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Court Rules WHOIS Privacy Illegal For Spammers

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the masks-on-the-ground dept.

Spam 169

Unequivocal writes "Spammers hiding behind a WHOIS privacy service have been found in violation of CAN-SPAM. It probably won't stop other spammers from hiding (what can?), but at least it adds another arrow in the legal quiver for skewering the bottom feeders. Quoting from the article: 'A recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has determined that using WHOIS privacy on domains may be considered "material falsification" under federal law... Although the ruling does not make use of WHOIS privacy illegal, it does serve as a clear message from the court that coupling the use of privacy services with intentional spamming will likely result in a violation of the CAN-SPAM act. This is an important decision that members of the domain community should refer to prior to utilizing a privacy shield.'"

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169 comments

SPAM contents still a secret (4, Funny)

Orga (1720130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861438)

Ingredients for SPAM still can legally remain hidden

Re:SPAM contents still a secret (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30861470)

Making SPAM:

1) ???
2) ???
3) ???
4) Profit

Re:SPAM contents still a secret (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30861532)

The internet spam business model is more complete:

1) Sell spamming service to endless hordes of retarded marketeers.
2) Nobody buys retard's products but who cares...
2) Profit

Linux? BSD? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30861684)

Who cares? If you were really hardcore, you'd be using GNU/Turd. You aren't because open source sucks.

Re:Linux? BSD? (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863042)

My toilet runs GNU/Turd, you insensitive clod!

Re:SPAM contents still a secret (3, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861920)

You missed a few steps:

  1. SPAM
  2. eggs
  3. ????
  4. sausage
  5. ????
  6. SPAM
  7. SPAM
  8. profit

"BUT I DON'T LIKE SPAM!!!!"
"That's OK dear, I'll have some of yours."

Re:SPAM contents still a secret (5, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861478)

Meh, the whole article is irrelevant. Once it gets to the Supreme Court, they'll just say we're restricting spammers' freedom of speech.

Re:SPAM contents still a secret (1, Informative)

cawpin (875453) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861830)

Meh, the whole article is irrelevant. Once it gets to the Supreme Court, they'll just say we're restricting spammers' freedom of speech.

No. Your freedom of speech doesn't give you the right to harass other people. You can use use your rights so far as they don't violate anybody else's.

Re:SPAM contents still a secret (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861942)

Woosh, baby, woooooosh.

Re:SPAM contents still a secret (1)

SunTzuWarmaster (930093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862008)

No. Your freedom of speech doesn't give you the right to harass other people.

Actually, it pretty specifically does. You are totally allowed to yell lots of harassing things on the street without fear of government action (in theory).

Re:SPAM contents still a secret (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862296)

Your freedom of speech doesn't give you the right to harass other people.

      See, this is where the trouble begins. What does harassment mean, exactly? Let's see, according to some dictionaries:

1. to disturb persistently; torment, as with troubles or cares; bother continually; pester; persecute.
2. to trouble by repeated attacks, incursions, etc., as in war or hostilities; harry; raid.

      But we've only changed one ambiguous word with several others. What does "disturb" mean?
1. to interrupt the quiet, rest, peace, or order of; unsettle.
2. to interfere with; interrupt; hinder: Please do not disturb me when I'm working.
3. to interfere with the arrangement, order, or harmony of; disarrange: to disturb the papers on her desk.
4. to perplex; trouble: to be disturbed by strange behavior.

      Very well, so if I crash my car near your house at 6am and the noise wakes you up, I have "interrupted your rest" and therefore I have "harassed" you. Or if you are about to do something illegal and I interfere with you so that you don't do it, I am also harassing you. Or if I ask you a riddle that perplexes you, I am harassing you.

      In fact, harassment is completely subjective. It's not good to put subjective words into law. If I punch you in the face and cause visible damage, that is objective. If I take something that you can prove is yours, that's objective. But what about "harassment"? Some people are completely intolerant and consider themselves "harassed" at the drop of a hat. Others are far more tolerant. Still others never feel "harassed".

      I think that people who talk on the cell phone are rude. Yet I don't feel harassed when it happens. I think that many people lack basic manners and a reasonable education, yet this doesn't harass me. However when a government writes ambiguous laws and I am forced to rely on the "common sense" of a judge, I do feel harassed when it turns out that there are some real idiots on the bench.

Re:SPAM contents still a secret (3, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862512)

In fact, harassment is completely subjective. It's not good to put subjective words into law. If I punch you in the face and cause visible damage, that is objective. If I take something that you can prove is yours, that's objective. But what about "harassment"? Some people are completely intolerant and consider themselves "harassed" at the drop of a hat. Others are far more tolerant. Still others never feel "harassed".

Thus the concepts of 'judge' and 'jury'. All human behavior will be open to interpretation, and context is vitally important to any judicious application of law. Also, the laws use their own guidelines for what given words mean, and due to their depth these are likely far less ambiguous than dictionary definitions wind up being.

In short you're mixing up English language with legalese, and that is why you're confused.

Re:SPAM contents still a secret (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862804)

Actually, the above poster is correct. You are confusing English definitions with legal definitions:

the term "harassment" means a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such person; and serves no legitimate purpose. United States Code Title 18 Subsection 1514(c)

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00001514----000-.html

Re:SPAM contents still a secret (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862482)

Compuserve v Cyber Promotions (Samford Wallace) says otherwise.

Re:SPAM contents still a secret (1)

psithurism (1642461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862824)

Meh, the whole article is irrelevant. Once it gets to the Supreme Court, they'll just say we're restricting spammers' freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech is quite different from commercial speech.

If spammers are spamming to save the whales, they might get some coverage by the first amendment, but offering Tylenol as Viagra and pumping out misleading claims about your new acai product is commercial speech and not covered by the first amendment.

Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30861480)

"Spammers hiding behind a WHOIS privacy service have been found in violation of CAN-SPAM. It probably won't stop other spammers from hiding (what can?)

Who is? What can?

Indeed. These questions have been around since time immemorial.

But when will?

Re:Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30861672)

How so?

Material falsification? (3, Insightful)

fatherjoecode (1725040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861484)

A spammer's entire business plan can be summed up a "material falsification", can't it?

