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

  • From: Anders Andersson < >
  • Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 03:55:56 +0200 (MET DST)

"Paul" paul@localhost wrote:
>I often hear US based groups opposing only UCE because of worries about
>whether they can ban UBE under their constitution. Can I claim freedom of

I believe that is a mistake on their part, as it can be construed
as a recognition of an inherent conflict between free speech and
absolute control over your electronic mailbox, something that may
very well come back and haunt them in the future.  However, I'm
not going to claim authority on interpreting the US constitution
and provide them with legal advice.

   Consequently, the concern of the First Amendment is not rights, but
   powers. The First Amendment is concerned not with protection of
   minority rights, but rather with Federalism: who rules, Congress or 
   the States? Let's make this perfectly clear:  
    The issue under the First Amendment is not "can speech be abridged",
                       but "who can abridge speech?"

	/"Would the _Real_ First Amendment Please Stand Up" by
	 Barry Krusch, <URL:>

>No freedoms need to be limited to combat spam, it is simply a matter of
>existing laws and principles being properly applied by the courts. The main
>problem is, most of those who make or enforce the laws don't understand the
>issues involved, and there is no department or bureau to take action against

I don't know about other countries, but putting up a poster on
a billboard, wall, window, vehicle, or anything else capable of
keeping a piece of paper in public view requires the permission
of the owner of said billboard, wall, window or vehicle.  Not
that this rule is rigorously enforced; advertising is frequently
plastered on the property of others without permission.  I doubt
Loesje has obtained permission from the local city government to
paste their often witty sayings onto every power switchbox found
in the city.  There are public billboards for anybody to use, but
they are appearantly unsufficient to serve the existing need.

Sometimes the owners of said property find it necessary to put up
signs saying "no posters allowed", and I believe these signs are
generally obeyed.  However, such a sign isn't legally required to
keep your nicely painted, wooden fence free of ads for concerts
or political parties.  If you simply know who put up the ad, you
can report them to the police.  Now, a "no posters allowed" sign
happens to be a lot cheaper than the surveillance equipment needed
to actually catch one of the spammers on video, so you can guess
which method is chosen...  It's analogous to those "NO UCE" signs
added to SMTP server greetings; they are legally irrelevant but
may do the job under the right circumstances (but I doubt they will
ever be efficient, even though some spam software reportedly pays
attention to them and avoid such servers).

I don't know to what extent the beneficiary of an ad (such as an
artist or a political party) can be held responsible for the way
in which the ad is distributed.  Still, I find it hard to accept
that any significant amount of real-life advertising would take
place without at least the consent of the natural or legal person
meant to benefit from it.  Can you determine who to sue by simply
looking at the ad itself?

What doesn't work out in court may still work in real life, though.
Anybody buying an ad campaign should be wary about the methods used
for the advertising, as angry house owners make poor fans.  Follow
the money, on the Internet as well as in the shopping mall.

And, the next time your local pro-spam lobbyist argues for an
opt-out solution, go see if he has a "no posters allowed" sign on
his Jaguar.

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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