Reporting Little Blue Men

Phil Howard phil at
Wed Jan 21 21:33:40 UTC 1998

Dennis Simpson writes...

> > From: Dean Anderson <dean at>
> > 
> > But when you take the step from advocacy to actions you are violating the
> > law in almost every case.  You can advocate anything, but you can't go
> > tearing down buildings, or in this case, intercepting communications.
> Filtering packets is not interception, it is disregard. If I ignore
> your packets and do not pass them to the next machine in the link, I
> am not intercepting your communications, I am ignoring them. Unless
> you are paying me to do so, I have no obligation to carry your packets.

I agree fully.  Interception only takes place by a party whose role is
not the carrying of the communication.  The phone company is not doing
an interception of your Chicago to New York phone call if they happen
to route it via Dallas and Atlanta just because there are available lines

> If my server checks message headers to determine validity before
> transferring to a spool file, I am not intercepting, I am determining
> message routing. As above, if you aren't paying me, I have no obligation
> to deliver something you handed me for delivery. Or are you suggesting
> mail servers should deliver mail without determining who it is for?

The only possible remaining obligation is with the receiver who is paying.
If they actually _want_ spam, then the obligation to deliver is not met if
spam is blocked.  OTOH I know of no one (besides spammers) who actually
want spam (and most spammers themselves don't want any from anyone else).

Phil Howard | die3spam at w2x4y3z2 at stop0it3 at
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