Wired Strategies Email Update

Email to Gay Media List  January 8, 1998    
Date: Thu, 08 Jan 1998 11:08:47 -0500
From: John 
To: [address deleted]
Subject: Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't AOL

GLO radio/planetout did a radio interview last night with Tim McVeigh, the
US Navy guy who's being kicked out as a result of his member profile on
AOL.  The site contains the radio interview that you can listen to at
< http://www.planetout.com/gloradio/index.html >. 

"On Hangin'OUT, John McMullen talks with Timothy R. McVeigh, who until
recently was the highest ranking enlisted man aboard the Navy's USS
Chicago submarine. McVeigh is now scheduled to be dismissed from 17
exemplary years in the U.S. Navy based solely on an AOL user profile, in
spite of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and AOL's supposed
commitment to confidentiality." 

A rather shocking aside, I just got a copy of the court transcripts from
his discharge hearing and the Navy says, in 5 pages of sworn testimony,
that they had his AOL member profile but couldn't prove it was him, so
they simply called AOL and asked for his name and state of residence and
AOL gave it to them!  If this is true, imagine the implications when AOL
now controls over 50% of the nation's email market -- what if employers
want to check up to see if their employees have raunchy (or gay) aol
profiles, what if someone wants to find the name and address of a profile
they find particularly interesting (or annoying), and what if someone
decides they want to track down the profile of a 12 year old kid. 

Of course, perhaps the Navy lied -- the profile is the only piece of
evidence they offered at his hearing -- and in that case, the Navy would
have perjured itself for 5 pages of testimony under oath in order to
fabricate the only piece of evidence they had against this guy. 

Pretty sick stuff.



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