Computer underground Digest Sun Jan 28, 1996 Volume 8 : Issue 08 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J

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Computer underground Digest Sun Jan 28, 1996 Volume 8 : Issue 08 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: CONTENTS, #8.08 (Sun, Jan 28, 1996) File 1--Reuters: China adopts Internet rules File 2--Legislative Cyber-Porn Hysteria (ACLU Cyber-Lib. update) File 3-- Crypto breaking File 4--UK newspaper names Zimmermann a "neo-Nazi sympathiser" File 5--So Many Errors to Be Answered! (in re 8.05 - 1A) File 6--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: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 16:50:20 -0500 (EST) From: "Declan B. McCullagh" Subject: File 1--Reuters: China adopts Internet rules So China has adopted rules governing Internet use without saying what they are. The country now bans not just "pornography," but unapproved foreign economic information from entering the company -- all in the name of "state security," of course. -Declan --- BEIJING, Jan 23 (Reuter) - China's State Council, striving to embrace the Internet but not its pornographic and political content, on Tuesday adopted unspecified draft rules governing links to overseas computer information networks. In an executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Peng, the cabinet reiterated its provisional approval for global computer links, the official Xinhua news agency reported. [...] Chinese sources have said they were likely to mandate limits on which organisations could offer public Internet access, order the screening of who could secure such access and, if possible, technology to filter out offensive materials. [...] The development comes less than a month after announcement of two high-level initiatives to control and censor information entering China electronically via computer networks or foreign news and information services. On December 31 the cabinet and ruling Communist Party issued a joint decree warning that the Internet, while important for the economy and science, threatened to usher in pornography and other ``harmful materials'' if not well managed. ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 17:46:40 -0500 From: beeson@PIPELINE.COM(Ann Beeson) Subject: File 2--Legislative Cyber-Porn Hysteria (ACLU Cyber-Lib. update) FROM: January 24, 1996 ACLU CYBER-LIBERTIES UPDATE A bi-weekly e-zine on cyber-liberties cases and controversies at the state and federal level. STATE PAGE (Legislation/Agency/Court Cases) ===================== * State Politicians Exploit Cyber-Porn Hysteria; Seven More States Propose Online Censorship Bills Last year, while online activists were giving their all to fight the still pending Communications Decency Act, many state legislatures were carelessly crafting online censorship bills at home. Nearly twenty states have considered legislation to censor the Internet. While the ACLU and other civil libertarians were successful in stopping a few of these bills, at least eight states have already passed legislation to censor the Internet (Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, Oklahoma, and Virginia). Cyber-porn hysteria is still running rampant in the media and many Luddite politicians are ready this year to gain political points by passing even more bills that falsely claim to stop online pedophiles. Many states that passed bills last year are considering more regulation this year. Even New York and Washington -- traditionally strong protectors of First Amendment values and hot spots for the online and computer industries -- have rushed to join the Luddites with drastic online censorship legislation. Bills are also actively pending in California, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. These state laws are *just as dangerous* as the federal Communications Decency Act: - They subject online users everywhere to a multitude of different censorship laws and effectively reduce online content to the standards of the most conservative state. - They restrict vague categories of material deemed "indecent" or "harmful to minors" in ways that are certain to chill constitutionally protected speech. - They are overbroad and put service providers and telecommunications carriers at risk of criminal prosecution for the content posted by others through their systems. - While claiming to protect children, they unconstitutionally infringe on the rights of adults to communicate freely online and they keep important educational material from children that could literally save their lives. Many cyber-libertarians have been lulled into inaction on the state bills because they thought the Communications Decency Act would pass and preempt the state laws. THIS IS A LOSING STRATEGY! Remember, we don't want the CDA -- or *any* new law that criminalizes constitutionally protected online speech. And the preemption language in the current version of the CDA is limited at best: It does not prohibit states from enacting harsher laws to punish *users* -- it only protects commercial service and content providers, nonprofit libraries, and institutions of higher education from harsher state penalties. WHAT YOU CAN DO: 1. Be on the lookout for news of online censorship legislation in your state. Catch it early and nip it in the bud through effective organizing and advocacy. 