Computer underground Digest Sun Jun 11, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 48 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J
Computer underground Digest Sun Jun 11, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 48
Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@MVS.CSO.NIU.EDU
Archivist: Brendan Kehoe
Shadow Master: Stanton McCandlish
Field Agent Extraordinaire: David Smith
Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth
Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala
Triviata: How many Spams have C&S Done since April '94?
CONTENTS, #7.48 (Sun, Jun 11, 1995)
File 1--Triviata: Any assembly-language programmer would know this!
File 2--C&S "Special Issue" Delayed a few days
File 3--(fwd) Directions to F. Am. Teach-In [grab pen] (fwd)
File 4--ALERT: We have 48 hours left in Senate; please act
File 5--Re: Protecting Kids on the Internet (CuD 7.47)
File 6--Can Parents prevent Web page viewing? (Re: CuD 7.46)
File 7--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 19 Apr, 1995)
CuD ADMINISTRATIVE, EDITORIAL, AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION APPEARS IN
THE CONCLUDING FILE AT THE END OF EACH ISSUE.
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 1995 04:17:11 -0400
Subject: File 1--Triviata: Any assembly-language programmer would know this!
((MODERATORS NOTE: The first correct entry. But two others deserve
an "A" for effort, even one chomped in reverse)):
A nibble is one half of a byte. This can also be considered 4 bits, or
one hexadecimal digit, or one binary-coded-decimal (BCD) digit.
I was a programmer until 15 years ago. Haven't thought about nibbles
in a long time. Is this really something I should thank you for?
Keep up the good work.
Date--Thu, 08 Jun 1995 18:16:56 -1100
Subject--Re--Cu Digest, #7.47
> Triviata-- How many bytes in a nibble?
Date--Fri, 9 Jun 1995 09:30:18 -0400 (EDT)
From--"Christopher Bertaut (sar)"
Subject--Re--Cu Digest, #7.47
Triviata answer--There are two bytes in a nibble.
Date: Thu, 12 June, 1995 21:32:45 CDT
From: CuD Moderators
Subject: File 2--C&S "Special Issue" Delayed a few days
The response to the Canter and Siegel piece in CuD 7.47 was
substantial. As a consequence, we are delaying the review of
their book until mid-week (CuD 7.49). It will be a special issue
that will likely carry over into a second issue as well.
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 10:59:36 -0500 (CDT)
From: David Smith
Subject: File 3--(fwd) Directions to F. Am. Teach-In [grab pen] (fwd)
I highly recommend this site.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
FORWARDED FROM: /mail/cr/croth(#4131) From:croth(Chris Roth)
THE FIRST AMENDMENT TEACH-IN
The First Amendment Teach-In is a free crash course in freedom of
expression and separation of state and church. This educational,
nonprofit resource is founded on five principles: credibility,
timeliness, conciseness, access to information, and citizen action.
The First Amendment Teach-In is presented in an entertaining and
easy-to-understand manner. It can be read by anyone on the worldwide
Internet who has the "telnet" function.
Information requests, comments, and opinions can be communicated
three ways. First, by using the interactive Moderated Discussion
function. This is the last selection on the First Amendment Teach-In's
main menu. Second, by sending an e-mail message to email@example.com.
Third, by mailing printed comments to:
The First Amendment Teach-In
Attn: Letters to the Editor
PO Box 17121
Milwaukee WI 53217-0121 USA
You may want to leave your terminal now to locate a pen and paper to
record the following instructions. Having the five steps listed below
written down will make the procedure easier.
Ask your service provider how to perform the telnet function.
* telnet to: omnifest.uwm.edu
* login as: visitor
* answer poll questions about your locale
* select: Omnifest main menu
* type: go first
[then press ENTER or RETURN key]
Dedicated 4 July 1995
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 1995 23:38:27 -0400
From: "Shabbir J. Safdar"
Subject: File 4--ALERT: We have 48 hours left in Senate; please act
CAMPAIGN TO STOP THE EXON/GORTON COMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT
(SEE THE LIST OF CAMPAIGN COALITION MEMBERS AT THE END)
Update: -Senate debate scheduled tomorrow, vote expected Tuesday
-What You Can Do Now (US and non-US citizens)
(This only takes two minutes. You can spare two
minutes, can't you?)
