Computer underground Digest Wed Jan 10, 1996 Volume 8 : Issue 03 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J
Computer underground Digest Wed Jan 10, 1996 Volume 8 : Issue 03
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
Cu Digest Homepage: http://www.soci.niu.edu/~cudigest
CONTENTS, #8.03 (Wed, Jan 10, 1996)
File 1--CDT: Telecom Bill Overview and Proposal Text (FINALLY!)
File 2--From TIME: John Perry Barlow essay on censorship
File 3--Ron Wyden's statement on Net censorship
File 4--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 16 Dec, 1995)
CuD ADMINISTRATIVE, EDITORIAL, AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION APPEARS IN
THE CONCLUDING FILE AT THE END OF EACH ISSUE.
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 16:39:30 -0800 (PST)
From: Declan McCullagh
Subject: File 1--CDT: Telecom Bill Overview and Proposal Text (FINALLY!)
From: CDT POLICY POST Number 33 January 4, 1996
(1) TEXT OF LATEST VERSION OF THE CDA -- STILL UNCONSTITUTIONAL
The House/Senate telecommunications reform conference committee has
released a preliminary draft of the final telecommunications reform bill,
which includes provisions which would impose broad government regulations
on constitutionally protected speech online. The text of these provisions
is attached below.
The attached version of the CDA contains the changes approved at the
December 6, 1995 conference committee meeting, where members voted to adopt
Rep. Rick White's proposal but with significant changes, including a return
to the unconstitutional "indecency" standard (See CDT Policy Post No. 32,
The conferees have made several important changes to the legislation, none
of them are particularly favorable to cyberspace-rights advocates. Among
other things, the latest draft:
* Relies on the vague and blatantly unconstitutional "indecency"
standard (Sec 502 (a) - (c))
* Prohibits sending "indecent" material directly to a minor or making
indecent material available for display in a manner available to a
minor (including world wide web pages, ftp sites, or usenet
newsgroups) (Sec 502 (d)).
* No longer contains the provision of the Cox/Wyden/White bill
prohibiting the FCC from imposing content or other regulations on the
Internet or other interactive media.
* Contains weaker protections for content providers who label content
and enable others to block it (e.g., PICS) have been weakened (Sec 502
* Would allow states to impose additional restrictions on non-commercial
activities such as free-nets, BBS's, and non-profit content providers
(Sec 502 (h)).
* Creates a new crime for the solicitation of minors using a computer,
the US mail, or any other means of interstate or foreign commerce (Sec
The full text of the new proposal is attached below.
CDT believes that this proposal threatens the very existence of the
Internet as a means for free expression, education, and political
discourse. The proposal is an unwarranted, unconstitutional intrusion by
the Federal government into the private lives of all Americans.
NEXT STEPS: FINAL AGREEMENT NOT YET REACHED, VOTE COULD OCCUR SOON
As you know, the CDA is part of the massive telecommunications reform
legislation, which is currently being considered by a House/Senate
The conference committee has not reached agreement on several key issues,
including whether the FCC should be permitted to regulate the Internet,
broadcast ownership rules, and other issues. Reps. Rick White, Chris Cox,
and others are currently fighting to retain the provisions baring the FCC
from regulating online content. A final vote by the conferees to send the
bill to the full congress will not occur until an agreement is reached on
this and other outstanding issues.
As of Thursday January 4, 1996, the conferees have NOT yet voted to send a
version of the legislation to the Full House and Senate for a final vote.
No vote has been scheduled, and House Speaker Newt Gingrich has stated that
no vote will occur until Congress finishes work on the Budget.
CDT will continue to fight these provisions, and will work to remove them
from the final telecommunications bill. We are also preparing to fight this
issue in court, if necessary.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
The Voters Telecommunications Watch (VTW) has organized an online coalition
(of which CDT is a member) against the net-censorship bill. To find out
what you can do to fight this bill, visit VTW's web page
Or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with 'send alert' in the subject line.
(2) TEXT OF THE PROPOSAL
TITLE V - BROADCAST OBSCENITY AND VIOLENCE
Subtitle A - Obscene, Harassing, and Wrongful Utilization of
SEC. 501. SHORT TITLE.
This title may be cited as the "Communications Decency Act of 1995".
SEC. 502. OBSCENE OR HARASSING USE OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
FACILITIES UNDER THE COMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1934.
