Keep the Net Free

(An Editorial)

The Internet is the next great wave of communications. Despite what you may have heard on the news, most of what's there is not pornography, evil hacking groups, or terrorist revolutionary cells. There's good and bad, exciting and boring, general and special interest - the whole gamut of information, entertainment, and communications resources - just like life.

We agree whole-heartedly with the concept of ``family values''. We believe that children need to be molded and guided by their parents. We don't believe that children (or anybody else, for that matter) need pornography.

But we don't see that as the issue being addressed by federal attempts at regulating the Internet. The problem is that, given the historical evidence, once Pandora's box has been opened, it is extremely difficult to close, and in fact people keep opening more and more compartments inside it. If the government gets involved, it will continue to get more and more involved, and may someday be knocking at your URL with a warrant.

Anything with the ``Net Ads'' name on it will meet our guidelines. We have no desire to censor anyone, but if we are going to be associated directly with something, we want it to be something we don't have to worry about our children, or anyone else, seeing.

Individuals responsible for their own pages are also responsible for their own content. We do not screen their pages. If you find something offensive, please let us know. We will review the material and discuss the issue with the page owner and/or you. We may ask them to put up warnings. But unless the page is illegal, or clearly violates our standards, we will honor the concept of free expression.

We strongly urge parents to work with their children. As children develop, we should be able to trust them more and more. If we can not, then however much society may have contributed to this failure, it is up to the parents to fix the problem, not society. Neither society nor government can effectively raise children - this is something only a parent can properly do.

The current laws regarding pornography, sedition, racism, and other hot issues should apply across the board. The Internet is simply a medium. If you want to stop the spread of pornography, then work to outlaw it altogether, or to have current law enforced. Don't destroy a wonderful medium just because it's an easy target.

If this is an important issue with you (and it should be, regardless of whether you agree with our viewpoint), there is a wealth of information available.

Net Ads is a trademark of Miles O'Neal. All material is copyright 1995-1997 by Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX, USA, unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved, unless otherwise specified.