An Unshackled Internet:
If Joe Howe Were Designing Cyberspace


By Parker Barss Donham
(pdonham@fox.nstn.ns.ca)



Delivered to
The Symposium on Free Speech and Privacy in the Information Age
at the University of Waterloo, 26 November 1994


Abstract: Contrary to entrenched mythology, Joseph Howe's acquittal did not secure freedom of the press in Canada. We have a panoply of laws restricting publication, and a cultural propensity for deferring to authority. Lately, Canadian university administrators have been especially prone to accept censorship, but they made a strategic blunder when they rushed to delete the Usenet group alt.fan.karla-homolka. Doing so lent tacit support to the position that Usenet nodes are publishers, not common carriers. Censorship of Usenet groups is a blunt instrument, since much socially useful expression gets tossed out with the bath water. The Internet's unique, many-to-many mode of communication should be a powerful democratizing force. Oppressed groups should think twice about endorsing greater powers of censorship for state authorities, since such powers seem likely to be used against them.


In preparing a talk about the Internet and censorship, an obvious first step is to see what the Internet itself has to say on the subject. As everyone knows the signal-to-noise ratio on the Internet tends to be dreadfully low, and the quality of information it contains is often suspect. But one area that the net documents capably and comprehensively is the net itself. The Internet is surely one of the most self-absorbed and self-referential institutions in recent human history. So I spent some time poking around the net, reading up on past and present battles over free speech and the Internet.

Among the first things I discovered was what a prominent place the University of Waterloo holds in the annals of Internet censorship. A formative battle over Usenet censorship began here in 1988. It centred on one of the funniest ethnic jokes I've ever heard. Now I'd love to repeat the joke, and if this were a meeting of the Rotary Club, or the local Presbytery, or even a sewing circle, I would certainly do so. But alas . . . this is a college campus, so we're much more severely restricted in what we can say. Besides, there may be some Scottish or Jewish ventriloquists in the audience, and I might offend them. And now I've ruined the joke anyway. [1]

I intended that anecdote as the sort of light introductory banter a speaker uses to soften up an audience for the serious stuff to follow. But it does have a serious side.

I guarantee you there are some people in the audience who are uncomfortable at my tacit admission that I found a joke about Jews and Scots funny. After all, Jews have suffered heinous persecution because of the stereotypes often embodied in ethnic humor. On the other hand, I guarantee you that there are also people in this room who are dying to hear the joke. There may even be people in whom both these emotions are warring with each other.

That's why it alarmed me that Ursula Franklin, after giving us a trenchant, crystal-clear analysis of the history of communication modes among humans, suddenly tossed those qualities of trenchancy and clarity to the wind and suggest that human expression be regulated like smoking or toxic waste disposal, with the recipient given power of regulation. [2]

With the greatest respect for Professor Franklin, a woman I admire enormously, human expression is not the moral equivalent of smoking or toxic waste, and one person's right to expression must not be subject to another person's thin skin.

To quote James Madison inexactly, because I am going from memory:

As long as there are such things as printing and writing, there will be libels: it is an evil arising out of a much greater good. And as to those who are locking up the press because it produces monsters, they ought to consider that so do the sun and the Nile; and that is something for the world to bear some particular inconveniences arising from the general blessings, than to be wholly deprived of fire and water. [3]

Most journalists these days have been to university, and one of the things university trains us to do is to complete a writing task approximately 37 seconds before it is due. So I was a bit nonplussed when Jeff Shallit insisted some months ago that I give him the title of my talk. Not having the faintest idea what I was going to speak about, I fell back on that old chestnut of Canadian journalism, Joseph Howe.

Joseph Howe was a 19th Century populist Nova Scotian politician and newspaperman, and the defendant in a celebrated libel trial. The story of Joseph Howe's speech to the jury is one of the defining myths of my trade. W. H. Kesterson's history of Canadian journalism calls it "the most momentous freedom-of- the-press precedent" in the first half of the 19th Century. [4] I think one of the reasons journalists like this story so much is that, as reporters, we're forced to sit through so many terrible speeches. It would be nice to think that one magnificent oration had secured our fundamental freedoms. Unfortunately, it is a myth. Howe's speech accomplished many things, but securing freedom of the press in Canada wasn't among them.

