ALCEI “Frequently Asked Questions”

ALCEI, in short.

Is ALCEI the Italian chapter of an international organization?

No. ALCEI is an independent Italian association. It has been, is and will be a member of international groups, networks or coalitions that share the same objectives. It has always, from its very beginning, cooperated with associations in other countries and will continue to do so whenever it’s appropriate.

Are you for total, absolute, unlimited freedom?

No. We understand that there must be rules, and that system operators have their rights. Within the limits of a fair and reasonable relationship, we are on the side of freedom.

We believe there are rules of “good behavior” in electronic communication, which are to be followed; this is why we have our own code of behavior.

Was ALCEI born because of the “Italian Crackdown” in 1994?

No. Those extended police raids on BBSs were a particularly obnoxious event, but a symptom of more extended problems. The perspective, in space and time, is much wider than any single episode.

ALCEI was conceived, from the very beginning, to work in a broad, long-term perspective.

Is ALCEI only an organization for the defense of freedom?

Freedom is a basic element of our strategy, but it is also important to spread better understanding of interactive communication as a vital tool of modern society.

Is ALCEI interested in encryption?

Yes – though this is not a high a priority for us except in case of attempts to prohibit it or regulate it inn a repressive manner. We are for privacy, and the free use of encryption is an element of privacy.

Who is “behind” ALCEI?

Nobody. We are totally independent and not tied to any government body, private interest or political party.

Is ALCEI open to everybody?

Not indiscriminately. Membership must be approved. We do not wish to have as ALCEI members people whose behavior is incorrect (in relation to general ethics and specifically to electronic communication) or is not in line with ALCEI’s principles and code of behavior. No member has ever been removed from the association for such reasons – but, though luckily we are in no need to apply it, the principle must be maintained.

Does ALCEI discriminate by opinion, philosophy, race, religion etc.?

Never.

Must ALCEI members be Italian?

We are an Italian association but our members can live anywhere and have any nationality.

Where is ALCEI based?

Legally, in Milan. De facto all over Italy and abroad, wherever there are members. Our operating bases can be placed wherever practically convenient.

How does ALCEI get money?

Our activity is based on voluntary work. The services we use are kindly provided, at no cost to the association, by some of our members. Our (small) funds come from membership fees. We are pleased to accept other contributions, as long as they do not condition our strategies and actions in any way.

Is ALCEI an association of ICT professionals?

No. It is an association of citizens who are interested in the social and cultural values of electronic communication – experts or not in the technologies.

Which is ALCEI’s position on the ownership of software?

We are in favor of opensource (as a cultural, as well as technical, concept) as well as freeware and shareware. We do not in support illegal trading of software, but we are in the side of users, freedom to choose, open opportunities – opposed to monopolies and warping of free market and free resources, especially when they lead to, or coincide with, repression of personal freedom and civil rights.

Which is the position of ALCEI on electronic “abuse”?

Obviously we are against anyone who uses electronic communication for dishonest purposes, as we are against the spreaders of viruses, spam and scams; and we are also against people who damage the electronic community with incorrect or harmful behavior.

We are for defense of “electronic citizens” against the negative image which can be generated by the poor behavior of a few people.

In the case of ideas, no matter how controversial, which anyone may want to repress, we are for freedom.

We are against any form of bigotry. We are in favor of the rights of minorities and of differences.

We respect law but (as our Statutes say) if there is a law which we consider unfair we shall fight to change it and to defend the people who are unjustly repressed.