by tallpaul tallpaul@nyct.net

ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law!

MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

MORE: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you--where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast--man's laws, not God's--and if you cut them down--and you're just the man to do it--d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.

--Robert Bolt A Man For All Seasons

You haven't heard much from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse recently. The dreaded "hackers, terrorists, drug dealers and kiddie pornographers" of cyberspace who once caused Presidents and Prime Ministers to tremble and mothers to herd their children into their beds at sundown have been strangely quiet, if only measured by the absence of significant media reports to the contrary. Perhaps in these modern times the wages of sin are no longer death but just a really tired feeling, as comedienne Paula Poundstone comments.

Yet the Four Horsemen once caused millions people off-the-net to call for all manner of controls on the Global Information Superhighway.

Part I: The Tired Four Horsemen

Concerned parents "cruising the net" to see what their children were exposed to found little evidence of drug dealing. There is a lot of spam for $50,000 a week pyramid schemes, but little advertising at web sites for Jack's House'O'Crack, Crack Attack, or Crack'n'Smack.

Where are the "terrorists" on the Internet against whom we need increased government powers? (I use the term here as the government uses it, not as anti-hate or civil-libertarian forces might.)

Even the most anti-Islamic forces do not charge that we can find web pages from "Crazy Abdul's" where you can buy AK-47 assault rifles and C4 plastic explosive at "prices so low they're INSANE!"

The very phrase "terrorist" has a considerable political bias that makes the whole notion of supporting a cop crackdown on "hate crimes" exceedingly problematical. Black churches burn up in the South, abortion clinics blow up, and members of right-wing and fundamentalist Christian militias are convicted of crimes ranging from multiple murders down the list of lesser felonies. But not a single such right-wing individual is identified on the FBI's current "Ten Most Wanted" list.[1]

Chillingly, *the* "major investigation" for today's FBI does not involve any of the bank robberies or murders for which right-wing hate-based forces are suspected.[2] It involves cemetery desecrations. It's easy to imagine that the investigation centers on those who spray paint swastikas and Nazi slogans in Jewish cemeteries since we read so many stories about this in the daily papers. But the imagination is wrong. Rather the *top-listed* investigation is of inferentially anti-hate activists for ostensibly desecrating cemeteries with the phrase ""H[awaii] P[olice] D[epartment] ignores hate crimes. Ignore this."[3]

Nor is the international scene better. The State Department just released its own list of "international terrorist organizations."[4] Only three of the 31 organizations have a recognizable right-wing orientation. These are the archly anti-Semitic Aum Shinrikyo (AUM) cult in Japan and the two right-wing-Zionist groups Kach and Kahane Chai. Not surprisingly, the State Department was unable to find a single military-based death squad or neo-fascist group in the world to which it was willing to pin the "terrorist" designation. Nor, with the exception of those groups ostensibly based in Islam or AUM, is there a single recognizably-named political (as opposed to religious) anti-Semitic organization listed.

"Kiddie porn" got a small boost in the past week or so when international police consortiums charged several people with trafficking and even got a conviction of one person in the U.S.[5] Even the power of a conviction to motivate people was offset by several factors. The first was that it occurred under existing laws and conditions without any special need for changes. The second was that the man convicted was already in prison when he used a prison-based computer to commit the new crime for which he was convicted, showing that convictions do not forever prevent the crime from occurring. The third was the release of Methodist minister Rev. Nathaniel T. Grady after serving ten years for rape, sodomy, and sexual abuse of six children between three and five years old.[6] An appeals court ruled that Rev. Grady was falsely convicted in one of the sexual hysterias sweeping the country.

The hysteria around "kiddie porn" on the net has its own prehistory beginning over a decade ago with the "missing children" scare that led to a significant increase in photos appearing on milk cartons. It then moved to the "Satanic molestations" at day care centers and "recovered memory therapy" that virtually guaranteed that you, too, could discover that you were a victim of childhood sexual molestation. The hysteria culminated with J. Quitter's article in TIME magazine about an ostensible study of "kiddie porn" on the net via Marty Rimm and Carnegie Mellon University.[7]

