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

At 01:03 AM 9/9/96 -0700, Timothy C. May wrote:
>CNN is presenting coverage of China's decision to pull the plug on more
>than 100 sites, and issuing a list of sites which are illegal to connect
>(Net censorship is getting to be a big story....when the list of countries
>reaches 15, it will of course no longer be news. And when the United States
>block access, this will all be transmogrified into an "Anti-Terrorist

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.

Meanwhile the most dangerous sites are not ones on any banned list but the
simple sites individuals put up for their hobbies and businesses which get
them used to the networked world and get them used to independent thought
and action.  To being actors rather than passive consumers.  Questioning,
building, developing a sense of their own powers.  Soaking up the
libertarian culture of the nets through their skins without even noticing it.  

More dangerous than fulminate of mercury.


"If people do lots of things they get used to doing lots of things.  If
people make lots of choices they get used to making lots of choices.  If
people get used to doing and choosing pretty soon they get used to being
free without even noticing it."