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Article Specs

VxAcct: 1

Article ID: 1980

Section: cases

Age Group: Adult

Posted: March 30th. 1997

Views: 24239

Cyber Patrol

by Wren

4/14/97 UPDATE:

Congratulations Witches!!! It just goes to show that Witches, Wiccans and Pagans are unwilling to take "NOT" for an answer!!!! Due to the hard work, in depth coverage by Texas Pagan Awareness Online and just plain tenacity of the Pagan community, CyberPatrol has said "YES" to Pagan sites.

"We have revised our criteria due to the education we have been receiving regarding paganism, witchcraft and wicca sites. We no longer include these subjects under our satanism/cult category." - Debra Greaves (Microsystems)

The Witches" Voice celebrates the work of all the "Freedom Fighters" who made the difference. They stood up and in one united voice stated loud and clear-" Censorship based on religious preference is a great big NOT "!

Where the Witch Community was in Early April....


CYBERPATROL... "To Surf and Protect"? Oh REALLY? :
The Witch community has been abuzz about this "filtering system" for the last several weeks. CYBERPATROL in all its wisdom has banned ERAL, Jaz's Pagan Page and the Ontario Religious freedom Centre (just to name a few) from libraries and schools all over the country. Substantial coverage is underway all over the Pagan internet... Check out Texas Pagan Awareness Online's incredible coverage of this story but clicking on the graphic to your right ---->.


The following sites ARE on the CyberNOT list

Glittering Phoenix
Earth Religions Legal Assistance Network
U.S. Military on Wicca
The Alliance for Magical and Earth Religions
Silver Threads Activists Page
Covenant of The Goddess (COG)
Avalon-Arthurian Heaven
Celtica
The Moonoak Homepage
Magickal Things On the Net
Alt.Religion.Wicca F.A.Q.'s
Ander's Magick Page
Pan's Grove
Widdershins




"CyberPatrol is the ultimate filtering device for the average parent, school system or library to deny access to sites on the Internet that are labeled "indecent or potentially harmful" to children. It was originally designed to be an alternative to the passing of the Communication Decency Act. The logic was presented that if we did not want the government censoring the Internet, the government may respond favorably to 'voluntary controls" and leave more power to the individual to decide what their children could have beaming into their brains from cyberspace"

That sounds like a nice alternative, doesn't it?

The government thought so too. Unfortunately the government also has never been able to completely define what is "obscene" or "indecent" to any degree of satisfaction. That is why lawsuits are still being brought forward in the court system; and why they are still being decided on a case-to case basis.

The CyberPatrol software comes with a programmed listing of recommended or "approved" sites called "CyberYes" and the list of blocked out sites, or the "CynerNOT's". The sites are chosen by a panel of "experts' from various fields whose identities are shrouded in mystery. Regular netusers can also submit sites for admission to either list.

The selection process by this committee is reported to be scrupulous and exacting. They obviously do not take their responsibilities lightly. Here is the list of criteria that the committe uses in assessing the proper category to place a submitted site-

Cyber Patrol CyberNOT List Criteria...

Microsystems Software has used what we believe to be reasonable means to identify and categorize CyberNOTs, but we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of our screens and we assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Please report errors and omissions using the Site Investigation Report.

Category Definitions - 5/9/96

Any on-line content that contains more than 3 instances in 100 messages. Any easily accessible pages with graphics or text which fall within the definition of the categories below will be considered sufficient to place the source in the category.

Violence/Profanity (graphics or text): Pictures or text exposing extreme cruelty, physical or emotional acts against any animal or person which are primarily intended to hurt or inflict pain. Obscene words, phrases, and profanity defined as text that uses, but is not limited to, George Carlin's 7 censored words more often than once every 50 messages (newsgroups) or once a page (web sites).

Partial Nudity: Pictures exposing the female breast or full exposure of either male or female buttocks except when exposing genitalia. (Excludes all swimsuits, including thongs)

Full Nudity: Pictures exposing any or all portions of the human genitalia. Please note: Excluded from the Partial Nudity and Full Nudity categories are sites containing nudity or partial nudity of a wholesome nature. For example: Web sites containing publications such as National Geographic or Smithsonian Magazine. Or sites hosted by museums such as the Guggenheim, the Louvre, or the Museum of Modern Art.

