From: Anethil 0x98AA45B2 (COO)
To: Ganly min Retholl (VPO, Calianus Passage)
Subject: Data filtering – need official refusal?
Ha! I almost admire their jír. Not often someone comes to us and requests help in censorship.
Anyway, obviously, we’re not doing that. Tell them that it is against Bright Shadow corporate policy to interfere with data in transit in any way, even so far as to inspect packet contents – and that even if it wasn’t against our policy to do that, the structure of IIP-based networks requires end-to-end encryption which makes it impossible for us to do so. By design. If they want to impose traffic filtering, they’re going to have to do it at destination, on their side of the border routers.
Then tell them that even if all of that could be overcome, it would require a steep increase in connection charges, because while, certainly, it may not be the most ‘enlightened’ use of our data transmission capacity, its packet fees nonetheless subsidize extranet traffic rates for – essentially – everything else, pay for network expansion and relay maintenance across the outer regions, and bought the last round of stock options and my third vacation moon.
Maybe don’t tell them that last bit.
Moral Guardians: There are, of course, no official Moral Guardians in the Empire. It covers that right there in the Imperial Charter:
“Access to information shall not be abridged by the Empire, or by any instrumentality thereof, save to the least extent required for the public safety; nor shall the freedom of research and inquiry; nor shall the freedom of speech, nor that of the press, save when such information or speech constitutes, in whole or in part, infectious or self-executing code;”
Unofficially, there are plenty of groups which, while powerless to censor, are more than happy to act this way in a hortatory sense. And while they don’t generally care about sex (except for insufficiently aesthetically and hedonically pleasing sexual content [see: It’s Not Porn, It’s Art] – yes, this is the country in which the Moral Guardians will encourage people to boycott your pornography because it doesn’t look like the participants are having enough fun) and violence (although the market looks poorly on one-sided gorn, which hurts the sales of the horror genre), the more mainstream examples of the type have successfully purged reality television (and other media), gross-out humor, gratuitous ugliness and vulgarity (because orgies and slaughter are fine, but bad taste is just unforgivable – Values Dissonance, don’ch’know?), stupidity-themed comedy (stupidity being every bit as awful as bad taste), and other such approving cacopraxia from the Imperial media memespace. It helped, of course, that there wasn’t all that much there to start with, most of the material in question bouncing right off the cultural blinders.