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Message no. 1
From: The Vampire Lestat <lestat@*********.CAS.USF.EDU>
Subject: More depressing news . . .
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 1994 19:00:22 -0800

. . . from those wonderful guys up at Capitol Hill. Ypou'd think they'd
learn about what they legislate.

PC Week (April 1994)
John C. Dvorak

When Vice President Gore began talking about the Information Highway, we
all knew the bureaucrats would get involved more than we might like. In
fact, it may already be too late to stop a horrible Senate bill from
becoming law.

The moniker--Information Highway--itself seems to responsible for SB
#040194. Introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy, it's designed to prohibit
anyone from using a public computer network (Information Highway) while the
computer user is intoxicated. I know how silly this sounds, but Congress
apparently thinks that being drunk on a highway is bad no matter what kind
of highway it is. The bill is expected to pass this month.

There already are rampant arguments as to how this proposed law can
possibly be enforced. The FBI hopes to use it as an excuse to do routine
wiretaps on any computer if there is any evidence that the owner "uses or
abuses alcohol and has access to a modem." Note how it slips in the word
*uses*. This means if you've been seen drinking one lone beer, you can
have your line tapped.

Because this law would be so difficult to enforce, police officials are
drooling over the prospect of easily obtaining permits to do wiretaps. Ask
enforcement officials in Washington and they'll tell you the proposed law
is idiotic, but none will oppose it. Check the classified ads in the
Washington Post and you'll find the FBI, National Security Agency, and
something called the Online Enforcement Agency (when did they set that up?)
all soliciting experts in phone technology, specifically wiretapping.

It gets worse. The Congressional Record of February 19, 1994, has a report
that outlines the use of conputerized BBSs, Internet Inter-Relay Chat, and
CompuServe CB as "propogating illicit sexual encounters and meetings
between couples--any of whom are underage...Even people purporting to
routinely have sex with animals are present on these systems to foster
their odd beliefs on the public-at-large." A rider on SB #040194 makes it
a felony to discuss sexual matters on any public-access network, including
the Internet, Americal Online, and CompuServe.

I wondered how private companies such as America Online could be considered
public-access networks, so I called Senator Barbara Boxer's office and
talked to an aide, a woman named Felicia. She said the use of promotional
cards that give away a free hour or two of service consitiutes public
access. You know, like the ones found in the back of books or in modem
boxes. She also told me most BBS systems fall under this proposed statute.
When asked how they propose to enforce this law, she said it's not
Congress's problem. "Enforcement works itself out over time," she said.

The man fighting this moronic law is led by Jerome Bernstein of the
Washington law firm of Bernstein, Bernstein and Knowles (the firm that
first took on Ollie North as a client). I couldn't get in touch with any
of the co-sponsors of the bill (including Senator Ed Kennedy, if you can
believe it!), but Bernstein was glad to talk. "These people have no clue
about the Information Highway or what it does. The whole thing got started
last Christmas during an antidrinking campaign in the Washington, D.C.,
metro area," Bernstein said. "I'm convinced someone jokingly told Leahy's
office about drunk driving on the Information Highway and the idea
snowballed. These senators actually think there is a physical highway.
Seriously, Senator Pat Moynihan asked me if you needed a driving permit to
'drive' a modem on the information Highway! He has no clue what a modem
is, and neither does the rest of Congress."

According to Bernstein, the antisexual wording in the bill was attributed
to Kennedy's office. "Kennedy though that technology was leaving him
behind, and he wanted to be perceived as more up-to-date technologically.
He also thought this would make amends for his alleged philandering."

Unfortuanately, the public is not much better informed than the Senate.
The Gallup Organization, at the behest of Congress, is polling the public
regarding intoxication while using a computer and online "hot chatting."
The results are chilling. More than half of the public thinks that using a
computer while intoxicated should be illegal! The results of the sexuality
poll are not available. But one question, "Should a teenage boy be
encouraged to pretend he is a girl while chatting with another person
online?" has civil rights activists alarmed. According to Kevin Avril of
the ACLU, "This activity doesn't even qualify as virtual cross-dressing.
Who cares about this stuff? What are we going to do? Legislate an
anti-boys-will-be-boys law? It sets a bad precedent."

I could go on and on with quotes and complaints from people regarding this
bill. But most of the complaints are getting nowhere. Pressure groups,
such as one led by Baptist ministers from De Kalb County, Georgia, are
supporting the law with such vehemence that they've managed to derail an
effort by modem manufacturers (the biggest being Georgia-based Hayes) to
lobby against the law. "Who wants to come out and support drunkenness and
computer sex?" asked a congressman who requested anonymity.

So, except for Bernstein, Berstein and Knowles, and a few members of the
ACLU, there is nothing to stop this bill from becoming law. You can
register you protests with your congressperson or Ms. Lirpa Sloof in the
Senate Legislative Analysts Office. Her name spelled backward says it all.

