[plug] Internet oppression - watch your backs!

Mim M kaos at networx.net.au
Wed May 5 07:39:03 WST 1999

----- Original Message -----
From: Christian <christian at global.net.au>
To: <plug at linux.org.au>
Sent: Tuesday, 4 May 1999 9:45
Subject: Re: [plug] Internet oppression - watch your backs!

> I'm not opposed, in general, to governments providing protection for
> it's citizens.  What I am opposed to is a government doing the thinking
> for its citizens.  When the government says "We're going to ban
> objectionable material on the Internet" a lot of people think "Great!"
> because they think of all the things they find objectionable and they
> think "That's good, all that stuff won't be there anymore and neither I
> nor anyone else will have to put up with running into it from time to
> time."  Of course this is a naive point of view because what one person
> finds "objectionable" another may find perfectly acceptable.
> When the government classifies and rates films, that's ok.  They are
> placing that film on a scale however the scale they use is an interval
> scale, that is, with an abitrary zero point.  The result is that I can
> look at a film's rating and decide whether I'm likely to find that film
> acceptable by corresponding that point on their scale with my own
> sensitivities.  Even though the government has classified it, I still
> make the decision.
> When the government however says they are going to censor something,
> then I object.  When they tell me that I'm not able to make that
> decision for myself as to whether I will find it acceptable, *that* I
> don't accept.  I'm an adult and no different from the censor who watches
> the banned film - why should he tell me I'm unable to deal with that
> film?
> The same principle applies to the Internet.  If I don't want to see
> something that I find objectionable, then I won't *choose* to go and see
> that.  But when the government says that it's going to make that
> decision for me, then I have to say that I don't accept that.
> Of course, it is unlikely that the government would say, for example,
> that Linux was objectionable.  It's probably extremely unlikely... even
> under a Liberal government...(*grin*)  However the principle is the same
> - it should be up to each adult individual to decide what is acceptable
> for them and what is not.
> Of course, with children there is an extra issue involved - but
> seriously, if a parent wants to protect their child from certain things
> that exist in the world, it is their responsibility to make sure this
> happens.
> Regards,
> Christian.
> --
> ========================================================================
> I'm not trying to give users what they want, I'm trying to give them
> freedom, which they can then accept or reject. If people don't want
> freedom, they may be out of luck with me, but I won't allow them to
> define for me what is right, what is worth spending my life for.
>                                                     - Richard Stallman

I always figured choice to be a right to each individual, of course children
need some guidance on making the right choices, but essentially NO-ONE has
the right to take the right to choice away from us.......

So it is up to us to "tell" the government.



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