ACLU Files Amicus Brief in U.S. v Thomas (AABBC Ca
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Date: Mon, 24 Apr 95 22:57 CDT
From: Cu Digest (firstname.lastname@example.org) <TK0JUT2@MVS.CSO.NIU.EDU>
Subject: Cu Digest, #7.32
Computer underground Digest Sun Apr 23, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 32
Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET)
Archivist: Brendan Kehoe
Shadow Master: Stanton McCandlish
Field Agent Extraordinaire: David Smith
Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth
Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala
Copy Desecrator: Emo Shrdlu
CONTENTS, #7.32 (Sun, Apr 23, 1995)
File 1--ACLU Files Amicus Brief in U.S. v Thomas (AABBC Case)
File 2--ex-Public Safety Officer Charged w/Distrib. of BBS "Obscenity"
File 3--New list: CACI--Children Accessing Controversial Info (fwd)
File 4--Supreme Court opinion reaffirming right to comm anonymity
File 5--Summercon Info...
File 6--** The Cyberspace Society **
File 7--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 19 Apr, 1995)
CuD ADMINISTRATIVE, EDITORIAL, AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION APPEARS IN
THE CONCLUDING FILE AT THE END OF EACH ISSUE.
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 1995 16:29:11 -0400
From: ACLU Information <infoaclu@ACLU.ORG>
Subject: File 1--ACLU Files Amicus Brief in U.S. v Thomas (AABBC Case)
For Immediate Release
April 17, 1995
ACLU Files In Groundbreaking Computer Obscenity Case;
Friend-of-the-Court Brief Seeks to Overturn Tennessee Conviction
NEW YORK, April 17 -- The American Civil Liberties Union, seeking to
secure the future of free communication on the Internet, has filed a
friend-of-the-court brief in what is believed to be the first case
involving the cross-country prosecution and conviction of computer
bulletin board operators.
In its brief, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth
Circuit in Tennessee, the ACLU urges the court to overturn the
conviction of Robert Thomas and Carleen Thomas of Milpitas,
California. The Thomases own and operate a computer bulletin board
that specializes in the posting of sexually explicit words and
The couple was indicted and convicted in the U.S. District Court in
Tennessee because a U.S. postal inspector learned of their bulletin
board and filed a fake application seeking access to its contents.
Once he obtained access, the postal inspector downloaded several
pictures from the California-based bulletin board, which a U.S.
Attorney then deemed to be ~obscene~ under the "local community
standards" of Tennessee.
In its brief, which was also filed on behalf of the ACLU affiliates
in Tennessee and Northern California and the National Writers Union,
Feminists for Free Expression and the Thomas Jefferson Center for the
Protection of Free Expression, the ACLU charges that the government is
engaged in a "clumsy attempt to censor communications in cyberspace
through application of an obscenity law and standards wholly
inappropriate for this new medium."
"Computer networks have created vast new fora for the exchange of
ideas," the ACLU's brief said. "They have created new communities with
new opportunities for people with similar interests to communicate
with each other.
"Until now," the brief continues, "computer networks have been
faithful to the values of the First Amendment. They have fostered,
encouraged and even nurtured the robust exchange of ideas.In this case
the government seeks to use a criminal law never intended to apply to
computer communications, to put a brake on that development, to stifle
the explosive creativity and breadth of expression occuring on
The full text of the ACLU~s brief in Thomas vs. United States of
America is available in the ACLU's Free Reading Room, a gopher site
(address below) in the Court section, under National Office
ACLU Free Reading Room | American Civil Liberties Union
gopher://aclu.org:6601 | 132 W. 43rd Street, NY, NY 10036
mailto:email@example.com| "Eternal vigilance is the
ftp://ftp.pipeline.com | price of liberty"
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 1995 10:50:11 -0500 (CDT)
From: David Smith <bladex@BGA.COM>
Subject: File 2--ex-Public Safety Officer Charged w/Distrib. of BBS "Obscenity"
Question : This is very much like the Tony Davis case in Oklahoma, who
was arrested for the same charge of distribution of obscene images from
CD-Roms bought from the back of national magazines. Why are the CD-Rom
manufacturers never charged with distributing obscene material?