CAMPAIGN TO STOP THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL COMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT
June 11, 1995
PLEASE WIDELY REDISTRIBUTE THIS DOCUMENT WITH THIS BANNER INTACT
REDISTRIBUTE ONLY UNTIL June 25, 1995
REPRODUCE THIS ALERT ONLY IN RELEVANT FORUMS
Distributed by the Voters Telecommunications Watch (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Latest News
What You Can Do Now -- U.S. and non-U.S. citizens
Senate Contact List
For More Information
List Of Participating Organizations
THE LATEST NEWS
We've seen some great responses from several people who called their
Senators. At one office, the receptionist figured out what the big
surge in phone calls was about (amazing powers of abstraction!) and
finished one caller's sentence for him. Another person who wrote us
said he appreciated the list of Technology staffers, as it turns out
he actually knew one of them already!
In all seriousness, we're not out of the woods yet. We've seen some
encouraging signs, but we're still on the dark side of this issue. There
are more Senators with bills before Congress to censor the Internet than
there are co-sponsors of Leahy's bill. This should worry you. Friday
morning you may wake up and discover that the Senate has passed a law
against "indecent, filthy, lewd, and lascivious" expression on online
You will suddenly realize that even discussions of movies that might
fit the above categories (such as R rated films) are now subject to
criminal prosecution. Things you would normally find in bookstores and
in print will never become available online. Discussions about them
will become a strange dance of schizophrenia.
Imagine trying to discuss a book that everyone has read while trying to
talk around a part that's illegal to discuss online. Consider that
even Andrea Dworkin's treatises against pornography could not even be
discussed because they contain arguments and descriptions of why
pornography is wrong within the book itself.
We have before us some very clear choices; they have been created for us
(and in some cases by us) by the last few years of the "mainstreaming
of the Internet".
We can simply oppose the bills that censor electronic expression. This
will result in us being viewed as "out of touch" and "radicals" by the
Senate. They have been indoctrinated with two years of the press
telling them that the Internet is a big red light district. They have
been given their "mission" by the nation's voice, the press, and
they're now responding to it.
They'll pass an Internet bill alright, so they can go to their
constituents and say "Look what I did! I helped clean up the
Internet." In the end, we'll lose this fight. People who simply
oppose popularly-perceived issues are labeled as "shrill" and ignored.
Or, we can support Leahy's bill (S 714) that would direct the
Department of Justice to do a study of whether or not such legislation
is even needed. This is the hearing that the Exon bill never got.
This is a chance to drag these bills that are clearly unconstitutional
into the light of day and wither them with all the First Amendment
sunlight we can get into a Senate hearing room. Most importantly,
this buys us time.
If we don't support Leahy, we'll get the Exon bill. It's too hard for
legislators today to stand up and say they support the First Amendment
But wait! "The Exon bill is unconstitutional", you say. "It can't pass!"
I point out that if it's so obvious that it's unconstitutional, why are
all these Senators jumping on the bandwagon to support similar measures?
But wait! "The Supreme Court will nullify it", you say. Perhaps.
Odds are even pretty good. But what will happen in the seven years it
takes to find a martyr to take their case to the Supreme Court? How
many bulletin boards will be seized? How many people will take on a
new habit of "not communicating", in a medium which has fostered more
many-to-many communication than has ever been seen before?
You can make the difference. You can call your Senator first thing
Monday morning and tell he or she that you think this issue ought to
get a good long look before anything is legislated. There's not likely
to be a vote in the Senate before Monday 5pm, so you have the whole day
The Telecomm Reform bill is on the floor right now. Senators are debating
restrictions on your speech right now. Shouldn't you pipe up, while
you still can?
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW -- U.S. and non-U.S. citizens
The Telecomm Reform Bill currently includes the Exon/Gorton Internet
Censorship bill. Leahy intends to offer a swap, to remove the Exon
language in exchange for his bill which advocates a study of the issue,
with an emphasis on the preservation of the First Amendment and
It is essential that the Leahy language be substituted for Exon's, and
therefore it is essential:
1. That all citizens call or fax their Senators as soon as possible.
There is no time for written letters and email is too easily
discounted or ignored. Non-U.S. citizens should contact Vice
President Gore. Note, if you decide to send a fax, you'll want to
write an expanded version of the statement below.
