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RE: On Internet and social responsibility
From: David Schwartz <davids () webmaster com>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 12:10:40 -0700



On Mon, 17 Sep 2001 09:08:51 -0400, Greg Mirsky wrote:

Sorry, but I want to point out that Vadim (and I'll second his opinion) was
talking about a particular site www.Kavkaz.org which is set by Chechen
terrorists (sorry again, I wouldn't call them "rebels" since it an insult to
those who rebel for cause).

Last time I've checked Chechnya was not part of USA and thus none of them is
a US citizen unless there are mercenaries. If that's the case then why
you're talking about Freedom of Speech and First Amendment?

        Because the mechanism that would shut the company down would be for the U.S.
government to go after that company for the content of their speech. If you
imagine some other mechanism, then perhaps other arguments would apply.

How it's
applicable to foreign terrorist organization that uses American company to
spread its ideas?

        Because if American companies want to spread the speech of foreign
terrorists, that's their right. The government of the United States should
not be prosecuting them for the content of their speech.

Or perhaps you're more tolerable to Chechen terrorists
using American info-space then if it would be bin Laden using it? Would your
company host a site that posts Laden's fatwahs (sp?)? Would you provide them
with 24*7 customer support? If not, please try to explain to me, where's
difference?

        No, I wouldn't. The difference is, my company is mine and it's my right to
choose what speech I wish to carry over my network. Another network carrying
someone else's speech is not mine, and the principle of freedom of speech
demands that I not use my government as a club to suppress the speech of
others.

        I realize this might be considered a complex distinction by people not from
this country. But it's absolutely fundamental to the philosophical principles
on which America was founded. Foreigners sometimes think it's nutty.

        DS



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