---------- Forwarded message ----------
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
A VETERAN DPS OFFICER GIVES HIS SIDE
The ex-Department of Public Safety Officer who is charged with the
distribution of obscene materials on his computer bulletin board
system plead "not guilty" this morning. Lorne Shantz, a 17-year
veteran police officer, was arraigned at the Maricopa County
Shantz operated an electronic bulletin board system called "The
Wishbook" as a hobby and public service. There were close to 4,000
users, of which approximately 400 financially contributed. This was
a non-mandatory contribution. The money contributed was used to
defray operating costs of the bulletin board. The other 3,600 users
were casual users who didn't give any financial support.
The 400 users who did contribute were given more access to the
system that included Internet access, CD-ROM files and more time
on-line each day.
The files the County Attorney's Office is alleging to be obscene
were not available to the general public. In fact, every effort was
made by Shantz to prevent obscene files from existing on the system.
Shantz purchased commercial CD-ROMS from a national distributor.
According to the County Attorney's Office, the alleged files are
found on the CD-ROMS, not on Shantz's hard drive system. Users of
"The Wishbook" who wanted access to the adult area had to submit a
written application and a photocopy of identification to verify they
were adults. At no time did Shantz knowingly allow the distribution
of obscene materials on his bulletin board.
"It defies logic why Lorne Shantz would risk his career, his
livelihood, his retirement, his reputation and his family to
distribute disgusting and unwanted files on his bulletin board.
Clearly, these files are not of a general interest," said Peter
Balkan, Shantz's attorney.
The bulletin board had nearly 500,000 files, of which almost 40,000
were of adult nature. The alleged files made up less than
one/one-thousandth (.001) of one percent of all files.
At the time of his termination, Shantz was classified as an
Officer III and had been an employee with DPS for nearly 15 years.
Prior to working at DPS, Shantz was a Yavapai County Deputy Sheriff
for two years and a reserve Deputy for one year. Shantz was eligible
for retirement in July of 1998, just three years from now.
Jeffrey Adcock, Shantz's brother-in-law, has set up a defense fund
to help Shantz defend himself. "I've known Lorne for seven years and
have had the opportunity to ride as a civilian observer with him
while he was on duty. He was a good cop who took his job seriously.
He has spent all of his adult life trying to protect other people.
These allegations are outrageous and untrue."
People wishing to contribute to the defense fund can send donations
to The Lorne Shantz Defense Fund, c/o Jeffrey Adcock, P.O.Box 273,
Litchfield Park, Arizona, 85340.
-End of Press Release-
The contents of this official News Release, are made available at no
cost by The JCCS Multiline BBS, whose owners and staff fully support
Lorne Shantz Defense Fund.
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1995 00:18:30 -0500 (CDT)
From: David Smith <bladex@BGA.COM>
Subject: File 3--New list: CACI--Children Accessing Controversial Info (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
a mailing list devoted to discussing
Children Accessing Controversial Information
through computer networks
A lot of kids are getting online these days--sharing data about acid
rain, talking about social issues, meeting adults as well as kids, and
learning about other cultures. Computer networks hold tremendous
promise, but also raise difficult issues which need to be discussed
openly. Unfortunately, much of the publicity related to these issues
has only dealt with potential dangers--and it has not encouraged
reflection on solutions.
Can children be prevented from accessing materials which are
controversial? Is preventing access even desirable? We believe
censorship is not the answer. What alternatives do we have or could
we provide? How do we talk with children about these issues? What
can we say to concerned parents and school administrators? How and by
whom are community standards set?
The stakes are clear: if we don't find ways to manage these difficult
issues, parents and school administrators may choose to deny children
access to networking in an attempt to protect them. And prohibitions
against undirected exploration through networking could prevent many
of the benefits which the technology could support.
We hope to form a community of people interested in discussing these
issues and developing helpful materials. Complementing the ongoing
online discussion, a round table discussion will be held at the
upcoming American Educational Research Association conference in San
Francisco. (12:25 pm on Wednesday, April 19th. See our web page for
Send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The body of the message should say: subscribe
If you have difficulty, email email@example.com
This announcement as well as additional information may be found at
using any web browser.
