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View Full Version : The internet is no longer safe.



Zak
10th January 2006, 03:10 PM
http://news.com.com/Create+an+e-annoyance%2C+go+to+jail/2010-1028_3-6022491.html?part=rss&tag=6022491&subj=news

...Discuss.

Roy Karrde
10th January 2006, 03:38 PM
Damn, I know that myself and half of the old Misc is going to jail. :p

All joking aside I don't think this is truly a bad idea, this law isn't going to put Pokemaster posters in jail, this is going to be used to go after Cyberstalkers. Which unlike the usual TPM debate on abortion, this is a legitimate concern that many people have to deal with each day.

Chris
10th January 2006, 03:52 PM
This makes me laugh so incredibly hard...

Right, I'm off to create a "full name" profile field. You Americans had better fill it in or you're goin' in the slammer! :D

mr_pikachu
10th January 2006, 04:23 PM
Huh. This is unusual. Quite frankly, I'm a Republican (or, more accurately, a conservative), but I totally agree with that article. I think this was a huge mistake, and Bush is going to have to rectify it immediately. Causing harm through messages in other forms is already illegal, so the previous bill would have been fine, but creating a law against saying something that someone may not want to hear? That's a major step in the wrong direction, especially since many people already seem to be worked up about the NSA wiretap program (which I do support, but that's a completely different topic). When Americans are already concerned about their freedom of speech, it's stupid to even think about a move like this.

My question is how this even got to the president's desk. After all, there are actually several stages during the process of voting on a bill in which designated groups are assigned to run through all sorts of case law to decide if any bill might be unconstitutional. So how on earth did this slip through the cracks?

Lady Vulpix
10th January 2006, 04:51 PM
I think that must have been aimed towards e-mail SPAM and harassment, but worded that way it's just stupid.

I doubt they'll do anything about it in most cases, though. But this makes me feel glad that I don't live in the USA.

Heald
10th January 2006, 04:51 PM
1) I'm not American.

2) America should stop thinking it owns the internet.

3) This is in violation of the 1st amendment.

Roy Karrde
10th January 2006, 05:09 PM
It's not a first admendment violation since it is just a upgraded version of the Anti Phone Stalking law. And Heald if I remember correctly America does own the Internet, well technically America still retains control of the technology which powers the internet. Anyway this will almost never be used in court since you have to prove intent, and that is almost impossible to prove with text based messages.

Lady Vulpix
10th January 2006, 05:10 PM
Only a part of that technology, Roy. The Internet and the technology it uses are much wider than that.

mr_pikachu
10th January 2006, 05:18 PM
Well, it was probably intended to be an addendum of sorts to the Anti Phone Stalking law, true. However, I believe this is worded quite differently than that law. I'll have to check on that, but frankly, this is worded so poorly that an otherwise legitimate bill actually does seem to me to be a first amendment violation. I know it'll likely almost never be used, but still, having that law on the books is very odd.

Heald
10th January 2006, 05:32 PM
It can be regarded as 1st Amendment violation as anything written can be regarded as protected speech, which is umbrellaed under freedom of expression. You're allowed to flame on the Internet as much as you're allowed to set fire to a flag.

Actually, it is protected speech to the extent it is public. A public message board flame can be regarded as protected but not a personal email.

Also, America hardly 'owns' the Internet, or in fact the technology. True, DARPA may have been the inventors of an early form of internet, but not the World Wide Web that we know and love. From hereon, by Internet, I mean the World Wide Web. The Internet was effectively invented by Tim Berners-Lee, a British man, and the project was led and launched by CERN, in Switzerland. The technology that connects my computer to the Internet lies with my ISP, BT, a British company. Also, the majority of servers are not located in the US but around the world, on which the Internet is stored. What the US can effectively own is the servers located in the US, no more.

Roy Karrde
10th January 2006, 05:46 PM
I know this really doesnt pertain to the topic, since the debate really isnt about who controls the internet. Anyway according to the Guardian a UK newspaper on July 2nd this happened "The Bush administration has decided to retain control over the principal computers which control internet traffic in a move likely to prompt global opposition, it was claimed yesterday." Now give me a hour or so and I will have more sources other than one since I have the date and presently searching AP for other sources.

http://technology.guardian.co.uk/online/news/0,12597,1519551,00.html

Edit for Second Link: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/viewstory.asp?Page=\ForeignBureaus\archive\200511\ FOR20051118a.html

As for 1st Amendment violations, that's a bit more tricky and will most likely be up for the Lawyers to decide, although I have a feeling it is in more of a legal gray area than anything else.