Re:Material falsification? (2, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861508)

A spammer's entire business plan can be summed up a "material falsification", can't it?

Like I always say, marketing is the art of making something seem better than it really is.

Re:Material falsification? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861634)

Not really. Some Viagra ads are legit, though the fact that I recieved it through solicitation of my email makes it spam.

Re:Material falsification? (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862052)

Think that's bad?

My wife is a support specialist...

specialist...

specialist.

Re:Material falsification? (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862644)

This is so true and in fact I'd like to take a moment here to offer you a whooping 50% discount on your next order of viagra, soma or xannax from our online [drugbuyers.com] pharmacy.

This is a good step but (3, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861516)

Spam is ultimately an economic problem. As long as spam remains highly profitiable spamming will continue. To deal with the spam problem we need to take a multi-faceted approach that includes a variety of both economic and other attacks. Stricter punishments for spamming, punishment for ISPs that are particularly bad, better education of people who answer spam, better use of whitelists, blacklists and greylists are all techniques that can help. Every technique has problems. Hence the standard Slashdot response with the checkboxes. However, although each has flaws, together they can be very effective. In that regard, this is sort of like cancer. Cancer is a very complicated diseases. However, by careful application of multiple medical techniques (radiation, surgery and chemotherapy being big ones) we've substantially cut down on cancer deaths. Sure, cancer still kills. But many forms are far less deadly. Childhood leukemia was a death sentence 40 years ago and now has a high survival rate. We need the same sort of combined approach to spam. This won't eradicate spam. But it will reduce it to more manageable levels.

Re:This is a good step but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30861560)

Spam doesn't kill though.

Re:This is a good step but (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862526)

Tell that to the guy who got the rat-poison tainted home-lab made Cialis that was sold via spam last month.

Re:This is a good step but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30861798)

The ONLY Thing that will ever get rid of spam is for people to stop clicking on links contained in spam, buying stuff from spam or falling for phishing attempts through spam. What we need aren't better spam filters, it's people being better educated. Blocking more and more spam is just going to make the spammers more innovative - as long as they make money. If people are educated and spam isn't profitable anymore, it will slowly start to subside.

Re:This is a good step but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30861924)

Spammers don't profit from clicking dumbasses; they profit from marketing dumbasses who believe in the clicking dumbasses.

NOT just an economic problem (2, Interesting)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862290)

Spam is ultimately an economic problem. As long as spam remains highly profitiable spamming will continue.

I won't assume this to mean a 'silent approval' for spamming, but it does sound you take this as a given. IMHO that is not true. There are other reasons why spam remains a problem:

  • Because e-mail (and "from:" field in particular) is easily faked. If public key authentication and strong encryption were the norm, it would be impossible to spam on the current scale with fake "from:" info and bullshit messages. Spam with valid security envelope would directly point back to the responsible perps, or a very recently compromised machine/account. Upon compromise, most owners would publish a new public key. It would be easy to ignore/blacklist users that don't do so. Messages encoded with a compromised key would have an invalid security envelope.
  • Often it is difficult to connect an e-mail address to an actual person or organization. When compromised, e-mail addresses are easily discarded, and new ones created. This is very related to the 1st point. If untrue, past actions would stick to a person or organization much longer, and be much more damaging when abused (read: promoting careful use over abuse).
  • It's so easy to compromise an average computer. Basically: use any system that isn't updated to the latest & greatest (for whatever reason), browse the wrong website, open the wrong document, or download & run an executable from the wrong place (any of these actions will do), and you're hosed. And a market dominated by the least secure option doesn't help.
  • Once the spammer is known, it's often difficult to get the person convicted because he/she is abroad, and the governments involved aren't co-operating well. The lack of strong authentication makes it harder to prove things. When a conviction happens, it's the spammer not the company pushing pills that pays.
  • Costs for sending, receiving & filtering spam are paid by parties other than the ones spamming.

Basically, a combination of technical, political and legal reasons, beside the economic ones. Spam continues because the parties profiting from it aren't held accountable.

Re:NOT just an economic problem (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862960)

If public key authentication and strong encryption were the norm, ...

Then the use of email would plummet as few people want to deal with all of that -- rather, few people want to KNOW how to deal with that. If my mother had to know about public keys and stuff in order to use email, she'd be offline.

Let's put it this way. I deal with a state-wide emergency service outfit that uses radio-based email for emergency communications. You can't get more easily hackable than that. There is NO routing information maintained at the radio-internet boundary, so a fake email from the internet to a radio destination is untrackable. Use of callsigns on the radio side is pretty much 'honor system'. You'd think those people doing this would seek out and use public key signatures (not encryption, since amateur radio traffic cannot be encrypted), but no. It's too hard. Writing your message in a standalone text editor, dropping a file into WinGPG to create the signature, and attaching both files in the email is just too much work.

Messages encoded with a compromised key would have an invalid security envelope.

Given the number of legitimate email messages I see that have bogus headers already, I think that filtering based on this additional criterion would create more problems than it solves. Given the number of GOVERNMENT websites I go to that have invalid or expired SSL certs, I think you might be overestimating the viability of this solution.

Costs for sending, receiving & filtering spam are paid by parties other than the ones spamming.

That is the textbook definition of "economic issue". That's why spam is so profitable, and that's why it will never die. Implementing technical solutions just raises the bar until the spammers start using them.

Why do you think they call it the "CAN SPAM" act? It's not because spamming is being canned (i.e. "discarded, dust-binned"), it is because spammers who follow the law CAN spam legally. So you create this public key system. Fine. Spammers can create keys just like anyone else. Then their email is signed, sealed and delivered.

Spamming will not stop until there is no economic incentive for it. I.e., the spammers don't make money by doing it. There are only two ways for this to become true:

  1. Raise the cost of sending spam.
  2. Lower the return rate.

The latter can only be done with full voluntary compliance of the recipients, and unfortunately the recipients who respond are doing so because they see value in what the spammer is selling. "Hey, I can save you $10 on each printer cartridge..." It's a rare person who will say "no, I'll keep paying $10 more because I don't do business with spammers.".

