Computer underground Digest Sun Jan 13, 1996 Volume 8 : Issue 04 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J

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Computer underground Digest Sun Jan 13, 1996 Volume 8 : Issue 04 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 Cu Digest Homepage: http://www.soci.niu.edu/~cudigest CONTENTS, #8.04 (Sun, Jan 13, 1996) File 1--CyberAngels in Cyberspace File 2--AP: BBS yanks porn, fearful of government raid File 3--Simon Wiesenthal Center "Censorship?" - Press Release (1/12/96) 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: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 17:13:24 -0500 Subject: File 1--CyberAngels in Cyberspace From: tallpaul@PIPELINE.COM(tallpaul) by Paul Kneisel (tallpaul@pipeline.com) When Curtis Sliwa and other Guardian Angels started the CyberAngels, they stated their purpose was to "do [in cyberspace] what we do in the streets." The CyberAngel story started then, like so many New York City stories do, innocently enough. New York was a city in crisis when the Guardian Angels started some fifteen years ago. Business had fallen off and the tax base with it. Deep cuts in social services, in sanitation, in public transportation, and a host of other services had reduced what was later to be called the city's quality of life. Services were down; crime was up. Citizens feared both trends. Then an angel appeared. His name was Curtis Sliwa and he wore a red beret instead of a halo and a t-shirt reading Guardian Angel instead of wings. But Sliwa promised, like the original angel of Christian lore, to be our guardian. ANGELS IN HELL He and his intrepid band of young, karate-trained, unpaid supporters would patrol the subways and defend us and our rights against the thugs when the police could not. Or, at least, that's the way it appeared on the nightly TV news broadcasts and newspapers. Even hardened NY civil libertarians were willing to forget the word "vigilante." Even jaded NYers were willing to hope. Weren't we all really the city that earlier cheered in the movie _Death Wish_ when the elderly grandma, inspired by Charles Bronson's solo vigilante actions, pulls out her hatpin and fights off the young mugger who tried to snatch her purse? We also saw the Angels in their highly visible uniforms in our subway. Sliwa promised something and we thought he delivered it when the larger system could not or would not. Sliwa cared as Wall St. no longer did. Then we noticed something else. Call it the merest whiff of sulphur when these Angels were around. For some it was the swastika pin dangling from a few red berets. For others it was some subway rider who seemed to be treated a little too roughly by the Angels. For yet others it was something as seemingly trivial as the delay in their trip as Angels held the doors open on the subway cars. But maybe, we could tell ourselves, we really didn't smell anything. (These were the NYC subways after all, locations not known for resembling the perfume counters at Macy's or Gimbels.) There were only a tiny number of swastika pins and they soon disappeared. Besides, a swastika on a Latin youth wasn't really the same as one on a blond uebermensch, was it? And anyway, hadn't we heard that with the breakdown of the educational system many youth thought the swastika was just "another Indian good luck symbol." We still saw some Germanic Iron Cross pins but that was a different culture, militaristic perhaps, maybe macho. But we already had enough macho from the criminals so having a little on our side was only fair play. We also saw the Angels at work dealing with others on the subway. No, we hadn't seen the single fellow surrounded by half-a-dozen Angels commit a crime, but then we hadn't been looking over the newspaper conveniently held in front of our face either. No, we didn't see him get on the car either. Maybe he committed a crime somewhere else and then moved to OUR car; thank god the Angels were there. The subways continued to deteriorate. We experienced the frustration of trains pulled out of rush-hour service as the doors failed to close properly. We heard the conductor telling people not to hold the doors for their friends, how it broke the closing mechanism, and stressed repair shops already stressed by layoffs of city mechanics. Of course the Angels had to hold the doors open at each stop. There was an Angel in each car; they needed to inform each other that they were all safe at every stop by leaning out of the car until every Angel had verified that every other Angel was safe. The Angels protected our safety; could we fault them for protecting their own? Holding the car doors illegal? Of course. But not for the Angels. That was ridiculous. Thugs and scofflaws hold the doors open. That's what was illegal. The Angels only did it for our safety. It wasn't the same thing at all. Then the train was delayed for five minutes because some Angels didn't see each other. We