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More on "Communications Decency Act" and the GII - a personal
From: David Farber <farber () central cis upenn edu>
Date: Thu, 9 Feb 1995 12:55:11 -0500

I am a bit of a loss understanding how any carrier defends itself against
carrying prohibited material. For example, say that email/netnews/web traffic
from Finland to say Japan passes via the USA and has "obscene" material in it.
What does a carrier do? Clearly neither the Finish or Japanese citizens are easy
to prosecute. It may be that the article is in Finish or Japanese. It may be
encrypted or hidden in the low order bits of a TIFF file of the Mona Lisa. How
does a carrier protect itself. What does a school do when the material is being
sent to a bboard at that school with a public key possessed only by people who
"register" with the originator. Do you outlaw encryption?
On and on. The tendency of this nation to pass laws that
are unenforceable lowers the respect for the law.

Someone commented to me that given the way the law as worded (and I ain't a
lawyer) the only ones that will be able to run networks will be the common
carriers (given they are exempt). That should generate a yell from MS and IBM or
will they file as common carriers and suffer the
regulation. All most fun (if you
enjoy such pain).


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