Here's the first one... and to answer it , you may want to
say a few words about operation Sun Devil for those who don't know . . .
<[Tom] SHERMAN> What is the current state of sysop liability for a hobby
BBS; how will that change in the future? Can I protect my system from
Sun-Devil-esque seizure without impeding normal use?
<[Tom] SHERMAN> John and Mitch are composing their answers. Here they come
<[Mitch] PRESS30> The current state of liability is pretty unclear. If
you're looking for guarantees there are none.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Sysop liability is one of the areas of ambiguity
which EFF was established to deal with. It is is not at all clear.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> One of the reasons we are working with Steve Jackson in
his law suit against the Secret Service and others is to establish in a
court of law basic...
<[John Perry] PRESS27> However, I am strongly of the opinion that the best
way to secure liberty is to exercise it. If you get timid...
<[Mitch] PRESS30> constitutional protections for bulletin board sysops and
users - that they may not be subject to unreasonable searches and seizures
and that their postings are
<[Mitch] PRESS30> fully protected by the first amendment.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> and start curtailing your BBS, no one will ever know
what your real constraints were.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Steve Jackson Games is the Austin firm which was raided by
the Secret Service last year. They had several computers seized, their BBS
taken down, and all copies of a new manuscript taken also...
<[Mitch] PRESS30> They weren't suspected of any crime, but it almost put
them out of business.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Related to Steve Jackson only by involving some of
the same characters in the Secret Service was Operation Sun Devil. This
undertaking was under the guidance..
<[John Perry] PRESS27> of Gail Thackeray, the of the Arizona AG's office. In
early 1990, Operation Sun
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Devil caused the confiscation of 23,000 disks, 28
computers, 10 BBS's in 14 cities. To date there has only been one arrest. No
equipment has been returned.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> There are files in the public forum library here. Search
<[Tom] SHERMAN> OK here's the 2nd, related question . . .
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Are there any cases out there were the courts are indeed
deciding whether one has a "legitimate expectation of privacy" in regards to
one's electronic data? How does one protect from having all of one's
records seized (a la Steve Jackson Games)? GA
<[Mitch] PRESS30> The Electronic Communications Privacy Act protects the
privacy of electronic...
<[John Perry] PRESS27> What we're trying to establish in the SJG case is a
new understand of the application of the 4th Amendment in cases of digital
search. We're concerned
<[Mitch] PRESS30> mail. The bill was passed in 1986. The Steve Jackson
case raises ECPA claims.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> that it is not clear to everyone that a search in
which they take all electronic data is grossly overbroad.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Privacy rights per se can't insulate you from having your
<[Mitch] PRESS30> But proper application of the fourth amendment would have
narrowed or eliminated most of the searches and seizures of the last year.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> In fact, the word privacy is never used in the
Constitution and is a fairly recently developed legal concept.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Next question . . .
<[Tom] SHERMAN> In the BellSouth case where Riggs, Darden and Grant were
sentenced ( quite disproportional to the crime ), will the EFF promote an
appeal for a more realistic sentence for these youths ?
<[Tom] SHERMAN> ga
<[Mitch] PRESS30> We have been speaking with their attorneys about the
possibility of working on an appeal. Nothing definitive however.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> That's a tough one. They plead guilty, you know.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> I certainly think the sentences were disproportionate.
We've written something about this in an earlier issue of the EFF News which
should be around here somewhere.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> And a related question . . .
<[Tom] SHERMAN> What cases that are currently in session is the EFF working
on ? ga
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Steve Jackson games. Other things still pre-filing.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> We also provide referrals and informal advice to lots of
people who call the legal hotline. 617 864 0665.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> There are a number of cases which we're tracking at
the moment, but Steve Jackson Games is our only active litigation at the
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Moving right along . . .
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Is there any thought being given by any organizations to the
rights of consumers of BB services for the long term. Will there be
greater government regulation and will it protect the consumer? What should
our rights be? How should we protect them? ga
<[Mitch] PRESS30> More government regulation could well mean fewer rights,
not more. It all depends...
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Personally, I don't look at this as a consumer's
rights issue. To me a BBS is a place (at least some of the time) where free
speech and assembly ought to be
<[Mitch] PRESS30> We should start with a recognition that the Constitutional
protections of free speech and freedom of assembly should be extended to
<[John Perry] PRESS27> protected as in any other place. These are not just
consumer issues, this is the commons of the future.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> The problem with BBS's is that they are sometimes
rather like places, sometimes rather like post offices, and sometime rather
like newspapers. We have to start
<[Mitch] PRESS30> A.J. Liebling said: There's freedom of the press for the
person who owns one. Similarly with BBS'es. If you don't like the policies
of one, start your own.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> developing a comprehensive legal model for what they
are and how to deal with them.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> The role government could play is to see that we have a
first class communications infrastructure which would support a great
diversity of online services. Just as govt has invested in the postal
service and highway systems, it has an obligation to the p
<[Mitch] PRESS30> The govt needs to make sure that whoever wires the nation,
brings fiber to the home does it in a way that promotes access and
<[John Perry] PRESS27> This is an area where there is vigorous internal
discussion within EFF.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> [Sysop note: an excellent article on Highways of the Mind
will soon be posted in our library]
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Yes, we argue with each other a lot.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> That too.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> The EFF has liberals, libertarians, and lots of folks in
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Does a sysop who receives donations for his BBS qualify as
commercial and subject to ECPA 1986 for making his mail private?
