North American Network Operators Group

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Spam, Law and Reality

  • From: Charles E. Yow, Esq.
  • Date: Mon Jan 10 00:30:10 2000

The spam issue is serous no doubt, but unless everyone understands the
implications of attempting to apply U.S. law to please understand some basic
concepts and reality.  First the alleged violation has to be according to
the letter of the law that is being applied, exactly by the letter of the
law.  Lets be very realistic, do we really want to seek to apply U.S. law to
those outside the U.S?  If this is the case then the end result could be the
reverse, perhaps China would seek to apply Chinese law to American ISP's,
network administrators, the end result being Americans who have never been
to China being sentenced to life in prison or to death for posting matters
the Chinese Government considers offensive.  The witch hunt I see to address
spamming is illogical and futile.  Let me be very blunt, until someone is
willing to take action all this talk about dealing with spammers is nothing
more than saber rattling and is useless.  I am an attorney in Massachusetts,
and my experience is people get upset about spam and without exception no
one is willing to follow through, I used to be willing to deal with spammers
pro bono, but having been burned more than enough times by people "getting
over it" that has passed.  Talk is cheap.