The cooler heads discovered that most missing children were only missing to one parent. The other parent, involved in a messy divorce, has snatched the child. The Satanic scare, reflected in cases like McMartin in California and Michaels in New Jersey, started to break down. Incredibly expensive trials led either to no convictions or convictions reversed on appeal as saner courts examined the ostensible evidence and saw none to examine. "Recovered memories" of sexual abuse cracked when therapists specializing in such ostensible therapy started losing big lawsuits to the innocent people they targeted as molesters. The Rimm study on the Internet soon came under enormous criticism.[7]

Of course, all of the Four Horsemen (along with every other group in the world) are on the net. This includes "kiddie pornographers" or at least those accused of it. It is easy argue that even one convicted "kiddie porn" trafficker is one too many. The same can be said of cannibals like Jeffrey Dahmer. But does it justify the creation of a Kitchen Decency Act where warrentless searches are permitted for fear that we will have Hannibal Lecter as a dinner guest?

The use of the Horseman to motivate a crackdown on civil liberties becomes even more problematical as people discover that the arguments are used to bolster a different politic. "Many of these companies are using the public's discomfort with new technologies and the hysteria of easy access to pornography on the Internet to further an anti-gay agenda," said Loren Javier, GLAAD's Interactive Media Director.[8]

Even the infamous "hacker menace" has lost its ability to motivate attacks on the U.S. Bill of Rights.

Part of this is due to increased public knowledge of computers and systems. Press coverage of 2600 magazine's recent beyondHOPE hacker convention in New York City tended to be free from the hysteria that has marked such coverage in the past.[9]

Another reason why the Four Horsemen lack motivational power for the crackdown is that the dire predictions made for the past 30 years have not come true. Leon Festinger, in his bookWhen Prophecy Fails, showed how failed predictions often lead those who made them to cling to, rather abandon, the prediction. But such actions only pertain to those actually making the predictions, not the bulk of the citizenry who only heard the prediction made. Hackerdom has produced events like the Internet worm a few years ago but even this was not the disaster that the control-pundits warned about. Despite the horrible predictions, the average citizen has spent thirty years since Captain Crunch and the original phone phreaks waiting for the *first* massively destructive shoe to drop.

No, these Horseman have not produced the Apocalypse from which forces hostile to the U.S. Bill of Rights want to protect us.

The issue of quality encryption and anonymous remailers has also run into difficulties as a mass motivator for additional government control of cyberspace.

When export controls on PGP were in place, the labyrinthine procedures necessary to get a copy were likely beyond the capability of most new users. Learning to use it was even more daunting, although considerably assisted by new books like those from O'Reilly and Associates.[10]

Anonymous remailer systems introduce yet another level of complexity. By the end of the process, Steve Harris, the author of the "John Doe" front-end software for PGP and remailers, once estimated that only 500 people in the world were sophisticated enough to use the whole system.[11] This represents quite a comedown for a society reared on the dreaded "Red Menace" from the former Soviet Union or the hysteria of a millennia-old Satanic conspiracy sacrificing 50,000 children a year just in the U.S.

The mere existence of highly secure encryption systems that potential criminals *might* use does not in itself create a global problem. Andy Oram, an editor at O'Reilly & Associates and the moderator of the discussion list for Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, points out that commercial needs can severely limit the use of technology of anonymity. "Repressive forces have constantly argued that they need to control encryption and anonymous remailers in order to attack pornography. But the vast majority of distributors of pornography can't hide themselves, because they want payment. They have to advertise their presence! They're the last people to hide behind encryption and anonymity."

Nor are the remailer systems all that secure against actions using existing laws and technologies (whether overt or covert.)

anon.penet.fi in Finland, the oldest of the systems, shut down after the owner received a subpoena to deliver the name of a user. The others, as standard computer systems, are as vulnerable to individual attack as any other individual system.

We saw a federal armored combat vehicle gradually demolish the fortified headquarters of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. Is the notion of a cyber-siege so outlandish then, where government computer systems would launch simultaneous SYNC attacks against a rogue remailer system if the same government deemed it was actively being used by terrorists? The recent attack by forces supporting the anti-Basque policies of the Spanish government on the Institute For Global Communications (IGC) site indicates "no."

Of course the anonymous remailers themselves are not anonymous. The owners and administrators are subject to the same system of social defense (or political attack) as all other individuals in society. A simple court injunction would likely shut them down or result in the arrest on contempt charges of any administrator who disobeyed.

Any of the Four Horsemen can be used to whip up a short-term concern. Such hysterias are not difficult to create. Social psychologists can track the movement of local versions of mass hysteria across geographic areas as if they were weather fronts.