Please forward this announcement to others who may be interested.
-- Amy Bruckman and Michele Evard, MIT Media Lab
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 1995 01:22:18 -0500
From: jim thomas <tk0jut1@CS.NIU.EDU>
Subject: File 4--Supreme Court opinion reaffirming right to comm anonymity
((MODERATORS' NOTE: The following was provided by Mike Godwin)
The Supreme Court reaffirmed yesterday the right to anonymity in
Here's the syllabus of the opinion:
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
McINTYRE, executor of ESTATE OF McINTYRE,
DECEASED v. OHIO ELECTIONS COMMISSION
certiorari to the supreme court of ohio
No. 93-986. Argued October 12, 1994-Decided April 19, 1995
After petitioner's decedent distributed leaflets purporting to express
the views of ``CONCERNED PARENTS AND TAX PAYERS'' oppos-
ing a proposed school tax levy, she was fined by respondent for
violating 3599.09(A) of the Ohio Code, which prohibits the distribu-
tion of campaign literature that does not contain the name and
address of the person or campaign official issuing the literature.
The Court of Common Pleas reversed, but the Ohio Court of Ap-
peals reinstated the fine. In affirming, the State Supreme Court
held that the burdens 3599.09(A) imposed on voters' First Amend-
ment rights were ``reasonable'' and ``nondiscriminatory'' and therefore
valid. Declaring that 3599.09(A) is intended to identify persons
who distribute campaign materials containing fraud, libel, or false
advertising and to provide voters with a mechanism for evaluating
such materials, the court distinguished Talley v. California, 362
U. S. 60, in which this Court invalidated an ordinance prohibiting
all anonymous leafletting.
Held: Section 3599.09(A)'s prohibition of the distribution of anony-
mous campaign literature abridges the freedom of speech in viola-
tion of the First Amendment. Pp. 7-24.
(a) The freedom to publish anonymously is protected by the First
Amendment, and, as Talley indicates, extends beyond the literary
realm to the advocacy of political causes. Pp. 7-9.
(b) This Court's precedents make abundantly clear that the Ohio
Supreme Court's reasonableness standard is significantly more
lenient than is appropriate in a case of this kind. Although Talley
concerned a different limitation than 3599.09(A) and thus does not
necessarily control here, the First Amendment's protection of ano-
nymity nevertheless applies. Section 3599.09(A) is not simply an
election code provision subject to the ``ordinary litigation'' test set
forth in Anderson v. Celebrezze, 460 U. S. 780, and similar cases.
Rather, it is a regulation of core political speech. Moreover, the
category of documents it covers is defined by their content-only
those publications containing speech designed to influence the voters
in an election need bear the required information. See, e.g., First
Nat. Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U. S. 765, 776-777. When a
law burdens such speech, the Court applies ``exacting scrutiny,''
upholding the restriction only if it is narrowly tailored to serve an
overriding state interest. See, e.g., id., at 786. Pp. 9-14.
© Section 3599.09(A)'s anonymous speech ban is not justified by
Ohio's asserted interests in preventing fraudulent and libelous
statements and in providing the electorate with relevant informa-
tion. The claimed informational interest is plainly insufficient to
support the statute's disclosure requirement, since the speaker's
identity is no different from other components of a document's
contents that the author is free to include or exclude, and the
author's name and address add little to the reader's ability to
evaluate the document in the case of a handbill written by a private
citizen unknown to the reader. Moreover, the state interest in
preventing fraud and libel (which Ohio vindicates by means of other,
more direct prohibitions) does not justify 3599.09(A)'s extremely
broad prohibition of anonymous leaflets. The statute encompasses
all documents, regardless of whether they are arguably false or
misleading. Although a State might somehow demonstrate that its
enforcement interests justify a more limited identification require-
ment, Ohio has not met that burden here. Pp. 14-20.
(d) This Court's opinions in Bellotti, 435 U. S., at 792, n.
