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MSN Censors Writer After Emailing Juaneno Unity article

by robert bracamontes Friday, Oct. 06, 2006 at 12:27 AM

Not long after emailing friends and family an article I wrote on Juaneno Unity, my MSN email account was closed for 5 or 6 days.

Dear Family and Friends,

In April, I ruptured my bicep tendon at work. I am just getting to the stage where I am doing strengthening for it and I am still off work.

But, more important is the fact that MSN closed my MSN email account for six (6) days this summer. It happened not long after I posted the Juaneno Unity article. I went to open my email and it said, "Access Denied: Account Closed." I have had this address for a very long time; all of our family stuff goes through that address. When I finally received a response from them about why, I was shocked. It read, "Distributing Objectionable Material." I thought those words and actions might be reserved for something more provocative, like pornography. But, in todays society, critical analysis of the structure of the capitalist hierarchy has become a very subversive act. Freedom of speech is dwindling.

Pam Wight who wrote an article about this, is on the people's side of things. I think she did as well as the mainstream media would allow. The quote she used near the end is what we already know, but to hear people verify, accept and condone the take over of freedom of speech by the powers at hand still hurts.

However, Gene Policinski of the First Amendment Center said if msn.com censored Bracamontes, it was within their rights. "This is not a First Amendment issue," Policinski said. "It's a private operation, and they are able to regulate content on their site. Speech is protected from government restraint only."
MSN has restored Bracamontes' account.

(Above paragraph quoted from
Columnist claims MSN censors
E-mail account said closed without warning
By Pam Wight Staff Writer)

It brought back memories of my experience with the Los Angeles Times, censorship and control of peoples thoughts through the written word. The Times filters articles through as many as five (5) editors before they make print. My own private editor, Gus (my son), helped me play the filter game with them. Even the human interest stories we submitted were chopped up so as not to offend the rich and powerful of this country.

I informed MSN that I was a writer and certain emails from professors and others were of historical value. The return message was about three (3) people MSN said complained about getting my emails. So I asked them to let me know who they were so I could remove them and not bother them. I dont want to be the spam guy. MSN said they would not tell me who because it is a matter of privacy. But if I sent more spam they would have to keep the account closed. I then suggested that since they have access to my email, why dont they remove them from it. MSN answered that they would need a court order to extract names from my address book. Funny, they didnt need a court order to close my email account.

Thus, I remained pretty paranoid throughout the summer. It seems we have entered into a time of social paranoia, created by the fascist government that is controlled by corporations. Just think how our government is waging war on the world to create so-called democratic governments, while taking freedom of press and thought away from its own people in the name of limiting distribution of objectionable material.

Of note to all, I will be speaking at the second Juanenos for Unity gathering. Details are listed below. Thanks for keeping in touch. I will be sending announcements about new articles from bob@onlinewithbob.com.

Hope you can share this with other family members and friends of the Juanenos who might be interested in attending this historic event. I believe that it is in my tribe's best interest that everybody gets to know each other in a neutral environment. The first meeting I went to turned out to be a great experience meeting newfound family. I got a real sense of belonging, and I felt loved by all. We hope that we can get twice as many people to attend as last time, maybe 400-500. www.onlinewithbob.com




12NOON - 5:00PM
Complete flyer at www.onlinewithbob.com

Peace and Love, Bob

PS I did not confront the "Objectionable" material issue, which they said was the first reason for closing my email. I guess I was to shocked and fearful at the time. They did not define it. But if I did, I would say it is a direct attack on freedom of speech. This had nothing to do with slander or porno. It is about a difference of opinions on how we view society. As long as you agree with corporate you are pretty much left alone. When you speak out against what they are doing to the world in the name of profit, then you are a journalist of social terrorist tendencies. So certain writers must be weeded out of the system because they have opposing views.

It is ironic that the last article was about Native Unity and my tribe, the Juaneno Mission Indians. We are the first people of this land. Our history goes back 10,000 years and we still are fighting to be heard by the powers of oppression that have blocked us at every turn.

Even if it is true that three people complained about one email, it is censorship to close my access to everything in my email account because of that. Look at how many millions of people protested the war and Bush was never asked by the rich corporations to end it. I was not asking people to kill somebody like he is doing. I was asking people to come together as sisters and brothers to live in peace united as one.

They would not give me the names to take off my list. I am not a child; I just did not want to bother them. That is not my intension as a writer. I want people to think in a critical manner and tell me why they disagree, so we can fix what is wrong with the world. In the email to me they said that the privacy of those people was protected. I guess my rights meant nothing.

The problem is with MSN. Writers fall in and out of favor with readers, thats the way it is. Today they love you. Tomorrow they hate you. I have no problem with that. But if corporations our going to take sides and deny access to services based on one opinion, then we are all in trouble. We have entered an era where there is no freedom of speech as far as the corporations are concerned, as well as their accomplice, the federal government. www.onlinewithbob.com

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Annoyances Douglas Keachie Friday, Oct. 06, 2006 at 1:21 PM

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