Disturbing Topics

Satanism, white-supremacy, hate literature, pedeophillia and beastiality - what do all of these have in common? For one thing, information on all these disturbing topics is freely available on-line, and the CCN is not immune to this. I use the Chebucto Community Net often, and have discovered my own share of material I deemed offensive (as I'm sure many people have), however, I do not intend to pass judgment on various Web sites I have merely found either to be sick or obscene. Playboy, (which I haven't used much, dad ;-) I don't mind. It is sold in stores everyday, legally, but I draw the line at sites promoting Satanism, newsgroups such as "alt.skinheads" and pedeophillia photo collections. Homepages and Internet sites that could be potentially illegal. These Web pages are freely available on the Internet/WWW, and thus, the CCN as well!

I do not approve of censorship for younger users such as myself, but I question the legality of this material as a whole. Hate literature is prominent in some of these locations, which would be considered a criminal offense if it were found outside of the Internet. It's scary. There are many wonderful sources of information and entertainment on the World-Wide-Web, but the Internet is also the fastest growing medium for the scum of the earth to instantly spread their propaganda and corrupt the minds of so many users - both young and old.

I would like to call for legislation to restrict such things, but from what I've seen, it would be nearly impossible. If someone in Taiwan were to display such material, chances are that the Canadian government would be powerless to do anything. Even if it originated from within our country, it could be extremely difficult to track the culprit. And it would be a terrible thing to stifle this vast, new resource, just as it is beginning to emerge. However, if it were the dawn of another service, common these days, such as the postal system, would we tolerate it being used primarily, or in abundance for, the distribution of hate-literature and hurtful material? I think not! And such material, such propaganda, no matter how convincing someone may sound, is not a valid exercise of free-speech. Free speech, as stated in the UN's pamphlet on human rights, may only be used as a defence when not interfering with another person's right to respect and personal, racial and sexual, well-being.

Of course, so many articles on this controversial subject have been written in the past, and I'm even getting fed-up with it. But I believe something must be done. If you have a comment to make on this subject, or any other that I touch upon, please address your kind letters to: ac507@ccn·cs·dal·ca - On the topic of "potentially illegal material on the internet," I plan on publishing the best comments I receive in my next column - let your voice be heard!

Copyright law is another problem on the internet. Demi Moore is currently negotiating with her lawyers after some naked pictures of her were found to be distributed on the Web. The photos weren't actually of her, but a skilled computer graphics designer simply attached her "head" to another naked body and it seems to have been enough to convince a few people. Such instances are becoming more and more common. I am not including a link to it here, for obvious reasons, but if you do a Webcrawler search for "Pornocopolis Now!" you'll "see" some of what I'm talking about.

Some people on the World-Wide-Web, and the internet at large, are sick, demented, and possibly insane. Others are dead-serious, and that's what scares me. The online guide to Satanism, for example. This online web document details the history of the "Satanic Movement" and their principals. They aren't into that "light stuff" such as animal sacrifices - they're into "mind-control and total submission." But enough of this, I'm getting sick ;-)

I hope you enjoyed this, my second article, in what I envision as being a very successful online newsletter. Next month, I hope to discuss the Internet-Relay-Chat system (IRC) and the numerous channels available. Even though the CCN doesn't offer direct IRC access to the over five hundred channels, there is a way - if you haven't figured it out yet, I'll tell you next month ;-)

In subsequent columns, I wish to discuss the contents of such newsgroups as "alt.conspiracy," designing your own homepage, and possibly some discussions with some of the CCN's most prominent "youth!"

On a final note, again, I got a mediocre response from the CCN-YOUTH mailing list on my column, but I suppose that's good since I already get roughly 25 pieces of mail a day ;-)

Chebucto Connections YOUTH CORNER
is edited by Matthew MacDonald
who is happy to receive Questions, Comments or Suggestions.
If your browser does not support mail, write to Matthew later at ac507@ccn·cs·dal·ca.

Last Month: July 1995 Next Month: October 1995