CHILLING EFFECT OF BBS RAIDS ON ELECTRONIC SPEECH
Has the recent series of raids against BBS operators had a
"chilling effect" - that is, has it caused BBS owners and users
to `censor' their OWN speech out of fear of retaliation?
This "code of standards," adopted by a large users' group,
in Washington DC, seems to show a definite chilling effect on their
BBS speech. This was downloaded from USENET alt.bbs.
We do not present this "code of standards" as something to be
imitated, but as an example of government interference with free
speech . . . through fear.
Capitol PC Users Group Minimum Code of Standards
This Minimum Code of Standards applies to both users
and SYStem Operators (SYSOPs) of electronic bulletin
boards available to the general public.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND IDEAS
Each user and SYSOP of such systems shall actively encourage
and promote the free exchange and discussion of information,
ideas, and opinions, except when the content would:
- Compromise the national security of the United States.
- violate proprietary rights.
- violate personal privacy,
- constitute a crime,
- constitute libel, or
- violate applicable state, federal or local laws and
regulations affecting telecommunications.
Each user and SYSOP of such system will:
- disclose their real name, and
- fully disclose any personal, financial, or commercial
interest when evaluating any specific product or service.
- review in a timely manner all publicly accessible
- delete any information which they know or should
know conflicts with this code of standards.
A 'timely manner' is defined as what is reasonable based
on the potential harm that could be expected. Users are
- ensuring that any information they transmit to such
systems adheres to this Minimum Code of Standards, and
- upon discovering violations of the Minimum Code of
Standards, notifying the SYSOP immediately.
Electronic bulletin board systems that choose to follow
this Minimum Code of Standards shall notify their users
by publishing this Minimum Code, as adopted by the [Capitol
PC Users Group], and prominently display the following:
'This system subscribes to the Capitol PC Users Group
Minimum Code of Standards for electronic bulletin board
Steve Jackson Games | SJ Games vs. the Secret Service