Home|Third Culture|Digerati|Reality Club

Mike is a tenacious defender of First Amendment rights, and he knows the constitutional issues involved better than almost anybody. His online discussion style is such that everybody who tangles with him is careful before they dive in. He takes every aspect of every sentence that somebody has written and provides the refutation in detail.

THE JUDGE (David R. Johnson)

Mike Godwin

The Defender

"One of the difficulties we face now, and the cause of a backlash of fear of the medium, is the problem of pluralism. Most of us don't have to deal with the full range of opinions and ideas - from the inspiring to the obnoxious - that exist in the American landscape because the mainstream mass media filter them out. When you spend time on the Net, you discover that people are hungry to read and talk and that the political landscape is a lot richer than you ever thought it was. People hold beliefs that are orthogonal to the usual Democrat versus Republican scale."

Mike Godwin is "The Defender." He wants to protect your right to publish on the Internet any content that would be legal in a newspaper or a book. Since October 1990, Mike has been the counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a public-interest civil-liberties group founded by John Perry Barlow and Mitch Kapor since October 1990. Mike was the first person hired by the EFF, which focuses on (a) assistance and advice to individuals with legal problems and questions about cyberspace, (b) education of policymakers, law enforcement, and the general public about these issues, and (c) where appropriate, attempting to influence public policy. The group's role is to ensure that the principles embodied in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are protected as new communication technologies emerge. Mike says, "I started as an (a) and (b) kind of guy, but lately I've been doing a lot more (c)."

MIKE GODWIN, an attorney, is counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the San Francisco-based cyber-liberties organization.