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[ih] Free Speech and ARPAnet?

>2. I'm pretty sure that the free speech meme arrived via usenet, but I'm
>surprised to (re)discover that alt.* only dates back to 1987. Maybe somebody
>should ask Steve Bellovin for his recollection.

The alt.* hierarchy was invented as a response to the Great Renaming
in 1987.  Before that, stuff was mod.blah for moderated groups (I ran
mod.compilers), fa.blah for stuff gatewayed from Arpanet mailing
lists, and net.blah for everything else.

The GR named stuff by topic rather than source, and gave us the major
groups we still have such as comp.* (I still run comp.compilers),
sci.*, and so forth.  They also invented a fairly bureaucratic process
for creating and deleting groups in the major hierarchies. Brian Reid
created alt.sex in 1988, in response to Spaf's refusal to create