|Robert Mills, London, UK.
I wish to communicate to you in the strongest possible terms, the disappointmentat the action which you have seen fit to undertake with regard to the above HomePages.
Mr Drecker's home pages are some of the most entertaining and genuinely personalaccounts I have found on the Internet. I find the censorship of such material anopen and flagrent violation of the right to free speech and liberty.
Whilst I can understand that not all people find this material enjoyable andsome may even consider it offensive, are you to prepared to accept the view ofthe moral minority which considers a bigoted opinion must be imposed upon all.Where do you think it will end? Are they not aware that we do not impose thismaterial upon them, they go looking for it ! And in that lies your answer to thereal reason why these vocal, yet faceless individuals who crusade on a platformof moral righteousness do so only for their own political and hypocritical ends.
The pages contain innocent and harmless voyeurism onto a personal life and atpictures which can be found in any magazine in the world. In fact I would gofurther and say that the continued censorship of this Home page will only serveto generate a "cause celebre" with the millions of those who find this attitudetotally unacceptable.
I therfore respectfully request that your decision to remove this Home Page bereappraised forthwith.
I had the opportunity to visit Claus Drecker's homepage the evening before it was censored off of the Internet. I thought the page was clever and somewhat "artsy", but definitely not pornographic. It is a shame that free and open communication must fall victim to the vagaries of narrow minded individuals who wish to impose their prejudices and intellectual constraints on others.
I hope that Claus is allowed to return to the Internet and to express himself as he chooses.
Rick Clarke, Canada
Several decades ago I visited your country of Norway as a CUSO member(Canadian University Students Overseas). During that time I found the Norwegiansto be a very kind, helpful and loving society.....
That is why I am shocked to find that you have closed down my friends (Claus Drecker's) home page. Dont you as a publisher understand the meaningof freedom of expression ?? If you don't then "GOD help us all" !!!
I learned during my 50 plus years of living and seeing the wars fought andsacrifices made, that " Although I may not agree with your view or statements,I WILL DEFEND WITH MY LIFE, your right to express them"..And another itembesides your like or dislike of so called "Porno", What do you have against photosof harmless little cats, and summer vacation pictures...Are you that powerhungry to go to any extreme....Also remember, "What is one man's trash is another man's treasure" How many people trash or treasure your publications ???
Do they remove your publications from access to the general public ?? Ithink NOT !!
I believe and expect that you owe Mr Drecker not only an apology for theembarrasment you have put him through, but a full reinstatement of his fundamental rightsto freedom of expression.....
ON YOUR SERVERS !!!
Yours very truly Rick Clarke
Prince Edwards Island
M A Today
I am sending you a note in regards to the censorship suffered by thehomepage
It is a sad thing when people are denied the simple freedom of expression.Regardless of what "offensive" material this homepage contained, I protestany censoring of free expression.
I do not know the individual who owned this homepage, and we will nevermeet. The simple fact is that when you allow this person to be censored,you make it easier for someone to get me. That is not acceptable. Witchhunts do not just happen. People allow them to happen. Once the first"witch" gets burned, the frenzy feeds on itself until the fires light up thenight, and the people that were to be "protected" burn also.
When they come for you, and take your liberties, AND THEY WILL, I hope youremember that you were all too willing to weed out "offensive" materials.The people that would force you to think like them are never satisfied.They will continue to take from all of us until there are no more libertiesto give.
I wish the owner of
Professor John H. Neu, California
Dear Mr. Bore:
By way of introduction, I am a U.S. citizen, an attorney (for more than 30 years), and a professor of political science and public law (for more than 25 years) at a local college in southern California. I am a member of many learned, scholarly societies and associations in the U.S. and a private entrepreneur in my own right.
This letter is written on behalf of Mr. Claus Drecker, for whom you provide inter net services (i.e., a WEB page). I apologize for my inability to express myself in Norwegian; but since most Norwegians are multi-lingual, I shall trust in your ample capabilities in the English language.
Recently, Mr. Drecker, with whom I have been in correspondence (mostly about our respective experiences as gay men growing up in homophobic environments, but also with respect to the technicalities of using the inter net), informed me that you had removed all his JPEG's from his WEB page. These included pictures of his family, his cats, his dwelling, his workplace, projects on which he has labored, as well as, of course, his gallery of naked male images. I realize that yours is a private company and that, therefore, you probably have the right under Norwegian law to censor (as would any private publisher) whatever appears on your inter net service. Obviously the offensive material must be the images of naked men. (I would assume that you take equal offense to images of naked women and that your censorship is not merely directed at gay/lesbian persons.) Most gay men enjoy seeing pictures of naked men with much the same gusto and zest that most heterosexually oriented men enjoy seeing pictures of naked women. One has but to pick a few magazines at any barbershop in the U.S. to see the extent to which the latter interest is cultivated whereas the former interest is not even recognized.
I was quite astounded at your action with respect toMr. Drecker's web page. The Norwegian government and its people have always seemed to me and to many scholars in the U.S. to be models of rational, enlightened treatment of these matters. Indeed, in my law classes, I often point to the example of the Norwegian government in matters as diverse as gay/lesbian domestic partnerships, participation of gays/lesbians in the armed forces, discrimination against gays/lesbians in employment, housing, and other areas. The U.S. is still far from reaching the plateau of rationality which Norway attained a goodly number of years ago. Indeed, our U.S. Supreme Court in effect recently upheld the constitutionality (i.e., legality) of the military policy referred to as "don't ask, don't tell" which has become a subterfuge (påskudd) for continued witch hunts (heksejagd) against gays/lesbians in the armed forces. Thus, your action with respect to Mr. Drecker surely does much to sully and besmirch the reputation for enlightened tolerance of both Norway and Norwegians.
What makes your action rather bizarre and astonishing is a contrasting experience we had in the U.S. As you probably know, our Congress passed a law (the nefarious Exon bill) which attempted to censor material passing through WEB-service providers. However, when the legality (i.e., constitutionality) of this statute was tested in one of our major appellate courts, it was unanimously tossed out as an unconstitutional infringement of freedom of expression. Moreover, I should point out that every major WEB-service provider company in the U.S. (e.g., AOL, Compuserve, etc.) joined in the suit, along with the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) in OPPOSING the statute.
I realize that there are limits to even enlightened Norwegian behavior: pictures of minors (I believe the relevant age in Norway is 16; in most of the U.S. it is 18.) engaging in sexual activity either amongst themselves or with adults are forbidden, pictures of humans engaging in sexual activity with animals (bestiality). (The former makes logical sense--the protection of individuals, minors, who are deemed incapable of rendering informed consent to such sexual activity; however, the latter is utter nonsense, at least where the participants are adults. How is the state harmed by adult humans having sex with animals? Alas, perhaps Norwegian law makers require some lessons in modern biology! By the way, I am personally disgusted by such activity, as I am of sexual activity involving minor children; but I still think government has no business interfering with it--adult sex with animals, that is-- anymore than it does have with an individual's masturbating in private.)
Mr. Drecker has informed me that your reason for dumping ALL of his pictures is that it is too time-consuming to search through his images which might offend Norwegian law. As a lawyer and business man, I can easily understand your concern regarding your potential liability in that respect. But let me ask you a poignant question. Do you examine each and every posting on your server for violations of copyright law? I sincerely doubt that you do. Following your same logic, you therefore should eliminate all pages which post written material on the grounds that it is too time-consuming to screen through them for copyright violations! Logic, honesty, fair-dealing, Mr. Bore! That's all that Mr. Drecker requests!
Perhaps I may suggest a compromise for your dilemma. This would require your relying on Mr. Drecker's own sensibilities and good sense. (Although I have confessedly not examine each and every one of Mr. Drecker¹s image postings, I haven¹t seen anything which I could categorize as child pornography. Indeed--and I hope he takes no offense from this assertion--his images are rather mundane or banal compared to what is available in the U.S. with all its moral prudery and hypocrisy! What attracted me to his WEB page was the quality of the intellect revealed in it, the revelation of the personality of its creator).
Here, then, is my suggested compromise. If Mr. Drecker desires to post any images of naked men which HE personally feels might compromise your service under Norwegian law, he should personally submit them to you for censorship. He would have to promise to abide by your decision on the matter. I do not assert that this would provide you with protection under Norwegian law; I utterly lack any expertise in that respect. In the U.S. we have some important constitutional rulings from our U.S. Supreme Court to the effect that a book seller must be proven by the government to have KNOWINGLY sold pornographic material before any criminal liability can attach. The government can not force a book seller to rummage through his entire stock in order to weed out legally impermissible material. The government cannot force the book seller to do its dirty work! This is one of those cases in which ignorance is truly bliss, Mr. Bore, and one of the reasons why all inter net service providers in the U.S. strenuously opposed the Exon bill which attempted to alter the law on this matter.
Mr. Drecker strikes me as being a rational, honorable gentleman; and I have no reason to believe he would intentionally compromise your internet services. If Norwegians such as yourselves, inhabitants of the land of Ibsen, Grieg, Munch, and Vigeland, cannot arrive at reasonable compromises and modus operandi regarding matters of this sort, what hope is there for the rest of us, Mr. Bore, I ask you? Life is so very hard and unbending for so many in this world; it takes only a little human decency to make it a better, more livable place.
Thanking you for your attention and understanding in dealing with this matter, I remain,
Yours truly, John H. Neu,
Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair, Dept. of Political Science,
Member of Dept. of Business Administration; Whittier College; Whittier, California.
and Attorney at Law.