Protesting the CDA- aka Mourning the 1st Amendment

Michael W. Ridenhour gandalf at infi.net
Sat Feb 10 22:58:03 EST 1996


admin at SCONCEPT.COM wrote:
>
> 
> Readers of Bionet.Audiology:
> 
> We are in mourning.
> 
> You may have heard about President Clinton's signing of the
> Telecommunications Bill this morning. This bill contains a provision
> called the "Communications Decency Act". The language used in this
> provision is deliberately vague and undefined. It is also
> unconstitutional.
> 
> The CDA was designed to severely restrict free speech on the internet.
> Anyone convicted of sending or providing "indecent" or "offensive"
> language or material (undefined in the provision) could face up to 2
> years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.
> 
> Both houses of Congress and the President were informed that the
> language will not survive it's first court challenge. In fact, within
> 2 hours of the bill being signed into law, the ACLU filed a request
> for an injuction pending a constitutional review of the law. (as
> heard on NPR)
> 
> The CDA will affect everyone on the internet- U.S. citizens or not.
> 
> The Voters Telecommunications Watch, which has been organizing the
> opposition to the bill (now law), has organized a protest- the
> blackout of the WWW. People and organizations are voluntarily turning
> their Web sites black for 48 hours, with a message about the protest.
> It's being called "Paint it Black" or (I think more appropriately! ;)
> the "Thousand Points of Darkness" campaign.
> 
> Internet users are not second class citizens. Our freedom of speech
> does not end when we turn on our computers. The CDA says we are, and
> it does.
> 
I do not see what all the fuss is about. Has anyone looked at IRC
lately? The first 100 or so groups are about teensex, or boysexpics
or some such thing. I wish to have a chat with others in groups I am
interested in without the garbage being the only thing I can see
until the channel list is complete. The perverts use tricky titles
so that they can be in front of the queue, such as#******etc. Since 
the list is alphanumeric, they are at the front of the line. I will
not miss them.
A great Supreme Court justice once said that freedom of speech
does not allow one to shout "Fire" in a crowded theater. Using the
net for sexually explicit activities is self-serving and wrong. Kids
often use the net. They should have a childhood. Don't rob
those we work with, to help to communicate, of their innocence!
This junk is typical hysterical hogwash from the lunatic fringe. Chill
out,dudes.
I expect your "freedom of speech" will go on as ever. Maybe, if we're 
lucky, it will just go back in the closet, and into the darkness
where it belongs. Do your nasty deeds if you wish, but don't inflict
them on me, nor on little kids.

Congratulations to the President and Congress!

Michael Ridenhour



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