THE DEBATE over what constitutes accpetable behaviour on the Net has taken a new twist thanks to the tactics of some supporters of Scientology in the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology. The group is the site of a long-standing row between pro and anti-Scientologists (Netropolitan, 18 March).
Not content with thrashing out their disagreements in the abstract arena of cyberspace, some of the pro-Scientologists are allowing the argument to spill over into the outside world by revealing the name, address and phone number of a critic who was posting under the pseudonym of "TarlaStar".
This goes far beyond a mere breach of "netiquette". It also exposes TarlaStar to the attentions of any net-cruising lunatic who cares to pay her a visit.
But Andrew Milne, who works for the Church of Scientology, says his original posting of TarlaStar's real name and city of residence--her full address was posted later by other Scientologists--was justified because "she had for several months been making false and often highly offensive references to my religion, while remaining anonymous--a practice I find unethical and unfair."