Re: Fw: PICs free site logo (fwd)

Daniel W. Connolly (
Mon, 04 Nov 1996 15:01:12 -0400

>> From: David Cowie <>
>> Subject: PICs free site logo
>> The Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS) is being used to end
>> the free transmission of material on the internet. Originators of web
>> material are being encouraged to rate their sites and pages so that they
>> may be screened out by users and service providers who consider them
>> offensive.
>> We are asking web sites to display the attached PICS free logo in
>> opposition to this attempt to control the internet for the following
>> reasons:
>> It is the first step on the road to full certification (i.e. censorship)
>> of this new medium, where anyone who does not PICS-rate their Web site
>> is subject to moral opprobrium;

Another way to look at it: folks who aren't willing to add value to
their web site with PICS labels might be harder to find or view in the
future. With so much information on the web, that seems inevitable to
me, whether it's PICS or something else.

>> It takes judgement about what users are able to access on the internet
>> out of their hands and gives it to self-appointed moral guardians such
>> as ratings authorities and regulatory bodies;

Huh? All it takes to make a PICS rating system is to publish in on
a web page. self-appointed is right!

And PICS doesn't take any choices out of anybody's hands. That's pure

>> It demands that the whole of the internet has to be oriented around the
>> protection of children.

And what's wrong with that? Are you against preservation of the
species, for pete's sake?

>> Most importantly it assumes that ordinary people are too stupid or too
>> weak to assess for themselves what is presented to them.

Hmmm... PICS technology _might_ enhance the ability of a government or
some such organization to take this choice away from people, but PICS
itself does no such thing. Rather, it allows people to choose, and to
automate their choices.

Funny thing about technology: it helps the Big Bad Guys just as much
as the Little Good Guys.