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Re: Opt-out ? we do know the "bounce" command...

  • From: Anders Andersson < >
  • Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 15:43:45 +0200 (MET DST)

Piet Beertema <Piet.Beertema@localhost wrote:
>On the short term they may be right. On the long term though
>spam may well get such a serious problem that it might more
>or less grind all e-mail communication to a halt, and thus
>drastically impart freedom of speech as a "side-effect".

I have never really understood the "free speech" argument when
brought up in the spam wars.  Spammers tend to see our refusal
to receive their mail as an infringement of _their_ freedom of
speech.  A case could perhaps be made for calling restrictions
against the _distribution_ of spamware a limitation of speech,
which is not the same as arguing that we cannot accept such a

However, you seem to be referring to your _ability to be heard_
above the static that spam essentially amounts to.  That's a
very important ability, but I wouldn't call it a manifestation
of your legal and moral _right_ to freedom of speech.  If the
emergency operator can't hear your voice on the phone above the
choir of screaming vikings, your house may burn down, but the
police won't come and arrest you for making a useless emergency
call either, so you aren't legally prohibited from speaking for
deaf ears.

If we all agree what we are talking about, we can use any term
we like, but please don't accidentally give the politicians the
idea that spamming has anything to do with freedom of speech.
When I try to defend actual freedom of speech, I don't want to
hear the argument that my speech has to be limited in order for
us to combat spamming.

And, while we are on the topic of giving the politicians an idea
of what spamming is really like, I can only agree with those who
argue against any spamming campaigns.  Not only will it reflect
poorly on our cause; more spam may help the politicians adapt to
exactly the kind of environment we don't want to live in.

Instead, if you want to show off, gather some friends and go visit
your local pro-spam politician's front lawn.  No abusive behaviour
and no damage to his flowers; just fill it up by simply standing
there.  When he requests that you leave, ask him to address each
one of you by name, individually, and leave when he complies, but
stay around nearby.  When he thinks he is finished with the last
one of you, everybody hurry back onto his lawn and point out to him
that you weren't selling him anything!  Add salt and pepper to your
preference... ;-)

It's a private property issue, not a free speech issue.

Maybe we should consider the purpose of this working group and
decide whether to formalize a lobbying strategy, rather than just
vent random ideas and opinions with no schedule in sight?

Anders Andersson, Dept. of Computer Systems, Uppsala University
Paper Mail: Box 325, S-751 05 UPPSALA, Sweden
Phone: +46 18 4713170   EMail: andersa@localhost

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