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UNREASONABLE NETWORK POLICING PROPOSED

  • From: Jon Postel
  • Date: Tue Feb 07 12:11:34 1995

----- Begin Included Message -----

Date:     Fri Feb 3, 1995 02:00 pm EST
Source-Date: Fri Feb 03, 1995 13:57:37
From:     Electronic Messaging Association / MCI ID: 254-4290
 
TO:     * Vinton G. Cerf / MCI ID: 105-0002
Subject:  EMA Alert Special 2/3/95


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                       -> EMA ALERT <-
            News For and About the Members of the
               ELECTRONIC MESSAGING ASSOCIATION
============================================================
                February 3, 1995 -- Number 18
<---------------------------------------------------------->
                  ***** SPECIAL ALERT *****
 - Congress to consider making all system operators liable
   for messaging content.  Bill would force employers to
   monitor message content.              ACTION NEEDED NOW!
<---------------------------------------------------------->

UNREASONABLE NETWORK POLICING PROPOSED
   Yesterday, Senator Jim Exon (D-NE) introduced S.314, the
Communications Decency Act of 1995, in the United States
Senate.  In an effort to stamp out digital pornography, it
makes all telecommunications providers doing business in the
United States (from the telephone companies all the way down
to offices that use LANs) liable for the content of anything
sent over their networks.  To avoid the possibility of tens
of thousands of dollars in fines and up to two years in
jail, business owners would be forced to police their
networks and monitor in advance all messages sent over them.

WITHOUT ACTION - COULD BE LAW IN MONTHS
   This bill is substantially the same as the one he put
forward last year.  He will offer it as an amendment to the
pending telecommunications deregulation legislation in the
U.S. Senate, which is expected to be enacted by July.  Last
year, his amendment was adopted even though many thought it
hastily drafted and poorly thought out.  Fortunately, the
telecommunications deregulation legislation died.  This
year, a more conservative U.S. Congress may be even more
reluctant to challenge a "morality" amendment; and its
legislative vehicle, the telecommunications deregulation
legislation, stands a much better chance of passage this
year.

ACTION NEEDED NOW
   Action by the business community is needed now.  Please
notify your corporate government affairs office and/or your
legal counsel.  This measure could be adopted as an
amendment to the telecommunications bill IN A MATTER OF
WEEKS (or potentially added to any legislation pending on
the U.S. Senate floor), if business does not mobilize
against it.  S.314 will not stop digital pornography, but it
could devastate the messaging business.  If you are
interested in further information or are able to participate
in lobbying efforts over the next few weeks, contact Sarah
Reardon at EMA (see below).

------------------------------------------------------------
EMA ALERT is published and copyrighted (1995) by the
Electronic Messaging Association.  Permission to reproduce
and/or redistribute with attribution is hereby given to all
EMA members.  For more information about anything in EMA
ALERT, contact EMA via e-mail - use either X.400 (S=info;
O=ema; A=mci; C=us) or Internet (info@ema.org) address,
facsimile (1-703-524-5558), or telephone (1-703-524-5550).
Any EMA staff member can be addressed directly via e-mail by
using, for X.400, G=<firstname>; S=<lastname>; O=ema; A=mci;
C=us, and, for Internet, <firstinitial><lastname>@ema.org.
EMA's postal address is 1655 N. Fort Myer Dr. #850,
Arlington, VA 22209 USA.

----- End Included Message -----





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