32-which commented in dicta on the prophylactic effect of requiring
identification of the source of corporate campaign advertising-and
Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U. S. 1, 75-76-which approved mandatory
disclosure of campaign-related expenditures-do not establish the
constitutionality of 3599.09(A), since neither case involved a prohi-
bition of anonymous campaign literature. Pp. 20-23.
67 Ohio St. 3d 391, 618 N. E. 2d 152, reversed.
Stevens, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which O'Connor,
Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Ginsburg, J.,
filed a concurring opinion. Thomas, J., filed an opinion concurring in
the judgment. Scalia, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Rehn-
quist, C. J., joined.
Date: Sat, 22 Apr 1995 18:21:41 -0500
From: Phrack Magazine <phrack@FC.NET>
Subject: File 5--Summercon Info...
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Phrack Magazine and Computer Security Technologies proudly present:
The 1995 Summer Security Conference
June 2-4 1995 @ the Downtown Clarion Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia
This is the official announcement and open invitation to the 1995
incarnation of Summercon. In the past, Summercon was an invite-only
hacker gathering held annually in St. Louis, Missouri. Starting
with this incarnation, Summercon is open to any and all interested
parties: Hackers, Phreaks, Pirates, Virus Writers, System Administrators,
Law Enforcement Officials, Neo-Hippies, Secret Agents, Teachers,
Disgruntled Employees, Telco Flunkies, Journalists, New Yorkers,
Programmers, Conspiracy Nuts, Musicians and Nudists.
The Clarion Hotel is located in downtown Atlanta, 9 miles from
Hartsfield International Airport and just a few blocks from the
Peachtree Center MARTA Station.
Considering the exorbitant expenses involved with attending other
conferences of this type, Rooms at Summercon are reduced to
$65 per night for Single or Double Occupancy
The Clarion Hotel Downtown, Courtland at 70 Houston St., NE,
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 659-2660 or (800) 241-3828 (404) 524-5390 (fax)
No one likes to pay a hundred dollars a night. We don't expect you
to have to. Spend your money on room service, drinks in the hotel bar,
or on k-rad hacker t-shirts. Remember: Mention that you are attending
Summercon in order to receive the discount.
75/85 Southbound - Exit 97 (Courtland). Go 3 blocks south on Courtland
then turn left on Houston (John Wesley Dobbs Ave.)
20 East - Exit 75/85 North at International. Turn Left on Courtland at
Houston Ave. NE. (aka. John Wesley Dobbs Ave. NE.)
20 West - Exit 75/85 North at International. One block to Courtland
and right at Houston Ave. NE. (John Wesley Dobbs Ave. NE.)
Atlanta Airport Shuttle - The Express Bus that leaves from Atlanta's
International Airport will drop you off at many hotels in the downtown
area, including the Clarion. The shuttle should be no more than 12
dollars. Fares may be paid at the Airport Shuttle in the Ground
Transportation area of the Airport Terminal.
MARTA - The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), is a
convenient and inexpensive way to negotiate most of the Atlanta area.
Take the MARTA train from the Airport to the Peach Tree Center Station.
Walk three blocks down Houston to the intersection of Houston and
Courtland. The MARTA fare will be roughly 2 dollars.
Taxis - The average cab fare from Atlanta's Airport to the downtown area
is roughly 30 dollars.
It has always been our contention that cons are for socializing.
"Seekret Hacker InPh0" is never really discussed except in private
circles, so the only way anyone is going to get any is to meet new people
and take the initiative to start interesting conversations.
Because of this, the formal speaking portion of Summercon will be
held on one day, not two or three, leaving plenty of time for people
to explore the city, compare hacking techniques, or go trashing and
clubbing with their heretofore unseen online companions.
The "Conference" will be held on June 3rd from roughly 11:00 am until
6:00 pm with a 1 hour lunch break from 1:00 to 2:00.
NO VIDEO TAPING WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM. Audio Taping
and still photography will be permitted.
