June 15, 1999 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on June 15, 1999.
Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here this file is one of a number made available -- hopefully attractively, all in one place, and relevant to libraries and online digital information work in France and Europe -- as part of FYI France (sm)(tm), an online service to which anyone can subscribe for 12 months by postal mailing a check for US $45, payable to Jack Kessler, to PO Box 460668, San Francisco, California, USA 94146 (site licenses also are available): please write your email address on the front of your check. Please email suggestions for improvements to me at email@example.com
The French appear to be interested in "Internet restriction", and in US attitudes toward this thorny problem. The appeal which I made recently for suggestions on the topic yielded a number of replies from France (...and a number of others, all to receive their replies from me in turn I promise, just as soon as I can get them done...)
In the meantime, a large and growing list of "Internet Use Policies" and other resources on the whole question of Internet restriction now may be found at,
and -- as with anything on FYI France -- all suggestions, comments, and criticisms will be welcome, particularly any which suggest new W3 sites and other resouces on Internet restriction.
The idea is to provide both the French and the non - French with a site useful to anyone concerned about efforts to restrict Internet access by users. Child safety and censorship are the primary concerns, and Internet restriction by libraries specifically, but persuasive arguments for the inclusion of other topics will be welcome as well.
My own prejudice, I will admit, is for complete freedom of information for adults coupled with severe restrictions on access by children. This extremist view -- open to adults, but far more closed to children than currently is the case -- is not shared by most who have been writing to me, from France or elsewhere. Most seem to be in either the "civil libertarian" or "censorship" camp, with little boundary - spanning of these two coming in from other interests such as children, or cultural difference, or even religious difference -- some folks just want the pipe more open, some more shut, it doesn't seem to go much further than that.
ALA, the American Library Association, long has taken a very firm position advocating open Internet access for children, albeit with strong parental supervision -- a position which influences most library "Internet Use Policies" in the US which I have found so far. It is a position with which I personally do not agree.
My hope is that French and other FYI France users -- and US librarians as well -- will examine the US position carefully and perhaps suggest foreign views which contrast or support.
The site is intended to serve as an index only, and not to represent any particular point of view in the debates. Although short excerpts from some sites may be quoted, this will be done not to represent the site quoted but to encourage users to go there and look, and judge, for themselves -- always with a live link, to help them to do this.
This is not the only site online devoted to its general subject: as others are discovered or suggested links to them will be added as well. As anyone else comes across interesting material in France about Internet restriction, particularly by libraries and particularly regarding Internet access by children, I hope they will let me know.
We have had high school shootings in the US recently -- too many of them -- and these and much else that is wrong with society are being attributed to the freedom of information now found, and found moreover by children, on the Internet. French writers are horrified by this: their children are not as unruly or as violent as are ours in the US -- yet -- but there is a great and growing fear in France that they might become so and, once again in France as in the US, the Internet is being blamed by many.
Alarming events like the US high school shootings often happen for only a very short time -- terrible as they are, things change, society moves on. Before Internet restrictions which could curb the free speech of several generations of users are imposed, in reaction to possibly very transitory recent events, they need to be very carefully considered.
FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal ISSN 1071 - 5916 * | FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic | journal published since 1992 as a small-scale, | personal experiment, in the creation of large- | scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler. / \ Any material written by me which appears in ----- FYI France may be copied and used by anyone for // \\ any good purpose, so long as, a) they give me --------- credit and show my email address, and, b) it // \\ isn't going to make them money: if it is going to make them money, they must get my permission in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. Use of material written by others requires their permission. FYI France archives may be found at http://infolib.berkeley.edu (search fyifrance), or http://firstname.lastname@example.org/ (BIBLIO-FR econference archive), or at http://www.fyifrance.com , or at http://listserv.uh.edu/archives/pacs-l.html . Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all will be gratefully received at email@example.com Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved except as expressed above.
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