Reporting Little Blue Men

Dean Anderson dean at
Sat Jan 24 02:28:13 UTC 1998

At 8:09 PM -0500 1/23/98, Steve Sobol wrote:
>On Fri, Jan 23, 1998 at 07:19:54PM -0500, Dean Anderson wrote:
>> I presume you mean cases where this law has been applied. I will look that
>> up. But even if there were no cases, the law can still be applied to the
>> first person caught violating them.
>But there have been court cases cited that prove that you're wrong.
>Compuserve v. Cyber Promotions, for example. Or any of the AOL victories.

They don't prove that crimminal laws don't apply.  They prove that spammers
financially responsible for damages they cause, when they do things that
one should know they aren't authorized to do, or when they expropriate
names and other things.  Sounds reasonable to me.

You seem to think that since somebody won a case on expropriating their
name, that you can do anything you want, and act like no laws apply to you.

>But in many, many cases, LIKE MINE, that's not the case! Why do you
>automatically assume that?

I'm not assuming it is the case. You are.  But if its your business to
transport packets from one place to another, and you are otherwise supposed
to transport packets from your customers to your uplink provider and vice
versa, but instead you block some of them for personal or political
reasons, this law prohibits that.  If that's what you do, then it applies
to you. If thats not what you do, then it doesn't apply to you.

>We're not blocking spammers at this point, Dean, so I can't really say
>anything. Except that the aforementioned court cases say that the OWNERS OF

Of course you have a right to protect your property. But blocking emails
for personal or political reasons is not "protecting your property".  You
sold/leased the resources to your customers. They aren't yours to do
anything you like with, anymore.  These laws to protect the privacy and
integrity of communications.

>Well then, why hasn't every single person running an Internet-connected
>computer been thrown in jail? Because -- the routers between point a and
>point b on the Net MUST LOOK AT THE PACKETS to determine where to route them.

Looking at packets incidental or necessary to operations (such as routing)
is permitted.  It says that.

Blocking packets for personal or political reasons doesn't qualify as
incidental to network operations, or protecting your property.

Why is that so tough to understand?


           Plain Aviation, Inc                  dean at

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