It's very important that you always be cool, collected, and polite.
"Hello, Senator ________'s office"
"Hi, I'm a constituent and would like to register my
opinion on the Telecommunications Reform bill to the
Senator. May I please speak to the technology staffer,
"Hold On please. Alright, go ahead."
"Please oppose the Exon/Gorton bill (Title 4 of the Telecomm
bill) and other bills for censoring the Internet. Please
support the Leahy alternative (S714) which examines these
issues. My name and address are ________."
"Thanks for calling."
"Dear Vice President Gore,
The world looks to the United States as one of the leaders in
developing a Global Information Infrastructure. Title 4 of
the Telecomm Reform bill and other Internet censorship bills
imperil that leadership. Please work to remove them from the
Telecomm Reform bill (S652) and support Senator Leahy's
sensible alternative (S714). I'm calling from ____________."
2. Send VTW a note telling us what you did. If you contacted your two
Senators, send a letter to email@example.com with a subject line of
"XX ack" where "XX" is your state. For example:
I called my Ohio Senators and expressed my opinion.
If you contact Senators outside your state, please let us know what
state you're from. Also, if your exchange with the Senate staff
was anything but droll and boring, please let us know. For example:
My Senator's receptionist said he's gone out for the day, to
try and find a copy of the First Amendment. He thinks it's
a seditious idea and wants to know who started it.
If you contacted Vice President Gore, send a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with
a subject line of "gore ack". For example:
I called VP Gore and expressed my opinion. I'm from France.
An automatic responder will return an updated contact tally.
3. Forward this alert to relevant forums on other online services and
BBS's. Check the letter you get back to see which Senators are
underrepresented by citizen contacts. Forward the alert to any
friends and colleagues in those states.
4. If you haven't yet signed the petition to support Sen. Leahy,
do so now at http://www.cdt.org/petition.html. If you don't have
WWW access, send mail to email@example.com with a subject line of
"send petition" for directions.
5. Congratulate yourself! Your two-minute activism joins that of many
thousands of others over the past two months.
SENATE CONTACT LIST
Vice President Gore can be reached at:
White House comment line
Telephone: (202) 456-1111 (M-F 9-5 EST)
Facsimile: (202) 456-2461 (M-F 9-5 EST)
*** Note that we have included names of the several Senators ***
*** Telecommunications Policy staffers below. Please attempt ***
*** to speak to them when you call. ***
US Senate Listing:
D ST Name (Party) Phone Fax
= == ============ ===== ===
R AK Murkowski, Frank H. 1-202-224-6665 1-202-224-5301
R AK Stevens, Ted 1-202-224-3004 1-202-224-1044
Earl Comstock - Technology staffer
D AL Heflin, Howell T. 1-202-224-4124 1-202-224-3149
R AL Shelby, Richard C. 1-202-224-5744 1-202-224-3416
D AR Bumpers, Dale 1-202-224-4843 1-202-224-6435
Thomas Walls - Technology staffer
D AR Pryor, David 1-202-224-2353 1-202-224-8261
R AZ Kyl, Jon 1-202-224-4521 1-602-840-4848
R AZ McCain, John 1-202-224-2235 1-602-952-8702
Mark Buse - Technology staffer
D CA Boxer, Barbara 1-202-224-3553 na