A gruesome child kidnapping and murder can capture headlines until a Royal Celebrity dies. Bombing a public building calls for changes in laws until that story is swept away by news of a large drug raid, only to have that replaced by a tale of young hackers "reprogramming the orbits of space satellites."

Even the well-known mass hysterias of the past were so often simply local upsurges that burned out in one area and then moved on to the next. Outbursts of the European Witch Craze might last for decades in different countries but took the form of waves of short-term hysteria sweeping through villages and counties. The Salem Witch Trials, probably the best known hysteria in the U.S., was obviously limited to the Salem area. Less well known is that by 1692 the major Salem jury, led by its foreman Thomas Fisk, had recovered and shame-faced, issued a written apology for their actions to their victims (or to the community and those victims still alive.)[12] In the language of today's Internet, the hanging jury confessed they were a group of "clueless newbies."

None of the short-term "god ain't it horrible" stories about the net serve to create the type of mass sustained public concern necessary to rewrite or reinterpret citizen rights to give governments sweeping new powers to "protect" citizens.

Government claims to protect citizens' privacy with new anti-encryption proposals are, at best, little more than the pious wishes of bureaucrats. This was clearly seen last month when a hacker group intercepted and published pager communications by White House functionaries.

"We are publicizing this flaw in the hopes that it will finally be fixed," said Pamela Finkel, one of the organizers of the Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE) conference and a lead spokesperson for the group. "It's an excellent example of why we need encryption to protect sensitive information.

"I hope that this demonstration causes encryption to be added to the pager network," Finkel added. "This incident shows that the President's policy on encryption is so poorly crafted that it could have even compromised his own personal security."[13]

The totality of pro-regulation arguments around the Four Horseman take on a separate four related characteristics. "First, the occasional conviction we get shows that criminal behavior is epidemic on the net. Second, without new laws we cannot get convictions. Third, encryption prevents us from getting convictions but the new encryption rules we propose will let us protect your privacy. Fourth, we cannot protect our own."

Only the Tooth Fairy lets you have all four at the same price.

This does not stop the forces opposed to civil liberties from pushing for new laws with new arguments.

It does, however, make their past efforts increasingly problematical for them, with a character somewhere between the Orwellian and the humorous.

One central problem -- given the existence of telephones and computers --is the *relative* unimportance of the Internet. The two pre-Internet technologies make the Internet little more that a set of protocols concerning data. One set, like TCP/IP, determines how data is transmitted over the phones via computer. The other, like the World Wide Web and the Usenet news groups, determines how pre-existing data is stored. The Internet could disappear tomorrow while phones plus computers would permit all of the Horseman to continue their ostensible gallop, either via direct modem-to-modem connections or via non-Internet private bulletin board systems.

A more Orwellian view was recently expressed by Alan McDonald, "a senior executive with the FBI," who said "that 'extremist' positions on electronic encryption are a threat to normal law enforcement and are elitist and nondemocratic. Insisting that the United States had remained true to the Constitution and to a system of ordered liberties, McDonald says: 'When people don't know much about electronic surveillance, they are fearful of it. But when they know Congress passed laws and the Supreme Court reviewed them and that there are numerous constraints and procedures, then it makes sense to them. It seems rational and balanced'."[14]

Perhaps the greatest sense of Orwellian doublethink from FBI pundits here is over the notion of judicial review. The courts have indeed reviewed cases brought before it by McDonald's "privacy extremists" and struck down the laws. The Zimmerman case involving the export of PGP encryption technology was dropped. The Communications Decency Act was declared unconstitutional. Recent state attempts to control the Internet by New York and Georgia have similarly been struck down.[15]

Measured even from the standpoint of the U.S. judiciary, the positions the FBI denounces as "extremist," elitist, and undemocratic far better define the actions of the FBI and other branches of the U.S. executive branch of government than its opponents.

Yet the same executive branch of government funds its own extremism in these areas with $US 250 million a year. This is a sizeable chunk of change, but, according to the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection, is not sufficient to even "jump start" the battle against "physical and cyber threats." A dollar just doesn't go as far these days as it did when J. Edgar Hoover headed the FBI and Richard Nixon called for Law And Order. Now the Clinton government wants an additional $US 250 million for 1999 "and $100 million each succeeding year until they reach $1 billion in 2004."[16]

Some find this effort far more chilling to the well-being of the citizenry than the mythology of the Four Horsemen themselves.

