Scientology vs the Net for Hacks/Hackers

by Wendy M Grossman | posted on 27 September 2011

On Wednesday evening (9/28/2011) I will be speaking at Hacks/Hackers. At various recent meetings, I've been realizing that the earlier parts of the last 20 years of Internet growth and development are not in fact known to people under 30, and that it might be a good time for a look back. From 1993 to 1995 one of the most violent of the early net.wars took place in and around the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology, where critics, former Scientologists, and current Scientologists all collided in what we called in the eventual article "a flame war with real bullets". ISPs and people's homes got raided in Virginia, California, Finland, and the Netherlands, and the many court cases that came out of it set precedents that determined many of the notice-and-takedown rules of today. If you'd like to do a little pre-reading, here is the original article. It went on to form a chapter of net.wars-the-book, whose full text you can find here. Hope to see you Wednesday! wg

Wendy M Grossman

Technorati tags:   

Wendy M. Grossman’s Web site has an extensive archive of her books, articles, and music, and an archive of all the earlier columns in this series. Readers are welcome to post here, at net.wars home, follow on Twitter or send email to netwars(at) (but please turn off HTML).