[lug] off topic, spam laws

D. Stimits stimits at idcomm.com
Mon Feb 11 00:41:25 MST 2002

Zichary O`Tea wrote:
> Its one thing if you don't like spam.. Thats fine, go to one of the dozen
> sites available that suggests domains to block, or whatever else, and join
> in the party.

Sorry, I am talking about advertisers who break laws regarding spam, or
fraudulently insulate themselves through altered headers. Not as a
normal operation, but as insulation from the law. It is not totalitarian
at all. In fact, it is the opposite: it is the right to avoid having
some aspect of my life controlled by someone who has less than honest
interest in mind. To say I *must* listen to spam even if it is breaking
a law reminds me of a definition of blackmail: One always has the right
to not break laws, as well as the right to excercise what is legally our
own to do...any coercion to give up legal rights or coercion to break
laws is extortion, a criminal offense. I would like to see the limits of
fraud and breaking of one's right to be left alone better defined when
related to spam email and commercial advertising by email. It in no way
suggests stopping commerce that follows the rules.

> Its kind of another when you suggest all this totalitarian intervention.

Why is it totalitarian to be able to tell someone to follow the law and
stop breaking it? I personally have no restraint against calling the
police and having someone arrested for committing an obvious crime
against me. Anarchy is just another color of totalitarianism.

> Maybe I would support the government giving a little funding to educate
> people about filters..  like all hard core nancy reagan style....

I can't get my ISP to filter. But am I responsible for paying the cost
for what other people do illegally? Should I allow someone strong-arm me
and get away with something because I am afraid to say "no"? I have the
right to not be mugged, and if there is a way I'll see to it that
spammers that think they can break various laws for free pay a cost.
Call me anything you wish, I won't hand over my money to anyone with a
gun nor to some coward behind a forged email header. To pay a service to
try to enforce what I have the right to not endure in the first place is
just extortion.

> Have lots of "hip" looking kids dancing around to a song where the
> chorus is "You have a right to use filters!"  Then in elementary
> schools there could be a similar program to D.A.R.E. where NSA
> people would come in to classes toteing little workbooks with evil
> looking drawings of kids who spam people on the internet.  The evil spam
> kids would have blood shot eyes, and walk around like zombies, and wear
> tye-dye and/or metallica t-shirts.  And they would approach nice looking
> kids with short conservative hair-cuts, and turtle necks and say "Hey, I
> have a program that lets you spam people.  Its even under the GPL, do you
> want me to e-mail it to you?"  And the the well dressed young man would
> respond in a "assertive" manner and say "No, spamming is wrong. And its
> my duty as a loyal net-itizen, to report you to the spam stoppers
> network."

Ok, perhaps it is time, due to such attitudes, to require ISP's to
install filter software that is configurable by the user. Then make
everyone pay the cost. Spamming in some cases is not just wrong, it is
illegal. There simply are no teeth to fight it. I think it is time for
teeth. I'm probably a lot more left wing than you are, you just don't
know it. But don't ever ask me to profit over someone else's misery just
because I'm bigger than them or have a way to hide, I try to avoid the
coward's role.

> Or, maybe there could be an anti-spam political party, and they could
> try to run a president on a "War on Spam" platform.  Then, we could have
> John Ashcroft order raids on anyone's house or business who sends e-mail,
> and detain them for questioning because they might have connections
> to subversive "Spam Organizations."

You seem to mistake that I am suggesting all spam be illegal. I am
suggesting that practices that are illegal have a way to be prosecuted.
And that fraud by email for profit be recognized for what it is. If you
don't like the laws regarding the right to shut off spam, then go lobby
against spam laws that already exist to get the repealed. I'm neither
right wing nor anarchist, but if I say "NO", I expect the spammer to
accept it and not tell me "NO means YES". If someone wants to mug me,
expect a fight.

Sorry for the rant, I'll post this view only once.

D. Stimits, stimits at idcomm.com

> > >hate this, but I would also suggest a need to make a legal requirement
> > >of providers of free email accounts to gain proof of identity, e.g., via
> > >fax or mail or even a scanned driver's license, before offering the
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