It's Senate Bill 1482, which has been nicknamed "Son of CDA", and it's intent is to ban material on web pages that could be considered "harmful to minors". Anyone who was found guilty of distributing such material (and distributors could mean web page designers, online sites, internet service providers, and who knows who else) could be fined up to $50,000 and spend six months in jail. Just like the Act overturned by the Supreme Court, this bill doesn't specify what "harmful to minors" means or whether what is harmful to a six year old could be considered harmful to a 16 year old. In addition, it also doesn't say who will decide initially that the material is harmful. In other words, it's another bunch of bullshit from some politician who doesn't know the net from his asshole.
If you want to keep up with what's going on with the CDA, here are the sites to check out. The ACLU is at http://www.aclu.org/ and is bound to stay on top of things. There's also the Center for Democracy and Technology (http://www.cdt.org/), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (http://www.eff.org/) and the Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition (http://www.ciec.org/). Keep up with what's happening in Washington, because it could change the course of the internet in very oppressive ways.
Okay, so I've been doing theme oriented columns the last couple of months, and a bunch of you have written to have me check out particular sites. I'm going to spend the rest of the column talking about the best of the bunch that I've been mailed recently.
I think I'll start with the Zeitgeist Photopunk Archive at http://pages.ripco.com/~pavlov/ where you'll find a bunch of very cool band photos that I'm assuming were taken by the guy who does this archive. Photos of bands like Boris the Sprinkler, Anti-Flag, J-Church, US Bombs, The Makers, D.I.R.T. and a bunch more. You'll find the photos in the section "Pavvy's Crap", and not much else under the other links. Still worth it for the pictures, though.
Jersey Beat 'Zine now has a web page, and though somewhat sparse at the time of this writing, still has some pretty cool stuff. A few articles from the zine, a couple of columns, record and zine reviews, and a decent photo archive make this worth your time. You'll find Jersey Beat at http://www.jerseybeat.com/ .
Speaking of paper zines going online, Punk Planet now has their very own website. The content seems to differ from that of the magazine, which is cool. They are slowly but surely updating the site, but right now it has a live webchat section, a feature on Pro Wrestling, and a photo essay on DC People and their cars. Overall, not bad. Could be really cool if the webchat feature ever takes off. Try it out at http://www.punkplanet.com/.
Speaking of DC People, the DCHARDCORE website at http://www.dchardcore.org/. DCHARDCORE bills itself as a resource for the DC Music scene, and includes photos, interviews with DC scenesters, information about upcoming shows, lists of bands, labels, stores and the like. All in all, it's one of the coolest "scene" pages I've seen, though I'm sure it doesn't cover the entire DC scene.
Another decent scene-related page can be found at http://www.atlantapunk.com/ . Yep, you got it, it's "Atlanta's Official Punk Scene Information Website", with info about Atlanta bands, upcoming shows, a photo album, punk chat, Atlanta bands from the past, record labels, stores, classified ads, trivia contests, and more. Definitely cool to visit, even if you have no plans to ever visit Atlanta.
Moving to the west coast, and a musical style that is on punk's fringes, we have West Coast Psychobilly (http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Palladium/2609/psycho.htm). There's links to bands here like Hellbillies and Buddy's Riot, as well as info about West Coast shows, some sound files, reviews, zines, movies and more. Cool stuff, if you like some 50's in your punk rock.
It's been almost two years since I mentioned #punk on IRC in this column. IRC, which stands for Internet Relay Chat, is a way to chat in real-time with other punks on the net. You'll need a chat program like Homer for the Mac (available from http://www.macorchard.com/) or mIRC for the PC (at http://cws.internet.com/). There are 3 or 4 irc networks out there, with the most popular being DALnet, Efnet, and Undernet, and all of them have a channel called #punk. In fact, I even ran across a DALnet #punk homepage you might want to visit. You'll find it at http://punk.w1.net/ . Check out IRC, you never know who you might run into there.
A relatively new e-mail list for fans of hardcore just started up. It's called the HxC-List, and there's instructions for how to subscribe to it at http://www.primenet.com/~curb/hclist/ . I'm not on it myself, so I have no idea how popular it is, how many messages you might get, or anything else.
Speaking of mailing lists, I fucked up a few issues back when I told you how to subscribe to the punk-list. There was much rejoicing from the p-listers when they realized I fucked up, because they're such an exclusive group, but fuck 'em if they can't take a few newbies. Here's the right way to subscribe (and prepare to be bombarded with at the very least 100 messages a day): Send an e-mail message to email@example.com with NO subject line, and "subscribe punk-list" (without the quotation marks) in the body. That should get you subscribed and sorry for whatever I wrote before.
Finally, in the spirit of keeping information free from government censorship, I want to mention the M.I.T. Student Association for Freedom of Expression (SAFE) Home Page at http://www.mit.edu/activities/safe/home.html . There is a lot of information here the "THE MAN" does not want you to see. There are also links to other organizations trying to keep censorship off the net and other articles, etc on freedom of expression issues. Read it, because who knows how soon you might not be able to.
Well, that does it for another month. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
, or write to me at PO Box 8059; Santa Cruz CA 95061. Finally,
as always, you can read my columns online at http://netpunk.base.org.
Until next month - see ya.
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