Microsoft postpones plans to include RSACnews in Explorer

Declan McCullagh declan at
Tue Aug 5 16:51:50 PDT 1997

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 16:35:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: Declan McCullagh <declan at>
To: fight-censorship-announce at
Subject: Microsoft postpones plans to include RSACnews in Explorer

[Note that Microsoft still plans to include RSACnews in Explorer 5.0.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Inter at ctive Week
August 5, 1997

Microsoft Tables 'News' Rating System For Explorer

By Steven Vonder Haar 1:30 PM EDT

Microsoft Corp. has tabled plans to include new technology in its
Internet Explorer 4.0 browser that would have made "news" oriented
sites exempt from content rating standards promoted for use on the

Officials at leading media companies, including Time Warner Inc. and
Dow Jones & Co., have lobbied industry leaders during the past month
in an effort to generate support for an approach that would exclude
news sites from content rating systems such the one promoted by the
Recreational Software Advisory Council (RSAC).

The media companies, rallied by the Internet Content Coalition
industry group, contend that the ratings are the equivalent of private
censorship that will eventually cut into freedom of speech rights on
the Internet.

"No one puts a filter over the mailbox to determine whether Time
magazine is appropriate for our audience," said Dan Okrent,
editor-in-chief at Time Inc. New Media. "The same standards should
apply to the Internet."

RSAC's current rating tool is integrated into the current Explorer
browser. It allows parents to block access to content based on RSAC
ratings. Sites that do not carry RSAC ratings also can be blocked.

RSAC recently came up with a "news" category designed to allow display
of news content without suitability ratings for individual stories.

RSAC President C. Dianne Martin said Microsoft is running out of time
to implement the separate designation for news sites before the launch
of the 4.0 version of Explorer later this year. However, the company
plans to include the news designation in the 5.0 version of Explorer
when it is made available, likely sometime next year.

RSAC can be reached at

Microsoft can be reached at

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