Section 223 (47 U.S.C. 223) is amended-
(1) by striking subsection (a) and inserting in lieu thereof:
"(a) Whoever ==
"(1) in interstate or foreign communications-
"(A) by means of a telecommunications device knowingly-
"(i) makes, creates, or solicits, and
"(ii) initiates the transmission of, any comment, request,
suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication which is obscene,
lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent, with intent to annoy, abuse,
threaten, or harass an other person;
"(B) by means of a telecommunications device knowingly-
"(i) makes, creates, or solicits, and
"(ii) initiates the transmission of, any comment, request,
suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication which is obscene
or indecent knowing that the recipient of the communication is under
18 years of age regard less of whether the maker of such communication
placed the call or initiated the communication;
"(C) makes a telephone call or utilizes a telecommunications
device, whether or not conversation or communication ensues, without
disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or
harass any person at the called number or who receives the
"(D) makes or causes the telephone of another repeatedly or
continuously to ring, with intent to harass a person at the called
"(E) makes repeated telephone calls or repeatedly initiates
communication with a telecommunications device, during which
conversation or communication ensues, solely to harass any person at
the called number or who receives the communication;
"(2) knowingly permits a telecommunications facility under his control
to be used for any activity prohibited by paragraph (1) with the
intent that it be used for such activity,
shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more
than two years, or both."; and
(2) by adding at the end the following new sub sections:
"(d) Whoever ==
"(1) in interstate or foreign communications knowingly-
"(A) uses an interactive computer service to send to a specific
person or persons under 18 years of age, or
"(B) uses any interactive computer service to display in a manner
available to a person under 18 years of age,
any comment, request suggestion, proposal, image, or other
communication that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently
offensive as measured by contemporary community standards, sexual or
excretory activities or organs, regardless of whether the user of such
service placed the call or initiated the communication; or
"(2) knowingly permits any telecommunications facility under such
person's control to be used for an activity prohibited by
paragraph (1) with the intent that it be used for such activity,
shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more
than two years, or both.
"(e) In addition to any other defenses available by
"(1) No person shall be held to have violated subsection (a) or (d)
solely for providing access or connection to or from a facility,
system, or network not under that person's control, including
transmission, downloading, intermediate storage, access software, or
other related capabilities that are incidental to providing such
access or connection that does not include the creation of the
content of the communication.
"(2) The defenses provided by paragraph (1) of this subsection shall
not be applicable to a person who is a conspirator with an entity
actively involved in the creation or knowing distribution of
communications that violate this section, or who knowingly
advertises the availability of such communications.
"(3) The defenses provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall
not be applicable to a person who provides access or connection to a
facility, system, or network engaged in the violation of this
section that is owned or controlled by such person.
"(4) No employer shall be held liable under this section for the
actions of an employee or agent unless the employee's or agent's
conduct is within the scope of his employment or agency and the
employer (A) having knowledge of such conduct, authorizes or
ratifies such conduct, or (B) recklessly disregards such conduct.
"(5) It is a defense to a prosecution under sub section (a) or (d)
that a person-
"(A) has taken in good faith, reasonable, effective, and
appropriate actions under the circumstances to restrict or prevent
access by minors to a communication specified in such subsections,
which may involve any appropriate measures to restrict minors from
such communications, including any method which is feasible under
available technology; or
"(B) has restricted access to such communication by requiring use
of a verified credit card, debit account, adult access code, or
adult personal identification number.
"(6) The Commission may describe measures which are reasonable,
effective, and appropriate to restrict access to prohibited
communications under subsection (d). Nothing in this section
authorizes the Commission to enforce, or is intended to provide the
Commission with the authority to approve, sanction, or permit, the
use of such measures. The Commission has no enforcement authority
over the failure to utilize such measures. The Commission shall not
endorse specific products relating to such measures. The use of such
measures shall be admitted as evidence of good faith efforts for
purposes of this paragraph in any action arising under subsection
(d). Nothing in this section shall be construed to treat interactive
computer services as comm. on carriers or telecommunications
"(f)(1) No cause of action may be brought in any court or
administrative agency against any person on account of any activity
that is not in violation of any law punishable by criminal or civil
penalty, and that the person has taken in good faith to implement a
defense authorized under this section or otherwise to restrict or
prevent the transmission of, or access to, a communication specified in
"(2) No State or local government may impose ant liability for
commercial activities or actions by commercial entities, nonprofit
libraries, or institutions of higher education in connection with an
activity or action described in subsection (a)(2) or (d) that is
inconsistent with the treatment of those activities or actions under
this section: Provided, however, That nothing herein shall preclude any
State or local government from enacting and enforcing complementary
oversight, liability, and regulatory systems, procedures, and
requirements, so long as such systems, procedures, and requirements
govern only intrastate services and do not result in the imposition of
inconsistent rights. duties or obligations on the provision of
interstate services. nothing in this subsection shall preclude any
State or local government from governing conduct not covered by this
"(g) nothing in subsection (a), (d), (e), or (f) or in the defenses to
prosecution under (a) or (d) shall be construed to affect or limit the
application or enforcement of any other Federal law.
