Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(September 1996)

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Subject: Re: Jodge orders AOL to allow junk email... (fwd)
From: "E. Allen Smith" <EALLENSMITH @ mbcl . rutgers . edu>
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 1996 23:13 EDT
Cc: list-managers @ greatcircle . com, remailer-operators @ c2 . org

From:	IN%"ERIC @
 VM .
 SE .
 COM"  "Eric Thomas"  7-SEP-1996 15:46:33.44

>Personally I think the first step in  fighting spam in the legal arena is
>a law  that clarifies that telemarketing  laws apply to spamming  and the
>Internet as  well. People  who call  you on  the phone  to offer  you the
>latest financial  scam are required to  state their name and  the name of
>the  company they  work for.  If  they lie  to you,  they're in  trouble.
>Similarly, spammers  should be  required to  identify themselves  and not
>forge mail headers to sell their wares anonymously. I'm not a lawyer, but
>this looks like a no-brainer to  me. Why should anonymous solicitation be
>allowed just because it's done  electronically? Once spammers are writing

	First, there are some free-speech problems with this. Just because
someone's writing you about something commercial, and hasn't done business
with you before, doesn't mean that they aren't protected by the First
Amendment. I suspect that the laws in question haven't ever gotten to the
Supreme Court (or, if they have, the Court has made the mistake of thinking
that "speech" doesn't include commercial speech.)
	Second, _as long as you have a means of no longer receiving such
mail_, why is it necessary for someone to tell you who they are, including
for commercial speech? All legitimate remailer services will A: block you
(or a list that you own) on your request and B: try to detect and ward
off spam in any event. (Once various patents expire, the direct method -
charging - will take care of the problem via fully anonymous digital cash.)
And Port 25-ing has a use in protecting remailer services against groups
such as the Church of Scientology.

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