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RE: On Internet and social responsibility
From: "David Schwartz" <davids () webmaster com>
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 14:57:55 -0700

On Sat, 15 Sep 2001 measl () mfn org wrote:

restricing free speech of crackers, you know?  Where's your
williness to
give them "every right to speak"?

I'm honestly not certain, but I _think_ you are making the
"argument" that
if I have a firewall in place, that I am engaging in the
hypocritical act
of _censorship based on content_?

Yes, you do.  The whole point of firewalls is not to let the specifically
defined content in.  I can just as well have an argument that an attempt
to break into your system is a valid form of expression (and, in fact,
that argument was made in courts).

        Freedom of speech includes the freedom not to listen. If people could
demand that I listen to them in the name of free speech, there's no way that
I could allow them to have free speech.

The fact, that this kind of message can be in many cases detected and
prevented automatically does not change the point that you are restricting
free speech (i.e. unlimited exchange of information) to some other

        I think you misunderstand what free speech is and means. Freedom of speech
means the right to express those ideas you wish using that which is yours to
use. It does not include the right to commandeer other people's presses.

Absolute free speech is an oxymoron.  And so is claiming that hosting a
terrorist website is legal in US or protected by First Amendment.

        No, absolulte free speech means that absolute right to use what is yours to
use without discrimination from the government based upon the content of
your speech. Private citizens, on the other hand, need not listen if they
don't want to -- that's part of freedom of expression too.

        If an instrusion attempt is speech, it's like shouting in someone's ears.
The discrimination is not based upon content -- I would have on complaint if
they published the intrustion in the New York Times rather than using it
against *my* computers. Your freedom of speech ends it my ears.


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