It was, however, an electrifying address. In 1835, Howe had published a pseudonymous letter criticizing the corrupt magistrates who ran Halifax. He was charged with seditious libel, an offense for which truth was not a defense. He acted as his own lawyer. And in a packed courtroom--a room that today serves as the legislative library in Province House at Halifax-- Howe spoke for six hours and 15 minutes, ending in a pyrotechnic flourish:

Will you permit the sacred fire of liberty, brought by your fathers from the venerable temples in Britain, to be quenched and trodden out on the simple alters they have raised? . . . Will you, my countrymen, the descendants of these men, warmed by their blood, inheriting their language, and having the principles for which they struggled confided to your care, allow them to be violated in your hands? [5] . . . I conjure you to . . . leave an unshackled press as a legacy to your children. You remember the press in your hour of conviviality and mirth--Oh! do not desert it in this its day of trial.

. . . Gentlemen, I fearlessly consign myself, and what is of more consequence, your country's press, into your hands. I do not ask for the impunity which the American press enjoys . . . but give me what a British subject has a right to claim--impartial justice, administered by those principles of English law that our forefathers fixed and have bequeathed. Let not the sons of the rebels look across the border to the sons of the loyalists and reproach them that their press is not free. [6]

The judge told the jurors that in his opinion, Howe was guilty. No matter. The jurors needed only ten minutes to pronounce him innocent. Historian Joseph Andrew Chisholm described the scene that followed:

[Howe] was borne by the populace to his home amidst acclamations. The people kept holiday that day and the next. All the sleds in town were turned out in processions, with banners; and all ranks and classes seemed to join in felicitations on the triumph of the press. [7]

Those were the days, eh? The impugned magistrates resigned. The governor-in-council named replacements, who themselves refused to take office. The journey to responsible government in Nova Scotia and in Canada was inexorably underway. [8] But the press was not free. [9] Just eight years later, Howe's successor as publisher of the Novascotian was imprisoned for failing to pay damages in a series of Tory libel suits. [10] And 88 years later, the Cape Breton labour leader J. B. McLachlan was imprisoned for seditious libel--the very crime of which Howe had been accused. [11]

Mercifully, we don't have trials for seditious libel today, but we do have a panoply of laws and practices that restrain freedom of the press to a degree that shocks the daughters and sons of the rebels--on those rare occasions when they happen to notice what the sons and daughters of the loyalists are up to. We also have a culture infused with what Edgar Z. Friedenberg described as "deference to authority." [12] Friedenberg, an American sociologist who moved in the late 1960s from Boston University to Dalhousie, described the unspoken trade-off that defines the relationship between Canadians and their government.

He said Canadians habitually accede to regulations and restrictions that would excite rebellion among Americans. In return, Canadian officials generally (though not always) show restraint in the exercise of their authority.

There are hundreds of examples of this, but one of the simplest is jaywalking. As someone who grew up in Boston, I'm here to tell you that Canadians are at best timorous jaywalkers. In Nova Scotia, at least, a pedestrian need only dangle a foot near the curb to bring cars screeching to a halt. But a vacationing New Yorker who gets stopped for speeding by a Mountie invariably remarks on how polite cops here are.

In Canadian Constitutional law, deference to authority produces an obsessive concern over "balancing" the right of free speech with a myriad other rights and social interests. In the United States, "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech," [13] whereas a Canadian's right to "freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression," [14]are "subject . . . to such reasonable limits, prescribed by law, as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society." [15] That's from Section One of the Charter, which might be called the Mack Truck clause.

The trouble with this so-called balancing act is that it's very easy, in the words of the American critic Nat Hentoff, to balance free speech to the back of the bus. [16] In the years since the Charter took effect, the Supreme Court of Canada has spent thousands of pages discussing the appropriate limits to free speech. But rarely, if ever, has the court taken even a few pages to explain why free speech is important, why it is a crucial limit on the powers of government, why it is a defining characteristic of a free society.

Because he was a bit of a rebel, Friedenberg found Canadians' respect for the powers-that-be unsettling. But he had to admit, the tacit bargain made Canada a pleasant place to live.

The downside of that bargain can be seen in the continuing row over how much Canadians should be allowed to know about the notorious plea bargain that sent Karla Homolka to prison for a maximum of just twelve years, and a minimum of four. Remember that Robert Latimer got a minimum of 10 years without parole for a crime motivated by compassion.

In a humiliating spectacle for a country that fancies itself free, Canadian border guards stopped cars crossing the Peace Bridge near Niagara Falls and searched for copies of a Buffalo newspaper. The paper had reprinted a Washington Post story about Homolka's quasi-secret trial and the court's selective ban on publication of information about it.

