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<nettime> RUSirius:The Revolution starts on the Internet
Ru Sirius office on Fri, 18 Sep 1998 08:24:56 +0200 (MET DST)


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<nettime> RUSirius:The Revolution starts on the Internet


The Revolution Starts on the Internet

A political party called The Revolution has formed on the Net at
http://www.the-revolution.org.  The Revolution has a POST-MODERN SOCIAL
CONTRACT WITH AMERICA
<http://www.disinfo.com/prop/diss/prop_diss_revolution1.html> and a 15
POINT PLATFORM <http://the-revolution.org/platform.htm> that includes
repealing five laws for every one they pass, legalizing most drugs,
dismantling the Prison/Industrial complex, redefining work, and pledging a
VICTORY OVER HORSESHIT in government. 

The Revolution has already attracted several hundred members, 99% of whom
are in their teens or twenties.  R. U. Sirius, co-founder of Mondo 2000
magazine, author of "How to Mutate and Take Over the World", and general
counter-cultural icon, is expected to be The Revolution's Presidential
Candidate in 2000. Sirius promises to light up a Cuban cigar the very
second he's in orifice.  This act, and all other actions worthy of notice,
will be broadcast on The Revolution's website. 

Scary thing is, as low as voter turnouts have been lately, the internet
could actually ELECT a candidate. 

********

The Revolution 7 Point Platform for the Internet and the Computer
Industry

Pre-Ramble

The body politic of the Internet is as unpredictably perverse as Marv
Albert after a fifth of Scotch.  Er... that doesn't sound right.  What we
really mean to say is that in a random poll previous to the 1996 Election,
Netizens selected the Libertarian candidate as their President, and Ralph
Nader came in second.  We feel that The Revolution offers up a political
choice that combines the best of the Libertarians and St. Ralph, with a
dash of centrist policy techno-wonk Newt Gore.  We have therefor
arrogantly presumed the mantel of Political Party of the Internet. 

Unlike the technolibertarians, we feel that a wee bit of Government
intervention can be groovy!... but only if WE are the Government. Unlike
the Neo-Luddites, we're rather fond of the microchips that FEMA secretly
planted up our butts.  Unlike the Technorealists, we're not as boring as
an Amish rock festival. 

Aside from having a sense of humor, these are our Internet/High Tech
Policy Points

1) No Censorship

The Revolution opposes all censorship, but we're particularly strident
about our opposition to censorship on the Net.  The Net makes public
"speech" and "publishing" as spontaneous as using the telephone. To apply
standards of other media, or even publishing, to this technology is like
legislating and policing neighborhood gossip. 
        Obviously, some things fall under necessarily existing laws. You
can't solicit for murder at the neighborhood bar or on the net. And you
can't show pornography to children on the street.  On the other hand, if
the children sneak off into the bushes after nipping some of your porn,
most sane people won't hold you responsible. 
         We believe in protecting kids.  The question is, how?  By keeping
them in a playpen until they have to hit the streets?  Or by preparing
them, arming them with skills to cope with an adult world? 
        We suggest full disclosure.  Freedom of information for kids. New
media is ubiquitous. And it's ephemeral, like the air--integrating into
the social sphere as a seamless environment where we spend a goodly
portion of our lives.  We are ultimately faced with the choice of
censoring all our media till it's safe for children, or teaching our
children to cope with the media.  We're not suggesting forcing horrible
and perverse materials on kids, but we do suggest that we let the kids
access all the information they're going to need for surviving in a crazy
world, one in which all of the stuff of the human psyche, both brilliant
and grotesque, is on full display.  Protecting children from content might
actually be viewed as a DISservice--the opposite of education. 

2:  Universal Access.
The net is the site of our worldwide global conversation and a potential
site for participatory democracy.  Those without access are
disenfranchised. Therefore we suggest a 3 year program for universal
access, accomplished by the free distribution of inexpensive,
Internet-ready boxes, as well as a continued and redoubled effort to get
net access into all Libraries, Schools, and many other public areas across
America. 

3:  Privacy
We are for full free access to encryption technology, and will encourage
its use as something that will help resolve problems of identity theft and
other online rip-offs.  We support all social and technological solutions
that acknowledge the individuals ownership of his or her own information. 
A great example of this is the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P): The
goal of P3P is to enable Web sites to express their privacy practices and
enable users to exercise preferences over those practices. P3P products
will allow users to be informed of site practices (in both machine and
human readable formats), to delegate decisions to their computer when
appropriate, and allow users to tailor their relationship to specific
sites. (from the P3P FAQ at http://www.w3.org/P3P/P3FAQ.htm). 

We would make the collection and sale of individual private data for
commercial purposes without permission completely illegal. We would
enforce this vigorously

4:  Copyright
Digital and other technologies have made it difficult to enforce copyright
protection for media and software creations.  The entertainment industry,
which largely controls the Democratic Party, has responded by redoubling
its effort to create ever more draconian copyright restrictions.  You now
can't legally walk into a copy shop and Xerox a chapter out of a book. 
Recent attempts to pass legislation that would have made it technically
illegal to download materials off the Web and print them without explicit
permission did not succeed.  However, excessive copyright, trademark, and
libel restrictions already feed an army of hungry lawyers and restrict
freedom of speech (in the broad sense that includes all media) and
research. 

The Revolution supports the continued existence of copyright. Creators
should have the right to own and benefit from the products of their
minds. It is also economically necessary, under current conditions, that
they continue to do so.  We believe, however, that  copyright protection
must be rewritten to be more flexible in light of current realities.  The
concept of fair use must be supported and expanded in an increasingly
mediated environment.

5: Consumer Advocacy
The federal government should set up an special consumer affairs division
aimed solely at the computer/net industry.  The atrocious behavior of this
industry towards consumers must be stopped.  Because computers and
computer networks are a new frontier for commerce, vendors and service
providers have managed to get away with selling faulty product,
oversubscribing networks till they no longer serve the consumer's needs,
engaging in standards wars that are disruptive to service and stability,
etc. If government agencies are good for anything, it's for ensuring that
consumers arent victims of malevolent business practices. 

Relatedly, we believe the federal government should punish Microsoft
severely enough so that it hurts for its sleazy monopolistic practices.
But separating Explorer from Windows just doesn't make any danm sense.
Packing them together really IS the natural thing to do. 

by R.U. Sirius and Cyberguy
*************
Think REALLY Different
Check out THE REVOLUTION website at
http://www.the-revolution.org

Check Out
The Post-Modern Social Contract with America    www.the-revolution.org/

The Party Platform   www.the-revolution.org/

The Revolution(r)  7 Point Program for Dramatically Decreasing the
Threat of International Terrorism     www.the-revolution.org/

Revolutionary Strategies   www.the-revolution.org/  (Don, that's the
How to Win Section)

R.U. Sirius on Bill, Monica, and Wagging Dogs   www.the-revolution.org/

*************


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