Re: TECH: Is PICS a threat to Free Speech?

Bobby Whalen (
Mon, 30 Jun 1997 17:24:01 PDT

>From: Lee Daniel Crocker <>
>Subject: Re: TECH: Is PICS a threat to Free Speech?

In an earlier post I said:

>> My point is that I have heard that PICS can be <used> to
>> censor OTHER people. . . .

Then Lee Daniel Cricker said:

>Then you heard wrong. PICS cannot /itself/ censor anything; a PICS
>bureau is a source of information, nothing more. It is the /users/
>of that information who can use it to censor if they desire, but one
>cannot blame a technology for its misuse. To paraphrase the NRA on
>that subject: PICS doesn't censor people, people censor people.
>Lee Daniel Crocker <>

It's ironic Lee that you and I have so much in common that you can't
see past your passionate opinions of things to see what I'm really
asking. First of all, I never once said PICS <itself> can or cannot be
used to censor anything. In fact since I know very little about PICS, I
haven't stated anything affirmative about PICS at all. Perhaps my
questions were not worded precisely enough to fit your semantic
prejudices. Thus, your responses to my QUESTIONS have been off base.
This seems to me that your more interested in showing off your opinions,
rather than to constructively answer my specific questions. If this is
not the case, then I will try for round 3. I hope this time my
questions are worded in such a way as to not upset your sensabilities.

Is there a way for PEOPLE to get around other PEOPLE <using> filters
to censor them without their consent? For example, is there a way for a
clever enough Chineese citizen to gain access to those parts of the Net
the Chinnees Government has blocked? Can a high-level filtering system
be hacked? And if so, how?

If anybody else out there has answers to these questions please feel
free to reply.

Bobby Whalen

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