FORWARD : Net censorship (fwd)

Mr S C Drew S.Drew at
Sat Feb 25 10:50:02 MST 1995

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>From enviroethics-request at Sat Feb 25 03:19 GMT 1995
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 1995 20:57:52 -0500
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To: enviroethics at
From: sg936cww at (Linda Wolf)
Subject: FORWARD : Net censorship
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Here's an ethical dilemma, thought folks would be interested:

>Subject: Internet Censorship
>Author:  nedod at at SLINK
>Date:    2/23/95 3:49 PM
>Save Our Freedom!
> Sen. James Exon (D-NE) has introduced a piece of legislation
>titled the, "Communications Decency Act of 1995"  (Senate Bill S. 314).
>To see the actual wording of the bill.. check out:
>To see all the other relevant info:
>Here is an excerpt from a concerned net user:
>Basically, the bill would subject all forms of electronic communication --
>from public Internet postings to your most private email -- to government
>censorship.  The effects of the bill onto the online industry would be
>devastating -- most colleges and private companies (AOL, Compuserve, etc.)
>would probably have to shut down or greatly restrict access, since they
>would be held criminally liable for the postings and email of private
>Obviously, this bill is designed to win votes for these senators
>among those who are fearful of the internet and aren't big
>fans of freedom of speech -- ie., those who are always trying to
>censor "pornography" and dirty books and such.  Given the
>political climate in this country, this bill might just pass
>unless the computer community demonstrates its strength as a
>committed political force to be reckoned with.
>A petition, to be sent to Congress, the President, and the media,
>has begun spreading through the Internet.  It's easy to participate
>and be heard -- to sign it, you simply follow the instructions below
>-- which boil down to sending a quick email message to a certain
>address.  That's all it takes to let your voice be heard. (You know,
>if the Internet makes democracy this accessible to the average
>citizen, is it any wonder Congress wants to censor it?)
>Finally, PLEASE forward this message to all your friends online.
>The more people sign the petition, the more the government will
>get the message to back off the online community.  We've been doing
>fine without censorship until now -- let's show them we don't plan on
>allowing them to start now.  If you value your freedoms -- from
>your right to publicly post a message on a worldwide forum to your
>right to receive private email without the government censoring it --
>you need to take action NOW.  It'll take fifteen minutes at the most,
>a small sacrifice considering the issues at hand.  Remember, the age
>of fighting for liberty with muskets and shells is most likely over;
>the time has come where the keyboard and the phone line will prove
>mightier than the sword -- or the Senate, in this case.
>> Here's what you have to do to sign the petition:
>> send an e-mail message to:  S314-petition at
>> the message (NOT the subject heading) should read as follows:
>> SIGNED <your online address> <your full name> <U.S. Citizen (y/n)>
>> eg.  SIGNED lsewell at leland.Stanford.EDU  Laura Sewell  YES
>> If you are interested in signing the petition, I would highly suggest
>> investigating the details of the situation.  You can find out more on
>> the Web at or in the newsgroup

Linda Wolf
sg936cww at
Drexel University

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