I'm sure you all remember the Monty Pythonesque details. From each motorist interdicted, the border cops seized all but one copy of the offending paper. All but one. It was okay to have one, but you couldn't have two, as if fax machines and photocopiers did not exist. Only a government--a Canadian government--could device a policy this tortured.

The effort at enforcement was about as effective as the Chinese government's attempts to stop news of the Tiananmen Square uprising from flooding into the country on fax and phone lines.

The humiliation deepened when a Detroit radio station styled itself Radio Free Windsor and began discussing banned bits on the air. At one point, one of these media personalities actually stood on the riverbank with a bullhorn and hollered banned information across the border. Just as Howe feared, the sons of the rebels were taunting the sons of the loyalists that their press was not free. Canadian authorities stopped short of jamming the airwaves, but some cable companies began blacking out U.S. news broadcasts lest something our government didn't approve of be revealed.

For months, Canadians with access to the Internet had been able to read details of the trial--or purported details anyway--on the Usenet group alt.fan.Karla-Homolka. But as the flap reached a crescendo, one university administration after another caved in and ordered alt.fan.k-h deleted from their computers. Even universities outside Ontario, where the ban's authority was legally doubtful, took this step.

This happened even though only a small percentage of the postings in alt.fan.k-h included banned information. Mostly, participants debated the merits of the ban. Many of them who thought the ban a good thing and condemned attempts to get around it. So when universities took it upon themselves to police the ban, they were censoring far more than the judge had done.

That's the first thing to be noted about Internet censorship. It is inevitably a blunt and crude instrument. Deleting an entire Usenet group--or worse still, an entire Usenet hierarchy--because a few of the postings it attracts may contain banned or offensive information makes about as much sense as burning a carton of books because one or two pages in one or two of the books may depict anal intercourse or teenagers having sex.

On the Internet, the utterly predictable result was a scramble for other computerized routes to the forbidden information. Howard Rheingold, a San Francisco computer journalist, points out that the military precursor of the Internet was designed by the RAND corporation to withstand nuclear attack. [17] RAND accomplished this goal, not by entombing net bunkers in yards and yards of concrete, but by devising its uniquely decentralized structure. The net has no centre. It is a web of interconnected nodes. A serendipitous result of this structure is that the net resists censorship. In the words of net pioneer John Gilmore, "The net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." [18]

This circumvention continues to this day. Yesterday's Globe and Mail carried a front page story about a police investigation into the decision by lawyer Kenneth Murray to withdraw as attorney for Paul Bernardo. [19] The story is written in something that resembles code. The reporter appears to be straining to let readers know something he can't quite come right out and tell them.

Now it happens that the banned newsgroup alt.fan.karla-homolka mysteriously resurfaced on my Usenet server sometime in the last few weeks. To readers of alt.fan.k-h, and to readers of the various listservs and Usenet groups that supplanted it, the Globe story appears to confirm what we've been reading on the Internet for weeks: That Bernardo's lawyer resigned because he had come into possession of video tapes that purportedly show the crimes unfolding. Incredibly enough, police missed the tapes in their month's long search of the Bernardo residence.

There is in all this a contempt for the public, a belief that potential jurors are too weak-witted or prejudiced to put aside reports they've heard about a case and decide a defendant's guilt or innocence on the evidence adduced at trial. Judges can decide such things because judges are so much wiser than us. And we are nothing if not deferential to authority.

It is, by the way, a mistake to conclude--as many net enthusiasts have proclaimed--that the publication ban has been a complete failure. Most Canadians know much less about the Homolka case than they would know if the ban had not been in place. A few Canadian netters know a lot of details about the case--or think they do, for who is to say how much of the net gossip is accurate. One of the main effects of the ban has been a proliferation of what may turn out to be misinformation.

Ironically, while the bastions of free thought that are Canada's universities were busy doing the government's thought-police work, some cable companies were having second thoughts. Montreal-based Videotron, one of Canada's biggest cable suppliers, announced Friday that it would no longer try to black out news programs that might contain material the government doesn't want Canadians to hear.

It's a sad day when cable companies have a deeper appreciation for free speech than university presidents.

I think many universities got bad legal advice, and I think I know why. I have worked for a lot of big media companies--the CBC, the Globe and Mail, Southam--and I've often consulted with the specialists in media law whom they employ. I've also worked for media outlets who used their corporate legal departments--or worse, a general practitioner on Main Street--to advice them on media law issues.

Here's the difference. Media law is an arcane specialty, with which generalists tend to be uncomfortable. So they tend to err on the side of caution. They are trained, after all, to keep their clients out of trouble, and if you don't publish something, you won't get into trouble. Media law specialists are not only more confident of their field, they also recognize that legal dangers have to be weighed against the journalistic purpose of the organization.