were irritated, but we had a seat, a newspaper, and an interesting article to read while we waited. Then the door that the Angel was holding failed to close. Our five minute wait suddenly became fifteen when the train crew forced us off the now-broken train to wait for the next train at rush hour. There was no seat on this train nor sufficient elbow room to turn the page of our paper. The smell of sulphur increased, but they were after all only angels, not saints. And it was only the subways beneath our greatest city in the world. After ground we had our museums, our Central Park, our theater district. ANGELS ASCEND "Come and meet "those dancing feet, "At the avenue "We're taking you to, "42nd Street." So went one of the theater district's lead songs of a lead show in a post- modernistic self-referential advertisement for the very show being advertised. Broadway might resemble the great Hegelian in-and-for-itself development but it was still NY's crossroads of the world. The Guardian Angels, like other NYers, came above ground. Like so many others, they also arrived at 42nd St. but now with bed and board provided them by business owners. The Square, like every crossroads, had something for everyone, from the wealthiest ruled by real estate to others, somewhat poorer, who knew of Poppa Legba's crossroad empire at 42nd and 8th. It had its four-star restaurants for the before-or-after-the-show dinner crowd, the $4.50 "genuine steak dinner with baked potato and green salad" for those willing to spend twenty dollars on a date, to the Nedicks stands, where you could once buy a dog, a drink, and get change back from your dollar. The Angels didn't have to brown-bag it on the subways anymore. Their new grub came from the restaurant owners in the theater district. You could have a hundred-dollar-a-bottle wine for your dinner or purchase "smack, crack, and other quality pharmaceutical" from an outdoor vendor who chanted his stock. Those even further down on the socio-economic scale could purchase loose joints for a dollar each, many even containing genuine marijuana. Those who could afford hundred dollar theater seats on the Square bought them. Other NYers who, at home, could afford neither air conditioning, cable TV, or the Con Ed utility bills, could, for a very few dollars see both _Death Wish_ and _Taxi Driver_ at a 42nd St. movie theater, "guaranteed cooled by refrigeration!" no less. A block further east in pre-Nintendo times a single quarter and enough skill could buy an entire night's entertainment in a video parlor. The Angels moved all over the Square. But somehow you tended to see them closer to the expensive theaters than the cheap video arcades. "They say there's a broken heart for every light on Broadway," is one thing they say on Broadway. For some the hearts were broken when the theater show closed on opening night. Other hearts tore when the would-be star moved to Gotham did not make it into any chorus line let alone the _Chorus Line_. Still other hearts were already broken everywhere else in the country, so the children, of 16, 15, 14, 13 years saved their money or robbed the cookie jar and grabbed the nearest Greyhound to the bus station at 41st St. and 8th Avenue. The successful, attractive, and skilled actresses might have made millions after being discovered at the theaters between 5th and 8th Avenues. Those less successful worked the Minnesota Strip, somewhat further west. The strip was named after the prime fresh blonde meat from that state that the pimps pounced on when "it" got off the bus, and who, friendless and lost in the city, were soon turned to hooking. Hearts continued to break when the Angels moved to cleanup the Square. So did noses, although noses broke even before the Angels arrived. "You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs," NYers heard from the people who promised that a new, cleaned up Times Square would be a tasty omelet indeed. What they did not hear was that the word "eggs" in the original Russian folk saying was also a euphemism for "testicles." There's also another Times Square outside the tourist world of both millionaire and pauper. The real estate ads call it "Chelsea;" the people who live there call it "Hell's Kitchen." There are residential apartment houses between and south of the theaters on 43rd and 44th and the other streets west of 5th Ave. Not everyone on the Square is a transient. There's far more than a class and sin difference between Broadway and "Slimes Square" (as the _Ghostbusters_ so well parodied a NYC tabloid headline.) The apartment houses between the theaters are occupied by plain, everyday NYers who occupy the similar niche between the different classes of visitors. The neighborhood (as the Angels today write of "Cyber City") belonged to those people, too. But the Angels no longer represented all the citizens. They were now brought in by the restaurant owners to "clean up" the Square. The news still reported the