Leanne Shimabukuro - Technology staffer
D CA Feinstein, Dianne 1-202-224-3841 1-202-228-3954
Robert Mestman - Technology staffer
R CO Campbell, Ben N. 1-202-224-5852 1-202-225-0228
Lori Fox - Technology staffer
R CO Brown, Henry 1-202-224-5941 1-202-224-6471
Liz Woodard - Technology staffer
D CT Dodd, Christopher J. 1-202-224-2823 na
D CT Lieberman, Joseph I. 1-202-224-4041 1-202-224-9750
D DE Biden Jr., Joseph R. 1-202-224-5042 1-202-224-0139
Demetra Lambros/Michelle Deguerin - Technology staffer
R DE Roth Jr. William V. 1-202-224-2441 1-202-224-2805
D FL Graham, Robert 1-202-224-3041 1-202-224-2237
Bryant Hall - Technology staffer
R FL Mack, Connie 1-202-224-5274 1-202-224-8022
Stacy Hughes - Technology staffer
D GA Nunn, Samuel 1-202-224-3521 1-202-224-0072
Jonathan Reif - Technology staffer
R GA Coverdell, Paul 1-202-224-3643 1-202-228-3783
Therese Marie Delgadillo - Technology staffer
D HI Akaka, Daniel K. 1-202-224-6361 1-202-224-2126
Nanci Langley - Technology staffer
D HI Inouye, Daniel K. 1-202-224-3934 1-202-224-6747
Margaret Cummisky - Technology staffer
D IA Harkin, Thomas 1-202-224-3254 1-202-224-7431
Phil Buchan - Technology staffer
R IA Grassley, Charles E. 1-202-224-3744 1-202-224-6020
John McNickle - Technology staffer
R ID Craig, Larry E. 1-202-224-2752 1-202-224-2573
Elizabeth Criner - Technology staffer
R ID Kempthorne, Dirk 1-202-224-6142 1-202-224-5893
D IL Moseley-Braun, Carol 1-202-224-2854 1-202-224-2626
Bill Mattea - Technology staffer
D IL Simon, Paul 1-202-224-2152 1-202-224-0868
Susan Kaplan - Technology staffer
R IN Coats, Daniel R. 1-202-224-5623 1-202-224-8964
David Crane - Technology staffer
R IN Lugar, Richard G. 1-202-224-4814 1-202-224-7877
Walt Luken - Technology staffer
R KS Dole, Robert 1-202-224-6521 1-202-224-8952
R KS Kassebaum, Nancy L. 1-202-224-4774 1-202-224-3514
Ed Bolen - Technology staffer
D KY Ford, Wendell H. 1-202-224-4343 1-202-224-0046
Martha Maloney - Technology staffer
R KY McConnell, Mitch 1-202-224-2541 1-202-224-2499
D LA Breaux, John B. 1-202-224-4623 na
Thomas Moore - Technology staffer
D LA Johnston, J. Bennett 1-202-224-5824 1-202-224-2952
Michael Gougisha - Technology staffer
D MA Kennedy, Edward M. 1-202-224-4543 1-202-224-2417
Jeff Blattner - Technology staffer
D MA Kerry, John F. 1-202-224-2742 1-202-224-8525
Scott Bunton - Technology staffer
D MD Mikulski, Barbara A. 1-202-224-4654 1-202-224-8858
D MD Sarbanes, Paul S. 1-202-224-4524 1-202-224-1651
Fred Millhiser - Technology staffer
R ME Snowe, Olympia 1-202-224-5344 1-202-224-6853
Angela Campbell - Technology staffer
R ME Cohen, William S. 1-202-224-2523 1-202-224-2693
Kelly Metcalf - Technology staffer
D MI Levin, Carl 1-202-224-6221 na
R MI Abraham, Spencer 1-202-224-4822 1-202-224-8834
D MN Wellstone, Paul 1-202-224-5641 1-202-224-8438
Mike Epstein - Technology staffer
R MN Grams, Rod 1-202-224-3244 na
R MO Bond, Christopher S. 1-202-224-5721 1-202-224-8149
R MO Ashcroft, John 1-202-224-6154 na
R MS Cochran, Thad 1-202-224-5054 1-202-224-3576
R MS Lott, Trent 1-202-224-6253 1-202-224-2262
Chip Pickering - Technology staffer
D MT Baucus, Max 1-202-224-2651 na
Brian Cavey - Technology staffer
R MT Burns, Conrad R. 1-202-224-2644 1-202-224-8594
Mark Baker - Technology staffer
R NC Faircloth, D. M. 1-202-224-3154 1-202-224-7406
R NC Helms, Jesse 1-202-224-6342 1-202-224-7588
