Moral Panic Like It's 1992!

This was linked at Fark and generated a pretty good thread. It’s some county sheriff in Washington and a “personal safety with computers” page. Okay, maybe that’s still a reasonable thing to worry about, but look at the advice given. Some highlights:

“The “Information Super Highway,” which is made up of commercial online services such as Prodigy, America Online, CompuServe, and the Internet, allows millions of people around the world to communicate anonymously in a virtually uncontrolled electronic world.” Okay, first off, has anyone been able to call it “The Information Super Highway” in the last decade without sounding like a complete idiot? And second, I had no idea Prodigy and CompuServe were still available. And third, did you know that there was once an ISP called The Internet?

“Report all electronic harassment and/or abuse. As parents, you should notify the ISP (Internet Service Provider) or BBS (Bulletin Board System) SYSOP (system operator) of the problem. If the SYSOP does not give you satisfaction in stopping this abuse, notify the police.” Yes, I’ll get right on notifying the SYSOP of my local BBS. Once I find a local BBS and hook the modem up.

“Computer files ending in GIF, JPG, BMP, TIF, PCX, DL, GL, FLI, MPG, AVI, MOV - these are picture or graphic files and parents should know what they illustrate. Image files may be pictures of a sexual nature and can be of very high quality, moving pictures, and even include sound.” I had no idea you could get porn on the Internet. Why didn’t anyone tell me this?

“An obsession with fantasy adventure games such as Dungeons and Dragons and Trade Wars” The 80s called and they want their moral panic back. And, seriously, Trade Wars? Can you even find somewhere to play that game these days?

“Control all internet activity. Monitor the times and the numbers dialed.
Closely monitor your long distance telephone bill for unexplained calls. With online services and bulletin boards all over the world, it is easy to start calling long distance for special systems.” Again, I’ll be sure to check on this, as soon as I hook the modem up.

The entire article reads like something that was copied and pasted from something written around 1994. The full article is linked below.

I don’t have to worry. My Commodore 64 never gets viruses.

Oh man, I hope they don’t find out about Dope Wars or Space Empire Elite. That’s why I hide the floppy disk I keep my favourite terminal program on.

These two are pretty good:

Use of a new, unusual vocabulary, heavy with computer terms, satanic phrases, sexual references or a sudden interest in related hard rock or satanic oriented posters, music, etc.

Look for related doodling or writing using of words such as: Hacking, Phreaking, or any words with “ph” replacing 'f"

I have a sudden desire to send him on a wild goose chase to uncover the threat of ASCII porn.

Well phuck you, too.

Good god! Now that he’s miseducated one parent, he wants them to infect their children’s entire social network!

“The system cannot find the file specified.”

Uh-oh. How do we tell the SYSOP?

I misread the OP as talking about a sheriff’s info flyer that actually was from 1992, so I was a bit confused before the bulb lit up.

[/proud subscriber to The Internet since about 1997]

Yeah, know your kid’s friends, so that you know who your daughter is sending her nude pictures to. Heck, she’s posting them on her Facebook page, so you’re gonna have to do some footwork to get to know all the people looking at them. And you better find out about the internet at all their friends’ homes, because they can’t get onto the internet with all their phones, oh no.

My advice: buy a dog so the Internet can’t blow up your truck! If the local news says it, it must be true!

Darnit, the original page’s down now so I can’t see it. :frowning:

It’s Thurston County. No further explanation is needed. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think some of you are seriously underestimating the danger posed to our Republic by Obscene and Indecent Tele-Graphs.

Youngsters these days and their “Morse Code”, sending each other Heaven knows–please pardon the strong language, but this is a subject about which I feel passionately–what sorts of Tele-Graphic Messages behind their elders’ backs.

I have also heard of a new technology, the “Facsimile Tele-Graph”, in which images or “Litho-Graphs” may be send by wire. The mind reels at the implications.

Please call upon the households of all your friends and acquaintances at your earliest convenience, especially those of other fathers and mothers of young children, and present to them copies of this message.

Beat me to it . . .

“With a capital T, and that rhymes with C, and that stands for CompuServe!”