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Online Policy Group, Inc.

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November 8, 2002

The electronic journal of the Online Policy Group, Inc.

This issue is available online at

Action Alerts

Online Policy Projects

  • Taming the WWW: A Provocative Discussion on Internet Filtering
    OPG Executive Director Will Doherty organizes panel on Internet blocking at OpenGov02 conference, California First Amendment Coalition (October 19, 2002)

  • CyberCenter Open to the Public
    The new San Francisco LGBT Community Center has an exciting feature you might not have heard about. It's the CyberCenter, a computer lab with Internet access, word processing, and printing capabilities that is free and open to the public. Currently open on Thursday nights from 6-10 pm, it's located inside the Charles M. Holmes campus of the Center, at 1800 Market Street. More than a dozen computers are available and waiting for you to use them! Go check it out and let us know what you think at

  • Help OPG Obtain Funding
    In order to serve more under served communities, OPG has begun applying for foundation funding. If you are currently utilizing OPG's free services, you can have a direct impact on OPG's chances of receiving a grant! Simply go to and check out the testimonials of satisfied clients. Then write your own and email it to A few minutes of your time will help us demonstrate the direct impact of OPG's services.

Online Policy News


  • Making the Web Child-Safe
    Seo needs help with her geometry homework. Zara wonders aloud whether a pair of khakis are appropriate garb for a visit to Western Michigan University. Dig asks if anyone has ever heard of "Fydor something Russian." Globe asks if anyone saw "Trigger Happy" on Comedy Central. Zimmy laments her glitchy copy of a Sims game. New York Times (October 31, 2002)

  • Study Tallies Sites Blocked by Google
    Google, the popular Internet search engine, has excluded more than 100 Web sites from the French and German versions of its index under pressure from those nations' governments, a new study has found. The sites include many devoted to white supremacist philosophy and Nazism, with names like Jew Watch. Ben Edelman, who did the research, said "they are mostly pretty terrible pages." New York Times (October 25, 2002)

  • Harmful to Minors Review
    Judith Levine's Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex is a must-read for those who seek to understand American attitudes toward sex education and childhood sexuality and for those interested in how to use the Internet to reach out to young people who are exploring their sexuality and seeking sexual health information, despite Internet filtering, University of Minnesota Press (October 17, 2002)

  • Websites Blackout Over Spanish Monitoring Law
    Spanish Web site operators have taken their sites offline in protest of government proposals to regulate online content, The Register (October 14, 2002)

  • China Bans Minors From Net Cafes
    The Chinese government on Friday issued rules barring minors from going into Internet cafes, which are hugely popular for video games and web services, and which state media have said poison the minds of urban youth, Reuters via CNET (October 11, 2002)
    For a story about a group of hackers' response to the Chinese government's block of Google searches, New York Times (October 10, 2002), see

  • Administrative Harassment
    In the past weeks, there has been a new wave of threats, shutdown attempts, and harassment towards the Ché Café by the UCSD administration, Ché Café Collective (October 7, 2002)
    In response, the American Association of University Professors and nine other groups have written a letter asking UCSD to abandon its threats of disciplinary action against the Che Cafe Collective, a move that the school had claimed was necessary because of the USA Patriot Act, CNET News (October 8, 2002).

  • Fighting Net Censorship Abroad
    Washington lawmakers are considering legislation that would allocate $100 million to thwart Internet censorship by authoritarian regimes, contrasted with continuing government-mandated CIPA censorship in U.S. schools, Wired News (October 3, 2002),1283,55530,00.html


  • Online Angst
    Confidence about privacy remains a major concern for Internet users, according to the newly issued consumer Internet barometer, CBS News (October 16, 2002)

  • A Kiddie GPS for the Masses?
    You are a parent with the jitters; you go to RadioShack and buy a casing for your teen's cell phone that tells you his or her whereabouts at all times; you simply log on to a website for a map of the phone's location, Wired News (October 12, 2002),1367,55731,00.html

  • FBI Misused Secret Wiretaps, According to Memo
    The FBI illegally videotaped suspects, improperly recorded telephone calls and intercepted e-mails without court permission in more than a dozen secret terrorism and intelligence investigations, according to an internal memorandum obtained by a member of Congress, Washington Post (October 10, 2002) &contentId=A3704-2002Oct9¬Found=true

  • Privacy Groups Target Amazon Again
    Two privacy groups are urging state and federal regulators to force to live up to its privacy promises. Junkbusters and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) argue that the e-tail giant isn't doing enough to protect the privacy of its customers and must allow customers to view and delete their personal records, Reuters via (October 8, 2002)

Digital Defamation

  • Judge: Disabilities Act Doesn't Cover Web
    In the first case of its kind, U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz said the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies only to physical spaces, such as restaurants and movie theaters, and not to the Internet, Reuters via (October 23, 2002)

  • Why Human Rights Requires Free Software
    Human rights is the global currency of modern politics; whenever the United States attacks a country, diplomatically or physically, it cites human rights claims; and in a not-so-surprising irony, the critics of the United States and its allies complain of human rights violations as well, O'Reilly Network (October 11, 2002)

