North American Network Operators Group

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RE: On Internet and social responsibility

  • From: David Schwartz
  • Date: Sat Sep 15 18:00:34 2001

> On Sat, 15 Sep 2001 [email protected] wrote:

> > > It's
> > > 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
> parties.

	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.