2. Form an anti-censorship coalition in your state. The coalition could include: -Your state ACLU affiliate office. (For a director of ACLU affiliate offices, see The ACLU can also put you in touch with other local civil liberties groups. -Local Internet Service Providers. -Local content providers and other Internet-related businesses. -Local computer clubs and user groups. -Local educators and library associations that provide youth access to the Internet. 3. Schedule meetings with your state legislators to discuss the drastic implications of the bill and to demonstrate alternative means for controlling minor's access to inappropriate content. 4. Seek local, state, and national press attention about your coalition. 5. Help the ACLU track the bills by keeping us apprised of activity in your state. Send news about state bills and anti-censorship coalitions to for inclusion in the ACLU Cyber-Liberties Update. (Send news to Ann Beeson, Editor, --------------------------------------------------- * New York Censorship Bill Would Outlaw Online Art and AIDS Education This week, the New York State Legislature passed a bill (Senate Bill 210, Assembly Bill 3967) that makes it a crime to engage in communication with a minor that "depicts actual or simulated nudity or sexual conduct" and which is "harmful to minors." THE BILL IS NOW ON THE GOVERNOR'S DESK. The New York bill's vague terms could ban the following online materials: - Safe sex information distributed over the web - Nude art on the Whitney Museum's web site - Medical information that includes descriptions or pictures of the human body - Any communication in a chat room or newsgroup that discusses sexual conduct -- even discussions promoting abstinence Many federal courts have struck down similar bills as unconstitutionally vague because, like the New York bill, they failed to adhere to the three-pronged "harmful to minors" test articulated in _Ginsberg v. New York_, 390 U.S. 629 (1968), and modified by _Miller v. California_, 413 U.S. 15 (1974). And while the drafters of the New York bill may have intended to impact only communications to minors, the nature of the online medium makes it practically impossible to limit communications only to minors without infringing upon the rights of adults to communicate with each other. The bill also puts online service providers at risk of criminal prosecution if the banned material is distributed through their systems. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Call or fax Governor Pataki today and urge him to veto S210/A3967. Phone: 518-474-8390 -or- 518-474-1041 Fax: 518-474-0888 -or- 518-474-2344 FOR MORE INFORMATION: For a copy of the New York bill and a sample phone conversation with the governor's office, see the New York coalition alert at If you're an Internet business, sign the Voters Telecommunications Watch letter for businesses opposing the bill. See or mail your signature to ACLU Press Contact: Beth Haroules, New York Civil Liberties Union, 212-382-0577 ------------------------------------------ * Washington State Censorship Bill Resurfaces Despite Last Year's Defeat The ACLU of Washington is once again battling a bill (HB2267) that designates a vast range of artistic, educational, scientific and other expression as "material harmful to minors" if the material has sexual content and fails to comport with community standards. The bill could have the following drastic effects on the online medium: - The educational use of online services for K-12 students would be vastly curtailed or eliminated altogether because educators could be held criminally liable for giving a student access to the Internet. - Online service providers would be held criminally liable unless they required every user to prove their age before signing onto the system. Such a requirement would violate the privacy of online users and greatly chill the free exchange of ideas over online systems. - Online content providers and other Internet-related businesses would move away from Washington rather than pay the costs of creating separate content -- one version for adults, and one for minors -- in order to avoid criminal liability. WHAT YOU CAN DO: 1. Mail, fax, or call Clyde Ballard, Speaker of the House and Chair of the House Rules Committee, and urge him to oppose HB2267: Clyde Ballard Speaker of the House Olympia, WA 98504-0623 fax: 360-786-7871 phone: 360-786-7999 2. Mail, fax, or call Senator Adam Smith, Chair of the Senate Law and Justice Committee, and urge him to oppose HB2267 if it passes the House and is sent to the Senate: Adam Smith Chair, Senate Law and