Angel successes, but they also reported a darker, more sinister side of reality. News reports soon reflected a series of mutually-contradictory claims as if the universe had shattered into two parts, each as purely black and white as the ink on paper of the reports themselves. Three Angels were arrested in what the _NY Times_ called a "summer long feud between Angels and police." Another three Angels were arrested in a separate incident and charged with assaulting a member of a different "civil patrol" in the neighborhood. Eight Angels were arrested along with two anti-Angel forces in a series of cross-complaints. Angel Ilya Lichtenberg was stabbed near restaurant row on one of the hot summer nights. Sliwa announced the next day that the patrols will continue. The day after that the police reminded everyone that the Angels had no special arrest powers. Two more Angels were arrested by police after local residents charged they were harassed. The same day NY civil libertarians expressed concern, not over the police behavior, but over how the Angels acted without the legal constraints placed on the police. The Angels, in turn, announced crime was down since they started their patrols; others said the Angels merely pushed the crime elsewhere in the neighborhood away from the Angels's employers on Restaurant Row. The next day the _NY Times_ ran an editorial calling the Angels "adolescents manifestly lacking in judgement and experience of police officers." Sliwa and other Angel-supporters charged they were the target of a police vendetta. Residents complained of increased Angel harassment. So did the city's homeless. Both sides marshalled their political support. The police sent undercover officers to one neighborhood park to observe the Angels' behavior. Ten Angels were arrested by the undercover officers for harassing citizens. The same day, Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau announced his office would not prosecute the Angels in the case. The next day Police Commissioner Benjamin Ward branded the Angels "vigilantes." A week later Angel Ramone Mercado is arrested and charged with assaulting Anthony Frazier. Angels claim Frazier was involved with drugs. The summer spins on with "Clinton" residents caught, the _NY Times_ wrote, in the middle of a police/Angel war over "turf and tactics" instead of drugs. Ultimately police (not ACLU) patrols moved through Hell's Kitchen informing the citizens of their "due process [rights] and constitutional safeguards" against Angel interventions. This, the Angels responded, forced them to be "more pacifistic" in their tactics. But the same day as the _NY Times_ printed both reports, the Angels announced they had reduced their patrols since both crime and drugs were down. The summer moved into fall but at a less frantic pace. Two Angels were arrested on robbery and drug charges. They had, police stated, robbed one man of $90 and one Angel had crack when arrested. The Angels countered with charges that they were still under "continual harassment" from the police. The Angels's reputations spread to other cities along with the Angels's penchant for publicity. The Angels, while accused of harassing homeless people on the streets of New York City would cross the country, ostensibly to defend the homeless. Sliwa and five others were arrested at a demonstration in Wasco County, Oregon. The cult around Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh set up their "city-commune" called Rajneeshpuram in Wasco County, Oregon. Later the religious group was accused of moving homeless people to the county to use a pro-Rajneesh voters in the cult's attempt to take over the county. Silwa and five others were arrested in Wasco where, they stated, they had gone to defend the homeless against discrimination and mistreatment. Five Guardian Angels went to Joliet, Illinois to "protect" the citizens there after the city had 17 unsolved murders. Another ten Angels, including Lisa Sliwa, went to Providence, Rhone Island after the corpses of three women were discovered in a nine-week period. Sliwa announced she would teach the women of Providence "street survival." Some praised the Angels's desire to branch out and protect the citizenry in other cities as they did in NY. Others saw the group more as ghouls than Angels, preying rather than praying over the misfortunes of others for the publicity value. Perhaps the most extreme act of these natures was when Sliwa announced to President Reagan and the U.S. State Department that the Angels would protect "third world athletes" at the international Olympic Games held in Los Angeles. All of this Angel activity received national publicity. The issue of crime and identity has also dogged the Angels. Easily recognized en masse by their "Guardian Angel t-shirts and red berets, individual Angels are far less recognizable. Unlike police and many private security forces, individual Angels have neither ID numbers nor name plates