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Re: Anonymous Remailers
On Mon, 5 Jan 1998, Robert Hettinga wrote:
> > I noticed on Apple's info about acceptable behavior on their lists, that
> I decided to stop accepting posts from anonymous remailers way back,
> when anon.penet.fi was still alive. Some of that is philosophy, some of
> that was problems.
> As far as problems, it's the normal stuff -- personal attacks,
> mailbombing through anonymous remailers, copyright/slander/libel
> issues, all the normal fun and games. Since you can't track users back,
> you have real problems policing them. And since anonymous remailers
> tend to allow multiple (heading towards infinite) remailing addresses,
> the practical issue of how to lock out an abusive user becomes severe.
Mailbombing could be a criminal offence.
But libel is a civil and not a criminaloffence.
Under The Communications Decency Act S.230(a) no service provider is
liable for content authored by others.
Even if someone use a remailer to slander and libel further action
requires private civil action.
There is absolute no reason for being concerned about defamation from the
operator point of view.
The Fourth Circuit Court upheld the service provider impunity defence in
a recent case
brought against American Online Inc. (Zeran v. American Online Inc.).
However,if a moderator vulunterable approves a libelous message the case
could be different.
BTW, am I correct that criminal libel in no longer considered constitutional?