Heald
10th January 2006, 05:52 PM
This does not apply to the entire Internet, however, only US-controlled ones. It is absurd to suggest that if the US closed down these computers, I wouldn't be able to access British sites. Perhaps to access the world, I have to go through the US, I'm not sure how the rest of the world operates, but even if the US decided to take over the Internet, it wouldn't take long for the ISPs to simply connect directly to the internets of other nations. Sure, the US could, theoretically, own the Internet, but they can't do anything about it.

mr_pikachu
10th January 2006, 05:56 PM
Okay, I just looked at the law covering phone harassment (http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode47/usc_sec_47_00000223----000-.html), and I see what you mean, Roy. However, the problem is that phone calls can be used to physically "harm" someone - i.e. calling someone in the middle of the night, disturbing their sleep and making them less effective in whatever they try to do the next day. You can see where I'm going with that; a person could lose his or her job over bad performance, so that law is understandable.

The problem is that, at least in the present day, the internet works differently. If someone commits a violation of this act in the middle of the night, you see it in when you're awake and on the computer. You can simply delete/ignore such things then, and it doesn't hinder you. While a person can use a phone to call you and say nothing for the duration of the call to disturb your necessary sleep, the same can hardly be said for the internet. (Extreme SPAM, especially in the context of mass E-mail, is another issue, but that would fall under the "harassment" heading, rather than the unnecessary "annoy" category. Besides, those would likely violate existinglaws governing mailing/phone/E-mail lists, as well.)

So the wording is the same from law to law, but it really shouldn't be. The technologies are simply too different at this time to warrant the laws governing them to be worded in the same manner.

Roy Karrde
10th January 2006, 06:04 PM
The computers serve as master directories that contain government-approved lists of the roughly 260 suffices used, such as .com or .co.uk. Anyone who uses the web interacts with them every day. But a policy decision by the US could, at a stroke, make all sites ending in a certain suffix unreachable.

Now I may be reading this wrong, and god knows it wont be the first time that I have misread or misinterpreted something. But these computers located in California and monitored by ICANN, basically control the 260 different .*Imput something here* suffexes you place at the end of a webname. So this does seem to suggest that if these 13 root servers were shut down, then yes even British websites would be shut down. Again I could be reading this wrong.

Edit: Yeah I see what you mean, although I think the main part of this law is a upgrade of a1c which reads "(C) makes a telephone call or utilizes a telecommunications device, whether or not conversation or communication ensues, without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person at the called number or who receives the communications;" and technically it could be said that if you are making threatning emails in a effort to stalk or terrorize someone, that could hinder their work and day to day life since they would be too scared to go outside in fear of being attacked by said terrorizer. Although I dont see why "Telecommunications device" doesnt fall under email or IMs.

Heald
10th January 2006, 06:33 PM
"The computers serve as master directories that contain government-approved lists of the roughly 260 suffices used, such as .com or .co.uk. Anyone who uses the web interacts with them every day. But a policy decision by the US could, at a stroke, make all sites ending in a certain suffix unreachable."

This quote is quite ambiguous, so I don't blame anyone for reading it wrong. Anyway, I did a bit or research on ICANN and here is a pretty important quote:

"ICANN's role in coordinating the assignment of unique identifiers distinguishes it as perhaps the only central coordinating body on the global Internet, but the scope of its authority extends only to the Internet's systems of domain names, Internet protocol addresses, and protocol port and parameter numbers."

Needless to say, it technically can put all Internet operations on hold, but that is the scope of its power. Hell, the gateway has to be somewhere, why not America? However, ICANN would be incredibly foolish to do anything at all with this power. The Internet is an international tool and cannot be defined or confined in physical borders. As such, the role of this gateway has been delegated to the US, but were they to close this gateway, the backlash from the international community would be tremendous and the gateway would be placed under direct UN jurisdiction.

However, I still have doubts that these computers control National Internet. I'm sure China's Internet is run by China as they are effectively closed. I also doubt that to connect to a British site, instead of going through a domestic phoneline, it is sent by satellite to California and sent back. That sounds utterly absurd.

Roy Karrde
10th January 2006, 06:38 PM
I know and it does sound absurd, but right now I think both of us are going by the info we have handed. Most likely there is alot more out there and it is a bit more complicated as you have said. Anyway the only way I could see ICANN shutting down all directories or a certain directory is in a time of extreme war, say another World War. If that were the case then it could be used to shut down enemy traffic and information flow. Also I would expect that ICANN wont be holding control over the internet for much longer, the UN and EU have been pushing for control like the article says, and it is only a matter of time before an international power gains control over the directories.

Arnen
10th January 2006, 07:22 PM
Pheh. I bet someone just flamed Bush on a message board or an Email and he got mad about it.

homeofmew
10th January 2006, 10:07 PM
How does this work, bush doesn't own the Internet!
If this is true all of TPM goes to JAIL!

Sceptile_Master
10th January 2006, 10:10 PM
Hmm I'm glad sometimes I don't live in america. And yes good point heald. They should stop thinking they own the internet. This whole thing is ridiculous. People have the right to hide their identity (well in americas current case, they should). This really should be rectified right away as it is more than over the top.

Magmar
11th January 2006, 12:15 AM
Dammit, I can't spam people anymore as Charity??

Heald
11th January 2006, 01:36 PM
Before 9/11, it would have simply been called the FBI Internet Monitoring Unit.

