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Re: Legislative Relief - was Re: Motion for a new POST NSF AUP
From: Justin Newton <justin () rainbow dgsys com>
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 01:00:56 -0400 (EDT)

On Mon, 16 Oct 1995, Paul Ferguson wrote:



I would like to propose that we seek legislative relief from
this ever-increasing problem.  I have spoken with counsel and
now understand what is required to support the enactment of 
federal legislation to prohibit the misuse of electronic mail
and Usenet news by unprincipled "spammers."


Eek. Do you _really_ want to get a bunch of shyster lawyers involved? 
I would think that there must be any number of more platable courses of 
action than this...


The problem is is that we are in the hands of the shyster lawyers 
already.  Implementing /anything/ without some sort of legal protection 
is very very dangerous.  IANAL, I am only speaking from my experiences 
with dealing with what happens when people sue you when there is no case 
law.  I can tell you, it is awful.  Our company currently is spending 
more on lawyers than on salaries, connection to the nert, telco charges, 
/anything/, because we /are/ the case law.  That means no quick decision, 
no book that the lawyers can quickly pull a similar case from to use as 
the basis for your case, etc etc.  It gets expensive.  (Luckily our 
lawyers are letting us do a slow payoff of the expenses or we would be 
sunk)  Please please please when you are thinking about these things 
think of the legal impact.  As soon as you are either denying service 
based on anything, or cancelling anything ever you are opening up a huge 
can of worms you don't even know exists.  As far as I can see you have a 
choice.  Cancel everything that anyone questions even a little, or cancel 
nothing ever for any reason.  Cancelling based on spam is still making a 
policy decision to cancel and you /may/ lose the protection you seek by 
saying you are an information carrier instead of a provider.  By 
cancelling anything you are tacitly approving everything else.  This 
can be expanded to other areas of your policy as well, but please be 
careful.  


Justin Newton           * You have to change just to stay caught up.
Vice President/         *       
System Administrator    * 
Digital Gateway Systems * 



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