that permit them to be easily recognized by citizens who wish to file complaints. Nor, according to Angel reports, have the police been able to consistently recognize the "real" Guardian Angels. Thus, when NY police gave summons to people who were seemingly Angels for soliciting money illegally in the subway, others stated the people summoned were merely "posing" as Guardian Angels. Equally, when the Boston police arrested another three people in a subway robbery, Angel defenders stated those arrested were not Angels at all. Yet when there was publicity available for being arrested, Sliwa and his supporters had no difficulty. He and five other Angels were arrested for painting over art work by "Dread Scott" because, as the NY Times printed, Sliwa considered the artist's work to be "anti-police." Sliwa's attempt at political censorship marked one end of a transitional period from the fellow who once openly accused Newark police of killing Angel Frank Melvin. Sliwa's anti-art paint job was also a curious turnabout from the Angel leader who supported the election of conservative federal prosecutor Rudolph Giulliani for Mayor of NYC on a "quality-of-life campaign." Giulianni was elected promising to crack down on street graffiti artists, in turn recommended Sliwa be hired to run a talk show on NYC's radio station, a move editorially condemned by the _NY Times_. Citizens still complained of Angel harassment, some stating Angels robbed them of property as trivial as disposable butane lighters. Other Angels, originally thought to be "highly trained" and "street smart" exhibit an ignorance of staggering proportions. "Butane lights are proof that someone is a crack dealer," one wide-eyed Angel innocently informed me as I stood on the street dressed for a computer job in my pressed Brooks Brothers blues. The Angel told me that the lighters are "only" used to light crack pipes and that all crack users "sell crack" to support their habits. The other Angels in the group concur; I did not light my cigarette as they told me this. Later, other Angels will display lighters as war trophies seized in their "anti-drug" battles. I gain, I think, a better understanding of what the Hell's Kitchen residents complained of. Some time later I'm dressed for a journalism job writing about Tompkins Square Park located on NYC's Lower East Side. I'm still in blue but it carries the Levi label and is out at the knees. Walking down St. Marks on my way to the park I notice an Angel patrol has stopped near one of the local loose-joint salespersons. As I pass they have him against a wall, surrounding him. He protests. They ignore his words. He claims harassment; they in turn, smiling, claim he is harassing them. He demands they get out of his way; they claim he, his back to the wall and surrounded, is blocking them. I add my views, restating his obviously true claims, and ask them what they are doing. "What are you doing," several respond, physically edging me against a fence on the street. "Working on a story about what you're doing," I respond. "No you ain't," one says. "You're selling drugs along with your friend here," he continues as four of them edge closer to me. "You're blocking my way and I'd like to leave," I tell them. "No," they respond, smiling. "You're blocking us." A crowd has started to gather on the sidewalk. I recognize several people from the block and the park. I relax a bit. "What are you going to do about it?" another Angel asks again, moving closer and shoving his chest into mine. "Put that in the story, too." "Well, you ain't going nowhere with your story," a second says. "I don't have to," I respond. "You're writing it for me." "Yeah, and we can stand here and write it for you all night," another responds with a leer. "I don't think so. I think you have some patrolling to do tonight. Why don't you do it?" I ask. "Why don't you make us," several Angels respond. "Get out of his way," people in the crowd tell the Angels. They turn and look away from me. They see the crowd for the first time. They turn and leave. What do the CyberAngels claim they will do in CyberCity: the same as they did in New York. The Guardian Angels's conservative political organizing in the guise of simple crime fighting continues with the CyberAngels. How many of the new Angels themselves will bother checking the _Australia Today_ article pushed in the CyberAngel's newsletter? How many will notice that their group's notion of fighting Cyber Crime extends, according to Hans van Lieven, the author of the recommended article, to "political radicals." van Lieven refers to the radical's "perverted purposes" spreading "filth" while "hiding behind an anonymous or false E-mail address." van Lieven's anti-radical views will no doubt surprise the many radical news net groups and discussion lists who openly state their views and advertise their existence. Other political activists may be surprised to see themselves labeled "environmental granola