Suppose Waterloo had said to its lawyer: "We are an institution that owes its very existence, and its continuing worth, to a free marketplace of ideas. And we consider discussion of the criminal justice system to be of the utmost public importance. Naturally, we don't want to flout the law in a way that invites prosecution. We are prepared to accept some risk, but not an imprudent risk. What advice can you give us as to the likelihood that we will be prosecuted under these circumstances, and our chances of successfully defending ourselves if we are charged with contempt?"

With that mandate, might a lawyer have given different advice? Especially a lawyer well versed in communications precedents, and in computer technology? Maybe not. But there are a host of questions about the legal status of Usenet posts, none of which have been arbitrated by courts. Given Usenet's decentralized, automated, passive existence, who is the publisher? A node that holds a posting? A node that automatically passes it on? We don't blame telephone companies for illegal acts committed on the phone. They are common carriers.

What about Usenet locations outside Ontario. What was the status of the Ontario court order in Nova Scotia? The New Brunswick courts didn't prosecute the Globe and Mail when it published--outside New Brunswick--banned details of a civil suit between the McCain brothers. The obscure literary magazine in Victoria that published information in the Homolka trial was likewise never prosecuted--though that didn't stop the attorney-general in that province from uttering the fatuous, chilling, authoritarian advice that anyone who picked up one of the 'zines should turn it over to police.

In blocking access to the Homolka news group and sundry other Usenet groups, university administrators have, in my view, made a strategic blunder. Such deletions imply an acknowledgment of their status as publishers (akin to newspapers or radio stations) rather than as common carriers (such as telephone and cable companies). The much more accurate and benign view of the Internet as a network of common carriers has already gained a foothold in U.S. courts, in a case called Cubby v. Compuserve. [20]

Let me make one final point about the technical feasibility of net censorship. And by the way, it's probably a measure of journalistic chutzpa that a reporter would come to the computer science department at Waterloo and presume to pontificate on technical issues of computer communications.

Many of you will be familiar with a recent episode in which Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel, a husband-and-wife team of U.S. immigration lawyers, sent messages to more than 5,000 Usenet groups soliciting clients wanting help getting green cards. [21] This was a flagrant violation of netiquette, the loose code of self-restraint that permits the otherwise anarchic net to survive. If copied, the advertising ploy has the potential to overwhelm the system. Outraged netters retaliated with thousands of bogus e-mail messages, crashing the computer where the lawyers' e-mail account was located. Reams of blank pages spewed out of the lawyers' fax machine. The service provider disconnected Canter and Siegel--though it backed down when they threatened suit.

Still, Canter and Siegel consider the experiment a success. They claim it brought in $100,000 of new business, and say they plan to use the tactic again. This, in turn, so outraged a Norwegian hacker that he devised a "cancelbot," a program that scans Usenet for messages from Cantor and Siegel and deletes them. To do this, the cancelbot has to pretend to be Siegel and Canter, to commit electronic forgery, in effect. That has provoked more ethical debate. After all, if a cancelbot could seek and destroy Canter's and Siegel's ads, could it not just as easily seek and destroy violations of the Homolka trial ban, or references to anal sex, or messages that praise Catherine MacKinnon?

We are sure to see a lot more of this. Just as happened with copy protection of software, the technological battle between censors and circumventors will ebb and flow. Who knows how it will turn out. My hunch is that the decentralized structure of the Internet, and the sheer quantum of data flow probably gives the circumventors a long-term edge.

The other great arena of Internet censorship is Usenet's alt.sex hierarchy. "alt.sex" and its progeny are replete with material that many would consider loathsome, and many more would deem puerile. But the alt.sex groups are also among the most popular on the Internet. Their use still constitutes a small, if not tiny, fraction of net activity, but at least as many Canadians read them as, say, read the Kitchener-Waterloo Record. This suggests to me that there exists a considerable hunger for information about sex, for discussion of sex, and even for the kinds of experimental, cyber-erotic experiences that the net offers. It suggests that the net is fulfilling an unmet need.

Years of following battles over free speech have led me to formulate Parker Barss Donham's First Law of Censorship, which I think sums up the debate pretty thoroughly. (I don't actually have a Second Law of Censorship, but I'm leaving the slot open in case I think of something. [22]) Donham's First Law of Censorship states that "Most citizens are implacably opposed to censorship in any form--except censorship of whatever they personally happen find offensive."