"(h) For purposes of this section-
"(1) The use of the term 'telecommunications device' in this section-
"(A) shall not impose new obligations on broadcasting station
licensees and cable operators covered by obscenity and indecency
provisions elsewhere in this .Act; and
"(B) does not include the use of an inter active computer service.
"(2) The term 'interactive computer service' has the meaning provided in
"(3) The term 'access software' means software (including client or
server software) or enabling tools that do not create or provide the
content of the communication but that allow a user to do any one or more of
"(A) filter, screen, allow, or disallow content;
"(B) pick, choose, analyze, or digest content; or
"(C) transmit, receive, display, forward, cache, search, subset,
organize, reorganize, or translate content.
"(4) The term 'institution of higher education' has the meaning provided
in section 1201 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1141).
"(5) The term 'library means a library eligible for participation in
State-based plans for funds under title III of the Library Services and
Construction Act (20 U.S.C. 355e et seq.).".
SEC. 503. OBSCENE PROGRAMMING ON CABLE TELEVISION,
Section 639 (47 U.S.C. 559) is amended by striking "not more than
$10,000" and inserting "under title 18, United States Code,".
SEC. 504. SCRAMBLING OF CABLE CHANNELS FOR NONSUBSCRIBERS.
Part IV of title VI (47 U.S.C. 551 et se-q.) is amended by adding at
the end the following:
"SEC. 640. SCRAMBLING OF, CABLE CHANNELS FOR NONSUBSCRIBERS.
"(a) SUBSCRIBER REQUEST.-Upon request by a cable service subscriber, a
cable operator shall, without charge, fully- scramble or otherwise fully
block the audio and video portion of each channel carrying such programming
so that one not a subscriber does not receive it.
"(b) DEFINITION.-As used in this section, the term 'scramble' means. to
rearrange the content of the signal of the programming so that the program
cannot be viewed or heard in an understandable manner.".
SEC. 505. SCRAMBLING OF SEXUALLY EXPLICIT ADULT VIDEO SERVICE
(a) REQUIREMENT.-Part IV of title I (47 U.S.C. 551 et seq.), as amended
by this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following:
"SEC. 641. SCRAMBLING OF SEXUALLY EXPLICIT ADULT VIDEO SERVICE
"(a) REQUIREMENT.-In providing sexually explicit adult programming or
other programming that is indecent on any channel of its service primarily
dedicated to sexually-oriented programming, a multichannel video
programming distributor shall fully scramble or otherwise fully block the
video and audio portion of such channel so that one not a subscriber to
such channel or programming does not receive it.
"(b) IMPLEMENTATION.-Until a multichannel video programming distributor
complies with the requirement set forth in subsection (a), the distributor
shall limit the access of children to the programming referred to in that
subsection by not providing such program during the hours of the day (as
determined by the Commission) when a significant number of children are
likely to view it.
"(c) DEFINITION.-As used in this section, the term 'scramble' means to
rearrange the content of the signal of the programming so that the
programming cannot be viewed or heard in an understandable manner.".
"(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendment made b-y subsection (a) shall take
effect 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
SEC. 606. CABLE OPERATOR REFUSAL TO CARRY CERTAIN PROGRAMS.
(a) PUBLIC, EDUCATION, AND GOVERNMENTAL CHANNELS.-Section 611(e) (47
U.S.C. 531(e)) is amended by inserting before the period the following: ",
except a cable operator may refuse to transmit any public access program or
portion of a public access program which contains obscenity, indecency, or
(b) CABLE CHANNELS FOR COMMERCIAL USE. Section 612(c)(2) (47 U.S.C.
