Letter to AOL on "proposed censorship summit with radical right" (fwd)

Declan McCullagh declan at well.com
Fri Aug 1 07:30:28 PDT 1997

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 1997 07:16:14 -0700 (PDT)
From: Declan McCullagh <declan at well.com>
To: fight-censorship at vorlon.mit.edu
Subject: Letter to AOL on "proposed censorship summit with radical right"

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 1997 10:09:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: WildcatPrs at aol.com
To: declanmccullagh <declan at well.com>
Subject: Fwd: Your Proposed Censorship Summit with Radical Right Leaders

Forwarded message:
Subj:    Your Proposed Censorship Summit with Radical Right Leaders
Date:    97-07-31 11:43:06 EDT
From:    WildcatPrs
To:      Steve Case

Dear Steve Case,

As one of the plaintiffs in the ACLU/ALA case on the CDA, who saw it through
all the way to the Supreme Court, I am shocked and dismayed that you would
dignify the demands of the Christian Coalition et al by sitting down with
them in such a summit.

You know and I know that America Online will leave that negotiating table
having made major concessions on the subject of Internet censorship -- not
only for content on gay and lesbian and AIDS, but also women's issues and
many other subjects.   The religious right have a very long list of subjects
that they would like to censor out of U.S. libraries, schools and
media...which you will discover if you take the trouble to read BANNED BOOKS,
published each year by the ALA.

Get a clue, Mr. Case  This battle over "content" is not really about "child
pornography."  It is a thinly veiled disguise for the radical right's efforts
to impose its total belief and its proposed penal system on the people of the
United States.  It wants to have the United States be like the Colony of
Massachusetts before the Revolution.  I suggest you read some history, and
ponder whether you would have liked living under the religious dictatorship
that ran the colony.

Between 1962 and 1972, I lived in Spain as a working journalist for the
Reader's Digest, working out of its office in Madrid, and I saw in operation
just the kind of right-wing censorship system that the Christian Coalition et
al would like to impose on this country.  Part of its success involved just
the kind of "self-censorship" that you are now proposing to slap on your own
company.  You are no different than the Spanish book publishers who sat down
with the Catholic Church and agreed on what could be published.   As a
result, Spanish culture languished.  The Spanish people reached the point
where they had lots of jokes about self-censorship and didn't take their own
media or culture seriously.   It all came to an end in 1975, when Franco
died, and the Spanish people were so sick of church and censors that the new
government moved to end the hegemony of the Spanish Catholic Church and put
an end to censorship.

So shame on you for moving to introduce this kind of censorship to the United
States of America.   I have been a loyal customer of AOL since I got onto the
Internet two years ago, and I will take my business elsewhere if you go
through with this summit.

Patricia Nell Warren

Wildcat Press
8306 Wilshire Blvd. Box 8306
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
213/966-2467 fax

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