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U.K. cyberporn fearstorm, Singapore attacks Julf, from HotWired

Sgt. Toby Tyler is actually a bit of a cypherpunk. He told me he 
"absolutely" supports anonymous remailers -- repressive governments in 
Asia and all that. He just doesn't think that many people will use 'em.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 05:55:26 -0700 (PDT)
From: Declan McCullagh <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Subject: U.K. cyberporn fearstorm, Singapore attacks Julf, from HotWired

[Also in today's Netizen on HotWired is a report from India on their 
Net-regulations and Brock in Muckraker on the White House's new "Key 
Recovery Initiative" anti-crypto legislation. Check out 
http://www.hotwired.com/ --Declan]



HotWired, The Netizen   
6-8 Sept 96

   Finnish Line
   by Declan McCullagh
   Washington, DC, 5 September

   Call it a cyberporn fear-storm: Splashed across the front page of
   the 25 August issue of the London Observer was a hysterical report
   naming Finnish pseudonymous remailer operator Julf Helsingius as the
   "man US police-experts charge with being at the hub of 90 percent of
   the child pornography on the Internet."
   The report continued: "'Somewhere between 75 and 90 percent of all the
   child pornography I see is supplied through this remailer,' said Toby
   Tyler of the FBI." That was enough to make Helsingius - already
   reeling under threats from the Singapore government and repeated legal
   attacks from the always-litigious Church of Scientology - pull the
   plug on his anon.penet.fi site last Friday.
   But in trying to milk the story, the Observer went too far. The "FBI
   investigator" the paper cited as their only support for the
   accusations doesn't exist.
   In truth, Tyler is a sergeant in California's San Bernardino sheriff's
   office, and he says the Observer intentionally misrepresented his
   identity and his statements.
   Tyler says "there's very little of the story I agree with," and the
   Observer took a conversation he had with a reporter "and selectively
   chose words that would mean what they wanted."


   Helsingius blames the Observer for scaremongering. "It was quite clear
   that they were trying to create a story where there was none ... I
   quite clearly outlined why my server wasn't transmitting child porn,"
   Helsingius said. "I stated that the Finnish police had investigated
   and found that it wasn't. These comments were ignored. They wanted to
   make a story so they made things up."

   Still, a malicious front-page splash in the Observer isn't the full
   extent of Helsingius's troubles. Now he's also up against the
   Singapore government, which has demanded the identity of one of the
   users in his half-million-person database...
   The unknown user, who has the email address [email protected],
   posted hundreds of messages to the soc.culture.singapore newsgroup
   under the name of "Lee Kwan Yew," the retired prime minister of
   Singapore. The messages are short and unimaginative, yet apparently
   are just enough to piss off the thin-skinned Singaporean officials.
   One post reads: "We are small and vulnerable. Without regulations, we
   will be like Hong Kong, oops, fuck, bad example, they are actually
   doing quite all right. - SM Lee Kwan Yew, Republic of Singapore."
   Now that a Finnish court recently ruled that the remailer's database
   could be breached in a Scientology case, Helsingius says he's not sure
   what might happen. In the meantime, he's stuck somewhere between a
   sensationalist British newspaper and a Singaporean government bent on
   silencing opposition.


Links from the article:

   Linkname: hysterical report in London Observer
   Filename: http://www.scallywag.com/obtext.htm

   Linkname: Singapore banning Web pages
   Filename: http://www.eff.org/~declan/global/sg/

   Linkname: hundreds of messages pseudonymously posted
   Filename: http://www.eff.org/~declan/global/sg/anon.posts.090596.txt