The former will inevitably raise the cost of email for everyone, since the spammers can bypass any but the most draconian payment systems. ("Charge a dime for each email...". Ok, who charges? The ISP? Welcome to the ISP run by the spammer. The upstream? By the time the charges get passed through the ISP to the source the source can be long-gone, or will be some grandma whos email address was forged. Or the ISP will be run by the spammer and he'll simply ignore the bill and change upstreams.)

So really, the only solution is a social one, and that's the hardest kind to implement.

Hold Credit card companies responsible (1)

IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862468)

Take away their ability to use credit cards - problem goes away. Am I the only one who sees this?

Re:This is a good step but (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862836)

You wrote:
> As long as spam remains highly profitable spamming will continue.

No, as long as spam is _perceived_ as effective by enough people it will continue. Spam need not be commercial: harassing spam is quite effective. Spam need not actually be profitable: as long as enough fools pay someone to send it, or don't realize that what they are being is actually spam services, it will continue splashing into our spam folders at an amazing pace.

Spam is already being highly contained: given that well over 1/2 of all email is spam, and the fact that few of us see even 1% of our incoming email as spam after all the filters in front of it, it's at manageable levels. And spam is much more easily defined and blocked than "cancer", which covers a wide range of naturally occurring and exposure caused diseases. Think of it more like malaria: we've found it difficult to get buy-in to actually drain the swamps and kill all the mosquitos in the world, but we do know how to treat it and to contain it. We just haven't devoted the effort.

Re:This is a good step but (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863028)

Spam need not actually be profitable: as long as enough fools pay someone to send it, or don't realize that what they are being is actually spam services, it will continue splashing into our spam folders at an amazing pace.

Have you ever tried explaining to some company that "ConstantContact" uses that name not because it sounds good but because that is exactly what they do? One company I deal with alot decided to outsource their marketing lists through them, so I told them to unsubscribe me. I explained to them in detail why what they were doing was wrong and bad for their image, but they didn't care or didn't agree. It's been more than two years, I'm still getting the marketing email, despite multiple instructions to that company to remove my address.

And then my college started using the same spamhaus to send some college notices.

And spam is much more easily defined and blocked than "cancer",...

No, I can honestly say I've gotten more spam in my email than I have cancer in my email, so cancer must be easier to define and block.

Isn't this a wall easily broken? (-1, Troll)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861534)

Seems to me that whenever anybody contacts the information in the WHOIS database for a "private" domain... the message is forwarded immediately to the actual contact person on file at the privacy service, and if it's a DMCA Takedown or other legal nastygram, the privacy service has the power to change the nameservers and knock the site offline.

Hmmm... (5, Interesting)

McGregorMortis (536146) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861554)

WHOIS privacy was created in the first place to protect us from spammers (the WHOIS database being ripe for email address scraping). Then the spammers took advantage of it to protect themselves from justice.

It seems like there's some kind of insightful point to be made here, but I'm not sure what it is.

Re:Hmmm... (-1, Troll)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861614)

WHOIS Privacy is really a pure-profit service because the electrons to add their contact info instead of yours, and then forward any e-mail sent to yourdomain@theirdomain.com are cheap. Really, it should be included free with domains... basically shutting down any concept of WHOIS... or at least limiting WHOIS to law enforcement.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Pareto Efficient (1622141) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862434)

Whois is extremely beneficial. I use it for instance. It helps me immeasurably. I know I'm not the only one. I normally don't even post on slashdot, but I had to call you on your bull___t. If I didn't know better, I would assume you were a bureaucratic shill. Whois helps admins everywhere, it helps us to know if we should blacklist or not, in one example. Blacklisting should be a last resort and we do take it seriously. I don't partake in spam of any kind, but I do believe that if spammers paid for their own distribution and offered an opt out link, that it would be no different than junk mail. The laws are clear though, it is okay to spam via normal postal channels but it is wrong to use email to do the exact same. Makes you wonder...

Re:Hmmm... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862582)

The laws are clear though, it is okay to spam via normal postal channels but it is wrong to use email to do the exact same.

Makes you wonder...

Normal postal channels are coupled with postage. That's not exactly mysterious.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861622)

where is the +1 not-quite-insightful button?

Re:Hmmm... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30861828)

Try the -1 Overrated button

Re:Hmmm... (3, Insightful)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861774)

It seems kind of like DRM (in an indirect way). Anything created to stop illegal activities will not slow down the crooks and instead end up making legitimate users pay more...

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Pareto Efficient (1622141) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862586)

You've pretty well "hit the nail on the head". Almost every story here on the YRO section can be summed up this way. Its no surprise that entities want to restrict the freedoms of their consumers or their competitors. They exist for profits, it is not a secret. I'm surprised more consumer don't choose to insist "They are citizens",

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Pareto Efficient (1622141) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862602)

I wish I could say this in less words but then most would ignore it, Otherwise ...CORRECT!.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

greenguy (162630) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861794)

+0.5, Insightful

Re:Hmmm... (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861864)

To complete the triangle, the justice department must use WHOIS privacy to protect itself from us.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

mackil (668039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862380)

That is an excellent point. I use a proxy service for every domain I own just because of that reason. It gets expensive since it effectively doubles the cost, but it's kept my email clear for over a decade now.

the insightful point here (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862464)

from the evolution of animals and plants to the evolution of laws and ideologies and technologies governing modern societies, is:

life is an arms race

Re:Hmmm... (1)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862704)

It seems like there's some kind of insightful point to be made here, but I'm not sure what it is.

It's what scientists have been saying for decades (likely longer, but I tend to mark splitting the atom as a key event in science philosophy.)

_______ itself is not inherently bad, but by human ingenuity it can always be used to an end that is seen as bad.

So does this mean Tim Burd is breaking the law? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861620)

So is Tim Burd [nsoco.org] breaking the law [meetsafer.com] ? (warning: credit card scam site)

The first amendment is dead and buried... (2, Insightful)

AlexLibman (785653) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861658)

The Natural Right to Freedom of Speech is needed precisely for unpopular speech such as "spam" and even "kiddy porn" - a canary in the coal mine for more egregious government assaults on your freedoms!