D ND Conrad, Kent 1-202-224-2043 1-202-224-7776
Steve Super - Technology staffer
D ND Dorgan, Byron L. 1-202-224-2551 1-202-224-1193
Greg Rhode - Technology staffer
D NE Exon, J. J. 1-202-224-4224 1-202-224-5213
Christopher MacLean - Technology staffer
D NE Kerrey, Bob 1-202-224-6551 1-202-224-7645
Carol Ann Bischoff - Technology staffer
R NH Gregg, Judd 1-202-224-3324 1-202-224-4952
R NH Smith, Robert 1-202-224-2841 1-202-224-1353
D NJ Bradley, William 1-202-224-3224 1-202-224-8567
Mark Schmitt - Technology staffer
D NJ Lautenberg, Frank R. 1-202-224-4744 1-202-224-9707
Bruce King - Technology staffer
D NM Bingaman, Jeff 1-202-224-5521 na
Wayne Propst - Technology staffer
R NM Domenici, Pete V. 1-202-224-6621 1-202-224-7371
D NV Bryan, Richard H. 1-202-224-6244 1-202-224-1867
Andrew Vermilye - Technology staffer
D NV Reid, Harry 1-202-224-3542 1-202-224-7327
D NY Moynihan, Daniel P. 1-202-224-4451 na
R NY D'Amato, Alfonse M. 1-202-224-6542 1-202-224-5871
Kraig Siracuse - Technology staffer
D OH Glenn, John 1-202-224-3353 1-202-224-7983
Kathy Connolly - Technology staffer
R OH Dewine, Michael 1-202-224-2315 1-202-224-6519
Josh Ruben - Technology staffer
R OK Inhofe, James 1-202-224-4721
R OK Nickles, Donald 1-202-224-5754 1-202-224-6008
R OR Hatfield, Mark O. 1-202-224-3753 1-202-224-0276
R OR Packwood, Robert 1-202-224-5244 1-202-228-3576
Hans Haney - Technology staffer
R PA Santorum, Rick 1-202-224-6324 1-202-228-4991
R PA Specter, Arlen 1-202-224-4254 1-717-782-4920
Dan Renberg - Technology staffer
D RI Pell, Claiborne 1-202-224-4642 1-202-224-4680
R RI Chafee, John H. 1-202-224-2921 na
D SC Hollings, Ernest F. 1-202-224-6121 1-202-224-4293
Kevin Josephs - Technology staffer
R SC Thurmond, Strom 1-202-224-5972 1-202-224-1300
D SD Daschle, Thomas A. 1-202-224-2321 1-202-224-2047
R SD Pressler, Larry 1-202-224-5842 1-202-224-1259*
Katie King - Technology staffer
R TN Thompson, Fred 1-202-224-4944 1-202-228-3679
Kevin Moxley - Technology staffer
R TN Frist, Bill 1-202-224-3344 1-202-224-8062
Dave Berson - Technology staffer
R TX Hutchison, Kay Bailey 1-202-224-5922 1-202-224-0776
Amy Henderson - Technology staffer
R TX Gramm, Phil 1-202-224-2934 1-202-228-2856
R UT Bennett, Robert 1-202-224-5444 1-202-224-6717
Amy Henderson - Technology staffer
R UT Hatch, Orrin G. 1-202-224-5251 1-202-224-6331
Mike O'Neill - Technology staffer
D VA Robb, Charles S. 1-202-224-4024 1-202-224-8689
Bill Owens - Technology staffer
R VA Warner, John W. 1-202-224-2023 1-202-224-6295
Russel Wilkerson - Technology staffer
D VT Leahy, Patrick J. 1-202-224-4242 1-202-224-3595
Beryl Howell - Technology staffer
R VT Jeffords, James M. 1-202-224-5141 na
Bill Testerman - Technology staffer
D WA Murray, Patty 1-202-224-2621 1-202-224-0238
Mike Egan - Technology staffer
R WA Gorton, Slade 1-202-224-3441 1-202-224-9393
Terri Claffey - Technology staffer
D WI Feingold, Russell 1-202-224-5323 na
Jeannine Kenney - Technology staffer
D WI Kohl, Herbert H. 1-202-224-5653 1-202-224-9787
Jon Liebowitz - Technology staffer
D WV Byrd, Robert C. 1-202-224-3954 1-202-224-4025
D WV Rockefeller, John D. 1-202-224-6472 na
Cheryl Bruner - Technology staffer
R WY Simpson, Alan K. 1-202-224-3424 1-202-224-1315
Michael Stull - Technology staffer
R WY Thomas, Craig 1-202-224-6441 1-202-224-3230
((List of participating organizations snipped for space)).