532(c)(2)) is amended by striking "an operator" and inserting "a cable
operator may refuse to transmit any leased access program or portion of a
leased access program which contains obscenity, indecency, or nudity and".
SEC. 507. CLARIFICATION OF CURRENT LAWS REGARDING COMMUNICATION OF
OBSCENE MATERIALS THROUGH THE USE OF COMPUTERS.
(a) IMPORTATION OR TRANSPORTATION.-Section 1462 of title 18, United States
Code, is amended-
(1) in the first undesignated paragraph, by inserting "or
interactive computer service (as defined in section 230(f)(2) of
the Communications Act of 1934)" after "carrier"; and
(2) in the second undesignated paragraph-
(A) by inserting "or receives," after "takes";
(B) by inserting "or interactive computer service (as defined in
section 230(f)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934)" after "common
(C) by inserting "or importation" after "carriage".
(b) TRANSPORTATION FOR PURPOSES OF SALE OR DISTRIBUTION.-The first
undesignated paragraph of section 1465 of title 18, United States Code, is
(1) by striking "transports in" and inserting "transports or
travels in, or uses a facility or means of,";
(2) by inserting "or an interactive computer service (as defined in
section '230(f)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934) in or
affecting such commerce" after "foreign commerce" the first place
(3) by striking ", or knowingly travels in" and all that follows
through "obscene material in inter state or foreign commerce," and
(c) INTERPRETATION.-The amendments made by this section are clarifying and
shall not be interpreted to limit or repeal any prohibition contained in
sections 1462 and 1465 of title 18, United States Code, before such
amendment, under the rule established in United States v. Alpers, 338 U.S.
SEC. 508. COERCION AND ENTICEMENT OF MINORS.
Section 2422 of title 18, United States Code, is amended-
(1) by inserting "(a)" before "Whoever knowingly"; and
(2) by adding at. the end the following
"(b) Whoever, using any facility or means of inter state or foreign
commerce, including the mail, or within the special maritime and
territorial jurisdiction of the United States, knowingly persuades,
induces, entices, or coerces any individual who has not attained the age of
18 years to engage in prostitution or any sexual act for which person
may be criminally prosecuted, or attempts to do so shall be fined under
this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.".
SEC. 509. ONLINE FAMILY EMPOWERMENT.
Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 201 et seq.) is
amended by adding at the end the following new section:
"SEC. 230. PROTECTION FOR PRIVATE BLOCKING AND SCREENING OF OFFENSIVE
"(a) FINDINGS.-The Congress finds the following:
"(1) The rapidly developing array of Internet and other interactive
computer services available to individual Americans represent an
extraordinary advance in the availability of educational and
informational resources to our citizens.
"(2) These services offer users a great degree of control over the
information that they receive, as well as the potential for even
greater control in the future as technology develops.
"(3) The Internet and other interactive computer services offer a
forum for a true diversity of political discourse, unique opportunities
for cultural development, and myriad avenues for intellectual activity.
"(4) The Internet and other interactive computer services have
flourished, to the benefit of all Americans. with a minimum of
"(5) Increasingly Americans are relying on interactive media for a
variety of political, educational, cultural, and entertainment
"(b) POLICY.- It is the policy of the United States-
"(1) to promote the continued development of the Internet and other
interactive computer services and other interactive media;
"(2) to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that
presently exists for the Internet and other interactive computer
services, unfettered by Federal or State regulation;
"(3) to encourage the development of technologies which maximize
user control over what in formation is received by individuals,
families, and schools who use the Internet and other interactive
"(4) to remove disincentives for the development and utilization of
blocking and filtering technologies that empower parents to restrict
their children's access to objectionable or inappropriate online
"(5) to ensure vigorous enforcement of Federal criminal laws to
deter and punish trafficking in obscenity, stalking, and harassment by-
means of computer.
"(c) PROTECTION FOR 'GOOD SAMARITAN BLOCKING AND SCREENING OF OFFENSIVE
"(1) TREATMENT OF PUBLISHER OR SPEAKER.-No provider or user of an
interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or
speaker of any information provided by another information content
"(2) CIVIL LIABILITY.-No provider or user of an interactive computer
service shall be held liable on account of-
"(A) any- action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict
access to or availability of material that the provider or user
considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively
violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not
such material is constitutionally protected; or
"(B) any action taken to enable or make available to information
content providers or others the technical means to restrict access
to material described in paragraph (1).
