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Re: KidCode: Next steps

From: Nathaniel Borenstein <nsb@nsb.fv.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 1995 07:34:52 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <4jtK3Qn0Eyt5Q7OIVa@nsb.fv.com>
To: Wes Morgan <morgan@engr.uky.edu>, Norderhaug.CHI@xerox.com (Terje Norderhaug)
Cc: rating@junction.net, www-talk@www10.w3.org
Excerpts from mail: 19-Jun-95 Re: KidCode: Next steps Terje
Norderhaug@Xerox.c (3253*)

> However, why should we faciliate the activities of the Christian Coalition?
> Implementing technology that makes their job easier is a highly political
> decision. How did such groups get into a position where they have the
> power to strongly affect the technology - and thus the life - of everybody
> else?

Politics.  That's how.  I don't like it, but it's a fact of life.

The reality, for those of us in the United States, is that these groups
have a tremendous amount of power.  Look at the overwhelming majority by
which the Senate passed the Exon amendment.  I don't think of this as
technology that makes the CC's job easier.  I think of it as technology
that can give the middle-of-the-road people -- who will ultimately make
the political decisions -- a non-censorious alternative in between
"anything goes" and all-out censorship.

If I thought that by ignoring the censors we could make them go away, or
make them irrelevant, I wouldn't be bothering with this effort.  But the
reality right now is that, in the US, anything posted on the Internet is
already liable to be held obscene by the standards of the most
narrow-minded jurisdiction on the net.  The situation is already bad &
could get a lot worse.  In today's America, if the only choices is
between A) a total lack of even voluntary restrictions and B) ham-handed
censorship, the latter will almost certainly win.

Moreover, as bad as I happen to think the situation is in America, it's
actually much *worse* in most of the world.  Those who complain about
the Christian Coalition won't get a lot of sympathy from the Saudis.  --
Nathaniel S. Borenstein <nsb@fv.com>    |           When privacy is outlawed,
Chief Scientist, First Virtual Holdings |     only outlaws will have privacy!
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Received on Monday, 19 June 1995 07:37:06 UTC

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