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(Fwd) Re Anonymous posting

For those interested in the anonymity issue there is a lively 
debate on list Cyberia-L (a legal list) which was stimulated, 
in part, by Peter Lewis's articles on anonymity and the 
LaMacchia case dismissal.

For participation send message to:

     [email protected]

     subscribe cyberia-l Your name

Provocatively, I forward the following:

Forwarding mail by: [email protected] (Jared Silverman -- NJ 
Bureau of Sec. - Newark) on Mon, 2 Jan 11:58 AM

On January 1, 1995, Buford Terrell wrote:

>Anonymity is very much a core 1st Amendment value and at the
>center  of both political speech and the right to assemble.  
>Often times, the only way weak or unpopular minorites can 
>is anonymously.  There have been many times when to couple 
>name to one's writings would be to invite martyrdom.  I had
>rather  risk a few perverts than to stifle this most important
>channel for dissent.

It is one thing to claim First Amendment protection to shield  
political speech, IMHO it is another to shield fraud and 
criminal  behavior.

Besides the First Amendment runs against the government, not in 
 favor of individuals in actions brought by private parties.  
In  the sexism thread, would anyone claim that an individual 
has the  right to harass or stalk a person under the guise of 
the First  Amendment?  Would the First Amendment be a defense 
in a defamation  suit?  Of course not (Times v. Sullivan 
aside).  Doesn't an  individual have the right to know the 
identity of someone who is  trying to communicate with him/her 
on a private basis?  To a  certain extent, the question was 
crystallized in the caller ID  debate -- Who has the superior 
right, the calling party to anonymity or the called party to 
knowing who is calling?

One of the areas of my professional concern is the use of  
cyberspace for securities fraud and manipulation.  Cyberspace 
is  an ideal medium for these activities because of the 
availability  of anonymity and pseudonymity.  Even on 
commercial BBSs, where  "member lists" are available, posting 
to these lists is voluntary  and those who draw my attention 
are rarely on these lists.  Does  all of cyberspace become off 
limits to conventional private rights  and law enforcement 
under the rubric of "freedom of speech and  assembly?"

 |A. Jared Silverman, Chief-New Jersey Bureau of Securities     
|  |[email protected] | 201-504-3600 (phone) | 201-504-3601 
 |    My purpose holds to sail beyond the sunset - Tennyson     
 |The foregoing is the personal opinion of the sender and is 
not|  |the official position of either the Bureau of Securities 
or   |  |the New Jersey Attorney General and the Department of 
Law and |  |Public Safety.  Affiliation given for 
identification only.    |