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Group Description

[Last updated on: Mon Oct 23 13:36:32 1995]

Welcome To The USENET Discussion Group!

The media have focused considerable attention on uses of network communications
for purposes that offend some segments of the community, such as to distribute
sexually explicit material, entice children to meetings with adults, and give
instructions on how to make bombs. Even though such uses are a very minor part
of network traffic, they do raise serious free speech issues which are being
tested in the courts.

As a community network CRISNY is committed to the principle of free speech just
as is the public library. There is no way that we can or should censor any
communications on our system. There is, however, one borderline area where
CRISNY could make a choice and that is with newsgroups. There are some 6,000
groups that cover topics from apple growing to zoo keeping, including
categories for sexually explicit discussions. CRISNY can choose not to accept
such categories. This would be like a book seller choosing not to accept adult
magazines. CRISNY, however, could take the position that the decision as to
what to read should be left to subscribers, with the responsibility for
controlling access by minors left to parents and schools. Software is available
to allow users to screen out undesirable material and organizations with
dedicated circuits and their own servers could select the newsgroups to
receive.

The issue we would like addressed in this forum is

Should CRISNY accept all news groups or exclude those that deal with sexually
explicit or other topics that violate "community standards"?

The results of this discussion will be used in making a recommendation to the
CRISNY Board of Directors on this matter.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Norman D. Kurland, Executive Director
Capital Region Information Service of New York (CRISNY)
University at Albany, LC-SB33A, Albany, NY 12222
Phone: 518-442-3728 Fax: 518-442-3672
E-mail:

Group Information

  • 107
  • Other
  • Aug 7, 1998
  • English

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