"(d) EFFECT ON OTHER LAWS.-
"(1) NO EFFECT ON CRIMINAL. LAW.-Nothing in this section shall be
construed to impair the enforcement of section 223 of this Act, chapter
71 (relating to obscenity) or 110 (relating to exploitation of
children) of title 18, United States Code, or any other Federal
"(2) NO EFFECT ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW.-Nothing in this section
shall be construed to limit or expand any law pertaining to
"(3) STATE LAW.-Nothing in this section shall be construed to
prevent any State from enforcing any State law that is consistent with
this section. No cause of action may be brought and no liability may be
imposed under any State or local law that is in consistent with this
"(4) NO EFFECT ON COMMUNICATIONS PRIVACY LAW.-Nothing in this
section shall be construed to limit the application of the Electronic
Communications Privacy Act of 1986 or any of the amendments made by
such Act, or any similar State law.
"(f) DEFINITIONS.-As used in this section:
"(1) INTERNET.-The term 'Internet' means the international computer
network of both Federal and non-Federal interoperable packet switched
"(2) INTERACTIVE COMPUTER SERVICE.-The term 'interactive computer
service' means an information service, system, or access software
provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to
a computer server, including specifically a service or system that
provides access to the Internet and such systems operated or services
offered by libraries or educational institutions.
"(3) INFORMATION CONTENT PROVIDER.-The term 'information content
provider' means any per son or entity that is responsible, in whole or
in part, for the creation or development of information provided
through the Internet or any other interactive computer service.
"(4) ACCESS SOFTWARE PROVIDER.-The term 'access software provider'
means a provider of software (including client or server software), or
enabling tools that do any one or more of the following
"(A) filter, screen, allow, or disallow content;
"(B) pick, choose, analyze, or digest content; or
"(C) transmit, receive, display, forward cache, search, subset,
organize, reorganize, or translate content.".
[Footer info deleted for brevity]
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 06:08:12 -0500
From: ped@PANIX.COM(Philip Elmer-DeWitt)
Subject: File 2--From TIME: John Perry Barlow essay on censorship
This is copyright material from the 1/15/96 issue of TIME, reposted by
By John Perry Barlow
THINKING LOCALLY, ACTING GLOBALLY
An ex-cowboy and rock lyricist turned Internet activist takes on the
censors of cyberspace
Two weeks ago, a prosecutor in Munich managed, almost casually, to strike a
global blow against freedom of expression. Though he is a person of such
obscurity that most of the accounts I've read of this incident didn't even
mention his name, he has been able to constrict the information flow for
some 4 million people in 140 countries.
He did this merely by telling CompuServe, the world's second largest
online-service provider, that it was breaking Bavarian law by giving
Germans access to Usenet discussion groups believed to include explicit
sexuality. A strangely terrified CompuServe responded by removing any
newsgroups whose title contained the word sex, gay or erotic, thus blocking
access to all subscribers, not just those in Germany. Given the centralized
nature of its operations-and the decentralized nature of Usenet-this was,
according to CompuServe, the only way it could comply.
Thus were CompuServe subscribers prevented from further discourse on
whatever they talk about in alt.sex.bestiality.hamster.duct-tape (which may
exceed even my high squeamishness threshold). At the same time, however,
they were also barred from alt.religion.sexuality (a pretty chaste topic),
clari.news.sex (which redistributes wire-service stories) and
alt.sex.marsha-clark (the mind reels =8A).
Once again, the jackboots of the Industrial Era can be heard stomping
cluelessly around the Infobahn. In fact, the Germans did almost nothing to
stanch the flow of sexual materials. The newsgroups that CompuServe removed
are still active on millions of computers worldwide. CompuServe subscribers
in Bavaria or anywhere else can simply switch to a less timid online
service and re-enter the discussion. As Internet pioneer John Gilmore once
said, "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it."
Such assaults are most likely to injure the large service providers, sober
institutions more culturally attuned to their governmental attackers than
the info-guerrillas of cyberspace. CompuServe, for its cowardice in folding
without a fight, probably deserves the calumny heaped on it by angry users.
The company says it hopes to reopen access to all but its German
subscribers as soon as it can figure out how.
But the issue at stake here is larger than whether the good people of
Munich can prevent others half a world away from looking at pictures of
sexually misused hamsters. These apparently trivial struggles may in fact
be the opening fissures of a historical discontinuity.