But no, thanks to your Islamophobia and general pissy-wussyness, it is known as the FBI CYBER TERRORISM UNIT.

So now we're supposed to lavishly fellate them, since anyone who is a troll is now a terrorist, and anyone who disagrees with them is unAmerican, unpatriotic and a communist?

Terrorism is defined as, "The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons."

I fail to see how anything on the Internet can be classed as force or violence.

RedStarWarrior
11th January 2006, 04:12 PM
1) Unlike Heald, I am an American.

2) I'd like to see them try to prosecute me.

3) Fuck all you bitches! (is that considering annoying?)

Heald
11th January 2006, 05:09 PM
^ - No, but your sig is.

Drago
11th January 2006, 08:06 PM
I was sold at the line 'intent to annoy'.
Interesting law, what a lame reason to go to jail. Imprisoned because you're annoying. I'm IN.

Kiara
11th January 2006, 08:18 PM
Holy cow that is just BS.... sorry if I cussed but that is stupid. No wonder no one likes Bush. He needs to stop trying to change crap. It's completely stupid. Whats the point in having an e-mail if we can't have another name? If I have to have my real name, then Im going to CHANGE my name to Kiara. I like it better anyways...


"What's annoying to one person may not be annoying to someone else." Very VERY true! I mean I am annoying in some cases, but towards... say you guys on this forum, either A) You don't know me very well B) Know me and just don't think I am.

Bush can go back to the hole he crawled out of and just hide. I know for a fact that there is a lot of people, including me, that hate him. But then again he was better then Kerry.. but who cares. Bush is Bush's son. He's going to try and follow in his fathers footsteps. Its just bleh! And this... Cyberstalking. I agree to this but in a way I don't I have ahad internet stalkers before, but they never really found out where I lived so I'm good thank the lord.


Our esteemed politicians can't seem to grasp this simple point, but the First Amendment protects our right to write something that annoys someone else. True again! He is the damn preseident of the United States of America! For the love of god, he is stupid. WHy doesn't he just change everything else?!

-ish done ranting which felt good, now needs to rant... about.... other things skitters to her journal.-

Roy Karrde
11th January 2006, 08:27 PM
Okay for one thing before this becomes a Bush hate fest lets remember that Bush doesn't make the laws, the Congress does. He signs them after they have been hammered out. Second no one on TPM is going to be arrested. This isnt going to get people that post on message boards. This is going to get people that email you and say:

Hey * Insert Name *,

I watched you take out your car today at 3:00 pm, you didn't lock the front door which is really dangerous, some bad people could get in. At 3:30 pm, you went to the mall and spent about twenty minutes in Waldenbooks. You picked up three books, looked through each one for a few minutes, and then put each one down and walked away. Etc etc etc...

Or, maybe not something as drastic but you get the idea. It's a way to get a stalker or a harasser from work that wants you to quit.

phaedrus
11th January 2006, 08:30 PM
Obviously the ACLU will fight this and obviously this violates the Constitution, so it's not like this will do much except lower Bush's poll ratings.

Roy Karrde
11th January 2006, 08:50 PM
From what I hear, all the ACLU is doing right now is asking what constitutes an annoyance, other than that they haven't really been putting up their usual Death to this Law, spiel that they usually do.

Gavin Luper
12th January 2006, 01:26 AM
This is merely further evidence that a world led by America would be a very tragic world indeed ... or perhaps that "would be" should be "is"? Hmmm ... yet another concern to add to the ever-growing pile ... things just seem to keep getting worse at the moment ...

mr_pikachu
12th January 2006, 02:31 AM
I have to concur with Roy here. You can't place all of the blame on Bush; after all, Congress passed him the bill in the first place, right? In my opinion, the majority of the blame should be placed on those people who are supposed to scrutize bills to make sure they don't violate any constitutional rights, as I mentioned earlier. And while Bush does play a part in this (after all, he did sign the bill), it's not his fault if the problem was so obscure and so deeply buried beneath the majority of the bill that it took nearly obsessive scrutiny and research for us to even figure out how it tied into everything else. I'm not saying he couldn't have looked at it closer, but Congress has to take most of the blame for not only missing the problem, but for leaving it in one of the smallest and darkest corners of the bill.

I have plenty of other comments like I'd like to make about certain people in Congress *cough*, but I won't, as I would only be inciting a flame war by doing so. I'll just leave you with that.

AntiAsh Superstar
12th January 2006, 03:55 AM
Pff, looking from the outside so to speak my main complaint here is that have the people who draft legislation not learned ANYTHING from the past few centuries of legal loopholes, people getting away with obvious crimes because of ambiguous wording et cetera? The whole 'annoying' thing is the problem here. Annoying could be anything from 'pff why did I open that email, it's pointless' to 'omfgz this person is stalking me!'. So I'd actually go so far as to say it may not necessarily be a bad thing, just FFS DEFINE ANNOYING IN THE LEGISLATION YOU TWATS otherwise this is gonna seriously get abused.