Electric Dreams

 Dreams, Censorship 
and the new
 Telecommunications Act

Richard Catlett Wilkerson

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Wilkerson, Richard Catlett (1996 March). Dreams, Censorship and the new Telecommunications Act. Electric Dreams 3(2). Retrieved from Electric Dreams July 27, 2000 on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams

If you didn't realize that the new Telecommunications Act of 1996 had any thing to do with dreams, you might want to read this. While the Act mostly contains long overdue reform that will increase global access options and make for a better lifestyle, the tacked on Section 223 about what is indecent and illegal in Cyberspace is so broad that it covers online discussion of dreams that refer to not only to sexual acts and body orifices but also to mentions of abortion. The authors claim that the intention was to protect children from pornography, but it technically makes all online discussion in these topics a criminal act. Some large commercial carriers have already blocked access to newsgroups.

Whatever your position on this historic Act may be, you can find out more online. There is a resource guide available at URL: http://bell.com/hrconf.html

If you would like to join the Blue Ribbon Anti-Censorship Campaign, check out the URL:

If you find that your service provider is blocking access to the newsgroups on dreams and dreaming, you can bypass this by :

1. Downloading one of the freely available Usenet readers via the Web, such as FREE AGENT for the PC ftp://ftp.forteninc.com/pub/free_agent/fagnet10.zip or NEWSWATCHER for Macs ftp://ftp.acns.nwu.edu/pub/newswatcher/

2. Via the Web, find an Internet site that offers public access to Usenet. There is a list of these at http://dana.ucc.nau.edu/~jwa/open-sites.html

3. Establish a PPP connection to the Internet via your commercial service or ISP provider. On AOL you will need to download the Winsock program to allow this. (Keyword: Winsock) On CompuServe they provide a CompuServe Dialer.

4. Start the Usenet reader program and point to the chosen address. You will now have the option of reading the dream newsgroups of your choice, be that alt.dreams, alt.dreams.lucid or even the scandalous alt.dreams.casteneda.

Another approach is via e-mail. In this method you will get a list of newsgroup posts to the newsgroup you selected, and a new path associated with each post. To READ a post, just send back the below commands with the path you want to read.

To Post
To: newsgroup@news.demon.co.uk
or newsgroup@cs.ttu.edu
OR e-mail to : gopher@nig.ac.jp

Port =4324 (or 4320)
Path =nntp ls *put newsgroup name here, without asterisks*
Host=pinchy.micro.umn.edu (or infopub.uqam.ca)

And here is one I haven't tired, but found in the 1996 April _Internet World_ which suggests simply using a web browser and going to http://www.w3.org/hypertext/DataSources?News/Groups

In the upcoming issue of Electric Dreams we will be focusing more on your rights as an individual in Cyberspace to share your dreams and other experiences.