The real issue is control. The Internet is too widespread to be easily
dominated by any single government. By creating a seamless global-economic
zone, borderless and unregulatable, the Internet calls into question the
very idea of a nation-state. No wonder nation-states are rushing to get
their levers of control into cyberspace while less than 1% of the world's
population is online.
What the Net offers is the promise of a new social space, global and
antisovereign, within which anybody, anywhere can express to the rest of
humanity whatever he or she believes without fear. There is in these new
media a foreshadowing of the intellectual and economic liberty that might
undo all the authoritarian powers on earth.
That's why Germany, the People's Republic of China and the U.S. are girding
to fight the Net, using the popular distaste for prurience as their longest
lever. After all, who is willing to defend depictions of sexual intercourse
with children and animals? Moving through the U.S. Congress right now is a
telecommunications-reform bill that would impose fines of as much as
$100,000 for "indecency" in cyberspace. Indecent (as opposed to obscene)
material is clearly protected in print by the First Amendment, and a large
percentage of the printed material currently available to Americans,
whether it be James Joyce's Ulysses or much of what's in Cosmopolitan
magazine, could be called indecent. As would my saying, right here, right
now, that this bill is full of shit.
Somehow Americans lost such protections in broadcast media, where coarse
language is strictly regulated. The bill would hold expression on the Net
to the same standards of purity, using far harsher criminal
sanctions-including jail terms-to enforce them. Moreover, it would attempt
to impose those standards on every human who communicates electronically,
whether in Memphis or Mongolia. Sounds crazy, but it's true.
If the U.S. succeeds in censoring the Net, it will be in a position to
achieve far more than smut reduction. Any system of control that can stop
us from writing dirty words online is a system that can control our
collective conversation in other, more important ways. If the nation-states
perfect such methods, they may own enough of the mind of mankind to
perpetuate themselves far beyond their usefulness.
If that sounds overstated to you, consider the millions of people one
prosecutor in Germany was able to mute with little more than an implied
John Perry Barlow, a former Grateful Dead lyricist, cofounded the
Electronic Frontier Foundation, which defends civil rights in cyberspace.
He lives in Wyoming and New York and at email@example.com.
Copyright 1996 Time Inc.
Philip Elmer-DeWitt firstname.lastname@example.org
TIME Magazine philiped@aol= .com
Date: Tue, 09 Jan 1996 21:45:04 EST
From: WFEN20A@PRODIGY.COM(MR DAVID W BATTERSON)
Subject: File 3--Ron Wyden's statement on Net censorship
Wyden Backs Freedom of Access on the Internet; Believes Parents, not
Bureaucrats Can Best Protect Children Against Cyberporn
Statement by Rep. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
There are many differences between my opponent Gordon Smith and me in
the U.S. Senate race in Oregon. One of the clearest is on the
subject of censorship of the Internet.
When Gordon was asked at our recent debate at the City Club in
Portland if the federal government should censor the Internet, he
replied, "Yes, I do."
As the father of two computer-literate children, I join the millions
of American parents who want to keep smut and pornography away from
our kids using the Internet. But I believe parents and families, not
government bureaucrats, are better suited to guard the portals of
cyberspace and protect our kids.
Gordon Smith believes otherwise. His support for federal censorship
of the Internet echoes the heavy-handed regulatory approach proposed
by Senator Exxon that is now part of the telecommunications
If Congress adopts this method, it will lead to countless
constitutional challenges and unprotected families.
I support a different approach. Last summer I introduced legislation
with Congressman Chris Cox (R-California) to clean up the Internet
while preserving the efficiency and open access of the world-wide
computer network. Entitled the "Internet Freedom and Family
Empowerment Act," the bill sought to encourage and protect private
sector initiatives that improve user control over computer
In the meantime, parents do not have to wait for Congress to act to
protect their children against cyberporn. Reasonably priced software
that blocks pornography on the Internet is available now at
neighborhood computer stores.
The proper role of government in protecting our children against
cyberporn is to support efforts by the marketplace to create such
software and other filtering technologies. What the Internet does
not need is what Gordon Smith wants: big government telling you what
you can and cannot read and see.
Wyden For Senate
PO Box 3498 Portland, OR 97208
Phone: 503 248-9567
Fax: 503 248-9890
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 1995 22:51:01 CDT
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End of Computer Underground Digest #8.03
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank