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On Thu, 16 Sep 1993, Steve Cisler wrote:
 
> I hope many of you will have a change to obtain and read the NII report
> issued by Clinton's Information Infrastructure Task Force, but if you have
> not, I'll quote the part about community networks:
 
  Unfortunately, the values that will drive the Clinton Administration's
vision of the NII are those derived from the commerical interests that
have been handed unilateral control over the NREN.  The so-called promise
of the NII is nothing but a cynical public relations blast bereft of
formative structure.  The meager offering of opportunities for freenets to
fill the gap left by this hostile takeover of the NREN, is a tenuous
foundation for the overriding force of commercialism, which is now
positioned to devastate the potential of the network with the assistance
of the do-gooders who have abandoned the "public interest."
 
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 >
>
>
>
>                           CIVIC NETWORKING
>                 TECHNOLOGY IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST
>
>
>          The benefits of the NII extend far beyond economic growth.
> As the Center for Civic Networking observed,
>
>          "A country that works smarter; enjoys efficient, less costly
>          government, guided by a well-informed citizenry; that
>          produces high quality jobs and educated citizens to fill
>          them; that paves a road away from poverty; that promotes
>          life-long learning, public life and the cultural life of our
>          communities.  This is the promise of the National
>          Information Infrastructure."
>
>          The NII could be used to create an "electronic commons" and
> promote the public interest in the following ways:
>
> 1.       Community Access Networks:  Grass-roots networks are
>          springing up all over the country, providing citizens with a
>          wide range of information services.  The National
>          Information Infrastructure should  expand a citizen's
>          capacity for action in local institutions, as it must honor
>          regional differences and the cultural diversity of America's
>          heritage.
>
>          Example:  The Heartland FreeNet in Peoria, Illinois provides
>          a wide range of community information to the citizens of
>          Central Illinois 24 hours a day.  Topics covered include 113
>          areas of social services; a year long community calendar;
>          the American Red Cross; current listings from the Illinois
>          Job Service; resources for local businesses; and local
>          government information.  Experts in all fields from law to
>          the Red Cross to chemical dependency volunteer their time
>          and expertise to answer questions anonymously asked by the
>          public.
>
>          Example:  The Big Sky Telegraph began operation in 1988 as
>          an electronic bulletin board system linking Montana's 114
>          one-room schools to each other and to Western Montana
>          College.  Today, the Big Sky Telegraph enables the formation
>          of "virtual communities" -- linking schools, libraries,
>          county extension services, women's centers, and hospitals.
>          Montana's high-school students learning Russian can now
>          communicate with Russian students, and science students are
>          participating in a course on "chaos theory" offered by MIT.
>
> Steve Cisler
> Apple Library
> 4 Infinite Loop MS 304-2A
> Cupertino, California 95014
> 408 974 3258
> fax 408 825 7502
>  [log in to unmask]