It is your responsibility to decide what means you use to communicate with other people, and if you choose to use a ridiculously poorly designed protocol like e-mail then it is your (or your e-mail hosting provider's) responsibility to control who connects to your mail servers and how messages are to be accepted or rejected. There are many better technological solutions out there, and the CAN SPAM bull will only help proliferate the bad technologies at the expense of the good, while also hurting legitimate communication needs, and resulting in a corrupt and inefficient bureaucratic cesspool that will cost tax-victims billions!

Getting the government involved is the very worst thing you can do, and it has horrifying consequences down the road - spam today, other unpopular speech tomorrow, total tyrannical thought control the day after that!

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (1, Insightful)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861706)

You're more correct than your score suggests. If they're creating laws that say "Privacy mode is not legal FOR SPAM!" Then in less than a year, the "FOR SPAM" qualifier will be removed, because it's seen only as a precedent for some other case where someone claims their privacy matters. "No it doesn't. Not if you were doing something unpopular, like breaking laws. Just look at this CAN-SPAM case."

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (1)

Stupendoussteve (891822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861938)

You're more correct than your score suggests. If they're creating laws that say "Privacy mode is not legal FOR SPAM!" Then in less than a year, the "FOR SPAM" qualifier will be removed, because it's seen only as a precedent for some other case where someone claims their privacy matters. "No it doesn't. Not if you were doing something unpopular, like breaking laws. Just look at this CAN-SPAM case."

This is very true. I can only imagine next year it could include P2P users and eventually anyone doing something abnormal like running tor (because using tor or encrypting your disks is obviously suspicious activity). It should not be illegal for spammers to use the privacy services, courts should subpoena the true identities from the privacy services and be done with it.

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (2, Interesting)

cromar (1103585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862898)

To combat harassing, commercial, and many times fraudulent speech is a far cry from attacking private, non-commercial speech.

I can only imagine next year it could include P2P users and eventually anyone doing something abnormal like running tor

To put it lightly... if you really believe that you need to get out of the basement more :)

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (5, Interesting)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861710)

It isn't censorship to restrict time, plane and manner of speech. Thus, for example, saying you can't scream your views at 2 AM in a residential neighborhood isn't censorship by any reasonable definition. Similarly, anti-spam laws are not creating any free speech problem as long as they focus on the unsolicited nature of the message rather than the content. Moreover, there's a classical philosophical distinction between commercial and non-commercial speech (otherwise we wouldn't be able to restrict people from false advertising for example). Claiming that spam should be protected under free speech might feel like a fine, pro-free speech absolutist position to take, but really it is just not having any understanding of what we mean when we talk about free speech rights.

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30861858)

otherwise we wouldn't be able to restrict people from false advertising for example

I see no evidence of that restriction in the USA :-)

The difference is noticeable between US magazines and UK magazines. With the UK ones you have to read them carefully to see what they are actually claiming. In the US ones they break the laws of physics with impunity.

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (1)

AlexLibman (785653) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862038)

Any good residential neighborhood should have contractual obligations placed on its residents as a prerequisite to moving in. Don't like the rules, live somewhere else. This is an issue of contract law, very different from this travesty of government interventionism that neither I nor the people sending me spam have ever signed. It would become a criminal matter only if I can prove actual damage was done to my property by an outside source, but that just isn't feasible for matters like spam e-mail.

You do not have a positive "right" [wikipedia.org] to peace and quiet, that is a right to force other people to shut the hell up on their own property. Peace and quiet, as well as privacy, are a luxury that you have to pay for - good soundproof windows with blinds that close when you want privacy, a home in a less densely populated place or a neighborhood with explicit noise rules, spam filters, and so forth.

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (3, Interesting)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862122)

But we do have such contractual obligations. They are just implicit. Move into a city and you are subject to their laws including the ones about noise levels. Whether I explicitly sign a contract or not is simply window dressing.

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (1)

AlexLibman (785653) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863030)

No, it's not "window dressing", it is the difference between acting with your rights and having your rights violated, like the difference between lovemaking and rape!

There is such a thing as a social contract (see my rant about Natural Rights above), but it is based on empiricism, not semi-elected (local election turnout percentile is often in single digits) demagogue bureaucrats! Noise levels are subjective and they represent a value trade-off: do you want to pay a little more to have the garbage trucks soundproofed or do you want to save money and endure a little noise, etc. That decision can be made on an individual, family, or neighborhood association level, and, yes, in some cases municipality-wide laws do make sense. What we're talking about with CAN SPAM is completely different: an empire that has spread itself by the sword "from sea to shining sea" and beyond!

Democracy doesn't scale very well beyond a few dozen people, and it definitely doesn't scale to three hundred million!

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862870)

"Any good residential neighborhood should have contractual obligations placed on its residents as a prerequisite to moving in. Don't like the rules, live somewhere else."

Sign a contract before I move into a house somewhere?!?!

I've never heard of such a thing...I see a house I like, I look at it...I buy it.

Aside from the loan agreement..how can someone force you to sign a contract of behavior on your own land/home you own? What mention sounds discriminatory to me...

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862932)

They exist and are pretty common [uslegal.com] , unfortunately. I really hate them; you'll find them a lot in gated communities and subdivisions. Live and let live I say.

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863052)

"They exist and are pretty common [uslegal.com], unfortunately. I really hate them; you'll find them a lot in gated communities and subdivisions. Live and let live I say."

Wow...that blows.

And people in general really go along with this type thing??

Hmm...you know, when I've driven through some newer neighborhoods in some places..I've started commenting that all the houses look exactly the same as each other, nothing unique, no character. Maybe these types of restrictions are the reason?

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (1)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862302)

> It isn't censorship to restrict time, plane and manner of speech. Thus, for example, saying you can't scream your views at 2 AM in a residential neighborhood isn't censorship by any reasonable definition.

So... Free Speech Zones [wikipedia.org] are not censorship? Perhaps you are right, but only in the way they are implemented.

That is, selectively.

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30861804)

Censorship is a red herring here.
Spam isn't "unpopular speech" merely because of what it says.
Spam is an abuse of a communication channel.
One more time: It's about consent, not content.

