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Re: Java & Netscape security [NOISE]

[email protected] writes:
> One point to be made is that at Universities we all have university accounts
> because people realise that there is no connection between our views and
> institute policy. The freedom to hold unpopular views being part of what
> universities are all about. On the other hand there is no such assuption
> concerning posts from foo.com.

People who realize this, and use a University account to make "politically
incorrect" statements, may be in for a rude surprise. Examples are posted way
too frequently to alt.censorship.

> On Phil Stromer, I don't think the Internet posts were the only point at issu
> He was very offensive however, it was not merely the views he posted but the
> manner in which he made them that caused offense. He also made a lot of
> assertions concerning other posters which might have led to legal action
> against Sun.

It was definitely dumb of Stromer to have posted from a Sun account. However
I'm sure that if he had posted from something like Netcom, and if he were known
to work for Sun, some guardians of political correctness would have complained
to Sun anyway. When I was in grad school, people used to complain to the grad
school about my politically incorrect writings coming from this BBS, which is
not affiliated with the school in any way (some of them were even forged :).

Since I've bothered digging up the following quote, I might as well post it:
Philip H. Stromer:
Contrib. post:
 He was another hate-filled bigot who posted rants about homosexuality.
He became obsessed with the idea that anal sex would wear out the
muscles of the digestive tract, causing incontinence; he also posted
long gloating messages about "AIDS-infested faggots".
 Eventually, Sun Microsystems fired him for breach of contract, for
posting messages which were intimidating and harassing to other
employees.  He sued them, and lost.  Appeared again from some
commercial site or other, but soon sunk out of view.
 A salutory lesson to those who believe that the Internet is a license
to spew bigotry.
 Oh yeah. I've read this clown's rantings from time to time, and the one
thing that occurs to me is that he and little Danny Karnes may be the same
person. This isn't a _claim_ that they are, mind you, but you'd hardly
know any better from their posts.
 (from the Business section of the San Jose Mercury News,
Friday, July 31, 1992)
"Email epithets spark Sun lawsuit" by Brandon Bailey
 By his own admission, Philip Stromer liked to push the
boundaries of good taste when he sent out jokes and
political statements on his employer's electronic mail network.
 But according to a lawsuit filed this week in Santa
Clara County Superior Court, Stromer pushed too far.
 The 32-year-old technical writer says he was fired by
Sun Microsystems in April after he sent a series of
email messages that were anything but politically correct.
 The messages were posted on an electronic bulletin
board used by Sun workers to exchange jokes and
running commentary on a variety of topcis unrelated to their jobs.
 "I was just trying to make conversation," Stromer
said in an interview.  "I would normally take whatever position was unpopular."
 His electronic broadsides ranged from pro-Israel
and anti-abortion arguments to jokes about AIDS
and graphic epithets about gays.  Eventually he
signed on to a nationwide computer network using
his terminal at Sun and typed what he described
as "some very extremely nasty stuff" on a bulletin
board used primarily to exchange sarcastic insults and vitriolic humor.
 A Sun spokeswoman said the company would not comment.
 The case raises interesting questions about the
increasing popularity of electronic bulletin
boards and message systems on which users can
type all kinds of outrageous statements without
having to look their audience in the eye.  Stromer
says he always signed his own name to his messages
and never meant to threaten anyone personally.
But several legal experts say that anti-discrimination
laws require management to step in when employees
create an atmosphere that is hostile or intimidating to any group.
 "An occasional joke, maybe," said Patricia Shiu, staff
attorney at the non-profit Employment Law Center in
San Francisco.  "But if an employer (allows) that kind
of thing repeatedly, he exposes himself to liability
for allowing a discriminatory environment."
 In his lawsuit, Stromer claims his bosses violated his
right to free expression.  He said he was just trying
to liven up the conversations that Sun employees routinely
conduct on a variety of email bulletin boards.  And he
compared himself with comedian Lenny Bruce.  (Stromer
said he had been scolded before but he drew his first
written reprimand from Sun for a joke about AIDS and
Magic Johnson, and another about AIDS and anal sex.)
"This type of exchange... is deemed by Sun management
to show poor judgment and blatant disregard for the
feelings of coworkers," said the reprimand.
 By Stromer's account, he was fired after he used his
work computer to hurl messages including graphic epithets
at gays across a national network.  The network automatically
identified the messages as coming from a Sun computer.
 Stromer is acting as his own attorney.  He said he sought
help from the American Civil Liberties Union and a
conservative foundation but both told him his employer
had a right to regulate his speech on company computers.
= = =
[Typed in by sf at dec and reposted w/o his permission, which is why
I'm leaving his name off / JBL]
 Aha. So _that's_ the reason he ceased to infest alt.flame! I just thought that
his net access had been stripped, like a kook of a different stripe (I'm
referring to the dreaded David J. Rasmussen, of course), but I probably
just ran into his post-Sun output instead.
One does wonder how working for a company justifies the posting of such
crapola via a system the company owns. Ah well...


<a href="mailto:[email protected]">Dr. Dimitri Vulis</a>
Brighton Beach Boardwalk BBS, Forest Hills, N.Y.: +1-718-261-2013, 14.4Kbps