Thus, exactly as the First Law predicts, Felix Holtzman is opposed to censorship, except for censorship of art he considers dumb. Rosanne Skoke is opposed to censorship, except for censorship of filthy homosexual propaganda. Michelle Landsberg is opposed to censorship, except for censorship of whatever she considers demeaning to women. Attorney General Marion Boyd is opposed to censorship, except censorship of the deal her department cut with Karla Homolka. Universities are opposed to censorship . . .

Well, no. Universities are an exception to Donham's First Law of Censorship. In a bizarre and disheartening turn of events, universities have become the most censorious institutions in our society, devoting enormous energy to formulating and promulgating lengthy codes detailing what can and cannot be said on campus.

Of course the problem with a society governed by Donham's First Law of Censorship is that no one objects to banal, inoffensive, non-controversial speech--or at least authorities rarely bother to censor it. The only real test of our devotion to free speech is whether we tolerate rude, obnoxious, in-your-face speech--whether we tolerate, in Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes's wonderful phrase, "freedom for the thought that we hate. [23]" Freedom for ideas--Holmes again--"that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death." [24]

These are not new arguments and I don't expect them to persuade people determined to subordinate free speech to other values they consider pre-eminent--determined, in other words, to shut other people up. But it is distressing to see so much of the impetus for censorship arising from groups associated with the political left--specifically from feminists and minority groups. To be sure, feminism is no monolith, and many feminists are dedicated defenders of free speech and civil liberties. But much of recent feminist political ferment has been censorious, prudish, and appallingly willing to make common cause with the most misogynist elements of the political right.

Even leaving aside the principles of human freedom of expression, this strategy seems willfully naive. (I must pause here to acknowledge Professor John Fekete of Trent University, who sharpened my thinking on this point. Fekete was the first professor on the political left to find the courage to speak out against the Ontario government's policy of zero-tolerance for controversial campus speech. He is the author of a forthcoming book about the rise of censorship on Canadian campuses called "Moral Panic." [25])

If, as Fekete and I believe, women and various minorities really are oppressed, then they are foolhardy to endorse greater powers of censorship for state authorities, because the powers thus granted will inevitably be turned against them. If, on the other hand, women and minorities really do have access to the levers of state power, then their claim to oppressed status is fraudulent. Either way, their efforts to silence others are wrong.

In the Supreme Court of Canada's Butler decision on the censorship of pornography, the unanimous opinion written by Mr. Justice John Sopinka purported to shift from a standard that imposed moral judgements to one that weighed the potential harm to women and children posed by sexually explicit expressions. The decision represented a triumph for the theories of the radical American feminists, Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon--theories that have been consistently rebuffed by U.S. courts.

In fact, the Butler decision did nothing to change the government's entrenched habit of imposing moral judgements. The feminist argument simply provided the court with a trendy, progressive sounding rationale for imposing those same, tired moral judgements.

In a delicious irony, one of the first acts of post-Butler censorship was Canada Customs' seizure of two books by Dworkin bound for a lesbian bookstore in Montreal. Pro-censorship feminists, by the way, remain in a state of denial about this. They either deny that such seizures are taking place, or they insist that they merely represent a misapplication of the Butler decision by police. Well the seizures are taking place--ask any gay bookstore in Canada--and surprise surprise, the police approach is exactly what civil libertarians predicted it would be.

I'd like to leave you with one final point about the Internet. I remember a New Yorker cartoon from sometime in the 1960s or 70s, when computers were just getting a foothold in society. It showed a huge computer--an old Univac with whirring tape drives--sitting on a hilltop. A mob of farmers were rushing up the hill, attacking the computer with scythes and pitchforks. That's the image non-technical people had of computers, isn't it. Computers, we feared, would be Big Brother's tool, instruments of oppression, invaders of privacy, displacers of persons.

All those dangers are still with us, and all those fears. The use of bar codes and scanners pose great challenges to a free society. But up until now, at least, computers have shown themselves to be capable of empowering people in ways we did not foresee 20 years ago.

A. J. Liebling wrote that freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one. [26] That's a phrase with some resonance in Catherine MacKinnon's writing. She points out, rightly, that illiteracy and poverty are major barriers to free speech, barriers impervious to any First Amendment or Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If netters are fiercely protective of their freedom to communicate, it may be because they perceive exactly this. The Internet promises to achieve what no charter of rights can: putting printing presses in the hands of many. In a world dominated by powerful unitary, publishing conglomerates, it offers a potent antidote to the corruption such power inevitably brings: a new mode of communication by many to many. Greater government power to censor such a medium is the last thing any democrat should endorse.