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (0, Troll)

AlexLibman (785653) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861912)

Once again, it is your power and responsibility to make sure your e-mail server is configured to act with your consent, accepting or rejecting messages based on your own criteria. If you don't like what some idiot is shouting on his or her own property, then don't listen to him. The involvement of government force is completely unnecessary, and will have very dangerous consequences in the future.

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (5, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862130)

Spammers aren't shouting on their own property. They are shouting on mine. They are, in effect, stealing from me.

There is no such thing as 'natural rights.' Natural rights are a type of con, by asserting your natural rights you are arguing from authority, your assertion that certain rights are 'natural' means it would be unnatural to oppose such rights. In the end, though, natural rights don't matter. The only things that matters are the rights that the majority agree to uphold. If no one agrees with your assessment of what constitutes a natural right, you can whine about it all you like, but it won't change anything.

You don't have the right to yell 'fire!' in a crowded theater, incite a riot, or deliberately and maliciously spread damaging falsehoods. You don't have the right to lob garbage into my yard, even if that garbage consists of your poetry, written on napkins. In the same vein, you don't have the right to send me unsolicited commercial faxes, or to spam me.

What kind of ridiculous slipper slope must you concoct to imagine that CAN-SPAM will have 'very dangerous consequences?' Has the law against unsolicited commercial faxing had such consequences?

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (0)

AlexLibman (785653) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862806)

A spammer can't just connect to your computer and place advertisements there against your will, the appearance of spam on your computer is a consequence of your own actions, including your choice to use the Internet and e-mail in the first place. You choose to use a technology where anyone can send you a message, you deal with the consequences. Use a more privacy-oriented technology [google.com] , and the ways of spamming you are greatly reduced.

Natural economic laws on which the concept of Natural Rights is based are not imposed by anyone - they simply exist, like the laws of physics. No one just decided that "murder is wrong", but it has been demonstrated by evolution that a society that fails to punish arbitrary murder (i.e. recognize the natural Right to Life) can't even establish a stable agrarian society, much less achieve the level of civilization that we have today! The same demonstrably applies to the Rights to Liberty and Property, Parents' Rights, Free Speech, and so forth [wikipedia.org] . Furthermore, Natural Rights are self-enforcing, because you don't need to rob Peter to pay Paul to recognize Paul's Right to Life - Paul himself and the vast majority of his friends and neighbors are incentivized to protect Paul's negative rights, lest the murder shall come after them next! You were born into this reality which is subject to these natural laws, and if you don't like it then you should free to kill yourself at any time.

You DO have the Natural Right to yell "fire!" in a crowded theater IF you have that theater owner's permission, though the theater owner will have a hard time finding customers if he neglects their comfort and safety on his premises. "Deliberately and maliciously spread damaging falsehoods" may in fact constitute fraud, in which case many libertarians believe you should be able to sue the perpetrator for damages, but this is not what this CAN SPAM regulation is all about.

All forms of government intervention in individual freedom have negative consequences, though in our still-barbarous times examples of government dysfunction are so many they all overshadow each-other. Freedom of Speech is an essential right not because every idiot deserves a soapbox (or access to your Inbox), but because the government is not an institution that can be trusted to regulate speech in any conceivable way. Even laws passed with the best intentions can become corrupted and misused over time, if not now then ten generations from now, and they can be selectively enforced by government thugs to reward their friends and punish their enemies. An elite Chinese Communist Party official can watch all the government-confiscated "kiddy porn" he wants and get away with it, while an innocent dissident can have it planted on his computer as an excuse to vilify and arrest him!

There are many better ways to protect yourself from undesirable 1's and 0's without resorting to government force!

You've already contradicted yourself (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862952)

You argue that spamming is free expression. It is not. It is using my equipment in a way I do not condone. Your argument is akin to saying that wearing revealing clothing excuses rape, or having a faulty lock exonerates the thief. It is nonsensical.

No, natural rights do not exist like the laws of physics. They are, firstly, emergent phenomenon, dependent on SOCIETY, not the individual. This is because an individual has no rights. Individuals have what are known as abilities or capacities. Without society, and social contracts, there are no rights, only power.

It has not been demonstrated that fail to punish arbitrary murder fail. Citation definitely needed! The same applies to all other rights. You are simply making assertions that are not backed up by fact.

You have the power to kill others, but government limits that right in order to protect a right that people agree is more important. The ability to live is not inherently more or less natural than the ability to kill. It is only because people agree that being killed is rather more pleasant than the freedom to kill that we have the right to life.

You seem to want some kind of moral certainty. Some kind of solid ground on which to build the foundation of your morality. Sorry, there is no such thing. Or rather, even if there is we can not prove or disprove it, and even if we could, we could not get everyone to agree, and THAT is what rights are about: we all agree to uphold them, or they are worthless verbiage.

What you call government force, I call freedom of association and contract. You seem to be arguing that people can not come together and form agreements, then uphold those agreements through force if necessary. That is ALL that government is. Limiting what government can do is exactly the same thing as limiting what groups of people can do, and limiting groups of people is exactly the same as limiting individuals. Now, I've already stated that it is okay to limit what individuals can do, but it is then nonsensical to claim that limiting groups of freely associating individuals is any different than limiting individual freedoms.

And thus, we arrive at the logical contradiction inherent in libertarianism. Maybe you should educate yourself a little more about other, more viable and realistic forms of Anarchism. Libertarianism is preschool anarchy.

Re:You've already contradicted yourself (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863018)

Gah. Shoulda read the preview.

It has not been demonstrated that fail to punish arbitrary murder fail.

Should read:

It has not been demonstrated that societies that fail to punish arbitrary murder fail.

And

It is only because people agree that being killed is rather more pleasant than the freedom to kill that we have the right to life.

Should read

It is only because people agree that freedom from being killed is rather more pleasant than the freedom to kill that we have the right to life.

Hope that helps. :)

Another simplistic libertarian answer (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862750)

In libertarian la-la land, there is one freedom: to do whatever the hell I want without interference. But freedom isn't that cut and dried. My right to swing my fist ends at your face. Even on my property, I don't have the right to scream at the top of my lungs at 4 in the morning, because that impacts your freedoms.