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 1995 09:17:09 -0400
From: "S. Keith Graham"
Subject: File 5--Re: Protecting Kids on the Internet (CuD 7.47)
In comp.society.cu-digest you write:
>File 5--Can Parents prevent Web page viewing? (Re: CuD 7.46)
As a one-time "child" in one of the younger incarnations
of the online community (i.e. a 15 year old on BBSes a long
time ago), let me offer a few observations.
First, "children", even aged 10 or 12, know more about compters than
many of their parents. A recent article in the local paper
mentioned a man who finally went to class to learn about his Macintosh
after his 4 year old daughter used it to create and print a page
to color with crayons. Parents that can't program a VCR aren't going to
properly install a Web Browser and prevent their child from doing the same.
So, have you limited publisher's liability if the publisher believes
that most parents haven't taken action to limit their child's access?
I have heard stories about "children" passing around copies of
X-rated GIFs on floppies. It is but a small step to expect them to
pass around "unrestricted browsers". (Given that most home machines
in the near future will be DOS/Windows(95), there will not be the
ability to prevent someone from popping in a disk and running a
program from it.)
And in fact, a restricted browser could easily download a
self-extracting pre-installed browswer onto floppy. One kid
with an unrestricted browser and their own web page, and thousands
of children could get copies. And there are hundreds of other
scenarios for such browsers getting into the hands of children.
Once it is widely known that children have these browsers against
parents wishes and in sizable numbers, is the owner of a page still
not liable for the content? (And should this message be marked
"adult only" because it explains ways of defeating the security system? What material is really ""?)
Last, the traditional print media does not tag material "adult only".
Walk up to any fiction section of your favorite bookstore, and I'm sure
half of the books contain material that some parents wouldn't want
their children reading. But parents do let their teenagers wander
around malls unsupervised.
We are going to have to accept the fact that children will have
access to pornography, violent material, "obscene material",
etc. if given free reign on the Internet (or in a bookstore or
decent sized public library.) Some parents even object to
newspapers for "the gay lifestyle" which can be found in boxes in
front of many stores here in Atlanta. Either parents will have to
raise their children knowing they will have access to
some rather frightening materials (and educating them based on
that fact) , or parents will have to supervise their children's
visits to bookstores, libraries, and the Web.
In addition, there is a great deal of material on the 'net,
such as descriptions of neo-pagan rituals or graphic
pictures of current events, that while not "immoral",
are materials that some parents wouldn't want
children of some ages to access. In the case of non-Christian
(of any kind) religious materials, should it be marked "specially"
somehow, just because some parents object to their children
seeing it? Do we need dozens of classifications of material?
What if you miss one? Are you somehow legally liable?
Would you publish if you were?
Date: 9 Jun 1995 17:21:21 GMT
From: kadie@SAL.CS.UIUC.EDU(Carl M Kadie)
Subject: File 6--Can Parents prevent Web page viewing? (Re: CuD 7.46)
Here is my suggested alternative:
That authors, publishers, and distributors (both for-profit and
non-profit) assert and defend their full First Amendment-protected
rights by adopting the American Library Assocations and Association
of American Publishers's "Freedom To Read" statement (enclosed).
These priciples have been in use for over 40 years. They are
tested. They have a good track record of protecting freedom of
speech, much better than any self-labeling scheme.
That is not to say there is no place for labeling. I think
SurfWatch and similar projects and projects are fine for parents
who want them. But self-labeling is not necessary and makes formal
and informal cenesorhsip more likely.
THE FREEDOM TO READ
The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is
continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities
in various parts of the country are working to remove books from
sale, to censor textbooks, to label "controversial" books, to
distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to
purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that
our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid;
that censorship and suppression are needed to avoid the
subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as
citizens devoted to the use of books and as librarians and
publishers responsible for disseminating them, wish to assert the
public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.
We are deeply concerned about these attempts at suppression.
Most such attempts rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of
democracy: that the ordinary citizen, by exercising critical
judgment, will accept the good and reject the bad. The censors,
public and private, assume that they should determine what is
good and what is bad for their fellow-citizens.
We trust Americans to recognize propaganda, and to reject it. We
do not believe they need the help of censors to assist them in
this task. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice
their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against
what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still
favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.
We are aware, of course, that books are not alone in being
subjected to efforts at suppression. We are aware that these
efforts are related to a larger pattern of pressures being
brought against education, the press, films, radio and
television. The problem is not only one of actual censorship.
