Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

FC: Washington: The Net Must Pay!

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Tue, 27 Apr 1999 17:40:23 -0400
From:          Declan McCullagh <>
Subject:       FC: Washington: The Net Must Pay!

                     Congress: The Net Must Pay
                     by Declan McCullagh 

                     2:30 p.m.  27.Apr.99.PDT
                     WASHINGTON -- Whenever a new form of
                     evil extrudes into American society,
                     demands for Internet regulation seem to
                     arrive faster than a greyhound on crack. 

                     Remember the TWA 800 crash three
                     years ago? By the time investigators
                     determined that the airline disaster was
                     not a terrorist act, Washington officials
                     already had spent the better part of a
                     year complaining about the dangers of
                     the Internet. 

                     Rescue workers were still pulling bodies
                     from the rubble of the Oklahoma City
                     federal building when Senator Dianne
                     Feinstein (D-California) introduced an
                     amendment to censor bomb-making Web
                     sites. Senator Joe Biden (D-Delaware)
                     joined her in moral outrage, claiming his
                     staff unearthed a recipe on Usenet for
                     "baby food bombs" that were "so powerful
                     that they can destroy a car." 

                     Those disasters, of course, had little to
                     do with the Internet. But when word got
                     out that the alleged gunmen in the
                     Littleton massacre were Doom-playing,
                     AOL-subscribing, Web-site-publishing
                     computer geeks, calls for censorship
                     came even more quickly than before.

                     [...remainder snipped...]


Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 11:44:09 -0700
From: Tim May <>
Subject: "October Sky" Film Banned

Washington, D.C. (Routers) -- This year's film, "October Sky," a
coming-of-age movie about several teenaged rocket builders in 1950s
West Virginia, has now been barred from further showings in the United
States, according to the Department of Public Safety. It is the 14th
movie to be banned this year under the "Protection of the Children Act
of 1998,"  a bill rushed into law in the wake of the Columbine High
School shootings.

"We found the movie involved children using explosive materials to
manufacture rockets in their basements, without parental-unit
supervision," said DPS spokeswoman Melanie Goodlight. "Some of their
constructions even behaved as "pipe bombs," and we are afraid some
impressionable children may see the movie and then attempt to build
their own rockets or pipe bombs."

Critics of the DPS ban on "October Sky" point to this rocket-building
in the 1950s and 60s as a positive achievement for many teens,
including many who went on to become aerospace scientists and
engineers. As one of them put it, "Back in those days it was common to
fill a tube with sulfur and iron oxide powder and light the fuse.
Yeah, some kids blew themselves up, but that was just evolution in

(The editors have witheld the name of this source for fear that
Special Agent Jeff Gordon, Department of Public Safety Enforcement
Division, would add his name to the list of Trench Coat Mafia
Co-Conspirators if his name were made public.)

The Department of Public Safety, which has seen its budget and
staffing grow enormously in recent years, is also considering bans on
several dozen video games, hundreds of magazines, the Mutant Ninja
Turtles, and a large purple dinosaur. "We think "Barney" teaches
children it is O.K. to behave like a dinosaur. We think that is a role
uniquely suited to the Federal government, not our young children,"
Ms. Goodlight said.

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