Freedom isn't a simple thing. It isn't defined by imaginary and arbitrary natural rights. It is agreed upon and upheld by civilized people. For every freedom gained, there is a corresponding freedom lost, and so it is up to the group to decide what freedoms they are willing to trade for other more important freedoms. I, for instance, am willing to trade the freedom to scream at the top of my lungs at 4am, for the freedom to get a peaceful nights sleep.

And I don't give a rat's ass what YOU think your 'natural rights' entitle you to. Come into my neighborhood and start bellowing at 4am, and you will get a visit from the police, who will force you to stop, to protect my freedom. And THAT is as it should be, amongst civilized people.

Libertarians are akin to preschoolers, in that their idea of freedom is 'yer not the boss of me!' Well, the fact is that if you want to live in civilization, you have to let other people be the boss of you. If you don't like it, there is plenty of desolate wilderness where you can go be as free as you like, by yourself. But you DO NOT get to insert yourself into other people's lives and impose on them, claiming that if they try to stop you they are limiting your freedom. No, YOU are limiting THEIR freedom, and there are more of them than of you, so what they say goes. If you don't like it, well, there's always that lovely wilderness where you can be as free as you like without imposing on others.

Re:The first amendment is dead and buried... (1)

psithurism (1642461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862954)

How many times do I have to post this comment?

First, Freedom of speech does not cover commercial speech. If spammers are sending spam to save the whales they might get some protection, but as long as they are advertising they have to deal with the laws regarding commercial speech.

Second, freedom of speech does not give people the right to harass me. I don't want unsolicited advertising, I can get restraining orders on anyone in RL to stop them from following me around begging me to give them money. Do not call lists, spam acts, etc, are there to protect me from being harassed by companies doing this to me with modern technology. If spammers want to spam each other anonymously, they can go do that, but when they harass me, it is no longer within their rights.

Spam IMO is illegal, private companies and individuals do not have the resources to stop it and so we have government intervention. I for one am not worried about spammers rights and thank my government for protecting mine.

and there goes legit privacy too (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30861740)

oh joy cant we all just open the front door and be naked together

Conspiracy/aiding/abetting? (2, Interesting)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861780)

Couldn't the WHOIS service, by hosting spammers, be held liable for criminal conspiracy or aiding and abetting?

Or at least investigated to determine if they were knowingly protecting spammers under one or both of those charges?

Re:Conspiracy/aiding/abetting? (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862690)

Couldn't the WHOIS service, by hosting spammers, be held liable for criminal conspiracy or aiding and abetting?

That's come up. The owner of a domain is the name in the registrant field. If the name there is some "privacy service", they are the owner of the domain, and the nominal "owner" is just renting it under some contractual arrangement. As with renting, this usually works out OK, but when there's trouble, the real ownership matters.

This was a big issue with RegisterFly [wikipedia.org] , the troubled and now defunct domain registrar. People who had "private domains" with RegisterFly had a terrible time getting them back, because they couldn't establish ownership.

There's also some legal exposure for privacy services. [wordpress.com] While domain registrars, as such, have immunity from lawsuits under the Anti-Cybersquatting Protection Act, privacy services do not. Nor do companies that perform both services. The Court in SolidHost vs. NameCheap wrote: "Although NameCheap is an ICANN-accredited registrar, it did not act in that capacity in this case".

Re:Conspiracy/aiding/abetting? (1)

Sentrion (964745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862882)

Held liable by whom? PrivacyProtect.org is one such service. They have a PO BOX in the Netherlands and they state boldly "all mail is refused." This makes service of process for subpoenas and citations very difficult, unless you are suing in a Dutch court. Remember, this is HOLLAND we're talking about! Anything goes (prostitution, cannibis, cartoons of Mohammad, etc.), and they don't like to waste time enforcing laws or checking underwear for explosives. This is the same idea behind offshore banking - if you have a bank in the US and get sued in the US, the winner of the suit can get a court order to have your funds taken from the bank. The local sherrif literally visits the bank and levies the account. If you lose a suit in the US but you keep your cash in the Cayman Islands, the Caribbean banker isn't going to care jack-squat about any US court order!

Need more of a deterrent than this (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861790)

I don't think the 9th circuit will ever take spam back, if the only penalty is loss of money. Now, add the death penalty to SPAMming and maybe they'll think twice.

Re:Need more of a deterrent than this (1)

Ren Hoak (1217024) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861996)

Now, add the death penalty to SPAMming

Promises, promises.

Re:Need more of a deterrent than this (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862154)

Yeah, that death penalty works well in Texas, doesn't it?

Ain't it like anoder false flag? (1)

myspace-cn (1094627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861800)

Ain't it like anoder false flag?
I mean what new civil rights are getting sucked up?
Do I get this right? Forced WHOIS exposure?
What if you paid for privacy, and got hacked?
Could it be to shut down good people also?
my official opinion: I hate spam too, I think blacklists are the way but anyway...heh we're on the road to hell now..

Re:Ain't it like anoder false flag? (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861934)

Forgive my ignorance, but what the hell are you talking about? "anoder false flag?" I have no idea what that phrase means.

And no, you do not "get this right," it's not forced WHOIS exposure, it's criminalizing the filing of anonymized data in abetting a crime (in this case, violation of the CAN-SPAM act). So, it's, at present, only an additional hammer against people already breaking the law. It's akin to felony murder. If you're committing a robbery, and someone has a heart attack while you're robbing the place, you get a murder charge, even though you didn't kill the guy.

And way to toss in a slippery slope fallacy while you were at it.

Re:Ain't it like anoder false flag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862336)

And way to toss in a slippery slope fallacy while you were at it.

Welcome to Slashdot! I'm sure you'll find it quite horrifying to your quaint, outdated sensibilities and concepts of "reasonable discourse", "proper debate", and "knowledge and understanding"! Enjoy your stay!

Re:Ain't it like anoder false flag? (1)

pgmrdlm (1642279) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862774)

And way to toss in a slippery slope fallacy while you were at it.

