Freedom to its limits?

Serge Ecoiffier (
Tue, 09 Jan 1996 12:46:45 -0500

Here's a thought that we might all be missing:

What would be the reaction if instead of flashers using CU-SeeMe to get
their thrills we get ... oh ... I don't know... say ... devil worshipers
doing some form of live sacrifice?!?

Would the cry that people are free to do as they please and others simply
have to browse elsewhere still echo in this corner of cyberspace? To use
your own words:

>how about if you just STOP LOOKING?
>you know how to close a window? you know how to disconnect
> from a reflector?

Would you honestly just close your window and go on with your life
unaffected? What if it was your kid who witnessed the show? Or, if you
happen to be one of the educators using this technology, a classroom full of

Would you tell the op of the reflector and some form of authority (police?)
to at least check into it? After all, I do beleive that some behaviors are
not, by law, acceptable in public places. Even in civilized free societies.
Of course, it might just be some special effects expert showing off his or
her skills in a public place... unannounced.

This last point, of being unannounced, might just be the key to the whole
issue. An explicit movie on tv or elsewhere is not only announced
(commercials, program listings, ... or one of those 24h channels) but, in
some parts of the world, preceded with warnings as to the nature of the
content and/or subject to a rating system. Explicit shops are either
announced (neon lights, specific areas of town, ...) or secretive. Explicit
magazines available off public racks are for the most part high up on the
shelves, partly covered/hidden, or both. ... The person flashing on
CU-SeeMe, from what I gather since I'm one of the unfortunate souls living
behind a firewall, is most often not announced. If the same act was
performed on some [descent] street corner or other public area, the person
is likely to end up with a fine, possibly a [short?] jail term, ... Sure,
if the guy (or girl) chooses the wrong area (s)he could just be ignored ...
or tackled ;o) [location, location, location! BTW: if a person flashes,
is it a signal that his or her life is taking a wrong turn?]

Should someone using the Internet rather than a physical public place be
exempt from the consequences of his or her otherwise unacceptable and
punishable explicit acts?

Now, if they do it in private, amongst themselves, all willing participants,
no big deal. But don't come unannounced on our screens. Better still, make
it so that we can't take a peek unwillingly. Why should we be the ones
turning our backs (no scrolling down of windows allowed! :o)?

I was looking at CU-SeeMe as a potential [inexpensive] tool in our distant
education plans. Are reflectors for [proper] educational use all private?
How are legitimate potential users to participate on some of those
reflectors? Are we expected to establish our own private reflector? What
happens to the globalness of the medium in that case?

On the lighter side, given that more and more regions of the world ban
public advertising of tobaco products, would the image of a clearly visible
pack of cigarette be acceptable on a public medium such as CU-SeeMe via
public reflectors? Would they require one of those warning messages?

Oh no! Can we expect commercials during CU-SeeMe sessions? Info-mercials


(my address is in the header, just read it if you're interested - no need to
close your eyes if you're nut ... sorry, typo ... not :o)