Last Updated Thu Mar 13 10:41:28 PDT 2003
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- EFF's Mike Godwin, and Hal Abelson
of MIT, respond to UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh article in
_Slate_, on Internet filters and CDA constitutional issues.
Related material: http://www.slate.com/Feature1/96-07-18/Feature1.asp
(Volokh article), and http://www.slate.com/Email/Current/Email.asp
(debate with _Slate_readers). July 30, 1996
- "The Feds and the Net: Closing the
Culture Gap" by Mike Godwin (column for _Internet_World_, May 1994 issue).
"It was about halfway through my lecture at the FBI Academy at Quantico
last fall that I began to sense in my audience a rising hostility.
And, let me tell you, I take it very seriously when I'm feeling hostility
from people who are licensed to carry weapons. But in spite of my
nervousness, which I tried to hide from the FBI agents and federal
prosecutors in my audience, I pressed on with my criticisms of federal
law enforcement's investigations and prosecutions of computer crime
cases. In my experience, I told them, these law-enforcement efforts have
all too often infringed on the rights of presumptively innocent
- Mike Godwin, "How to Survive the First
Year of Law School". a witty guide for those entering the torturous
world of the law student (especially those at Univ. of Texas!)
- Mike Godwin's Feb. 1996 open letter to US
President Clinton, urging him not to sign the Telecom Bill and its
"Communications Decency Act" into law.
- Mike Godwin's _Hotwired_ Sept. '95 article
detailing _Time_ and CMU's role in the "Great Internet Sex Panic of
- "CHILDREN, CHILD ABUSE, AND CYBERPORN:
A Primer for Clear Thinkers", article for _Internet_World_ By Mike Godwin.
"Here's an interesting experiment. Try combining the topics of Sex,
Children, and the Net in a magazine or newspaper story, or even in an
online discussion. Amazingly, this combination will almost invariably
cause ostensibly intelligent people to shut down their higher thinking
centers...Which is why I came up with the following quick-and-dirty
primer to help folks out...When talking about pornography and child
safety on the Net, one often sees several different terms bandied about
as if they were interchangeable. They're not. Here are some basic
- Mike Godwin, "The Law of the Net:
Problems and Prospects". An article discussing the problems of civil
and criminal law that one encounters when attempting to apply them to
networking environments (incl. libel, intellectual property, etc.)
Originally published in _Internet_World_, Sept./Oct. 1993.
- Mike Godwin, "INTERNET LIBEL: IS THE PROVIDER
RESPONSIBLE?" An exploration of some of the many issues that surround
the problem of libel in modern networking. It's a fear every
Internet service provider faces at least once: How responsible am I
going to be if someone libels someone else on my system? There's no
settled answer about a provider's responsibility. But one important
case suggests what the eventual answer may be, and that case is good
news for service providers. From _Internet_World_, Nov./Dec. 1993.
- Mike Godwin's "Libel, Public Figures,
and the Net" article for the June 1994 issue of _Internet_World_.
Discusses the legal protection afforded to critics of public figures,
who might otherwise be liable for defamation if their target were not
a public figure, and how all this relates to cyberspace.
- "VIRTUAL COMMUNITY STANDARDS: BBS
Obscenity Case Raises New Legal Issues", an article by Mike Godwin
describing the relationship between the laws of various states
regarding pornography and the internet, focusing in particular on the
AABBS case. This 1994 article appeared in the _San_Fransico_Examiner_.
- Selection from Mike Godwin's
forthcoming book, discussing the legal differences between "indecency"
and "obscenity". Though the general public tends to use these terms
interchangably, and the fundamentlist lobbying groups do so on purpose to
sow confusion, they are very different legal regimes.
- Mike Godwin's March/April 1994
_Internet_World_ article "SEX AND THE SINGLE SYSADMIN: The risks of
carrying graphic sexual materials." Excerpt: "most of this country's
law-enforcement organizations have only recently become aware of the
extent that [sexually explicit] material is traded and distributed
online now that they're aware of it, they're aware of the potential
for prosecution. In a recent case, an Oklahoma system operator
was charged under state law for distribution of obscene materials, based
on a CD ROM of sexual images that he'd purchased through a mainstream BBS
trade magazine. He was startled to find out that something he'd purchased
through normal commercial channels had the potential of leading to serious
- "When Copying Isn't Theft: How the
Government Stumbled in a 'Hacker' Case" by Mike Godwin; _Internet_World_,
Feb. 1994. Article detailing the lesser known side stories of the
Operation Sundevil fiasco the raid on Phrack magazine, and the
trials of Robert Riggs and Craig "Knight Lighning" Neidorf. More
importantly, disucusses the implications and problems these cases
brought up, and highlights the limitations of intellectual property law.
- Mike Godwin, "PRODIGY STUMBLES AS A
FORUM...AGAIN". On some days, Prodigy representatives tell us
they're running "the Disney Channel of online services." On other
days the service is touted as a forum for "the free expression of
ideas." But management has missed the conflict between these two
missions. And it is just this unperceived conflict that has led the
B'nai B'rith's Anti Defamation League to launch a protest against the
online service. These censorship policies got Prodigy into
serious trouble in a civil lawsuit that holds Prodigy responsible
for the posts of users, since Prodigy was found to have exercised
editorial control over such posts.
- Article by Mike Godwin, "Who's Using
Who? Martin Rimm and the Antiporn Activists", Oct. 1995, exposing links
between Martin Rimm and religious right pro-censorship organizations and
activisits, along with evidence that such people actually wrote part of
- Mike Godwin's testimony before the U.S.
Senate on Internet censorship legislation.
- Mitch Kapor & Mike Godwin, "Civil
Liberties Implications of Computer Searches and Seizures:
Some Proposed Guidelines for Magistrates Who Issue Search Warrants".
- "Virtual Community Standards" article by
Mike Godwin for _Reason_ magazine, Jan. 1995. Media manipulation, law
enforcement hysteria, the AABBS prosecution, and what this means for
the virtual community, and the notion of online community standards.
- "The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Virtual
Communities" by Mike Godwin.
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Links to Related Off-Site Resources
JournoPorn: Dissection of the Time Scandal
exclusive on the Rimm "cyberporn" report and the misleading
Time magazine article based on it. Features articles by Mike
Godwin, D. Hoffman and T. Novak, Brock Meeks and others.