terrorists" as the CyberAngels's supporter calls other opponents of Sliwa's conservative political agenda. They may be equally surprised when the Angels post information about them on line, linking them to "cyber criminals." Anti-Klan activists may want to know that a simple invitation extended over the internet for a 20-year-old to attend a showing of the film _Shindler's List_ falls into a category of behavior the CyberAngels have targeted, for it involves "try[ing] to arrange physical rendezvous with children." Other anti-fascist activists may find the Angels have labelled them among the "abusers with their Hitler salutes and baby oil ... soiling their fruit of the looms over traded photos of 8 year old-children." FREE SPEECH: FOR WHOM? SafeSurf's announced "Goal [is] a safe cyber-playground for children" "We are not trying to abolish free speech," proclaim the CyberAngels, "but we believe that freedom of speech should not be exercised if by exercising it you are violating someone else's basic rights." Many may see Orwellian language in this statement of Angel politics. Others may have questions about the definition of "basic rights" on the global internet and who defines those rights in Cyber City. Certainly some Angel theories of rights are at variance with decisions of U.S. courts who have, legally, helped define and clarify rights within the territorial limits of this country. "We are all granted our freedom," the Angels write, "but not the freedom to hurt, corrupt, abuse, or harass innocent people." With the exception of harassment, which is defined as a crime in most states, one finds cases where freedom of one person involves _exactly_ the right to hurt, corrupt and abuse. In our public parks we can have the atheist on his soapbox at one end and the religious tractarian passing out her "Jesus Loves You" leaflets at the other. Each may feel abused by the other's actions, but each can continue. Jewish parents in the same park may feel hurt by the atheist and worry about having their children corrupted by the Christian propaganda. And some fundamentalist Shi'ite Moslems may feel harassed by all three groups, just as others somewhere else in the global CyberCity may be deeply offended and believe their rights violated by _C.u.D._ printing the first part of this sentence. "No criminal," the Angels assert, "can claim 'freedom of expression' to justify a crime." Of course they can, and the U.S. courts have so ruled. Perhaps the clearest example is the First Amendment itself. In large numbers of cases, "freedom of expression" allows the "criminal" to avoid the very label of a crime. One early example was the crime of "lese majestie" ("insulting the monarch"). Another occurred around the Alien and Sedition Act that once prevented U.S. citizens from criticizing elected officials. Read any legal text on "freedom of expression" issues will show literally dozens of cases where real criminals, already convicted of breaking state laws, successfully "justified" their "crimes" before federal appeals courts with the claim of "freedom of expression." Nor have the Guardian Angels behaved within the limits they now wish to set for the rest of CyberCity. Past Angel behavior has been openly harassing of people the Angels deemed undesireable. Past Angel behavior has been openly criminal, if only over the Angel's robbery of other citizens of property as trivially inexpensive as butane lighters or of bracing Angel critics against fences on the streets. Viewing Angel writings and behavior in this perspective provides a different political perspective on the Angel's political agenda. _Real_ rights possessed by the citizenry disappear under Angel rhetoric of bad intentions while real _criminal_ behavior tends to the permissible for Angels under the rationalization of the Angel's self-declared good intentions. This ethical and political duality is also seen in the area of anonymity. ANONYMITY: ARE CYBERANGELS SPECIAL? "We are anonymous in cyberspace," proclaim the CyberAngels to their potential volunteers, while simultaneously organizing against anonymity. For, the Angels also write that "when people are anonymous they are also free to be criminals." "None [of us] cruises with a Cyberangels badge. And we do not encourage our volunteers to identify themselves online." But, write the Angels elsewhere in their attacks on such behavior by non-Angels "the very anonymity of Users is itself causing an increase in rudeness, sexual abuse, flaming, and crimes like pedophile activity." CYBERANGELS: A HAVEN FOR PEDOPHILES? The pedophile, contrary to much mass belief, frequently loves children in the non-sexual arena, stated the psychoanalyst Otto Fenichel in _The Psychoanalytic Theory of the Neurosis_, (p. 333, citing Sigmund Freud's _Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex_.) "... usually a love for children is based on a narcissistic object choice. Unconsciously, the patients are narcissistically in