Justice Committee P.O. Box 40482 Olympia, WA 98504-0482 fax: 360-786-1999 phone: 360-786-7664 2. Mail or fax a copy of your letter to Jerry Sheehan at the ACLU of Washington so that he can use it while lobbying against the bill in the next few weeks: Jerry Sheehan, Legislative Director ACLU of Washington 705 Second Avenue Suite 300 Seattle, Washington 98104 fax: 206-624-2190 ACLU Cyber-Liberties Update Editor: Ann Beeson ( American Civil Liberties Union National Office 132 West 43rd Street New York, New York 10036 ================= To subscribe to the ACLU Cyber-Liberties Update, send a message to with "subscribe Cyber-Liberties" in the body of the message. To terminate your subscription, send a message to with "unsubscribe Cyber-Liberties" in the body of the message. For general information about the ACLU, write to ------------------------------ From: "David Gersic" Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 12:22:17 CDT Subject: File 3-- Crypto breaking Here's an article I came across that some of you may be interested in. It's called "Timing attack beats cryptographic keys" and it's from the December 16, 1995 issue of Science News. To foil eavesdroppers, banks and other businesses handling electronic transactions have turned to various forms of cryptography to scramble and hide sensitive information. Now, a researcher has identified a potentially serious vulnerability in certain widely used cryptosystems. This flaw may threaten the security of encrypted data transfers across computer networks. Cryptography expert Paul C. Kocher, an independent digital security consultant in Stanford, Calif., posted his findings this week on the Internet. "The general idea of the attack is that secret keys can be found by measuring the amount of time used to process messages," he says. Kocher's approach applies to public-key cryptosystems. In such schemes, each person gets a pair of keys, or sets of numbers used in a computer program for encrypting and decrypting messages. One key is published openly, so anyone can use it to encrypt a message. But only the recipient knows the corresponding private key needed to unscramble it. Kocher discovered that these cryptosystems often take slightly different amounts of time to decrypt different messages. By surreptitiously measuring the duration of many such operations, an attacker can accumulate enough data to deduce the private key and read the information. "The attacks are particularly alarming because they often require only known ciphertext, work even if timing measurements are somewhat inaccurate, are computationally easy, and are difficult to detect," Kocher says. "This is a real problem, especially for keys that stay around for a long time," says Peter G. Neumann of SRI International in Menlo Park, Calif. Attacks that involve keeping track of how long operations take have been considered in the past, but they were of real interest only to such groups as the National Security Agency. The increasing use of public-key cryptography in commercial dealings on computer networks has now focused new attention on these concerns. "You have to take it seriously," says Joan Feigenbaum of AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J. "But that doesn't mean this weakness is fatal." Researchers are already considering cryptographic schemes that take the same amount of time for all possible keys or use additional randomizing to disguise the time that operations require. Kocher's report is posted on the World Wide Web at the address - I. Peterson ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 15:56:43 -0800 (PST) From: Declan McCullagh Subject: File 4--UK newspaper names Zimmermann a "neo-Nazi sympathiser" According to a post on Usenet: The UK's Sunday Telegraph has today featured an article by Robin Gedye entitled "Neo-Nazis are marching on the Internet" in which apart the the usual nonsense about neo-Nazis being about to take over the world by means of their "Thule Net" accuses the deviser of PGP of being a Nazi sympathiser: "Private communications between neo-Nazis on the network are effected under a program called "Pretty Good Privacy", devised by an American neo-Nazi sympathiser." This is another good example of the mainstream media's carelessness in reporting on online issues. While some neo-Nazis do use PGP to ensure the privacy of their files, so do people working for the U.S. government, for businesses, and in higher education. Attached is Zimmermann's reply. -Declan ------------------------------------------------------ Subject--"PRZ a nazi" to be retracted Date--Tue, 23 Jan 1996 21:58:48 -0700 (MST) From--Philip Zimmermann The Sunday Telegraph of London printed a story last Sunday about neo-nazis using PGP to encrypt their communications. The story said that PGP was devised by an American neo-nazi sympathizer. As the creator of PGP, and a human rights activist, I was outraged by such a defamation from a major newspaper. I called my lawyer Phil Dubois, who seemed