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EFFector - Volume 11, Issue 9 - EFF Urges Internet users to Join a New Blue Ribbon Campaign to Oppose Current Attempts to Censor the Net

                                      
   EFFector       Vol. 11, No. 9       June 15, 1998       editor@eff.org
   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424
                                      
  IN THIS ISSUE
  
     * EFF URGES INTERNET USERS TO JOIN A NEW BLUE RIBBON CAMPAIGN TO
       OPPOSE CURRENT ATTEMPTS TO CENSOR THE NET 
         1. Placing the Blue Ribbon on Your Site
         2. The Struggle Isn't Over Yet
         3. About the Electronic Frontier Foundation
     * ADMINISTRIVIA
       
   See http://www.eff.org for more information on EFF activities &
   alerts!
     _________________________________________________________________
   
EFF URGES INTERNET USERS TO JOIN A NEW BLUE RIBBON CAMPAIGN TO OPPOSE CURRENT
ATTEMPTS TO CENSOR THE NET

   Please distribute widely to appropriate forums
   
   June 15, 1998
   
   The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is re-launching its Blue
   Ribbon Campaign for Online Freedom of Expression today (June 15, 1998)
   in opposition to renewed Congressional attempts to impose censorship
   controls on the Internet in the U.S. The original campaign, launched
   in conjunction with the related "Turn the Web Black" anti-censorship
   protest in 1995, raised awareness of and opposition to the
   Communications Decency Act (CDA), which was eventually ruled
   unconstitutional by a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision one year
   ago this month.
   
   All Web users are strongly encouraged to place a Blue Ribbon Campaign
   icon on their servers and Web pages.
   
     _________________________________________________________________
   
  Placing the Blue Ribbon on Your Site
  
   Beginning with the original Blue Ribbon Campaign against the CDA,
   hundreds of thousands of World Wide Web sites all over the world have
   chosen to display the Blue Ribbon on their pages and link to EFF Web
   pages containing information about censorship legislation and free
   speech on the Internet. The Blue Ribbon page became the fourth
   most-linked-to site on the Internet and has been accessed millions of
   times - peaking at over a million hits per day when President Clinton
   signed the ill-fated CDA into law. There are at least 170,000 sites
   that carry the Blue Ribbon today.
   
   The new Blue Ribbon Campaign will link directly to a Congressional
   action site to encourage Internet users to contact their legislators
   to defend their free speech rights on the Internet. This site is
   currently sponsored by EFF in conjunction with the American Civil
   Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Privacy Information Center
   (EPIC) and provides users the ability to send their legislators a FAX
   or e-mail opposing the two bills.
   
   All Web users are strongly encouraged to place a Blue Ribbon Campaign
   icon (below) on their servers and Web pages. Just copy and paste this
   text into your HTML Web page where you want the Blue Ribbon icon to
   appear:
   
   

NOTE: If your site has traffic topping 30,000 hits a day, we request that you copy the Blue Ribbon icon to your server and link to it locally. The EFF server will not be able to handle that amount of extra traffic from multiple sites. The typical participant will want to link to our copy, which automatically changes to an "ALERT!" version during times of danger to online free speech. Non-U.S. Activists: You may wish to seek out others in your area to form a (formal or informal) group to track censorship legislation, Internet regulation, and Net-related free speech legal cases in your jurisdiction. We will be happy to link to new Blue Ribbon pages in other parts of the world. We are also aware that in some areas the blue ribbon symbol may stand for other causes already; in such places, an alternate symbol will be needed (perhaps a blue torch?). _________________________________________________________________ The Struggle Isn't Over Yet Though the Communications Decency Act (CDA) was unanimously struck down by a strongly pro-freedom US Supreme Court decision (Reno v. ACLU) in 1997, US Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) has advanced a new unnamed "Son of CDA" Internet censorship bill, S. 1492. The bill would constitute a ban on web posting of material deemed "harmful to minors." This censorship bill would make it a crime to have the content of the average bookstore or library available from a web site! Additionally, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is pushing another "sequel" to the CDA. His "Internet School Filtering Act," S. 1619, would force federally funded libraries (and schools) to use software filters to censor adult and child access on their Internet connections in the name of "protecting children from pornography." Such filtering software does not actually perform as advertised. Not only is such software physically incapable of blocking material that fits a particular legal definition such as "obscene," but it has also been demonstrated to block numerous sites with no "obscene" or "indecent" content whatsoever, including a wealth of material that is perfectly suitable for children. Action on both bills appeared to be waning, since both were considered "too controversial" to make it onto the Senate's "Tech Week" fast track bill consideration and passage schedule in mid-May. This means our activism is paying off. However, both bills are expected to arise for legislative debate and vote before Congress in the next three weeks, so this is no time for complacency. All Senators need to receive even more constituent letters and faxes opposing these bills, or they might well pass at the last minute. More information on the bills is available on the EFF Web site. See http://www.eff.org/pub/Censorship/Internet_censorship_bills/1998_bills/ About the Electronic Frontier Foundation The Electronic Frontier Foundation is one of the leading civil liberties organizations devoted to ensuring that the Internet remains the world's first truly global vehicle for free speech, and that the privacy and security of all on-line communication is preserved. Founded in 1990 as a nonprofit, public interest organization, EFF is based in San Francisco, California. EFF maintains an extensive archive of information on encryption policy, privacy, and free speech at http://www.eff.org . _________________________________________________________________ ADMINISTRIVIA EFFector is published by: The Electronic Frontier Foundation 1550 Bryant St., Suite 725 San Francisco CA 94103 USA +1 415 436 9333 (voice) +1 415 436 9993 (fax) Editor: Stanton McCandlish, Program Director/Webmaster (mech@eff.org) Membership & donations: membership@eff.org Legal services: ssteele@eff.org General EFF, legal, policy or online resources queries: ask@eff.org Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged. Signed articles do not necessarily represent the views of EFF. To reproduce signed articles individually, please contact the authors for their express permission. Press releases and EFF announcements may be reproduced individually at will. To subscribe to EFFector via email, send message body of: subscribe effector-online to listserv@eff.org, which will add you to a subscription list for EFFector. To unsubscribe, send a similar message body, like so: unsubscribe effector-online Please tell ask@eff.org to manually remove you from the list if this does not work for some reason. Back issues are available at: http://www.eff.org/pub/EFF/Newsletters/EFFector To get the latest issue, send any message to effector-reflector@eff.org (or er@eff.org), and it will be mailed to you automagically. You can also get: http://www.eff.org/pub/EFF/Newsletters/EFFector/current.html
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