TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Create an E-Annoyance, Go To Jail

Re: Create an E-Annoyance, Go To Jail

Tony P. (
Mon, 9 Jan 2006 19:16:25 -0500

In article <>,

> By Declan McCullagh
> Story last modified Mon Jan 09 04:00:00 PST 2006

> 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."

> 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."


Typical mis-step by our esteemed legislators. Look, I have so many
email addresses for various purposes. My blog only tells you my first
name. And I'm extremely critical of Bush & Co. on that blog.

Welcome to the new police state.

But there's hope. Anyone who has any idea about the net knows to proxy
half way around the world before doing ones dirty work.

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