May 15, 1999 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on May 15, 1999.
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In France there is great and increasing interest in censorship and child safety on the Internet. The increase in interest is due most recently to the events in Littleton, Colorado -- Columbine High School, and "Gothic" websites, and "The Trenchcoat Mafia", and "how - to - buy - a - gun" and "how - to - build - a - bomb" online information -- no less in France than in the US. One benefit and perhaps detriment of global telecommunications is that events in a place like Littleton now get transmitted instantly to viewers in Limoges as well as in Los Angeles -- and they look a lot worse, and a lot more strange and terrifying, viewed from Limoges.
An entire upcoming number of the national librarians' publication in France, the Bulletin des Bibliothèques de France --
is going to be devoted to "reading electronic information", including, "the limitation or non-limitation of public access to the Internet universe (censorship or freedom...)". I am contributing an article on the subject of Internet censorship in libraries in the US, and I am putting a special emphasis in what I write on the issue of child safety. I would like to ask here for some suggestions.
The French, like Americans and most people most places, have a variety of motivations for their fears of unbridled digital information. Child safety is only one among these: to the general concerns over online violence and pornography and political extremism, for example, the French add their own local fears about US cultural and economic domination, the predation and depredations of US industry, all manner of threats to the traditionalist French publishing industry, and the loss of the centralized control which for better or for worse characterizes so much of what goes on, still, in France.
Balancing these fears, the French -- again like Americans and others -- also have traditions of civil liberties and free expression, seen very much as being under attack nowadays by those in France who would defend them against "censorship", whether for "child safety" or any other reason.
As part of my BBF article effort, then, I am assembling -- and will publish in the "free access" area of my www.FYIFrance.com site -- a Resource List on,
FYI France -- Internet Restriction?
including links to and some excerpted quotations from selected library "Internet Use Policies" which may be found online.
For this last I would welcome suggestions of sites to include. There are many hundreds of these now -- many thousands, perhaps -- I haven't really counted, but there appear to be quite a few. All cannot be included. But any which have some unique slant or perspective on the problem being addressed I hope will be. I am beginning with a list of US sites but will expand this eventually to include international locations as well -- all would be of interest for me at least to consider for my BBF article now.
I would be grateful, as well, for any general suggestions and a chance to correspond a bit -- particularly with librarians, but really with anyone, anywhere, who has views on the subject. Again, the general topic is Internet censorship with a focus on child safety, as exemplified by the recent high school shootings at Littleton, Colorado, and the firestorm of Internet criticism which they have engendered.
The French know about all this, and do not want it happening in their lycées, and they worry as much as Americans do that Internet violence may be a contributory cause to real violence. Sites which deal with this, and insights into the general problem and its resolution -- from the US and France and elsewhere -- would be of great interest to me and gratefully received.
A future issue of this FYI France ejournal will announce the "Internet Use Policy" site and perhaps abstract my BBF article and show other resources on the topic. So please send in your thoughts via email to email@example.com
For those of you interested in reactions in France to the Kosovo conflict, I recommend both the commentary and resources at,
And for anyone interested, France now has -- "officially" -- 75 languages, of which 50 are found in the dom-tom but fully 25 are in use within the hexagone itself:
dialecte allemand d'Alsace et de Moselle, basque, breton, catalan, corse, flamand occidental, franco - provençal, occitan (gascon, languedocien, provençal, auvergnat - limousin, alpin - dauphinois), langues d'oïl (franc - comtois, wallon, picard, normand, gallo, poitevin - saintongeais, bourguignon - morvandiau), lorrain, berbère, arabe dialectal, yiddish, romani chib (langue des tsiganes), arménien occidental
Is that 25? I am willing to bet that most of you never even have heard of at least some of these -- gallo? -- poitevin - saintongeais is a language? See:
FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal ISSN 1071 - 5916 * | FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic | journal published since 1992 as a small-scale, | personal experiment, in the creation of large- | scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler. / \ Any material written by me which appears in ----- FYI France may be copied and used by anyone for // \\ any good purpose, so long as, a) they give me --------- credit and show my email address, and, b) it // \\ isn't going to make them money: if it is going to make them money, they must get my permission in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. Use of material written by others requires their permission. FYI France archives may be found at http://infolib.berkeley.edu (search fyifrance), or http://firstname.lastname@example.org/ (BIBLIO-FR econference archive), or at http://www.fyifrance.com , or at http://listserv.uh.edu/archives/pacs-l.html . Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all will be gratefully received at email@example.com Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved except as expressed above.
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