CURRENT LIST OF SPEAKERS:
Robert Steele - Ex-Intelligence Agent, Founder and CEO of Open Source
Solutions (a private sector intelligence firm)
Topic: Hackers from the Intelligence Perspective
Winn Schwartau - Author of "Information Warfare" and "Terminal Compromise",
Publisher of Security Insider Report, and noted security
Topic: Electromagnetic Weaponry
Bob Stratton - Information Security Expert from one of America's largest
Internet service providers
Topic: The Future of TCP/IP Security
Eric Hughes - Cryptography Expert and founding member of the "Cypherpunks"
Topic: Cryptography, Banking, and Commerce
Annaliza Savage - London-based Director/Producer
Topic: Discussion of her documentary "Unauthorized Access"
(Followed by a public screening of the film)
Chris Goggans - Editor of Phrack Magazine and Summercon M.C.
Topic: introductions, incidentals and a topic which is sure
to culminate in an international incident.
(Other Speakers May Be Added - Interested parties may contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
Since other cons of this type have been charging from 25 to 40 dollars
entry fees, we are only charging 10 dollars. Yes, that's correct,
TEN (10) dollars in US currency. Money is far too scarce among the
hacker community to fleece everyone for money they will probably need
to eat with or pay for their hotel rooms.
WHAT TO DO IN ATLANTA:
To attempt to make everyone's stay in Atlanta more exciting, we are
contacting local establishments to arrange for special discounts and/or
price reductions for Summercon attendees. Information will be handed
out regarding these arrangements at the conference.
Atlanta is a happening town.
Touristy Stuff Party Time
The World of Coca-Cola Buckhead
Underground Atlanta The Gold Club
Georgia Dome (Baseball?) (Countless Other Clubs and Bars)
CONTACTING SUMMERCON SPONSORS
You can contact the Summercon sponsors by several means:
Snail Mail: Phrack Magazine
603 W. 13th #1A-278
Austin, TX 78701
If deemed severely urgent, you can PGP your email with the following PGP
- -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
- -----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
See you in Atlanta!
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
Date: 21 Apr 1995 00:06:14 -0700
From: email@example.com (Richard K. Moore)
Subject: File 6--** The Cyberspace Society **
Dear Cyber Citizens,
I am pleased to forward this annoucement of the formation of The
Cyberspace Society. As you will see below, CS is a quite different
kind of endeavor than the Cyber Rights Campaign. CS is an initiative
aimed at transforming the very governance of the world, in the
direction of what I would call "enlightened democracy".
Is this so ambitious as to be not worth attempting? I think not. If
selfish economic interests, representing only a handfull of wealthy
individuals, can attempt to create a New World Order catering to their
avarice, why can't the rest of us -- the overwhelming majority --
pursue instead a vision more conducive to global justice and economic
As computer visionary Alan Kay is wont to say: "A great project is not
much more difficult than good project; why not go for greatness?"
Please be assured that my attention and focus will remain with
cyber-rights and cyberjournal. I have no moderation or administrative
duties in the Cyberspace Society.
Date--Sun, 16 Apr 1995 22:55:46 -0400 (EDT)
From--Vigdor Schreibman - FINS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To--Vigdor Schreibman - FINS <email@example.com>
Subject--Global Grass Roots "Cyberspace Society" Launched
-----------------Cyberspace Society Charter---------------------
_ _ __ __ __ __ ^ _ __ __---__
/ \/ |_\ |_ |_/ \ |_\ /_\ / |_ - | -
\_ | |_/ |_ | \ _\ | / \ \_ |_ - | -
- /|\ -
SOCIETY -_/ | \_-
making the world safe for enlightened democracy
April 17, 1995
SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER:
A Call For Establishment of "The Cyberspace Society"
By Vigdor Schreibman, W. Curtiss Priest, and Richard K. Moore
The moving sociopolitical forces presently shaping the Information Age
includes industry groups such as computer, information,
telecommunications, broadcasting, and cable. They have colossal
monopoly and oligopoly-based resources of, perhaps, half a trillion
dollars with which to plan for their future and acquire the necessary
political influence to implement such plans.
Similar coalitions of mega-corporate interests are behind the various
efforts to create super-national organizations based on treaty-status
agreements such as NAFTA, GATT, and Maastricht. These agreements seek
to supersede national sovereignty by un-elected commissions dominated
by corporate representatives. However we may criticize the
governments of the various Western Democracies, they at least include
a modicum of popular representation, and should be much-preferred to
the corporate commissions that threaten to replace them.
