--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, Bhairitu <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>
> It applies to private mails not lists, newsgroups, or forums.   ...
if you read 
> the CNET article and scroll down to the comments you'll find that a) 
> Declan posted a link to the wrong section of the law and b) parsing the 
> proper language showed that it only applied to personal emails.  

The original post, its implications and all -- didn't pass the common
sense test, the "smell test."  The naiveness of some who glob onto
such, e.g., "It appears to be Real" is endlessly entertaining-- no
wonder they have spent their lives chasing things that "sound too good
to be true". And who believe every Tom, Dick and Harry who claim "I am    
enlightened! ... And you can to if you just didn't resist the fact
that you already are!" 

Also found on the link to cnet article:

QSomeone has been annoying me on the Internet, and it's getting
serious. What can I do?
Keep in mind that the new law has only criminal sanctions, so you
can't sue someone directly (unless they're already violating other
laws). Also remember that it only applies to a person who is
intentionally annoying "without disclosing his identity."

You'd have to contact your local FBI office or U.S. Attorney. But
don't be surprised if they place you way down on their priority list.

Q: Some people, including law professor Orin Kerr, say the existence
of the First Amendment means we shouldn't worry.
Kerr says that "if speech is protected by the First Amendment, the
statute is unconstitutional as applied and the indictment must be
dismissed... prosecutors know that they can't bring a prosecution
unless doing so would comply with the Supreme Court's First Amendment
cases."

That's correct as far as it goes. But it's not the whole story,
because it amounts to trusting what lawyers call prosecutorial
discretion. 

....

 Q: Wait a moment. I'm told this law merely updated an existing
prohibition on "annoying" or harassing someone through the telephone.
That's what Sen. Pete Domenici, a New Mexico Republican, claims in a
press release, and it's sort of true.

The old law criminalized making an anonymous telephone call that's
designed to annoy someone, which sounds pretty reasonable. But the new
law applies broadly to any form of Internet communication, and it is
not limited to individual-to-individual communications such as e-mail
or instant messaging.

It's hardly clear that the federal government needs to criminalize
this sort of thing, anyway. State governments are more than capable of
doing so.

Q: I read a post by Dan Solove that says the law is just
antiharassment, so we shouldn't be worried. Is he right?
Solove, who's a law professor at George Washington University, says:
"'Annoy' is part of the intent element of the statute--it requires the
intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass. Far from an antianonymity
provision that applies whenever a person annoys another, it is merely
a prohibition on harassment."

If all the law did was target harassment, nobody would care. Instead,
it also restricts certain behaviors that "annoy."

Most people realize there's a difference between annoying someone and
harassing them. If I stalk someone, impersonate them in chat rooms,
and repeatedly call them at 3 a.m. and hang up, that's harassment.
Nobody's arguing that should be legal.

But annoyance? If I set up an incendiary Web site that has a single
purpose--say, to annoy some politician I dislike--that should be
permissible. That's why the law is far more than an "antiharassment" law.

Q: It's not enough for someone to find the site annoying. I have to
intend for it to be annoying, right?
Correct. The relevant section of the law uses the phrase "without
disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy." A thin-skinned
reader becoming irrationally annoyed shouldn't be sufficient to
trigger criminal liability.

Q: The law criminalizes certain Internet actions done to "annoy,
abuse, threaten, or harass any person." That means someone has to do
all four things, right?
Nope. It's an or connector, not an and connector. Violating any one of
the four prohibitions would be unlawful.

Q: I've read a post by Ann Bartow, a professor at USC Law School,
saying that e-mail and blogs may not be covered by the law.
This is a little complicated, but let's walk through it. Bartow
writes: "I may be missing something, but I don't think either e-mail
or Web logs would be considered 'telecommunications devices' that
would be subject to the stated prohibitions (which, in fairness, are
awfully vague)."

In general, for the relevant section of the U.S. Code, that's right.

But it seems that Congress intended a broader interpretation for the
"annoy" prohibition. The new law sweeps in "other types of
communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the
Internet"--and the most straightforward reading of that would cover
Web logs and e-mail.

If politicians wanted to limit the "annoy" prohibition to VoIP, they
could easily have done so. But they didn't.

Q: What does the word "annoy" mean, anyway?
Vagueness is one of the law's problems. The Merriam-Webster dictionary
offers two definitions of annoy. One is merely to "disturb or
irritate," and the other is "to harass."







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