Welcome to Slashdot! I'm sure you'll find it quite horrifying to your quaint, outdated sensibilities and concepts of "reasonable discourse", "proper debate", and "knowledge and understanding"! Enjoy your stay!

How can a person enjoy their stay when you have people like you assiting every criminal on the face of the earth with youre DISREGARD for the people victimized by them.

you don't care. Period. Should be you that is victimized and nobody else.

You and people with like minded oppinions do everything in your power to make it easier for criminals to carry on their activities. To not be identified and prosecuted. And to remove any vocie of the victim.

YOU should be held accountable for these actions and fined and jailed for every criminal that is let go.

I am not a lawyer (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861978)

But my understanding is that this is being set up as a violation of the CANSPAM act, not as a new law.

So privatized whois is still perfectly legal, unless you are using it to hide the owner of a spamming operation.

-Rick

Problem (2, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30861838)

So what we're doing is eschewing personal privacy in exchange for... corporate privacy? It used to be years ago, I could setup a web server on a xDSL line from home and run a small business off of that. Of course, few people want to post their cell phone number (often their only number) online, or any other method of direct contact. Amongst other things, that would invite spam. So along come these anonymization services so we can have an online presence without giving up our privacy -- and now that's been declared illegal? So domains owned by individuals or sole-proprietorships are screwed, but corporations have little to worry about: They can just assign some random techie to be the contact for their domain.

Re:Problem (3, Informative)

gclef (96311) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862006)

It's not that privacy is illegal...it's that privacy + spamming = violation. CAN-SPAM, for all its toothlessness, requires valid contact information for the domains involved in mass emails, so using anonymized WHOIS entries is right out if you're sending mass emails. This is, I think, perfectly fine. If you're going to be contacting millions of people, it's only fair that they should be able to contact you back.

That says noting about your ability to run a small business with anonymized WHOIS off a small DSL line...as long as you're not sending mass emails around, your WHOIS anonymity will never run afoul of the spam laws.

Re:Problem (-1, Flamebait)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862240)

If a girl works as a stripper or porn star, then raping her is legal, is that correct?

Re:Problem (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862706)

If a girl works as a stripper or porn star, then raping her is legal, is that correct?

Well, if there were a law that specifically said all strippers and porn stars no longer had the right to consent, I guess you'd be right.

While that law does not exist, there does exist a law wherein a spammer must identify themselves, comply with unsubscribe requests, etc.

Re:Problem (2, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862164)

So along come these anonymization services so we can have an online presence without giving up our privacy -- and now that's been declared illegal?

From the header:

Although the ruling does not make use of WHOIS privacy illegal, it does serve as a clear message from the court that coupling the use of privacy services with intentional spamming will likely result in a violation of the CAN-SPAM act.

Cough. You were saying?

Re:Problem (0, Flamebait)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862474)

Although the ruling does not make use of WHOIS privacy illegal, it does serve as a clear message from the court that coupling the use of privacy services with intentional spamming will likely result in a violation of the CAN-SPAM act.

Using bold lettering to make a point makes you look like an ass and does nothing but make your post harder to read. That said, remember that spam is defined by the act as "any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service (including content on an Internet website operated for a commercial purpose)."

So even if I offer a legitimate service online -- advertising it via e-mail is subject to the CAN-SPAM act. Now, take that a step further -- what if I'm offering a web anonymization service? That goes on for awhile, no problem, until one day some pedophile uses the service and it makes headlines. Now a bunch of church organizations want to lynch the service provider (hi!) for providing a legitimate service that was used for illegitimate means. The natural reaction would be to protect yourself by not publishing your address, phone number, or office locations. It makes no sense to do so anyway, since your service is entirely online and requires no physical interaction with customers. But now you're left in the difficult position of -- how do you advertise? There are lots of things that are unpopular to advertise and invite criticism, but are nonetheless legitimate businesses.

Not all of us have a large corporation to hide behind -- an anonymity of the crowd as it were. So it harms individuals and small businesses who wish to solicit business that may be controversial.

Re:Problem (1)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862702)

So even if I offer a legitimate service online -- advertising it via e-mail is subject to the CAN-SPAM act.

Unsolicited advertising by e-mail, yes, is. For good reason, as that's exactly what spam is -- unsolicited advertising by e-mail.

The whois 'privacy mode' (the only thing this article is discussing) has not been ruled illegal in the States for any other reason than spamming. Your anonymising internet service example is perfectly safe from this ruling, unless you start spamming too -- sorry 'advertising it by e-mail'.

Maybe you should consider just not spamming everyone about your "WONDERFUL NEW ANONYMISING SERVICE (free trial!)", and advertise through less intrusive, less obnoxious methods than unsolicited e-mail (probably violation of this CAN-SPAM act even without whois 'privacy mode'), such as word-of-mouth, normal internet ads, getting a good Google page rank, etc.

So it harms individuals and small businesses who wish to solicit business that may be controversial.

Yeah, okay -- It harms individuals and small businesses who think it's a great idea to spam me! Why do I find myself not caring?

Re:Problem (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862742)

Everyone seems to be missing the point. Spamming while anonymous is forbidden by CAN-SPAM. You need to be identifiable, comply with unsubscribe requests, and participate in a whole host of other restrictions if you wish to send such email advertisements.

This decision does nothing but affirm the original law, which says 'be responsible', which really makes a lot of sense.

Frankly, if you want to take on this fight, then you really must fight the act itself, not just this decision.

Re:Problem (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862886)

You sound aggressive and bitchy. Please be civil, we are all gentlemen here. Bold is used for emphasis; be glad HTML doesn't allow highlighting in yellow.

Re:Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863064)

It's the way we're going. Corporations are now "people."

From today's Reuters feed -

Landmark Supreme Court ruling allows corporate political cash.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Corporations can spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, a landmark decision denounced by President Barack Obama for giving special interests more power.

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said the long-standing campaign finance limits violated constitutional free-speech rights of corporations.

Wintermute, where are you?

Meet the new Boss; same as the old Boss.

