ADV-NEWS, Create an e-annoyance, go to jail. When you annoy someone on the Internet, you must disclo


C

Cymbal Man Freq.

http://news.com.com/Create+an+e-annoyance,+go+to+jail/2010-1028_3-6022491.html

Create an e-annoyance, go to jail
By Declan McCullagh

Published: January 9, 2006, 4:00 AM PST


Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.

It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on
posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without
disclosing your true identity.

In other words, it's OK to flame someone on a mailing list or in a blog as long
as you do it under your real name. Thank Congress for small favors, I guess.

This ridiculous prohibition, which would likely imperil much of Usenet, is
buried in the so-called Violence Against Women and Department of Justice
Reauthorization Act. Criminal penalties include stiff fines and two years in
prison.

"The use of the word 'annoy' is particularly problematic," says Marv Johnson,
legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "What's annoying to
one person may not be annoying to someone else."

It's illegal to annoy
A new federal law states that when you annoy someone on the Internet, you must
disclose your identity. Here's the relevant language.

"Whoever...utilizes any device or software that can be used to originate
telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in
whole or in part, by the Internet... without disclosing his identity and with
intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person...who receives the
communications...shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than two
years, or both."
Buried deep in the new law is Sec. 113, an innocuously titled bit called
"Preventing Cyberstalking." It rewrites existing telephone harassment law to
prohibit anyone from using the Internet "without disclosing his identity and
with intent to annoy."

To grease the rails for this idea, Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania
Republican, and the section's other sponsors slipped it into an unrelated,
must-pass bill to fund the Department of Justice. The plan: to make it
politically infeasible for politicians to oppose the measure.

The tactic worked. The bill cleared the House of Representatives by voice vote,
and the Senate unanimously approved it Dec. 16.

There's an interesting side note. An earlier version that the House approved in
September had radically different wording. It was reasonable by comparison, and
criminalized only using an "interactive computer service" to cause someone
"substantial emotional harm."

That kind of prohibition might make sense. But why should merely annoying
someone be illegal?

There are perfectly legitimate reasons to set up a Web site or write something
incendiary without telling everyone exactly who you are.

Think about it: A woman fired by a manager who demanded sexual favors wants to
blog about it without divulging her full name. An aspiring pundit hopes to set
up the next Suck.com. A frustrated citizen wants to send e-mail describing
corruption in local government without worrying about reprisals.

In each of those three cases, someone's probably going to be annoyed. That's
enough to make the action a crime. (The Justice Department won't file charges in
every case, of course, but trusting prosecutorial discretion is hardly
reassuring.)

Clinton Fein, a San Francisco resident who runs the Annoy.com site, says a
feature permitting visitors to send obnoxious and profane postcards through
e-mail could be imperiled.

"Who decides what's annoying? That's the ultimate question," Fein said. He
added: "If you send an annoying message via the United States Post Office, do
you have to reveal your identity?"

Fein once sued to overturn part of the Communications Decency Act that outlawed
transmitting indecent material "with intent to annoy." But the courts ruled the
law applied only to obscene material, so Annoy.com didn't have to worry.

"I'm certainly not going to close the site down," Fein said on Friday. "I would
fight it on First Amendment grounds."

He's right. Our esteemed politicians can't seem to grasp this simple point, but
the First Amendment protects our right to write something that annoys someone
else.

It even shields our right to do it anonymously. U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Clarence Thomas defended this principle magnificently in a 1995 case involving
an Ohio woman who was punished for distributing anonymous political pamphlets.

If President Bush truly believed in the principle of limited government (it is
in his official bio), he'd realize that the law he signed cannot be squared with
the Constitution he swore to uphold.

And then he'd repeat what President Clinton did a decade ago when he felt
compelled to sign a massive telecommunications law. Clinton realized that the
section of the law punishing abortion-related material on the Internet was
unconstitutional, and he directed the Justice Department not to enforce it.

Bush has the chance to show his respect for what he calls Americans' personal
freedoms. Now we'll see if the president rises to the occasion.

Biography
Declan McCullagh is CNET News.com's Washington, D.C., correspondent. He
chronicles the busy intersection between technology and politics. Before that,
he worked for several years as Washington bureau chief for Wired News. He has
also worked as a reporter for The Netly News, Time magazine and HotWired.
 