Digital Divide

Organizational News

Boards and Committees

Free Internet Services

  • Direct Access Through the Online Policy Group
    The Online Policy Group provides donation-based email list hosting, website hosting, domain registration, and colocation services directly to individuals and groups who are underserved, underrepresented, or who face unfair bias, discrimination, or defamation online. Learn more at

  • Featured Email List: Lamorinda Peace Group
    After having their information and content pulled from a major online service provider, this East Bay peace group came to OPG. From the list moderator, Kay James: "We originally began as a book group but soon became increasingly interested in world politics and environmental issues. We share information such as newspaper articles from the world press, critical films being shown (such as documentaries), conferences (such as the East Bay Sanctuary Movement and Bioneers), discussions on globalization, genetic engineering and other food and agricultural issues and letter writing to our representatives in Congress. The group of women is quite diverse, as are the interests of the group, but the overriding and cohesive focus is that we are all dedicated to educating ourselves and those around us to the important political and environmental issues of our world." OPG email lists available at &

  • Featured Website: Prospective Queer Parents
    A forum for the exchange of information and a social gathering space for queer (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, etc.) people who are interested in childraising and parenting. Meetings of the organization provide an opportunity for queer people interested in parenting to encounter new friends and potential parenting partners.

  • Featured Domain Name: Leather Leadership Conference
    An organization dedicated to strengthening the SM/Leather/Fetish community through the development of the leadership skills of community members and fostering a greater sense of connection between and within community groups. The LLC hosts annual conferences where attendees may share their knowledge and experience with one another, fostering a greater sense of unity and understanding within the community as a whole.

  • Featured Colocation Client: Plugged In
    A nonprofit community technology center in East Palo Alto that provides the opportunity for people to learn, create, produce and express using technology.

Volunteer / Intern

Thank you to all volunteers and interns! We couldn't do what we do without you.

OPG needs volunteers and interns for many projects! Consider how you can apply your talents to developing universal Internet access without discrimination or defamation. OPG particularly needs volunteers for the following projects:

  • Translations
    If you are bilingual, especially in English and Spanish, please help us in our continuing effort to make materials available in other languages. Although Spanish translations are our first priority, we would welcome translators for other languages as well.

  • Website Editors
    We particularly need website editors interested in updating the OPG website on a regular basis (you don't even have to know HTML).

To volunteer for these positions or to get more information on our other volunteer opportunities, check out

If you are a volunteer or intern and would like to be added to the page, please email with your name, email address, brief bio, date started internship or volunteering and (optionally) a picture (in png, jpg, or gif format).

Volunteer of the Month

  • Alex Chaffee
    This month we recognize Alex Chaffee, extreme programming guru, who inspired a group of software developers to pair-program the code and tests for the Online Community Forum software project, now codenamed "Calliope." The project will provide more secure message boards, photo exchange, and many other online community features without commercial advertising or smarmy privacy policies. Java programmers, especially those interested in extreme programming in the San Francisco Bay Area, can join Alex on the project by filling out the volunteer form at
    See more about Alex at


  • Equipment Wishlist
    Wanted Working or Broken: San Francisco Bay Area donations of computers or computer parts, any kind. At the moment we especially need RAM computer memory, all types and sizes. OPG is constantly putting computers together to give away to nonprofit groups and for research purposes - any and all computer donations are appreciated!

  • Turn Up The Heat
    As OPG grows and provides services to more and more individuals and communities, we also need increasing financial support to make these services possible. You may have noticed the thermometer on OPG's donation page, which tracks our monthly goals and turns up the heat with every donation and gift. Every gift you give makes a difference, so keep up the good work! Make a donation and watch the thermometer go up at

  • Thanks!
    Thanks to inspired donations, OPG has achieved more than 200% of our fundraising goals for October 2002. This came out to $4,160. As of today, November 8th, we have reached 36% of November goals of $3,000. Check out our newly regularly updated summary of OPG financial goals and results at

  • Make a Monthly Contribution to OPG
    If you're looking for a high-impact way to contribute, consider making a monthly recurring donation to OPG using PayPal. Giving even a small amount every month will make a huge difference over the course of a year. It's an easy way to contribute much-needed resources to the Online Policy Group. Start your monthly donations today at

Editorial Policy

  • Submissions
    OPG ENEWS accepts submissions of news stories, action alerts, and other materials. Brief submissions may appear in their entirety in OPG ENEWS, while longer pieces may appear as a link to a page on the OPG website. To submit a story, simply email it to

Subscribe / Unsubscribe

To subscribe or unsubscribe to OPG ENEWS, please become a member of the Online Policy Group. It's so easy! Just send an email to:


where {location} is intl for outside the United States, us for United States and sfbay for the San Francisco Bay Area.

For example, if you live in New York City, send an email to:

About OPG:

The Online Policy Group (OPG) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to online policy research, outreach, and action on issues such as access, privacy, and digital defamation. The organization fulfills its motto of "One Internet With Equal Access for All" through projects such as donation-based email list hosting, website hosting, domain registrations, and colocation services. OPG focuses on Internet participants' civil liberties and human rights, like access, privacy, safety, and serving schools, libraries, disabled, elderly, youth, women, and sexual, gender, and ethnic minorities. Find out more at

OPG ENEWS, ISSN 1533-6387

Copyright (c) 2001-2002, Online Policy Group, Inc.

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