Why Beer*Net?
        Houston is famed for its intolerance of basic rights and
the opinions of others on its bulletin board systems.  This is not
surprising in a city where the most common activity is the proverbial
leechline activity, but is distressing nonetheless to intelligent users
who want to make their opinions known without living in fear of
mysterious account modifications, deletions or message removal.  At
times the oppression has been so blatant that users have made the
transition from user to sysop and have run "free speech" systems that
broke all of the established (and stupid) rules and allowed the open
expression of intelligence.  They have always met with opposition from
the petty tyrants who run their own digital kingdoms for the
gratification of having power, no matter how unconnected to reality it
is.  And, since these types generally invest a good deal of money in
their systems, they are the ones who have what the common user covets -
file transfers - and use this as the basis of their power.  When
something threatening such as a board with free speech allowed or a no
ratio file transfer system appears, they often band together and assault
the sysop, especially if he is a minor, where they know they can
sufficiently confuse his parents into forcing them to remove the
offending bulletin board system.  This has happened to more than one
reputable user-turned-sysop, and with the emergence of Beer*Net, will
hopefully be eradicated.

Free Speech
        Simply put, "free speech" is the right to say whatever the user
pleases without any immediate repercussions other than the responses of
fellow users.  On a free speech BBS, a user may say whatever he wishes
without trepidation, because the sysop is honor bound not to take action
against the user.  This is not easy for a sysop, especially when said
user espouses neanderthal beliefs such as racism or bigotry.  However,
the overall outlook is much better for a BBS that allows intellectual
development and interesting posts through free speech than for a
squeaky-clean and silent BBS.  This is a basic right we hold to be
necessary, and we, the Beer*Net sysops, are committed to defend it.
        We agree that by allowing free speech we are exempting the users
from action taken by the sysop against them for what they say publicly
or privately on a BBS, with the exception of illegal activity such as
passing long distance codes or passwords.  We also agree that we will
not read private mail, nor will we ever use a user's account for our own
purposes.  Any change in access level, change in user information or
deletion of a part or the whole of the user's account in response to
user posting is considering a violation, as are passing on to any other
sysop, user or official all or part of a user's information and
confronting anyone but the user himself with details of a supposed
        In addition, we are committed to helping others interested in
maintaining free speech on bulletin board systems.  If we hear of a case
where unwarranted harrassment is being delivered by other sysops, we are
pledged to combat it by whatever means necessary.  Rights must be
preserved above all.

The Systems
        The systems listed on the file header are all committed to the
Beer*Net ideals and have implemented them.  They do not support
blacklisting, and do not pass on user information between systems or to
other users.  Moreover, the sysops will NOT call up parents or deal with
anyone besides the user himself regarding the user's conduct.  The
sysops do reserve the right to preserve in copy buffer form all or part
of any chats, posts, or e-mail directed to the sysop or in a public
area.  These policies are implemented at the verification of this file
by all of the sysops involved.

        Beer*Net was an idea developed in part by the sysops of TURD
(the "original" true free speech system), namely Royal Flush, Vile Scent
(Toxic Waste, Yeast Infection) and Captain Crapp (Vehicular Slaughter,
Nuclear Gerbil) and in part by Zen Master, an original user on TURD and
now sysop of the Magic Window.
        TURD had its origins in the Apple II community, where the sysops
observed that more than the normal amount of petty didactic types
reigned, and committed themselves to do something about it.  Today, the
remnants of TURD are to be found in Apocalyptic Funhouse (713-531-1139),
as are parts of the Metal Hell and Dead Animal Pickup.
        Malacology Unlimited and Magic Window are later additions to the
free speaking world, but are viable systems worthy of investigation by
any user.  They are running Hermes on the Macintosh and TAG on a clone,
respectively.  All are open systems.

Copyright © 1986-1997 American Nihilist Underground Society. All rights reserved.