CULTURE: Censoring Cyberspace

Carnegie Mellon's attempt to ban sex from its campus computer network sends a chill along the info highway

The steam began rising for Carnegie Mellon University four weeks ago, when one of its research associates, Martin Rimm, informed the administration that a draft of his study of pornography on the computer networks was about to be released. Rimm had made an elaborate analysis of the sexually oriented material available online. Not only had he put together a picture collection that rivaled Bob Guccione's (917,410 in all), but by tracking how many times each image had been retrieved by computer users (a total of 6.4 million downloads), he had obtained a measure of the consumer demand for different categories of...

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