North American Network Operators Group

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Re: What's going on?

  • From: Bill Becker
  • Date: Wed Apr 23 17:32:42 1997

On Sun, 20 Apr 1997, Sanjay Dani wrote:

> The same laws that apply to someone running a false advertisement
> on TV or newspaper should apply here. Any ISP would be willing
> to help law enforcement with appropriate warrants to track
> the identity of the spammer.

Sigh.  Which country's laws?  If Canada passed a law against spam, who
will Canadians complain to about spam delivered from the US?  Suppose the
spam originates in Canada, but is relayed through a non-Canadian
mailserver before it arrives at the Canadian site?  Think about it.

Such a law would be much like the internet 'decency' law which the US
Supreme Court is reviewing.  They may as well be deliberating on whether
to make rain illegal on Saturday, because it doesn't matter what they
decide.  Some US porn sites could get busted, but the sites would move to
another country.  And maybe not even that -- Move the JPGs to another
country, and just use links on the porn site which refer to the JPGs.

Germany is leaning on Compuserve about their news feed.  But there
is nothing to prevent German Compuserve users from using a non-German
newsserver, so naked-women pictures will be available for the boys in .de.

The only way that national law can ever shape the internet, is to divide
the internet according to national boundaries.  With each country cut off
from each other, then you can have enforcable laws.  I expect that in the
case of the US, it would reduce spam by up to 10%.  Send email from 
France to the US?  No problem -- Write your email and send it to 
'[email protected]'.   They will relay to the 

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