In the US, the UK, Mexico, and in many other countries, governments
are using their positions of temporary power to commit their nations
to agreements, which surrender sovereignty to these commissions, and
thereby limit the ability of future governments to fulfill their
democratic representational mandates. For years, large corporations
have been consolidating their control over these governments and the
electoral process and are now cashing in their chips in an attempt to
achieve global hegemony for corporate power, to replace democracy,
such as it is, with a new form of Feudalism. Ideology is used as a
tool to manipulate the political process. So called "conservatives"
in the US with a new style of political leadership are now attempting
to massively restructure American public life along reactionary lines.
Syndicated columnist Jonathan Yardly wrote in an article in The
Washington Post Dec. 26, 1994, that these leaders "would have us
believe ... that they are 'conservatives,' but in truth the ideology
they espouse has virtually nothing to do with conservativism as it is
properly understood and almost everything to do with avarice,
jingoism, intolerance, boosterism, moral relativism, religiosity and
just plain meanness." New insight to turn the new world order away
from its present course toward more enlightened purposes is now of
greater urgency than ever.
For the most part, people get their reading of these events through
the corporate-dominated media. The larger pattern of events is
intentionally concealed by this media, whose owners tend to be the
same corporate forces engineering the changes. Internet provides a
unique vehicle for 'going around' the mass media and providing for
ourselves an independent means of sharing information and views.
Unfortunately, the democratic openness of Internet itself is also
under attack by these same forces, who seem determined to restrict
freedom of expression on Internet, and replace the participatory
Internet culture with yet another corporate-controlled,
commercialized, mass-media channel.
But while the open Internet remains in existence, twenty million
networked souls throughout the world provide the basis for "gathering
together" people of good will and democratic spirit more effectively
than ever before in history. Non-trivial as a voting block in their
own right, the political potency of network organizing is even more
powerful in terms of the leverage it offers as an organizing
infrastructure, which can extend its reach by linking up in coalition
with traditional political organizations, local media, etc.
The threatening transformation that is now emerging in the US can be
resisted and, perhaps, even reversed by strong democratization of
Cyberspace. A significant role in future US national elections could
be realized by only 6 to 12 million voters, who represent 5 to 10
percent of total voters in the 1992 USA Presidential elections,
according to the calculations of Jim Warren, Net-based grassroots
political action wizard. This "voter arithmetic" applies to the USA
and to all other democratic nations with significant participation in
Among these 20 million are surely many who would welcome the
opportunity to join with others to help find the path toward a
democratic future for the world as we enter the era of the global
economy and the Information Age.
We hereby call for the creation of a ** Cyberspace Society **, to join
together such people of good will, people who are concerned with the
survival of humanity and the enrichment of the quality of life, and
who agree that a genuine democratic process is the surest hope for a
just and prosperous future.
The Cyberspace Society would at once be an evolving prototype/model
for the democratic process, an enlightened forum for the discussion of
democratic movements in the broader political world, and the forum of
strategies and coalitions to further the practice and benefits of
democracy in the world.
The strategic mission of Cyberspace Society would be to educate
ourselves and build the human capacity and strong democratic
institutional support systems during the period from 1995 to 2000,
designed to reclaim mastery over the political powers, as are
guaranteed to Americans by the US Constitution, and belong by natural
right to the citizens of all nations, and are in many cases guaranteed
by the laws and constitutions of those nations.
It is appropriate that a Cyberspace-based movement linked and
committed to serving the real world be encouraged for two reasons.
First, Cyberspace will become an increasingly significant "public
space," and if it is governed by narrow business self-interests, will
have momentous adverse effects on public discourse. Second,
Cyberspace--linked to the real world--provides the citizenry with an
incredibly potent instrument for education, collaboration, planning,
organization and global consensus building.
A strategic planning group is now being formed to establish a
framework for "The Cyberspace Society" based on: A) the Cyberspace
Ethic; and B) the Cyberspace Social Contract. Founding members of the
planning group include: Vigdor Schreibman, editor and publisher of
the Federal Information News Syndicate; W. Curtiss Priest, Ph.D.,
director of the Center for Information, Technology, and Society; and
Richard K. Moore, writer, and chairman of the Cyber-Rights Campaign of
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility.
