Internet Censorship Bill

Several of you are thinking about doing research papers on privacy and
censorship issues vis a vis the Internet and the WWW.  You might find 
this interesting:


                    * * * FORWARDED MESSAGE* * *

   Subject: URGENT PETITION -- Fight Govt. Censorship!

A matter has come to my attention that is of the utmost importance to all of 
us online.

Simply put, a couple of senators have proposed a particularly
heinous piece of legislation titled the "Communications
Decency Act of 1995"  (Senate Bill S. 314).  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

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@netcom.com
> 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@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    http://www.wookie.net/~slowdog [this is outdated --
  try http://www.phantom.com/~slowdog/  --Dan].