censorship

Samuel A. Gray III (sgray@cbmse.nrl.navy.mil)
Thu, 18 Jan 1996 19:10:23 -0500


To all those reflector managers out there who are 'quite shocked' to
see pornographic video being bounced around on the internet:

a-what, are you some innocent child? this stuff's been on the
internet for YEARS. Never heard obscenities before in your life, huh?
No idea what pornography is?

b-what do you think, the only images you'd see would be the kind you
want to see? or definitely wouldn't be what you don't think is
acceptable? There are billions of people out there, each with their
own mind. If you're simple enough to think that public reflectors
wouldn't be subjected to such transmissions, then you're too simple
to be in a responsible management position-

and just wait untill you have 20 different countries each trying to
implement their version of a 'community standard' restriction on the
internet. Internet censorship is a joke, an impotent attempt to
promote abuse of power, the internet represents a windmill for
close-minded athoritarian souls to tilt at, inevitably admitting that
borders are meaningless, attempts to censor it will show that this is
truly an electronic frontier.

And the day some asshole in tennesse/germany/iran comes to my house
and tries to arrest me for using a curse word in an email message, or
transmitting pornographic images etc. over the internet (of course,
not from my work environment), he will be given a textbook example of
'use of force in resisting arrest'. (gee, where will this message end
up?)

c-so you succeed in blocking an ip address. Are you aware that due to
a few minutes or hours of pornography, you're going to forever block
any transmissions from or receptions to that ip address? (but not
that site...). And I'm sure they're all shaking in their birthday
suits when they recieve warnings ect. from their isp and
admonishments through the email or whatever. (btw isp's are not into
regulating content. they become liable if they do...)

Face it-if you use any communications medium, eventually you're going
to be exposed to some pornography or obscenity. And to try to punish
those who do use it is at best an attempt to get them to conform to
your moral standards (as if your mental state will be somehow
corrupted or destroyed by exposure to something you've never been
exposed to, right? things you can't imagine? but when you seem them,
you can say they are obscene and the perpetuators should be
punished?), at worst an example of a control freak with no control,
with no respect for the self-determination of others.

If you see something you don't like, stop looking. If you hear
something you don't like, stop listening. The guy's not standing next
to you in a crowded bar...your mind's not going to turn to jelly if
you see the words 'fuck' or 'shit' or whatever on a computer screen.
sag