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Re: [dvd-discuss] EFF opposes blacklisting spammers
- To: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Subject: Re: [dvd-discuss] EFF opposes blacklisting spammers
- From: Michael.A.Rolenz(at)aero.org
- Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2001 09:51:36 -0700
- Reply-To: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Sender: owner-dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
There are two sides of this issues.
On the network, ISP side, spammers waste resources and users time. They
are a type of DoS attack.
On the user side, what is spam to me may not be spam to you just as in
So what is spam? Without a good definition, only nonsensical laws can be
written (BTW- our lawmakers need to allow more things to be civil matters.
It's pretty stupid to have RICO be a civil offense and copyright piracy a
criminal one). Aso for ISPs determining what is spam the EFF is quite
right. They shouldn't be. As an example, our corporate network nitwits had
an open relay (ahhhh the good old days of Vax780s running unix....before
the nitwits ). The public access network that my cousin uses would not
deliver email to her from me because of that and kept sending me nasty
notes back about being a spammer. Of course, the automated server of the
service the public network used to identify spammers just sent back notes
telling me I was a bad little spammer and that I was on their list and
that I needed to force our nitwits to fix the relay.
So.... I think the EFF is right on that ISPs should not be identifying
spammers but I should be. Now what I want with spammers is about the same
as with telemarketers "do not send me anything again or else pay a fine to
ME for wasting my time and resources" but I don't want an ISP deciding
that for me. Computers are stupid and only do what they are told so it
should be possible to figure out how to set up antispam protocols from
users and have ISPs be required to enforce them. (OTOH- maybe the internet
should consider doing what the USPS does with bulk mail and put a spam tax
Bryan Taylor <email@example.com>
Sent by: firstname.lastname@example.org
10/18/01 06:26 PM
Please respond to dvd-discuss
Subject: [dvd-discuss] EFF opposes blacklisting spammers
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
to send and receive messages, regardless of medium. Unless that right is
abused by a particular individual, that individual must not be restricted.
is unacceptable, then, for anti-spam policies to limit legitimate rights
send or receive email. To the extent that an anti-spam proposal, whether
or technical, results in such casualties, that proposal is unacceptable."
"But blacklisting is interfering with the delivery of a significant amount
non-spam email. Systems administrators who will not adopt the suggested
anti-spam policies find themselves unable to deliver their non-spamming
mail to recipients who are on systems that participate in blacklisting.
blocking is being done at too high a cost. Ultimately, civil rights and
ability of non-spammers to communicate cannot be sacrificed to serve the
of blocking unsolicited bulk email."
I think this is a really odd position, and it's the first one I can think
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.
right to free speech does not imply a right to my attention, and I can
whatever method I wish to dole out that attention, including outsourcing
decision making to my ISP.
The anti-blacklist argument seems to be based on a non-existent right to
ostrasized by private entitites.
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