Usenet is NOT a free speech forum. Your freedom of expression is NOT protected under the first amendment of the US Constitution or any other country's law.

The propagation of your message depends on the equipment and software of every Usenet site it hits. If some of them don't like what you have to say or how you said it, it is perfectly within their rights to say that they don't want your message on their equipment. The first amendment does not give you permission to spray paint your message in grafitti on my house. You cannot walk into a TV station and demand that you get access to the airwaves under the first ammendment.

Having said that, the system administrators of most Usenet sites are VERY permissive on what they permit to propagate. In fact, they generally have no restrictions at all, and will pass along anything and everything that they get. They have other things to do, and can't even begin to read any but a small minority of 200,000 messages a day.

This permissiveness means that there are frequently illegal postings of copyrighted software, pornography, vulgar obscenities, plans to commit crimes, and otherwise questionable material available via Usenet. This is not to say that you "should" post such things, since they can get you into a lot of trouble. See Is it safe to post?

Overview and Related Topics
Usenet RKT: Is Usenet safe?
Usenet RKT: Is it safe to post?
Usenet RKT: How to find the right place to post

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Copyright 1997, Forrest J. Cavalier III, Mib Software, INN customization and consulting