1995 - Ethical Principles - Stranonetwork

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Strategies for Liberation

C. Legal issues

A legislation Made-in-Italy: a situation in motion...

Up to the 90's, the Italian legislation did not have any laws covering the right to communicate by means of teleinformatcs tools. A never applied rule concerning the protection of the health of Public Administration's work force and a law enacted during the emergency period of 70's and providing severe sentences for people damaging automated devices of the Italian State are the only legislative initiatives carried out in Italy before the well known Legislative Decree on Software Protection and the Conso Law on Computer Crimes. Just before these two important legislative initiatives, the Italian magistratesinvolved in suppressing computer crimes (or cyber rights in some cases...) took advantage of old Italian laws such as the copyright protection rules provided in the 1941 or the criminal code concerning wire-tapping. In the 90's, the Italian ruling class understand the economic importance of infor- mation technology and, a s a result, in 1992 the Italian Parliament sow the birth of the Legislative Decree on Software Copyright Protection while 1993 sow the enactment of the Conso Law on Computer Crimes. The Legislative Decree on Software Copyright Protection provide severe sentences, including criminal sanctions, for anyone involved in copying software products protected by copyright measures with the aim to make profit for her/himself. This Legislative Decree does not take into consideration those software product making part of the Freeware, Public Domain and Shareware kind supposing to classify, and consequently to protect, only the industrial products. The way this Legilsative Decree has been in- terpreted is another important contradictory aspect to be faced. According to many italian magistrates and lawmakers, having a software product without having bought it is to be considered a profit action and, as a consequence, also those people or public bodies that use a software product for no- profit goals such as educational courses must buy all the software products they need. Otherwise, they will be soon persecuted. In this way, thousands of research institutes and schools have not been able to carry out their public educational or institutional projects, while many others have spent most of their economic sources in buying software products. The Conso Law provides severe sanctions for those involved in computer crimes such as spreading computer viruses, cracking automated security systems, hacking password and protected data. The Conso Law may be applied only for those criminal activities that has the end to make profit for someone or to make damages to someone else. The Legislative Decree on Software Copyright Protection and the Conso Law has been recently applied to persecute hundreds of no- profit Italian Bulletin Board Systems and telematics networks (such as Fidonet and PeaceLink). This huge repressive initiative internationally known as The Italian Crackdown has been a great flop as no computer criminals have been found but, on the other hand, many young people and several no-profit organisations involved in social and humanitarian activities have been damaged both in their private and public life. In the meantime, the same ruling class is involved in designing other legislative texts concerning the anti- trust on tlc market, the personal data protection and the management of no-profit teleinformatics networks. How these future legislative initiatives will infringe or not the civil rights of Italian citizens involved in communicating by means of teleinformatics systems is a question we are going to answer in the next future.

Ethical principles.

All should be given access to the global communication.

Nets shouldn't be owned by either private or public monopoly and oligopoly.

Nets management should be checked and approved by users.

Global links should be encouraged. A global atlas of all servers should be created and kept updated. Every server should be required to give access to the global atlas, thus to any other server.

Privacy ought be protected

Anonymous users should be permitted

Cryptography should be permitted

Sysops shouldn't be held responsable for message content.

Regulations shouldn't be decided by owners. They should discussed and enacted by the community of users.

Access to information ought to be considered a universal right.

All should have interactive access to the Net.

People should be permitted to copy software, if for no-profit reasons

Selective access should be forbidden

Censorship should be outlawed

Protocols should be agreed by users. They shouldn't be owned or imposed by private companies

Hardware costs should be kept low.

Governments should provide a national-wide cable networks , as to give every citizen a low cost possibility to realize a web server at home.

New technologies effects on the job market should be balanced by a generalized reduction of hours of work at the same real salary. Privacy on the new work places should be protected

Trade unions activities and workers solidariety should be encouraged and protected, even among workmen who are not working at the same location.

How to move the situation in the right direction and in the direction of cyber rights ! Waiting for the next future we have been involved in the last years to counteract the effect of the Italian Crackdown and to create a social, cultural and political movement able to defend the cyber rights of Italian citizens. In the february of 1995 we carried out a national meeting of no-profit BBS at the Pecci's Museum of Prato. A few months later, we get involved in a national debate about the design of a bill whose aim is the management and organization of no-profit BBS. Outlining how the best environment for the activity of a BBS is an envirionment free from limits of every kind, even of legal limits, we partecipate at this debate as we are sure that a bill concerning this item is unaivodable and so, it is important that this kind of bill should be designed by someone that cares about civil rights rather than from fascist or authoritarian political forces. As a result, a bill designed by left-wing politicians is now to be put at the attention of the Italian Parlaiment. This bill provides several articles relating a possible public use of freeware, shareware and also old commercial software products for social purposes. Some, few, rules concerning the life of a no-profit BBS which are the only that can be accetped by BBS nowdays as they state the right to communicate of no-profit networks (without taxes, controls or limits) whose only duties are a self-management rule to adopt and a generical committment to collaborate with the judicial administration in the case of an investigation for computer crimes. Althought we are quite sure that the most important thing to carry out nowdays is a cultural movement that understand the importance of political principles such as, right of access to public information, the right to communicate, the right to express ideas and so on we are going to be involved in the near future to avoid an enactment of italian laws infringing civil rights on the field of new information tech- nologies.

G. Strategies for Liberation. Ideas for Global Links.

A new age means a new worldwide ruling class and its plans. We must think of a strategy to free our minds from the chain that have been forced upon us from above. We have the energy, the strength, and the creativity to think of a long run project to organize new ideas and new policies for a peaceful revolution against the ruling class and its interests. These are some ideas of what we could realize:

1. Distributed Servers around the world

2. Mailing List

3. Teleconferences.

4. Information Agencies.

5. Networking and exchange of material and experiences

Unity makes strenght To connect any single person or small group that is working for a global liberation is a basic task. Let us produce maps and linkage among alternative servers. Let us make available to the general pubblic a bookmark of alternative servers and addresses. Against money, we have to produce a stronger, quicker, more effective global networking.

Thanks to the richness and the energy that movements have, we may by-pass the big, multinational companys efforts to create giant monopolies. We need to join our efforts. Let us exchange material by opening links among servers. To create alteernative maps is one of our best strategy.

6. International Conventions

7. International Promo Tours.

8. Advertising the People Net and its Ideas.

9. Protests on the Net

9.1. Virtual Strikes

To boycott a server for a limited period of time, it is sufficient to organize a large group of people and ask them to overflow the server by asking to access all together at the same time. Boycott should be advertised, made pubblic, and given reasons. They would work as sit in's that jam traffic.

10. Specialized group

10.1. System operators 10.2. Software 10.3. Hardware 10.4. Lawyers 10.5. Information agencies 10.6. Productions 10.7. Retailers

Against all kinds of social barriers, cyber rights now !

StranoNetwork Italy

For Metaforum II - No borders 6/10/1995


info c/o Tommaso Tozzi,

Via XXIV Maggio 14, 50129, Firenze, Italy phone: +39-55-485996

e-mail: tozzi@mailserver.idg.fi.cnr.it


Virtual Town TV (phone +39-55-485997) VTTV e-mail:







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