Re: Banned user....204.31.246.47

Michael Sattler (msattler@jungle.com)
Tue, 18 Jul 1995 23:54:22 -0700


At 18:26 7/17/95, David Watson wrote:

>...In Australia, pornography is illegal. If it is being broadcast
>knowingly or unknowingly, it is illegal...
>What do you say to the president of the university, the local
>pta, the police when querried about illegal activities "originating" from a
>reflector at your site? What is your duty of care? In my case I covered my
>ass and said....User Banned. Call it censorship. I call it being
>responsible for the small bit of cyberspace that I caretake.

Given the backward state of personal liberty in Australia you did the
appropriate thing for the circumstances. As network administrator, it
isn't your place to set new precedents in case law. Don't apologize for
conforming to the law of your land. Outsiders may not appreciate it, but
you don't answer to us.

Heck, I conform to my government's ass-backwards rules and regulations
about cryptographic software, even though I know that it's not stopping you
foreigners from using PGP, etc.

>The idea that a reflector needs to have a sign posted upfront that says..No
>Nudity, No Graphic Sex, No Picking Your Nose, is absurd. I've yet to go to
>a city park, an airport or any other "public" place that has such postings.
>Yet we go to these places and do not see such behavior (nose picking may be
>an exception...). Common sense says in public places the common norm
>prevails.

Ahhhh, but here you're wrong, my friend. "Common sense" has nothing to do
with it, socialization does. There are no "Picking Your Nose Verboten"
signs because you've gotten feedback since very early in your schooling
that nose-picking is a socially abhorred act. You certainly weren't born
with any common sense that considers nose-picking repugnant.

The problem isn't that all Australians don't share a common socialization,
but that the rest of the world doesn't. In parts of the net.connected
world the baring of a woman's shoulders and legs is scandalous, in other
parts tube tops are accepted warm-weather clothing. Your actions were
approprate; you interpret appropriate behavior to be that which conforms to
your local environs and that won't get your ass hung out to dry by irate
parents and bureaucrats.

>Perhaps for people who want to remain "undisclosed" a reflector network can
>be set up to support them. It could work like anonymous mailers. Connect in
>and strip off all the identifiers, only the reflector operator would know
>the true identity. Not to worry, the reflector operator is someone called
>"BB". They say you can trust "BB".

Actually, this is a rather trivial hack. And you don't need to trust a
single operator, you could run your IP connection through several anonymous
reflectors. Topics like this one are frequently discussed (and sometimes
even implemented) on the Cypherpunks mailing list.

Summary: you adopt the manners appropriate to the land of your host. If
David wants no nudity on his reflector for personal, political, or
whimsical reasons, so be it. You don't like it, fire up your own reflector
and let us know about it. This isn't rocket science.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
Michael Sattler <msattler@jungle.com> http://www.jungle.com/msattler/ |
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