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K

kurttrail

Cymbal Man Freq. wrote:

"without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse,
threaten, or harass any person"

LOL! Just because somebody is annoyed by what someone else writes on
the internet, is in no way evidence that that someone else had any
INTENT to annoy that specific somebody. To prove intent would be
extremely difficult unless someone was actually doing some REAL
cyber-stalking, or was stupid enough to write that they intended that
person to be annoyed by what is written.

So if you want to continue to be a Cyber-Stalker, just change your name
to John Smith, or Jose Gonzalez, and post under that rather generic
name, and you could even admit to your intent of wanting to annoy your
cyber-victim.

--
Peace!
Kurt
Self-anointed Moderator
microscum.pubic.windowsexp.gonorrhea
http://microscum.com/mscommunity
"Trustworthy Computing" is only another example of an Oxymoron!
"Produkt-Aktivierung macht frei"
 
M

my head is not up Bushes' arse either

Cymbal said:
http://news.com.com/Create+an+e-annoyance,+go+to+jail/2010-1028_3-6022491.html

Create an e-annoyance, go to jail
By Declan McCullagh

Published: January 9, 2006, 4:00 AM PST


Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.

It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on
posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without
disclosing your true identity.

In other words, it's OK to flame someone on a mailing list or in a blog as long
as you do it under your real name. Thank Congress for small favors, I guess.

This ridiculous prohibition, which would likely imperil much of Usenet, is
buried in the so-called Violence Against Women and Department of Justice
Reauthorization Act. Criminal penalties include stiff fines and two years in
prison.

"The use of the word 'annoy' is particularly problematic," says Marv Johnson,
legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "What's annoying to
one person may not be annoying to someone else."

It's illegal to annoy
A new federal law states that when you annoy someone on the Internet, you must
disclose your identity. Here's the relevant language.

"Whoever...utilizes any device or software that can be used to originate
telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in
whole or in part, by the Internet... without disclosing his identity and with
intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person...who receives the
communications...shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than two
years, or both."


This is simply a travesty of justice, and an abomination to the first
amendment.
 
K

kurttrail

Cymbal said:
kurtrail...you are the most annoying person ON this board. What say
you?

First, that this is not a "board," but a newsgroup, and second, I'm not
"ON" this newsgroup.

Third, your level of annoyance at me is your problem, not mine. NO ONE
is forcing you to read my posts. Annoyed by my words, then exercise
some self-control and don't open and read my posts.

Fourth, I'm don't feel that I'm posting anonymously, as any INTELLGENT
person can find out my legal name through info contained in my
signature.

And finally, even if my anonymity is based on what an
INTELLECTUALLY-CHALLENGED person is able to figure out, you would also
have to prove that I had the intent to annoy you while writing and
posting to here. But feel free to contact the US Justice Dept. to
investigate me on account of the new cyber-stalking law, if you feel you
must, but I wonder what they put in your file when you go crying "Wolf"
to them for no good reason?

--
Peace!
Kurt
Self-anointed Moderator
microscum.pubic.windowsexp.gonorrhea
http://microscum.com/mscommunity
"Trustworthy Computing" is only another example of an Oxymoron!
"Produkt-Aktivierung macht frei"
 
K

kurttrail

my said:
This is simply a travesty of justice, and an abomination to the first
amendment.

And where in the First Amendment does it guarantee the right to
anonymous speech?

--
Peace!
Kurt
Self-anointed Moderator
microscum.pubic.windowsexp.gonorrhea
http://microscum.com/mscommunity
"Trustworthy Computing" is only another example of an Oxymoron!
"Produkt-Aktivierung macht frei"
 
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M

my head is not up Bushes' arse either

kurttrail said:
And where in the First Amendment does it guarantee the right to
anonymous speech?

Why wouldn't the right to free speech give anyone the choice of choosing
to speak anonymously? Isn't that part of the freedom of choice to say
what one wants?
 
P

Plato

Cymbal said:
It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on

Yeah it is a joke. Our Congress members/presidents have no idea how much
a loaf of bread cost or a quart of milk, as they all have servents to
shop for them. They also have no idea what the Internet is all about.
 
K

Ken Blake, MVP

Plato said:
Yeah it is a joke. Our Congress members/presidents have no idea how
much a loaf of bread cost or a quart of milk, as they all have
servents to shop for them. They also have no idea what the Internet
is all about.


