Monitoring, Flow Stats (Re: spam whore, norcal-systems)

Dean Anderson dean at
Wed Feb 3 22:53:10 UTC 1999

At 04:48 PM 2/3/1999 -0500, Dean Robb wrote:
>This has been ssoooooooo hashed out here, with the general consensus being
>that 18 USC 2511 was inapplicable to blocking email.  

It has been hashed out before. But the general consensus is not that 2511
is inapplicable. Initially, a number of people thought so.  But they were

2511 was amended by Congress specifically to make it apply to email.

How quickly some forget...

>Also listed is the definition of "intercept", which is to acquire the
>contents of a communication (blocking/filtering clearly fails here). 

You begin to aquire the packet as soon as the first bit of the version
number is received.  You are permitted to do things that are necessary
incident to rendition of service.  You can receive it into memory. You can
route it.

That doesn't mean you can do anything you want with it.  What you do needs
to qualify as "necessary incident to rendition of service". Unless you are
specifically authorized to do otherwise.

>can also see that monitering to improve service or " of the
>rights or property of the carrier..." is specifically permitted. 

Yup. If you're at a NAP for example, and someone starts tunneling through
your network to another NAP to get transit service without paying transit
fees, you can stop 'em.

>So, if
>you're blocking email because you didn't give the spammer permission to use
>your systems, you're legal. 

Thats a different claim.  Spammer is authorized to send packets.  You can't
charge them with a real theft. "Theft of service" is a term used by
anti-spammers, not a legal statement of a criminal activity.  In this case,
you don't have any bonafide abuse of your property rights.  So you can't
claim the abuse clause.


           Plain Aviation, Inc                  dean at

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