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Boy, now there'
<[Mitch] PRESS30> If a BBS is generally available to the public, it falls
under ECPA. It doesn't matter whether it's a profit-seeking enterprise or
<[John Perry] PRESS27> s a tough question. I think it's safe to say there
their is neither law nor precedent which would answer it. What would be the
right answer? Let's first determine that and proceed from there.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Next question is a long one . . .
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Do BB's merely solicit subscribers as passive consumers, or
act to encourage investors (of intellectual property) into an information
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Is any valued contribution of intellectual property
considered a form of investment in a BB ? If so, do investors have a right
to expect a fair return on that
<[Tom] SHERMAN> investment?. . . .
<[Tom] SHERMAN> If so, what rights ? A right to access their investment from
the service provider ? A right to a portion of profit made from their
investment by the service provider ? What is fair ? Could a failure to
reciprocate be misconstrued as exploitation ? GA
<[Mitch] PRESS30> This sounds like a theory for a legal brief. If the
poster is here, perhaps he or she would care to restate live.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> DYeah. I'm sure there is a point of view being pushed
here, but I'm not sure what it is yet.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Yes, he is here and I'll call on him in a minute.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Next question . . .
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Where are we all going out to eat after this is over?
<[Tom] SHERMAN> John, would you talk about the techniques the authorities
are using to infiltrate groups of hackers.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Well, I would say that the techniques they are using
are fairly standard. They are trying to get people on the inside and having
the usual slender but significant amount of success. It doesn't look much
different from the methods used to infiltrate the dr (sic)
<[John Perry] PRESS27> and fringe political movements. In other words,
business as usual.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Next question . . .
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Are BBS users not entitled to some privacy rights deriving
>from the fact that they are sending information though telephone lines?
<[Tom] SHERMAN> ga
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Public postings on bulletin boards wouldn't seem to gain
privacy rights simply from being transmitted over the telephone.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> I think the problem is that a BBS is a public
facility (usually) using a connection which is usually reserved to private
use. Muddies the water.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Writers of postings certainly would seem to have some
intellectual property rights in their postings, but what those rights are is
on shifting sands.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Mitch and John have asked that we open this up now. If
you've a question, please /RAIse your hand
<[Tom] SHERMAN> First question, Ric
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Room is now in the talk mode.
<[Ric] R.HELTON> Thanks for coming tonight... I have two short questions....
<[John Perry] PRESS27> You're welcome.
<[Ric] R.HELTON> First, on public vs. private.. Just what makes the BBS
<[Ric] R.HELTON> ...a "private" or a "public" system, and therefore under
<[Ric] R.HELTON> GA
<[Mitch] PRESS30> I'm not a lawyer, but... If the BBS service is generally
available to members of the public then user mail is protected under ECPA
<[Mitch] PRESS30> ga
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Ric, any follow up
<[Tom] SHERMAN> ga
<[Ric] R.HELTON> ...as opposed to a close group of friends?
<[John Perry] PRESS27> I think that's right.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Ghana Jack, next question please. GA
<[Ric] R.HELTON> Also, when an online service retransmits messages to other
users, is the....
<[Ric] R.HELTON> ...online service itself held responsible for the message,
being in essence the
<[Ric] R.HELTON> ..speaker in that case? (and not the original author?)
<[Ric] R.HELTON> GA and done.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> The degree of liability of the service is absolutely
unclear under the law. It may depend on factors such as whether they
usually act as a pure conduit...
<[Mitch] PRESS30> or whether they screen material. This is in the case of
<[John Perry] PRESS27> It is generally our position that a BBS cannot be
held responsible for the positions taken by the people who post on it. The
only reason we're not adamant on that point is that we want to retain some
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Legislation is probably needed here.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> I agree with John on this last point.
