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US DoJ wants to regulate "how people interact on the Internet"



Forwarded from a journalist colleague. Read the last graf. Eric Holder is
the deputy attorney general, Janet Reno's second-in-command.

Here's an article I wrote about his talk of a Net-porn crackdown a year ago:
http://www.time.com/magazine/1998/dom/980713/notebook.the_scoop.sudan19.html

-Declan


SHOW: WEEKEND ALL THINGS CONSIDERED (8:00 PM ET)

April  25, 1999, Sunday

LENGTH: 547 words

HEADLINE: NEXT WEEKEND'S NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION MEETING IN DENVER

ANCHORS: DANIEL ZWERDLING

REPORTERS: LARRY ABRAMSON

  BODY:
    DANIEL ZWERDLING, host:

    The high school massacre's already having an impact far beyond
Colorado. It
seems to be fueling the movement to crack down on guns.  But as NPR's Larry
Abramson reports, different factions still can't agree how or if to do it.

    LARRY ABRAMSON reporting:

    In many ways the  Littleton  shooting has added little new to the debate
over
gun control in this country.  Advocates of gun control have rushed to
introduce
restrictions, saying the easy availability of weapons helped make the
shootings
possible.  The gun lobby has been lying low while standing firm.  The National
Rifle Association did not actively oppose plans to withdraw legislation that
would have relaxed some concealed weapons laws in Colorado.  But today, NRA
executive vice president Wayne LaPierre told CBS his group's views on the
subject have not changed.

    Mr.  WAYNE LaPIERRE (NRA Executive Vice President): I think a citizen that
applies for a permit, goes through a safety course and goes through a training
course is not the type of person--and 31 states have proven that--that's gonna
be a problem.  And I think this whole talk about that law in the mixture of
this
terrible tragedy is simply off the point.

    ABRAMSON: But the point right now may be to score points.  As has happened
before, gun opponents are trying to seize the momentum while memories of this
latest tragedy are fresh.

    Professor ROBERT SPITZER: Oftentimes, it is true that the particulars
of the
incidents that receive attention may not necessarily have been thwarted by the
subsequent law that is passed in response to that tragedy.

    ABRAMSON: Professor Robert Spitzer(ph) teaches political science at the
State
University of New York at Cortland.

    Prof.  SPITZER: But it is a response to society's sense that the kinds of
weapons involved or the kinds of activities that raise these problems ought to
be subject to closer scrutiny, ought to be subject to stronger regulations.

    ABRAMSON: And the regulations that have surfaced or resurfaced run the
gamut
from requiring gun safety locks to further restricting access to assault
weapons
for juveniles to holding parents responsible if their kids get hold of
household
guns.  The policy response is complicated by the fact that there are so many
other factors to blame from video games to black-clad pop singers to Hollywood
violence.  Deputy attorney general Eric Holder pointed to the two boys' use of
the  Internet  to develop their fantasies and possibly to get hold of
information on how to build bombs. Holder told CBS that even though previous
efforts to restrict speech on the  Internet  have been struck down in
court, it
might be time for another try.

    Mr.  ERIC HOLDER (US Deputy Attorney General): The court has really struck
down every government effort to try to regulate it.  We tried with regard to
pornography.  It is gonna be a difficult thing, but it seems to me that if we
can come up with reasonable restrictions, reasonable regulations in how people
interact on the  Internet,  that is something that the  Supreme Court  and the
courts ought to favorably look at.


...



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