to look forward to having some fun with this newspaper. Not wanting to wait around till the morning, and slow lawyers, I called Robin Gedye, the reporter in Bonn who wrote the story, at 7am Monday morning Bonn time, and woke him up at home. I introduced myself and told him how I felt about it. He had never heard of me, the Clipper chip, the controversies of cryptography, and knew nothing about PGP outside of the couple of sentences in his story that mentioned PGP. He said it wasn't really so bad, because he didn't specifically identify me by name. One can imagine the effectiveness of that excuse with me. I then went into some detail with him to bring him up to speed. I also called his editor in London, who also had never heard of me or PGP. After some checking, they discovered that the Daily Telegraph, a related newspaper, had run an article about my case just a week before. They also found about 20 recent articles on me in the UK press. The editor said that my story "checks out". It was good to know that they now believed that I was not a neo-nazi after all. Anyway, Mr. Gedye says that the Sunday Telegraph will print a retraction next Sunday. Not just a little retraction, but a whole article on the subject, written by Mr. Gedye himself. I'm glad to see that this probably means that he will dig into the subject more, in order to write such an article. I guess this means maybe I'll find some other things to occupy Phil Dubois's time. -Philip Zimmermann 23 Jan 96 ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 22:45:27 -0500 (EST) From: ptownson@MASSIS.LCS.MIT.EDU(Patrick A. Townson) Subject: File 5--So Many Errors to Be Answered! (in re 8.05 - 1A) In Cu Digest, #8.07 there were so many errors and outright biases exhibited by your correspondents I hardly know where to begin answering them all. Let me try on a few at least. > From: David Smith > Subject--File 1-- From TIME: Quittner on hate groups (fwd) > (Philip Elmer-DeWitt) > Date--Mon, 15 Jan 1996 12:17:14 -0500 > HOME PAGES FOR HATE > A campaign to limit the voices of white supremacists on the Internet has > defenders of the First Amendment worried They are not 'defenders of the First Amendment'; if they are, then logically, those of us who are increasing dismayed by the growing amount of garbage on the net must be totally against the constitution of the USA and all that. I'll beg to differ with you, fellows: you have no monopoly on the First Amendment and its meaning. So please quit calling yourselves 'defenders of the First Amendment' and start referring to yourselves instead as persons with one particular viewpoint on what 'freedom of speech is all about.' Fair enough? > By Joshua Quittner > The CLOC, an unabashedly white-supremacist organization based in > Columbia, South Carolina, takes pride in running locals off of certain > innocuous parts of Usenet with its race baiting. Members claim to have > emptied out half a dozen forums already, including, improbably, > and If you want an organization > which makes things happen, visit our victims and learn first-hand what > kind of a group we are, they boast at their World Wide Web site, which > features an image of a burning cross. CLOC is clearly on the forefront > of the great war for Aryan domination of the Internet. > This virtual hooliganism may sound absurd. For people who rely on the > Internet to communicate, though, it s a real and growing problem. Like > more conventional groups, racists have discovered that the Net is a > marvelous way to get their message out to a huge audience at low cost. > Last week, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the world s largest Jewish > human rights organization, decided that enough is enough. Citing the > rapidly expanding presence of organized hate groups on the Internet, > Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the center s associate dean, sent letters to > hundreds of Internet access providers, asking them to help draft a > code of ethics that would squelch Websites that promote bigotry and > violence. Bravo to them for doing it. Peer pressure is the best way of handling all these issues. Most of us wish them them the best of luck in convincing ISPs everywhere to cooperate on this. No one wants to see the government silence speech which is hateful. We all want to see everyone allowed to make their speeches. What we are asking for is the right to turn it off; the right to have the space allocated or entrusted to us on the 'net' be held in as much respect as we respect the rights of kooks to make their speeches *in spaces on the net allocated for them to do so*. > Predictably, civil libertarians are uneasy about the proposal, seeing > it as yet another assault on free speech in cyberspace. But of course; what else is old news? My right to decide what will and will not be on my computer has nothing at all to do with free speech. I know it, they know it. They hope you don't know it. > Congress has already signaled its intent to enact