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Author: Subject: Don't annoy me on the 'net unless I know your Name

Peach Master





Posts: 637
(637 all sites)
Registered: 10/24/2004
Status: Offline

  posted on 1/9/2006 at 10:55 PM
A friend just sent this to me;


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.

 

____________________
I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.

 
Replies:

Peach Master



Karma:
Posts: 637
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  posted on 1/9/2006 at 11:11 PM
Here's the link;

http://news.com.com/Create%2Ban%2Be-annoyance%2C%2Bgo%2Bto%2Bjail/2010-1028 _3-6022491.html

 

____________________
I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 67630
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Registered: 10/27/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 1/9/2006 at 11:13 PM
How about one on not using an already established member's avatar?

 

____________________
Hittin' The Web::Hugh Duty Memorial Giveaway has begun!

RIP Hugh Duty

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
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  posted on 1/9/2006 at 11:14 PM

 

____________________
Hittin' The Web::Hugh Duty Memorial Giveaway has begun!

RIP Hugh Duty

 

Peach Master



Karma:
Posts: 637
(637 all sites)
Registered: 10/24/2004
Status: Offline

  posted on 1/9/2006 at 11:25 PM
I wish I could use a different one...I like being unique.

 

____________________
I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 69545
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Registered: 11/28/2001
Status: Offline

  posted on 1/9/2006 at 11:32 PM
quote:
How about one on not using an already established member's avatar?



Isn't that one called "the stroker"?

 

____________________

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 67630
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  posted on 1/9/2006 at 11:39 PM
quote:
quote:
How about one on not using an already established member's avatar?



Isn't that one called "the stroker"?


It's called "EfF Sang".

 

____________________
Hittin' The Web::Hugh Duty Memorial Giveaway has begun!

RIP Hugh Duty

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 67630
(68147 all sites)
Registered: 10/27/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 1/9/2006 at 11:40 PM
quote:
I wish I could use a different one...I like being unique.


I have been hoping for a Zappa one to be offered.

no luck so far.

 

____________________
Hittin' The Web::Hugh Duty Memorial Giveaway has begun!

RIP Hugh Duty

 

True Peach



Karma:
Posts: 13833
(14087 all sites)
Registered: 2/10/2005
Status: Offline

  posted on 1/10/2006 at 09:41 AM
quote:
I wish I could use a different one...I like being unique.


I don't understand this. If, ahhhh, forget it.

 

True Peach



Karma:
Posts: 14276
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Registered: 12/20/2001
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  posted on 1/10/2006 at 01:07 PM
I could submit this avatar to the site, if anyone's interested:





 

____________________

 

True Peach



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  posted on 1/10/2006 at 02:01 PM
How would we tell eachother apart?

 

____________________

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 67630
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Registered: 10/27/2002
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  posted on 1/10/2006 at 04:34 PM
quote:
How would we tell eachother apart?


How do we now?

 

____________________
Hittin' The Web::Hugh Duty Memorial Giveaway has begun!

RIP Hugh Duty

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 19963
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Registered: 11/28/2001
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  posted on 1/10/2006 at 04:41 PM
quote:
quote:
How would we tell eachother apart?


How do we now?


Maybe by our names?

 

____________________

 
E-Mail User

True Peach



Karma:
Posts: 8264
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  posted on 1/10/2006 at 04:42 PM
quote:
I could submit this avatar to the site, if anyone's interested:









I smell a t-shirt!
Nice work, Droog!
Effin hilarious!

 

____________________
"May the good Lord shine a light on you....make every song you sing your favorite tune..."-

 

Maximum Peach



Karma:
Posts: 9461
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  posted on 1/11/2006 at 09:57 PM
I say eFf all of them with their junk emails.

What is so difficult about disclosing who you really are?

Just like the phone solicitors at dinner time every day of the week. I always ask them for their home phone # so I can call them when they are trying to eat or relay and bug the s--- out of them and see if they like it.............

 

____________________
Ain't Wastin Time No More..........

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 69545
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Registered: 11/28/2001
Status: Offline

  posted on 1/11/2006 at 10:11 PM
Once again I should point out that I can also use digital imaging software....

and I have some recent Droogie pictures....

 

____________________

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 67630
(68147 all sites)
Registered: 10/27/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 1/12/2006 at 08:07 AM
quote:
Once again I should point out that I can also use digital imaging software....

and I have some recent Droogie pictures....


So when are you going to show us some?

 

____________________
Hittin' The Web::Hugh Duty Memorial Giveaway has begun!

RIP Hugh Duty

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 18575
(18620 all sites)
Registered: 1/2/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 1/12/2006 at 11:37 AM
quote:
quote:
I wish I could use a different one...I like being unique.


I have been hoping for a Zappa one to be offered.

no luck so far.


email a pix of Zappa to Rowland. I sent him the Richard Petty that I use (and few others have taken to).

 

____________________
It was fun while it lasted




 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 25201
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Registered: 9/7/2005
Status: Offline

  posted on 1/12/2006 at 11:43 AM
I am not here to annoy you

I am here to eat you

 

____________________
Keep on Smiling


 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 20178
(20644 all sites)
Registered: 1/19/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 1/13/2006 at 06:37 PM
quote:
A friend just sent this to me;


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.




Whaddaya mean they have a problem with the word annoy? It was succinct enough to be included in penal laws regarding harassment and aggravated harrasment.

 

____________________
"Mankind is a single nation" "Allah did not make you a single people so he could try you in what he gave you, to him you will all return, he will inform you where you differed". Quran Chapter 2 Sura 213

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 20178
(20644 all sites)
Registered: 1/19/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 1/13/2006 at 06:38 PM
quote:
I wish I could use a different one...I like being unique.


Yours is good, and a lot more fun than musical chairs!

 

____________________
"Mankind is a single nation" "Allah did not make you a single people so he could try you in what he gave you, to him you will all return, he will inform you where you differed". Quran Chapter 2 Sura 213

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 20178
(20644 all sites)
Registered: 1/19/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 1/13/2006 at 06:40 PM
quote:
I am not here to annoy you

I am here to eat you


Can't ya just be like the dogs and lick after they sniff ya?

 

____________________
"Mankind is a single nation" "Allah did not make you a single people so he could try you in what he gave you, to him you will all return, he will inform you where you differed". Quran Chapter 2 Sura 213

 

Universal Peach



Karma:
Posts: 6475
(6530 all sites)
Registered: 8/27/2004
Status: Offline

  posted on 1/13/2006 at 07:43 PM
quote:
I am here to eat you


Have we met yet?

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 25201
(25201 all sites)
Registered: 9/7/2005
Status: Offline

  posted on 1/14/2006 at 12:52 PM
quote:
quote:
I am here to eat you


Have we met yet?


Have you ever been to Jupiter?

 

____________________
Keep on Smiling


 

Universal Peach



Karma:
Posts: 6475
(6530 all sites)
Registered: 8/27/2004
Status: Offline

  posted on 1/14/2006 at 05:54 PM
quote:
Have you ever been to Jupiter?


Nope. That's doesn't make me inedible does it?

 
 


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