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[dvd-discuss] EFF opposes blacklisting spammers
- To: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Subject: [dvd-discuss] EFF opposes blacklisting spammers
- From: Bryan Taylor <bryan_w_taylor(at)yahoo.com>
- Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 18:26:01 -0700 (PDT)
- Reply-To: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Sender: owner-dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
Slightly off topic, but this will probably interest people here.
The EFF came out with its position on anti-spam blacklisting:
"Email is protected speech. There is a fundamental free speech right to be able
to send and receive messages, regardless of medium. Unless that right is being
abused by a particular individual, that individual must not be restricted. It
is unacceptable, then, for anti-spam policies to limit legitimate rights to
send or receive email. To the extent that an anti-spam proposal, whether legal
or technical, results in such casualties, that proposal is unacceptable."
"But blacklisting is interfering with the delivery of a significant amount of
non-spam email. Systems administrators who will not adopt the suggested
anti-spam policies find themselves unable to deliver their non-spamming users'
mail to recipients who are on systems that participate in blacklisting. This
blocking is being done at too high a cost. Ultimately, civil rights and the
ability of non-spammers to communicate cannot be sacrificed to serve the goal
of blocking unsolicited bulk email."
I think this is a really odd position, and it's the first one I can think of
where I think the EFF is badly off base. I really don't see how voluntary
action by ISP's to screen email from reaching recipients is a bad thing. The
right to free speech does not imply a right to my attention, and I can employ
whatever method I wish to dole out that attention, including outsourcing the
decision making to my ISP.
The anti-blacklist argument seems to be based on a non-existent right to not be
ostrasized by private entitites.
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