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Re: Anonymous Remailers

On  8 Jan 98, Anonymous was found to have commented thusly:

> 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?
Depends on whose constitution you are reading.

In the country where I reside, the politicians use libel laws to 
avoid accountability to the voting public and to get at 
journalists with both civil and, I am pretty sure, criminal 
penalties.  Journalism is a job with rather unusual occupational 
hazards in this particular country, in fact, with the largest number 
of murders of journalists taking place here, often by the police or 
some 'civil authority', who are rather brazen about it and 
characterize any journalist not in the pocket as a sympathizer of a 
cause for which the public is willing to do a lynching.  (The 
military, which operates its own 'state security' court system here, 
just throws them in the lockup until they find a way to escape.)  Sam 
Donaldson would have been history long ago here.

Mitch Halloran
Research (Bio)chemist
Duzen Laboratories Group
Ankara   TURKEY
[email protected]

other job title:  Sequoia's (dob 12-20-95) daddy