Computer underground Digest Sun Jun 11, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 48 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J

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Computer underground Digest Sun Jun 11, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 48 ISSN 1004-042X 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 Ian Dickinson 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 From: WaynCotter@AOL.COM 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 From--ccc@PIXI.COM(Dan Stetser) Subject--Re--Cu Digest, #7.47 > Triviata-- How many bytes in a nibble? Four=20 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 MISSION STATEMENT 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. FEEDBACK INFORMATION 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 Third, by mailing printed comments to: The First Amendment Teach-In Attn: Letters to the Editor PO Box 17121 Milwaukee WI 53217-0121 USA ACCESS INFORMATION 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. Then: * telnet to: * 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" Message-Id: <> 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 ( ________________________________________________________________________ CONTENTS 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 systems. 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 over "decency". 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 to call. 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 parental control. 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. U.S. citizens: "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." Non-U.S. citizens: "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 with a subject line of "XX ack" where "XX" is your state. For example: To: Subject--OH ack 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 with a subject line of "gore ack". For example: To: Subject--gore ack 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 If you don't have WWW access, send mail to 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) Email: *** 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 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. - Carl ============== 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 organized collections. 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 proper. 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 the author._ 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 inoffensive. 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 one._ 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. Information provider: Unit: American Library Association Email: Posted: 24 Apr 1994 -- Carl Kadie -- I do not represent any organization or employer; this is just me. = Email: = = URL: ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1995 22:51:01 CDT From: CuD Moderators Subject: File 7--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 19 Apr, 1995) Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically. CuD is available as a Usenet newsgroup: Or, to subscribe, send a one-line message: SUB CUDIGEST your name Send it to LISTSERV@VMD.CSO.UIUC.EDU The editors may be contacted by voice (815-753-0303), fax (815-753-6302) or U.S. mail at: Jim Thomas, Department of Sociology, NIU, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA. 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