Something else is required to motivate an increasingly tax-shy electorate to pop for a billion a year as the Horsemen increasingly fail to provide sufficient motivation.

Then ... however ... there is the new issue of "hate speech."


[1] Federal Bureau of Investigation: "the FBI's TEN MOST WANTED fugitives," via: http://www.fbi.gov/mostwant/tenlist.htm, accessed 13 Oct 97.

[2] Federal Bureau of Investigation: "Major Investigations." via: http://www.fbi.gov/majcases.htm, accessed 13 Oct 97.

[3] Federal Bureau of Investigation: "Cemetery Desecration," via: http://www.fbi.gov/majcases/desecration/hawaii.htm, accessed 13 Oct 97.

[4] Office of the Co-ordinator for Counterterrorism of the U.S. State Department, "Foreign Terrorist Organizations," via: http://www.state.gov/www/global/terrorism/terrorist_orgs_list.html, accessed 13 Oct 97.

[5] New York Times, 5 Sep 97. no author listed in summary via EduPage educom@educom.unc.edu, "Minnesota Child Molester Convicted of Cyber Porn," 7 Sep 97.

[6] David Stout, "Conviction for Child Abuse Overturned 10 Years Later," New York Times,, 30 Sep 97, p. B3. no on-net source found to cite.

[7] See "The Rimm/Carnegie Mellon University/TIME Cyberporn 'study' Debate (NIU Sociology 476 - Ethics of Fieldwork Segment)," via: http://venus.soci.niu.edu/~cudigest/rimm/rimm.html. accessed 5 Sep 1997.

[8] "Disturbing Anti-gay Trend Continues in Cyberspace," "GLAADLines" electronic news post, 25 Aug 97, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, glaad@glaad.org and via: http://www.glaad.org.

[9] For examples of the press coverage of "beyondHOPE," see for example The Cheshire Catalyst's web age via: http://digital.net/~cheshire/#hope

[10] Simson Garfinkel,

PGP: Pretty Good Privacy

, (O'Reilly & Associates, Sebastopol, CA: 1995).

[11] Steve Harris, via: http://www.compulink.co.uk/~net-services/pgp/

[12] Thomas Fisk, Thomas Pearly senior, William Fish, et al. "We confess that we ourselves were not capable to understand...." quoted by Kurt Seligman, The History of Magic and the Occult(Harmony Books, New York: 1983) p. 191.

[13] Pamela Finkel, "Media Advisory: Hackers Expose Vulnerability in White House Security," 16 Sep 97, via: http://www.inch.com/~esoteric/pam_suggestion/formal.html

[14] no author, "FBI says privacy 'extremists' are 'elitist'," TechWire, 25 Sep 97. summary republished in electronic form by EduPage, 28 Sep 97 via Edupage Editors. educom@educom.unc.edu.

[15] no author listed, "Internet restrictions overturned in New York [and] Georgia," WiredNews, 20 Jun 97. summary republished in electronic form by EduPage, 23 Jun 97.

"In the New York case, a law similar to the federal Communications Decency Act was declared unconstitutional because it sought to regulate transactions occurring outside the state's borders, thereby violating the Constitution's interstate commerce clause. 'The judge was waiting to hear the Supreme Court's decision on the CDA, but decided that in any event it doesn't matter because under this commerce law, it is too burdensome for people to speak at all in this medium,' says an American Civil Liberties Union attorney. In Georgia, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against a law that made it illegal to use a name that "falsely identifies" the sender of an electronic message, such as a pseudonym or an anonymous e-mail address." republished by EduPage, 23 Jun 97.

[16] no author listed, "Cyber threats of concern to presidential commission," Washington Post, 6 Sep 97. republished as summary in electronic form by EduPage, 7 Sep 97.


