[lug] off topic, spam laws

Riggs, Rob RRiggs at doubleclick.net
Mon Feb 11 11:38:14 MST 2002

No... really, part of the answer must be in new laws. Libertarian ideals
will only get you so far. Laws are nothing but customs written down, with
penalties for failing to follow them. You right to real property is a
custom. There are penalties for failing to abide by the customs of real
property. (i.e. It's mine. You can't use it unless I explicitly allow it. I
can [have you put in jail|shoot you] for violating my property rights. Etc.)

People won't be encouraged to abide by the common customs of the internet
unless they face penalties. Those penalties can be imposed by "the public"
(being shunned, blacklisted, RBL'd, etc.) or they can be imposed by the
people via the government via laws and threats of criminal prosecution,
fines and jail time.

Both are needed to effectively combat spam.


-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Hutnick [mailto:peter at fpcc.net]
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2002 11:26 AM
To: lug at lug.boulder.co.us
Subject: Re: [lug] off topic, spam laws

On Monday 11 February 2002 10:52 am, Jeffrey Siegal wrote:
> Peter Hutnick wrote:
> > I think that everything you said here is true.  But (like so many laws)
> > it doesn't make any sense.
> >
> > If I may draw a metaphor . . . Leaving your front door unlocked is
> > foolish, but should you have to show a bugler the door and ask him not
> > return before it becomes a crime?
> A public mail server is not a private home.  If the computer system in
> question were not providing any services to the public, it would be
> different, and any access at all could be criminal.
> The situation with a public mail server is more like a store or other
> business, which is open to the public but can (in most cases), order
> someone off the premises and file criminal tresspass charges if they
> return.

I guess it depends on what you mean by "services to the public."  My
(private network) connects directly to a public street (internet).  That 
doesn't mean that anyone can come in my garage (mailserver) and borrow my
(SMTP service) once and continue to do so unless I ask them to stop.

I disagree that mailservers connected to the internet are "public."  

Anyway, as I think about it, the answer is smarter admins, not dumber laws.

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