* DRAFT * VISION STATEMENT FOR PLANNING A DESIRABLE FUTURE
BY CITIZENS OF "THE CYBERSPACE SOCIETY"
A. The Cyberspace Ethic
The new institution should educate citizens of Cyberspace, pursuant to an
enlightened democratic ethic for the future of the Information Age. As Ralph
Barton Perry, the philosopher of education, wrote "Democracy is that form
of social organization which most depends on ... the cultivation of
enlightened good will in the body of its citizens." John Warfield, a design
visionary, has observed that enlightened good will means the capacity to
analyze and resolve the issues facing society "through synthesis of ideas,
to arrive at positions that promote the general welfare of the society in
deference to selfish postures of individual pressure groups." There is now
available a body of knowledge and experience that has been applied
successfully in a large variety of academic and real-world situations, which
can facilitate collaborative group inquiry and action required under the
Cyberspace Ethic. A cellular structure will be used, and group work will be
systematically organized so as to include the desirable dimensions of
knowledge and perspective of the Cyberspace Society, including system
designers, system insiders, and system outsiders.
B. The Cyberspace Social Contract
The proposed social contract for Cyberspace should promote citizenship in
"The Cyberspace Society" that is responsive to that ethic. This must be
supported by instrumental measures that effectively support the paramount
social needs of the society and global environment in forms that are not
subject to countervailing profit pressures, which have traditionally
disregarded or even undermined desired social goods. The choice of such
measures would be made exclusively by the citizens of the Cyberspace Society.
The role of the strategic planners will not be to make such decisions but to
assist in the organization and facilitation of free and fair citizen choice.
A 3-part design is proposed:
1) a 3-level infrastructure,
2) a bill of rights, and
3) a set of applications constituting global challenges:
1. Cyberspace infrastructure -- three virtual networks --
interconnected to one another, but each operating with an independent
economic model and social purpose:
a. A public information infrastructure (PII) to assure that core
Government publications are made available in all useful formats for the free
use of the general public. PII would be developed and operated by a central
government institution in close collaboration with all government agencies,
libraries, colleges and universities, schools and other not-for-profit
entities throughout the nation;
b. A global "sustainable development" infrastructure (GSDI) to assure
preservation and restoration of the integrity of natural systems which
sustain both economic prosperity and life itself, and to foster economic
growth, environmental protection, and social equity as interdependent,
mutually reinforcing national goals. GSDI would follow the successful
Internet/NREN model using leveraged government funding, together with direct
financial support and management by not-for-profit and private institutions
at local, state, regional, national, and global levels. Access to GSDI would
be governed by an authorized use policy (AUP), connecting schools, libraries,
hospitals, and local governments to each other and to the Internet/GSDI for
those purposes; and
c. A global information infrastructure (GII), funded and managed by
private industry to provide free market access to voice, data, and video
telecommunications services. The GII would embrace the following six
principles: encourage private investment; promote competition; create a
flexible regulatory framework; provide open access to the network for all
information service providers; ensure universal service; and protect and
promote the free exchange of information and ideas on the GII.
2. Cyberspace bill of rights e.g.:
a. Common carrier structure, separating conduit and
b. Equal access and affordable service;
c. Freedom of expression, privacy, security, and copyright
3. Cyberspace global challenges applications e.g.:
a. Disease prevention and health promotion;
b. News and citizen discussion of issues in virtual communities
c. Distance learning, child development, worker retraining;
d. Manufacturing, and others.
Members of "The Cyberspace Society," are invited to support, criticize, or
amend the draft vision statement, for the betterment of humanity. Charter
membership in "The Cyberspace Society"--for individuals only--costs $10.00.
To become a charter member, send your check or money order to The Cyberspace
Society, c/o FINS, 18 - 9th Street, NE #206, Washington, DC 20002-6042.
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1995 22:51:01 CDT
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Subject: File 7--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 19 Apr, 1995)
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