Unlike the chimera of "kiddie porn," drug dealers, international terrorists, or nefarious hacker plots worthy of "the Mind of Fu Manchu," an enormous amount of hate-based propaganda exists on the net, as do the organizations publishing it.[17]

The terrorists, drug dealers, and "kiddie pornographers" may not have a very public net presence[18]; the neo-Nazi, K.K.K., and other openly fascist groups do.[17] The leaders of the Colombian cocaine cartels do not have personal web pages but you can view web pages like that of noted Holocaust-Revisionist Arthur Butz. You won't find an enormous number of documents extolling the positive social virtues of pedophilia but you can find a veritable Cliff's Notes of homophobia.[19] Unlike the myth of the international hacker menace that has to be periodically created, Auschwitz was real. So are the people on the net who denied that it happened. So are the people on the net who want it to happen again. Other forms of propaganda against the Romis (Gypsies), illegal immigrants, physically handicapped, and other targets of Nazi mass extermination are routine occurrences on the web and in the Usenet news groups.[20]

The question of how to handle net-based and action-oriented hate propaganda is increasingly asked.

One group argues "nothing." But these people are not the target of pro-government[21] arguments for intervention against the "Four Horsemen." Nor is the group composed of many potential victims of hate-action.

There are a variety of ways in which action concerning the net can be considered.

The first is the individual/collective dichotomy. Collective action, in turn, can be directed to produce anti-hate intervention by corporate ISPs, government, or by grassroots users.

Some urge corporate action against hate on the net. Late in 1995 the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) called for ISPs to deny fascists web sites. This did not produce any diminution of the fascist presence. It did, however, bring strong criticisms against the SWC and defenses of "free speech for Nazis." Other actions were taken against the K.K.K. on America Online and similar attacks against hate-based forces on Geocities.

One problem with such campaigns is that they result in the mantle of martyrdom falling, not on the victims and survivors of Auschwitz, but on those defending the very fascist criminals who produced Auschwitz. The rush to mirror Zundel's web site illustrated this.

Similar public campaigns to pressure ISPs to remove web pages do nothing to reduce or eliminate other forms of hate-based net behavior contained in e-mail or on discussion groups.

The corporate-based anti-hate strategy will always fail. There are tens of thousands of ISPs on the net, and hate-forces will always be able to locate a home-base on at least one of them. Even when an ISP is successfully pressured, the offending forces relocate to another provider.

In a reversal of off-the-net common sense, the net provides a strange equality among ISPs regardless of size, capitalization, advertising, or "prestige." The Plaza Hotel at the corner of New York's Central Park can provide luxury accommodations; the Bed'n'Bite Trailer Motel on Tobacco Road cannot. Once on the net, however, Bed-n-Byte.com provides web services essentially identical to Plaza.com. In cyberspace every ISP is as geographically close to the user as every other ISP; new web sites are just an URL away. Different ISPs' web-oriented services may be marginally different in upload or download time but from the end-user's perspective they are functionally identical because the hardware, software, and operating protocols are effectively the same.

This also holds for such things as e-mail and ancillary services like mailing list 'bots. In a reversal of the normal economy of scale, the smaller provider may even provide better services via things like user-to-modem ratios or technical support than the biggest carriers.

Successful pressures on ISPs cannot even substantially increase costs of the hate-based forces. Market mechanisms have reduced basic "all-you-can-eat" net access to the $US 15-25/month rate.

The next strategy for "kicking hate off the net" relies on the police/military might of the various states.

This must occur on an international level if it is to be successful. The cyberpunk slogan that "National borders are just speedbumps on the global information superhighway" is especially important here.

In abstract terms, the net is post-internationalist. It has moved to a globalism that no longer recognizes the very nation states around which one must be internationalist. For many on the net, such nations are little more than the "dot two-letter" suffixes on e-mail addresses and even these disappear as the large ISPs go multinational. In concrete terms, Dilbert no longer bothers or even thinks about whether www.foobar.com is located in the U.S. or in Elbonia. Attacks by one government on E. Zundel's Holocaust Revisionist site resulted in the site being mirrored in other countries. Cyberpunks took but a few hours to publish "workarounds" for German users when CompuServe cut some news groups in its German feed.

In short, calling on national governments to fight internationalized hate only works if all of the governments participate equally in the crackdown.[22] In Thomas More's words, we can no longer tear down the laws of England to get to the devil; we must tear down the laws of every country to get to the same English devil.

When I leave my house to fight off-the-net actions against fascist-based hate speech I know I am far more likely to be physically assaulted by the police protecting the fascists than I am by the fascists themselves.

Working with the 1960's civil rights movement exposed me to the actions of both the K.K.K. and the cops. One central difference was that the cop wore a badge and gun outside his uniform; the Klansman often wore the same badge and carried the same gun beneath his white sheet.