love with themselves as children; they treat their child objects either in the same way as they would have liked to be treated or in the completely opposite manner." (Fenichel, paraphrasing Arthur Kielholz's _Zur Begutachtung eines Falles von Paederosis_, _Internationale Zeitschrift fuer Psychoanalyse_, volumn XXIII, 1937). "In a sublimated form, the same motives that produce pedophilia may produce a pedagogical interest. Love of children usually means: 'Children ought to be better off than I was;' in a minority of cases, the opposite is true: 'Children should not be better off than I was'." (Fenichel, paraphrasing Siegfried Bernfeld, _Ueber eine typische Form der maennlichen Pubertaet_ _Imago_, volume IX, 1923.) Laws signed last month significantly increased penalties for possession and manufacture of "kiddie porn" when electronic media are involved. What happens when the CyberAngels themselves possess or participate in the electronic transfer of such material? The CyberAngels specifically request that "copies of all actions taken [by their volunteers] are forwarded to us." On the surface, the Angels are equally guilty of being "kiddie pornographers." Others argue that such interpretations of the laws are ridiculous, claiming that the Angels are only engaging in their behavior to fight the very behavior in which they engage. What does it take to become an Angel, "legally" able to transfer and possess "kiddie porn?" The minimum requirement is devoting at least two hours a week cruising cyberspace, an amount of time that (one assumes) some "kiddie pornographers" already spend. Drooling "Uncle Fester," wearing his "black dacron socks" so hated by anti-porn forces need only don a white Angels t-shirt to be transformed. "Who me?" says Uncle Fester as the police break down his door and seize a porn-laden hard disk. "I'm not a real 'kiddie pornographer'," Fester continues. "I'm a CyberAngel!" Those defending the Angels maintain that the group can self-police to prevent this. Perhaps they can, but only at the cost of a radical transformation of existing membership policies. But can other groups? And will other groups want to? Or will we see a time when only the least intelligent "kiddie pornographer" gets convicted since the more intelligent ones are all members of Angie's Angels or Gidget's Guardians of Huck's Helpers? The question of how self-policing occurs has also been raised. At present only the regular two-hour-a-week stint is required for membership in the CyberAngels. No Angel is fingerprinted or undergoes any other announced security check of their background for possible past criminal convictions. Nor are psychological tests given before the Angel is turned loose in CyberCity with a presumed special license to own "kiddie porn." More ominous is the possibility that a few Angels will _produce_ the very thing the Angels claim to oppose. This is a well-known psychological phenomenon among groups with far more stringent membership requirements than the CyberAngels. New York State convicted one nurse of murder after several patients died. The nurse would poison patients in the hospital in order to later "heroically" rescue them. Most large city fire departments develop people who end up setting fires in order to "heroically" extinguish the very conflagrations that started. Will the Angels or any other group be different? What also becomes of the Fenichelian duality over pedophilia? As Fenichel and others pointed out, the pedophile is frequently motivated by the idea that children's lives should be better than the life of the pedophile and the pedophile, at least subjectively believes that he is really "protecting" children. There was more than one occasion during my street research on the Lower East Side when a supporter of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) was the first to notice, and the only to condemn, some parent beating their child on the street. >From this angle, aspects of the national debate on pedophilia take on a new perspective, in the streets, the political suites, and in cyberspace. The issue is no longer _purely_ white and black. Rather it is between one group for whom sex with children is permissible but non-sexual physical abuse is an abomination. Facing them is another group of fundamentalist parents, genuinely horrified at sexual pedophilia who simultaneously believe that child abuse laws violate their freedom of religion, requiring them to "spare the rod and spoil the child." Will we see state intervention in the religious-oriented news groups to first ban, then arrest, people who advocate such things? Should we? Or should the existing first amendment protection of freedom of religion continue to protect the rights of fundamentalist parents to advocate behavior that -- the words of the CyberAngels -- seeks to "hurt, corrupt, abuse, or harass innocent [children" in a _non-sexual_ manner? A NEW CORPORATE/POLITICAL STYLE OF ALLIANCE "We fully support