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February 21, 1995: cybersex and surveillance. (From the Archives of The Advocate).

As soon as the Internet was created, battles for privacy and personal freedom on the Web sprung up right along with it. In the February 21, 1995, issue of The Advocate, journalist Jorge Morales explored the issues of sexual freedom and the right to privacy on the Net.

"Federal officials and state legislators may be running the computerized equivalent of a fine-tooth comb through all sexually explicit material in cyberspace," Morales wrote. He noted that America Online had recently complied with an FBI subpoena for thousands of customer lists and telephone records and may have also released logs of conversations between users.

While the 1986 Electronic Privacy Act ostensibly prevented government monitoring of private files and messages, Internet consultant David Casti noted that the act had a loophole "you can drive a truck through," allowing system administrators to go through private files in the course of regular administrative duties. "The whole question of electronic privacy is like a Gordian knot," Casti said. "People need to know that just because they're using a computer doesn't mean that all they've learned about the law suddenly goes out the window."

Read an excerpt from this 1995 Advocate article about Internet surveillance at
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Article Details
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Author:Romesburg, Don
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 5, 2002
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