Unfortunately this process did not end with the 1960s.

As I write this the national newspapers still cover the case of Abner Louima, the Haitian man assaulted in a NY police station. Police decided to "teach him respect" for the law by sodomizing him with a bathroom plunger doing severe injuries to his colon and other internal organs, according to widespread press reports. Then they rammed the same plunger down his throat, doing even more injury to his mouth and throat.

This excellent example of how police protect us from hate occurred in liberal NY. One wonders what cases have gone unreported elsewhere in the world in geographic locations less interested in "handcuffing" the police.

Let us not forget other actions by armed state representatives, as when elite-trained U.S. soldiers stationed further South recently murdered a black couple.

Nor was the old Southern judiciary necessarily better that the local sheriff's office. Too often one sensed from legal decisions not to punish those convicted of hate crimes that we faced not the metaphorical "hanging judge" but a literal extra-legal lynching one.

In this sense, the Devil and the law were one and the same. The judicial black robes of More's Law might have constrained the devil; relying on the same black-robed figure for protection from the devil only damned the victims of hate-action that More's Law was to protect.

Hoover's FBI provided the evidence to convict a few hate-activists during the late civil rights period, largely through paying KKK informants. But the wrath of Hoover, through programs like COINTELPRO, was directed at the same forces the Klan targeted. The FBI did not fight hatred on a broad front; rather it spent money and used its agents to whip up the very hatred it condemned. Hoover branded Dr. M.L. King as the "most notorious liar in America" while bugging his phones, sending him anonymous blackmailing letters designed to have him commit suicide, and spending covert money to create the image of another leader of the "Negro struggle." Similar efforts were directed against the anti-war movement. Even more sustained efforts were directed against groups like the Black Panther Party. Many Party members who were convicted under the hate-oriented atmosphere remain in jail today. In some cases, their unjustified convictions are only today being overturned as is seen in the case of geronimo ji Jaga (Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt).[23]

Perhaps the best known case -- Mumia Abu-Jamal -- is still under a death sentence while his case is being appealed.[24]

Hoover and the official COINTELPRO program were a long time ago. It may be comforting to repeat "that was then; this is now" as if the words are some crucifix waved in front of the 1960s Devil of Hate in order to convince ourselves that cop-based hatred vanished when Richard Nixon finally died. While comforting, it is not true. Nor is the constant repetition of hate-based action among the cops and military a matter of a single Devil.

Dracula may die at the end of every vampire film only to rise again at the beginning of the sequel. But Dracula is only one entity while the forces of hate are countless; their name is Legion.

The Tennessee-based hate-filled "Good Old Boys Roundups" were attended by 120-200 Treasury agents and some 45 agents from the Department of Justice.[25] These estimates include people from only two federal agencies and none from the military. Estimates from those agencies are lacking. Missing also are attendance figures from any of the country's local police departments.

The story could have broken several years earlier had any cop wanted to act. But there is a massive and continuous differentiation in the police mentality between wrongdoing by citizens and the *identical* wrongdoing by the cops themselves.

This difference is illustrated by two stories in the 24 September New York Times. Serpico, NY's famed "honest cop" played by actor Al Pacino in the 1973 movie of the same name, just showed up to testify at a City Council meeting on police corruption.[26] Today, 26 years after Serpico revealed massive corruption among NY cops, police hostility to him has not vanished. "... plainclothes officers guarding the entrance to City Hall gave him looks that could have cooled burning coals. For sure, they were polite, those men, some of whom were little boys when Frank Serpico blew the whistle. But they glared in unvarnished hostility...."[26]

The issue is far more than merely cop-hate-(whistle-blowing)cop. The same issue of the paper reported retaliatory attacks on the nurse who first reported the Louima police-brutality case to the police Internal Affairs Bureau.[27] The Bureau failed to log the complaint.

Dealing with the Devil of Hate, once ensconced among the cops, is far more difficult than merely calling The Exorcist.

In the "Butler" case, Canadian courts, following the lead of "radical" feminists A. Dworkin and C. MacKinnon, created strong legal sanctions against printed matter like "pornography" deemed to disparage women and other "minorities."[28] Almost immediately in the political ROTFLMAO event of the decade, Butler was used to ban several of Dworkin's works as pornographic.

