ILS 609 Public Policy Discussion Group

This homepage is the first product of discussions of the members of our group. It was last updated on 4/2/95.


Meeting Time and Place:

Topics We Cover

What We're Reading

Record of Weekly Meetings of the Ann Arbor Public Policy Group:

#1 1/25/95 -- Public Policy group is formed. We talked about our individual interests and what topics we would like to discuss during the semester.

#2 2/1/95 -- We further discussed the topics we want to tackle. David is interested in looking at the impact in developed countries. I'm more interested in the impact on third world countries, especially in Latin America. Nettie has a legal background and wants to investigate that area.

#3 2/8/95 -- We met at the Government Documents Center and looked at hearings and proposals for the NII. We read several sections and discussed our reactions to them. We all wondered how these grand ideas were going to be financed and what will be the proper role of the Federal Government in the development of these initiatives.

#4 2/15/95 -- We discussed the public policy implications of the Jake Baker case. Is this a free speech issue? The case started out as one issue -- obscenity -- and became another -- threats transmitted over the Internet. Will the case be decided on one issue and generally interpreted by the public as another? Will the public see this as a decision regarding obscenity when the legal issue involves a threat?

Is this different from free speech and privacy issues in mail communication? Should there be some controls? What will the impact be on the Internet?

Spring Break; Group did not meet.

#5 3/1/95 -- We met at the computer room and constructed our Public Policy Home Page. We are looking for links to add to it.

#6 3/15/95 -- We watched the movie Ephemeral Films to compare to the CD-ROM version which we've all viewed.

#7 3/22/95 -- We discussed pornography on the Internet and government regulations. Is there a difference if the pornographic material is posted to a group such as as opposed to being linked to a source attractive to children such as a cartoon group? Is there some way to block unwanted material? Is it effective?

We also had a spirited discussion about the impact of media publicity of violence against women on women's safety. This issue concerned the publicity around the Ann Arbor serial rapist. Does the information value outweigh the sensationalism aspect?

#8 3/29/95 -- We each discussed our individual projects and got useful input from the other members.

#9 4/5/95 -- We took our discussion to the Kava Java so Nettie could get a chocolate fix. We had a very productive discussion of commercialism on the Internet. Some of us are bothered by the encroaching commercialism; others see it as inevitable.

#10 4/12/95 -- The group watched Total Recall for our modern SciFi movie. Afterwards we discussed the representation of violence as compared to the Jake Baker case.

Fun and Informative Policy Links

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