[Parker Barss Donham (pdonham@fox.nstn.ns.ca) is a staff writer for the Canadian edition of Reader's Digest Magazine, a political columnist for the Halifax Daily News (and nine other Nova Scotia community newspapers), and a weekly panelist/debater on CBC-Television's First Edition in Nova Scotia.]

[1] In an Internet post dated 12 July 1993, John McCarthy, professor of computer science at Stanford (jmc@SAIL.Stanford.EDU), reported the joke as follows: "A Jew and a Scotsman have dinner. At the end of the dinner the Scotsman is heard to say, 'I'll pay.' The newspaper headline next morning says, 'Jewish ventriloquist found dead in alley.'"

[2] Franklin, of Massey College, University of Toronto, spoke before me at the conference. In what may have been an offhand comment, she suggested that the problem of sexually explicit images being displayed on computer screens in university computer labs might be solved by having "dirty picture rooms." She added that pornography should be treated as a "public health problem," akin to smoking or toxic waste disposal.

[3] An embarrassing admission: The preceding five paragraphs of this talk were written on the fly, in response to Ursula Franklin's comments. As best I could, I recalled the words attributed here to James Madison. Once home, I located the precise quotation as I originally transcribed it; but I have been unable to find the original citation. I have sought help from several Madison scholars, and most thought the wording a bit flowery for the fourth president of the United States. Some suggested it might have been Jefferson. I'm still trying to nail it down.

[4] Kesterson, Wilfred H., A History of Journalism in Canada (Toronto) McClelland and Stewart, 1967.

[5] Extracting a few sentences from a six-and-one-quarter-hour oration necessarily involves editorial license. For the sake of clarity, I took the further license of transposing the first two sentences of this paragraph.

[6] Howe, Joseph, "Speech to the Jury," 1 March 1835, quoted in The Speeches and Public Letters of Joseph Howe, Joseph Andrew Chisholm, ed. (Halifax) The Chronicle Publishing Company Ltd., 1909.

[7] Chisholm, Joseph Andrew, ed., The Speeches and Public Letters of Joseph Howe (Halifax) The Chronicle Publishing Company Ltd., 1909.

[8] J. Beck, J. Murray, Joseph Howe (Kingston, Ontario) McGill-Queen's University Press, 1982.

[9] Chisholm, J.A. The King v. Joseph Howe.

[10] Beck, J. Murray, Op. Cit.

[11] MacEwan, Paul, Miners and Steelworkers -- Labour in Cape Breton, (Toronto) Samuel Stevens Hakkert and Company, 1976.

[12] Friedenberg, Edgar Z. Deference to Authority: the Case of Canada, (White Plains, N.Y.) M.E. Sharpe; (Toronto) Random House of Canada, 1980.

[13] Amendment 1, Constitution of the United States

[14] Section 2(b), Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

[15] Section 1, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

[16] Hentoff, Nat, Free Speech for Me -- But Not for Thee, (New York) HarperCollins, 1992.

[17] Rheingold, Howard, "Why Censoring Cyberspace is Futile," in The San Francisco Examiner, (San Francisco) 6 April 1994.

[18] Gilmore, John, quoted in Rheingold, Howard, Op. Cit.

[19] Globe and Mail (Toronto) 25 November 1994, p. 1.

[20] Cubby, Inc. v. CompuServe, Inc. (90 Civ. 6571, SDNY)

[21] see: "Free Speech and the Internet," The Nation, 13 June 1994; and "Battle for the Soul of the Internet," Time, 25 July 1994, and "Censors Become a Force on Cyberspace Frontier," New York Times, 29 June 1994.

[22] Since delivering this paper, I have been fiddling with a draft Second Law of Censorship: "Everything offends someone; Everyone is offended by something."

[23] United States v. Schwimmer, 279 U.S. 644, 653 [1928]

[24] Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Jr., quoted by Lewis, Anthony, moderator, "The First Amendment, Under Fire from the Left," New York Times Magazine, 13 March 1994.

[25] Fekete, John Moral Panic; Biopolitics Rising, Robert Davies Publishing, Montreal and Toronto. 1994. ISBN: 1-895854-09-1

[26] Liebling, A. J., Quoted in Richard Kluger, The Paper: The Life & Death of the NY Herald Tribune, Knopf, 1986.

COPYRIGHT (C) 1994 BY PARKER BARSS DONHAM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT REPRODUCE WITHOUT PERMISSION.