legislation that > would criminalize indecent speech online, rather than adopting the > less onerous restriction against obscene speech that is the print > standard. > Yet Cooper claims that his letter is very much in keeping with the > Constitution and with traditional media practice. He argues that the > First Amendment also protects publishers who choose not to disseminate > materials they find offensive. Most mainstream newspapers and > magazines, for example, won t run ads from racist or hate groups. The > people who sell access to the Internet, he believes, should start > behaving the same way. In effect, says Cooper, this is a recognition > that the Internet has come of age. We re not looking for prior > restraint or to keep these guys off the Internet. We re saying adopt > the same approach to the First Amendment that your brothers have done > in traditional media. Again I say bravo, as do the vast majority of the people on the net who have seen his letter in its entirity. Some of us were saying it in forums back as long ago as 1983. Whatever you do, don't allow outfits like the ACLU, the EFF and others of that ilk to send you guilt-tripping based on their misunderstandings (sometimes I think they deliberatly intend to deceive people) about 'free speech'. > Among purists, though, the whole point of the Internet is that it > isnt like traditional media. A wide spectrum of viewpoints is > tolerated and even encouraged online, especially on the freewheeling, > anarchistic Usenet.. The notion is that, for the first time in > history, anyone can express his or her views to a mass audience. As a > result, Cooper s proposal is stirring up opposition from cyberspace > denizens on both the left and the right. Is Quittner trying to say that a wide variety of viewpoints is not tolerated or allowed in the print media? It is true the print media does not allow business news in the sports section or the comics in the front news section, but is he saying Usenet is now the salva- tion of people with something to say who heretofore were forbidden to say it in the papers or or radio? This medium is hardly the 'first time in history anyone can express his or her views to a mass audience.' Has he never heard of talk radio, or the original grandfather of modern day talk radio, "Citizens Band" which was extremely popular in the 1970-80's? Cooper's proposal is not 'stirring up opposition ... on both the right and the left'. It is stirring up opposition from the usual handful of dissidents who support the rights of kooks to stir up hate and discontent, ruining the net for everyone else. > It s gotten a cold reception from Internet access providers too. Not at all; not at all ... Quittner talks to two or three service providers carefully selected for him to interview based on their own personal attitudes, etc and this becomes some sort of overall attitude. > The answer to hateful speech is more speech, says Sameer Parekh, > president of Community ConneXion, a popular provider in Berkeley, > California. How long, how much time each day, pray tell, does Parekh feel most of us have available to sit and constantly respond? Who other than a few people on the net have the luxury to spend hours responding to speech only to have it responded to requiring still another response. What he is really saying is by stirring up more hate and discontent there will be more people on line on his system spending their money on his company composing their answers to the hateful speech. Thie reminds me of the tactic used by America On Line in their chat rooms. They use shills ... people to sit there and deliberatly start fights and start sex conversations, etc with the paying users to keep the paying users on an extra hour or two each night responding to the argument, etc. > By banning hate groups from the Net, he says, you are promoting the > idea that they might actually have something valuable to say. Is this Mr. Parekh incredible or what? Back to square one please: *no one* said ban anyone from the 'net'. We are saying let them buy their own computers, their own software, their own dialups. Let them exchange their messages and news with whoever wants to receive it. When you get a rejection letter from the {New York Times} saying they are not going to print something you sent, there is no prohibition against you starting your own newspaper to print it instead. An ISP who takes a responsible approach and refuses service to any variety of clients -- and these can range from Nazi members to Ku Klux Klan members to pedophile activists to ummm ... even to Jeff Slaton ... when he refuses service to them and says the majority of his users and users at the sites he interconnets with are offended by that client's messages, he is doing nothing more that exercising his own judgment about how to run his site. Speaking of Jeff Slaton, why don't I see all your alligator tears for him everytime an ISP kicks him off? My goodness, doesn't he have something valuable