Butler was then used by Canadian customs as precedent for a general crackdown on gay and lesbian bookstores in that country. [29] One wonders what percentage of lesbians routinely oppress women and how many homosexual men are convicted of heterosexual rape. But such questions did not appear to bother Customs as its agents found the ostensibly anti-hate law useful to act on their own homophobic impulses.

Elsewhere in Canada, other laws designed to bolster law enforcement in today's new electronic climate brought charges that police misused the laws against citizens concerning both wiretapping[30] and more general issues of privacy.[31]

Internationally, we repeatedly see the dominant role of the cops and military in leading the very violent hate-based action many want them to stop. Have we so soon forgotten the revelations of how the "death squads" in Latin and South America killed tens to hundreds of thousands of "dissidents?" If our collective memory does not extend back into the late 1980s what of the reports this year of how forces in the S. African police killed anti-apartheid leader Steve Biko?

Yet the utmost charity is extended to *this* form of hatred, with pardons and general amnesties for cops and Generals pronounced in the spirit of "reconciliation" and "forgiveness."

Even under the abstractly best of conditions, reliance on state agencies to fight fascism is exceedingly dangerous. Fascism has little power under good conditions; it develops only when conditions are bad and the very state on which one relies is itself threatened. History repeatedly shows that at such times fascist supporters in the cops and military increase significantly. Relying on the state during such times is like buying insurance against kangaroo bites that is cancelled as soon as one moves to Australia.

Germany today has passed strong laws to deal with things like "child pornography and neo-Nazi behavior." But these laws have been used to ban the "Radikal" net site and charge *anti*-fascists with illegal activity. [32]

The same police mandated by German law to prosecute neo-Nazi activity assist the same fascists to avoid arrest and prosecution under these laws. A covert intelligence operation conducted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center[33] into European fascist activity documented how such police-assisted fascism organizing occurs and the exact hate-oriented groups and individuals who benefit from it.

Overt pro-fascist actions are also increasing in the German military paralleling other German attacks on Turkish immigrants and Romis. "Germany Alert" wrote "German soldiers were involved in some 120 reported incidents involving pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic or anti-foreigner hate over the past year, the Defense ministry revealed. Incidents have more than doubled since last year, the government admitted, as concern about extreme right wing nationalism in the military mounted."[34]

The same does not unfold in the opposite direction, for the Devil, once ennobled with the sanctity of law, becomes forever angelic and protected. Nowhere has this been more clearly observed than the case of Erich Mielke. Listed as the "number two man in East Germany for three decades,"[35] he was convicted in 1993 for the murder of two cops.

The facts of the case were simple yet astounding. Mielke was a young Communist in Germany during the 1930s, assigned to the defense of the German Communist Party's headquarters. Two high-ranking Storm Troopers in the Berlin police were assigned by the Nazi Party to use their police rank to physically attack Communists working at the HQ. When protests against this went unanswered by the police, Mielke did what many anti-fascists throughout the political spectrum did a few years later. He went out. He killed both cops. Then he went underground.

For this action in 1931, he was convicted by a German court 62 years later.

Between cops hating Serpico and cops hating Mielke, it's enough to make even Saint Thomas More turn in his halo.


[17] see, for example, HateWatch via: http://hatewatch.org/, accessed 3 Sep 97.

"HateWatch is a web based organization that monitors the growing and evolving threat of hate group activity on the Internet. Started in 1996, HateWatch provides an online resource for concerned individuals, academics, activists and the media to keep abreast of and to combat online bigotry. Because the Internet has eliminated geographical and monetary boundaries that once existed for hate groups, we must be vigilant in monitoring these sometimes violent people and their activities in cyberspace."

[18] This is not to say that groups listed by the State Department as "terrorist" have no web pages; some do. But they are outnumbered by the neo-fascists and other related groups.

[19] see, for example: Jeff Vos, "The Homosexual Threat" via: http://www.crusader.net/texts/cng/homo.html, accessed 3 Sep 1997.

Earlier, Vos was a leading member of the CyberNaziGroup. see, for example, his articles "The Manifesto of the CyberNaziGroup: Let Your Life Be a Lightening Bolt!" and "The CNG: An Idea for On-Line Organizations." available as files FD005.TXT and FD008.TXT via: ftp://ftp.nyct.net/pub/users/tallpaul/Docs/Fascist/.