President
costs
servants
 
C

Cymbal Man Freq.

Two sheriffs showed up here last week...
I think I'll rewind "The Net" and be kind.

| Cymbal Man Freq. wrote:
| > kurtrail...you are the most annoying person ON this board. What say
| > you?
|
| First, that this is not a "board," but a newsgroup, and second, I'm not
| "ON" this newsgroup.
|
| Third, your level of annoyance at me is your problem, not mine. NO ONE
| is forcing you to read my posts. Annoyed by my words, then exercise
| some self-control and don't open and read my posts.
|
| Fourth, I'm don't feel that I'm posting anonymously, as any INTELLGENT
| person can find out my legal name through info contained in my
| signature.
|
| And finally, even if my anonymity is based on what an
| INTELLECTUALLY-CHALLENGED person is able to figure out, you would also
| have to prove that I had the intent to annoy you while writing and
| posting to here. But feel free to contact the US Justice Dept. to
| investigate me on account of the new cyber-stalking law, if you feel you
| must, but I wonder what they put in your file when you go crying "Wolf"
| to them for no good reason?
|
| --
| Peace!
| Kurt
| Self-anointed Moderator
| microscum.pubic.windowsexp.gonorrhea
| http://microscum.com/mscommunity
| "Trustworthy Computing" is only another example of an Oxymoron!
| "Produkt-Aktivierung macht frei"
|
|
 
M

Mike Williams

my said:
This is simply a travesty of justice, and an abomination to the first
amendment.

If you check analysis of this amendment, it is simply to extend the old
legislation preventing telephone harrassment to VOIP which has hitherto
not been covered as "telecommunications". The First Amendment stil
guides other usage.
 
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K

kurttrail

Cymbal said:
Two sheriffs showed up here last week...
I think I'll rewind "The Net" and be kind.

LOL! You see, this cyber-stalking law isn't as bad as a President
circumventing existing law in order to have the NSA spy on Americans
without a warrent.

--
Peace!
Kurt
Self-anointed Moderator
microscum.pubic.windowsexp.gonorrhea
http://microscum.com/mscommunity
"Trustworthy Computing" is only another example of an Oxymoron!
"Produkt-Aktivierung macht frei"
 
K

kurttrail

my said:
Why wouldn't the right to free speech give anyone the choice of
choosing to speak anonymously?

Why would you think that anonymous speech protection is included without
being specifically stated in the 1st Ammendment?

I can answer a question with a question too! And there is no thing a
Free Speech. As long as there is just one kind of speech that is
prohibited, then SPEECH can never claim to be "free."
Isn't that part of the freedom of
choice to say what one wants?

LOL! Freedom of Choice! You do believe in Tinkerbell!

--
Peace!
Kurt
Self-anointed Moderator
microscum.pubic.windowsexp.gonorrhea
http://microscum.com/mscommunity
"Trustworthy Computing" is only another example of an Oxymoron!
"Produkt-Aktivierung macht frei"
 
T

Tim Slattery

Why would you think that anonymous speech protection is included without
being specifically stated in the 1st Ammendment?

Why would you think it wouldn't? "Congress shall make no law ...
abridging the freedom of speech". It doesn't say "except for....".
 
A

Alias

Tim said:
Why would you think it wouldn't? "Congress shall make no law ...
abridging the freedom of speech". It doesn't say "except for....".

So, you're saying it's OK to scream "FIRE!" in a crowded theater? Try
saying something cute about drugs when you enter the USA if you want to
see how free your speech is in that country. They don't have those signs
that say "We take your jokes seriously" because they don't. Tell the
good flight attendents the next time you fly to the States that you have
a bomb and see how free you are when you arrive. Some speech is not a
part of "freedom of speech". This is common sense.
 
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K

kurttrail

Tim said:
Why would you think it wouldn't? "Congress shall make no law ...
abridging the freedom of speech". It doesn't say "except for....".

LOL! Another fairy tale! Try screeming fire in a crowded movie
theatre, and see how free that speech is!

--
Peace!
Kurt
Self-anointed Moderator
microscum.pubic.windowsexp.gonorrhea
http://microscum.com/mscommunity
"Trustworthy Computing" is only another example of an Oxymoron!
"Produkt-Aktivierung macht frei"
 
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