Please, Mr. President!...

This page is black in protest of the passing of the "Telecommunications Decency Act"

Posted 2/4/96

Since Congress did not listen and passed the "Communications Decency Act of 1995" as an amendment to the "Telecommunications Deregulation bill (S652/HR1555)," Uncle John got out his finest quill pen and pleaded with the Commander in Chief to stamp a big red "X" on it and shove it up Congress' collective output ports. This letter is included below. You might have noticed the Blue Ribbon Project link on the main page and did not click on it in your hurry to get your next Uncle John fix. I understand and even condone this behavior, but in this case, I encourage you to bounce there now, then come back and read this letter. And then, when you know what to say to the current leader of the free world, click on his name to let him know how you feel as well. If you'd like, as I did, to send the message to the Veep asd the message to the Veep as well, Click here to mail it to both at once. I ask you to do this because if we all let our elected leaders know how we feel, it just might make a difference, especially in an election year. Please take a minute to send your thoughts, hell, you can cut and paste my letter if you aren't feeling creative, they won't notice. Just be sure to put your own name on the bottom, and if you want a nice shiny reply on Whitehouse stationary, (suitable for framing), your snail-mail address as well. They usually do that even if your letter is by email or fax. This issue will affect you directly, O user of the net. So get off your cyber-hiney and do something, before it's too late!

Date: Sun, 04 Feb 1996 02:30:14 -0500
From: John Meyer 
Subject: Telecommunications Deregulation bill (S652/HR1555)

Content-Length: 2812

President Clinton;
I would like to call your attention to the "Communications Decency Act of
 which is a part of (S652/HR
 which is a part of (S652/HR1555). You will soon be asked to sign this
legislation into law, and as a registered, active voter, and as a frequent
user of the Internet and other on-line services, I strongly ask for your
veto of this bill. I will not debate the majority of the bill, as I do not
fully understand all of the complex deregulation issues as applied to
broadcasting, etc. I have however, read the part of the bill referred to as
the "Communications Decency Act," and I strongly object to the provisions
The bill uses words such as "indecent" and "community standards" which are
vague and subjective to describe illegal content on the internet. This
creates an atmosphere of uncertainty about the law, forcing all citizens to
err on the side of caution to avoid federal criminal charges. This will
stifle the open growth of the most important communications medium this
country, even the world, has ever known. It has the net effect of curtailing
First Amendendment rights, which is unacceptable in our free society.
As applied to the global Internet, the law is unenforceable. It cannot apply
to individuals outside the United States, and so will have only a minor
effect on the overall transmission of "objectionable" material. 
I fear that regardless of the provisions in the bill which protect Internet
access providers, many extraneous court cases will be brought whereby the
providers will the
providers will be forced to prove that they had no knowledge of the content
in question. This may foster an environment of monitoring private email
conversations and file accesses of clients. This then destroys the on-line
privacy of everyone, regardless of the type of information they send or
Like any reasonable adult, I believe that parents should be able to protect
their children from accessing information which they feel is inappropriate.
I also believe that the Internet and other electronic media should all share
in the protection of free exchange of ideas by adults as provided by the
First Amendment to the Constitution. There are many products now available,
such as "Surfwatch,"
 to allow parents to filter information from the
Internet. More of these products are becoming available all the time, and
they provide a resolution of the conundrum. Traditionally, parental control
has been the best way to limit the data available to children. It should
remain so on the Internet.
I ask you again, please veto this unconstitutional legislation, to preserve
the First Amendment on the Internet, and to eliminate the cost of proving
its unconstitutionality in federal court after it goes into effect. 
Thank you for your time.

John M. Meyer

See also: Privacy and the On-line Den Mothers for more raving on this topic. re raving on this topic.

Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 by John M. Meyer. All rights reserved. The Alien Mind is not associated with any earthly company or its products.

Got somethin' to say about this essay?
Shout at the Alien