,, "it's a damn poor man who can't spell a wyrd in more ,,
,OO, than one way!" -Thomas Jefferson ,OO,
O/\O Fly Orion express, the safest in the Federation O/\O
~~ bo@****** (king of the mutated quote) ~~

Dylan Northrup }{"Tomorrow's rain will wash the stains away
System Administrator & }{ But something in our mind will always stay"
Damn Nice Guy at }{ - Sting 'Fragile'
University of South Florida }{"Imagination is more important than knowledge"
lestat@********* }{ - Albert Einstein

Message no. 2
From: "Robert A. Hayden" <hayden@*******.MANKATO.MSUS.EDU>
Subject: Re: More depressing news . . .
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 1994 22:32:31 -0600
> You can
> register you protests with your congressperson or Ms. Lirpa Sloof in the
> Senate Legislative Analysts Office. Her name spelled backward says it all.

Lirpa Sloof
April Fools

Hee hee.

Actually, it's a day early, silly.

____ Robert A. Hayden <=> hayden@*******
\ /__ -=-=-=-=- <=> -=-=-=-=-
\/ / Finger for Geek Code Info <=> Political Correctness is
\/ Finger for PGP 2.3a Public Key <=> P.C. for "Thought Police"
(GEEK CODE 1.0.1) GAT d- -p+(---) c++(++++) l++ u++ e+/* m++(*)@ s-/++
n-(---) h+(*) f+ g+ w++ t++ r++ y+(*)
Message no. 3
From: Joshua James Harrison <harrij4@***.EDU>
Subject: Re: More depressing news . . .
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 1994 01:35:14 -0500
ROTFL! You had me going for a sec there, but about halfway through, I said to
myself, "This can't be true".

I really enjoyed it... rather well done...

*laughter fades off into distance*

Josh Harrison | A Elbereth Gilthoniel | "The Hedgehog"
aka A.M. Hawke | o menel palan-diriel, | \ \ | / /
Internet: | le nallon si di'nguruthos! | \ \ | / /
harrij4@***.edu | A tiro nin, Fanuilos! | --- O O ---
------------------------------------------------------------| / C \
'Now come, you filth!' he cried. 'You've hurt my master, | / m\_/m \
you brute, and you'll pay for it. We're going on; but we'll |---------------
settle with you first. Come on, and taste it again!' - Sam, "The Two Towers"
GE/T/O d++(--) -p+ c+(++) l u e+ m+(-) s+/ !n h f+(*) !g w+@ t+@ r(+) y?
Message no. 4
From: Carleton Tanner Jr <Carl.Tanner@*******.OIT.UNC.EDU>
Subject: Re: More depressing news . . .
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 12:39:25 EDT
Hardee fucking har...

This actually had me and Alex pissed off. I should have looked at who
wrote it. He seemed to have found a soft spot on the network. I was
reading in the chicago something or other that some people called in
raving mad to their senators. The guy is a genius :)

BTW I am trying to locate an awsome movie called gunhead. It was released
in japan in theaters but I think thats it. I saw clips from it in a music
video by Front Line Assembly. It looks to be very hardcore sci-fi
cyberpunk. I've got to get ahold of it. I think ill post to a newsgrop
(it will be my first... wheee) and see if anyone has heard of it.

I've got a question: if I post something to a new group does it get
transferred all over the net? Or does it depend on where the feeds come
from that determines how far it travels?

C ya
Carle II
Message no. 5
From: Stainless Steel Rat <ratinox@***.NEU.EDU>
Subject: Re: More depressing news . . .
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 13:26:06 -0400
>>>>> "Carleton" == Carleton Tanner
>>>>> writes:

Carleton> BTW I am trying to locate an awsome movie called gunhead. [...]
Carleton> I think ill post to a newsgrop (it will be my first... wheee) and
Carleton> see if anyone has heard of it.

Try the rec.arts.anime heirarchy.

|||| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | ||||
| Rat <ratinox@***> WWW Page: |
|I have one prejudice, and that is against stupidity. Use your mind, think!|
| --Zoner <megazone@***> |
|||| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | ||||
Message no. 6
From: "Seth A. Buntain" <enthar@***.EDU>
Subject: Re: More depressing news . . .
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 14:27:02 -0500
I would like to apologize to the list for this, somehow my friends mailer
picked up the Shadowrn mailing list address instead of mine when he used the
reply function. That was in response to the very cleverly done post on how
the senate is going to make using the computer while drunk a crime :)

Hopefully, it wont happen again, Carl is very new to the Internet, so some
forgiveness is asked for. Hopefully he will decide to join this assemblage as
a result... ;)

Seth Buntain | "You will find that a great many of the truths
Enthar the Eternal | that we cling to depend greatly on our own point
email: enthar@***.edu | of view" --Obi Wan Kenobi
(V 1.01) GE d -p+ c++ l u e+(*) m(++) s/- !n h- f+ g- w+ t+(++) r+(++) !y
"It's a damn poor man who can't spell a wyrd in more than one way!"
-Thomas Jefferson
My opinions, comments and even facts are all mine.

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