The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to
an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who
seek to avoid controversy.
Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of
uneasy change and pervading fear. Especially when so many of our
apprehensions are directed against an ideology, the expression of
a dissident idea becomes a thing feared in itself, and we tend to
move against it as against a hostile deed, with suppression.
And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time
of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the
elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of
novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by
choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an
orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society
and leaves it the less able to deal with stress.
Now as always in our history, books are among our greatest
instruments of freedom. They are almost the only means for
making generally available ideas or manners of expression that
can initially command only a small audience. They are the
natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which
come the original contributions to social growth. They are
essential to the extended discussion which serious thought
requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into
We believe that free communication is essential to the
preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We
believe that these pressures towards conformity present the
danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and
expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We
believe that every American community must jealously guard the
freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own
freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have
a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to
read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from
a variety of offerings.
The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those
with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional
guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the
responsibilities that accompany these rights.
_We therefore affirm these propositions:
1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians
to make available the widest diversity of views and
expressions, including those which are unorthodox or
unpopular with the majority._
Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is
different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that
idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to
maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any
concept which challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of
a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by
the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among
conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every
nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic
process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of
weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the
strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only
what we believe but why we believe it.
2. _Publishers, librarians and booksellers do not need to
endorse every idea or presentation contained in the books
they make available. It would conflict with the public
interest for them to establish their own political, moral or
aesthetic views as a standard for determining what books
should be published or circulated._
Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by
helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the
growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not
foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own
thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a
broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single
librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that
what one can read should be confined to what another thinks
3. _It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or
librarians to determine the acceptability of a book on the
basis of the personal history or political affiliations of
A book should be judged as a book. No art or literature can
flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or
private lives of its creators. No society of free people can
flourish which draws up lists of writers to whom it will not
listen, whatever they may have to say.
4. _There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the
taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter
deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts
of writers to achieve artistic expression._
To some, much of modern literature is shocking. But is not much
of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if
we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents
and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet
the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be
exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to
think critically for themselves. These are affirmative
responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them
from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these
matters taste differs, and taste cannot be legislated; nor can
machinery be devised which will suit the demands of one group
without limiting the freedom of others.
5. _It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept
with any book the prejudgment of a label characterizing the
book or author as subversive or dangerous._
The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or
groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad
for the citizen. It presupposes that individuals must be
directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine.
But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.
6. _It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as
guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest
encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups
seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the
community at large._
It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process
that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an
individual or group will occasionally collide with those of
another individual or group. In a free society individuals are
free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each
group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely
associated members. But no group has the right to take the law
into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or
morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is
no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the
7. _It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to
give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books
that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and
expression. By the exercise of this affirmative
responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a
bad book is a good one, the answer to a bad idea is a good
The freedom to read is of little consequence when expended on the
trivial; it is frustrated when the reader cannot obtain matter
fit for that reader's purpose. What is needed is not only the
absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity
for the people to read the best that has been thought and said.
Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance
is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and
growth. The defense of their freedom and integrity, and the
enlargement of their service to society, requires of all
publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and
deserves of all citizens the fullest of their support.
We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy
generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value
of books. We do so because we believe that they are good,
possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of
cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of
these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and
manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do
not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what
people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people
read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that
the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society.
Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.
This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the
Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the
American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with
the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the
Association of American Publishers.
Adopted June 25, 1953; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991,
by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.
_A Joint Statement by:_
American Library Association
Association of American Publishers
_Subsequently Endorsed by:_
American Booksellers Association
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
American Civil Liberties Union
American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO
Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith
Association of American University Presses
Children's Book Council
Freedom to Read Foundation
International Reading Association
Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression
National Association of College Stores
National Council of Teachers of English
P.E.N. - American Center
People for the American Way
Periodical and Book Association of America
Sex Information and Education Council of the U.S.
Society of Professional Journalists
Women's National Book Association
YWCA of the U.S.A.
Unit: American Library Association
Posted: 24 Apr 1994
Carl Kadie -- I do not represent any organization or employer; this is
= Email: firstname.lastname@example.org =
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1995 22:51:01 CDT
From: CuD Moderators
Subject: File 7--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 19 Apr, 1995)
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