--- 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." ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> Join modern day disciples reach the disfigured and poor with hope and healing http://us.click.yahoo.com/lMct6A/Vp3LAA/i1hLAA/UlWolB/TM --------------------------------------------------------------------~-> To subscribe, send a message to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Or go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FairfieldLife/ and click 'Join This Group!' Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FairfieldLife/ <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/