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Re: China joins Singapore, Germany, ....

At 6:29 PM 9/9/96, Duncan Frissell wrote:

>Course there hasn't really been much net censorship.  Germany and China's
>attempts have not been effective.  The Feds lack a mechanism for "blocking
>sites."  There is no one in a position to give such an order.  There is no
>chance that such an order would be obeyed in any widespread way in any case.
>Outlaw boards crackdowns didn't diminish the number of outlaw boards.  Porno
>boards crackdowns did not diminish the number of porno boards.  Since it is
>easier to create a site than it is to set up a board, legal maneuvers by the
>Feds won't work.
>Making sites "illegal to connect to" is meaningless because most users won't
>even know what is on the list and most of those who do will be encouraged to
>connect to them rather than discouraged.

While I agree with Duncan's sentiments (obviously) and even agree that
censorship is impossible to completely implement, I think Duncan is
oversimplifying and thus trivializing the dangers to Chinese, German,
Singaporan, etc., subjects.

Prison sentences in Germany for those who reveal forbidden information
about "the Holocaust," prison terms (or worse) for dissidents in Burma,
China, and, of course, various other nations and "democratic people's

Even here in the United States, connecting to an illegal site may mean
imprisonment. (The charge: trafficking in child pornography, for example.)

Rather than saying such laws are "meaningless," developing blinded,
steganographic, etc. proxies may be a more useful strategy.

--Tim May

We got computers, we're tapping phone lines, I know that that ain't allowed.
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected]  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1,257,787-1 | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."