Sexual Acts (graphic or text): Pictures or text exposing anyone or anything involved in explicit sexual acts and or lewd and lascivious behavior, including masturbation, copulation, pedophilia, intimacy involving nude or partially nude people in heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian or homosexual encounters. Also includes phone sex ads, dating services, and adult personals, CD-ROM's and videos.

Gross Depictions (graphic or text): Pictures or descriptive text of anyone or anything which are crudely vulgar or grossly deficient in civility or behavior or which show scatological impropriety. Includes such depictions as maiming, bloody figures, or indecent depiction of bodily functions.

Intolerance (graphics or text): Pictures or text advocating prejudice or discrimination against any race, color, national origin, religion, disability or handicap, gender, or sexual orientation. Any picture or text that elevates one group over another. Also includes intolerant jokes or slurs.

Satanic/Cult (graphics or text): Pictures or text advocating devil worship, an affinity for evil, or wickedness. Or the advocacy to join a cult. A cult is defined by: A closed society that is headed by a single individual where loyalty is demanded and leaving is punishable.

Drugs/Drug Culture (graphics or text): Pictures or text advocating the illegal use of drugs for entertainment. Includes substances used for other than their primary purpose to alter the individual's state of mind, such as glue sniffing. This would exclude currently illegal drugs legally prescribed for medicinal purposes (e.g., drugs used to treat glaucoma or cancer).

Militant/Extremist (graphics or text): Pictures or text advocating extremely aggressive and combative behaviors, or advocacy of unlawful political measures. Topics include groups that advocate violence as a means to achieve their goals. Includes "how to" information on weapons making, ammunition making or the making or use of pyrotechnics materials. Also includes the use of weapons for unlawful reasons.

Sex Education (graphics or text): Pictures or text advocating the proper use of contraceptives. This topic would include condom use, the correct way to wear a condom and how to put a condom in place. Also included are sites relating to discussion about the use of the Pill, IUD's and other types of contraceptives. In addition to the above, this category will include discussion sites on - how to talk to your partner about diseases, pregnancy and respecting boundaries. Excluded from this category are commercial sites wishing to sell sexual paraphernalia.

Questionable/Illegal & Gambling (graphics or text): Pictures or text advocating materials or activities of a dubious nature which may be illegal in any or all jurisdictions, such as illegal business schemes, chain letters, copyright infringement, computer hacking, phreaking (using someone's phone lines without permission) and software piracy. Also includes text advocating gambling relating to lotteries, casinos, betting, numbers games, on-line sports or financial betting, including non-monetarydares.

Alcohol & Tobacco (graphics or text): Pictures or text advocating the sale, consumption, or production of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.

All of the above categories pertain to advocacy information: how to obtain inappropriate materials and or how to build, grow or use said materials. The categories do not pertain to sites containing opinion or educational material, such as the historical use of marijuana or the circumstances surrounding 1940's anti-Semitic Germany.

Cyber Patrol- Copyright Microsystems Software, Inc.

Now look at the following list of sites that we found on the CyberNOT listing, go to these sites and read the material. Then come back and tell us what category that you think they fall into and most importantly... why?...

Because we just can't figure it out...

Glittering Phoenix
Earth Religions Legal Assistance Network
U.S. Military on Wicca
The Alliance for Magical and Earth Religions
Silver Threads Activists Page
Covenant of The Goddess (COG)
Avalon-Arthurian Heaven
Celtica
The Moonoak Homepage
Magickal Things On the Net
Alt.Religion.Wicca F.A.Q.'s
Ander's Magick Page
Pan's Grove
Widdershins




Oh, and one more thing... If you usually access this site and others like it from your school, your library or workplace, download the material now...while you still can.

Blessed be!


Wren Walker
(Chairperson - Witches' Voice)
Boston, Ma
(c) April 6th, 1997

WebMasters Note: This is just the beginning of our investigation into the CYBERPATROL's "filtering System" - Check back for entensive coverage that is now in the works... Substantial coverage is underway all over the Pagan internet... Check out Texas Pagan Awareness Online's Web site for their incredible coverage of this story.




ABOUT...

Wren


Location: Tampa, Florida

Other Articles: Wren has posted 318 additional articles- View them?

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