to say, as Parekh would claim? Why don't I see anyone rushing to defend poor little Kevin Lipsitz, female impersonator and magazine salesman to the net? They both spread totally irrelevant and tasteless messages in every group they can find don't they? Has Lipsitz violated every newsgroup and mailing list he can get his hands on, or am I mistaken? Did I drop out of a tree yesterday? Has Slaton polluted every newsgroup on the net, broken in and looted mailing lists and had the audacity to say he would quit bothering you if you sent him five dollars? Come on big boys at the ACLU/EFF and kindred spirits. Why not start defending someone *except* the Nazis, the KKK and the pedophiles for a change, okay? Let's hear it for Jeff Slaton and how terrible we all are for censoring him. > The campaign has given even the hate-mongers a chance to sound > civic-minded. Oh, glory be! Let's hear their civic-minded speech shall we? > Says Milton John Kleim Jr., a self-described white nationalist > Usenet Viking whose writings also appear on many racist Web pages: > What Mr. Cooper doesn t understand is the fact that there are a lot of > people in our society who are very angry-- We understand that very well, Mr. Kleim. We understand it all too well. Just as the ACLU has no monopoly on wisdom where the First Amendment is concerned, neither have you and your rotten, racist, stinking views got any monopoly on hatred. A lot of us are very angry. A lot of us feel the United States has gone to total hell in a handbasket thanks to organizations like the ACLU. I for one would move out in a minute if I were a younger man and had anywhere to go without being a drain on the kind people who would take me in. But I would not want to go anywhere you were either. > the angry white male theme. > A lot of these angry white males, if they re prohibited from venting > their views, might actually come forward and do something. Oh God, why do I have to go through all this again? Speed back to 1960-62, Rabbi Louis Binstock of Temple Sholom in Chicago, and his sermons on why we have to give people whatever they whenever they want it. "If we don't give food to people who are hungry, then they will go out and steal it." "If we don't give people money they will riot or steal it anyway." After one such sermon, at the coffee hour afterward I went up and said to him, 'Lou, you really have a low opinion of the human race don't you?' Apparently Kleim feels the same way. Instead of working honestly in the system to get their message across, he feels many or most would just short-circuit the process to get what they wanted. Does it occur to him that a lot of us are just as angry and frustrated as he and his group will ever be, but we don't go out and bully our way around making others give us what we want? I publish a little newsletter on the Internet called TELECOM Digest. Essentially in that newsletter, as my several thousand subscribers will attest, I just do my thing. I am sorry, it would never occur to me to go to any ISP or any backbone site or any of the several sites where I have accounts and say to the admins of those sites that 'you MUST allow me to have access to the net via this site.' It would never occur to me to invoke some bogus argument based on freedom of speech and go off whining to the ACLU because some site or another did not carry my newsletter -- and some don't! > But its finished as far as Dyson and his friends are > concerned. Last week the lonely folks decided to deal with the > racists in their own way. They voted to create a special kind of > newsgroup where unruly intruders can be evicted. No one should be > forced to tolerate intolerance, even in cyberspace. With reporting by > Chris Stamper/New York > Copyright 1996 Time Inc. I agree, no one should be forced to tolerate intolerance; no one should be forced to tolerate the kind of trash and garbage for which the net has become infamous in the past couple of years. But if people continue to allow organizations like the ACLU/EFF to define what freedom of speech means, then we might as well unplug our modems and computers and put them on a back shelf somewhere; those organizations will NEVER support the right of people like Dyson and countless other newsgroups and mailing lists to be left alone. We are going to continue to have garbage messages and hate shoved in our faces. Quite honestly sometimes I wish this damn net had never been started, that is how ugly much of it has become. > --Philip Elmer-DeWitt > TIME Magazine > For once try to say something accurate about the net in your magazine would you please? Now responding briefly to David Smith: From: David Smith Subject--File 3--Response to the Simon Wiesenthal Center > if you believe, like I do, that the remedy of choice for bad speech is > more speech, not enforced silence. