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CIEC UPDATE No. 2 -- Court Challenge Begins Thursday 3/19 (fwd)

Robert Haynes haynes at TURING.SCI.YORKU.CA
Wed Mar 20 13:17:20 EST 1996


Friends: I suggest you strike a blow for freedom by joining this 
challenge! I assume you can do this by contacting either the http site, 
or the E-mail address of ciec as given on the message I am now forwarding 
to you. CHEERS!   Bob H.

Robert H. Haynes
Biology Dept.
York University
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3

Tel: (416) 736-5998
FAX: (416) 650-8002

HOME FAX: (416) 233-0413

==================================================================

PLEASE NOTE my NEW E-MAIL ADDRESS IS:  haynes at science.yorku.ca


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 18:45:58 -0500
From: Bob Palacios <ciec at cdt.org>
To: ciec-members at cdt.org
Subject: CIEC UPDATE No. 2 -- Court Challenge Begins Thursday 3/19

   Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition Update No. 2 -  3/19/96
  -----------------------------------------------------------------
                     http://www.cdt.org/ciec/
                        ciec-info at cdt.org
  -----------------------------------------------------------------
   CIEC UPDATES intended for members of the Citizens Internet
   Empowerment Coalition. CIEC Updates are written and edited by the
   Center for Democracy and Technology (http://www.cdt.org).
  ------------------------------------------------------------------

          ** 30,000 Netizens Vs. U.S. Department of Justice. **
                 * The Fight To Save Free Speech Online *

  Contents:

  o Federal Court Begins To Consider Fate of the Internet This Week
  o What You Can Expect Over the Next Several Weeks
  o Subscription Information
  o More Information on CIEC and the Center for Democracy and Technology

----------------------------------------------------------------------

1. CIEC CHALLENGE TO BE HEARD IN COURT THURS MARCH 21, 1996

The battle to overturn the Communications Decency Act will begin before a 3
judge panel in a Federal court in Philadelphia PA on Thursday March 21. The
stakes are extremely high: the outcome of this case will determine the role
of the government in regulating the Internet and the future of freedom of
expression in the Information age.

The basis of the CIEC challenge is that the Internet is a unique
communications medium which deserves First Amendment Protections at least
as broad as those afforded to the print media. The CDA, which criminalizes
the transmission or display of so-called 'indecent' or 'patently offensive'
materials on the Internet or online services, relies on a policy regime
originally applied to traditional mass media such as radio and television.

In determining whether content regulations imposed on other media
(including radio and TV) are constitutional, the Courts have always
considered wither the regulations constitute the "least restrictive means"
of accomplishing the goal.

CIEC witnesses will argue that the CDA is unconstitutional because it fails
to meet this "least restrictive means" test. Because every user on the
Internet is essentially a publisher, and because the Internet is a global,
distributed network without any single central point of control, the only
effective (and constitutional) method of protecting children from
inappropriate material is to enable users to control the materials they and
their children receive based on their own individual tastes and values.

In order to demonstrate the nature of the Internet and the effectiveness of
user empowerment technologies, CIEC has arranged to wire the court room
directly to the Internet.  The Center for Democracy and Technology, with
the help of Bell Atlantic, has installed a T-1 circuit and a small local
area network in the Ceremonial Room of the Philadelphia court.  To the best
of our knowledge, this is the first time in history that a Federal
Courtroom has been wired to the Net for the purposes of a Trial.

As expected, the CIEC and ACLU challenges have been consolidated. CIEC and
ACLU attorneys have been closely coordinating our efforts and strategies.
CIEC and ACLU witnesses expected to testify on March 21 and 22 include:

* Scott Brander, Harvard University, Office of Information Technology,
  on the technology of the Internet

* Ann Duvall, SurfWatch Software, demonstrate parental control
  technologies

* Donna Hoffman, Vanderbeldt University, on who is on the net, where
  content comes from (including overseas).

* Robert Croneberger, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, on the scope of
  the Indecency restrictions and the impossibility of utilizing the
  defenses.

* William Stayton, Psychologist

* Kiyoshi Kuromiya, Director of Critical Path Project

* Patricia Warren, Publisher of Wildcat Press and director of "Youth
  Arts

Hearings continue on Friday March 22, Monday April 1, Thursday April 11 and
Friday April 12.  The Court will announce its decision near the beginning
of May, after which either side can appeal directly to the Supreme Court.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

2. WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT IN THE COMING WEEKS

Unlike most trials, the hearings in this case will be spread out over the
course of more than 3 weeks, and newsworthy events may not come in quick
succession.  There will also likely be many ups and downs on both sides of
this case before the judges render their decision in early May. We will
make every effort to ensure that you receive accurate and timely
information on the course of the trial.

As an individual Internet user Member of the Citizens Internet Empowerment
Coalition, you will receive regular  updates on the progress of the CIEC
challenge.   In addition to this CIEC UPDATE:

* Wednesday March 20:  Overview of the arguments we expect to encounter
  from the Department of Justice.

* Thrus & Fri March 21 - 22: A synopsis of the days court proceedings
  directly from the Federal Court in Philadelphia.

UPDATES will resume just before the hearings resume on April 1.

We will also try and update the CIEC web page periodically throughout the
day with new information from the courtroom. Please check
http://www.cdt.org/ciec/ for more information.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
3. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

As CIEC members, you have been invited to join this list in order to
receive news updates and other information relevant to the CIEC challenge
to the Communications Decency Act.

If you ever want to remove yourself from this list, send email to

   ciec-members-request at cdt.org

with 'unsubscribe ciec-members' in the SUBJECT LINE (w/o the 'quotes').
Leave the body of your message blank.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
4. FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information on the CIEC challenge, including the text of the
complaint and other relevant materials:

* World Wide Web                      --        http://www.cdt.org/ciec/
* General Information about CIEC      --        ciec-info at cdt.org
* Copy of the Complaint               --        ciec-docs at cdt.org

* Specific Questions Regarding the
  Coalition, incuding Press Inquiries --        ciec at cdt.org

* General information about the
  Center for Democracy and Technology --        info at cdt.org

--
end ciec-update.2
3/19/96







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