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FC: California court upholds prison e-mail ban -- even for printouts
From: Declan McCullagh <declan () well com>
Date: Thu, 08 Feb 2001 15:16:29 -0500


Date: Thu, 08 Feb 2001 12:06:18 -0800
To: declan () well com
From: Wulf Losee <wlosee () cisco com>
Subject: prison e-mail ban upheld

Your readers might be interested by a California appellate ruling that blocks inmate's rights to receive e-mail, even when it's printed and sent via snail-mail. One of the quotes I find most interesting is: "The court cited testimony by a police detective who claimed that 'ascertaining the source of e-mail messages can be difficult because senders can hide or disguise their identity more easily than can those who send regular mail.'" Huh?!?


Prison e-mail ban upheld
By: Kevin Poulsen
Posted: 08/02/2001 at 03:32 GMT

Officials at California's most notorious prison won the right to block inmates from receiving printed e-mail messages though the regular US mail, in a ruling by a state appeals court Tuesday.

"We conclude that given the unique characteristics of e-mail, the ban on receipt by regular mail of Internet-generated material was neither arbitrary nor irrational and was logically related to the prison's legitimate security concerns," reads the decision by the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, overturning a lower court ruling.

The appellate ruling settled a First Amendment suit filed by inmate Aaron Collins, a lifer at the maximum security Pelican Bay State Prison. Collins is one of nearly 300 subscribers nationwide to a service called INMATE Classified, which specializes in providing prisoners with a limited Internet presence, hosting inmate's personal Web pages and forwarding them hard copies of any e-mail sent to their inmate.com address.

Wulf Losee
Technical Marketing Engineer
        email: wulf () cisco com
vox: 408.525.1493     cell: 408.406.4914
fax: 408.526.7043     page: 800.365.4578

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