Readers of Bionet.Audiology:
We are in mourning.
You may have heard about President Clinton's signing of the
Telecommunications Bill this morning. This bill contains a provision
called the "Communications Decency Act". The language used in this
provision is deliberately vague and undefined. It is also
The CDA was designed to severely restrict free speech on the internet.
Anyone convicted of sending or providing "indecent" or "offensive"
language or material (undefined in the provision) could face up to 2
years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.
Both houses of Congress and the President were informed that the
language will not survive it's first court challenge. In fact, within
2 hours of the bill being signed into law, the ACLU filed a request
for an injuction pending a constitutional review of the law. (as
heard on NPR)
The CDA will affect everyone on the internet- U.S. citizens or not.
The Voters Telecommunications Watch, which has been organizing the
opposition to the bill (now law), has organized a protest- the
blackout of the WWW. People and organizations are voluntarily turning
their Web sites black for 48 hours, with a message about the protest.
It's being called "Paint it Black" or (I think more appropriately! ;)
the "Thousand Points of Darkness" campaign.
Internet users are not second class citizens. Our freedom of speech
does not end when we turn on our computers. The CDA says we are, and
Sound Concept/Hearing Exchange Online is joining in the 48-hour
Blackout of the Web. We are horrified by this blatant attack on
the First Amendment.
We encourage others to find out more about this disaster. All of our
web pages have links to VTW and other organizations who are mirroring
information about the CDA and this protest. All other information has
been removed from our pages for the duration.
Other information sources are:
http://www.vtw.org/speech/ Voters Telecommunication Watch CDA
http://www.vtw.org/ Voters Telecommunication Watch main page
http://www.cdt.org/speech.html Center for Democracy and Technology
http://thomas.loc.gov/ Library of Congress' WWW server THOMAS-
the full text of the CDA and the debates
are available here
vtw-announce at vtw.org (watch for mail on this list)
Other information sources:
Finger: vtw at panix.com
Christine Tlougan admin at sconcept.com
Sound Concept/ http://www.sconcept.com/hearing.html
Hearing Exchange Online