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Will you people PLEASE quit spreading this lie? I mean, what's in it for you, more traffic and $$ flowing to your site? Square One: no one is enforcing any silence. Please quit trying to guilt trip us Mr. Smith. No one is censoring, no one is silencing. At the same time, very few of us wish to be forced to provide resources to scum. Anyone is free to setup their own site Mr. Smith; anyone is free to dial another computer and exchange messages all they like provided the other end wants to receive them. > FWIW, I agree with the SWC's assertion that internet service providers > have the legal right to dictate terms of service to include acceptable > use guidelines prohibiting hate speech. Well you know, there are people in ACLU who would like to see that ability removed. A sort of 'we will force you to be free if we have to enslave you in the process' philosophy. I am glad you 'agree' they have the legal right to do as they wish with their property and their labor. The ACLU has never been very big on property rights. In fact they tend to be rather scornful of them. > Where I disagree is the assertion that ISPs have a moral obligation to > excercise those rights. Now I have heard it all. We *all* have the moral obligation to use our best judgment in deciding what we will and will not do with our resources. > The free speech model is preferable. Spoken like a true shill at in a chat room. As if we all have all night to sit and argue all the time. I can understand where some ISPs would definitly feel this way if the meter was running. Why oh why oh why do so many of you people equate 'free speech' with the right to use someone else's press? Can't you get it through your heads that the two are not related at all? Every person is born with a mouth with which to speak and other methods of communication. Everyone has the right to buy a computer and a modem. Everyone has the right to speak to whoever wishes to listen. No one has the legal right or the moral right to force someone else to participate in his speech. > If I commit a crime using my phone, no one threatens to drag > Southwestern Bell into court, yet somehow Real/Time Systems, my ISP, > would be. Actually, they can if it can be shown SWBT *knew* you were using your phone to commit a crime. In fact if telco *knows* you are a comitting a crime using the phone they *must* disconnect your service. Then someone else said in reference to posting the letter from SWC on the net: > I didn't have a chance to post it to the newsgroup. The noise/bandwidth > ratio there looks really bad, and it'll probably just get drowned out. > Sky And that really surprises you doesn't it? All the people who bemoan the noise on the net these days seem so shocked when someone suggests why not cut off the noise makers ... do you think they will go away on their own? He then responds to SWC in part as follows: > While we personally abhor discrimination and bigotry based on sex, race, > creed or any other reason, No you don't. If you did, you would not allow it to originate at your site. You like whatever makes money for your site, and lots of people on line making lots of noise makes lots of money. If you really abhored discrimination and bigotry you would put your beliefs on the line. > we will not censor communications sent through our network. Fine, you have said all you need to say. > Our subscriber agreement requires legal use, but our policing stops > there. That's for sure! Based on some of the garbage bouncing all over the net which has orginated at Earthlink it should be obvious even to a newbie that you don't pay much attention to what originates there. > As a principle, Internet access companies are not concerned with the > qualities of content that travel over their networks. Not the greedy ones, no. Not the ones who misplace their trust in some ill-defined definition of freedom of speech as provided by their local ACLU lawyer. > We are "common carriers" of information. Content providers such as > America Online and Compuserve are a different story. They manufacture > and control information. We merely route information, in the form of > bits, to people who use our service. What a cop out! What a damn cop out!!!! > For as long as we provide access, EarthLink Network will work to > ensure the legal and free use of the Internet. I urge you to take part > in this activism. > But I caution you that the Internet will reject any form of > censorship. I don't think you personally are in any position to be 'cautioning' anyone. Nor do I think you speak for the Internet, or more than some tiny portion of it. Before you continue foaming at the mouth about that of which you seem to know little, let me remind you that indeed the net *has* supported the 'censorship' -- to use your own definition -- of people like Jeff Slaton and Kevin Lipsitz. So let's not get all self-righteous about what the net will and won't reject, okay? Let's just be a bit more honest and say, "I as an ISP support the right of Nazis, KKK, pedophiles and other scum to preach whatever they want. I make money by having accounts for