<[Ric] R.HELTON> Thanks.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> It may be completely impractical for the sysop to
screen larger bulletin boards. Does this mean that only small boards should
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Ghana Jack, your question? GA
<[GHANA JACK] J.COBB1> Gentlemen,what was the reason behind the SJG and
Sun-Devil raids to begin with? And also,how is govt. dealing with bona fide
criminal use of BBS systems,such as drug trafficking,pedophilia and child
<[GHANA JACK] J.COBB1> GA
<[Mitch] PRESS30> The real reason behind the SJG raid may have been
confusion, but you'd really have to ask the Secret Service and others.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> 4CThe reason behind the SJG was that SJG had employed
a member of the Legion of Doom who was though to have a file, the E911 file,
which the SS thought of as a kind of smoking gun. They confiscated
everything is search of that file. Which no one at SJG had.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Sun Devil raids, we are told, have to do with
investigations of credit card and telephone access code fraud...
<[Mitch] PRESS30> But as so little has come out of Sun Devil, we can't
really evaluate this...
<[John Perry] PRESS27> The Sun Devil raids were, according to their
architect Gail Thackeray, exclusive directed at traffic in stolen cards and
codes. But, until there are some actual arrests, we can't know what they
were really about.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Law enforcement (LE) needs to be sufficiently prepared and
educated to spend their resources chasing down the real criminal activity,
whether or not it takes place using a computer.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> GA
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Jack, any follow-up question?
<[GHANA JACK] J.COBB1> I don't think the 2nd part of my question was
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Regarding the second part of the question: If proper
guidelines and training were in place, then LE would be able to go after
pedophiles who use BBSes...
<[GHANA JACK] J.COBB1> In other words,nothing is being done?
<[Mitch] PRESS30> (to cite a favorite examples) in way that protected their
rights and everyones.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Well, you're right, Jack. And the reason we didn't
answer it is because we don't know what all they're looking at the moment.
But I personally don't think that pedophilia is sufficient cause to disrupt
freedom of association.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> To the contrary, the EFF is involved in serious projects
to work out search and seizure guidelines with agencies such as the FBI.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Frosty, your question?
<[[frosty]] R.JONES113> When can/can not eMail on a BBS be monitored other
than a search warrant ???
<[John Perry] PRESS27> What mitch said
<[[frosty]] R.JONES113> ga
<[GHANA JACK] J.COBB1> Conspiracy is not freedom of association.
<[GHANA JACK] J.COBB1> sorry
<[Mitch] PRESS30> On a system like Prodigy, Genie, or the Well which is a
public system, email cannot be monitored! Really, it's illegal.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Well, the fact that they look so much like one
another from differing perspectives is precisely the problem. There has
been a lavish over-use of the conspiracy statutes in this country.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Frosty, follow-up?
<[[frosty]] R.JONES113> So, on public BBS that are operated throughout the
country, Email is not supposed to be monitored ??? What about SysOps that
leave the monitor on during company being in the area ???
<[Mitch] PRESS30> If the sys op creates the legitimate impression that it
does offer a private mail messaging service (not all boards do) then what
you suggest would not be
<[Mitch] PRESS30> kosher.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> The ECPA seems to assure the privacy of your e-mail.
However, this doesn't appear to apply to systems which are internal to a
corporation. Or the government for that matter.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Gordon, your question?
<[Gordon (CuD)] GRMEYER> Greetings. Has the EFF had time (or interest) to
formulate a stance on the recently introduced bill to require govt plaintext
access to encrypted text? GA
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Yes, we've written a letter to the relevant senators...
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Our position is strongly against Senate Bill 266,
which doesn't appear likely to pass in any case. But we haven't seen the
last of this.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> There is strong opposition to the bill from pro-privacy
interests who are in the process of meeting with Biden's staff, FBI, and
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Gordon, follow-up?
<[Gordon (CuD)] GRMEYER> Good enough, I assume there will be a public
announcement of your position at the appropriate time then. I'll shut up
and let someone else jump in here. Thanks
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Steve, your question?
<[steve] S.AVES1> What should non-sysops be concerned about with the Steve
Jackson case? And lastly, what can people like myself do? GA.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Actually, we hadn't considered making a big public
announcement about it. Maybe we should.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> User email was seized in the SJG case. This should be a
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Read the Genie library. Get on the EFF mailing list.
Write your congressperson.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> The reason anyone should be concerned is that Steve
Jackson's 1st and 4th Amendment right are also their own. If the government
can widely broaden acceptable search boundaries in electronic media, the gap
with widen elsewhere.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> STeve, follow-up?
<[steve] S.AVES1> Yes...
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Yeah. I agree with Mitch. The first order of business
is to make yourself informed.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> And then tell friends.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Gordon says - and read Computer Underground Digest.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> "Right.
<[steve] S.AVES1> So basically I should be concerned about freedom of
speech, not so much with having police show up at my home? GA and done
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Unless you have some specific reason to be concerned about
the police showing up, I'd be more concerned about freedom of speech.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Frosty, your next question?
<[[frosty]] R.JONES113> What is the EFF's position on Tribe's proposed 27th
Amendment to the Constitution ???
