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New US law ban anonymous annoying!

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by jetset, Jan 10, 2006.

    Jan 10, 2006
  1. jetset

    jetset RIP Brian CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service

    Cloaked Internet annoying could be a federal offence....

    Declan McCullagh, CNET News.com's Washington, D.C., correspondent caused a flurry this week with an interesting article on new American legislation signed into law last week and addressing the problem of annoying Internet behaviour by message board posting or email (spam).

    According to the respected writer, annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime after 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," says McCullagh.

    The offences are apparently buried in the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act. Criminal penalties include stiff fines and up to two years in prison.

    "The use of the word 'annoy' is particularly problematic," Marv Johnson, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union is quoted as saying. "What's annoying to one person may not be annoying to someone else."

    The new federal law states that when US citizens annoy someone on the Internet, they must eschew the anonymous cloak of a "handle" and disclose their 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 Section 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."

    Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, and the section's other sponsors included the law in an unrelated, must-pass bill to fund the Department of Justice. The tactic worked. The bill cleared the House of Representatives by voice vote, and the Senate unanimously approved it Dec. 16, passing it to the President for signing.

    McCullagh argues that there are perfectly legitimate reasons to set up a Web site or write something incendiary without telling everyone exactly who you are.

    He gives as an example the hypothetical case of a woman fired by a manager who demanded sexual favors who wants to blog about it without divulging her full name, or a frustrated citizen who wants to send an e-mail describing corruption in local government without worrying about reprisals.

    He points to the First Amendment that protects the right of Americans to write something that annoys someone else, and even shields the right to do it anonymously.

    In a U.S. Supreme Court precedent, Justice Clarence Thomas defended this principle in a 1995 case involving an Ohio woman who was punished for distributing anonymous political pamphlets.

    McCullagh concludes by suggesting that President Bush follow a course of action taken by his predecessor President Clinton a decade ago. Compelled to sign a massive telecommunications law, Clinton realised 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.
    2 people like this.
  2. Jan 10, 2006
  3. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Web Dev.

    Once upon a time, this might have surprised me :rolleyes:
  4. Jan 10, 2006
  5. winbig

    winbig Keep winning this amount.


    Do you have the reference URL for this?
  6. Jan 10, 2006
  7. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

    This has got to be one of the stupidest laws this president has signed. What a dweeb.

    First, the American government thinks it owns the Internet - now it thinks it can define "annoying". Sheesh!

    Good going! I bet the Americans at home feel much safer now. :thumbsup:
  8. Jan 10, 2006
  9. dominique

    dominique Dormant account

    The Boonies
    Too funny! :lolup:

    If that is not the epidemy of arrogance, I don't know what is.
  10. Jan 13, 2006
  11. kwblue

    kwblue Webmaster webmeister


    Hail King Bush and all his kronies! :notworthy

    j/k. Funny and stupid all at the same time, this 'law'
  12. Jan 13, 2006
  13. paul1

    paul1 Dormant account

    I don't think our leaders are stupid. I think they know EXACTLY what they are doing.

  14. Feb 1, 2006
  15. occ123

    occ123 Dormant account

    IT professional
    If this law is to be upheld, Bush should be penalized, as he is DEFINITLEY annoying :lolup:
  16. Feb 1, 2006
  17. Pinababy69

    Pinababy69 RIP Lisa

    Toronto, Ontario - Canada
    Well, according to that speech Bush made a couple or few years ago, it's Internet(s), like there's more than one.

    Occ took the words right outta my mouth, Bush is annoying to the extreme.
    1 person likes this.
  18. Feb 1, 2006
  19. suzecat

    suzecat Dormant account

    "The new federal law states that when US citizens annoy someone on the Internet, they must eschew the anonymous cloak of a "handle" and disclose their identity."

    Maybe I am missing the part where the US has claimed ownership of the internet? All I recall is Al Gore saying he invented it........funny, I have been surfing for years have never come across his mark.......

    My guess is this sort of crapola would not have been necessary if not for a bunch of idiots doing their thang on September 11 (and many subsequent dates).

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