these people on my system and don't intend to remove them. I sort of get titillated by reading some of those messages myself sometimes but rather than take the heat from the community at large for it I try to couch it in the First Amendment. If I can successfully convince other ISPs that this is a freedom of speech issue and if I can get enough others guilt-tripping with me about it, it will make it a lot easier for me, having validation and all." > Rather than try to enforce a code as you propose, I suggest you let > the Internet community make its own judgment about content. You may be > surprised at what you find. What makes you think *he* is not part of the Internet community? Are we trying to enforce any behavior where -- I hate to keep bringing up his name -- Jeff Slaton is concerned? What makes you think that everyone who disagrees with your very liberal, very tolerant views of what is quality and what is garbage is not just as much a part of the Internet community as yourself? Or to put it another way, are *you* not also part of the community? Are you free to make your own judgments about content? Or are you just some innocent bystander? You can't have it both ways. > Sincerely, > Sky Dayton > CEO & Chairman > Sky Dayton, CEO | Voice: 213-644-9500 > EarthLink Network, Inc. | Fax: 213-644-9510 > | 3171 Los Feliz Blvd. > | Los Angeles, CA 90039 Well Jim (editor), as I said in the beginning, this particular issue of CuD was one of the most irritating I have read yet. There were several other points which could have been commented on, but unlike some here who feel the speech should just go on and on and on, I have some very real time constaints on me. So I will close by simply stating my belief that this whole thing is a quality on the net versus garbage on the net matter. It is not -- repeat not -- a free speech thing at all. Groups like the ACLU and EFF would love to have you think it was a First Amendment thing; after all, how could anyone be opposed to that? If they successfully convince you of that, then anything goes. I urge everyone to 'vote' on this with peer pressure. Strongly urge your own ISP to drop the garbage and trash newsgroups. One analogy that I have not seen is that of ISP as magazine/newstand vendor. He carries the magazines and papers he wants to sell. He does not circulate the others. Tell your vendor you don't want to see trash and garbage everytime you log in. Its not like there was only one ISP in town. There are hundreds who want your business. Vote with your feet and your money. Spend your money and time on line with ISPs who provide only quality newsgroups. I propose preparing a listing of ISPs who refuse to carry hate and racist users on line. I propose the same list can include those who won't have as part of their offering. Let's make the net community aware of who stands where on this issue. Some of the writers I have responded to today might be very suprised at really how little support there is for the trash mongers who have taken over the net in the past year. There seem to be a few people around here who have the audacity to claim they know what 'the net' will and won't do. By the way, that inlcudes me, a publisher here on the net also. If you don't want my newsletter TELECOM Digest, then don't carry it at your site. You won't see me getting any ACLU lawyers to sue you or harass you into submission. To me, the kind of behavior implied by some of the writers in this issue is far more immoral and unethical than anything appearing on the net to date. Patrick Townson ------------------------------ ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 16 Dec 1995 22:51:01 CDT From: CuD Moderators Subject: File 6--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: Or, to subscribe, send post with this in the "Subject:: line: SUBSCRIBE CU-DIGEST Send the message to: DO NOT SEND SUBSCRIPTIONS TO THE MODERATORS. 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BBS: +39-11-6507540 In LUXEMBOURG: ComNet BBS: +352-466893 UNITED STATES: ( in /pub/CuD/ ( in /pub/Publications/CuD/ ( in /pub/eff/cud/ in /src/wuarchive/doc/EFF/Publications/CuD/ in /doc/EFF/Publications/CuD/ EUROPE: in pub/doc/cud/ (Finland) in pub/cud/ (United Kingdom) The most recent issues of CuD can be obtained from the Cu Digest WWW site at: URL: COMPUTER UNDERGROUND DIGEST is an open forum dedicated to sharing information among computerists and to the presentation and debate of diverse views. CuD material may be reprinted for non-profit as long as the source is cited. Authors hold a presumptive copyright, and they should be contacted for reprint permission. It is assumed that non-personal mail to the moderators may be reprinted unless otherwise specified. Readers are encouraged to submit reasoned articles relating to computer culture and communication. Articles are preferred to short responses. Please avoid quoting previous posts unless absolutely necessary. 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