<[Mitch] PRESS30> If the constitution is properly interpreted, we don't need
another amendment to protect rights in digital media.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Tribe's speech in which he proposed the amendment was an
attention getter though. GA.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Personally, I don't think it's necessary. The
Constitution ought to be quite flexible enough to cover new media. However,
he uses as effective rhetorical technique in putting the proposal that way.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Frosty, follow-up?
<[[frosty]] R.JONES113> None now , ga
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Gordon, how can we get CuD
<[Paul] CHERNOFF> has left.
<[Gordon (CuD)] GRMEYER> Well, if you have net access send a note to Jim
Thomas, my co-editor at TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET. We'll add...
<[Gordon (CuD)] GRMEYER> you to the list for the next issue. It goes out
about weekly. Back issues are available, (tho not all of 'em) in the LAW RT
here on GEnie. ...
<[Gordon (CuD)] GRMEYER> It is also available on many BBS' and other sites
around the country. GA
<[John Perry] PRESS27> And I highly recommend it.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> OK, we've got time for only one more question . . .
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Then we'll wrap up the formal session and anyone can stay to
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Last question: Peter.
Hi. Sorry I was delayed. I'd like to know whether the online
forum of today, the town commons, needs to respect the freedom to speak of
the contributors it solicits
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Sure. But what are you getting at?
Currently, intellectual property (of the contributor) can be
denied upon their removal from a system ... should it be so?
<[John Perry] PRESS27> That doesn't clarify your question. At least, I don't
think it does.
Too much for 256 characters...Ok, should a service provider
(such as GEnie) have the right, notwithstanding, to remove any person for any
<[Mitch] PRESS30> You may be getting at the issue of whether the power of
the private operator of a system to control use should be restricted in some
fashion. Is this so?
Yes...actually, the degree of control.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> There are many stupid and self-defeating things a service
provider might do in refusing service to someone. We've all seen this...
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Well, I suppose their right to boot you is vested in
the fact that these are private institutions and not public ones. Even there
the issue is clouded by things like the Pruneyard Case which assured free
speech in Shopping Malls.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> But I don't see any way to legally restrict them from
slitting their own throats without also putting in jeopardy the ability of a
sysop or host to maintain an...
<[Mitch] PRESS30> inviting atmosphere.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Peter, follow-up?
True John, but as they solicit your intellectual property (your
posts) don't you have a right to retrieve that intellectual property...or
access it back if your booted off?
<[Mitch] PRESS30> It depends on the policy of the system. On the Well for
instance, you own your own words, even if they kick you off.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Well, I personally don't regard my postings as
intellectual property any more than the things I say in casual conversation,
but I am probably in the minority there.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Of course, if there were a different kind of subscriber
agreement this might not supply.
But that begs the question, what are your rights to ownership?
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Yeah, this is a very challenging issue.
<[Mitch] PRESS30> It's a complicated issue and the thin cyberspace
connection we have here does not do justice to it.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Mitch and John have already stayed here longer than I asked
them to, and it's time to call the formal RTC to a close . . .
Thanks Mitch, John ... I know it can't be resolved here. It is a
challenging issue. Is there somewhere you can be reached for further dialog?
<[John Perry] PRESS27> Thanks, for "coming? everyone. Hope to "see" you
<[Mitch] PRESS30> I think I'm going to take up the issue of control of
postings with our attorneys...
<[Mitch] PRESS30> just to get some ideas going. GA.
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Please join me in thanking John and Mitch for taking the
time and effort to come online and talk with us
<[Mitch] PRESS30> Thanks for having us.
<[Sherry] S.PERUZZI> Thank you so much, Mitch and John -- this was
<[Sarah] CALC-SMC> Thanks for coming!
<[[frosty]] R.JONES113> The GCMS thanks you guys
<[Steve] S.RATZLAFF> Thank you!
<[Ric] R.HELTON> *applause* *applause* That's a lot guys! We appreciate
<[Paul] LONE.WOLF> Thanks guys!
<[Gordon (CuD)] GRMEYER> Danka
<[steve] S.AVES1> Thanks a lot for your time. You'll hear from me at Eff.
<[Linda] L.MCKENNEY> Thanks guys!
<[Tom] SHERMAN> Those who want to stay to chat are welcome to !
<[Mitch] PRESS30> has left.
<[John Perry] PRESS27> has left.
For more information on the Electronic Frontier Foundation, search the
Public Forum * NonProfit Connection file library! On GEnie, move 545;3
and search the directory on the keyword EFF. There are several good
files on privacy issues, free speech, censorship and other related topics
as well.... Search on obvious keywords. Use the PF*NPC as your research
database for all information of public interest, and be sure to visit the
Bulletin Board as well!
**END OF CuD #3.18**
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank