Computer underground Digest Sun 8 Nov, 1998 Volume 10 : Issue 55

Computer underground Digest    Sun  8 Nov, 1998   Volume 10 : Issue 55
                           ISSN  1004-042X

       Editor: Jim Thomas (
       News Editor: Gordon Meyer (
       Archivist: Brendan Kehoe
       Shadow Master: Stanton McCandlish
       Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth
                          Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala
                          Ian Dickinson
       Field Agent Extraordinaire:   David Smith
       Cu Digest Homepage:

CONTENTS, #10.55 (Sun, 8 Nov, 1998)

File 1--Islands in the Clickstream. A Vision of Possibilities
File 2--TechnoCalyps
File 3--Fwd: Porn Case Photos May Be Published
File 4--Lawsuit Filed Against New Censorship Law
File 6--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 25 Apr, 1998)



Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 11:09:54 -0600
From: Richard Thieme 
Subject: File 1--Islands in the Clickstream. A Vision of Possibilities

Islands in the Clickstream:
A Vision of Possibilities

It is one thing (some would say the only thing) to apprehend that clear
focus inside our own field of subjectivity that enables us to aim our lives
with greater precision and another thing to begin building a different
construction of reality based on the modular building blocks provided by
our society. But that construction - ultimately defining a very different
universe - will still be animated by our intentionality. The ghost in the
machine will still be a ghost.

Three domains that currently converge in a way that radically redefines our
possibilities are (1) the transformation of our perceptual field by virtue
of our interaction with technologies of information and communication; (2)
the redefinition of what it means to inhabit a "human space" as we begin to
genetically engineer our field of subjectivity, affective states, and
modalities of being; and (3) the evolution of a trans-planetary
civilization including our designed descendents and other intelligent
species in our galactic neighborhood.

Those of us old enough to straddle the icebergs of rapidly diverging
paradigms know that sooner or later we have to jump and live inside a
relatively consistent model of reality. The digital model, the model
enabled by digital interaction, is becoming dominant. We internalize a view
of the landscape by internalizing first the forms of the media that convey
images of that landscape to our brains. The medium is the message, as
McLuhan said. Both the eye and our extensions of the eye define our field
of view. We can see this because we still live near the terminator on the
moon, where the contrast between light and darkness throws mountains and
rills into sharp relief. When the moon is full, its features dissolve, and
when it's all darkness, there's nothing to see. Liminal vision is razor-sharp.

The digital landscape is interactive, modular, and fluid. So how we
construct reality is too.

This is noticeable when people complain about the loss of security that
they once felt. A friend said last night with some resentment,
"Organizations used to be loyal to employees and employees to
organizations. Not any more." What he meant, I believe, was that the
construction of reality he used to share with others in an unexamined
consensus sustained the illusion that cultural artifacts, including
organizational structures, were more permanent. Our organizational
structures - including nations, world religions, and "the earth" as a point
of reference for our thinking - are top-level consensual constructions
fused with the media that filter the data of our lives. The media create
the infrastructure of our collective thinking in their image.

But so do our genes. We are discovering that thinking and feeling are
expressions of our genetic code.

A consumer society in which we swap simulations like children trading
baseball cards has long conditioned us to accept the "manufacture of
consent" in every domain of our lives. A generation before Chomsky wrote
"Manufacturing Consent," Edward Bernays, the "father of spin," wrote
"Engineering Consent." Bernays understood that creating a particular
context always generates a particular content. (He assisted book publishers
whose sales were declining, for example, by soliciting testimonials on the
importance of reading, then took the affidavits to architects who agreed to
build houses with built-in bookshelves. New homeowners, not even noticing,
stocked those shelves with books).

The use of images to collect individuals in groups, then move those groups,
is an ancient practice. But now we will engineer the kinds of human beings
available for binding and bonding in the first place.

The practice of genetic engineering will dovetail with refined practices of
 social engineering. Most of it will go unnoticed. Subcultures that pride
themselves on independent thinking, for example, are a good gill net in
which such people can be collected, observed, or manipulated. That's much
more effective for social control than repression of such tendencies and
their social expressions. We may find it desirable to build larger
percentages of people amenable to such manipulation.

That practice would simply extend what we call "education" onto the
practical level of biomechanics. Fractal levels of self-control by the body
politic will manifest in whatever media are available. Ethicists will
object, but the cries of ethicists always follow the emergence of the
practice they decry.

Last but not least, our identity as "citizens of the earth" - which
intensified as a point of reference when the first photograph of the earth
seen from the moon became part of our collective awareness - will be, in
the not too distant future, a historical memory, much like biblical tribes
in the memories of Jews, Christians, and Moslems. Whether we persist as a
distinct identity, like Jews, or vanish in the gene pool, like Jebusites
and Perizzites, is impossible to predict.

Our constructions of reality will change when we couple our current modular
thinking with the modules of beings who have different genetic structures
and reference a different cosmology. The challenging process of negotiating
realities as we engage with the perspective of other species will reveal
what it means to be human-on-earth. If  a "human" point of reference
persists, it will be profoundly altered by that encounter.

My experience in Hawaii taught me that the Hawaiian construction of reality
shattered when Captain Cook sailed into Kealakekua Bay. Nearly two hundred
years later, in the nineteen sixties, when consciousness-raising activities
became pervasive in the dominant culture, their descendents reconstructed
Hawaiian culture, but as it was seen through the prism of the dominant
culture. Hawaiian culture today is a reflection in the eye of the
assimilating culture, a simulation built to the blueprints of archeologists
and imagineers.

The moment we see ourselves as we are perceived by another, we become
someone else, neither who we were nor who they think we are.

How we design the reality factories of our genetic structures and link them
in digital simulations in a trans-planetary context so much more vast than
the thinking life of our little planet has imagined - well, at the least,
life in the next century will not be devoid of interest.


Islands in the Clickstream is a weekly column written by
Richard Thieme exploring social and cultural dimensions
of computer technology. Comments are welcome.

Feel free to pass along columns for personal use, retaining this
signature file. If interested in (1) publishing columns
online or in print, (2) giving a free subscription as a gift, or
(3) distributing Islands to employees or over a network,
email for details.

To subscribe to Islands in the Clickstream, send email to with the words "subscribe islands" in the
body of the message. To unsubscribe, email with "unsubscribe
islands" in the body of the message.

Richard Thieme is a professional speaker, consultant, and writer
focused on the impact of computer technology on individuals and

Islands in the Clickstream (c) Richard Thieme, 1998. All rights reserved.

ThiemeWorks on the Web:

ThiemeWorks  P. O. Box 17737  Milwaukee WI 53217-0737  414.351.2321


Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 13:04:06 +0100 (MET)
From: Michel Bauwens 
Subject: File 2--TechnoCalyps

I'm preparing, together with Belgian director Frank Theys, a 3-part TV
documentary on the cyber-sacred (entitled 'TechnoCalyps'), and, in that
context have drawn up some theses/hypotheses on the occasion of the
Locarno Video Art Festival (

Perhaps they can be of interest to CUD readers as well.

Michel Bauwens


Avant_Garde6.  Is a new kind of basis of
society - the "cyber-sacred" - beginning to take shape?

Some hypothesises to understand the 'cyber-sacred'

By Michel Bauwens, <

1. The technological quest is a spiritual quest

I'd like to start with the premise that the quest for the
transcendental is in fact 'wired' in the human psyche. Even if we are
not spriritually or religiously inclined, we cannot escape thinking
about our relationship with the 'totality' of existence, and forbid our
souls to yearn for an escape from the humane condition and our
inescapable death.

Hence I believe that the history of human civilisation can be
characterised by a kind of competition between spritual transhumanism
and matieralistic or technological transhumanism. For thousands of
years humankind has chosen the first route, believing that there was a
transcendental 'supernatural' reality beyond the material world, but
which could be accessed through inner development. This gave rise to
traditional societies such as the HIndu civilisation, medieval
Christianity, etc...where society was more or less organised to support
that quest, by creating a social infranstructure to permit certain
layers of the population to devote themselves to that quest.

For a series of complex reasons, outside of the scope of this essay, a
break occured in the Christian West. Spirituality became a creed or
belief, without any realistic spiritual 'technology' to actually
achieve salvation or human liberation, the result being that from the
Renaissance onwards, this liberation was no longer sought in the
spiritual realm but in the material realm, and a process of
secularisation began.

However, what used to be sought in the supernatural, was sought in
material reality, and science and technology became a means to achieve
transcendence. As explained by David Noble in 'The Religion of
Technology', this relationship between technology and spirituality has
often been quite explicit, and always implicit. Hence technology is
actually carrying out a religious program for immortality, a utopian
'New Heaven and a New Earth. Where I differ with David Noble is that he
believes such a relationship is wrong and that science and technology
should be decontaminated, while I would argue that transcendence being
inherent in our condition, we should merely be conscious of it, but it
is otherwise unavoidable.

I'd also like to point out the Hindu notion, put forward by Richard
Thompson (author of 'Alien Identities' and 'Forbidden Archeology') that
for each yogic power, there is an equivalent technology being put in
place in the material world; and it echo in Hasidic Judaism, which
considers that technology is putting in place material proofs of divine
powers (as explained by Jozef Kazen of the Chabad website). Here it
becomes very clear that behind the technological quest, there is a
programmatic blueprint which comes straight out of our spiritual

2. The spiritual unconscious can cause damage if it is not brought to

Like all unconscious personal and societal content, it can cause damage
when it is not brought under the light of reason and consciousness.
Hence there is a lot of hubris in current technology (and the social
forces promoting it) that could be detrimental to our human future,
with an unspoken yearning to go beyond our bodily condition (the theme
of the obsoleteness of the body), beyond our minds (replacing it with
superior artificial intelligences) and in fact, beyond the human. Quite
an important percentage of the discourse on the cyber-sacred could fall
in that category, and I'm particularly thinking of movements such as
the Extropians, the transhumanist philosophy, and authors like Hans
Moravec, Frank Tipler, etc...

3. Technological transcendence is not real transcendence

I have no clear position on the realism of current technological
transhuman or posthuman aims, and whether things like extreme
longetivity, mind downloading, and such are really possible. However,
it can be said that even if they are realisable, this technological
transcendence is not real transcendence. Indeed, what
techno-transhumanis wants to achieve is longer life, more time; having
control over more space, etc.. Itall stays on the horizontal axis,
stays within time and space, and doesn't actually go beyond it, doesn't
move on the vertical axis. Hence technological transhumanism can in no
real sense ever replace the need for genuine spirituality.

4. Technological development can/does stimulate spiritual awareness

This positive statement may surprise after my previous criticism but
yes, there is a sense in which technology stimulates spiritual
awareness. I'd like to refer to the works of Jean Gebser (The
Ever-Present Origin) and especially Ken Wilber (The Spectrum of
Consciousness) with their viewpoint on the evolution of human
consciousness through time, establishing a clear link between the
psycho-genesis of the individual human mind, and the socio-genesis of
civilisations, showing that the latter move along the same stages than
the individual in his spiritual maturation. Wilber makes the
interesting and crucial distinction when he shows that there are two
lines of development. One for advanced practitioners and spiritual
realisers with an evolution from shamans to saints to budhas, each
'generation' building on the knowledge of its predecessors. Another
line concerns the broader population, and here, there is an absolutely
clear link, in a Marxian sense, between the general level of
communicative technology, and the average level of awareness of a given
society. Hence, yes, in this specific sense, the globalising technology
of the internet will in all likelyhood lead to a 'jump' towards some
kind of more planetary consciousness. (this process, depending on the
human will, maturation, and a host of subjective factors, is of course
not automatic, and hence, regression would be possible, and
catastrophic, and of course, we can all see the many reallly regressive
forces at work, such as fundamentalism, cultism, etc..), or in other
words, when the 'hardware' changes, the software  (our humans minds)
should follow. Both Gebser and Wilber define the new state of
consciousness which has been budding  during this century and is being
stimulated by the new technological infrastructure as "vision-logic',
the first transpersonal state beyond pure rationality. I am posting a
separate article explaining these perhaps complicated or even enigmatic
notions (see the essay 'Ken Wilber and Cyberspace'). Hence, when we
speak of the cyber-sacred, we should say what exactly we mean, and I'm
certainly not suggesting a new agey notion of universal harmony, but
yes, a broadening of the human mind seems in the cards.

We should be very careful in distinguishing the transrational (i.e.
trans-mental states such as when one is contemplating one's own mind's
workings in meditation) states, from the pre- or infrarational states.
In our opinion, lots of the so-called cyber-spirituality can be or is
regressive, such as the trance-inducing and pharmaceutically aided
techno music. While perhaps in a sense temporarily liberating in terms
of the control of the self, these techniques are in no way a guarantee
for spiritual maturation.

5. Spiritual development is necessary to technological development

It seems pretty certain that with technology giving us 'transhuman'
powers over our environment and ourselves, we do need an additional
level of spiritual development as well. Technology has many negative
influences over the quality of our life (an increase in the 'speed of
life', is just one), where spiritual techniques can help. To mention
but a few: the rules of sacred architecture (and its power to create
restful minds) could be used to create vivogenic  (livable,
life-enhancing) cyberspaces, a notion put forward by VRML-founder and
techno-pagan Mark Pesce and practiced by Michael Heim. Think of notions
such as  the possible development of some kind of "cyber-feng shui."

Spiritual psycho-technologies (and body-work techniques) such as
meditation, contemplation, relaxation, concentration, yoga and such,
will become necessary complements to our sedentary lifestyles, and the
stress induced by hyper-technology. Technologies such as the internet
continuously draw our consciousness out to the external material world
(or rather, the 'materialisation of our culture' in cyberspace format),
and make it ever so difficult to look at ourselves and our functioning,
and a counterforce is an absolute necessity for mental and spiritual

6. Technological and spiritual transhumanism should not bej opposed,
but integrated

Technological transhumanism is totally legitimate and will undoubtedly
bring a number of important benefits for our social and bodily
wellbeing (in terms of better health, increased lifespans, etc..).

Spiritual transhumanism is equally necessary for our individual and
social growth and further evolution.

Well understood, both can be complimentary. The central task of our
current epoch is to spiritualise technology (by becoming conscious of
the unconscious drives that push it forward, and using it in positive
ways) on the one hand, and to 'technologise' spirituality on the other
hand. By drawing out the valid psycho-technologies within the core of
religious traditions, purifying it from the layers of belief and
literal myth. Or in other words, in a more broader sense: we need to
spiritualise rationality, and to rationalise spirituality. Only when
this is achieved, can one really talk about the cyber-sacred in any
real sense.

Recommend books to explore the issue: David Noble's THE RELIGION OF
articles and essays are in the Reading Room of KyberCo,


Date: Thu, 5 Nov 1998 12:40:00 EST
Subject: File 3--Fwd: Porn Case Photos May Be Published
Date--Mon, 2 Nov 1998 03:12:38 EST

Porn Case Photos May Be Published

.c The Associated Press

 LONDON (AP) -- British police want to publish photographs of the
400 victims of an Internet child pornography ring so they can
identify them and prevent further abuse, newspapers reported

The British National Crime Squad, which coordinated the
international crackdown on the Wonderland Club pornography ring
in September, said it would propose publishing the photographs in
newspapers and on television.

The National Crime Squad will discuss the plan next month with
the other police forces involved, The Daily Telegraph reported.

On Sept. 2, police in 12 countries raided the homes of more than
100 suspected pedophiles to break the Internet club, which
authorities said exchanged pornographic pictures of children as
young as 2 on the Internet.

The countries involved in the raids included Australia, Austria,
Belgium, Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway,
Portugal, Sweden and the United States.


Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 18:59:16 -0500
From: "EPIC-News List" 
Subject: File 4--Lawsuit Filed Against New Censorship Law

Source: Epic Alert: Volume 5.15,   October 28, 1998

                            Published by the
              Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
                            Washington, D.C.


[1] Lawsuit Filed Against New Censorship Law

EPIC has joined other online civil liberties groups in a court
challenge to the new federal Internet censorship bill signed by
President Clinton as part of the omnibus budget package.  The lawsuit,
filed in Philadelphia on October 22, asserts that the "Child Online
Protection Act" will violate both the free speech and privacy rights
of Internet users.  The case is being litigated by EPIC, the American
Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Demonstrating the range of speech affected, the list of plaintiffs
includes the Internet Content Coalition, a member group including Time
Inc., Warner Bros., C/NET and The New York Times Online; OBGYN.Net, a
women's health website; Philadelphia Gay News; and Salon Magazine.

In February 1996, EPIC, ACLU and EFF filed a challenge to the
ill-fated Communications Decency Act.  A three-judge federal panel in
Philadelphia struck down the law in June 1996, a ruling that was
upheld by a unanimous Supreme Court one year later.

The "Child Online Protection Act" makes it a federal crime to
"knowingly" communicate "for commercial purposes" material considered
"harmful to minors."  Penalties include fines of up to $50,000 for
each day of violation, and up to six months in prison if convicted of
a crime.  The government also has the option of bringing a civil suit
against individuals under a lower standard of proof, with the same
financial penalty of up to $50,000 per violation.  Compliance with the
Act would require websites to obtain identification and age
verification from visitors, a feature of the law that threatens online
privacy and anonymity.

In a seven-page analysis of the bill sent to Congress on October 5,
the Justice Department said that the bill had "serious constitutional
problems" and would likely draw resources away from more important law
enforcement efforts such as tracking down hard-core child
pornographers and child predators.  The Justice Department also noted
that the new law is ineffective because minors would still be able to
access news groups or Internet relay chat channels, as well as any
website generated from outside of the United States.

The text of the complaint is available at:
Subscription Information


The EPIC Alert is a free biweekly publication of the Electronic
Privacy Information Center.  To subscribe or unsubscribe, send email
to with the subject: "subscribe" (no quotes) or
"unsubscribe". A Web-based form is available at:

Back issues are available at:


Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 15:41:40 -0400
From: Ari Schwartz 
Sender: owner-policy-posts@CDT.ORG
Precedence: bulk
Reply-To: Ari Schwartz 

   The Center for Democracy and Technology  /____/     Volume 4, Number 18
      A briefing on public policy issues affecting civil liberties online
 CDT POLICY POST Volume 4, Number 18                    September 9, 1998

 CONTENTS: (1) CDT Promotes Internet Advocacy in Central and Eastern Europe
           (2) CDT Issues Report Finding Strong Protection For Free
               Expression on the Internet Under International Human Rights
           (3) Encryprion and Surveillance Concerns Raised
           (4) How to Subscribe/Unsubscribe
           (5) About CDT, Contacting us

  ** This document may be redistributed freely with this banner intact **
        Excerpts may be re-posted with permission of 



Working through the Global Internet Liberty Campaign (GILC), a broad
coalition of Internet policy and civil-liberties organizations, CDT
cosponsored a conference last weekend entitled "Outlook for Freedom,
Privacy and Civil Society on the Internet in Central and Eastern
Europe." Held in Budapest, Hungary and addressed mainly to
non-governmental organizations, the conference attracted over 50
participants from 20 countries.  The agenda included freedom of
expression; media regulation models; electronic surveillance and
encryption; affordability and access; and NGO activism.  In addition
to the cosponsors, speakers included Esther Dyson, EDventure
Holdings; Eva Bakonyi, Hungarian Soros Foundation; and Sasa Mirkovic,
Director of Radio B92 in Serbia.

The conference revealed that, while most of the countries in the
region are still struggling with basic infrastructure and access
issues, policy debates on content regulation and privacy are just
around the corner.  A number of countries are in the midst of
reforming their basic laws on media and communications, posing the
choice between a deregulatory, competitive and civil liberties-based
approach versus efforts to regulate the Internet as if it were a
broadcast medium.

The region's NGOs have already begun to exploit the democratic
potential of this new medium and used the conference as a means of
networking and sharing ideas and learning from their Western
colleagues about grassroots advocacy through the Internet.  A number
of the organizations present asked to join GILC, taking to this
important region our fights to protect civil liberties and keep
information flowing freely regardless of borders.

More information on GILC is available at



At the Budapest conference, CDT Senior Staff Counsel James X. Dempsey
presented a new report, prepared for GILC by CDT and entitled
EXPRESSION ON THE GLOBAL INTERNET." Release of the report coincides
with the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
which proclaimed that everyone has the right to "seek, receive and
impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of

The report notes that governments from Germany to China (and including
the US) have already begun to impose controls on the Internet,
threatening the potential of this new medium. But a well-established
body of international law protects the right to freedom of expression.
In addition to the Universal Declaration, regional human rights treaties
in Europe, Africa and the Americas protect freedom of expression and
give individuals the right to bring complaints against governments in
international judicial tribunals.

The report concludes that the global nature of the Internet requires a
fresh interpretation of the phrase "without regard to frontiers." Given
the Internet's uniquely open, global, decentralized and user-controlled
nature, the report concludes that international human rights principles
should be read as offering especially strong protection to freedom of
expression on-line.

To governments, the report says, "Don't try to censor the Internet
because your efforts may well violate international human rights law,
especially given the unique nature of the Internet." To free expression
activists, the paper says, "International human rights documents offer
strong grounds for challenging Internet censorship." To both, it says,
"Pay attention to the Internet's unique qualities, for they justify the
strongest legal protection."

"Regardless of Frontiers: Protecting the Human Right to Freedom of
Expression on the Global Internet," is available at



Encryption and Internet surveillance were among other issues discussed
at the Budapest conference:

GILC members have begun a campaign urging decontrol of encryption
exports by the 33 nations participating in the so-called Wassenaar
Arrangement.  The Wassenaar Arrangement, named after the city in the
Netherlands where an agreement was concluded in 1994, seeks to govern
export of conventional weapons and dual use technologies (those that
have both a military and a civilian use).  GILC members are calling on
the Wassenaar countries to recognize that it is not appropriate to treat
encryption as if it were a weapon.

Conference participants also expressed concern about a proposal by
Russian agencies to impose on Internet service providers there a
sweeping requirement to assist government surveillance of e-mail and
other Internet communications. The system, known as SORM (System for
Effective Investigative Activities), would require ISPs to install
special high-speed links to security service monitoring facilities,
allowing the government to remotely monitor the communications of any
Internet user.



Be sure you are up to date on the latest public policy issues affecting
civil liberties online and how they will affect you! Subscribe to the CDT
Policy Post news distribution list.  CDT Policy Posts, the regular news
publication of the Center For Democracy and Technology, are received by
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The Center for Democracy and Technology is a non-profit public interest
organization based in Washington, DC. The Center's mission is to develop
and advocate public policies that advance democratic values and
constitutional civil liberties in new computer and communications

Contacting us:

General information:
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             1634 Eye Street NW * Suite 1100 * Washington, DC 20006
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End Policy Post 4.18                                                 9/9/98


Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1998 22:51:01 CST
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Subject: File 6--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 25 Apr, 1998)

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