[20] Another detailed list of anti-hate/anti-fascist web sites is available from what started as a project at the University of Michigan's School of Information, via: http://www.sils.umich.edu/~plefr/HomePage2.html.

These sites frequently contain URLs to the hate-oriented web pages.

[21] The phrase "pro-government" here does not refer just to the current U.S. government. The "Four Horsemen" arguments are used, in one form or another, by an enormous number of different governments and political systems from Iran to Singapore, and from the People's Republic of China to the Republic of Korea.

[22] Some forces are organizing to this end, if not for *all* governments at least for a significant number. See, for example, Clive Parker, "E[uropean] U[nion] sends in the Internet police," The Times [of London], 24 Sep 1997. Barker summarized a speech by EU Commissioner Martin Bangemann, speaking at the Telecom Interactive 97 conference in Geneva, "a call for an international charter to establish worldwide standards for policing the Internet and the broadcasting and multimedia industries."

For a *partial* list of U.S. local to global censorship attempts, see the Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Action Alerts" site via: http://www.eff.org/pub/Alerts/Foreign_and_local/index.html

[23] no author, via Associated Press, "Black Panther Geronimo Pratt granted new trial after 25 years," 29 May 97. see also, Edward J. Boyer, "For Pratt Legal Wheels Grind Slowly," Los Angeles Times_3 Jun 97. reprinted in the ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN, 3 Jun 97, via: gopher://gopher.igc.apc.org:7021/11/europe.

[24] for details on the controversy, the background of the Mumia case, and the current status of the death-row appeals, see: http://www.mumia.org.

[25] see New York Times, 3 Apr 1996, p. D20:4.

[26] Clyde Haberman, "Serpico Steps Out of the Shadows to Testify," NY Times, 24 Sep 1997, p. B1.

[27] John Kifner, "Nurse Tells of Retaliation For Effort in Louima Case," NY Times, 24 Sep 1997, p. B4.

[28] Adrienne Weller and Andrea Bauer, "Catharine MacKinnon: Crusader for a Rightwing Women's Movement," Freedom Socialist, Vol. 15, No. 1. available on-line as file "FN002.TXT" via: ftp://ftp.nyct.net/pub/users/tallpaul/Footnote/.

Edward H. Hurley, "Pornography Makes For Strange Bedfellows: The feminist/right-wing union against pornography," Ethical Spectacle Nov 95, via: http://www.spectacle.org/997/hurley.htm>, accessed 13 Oct 97.

[29] Wendy McElroy and Catherine Siemann, "Right now Little Sisters Bookstore in Vancouver is in court...." no date, press release, reposted to Usenet news group soc.feminism by Jeffrey Shallit, shallit@graceland.uwaterloo.ca. 18 Aug 94, via: http://www.mit.edu/activities/safe/safe/canada/feminists-free-exp-org. accessed 13 Oct 97.

[30] no author, "Wiretapping probe urged," The Toronto Star, Oct 1997, on-line through the Electronic Frontiers Canada via: http://insight.mcmaster.ca/org/efc/pages/media/toronto.star.06oct97b.html. accessed 11 Oct 97.

[31] Campbell Clark, "Quebec breaking own privacy rules: watchdog," The Montreal Gazette, 8 Oct 1997, on-line through he Electronic Frontiers Canada via: http://insight.mcmaster.ca/org/efc/pages/media/gazette.08oct97.html. accessed 11 Oct 97.

[32] no author listed, "German court to try woman for guerrilla hyperlinks," New York Times, 6 Jun 97, summary republished by EduPage, 8 Jun 97. no author listed, "New German law restricting cyberspace," New York Times, 5 Jul 97, summary republished by EduCom, 6 Jul 97.

[33] no author [Simon Wiesenthal Center], "SWC Operations Report: Part IV--Findings," posted in file dated 24 Dec 96, via: http://www.shamash.org/holocaust/neo-nazis/swc4.txt, accessed 21 Sep 97.

[34] no author ["Germany Alert", "German Military Hate Incidents Double," 26 Oct 97. via: http://alertnet.com/ga/, accessed 27 Oct 97.

[35] Larry Thorson, "Another Attempt in Court to Punish East German Leaders," Associated Press via The News-Times. via: http://www.newstimes.com/archive/nov1395/ina.htm accessed 28 Sep 1997.

tallpaul is a writer and activist who publishes the "Internet Anti-Fascist".