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EFF "Publications - Mike Godwin" Archive

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 citizens..."
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 1995".
"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 definitions..."
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 criminal liability..."
"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 the study.
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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JournoPorn: Dissection of the Time Scandal
A HotWired 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.