SafeSurf," the Angels wrote, "and are working together with them." "Together we believe that CyberAngels and SafeSurf will form an irresistible alliance for Good [sic] on the Net!" Part of this alliance is the CyberAngels WWW homepage donated by SafeSurf and located on the SafeSurf computer. Corporate funding of political activity has long been part of the U.S. political system. So has corporate advertising. But past efforts have tended to be, at least in theory, highly mediated. The SafeSurf/CyberAngel alliance is far more direct. Here we have one private corporation, producing certain commodities for profit, helping to fund a volunteer organization whose declared aim is, in part, to sell more of the funding corporation's commodities. This alliance is also different from past alliances between different organizations that form throughout the political spectrum. What is new, however, is the question raised of some private, profit-making corporation combined with declared Angel political activity. What happens when Angel behavior is combined with salesmanship? How does a unique Angel right to anonymity correspond to the same right extended to the SafeSurf salesforce. Why, hypothetically, should SafeSurf salespeople have a special right to own and transfer "kiddie porn" in the guise of advertising and selling SafeSurf's products? What are the civil liberties consequences as the SafeSurf/Angel alliance to "do Good" targets "political radicals" and "environmental granola terrorists" in order to sell more SafeSurf products? CONCLUSION: The complexities of both defending and exploiting such issues take on an Orwellian character, even when considered within a single culture. Spread them to different cultures inside a single national state with a single set of laws and the complexities multiply. Multiply that throughout the global internet, with different economic systems, different cultures, different ethnic groups, and different legal systems, and the issues are indeed staggering. Yet, despite the complexities, certain fundamental truths appear to remain. The first is the number of "kiddie porn" images sent, the Angels claimed, unsolicited to them. Unfortunately, CyberAngels have a strange notion of what constitutes "kiddie porn," confusing the technical nature of graphics files with pornography itself. Angels maintain that the popular "gif" storage format is really a code-word for "girlie" pictures while the other "jpeg" format is similarly a disguised communication for sexual picture files of males. In reality the "gif" and "jpeg" file formats store everything from NASA space photos in the cosmos to cave pictures taken by spelunkers. CyberAngel confusion over what the formats stand for, however, might lead to conclusions of widespread "kiddie porn," but conclusions only reached by people who literally don't know the difference between "kiddie porn," Uranus, and a hole in the ground. The second factual matter that appears is the presumed desire and right of a large majority to defend itself and its rights against attack by a small minority of people who use the internet and ignorance to push their minority ideas, seeking to compel in some fashion the majority to accept their small minority viewpoint. But, as the old folk saying puts it, appearances are deceiving, particularly in the areas of large majorities and small minorities. "According to the [SafeSurf] plan," the company wrote in their press release of 27 June 1995, "if 10% of the Internet community participates the remaining 90% will be voluntarily compelled to adopt the system...." Voluntary compulsion, indeed. Orwell's Big Brother could not have expressed it better. ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 18:04:17 -0500 (EST) From: "Declan B. McCullagh" Subject: File 2--AP: BBS yanks porn, fearful of government raid And yet another online service knuckles under to government threats, even though it's legal to provide pornography (erotica) to adults. And this is yet another story that will be picked up and reprinted, reinforcing the meme: "The Internet is just pornography -- and what's not pornography is instructions on how to build a bomb." -Declan --- January 11, 1996 MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Fearful of a government crackdown, a computer bulletin board service said Thursday it has gotten rid of all its erotica. Exec-PC of New Berlin, which bills itself as the nation's largest computer bulletin board, notified subscribers Monday that it had eliminated about 50,000 files of adult material, including pictures of porno stars and nude photos... ``Since it is only 7 percent of our service and it could result in the 100 percent loss of our business, the risk is not worth it,'' said Exec-PC founder Bob Mahoney... Mahoney said he feared that keeping the X-rated materials could result in his equipment being seized, even if no charges were filed. ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 18:30:35 -0800 (PST) From: Declan McCullagh Subject: File 3--Simon Wiesenthal Center "Censorship?" - Press Release (1/12/96) The press release reads: "We are simply asking those who are in the business of selling Internet presence and information services, to do the right thing, and tell these groups to take their money elsewhere," said Cooper. Note what the final outcome of Rabbi Cooper's plan would be, if implemented fully: to deny his political opponents any platform at all. One journalist said that Rabbi Cooper has been at this for years, contacting the press and yowling about the horrors of online hate speech. -Declan // declan@eff.org // My opinions are not in any way those of the EFF // SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER NEWS RELEASE NEWS RELEASE January 12, 1996 Wiesenthal Center Calls on Internet Providers To Adopt Voluntary Standard of Ethics In the wake of the growing number of organized hate groups espousing racism, antisemitism, violence and mayhem on the World Wide Web, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has called upon companies providing Internet hosting services to adopt voluntary acceptable-use guidelines that would terminate services to individuals or groups promoting an agenda of hate or violence. According to Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Center, "Like the rest of America we welcome the Internet for its vast democratizing potential, but these groups have adopted the Internet as their key marketing tool in promoting hate." Last week the Center, the largest member-based Jewish human rights organization with 425,000 members world-wide, began mailing letters to hundreds of Internet hosting and information providers in the United States, requesting that they adopt acceptable-use standards similar to those used by other media providers, and offering the Center's assistance in drafting a code of ethics. "Over the last year the Internet, and specifically the World Wide Web, has moved from being a niche medium with a small audience, to a mass medium of unrivaled power that is leading the way in media convergence," said Cooper. "As this new and exciting industry has grown up almost overnight, the rapid pace of growth has meant that providers have been largely preoccupied with technical implementation and have had little time to devote to the issue of ethics. Now that the Internet has become a significant medium for publishing, broadcasting and advertising, it is important that these questions be addressed." The Simon Wiesenthal Center has been monitoring hate groups for more than fifteen years. "We correctly label these groups the lunatic fringe," said Cooper, "but it is a mistake to think they lack sophistication. They have embraced this technology more quickly than any other group of society. The tremendous power of the Internet has allowed them to distribute their racist, antisemitic and homophobic propaganda far more effectively than any time in the past." "There is no doubt that much of this speech is protected in the United States by the First Amendment, and we clearly believe that our government does not have a role in prohibiting its use," said Cooper. "Traditionally, print and broadcast media around the world have refused to provide these groups with a platform for their propaganda, and they have refused to allow these groups to manipulate them in the name of the First Amendment." According to Cooper, "Radio and television executives and newspaper editors have long understood that the First Amendment protects our citizenry from interference by the government, but does not obligate media channels to publish or distribute materials they consider false, inflammatory, hateful and unfair. It is the Wiesenthal Center's position that such an understanding should extend to the Internet and World Wide Web, as well." "We are under no illusion that adopting such acceptable-use standards will keep these groups from promulgating their message of hate across the Internet. Nor are we asking access providers to block or prohibit their customers from accessing such materials, or to limit private e-mail or usenet groups established to discuss these issues." "We are simply asking those who are in the business of selling Internet presence and information services, to do the right thing, and tell these groups to take their money elsewhere," said Cooper. ### ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 16 Dec 1995 22:51:01 CDT From: CuD Moderators Subject: File 4--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 16 Dec, 1995) Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically. CuD is available as a Usenet newsgroup: comp.society.cu-digest Or, to subscribe, send post with this in the "Subject:: line: SUBSCRIBE CU-DIGEST Send the message to: cu-digest-request@weber.ucsd.edu DO NOT SEND SUBSCRIPTIONS TO THE MODERATORS. 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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