Obligatory checklist (1, Redundant)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862084)

The court proposes a

( ) technical (X) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to fighting spam. The idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to this particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)
( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
(X) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
( ) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
( ) Users of email will not put up with it
( ) Microsoft will not put up with it
( ) The police will not put up with it
(X) Requires too much cooperation from spammers
( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
( ) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
(X) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, the plan fails to account for:
( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
( ) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email
(X) Open relays in foreign countries
( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
(X) Asshats
(X) Jurisdictional problems
( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
( ) Huge existing software investment in SMTP
( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack
( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
(X) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
(X) Extreme profitability of spam
(X) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
( ) Technically illiterate politicians
( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
(X) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
( ) Outlook

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:
(X) Ideas similar to this are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical
( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
( ) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
( ) Blacklists suck
( ) Whitelists suck
( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
( ) Sending email should be free
( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
(X) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
( ) I don't want the government reading my email
(X) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about them:
(X) Sorry dudes, but I don't think this will work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and they're a stupid people for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0les! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your houses down!

No one is worried about this? (1)

mi (197448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862246)

The court's decision:

using WHOIS privacy on domains may be considered "material falsification" under federal law.

The cited part of the law:

registration information is materially falsified if it is altered or concealed in a manner that would impair the ability of a recipient of the message...to identify, locate, or respond to a person who initiated the electronic mail message..."

I'm afraid, some day this may be applied to people, who have nothing to do with actual spam...

Does not anybody see parallels with terrorism here?

  • We can't afford to give protections of the real trial by a civilian court to terrorists!
  • We don't know, whether they are terrorists, until a trial concludes, that they are!

Re:No one is worried about this? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862872)

I'm amazed to be arguing with you about this. It almost feels like I have crossed over into the Twilight Zone. I love our freedoms, and fear the slippery slope of bad government. That being said, there's no substance to your concern.

Weird, right?

The text of the bill is here: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=108_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ187.108.pdf [gpo.gov]

Here's a sample:

‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Whoever, in or affecting interstate or foreign
commerce, knowingly—
‘‘(1) accesses a protected computer without authorization,
and intentionally initiates the transmission of multiple commercial
electronic mail messages from or through such computer,
‘‘(2) uses a protected computer to relay or retransmit multiple
commercial electronic mail messages, with the intent to
deceive or mislead recipients, or any Internet access service,
as to the origin of such messages,
‘‘(3) materially falsifies header information in multiple
commercial electronic mail messages and intentionally initiates
the transmission of such messages,
‘‘(4) registers, using information that materially falsifies
the identity of the actual registrant, for five or more electronic
mail accounts or online user accounts or two or more domain
names, and intentionally initiates the transmission of multiple
commercial electronic mail messages from any combination of
such accounts or domain names, or
‘‘(5) falsely represents oneself to be the registrant or the
legitimate successor in interest to the registrant of 5 or more
Internet Protocol addresses, and intentionally initiates the
transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages
from such addresses,
or conspires to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection
(b).

Every single stanza of that refers to electronic mail. I'm not certain how this law could be used to bootstrap a general attack upon the citizens nor upon free speech. This defines limits for one narrow kind of speech, which happens all the time, with little-to-no real impact on the overall ideal.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862354)

Whats the point? - spammers use fake names and addresses anyway

Clean GoDaddy - Clean 80% SPAM scum (3, Interesting)

weaponx71 (524109) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862438)

I swear that whenever I take the time to back track any SPAM messages I get, and I don't mean all the Viagra ads, but the ones that I get from a subject that I might have interest in but I know I never did business with them or requested anything from them. They are hiding out at GoDaddy. Most don't have the unsubcribe link, most just don't work. I have only come across ONE company that did anything about an emailing I got and that was Google. Typical online marketing email saying you can make tens of thousands of dollars doing nothing per month. Just buy their $97 advertising "secrets" and you will have a mansion and a Ferrari in months. I complained to Google since the email didn't have an unsubsribe link or removal link. They must have done something or sent them something because I got another email asking me why I turned them in and that they weren't SPAM. I politely told them they were whack and have since blocked their domains and emails at my web hosting level. When I try this with GoDaddy. I either get nothing in reply or a canned email from GoDaddy stating they don't get inbetween a business and it's customers about money owed or services not renedered. WHAT? I tell them they have a violation of their own User Agreement and they spew back nonsense. Why would they want to do anything or cut off anything that is making them money? We need to have more control given back to the normal person, and heck I have a small company and even going through that I can't get ISP or Registrars to do anything worth while. If you aren't making THEM a lot of money, you just simply don't matter.

Old news - this was decided last October (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862458)

This is US vs. Kilbride [uscourts.gov] , decided last October. It apparently took Sedo a few months to notice.

It's actually a porno spam case left over from the Bush Administration. It's not like the Justice Department was doing anything effective about spam in general.

Re:Old news - this was decided last October (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862892)

Slashdot meta-score...

"old news" = 0 points

"Bush Administration" = 0 points

"anti-spam ineffective" = 0 points

This Will Bite You In The Ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862858)

Thanks to this court's ruling, use of a Whois privacy cloak will now be classified as "Material Falsification" when it suits them. So, when they come for you and your conspiracy theorist website that they deem too liberal/conservative they'll now have one more charge to throw onto the litany of drummed up offenses that you have perpetrated.

Well, he must be guilty, look at all the charges that they brought against him.

I don't like it at all. According to CAN-SPAM sending spam is illegal, why is this needed? It's just piling on and opening up more opportunities for abuse.

I've never understood why people think that making something illegal, somehow more illegal will have any effect on the crime. The act is already classified. There is no need for additional classification. Once it has been classified, only enforcement is necessary.

Again, completely useless because... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863088)

... many spamvertised, spamvertising, and spamming-affiliated domains are registered through registrars overseas. And those overseas registrars (those who actually put something into the WHOIS fields) will either provide WHOIS obfuscation services to their customers, or it will be provided through another overseas company. In the end, we can legislate this all we want, it won't mean squat to the spammers in other countries.

That said, there are likely other reasons why this is useless; this was just the first one that came to mind for me about 1x10^-3 seconds after I read the headline. It is a shame that the judge who passed down this judgement was not knowledgeable enough to know the same.
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