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now, we can help a man who has worked hard caring for the departed

David Kramer wrote:

> You're getting into dangerous territory.  Monitor, yes, but on the
> receiving end, not on the government's end or the ISP's end.  Let the
> end user decide what is porn, what is spam, what is a scam, and what
> is desirable content. There are plenty of tools around to help.
...including content-free definitions of spam.
It's not even the user per se who has the right to make the choice on that
one, but the owner of the service.  When spam is received, and the user sees
it in their mailbox, the damage has already been done.  Even if they decide
that they don't want it.

As far as scams, there are laws on the books for those already.  Even if the
user thinks they want it, it doesn't make it legal.

> The last time we let the government decide what was spam (the
> telemarketer do-not-call list), they decided that calls from
> campaigning government officials and religous organizations were not
> spam.  Keep that in mind.
There is legal precedent for that.  It's not just religious organisations,
but non-profit ones.  Those, and political campaigns, seem to be covered
under first ammendment issues (not that I agree with that, but whatever).
Including those in any telemarketing bill dooms it to either failure or
overturning in the courts.

There's also a significant difference between email and phone spam.  The
telecommunications industry is licensed and regulated by the government.
The phone lines are "common carriers" and are subject to a number of laws
regarding what they must permit.  Email, and the internet, OTOH are NOT
common carriers.  As a collection of private property, the *owners* of the
networks get to make decisions about the traffic they will carry.  AOL, for
example, filters out somewhere over 2 billion messages a day.  These
messages never see the inside of their customers' mailboxes, nor does AOL
waste the bandwidth to transmit or store these messages.  Many others DO
make it through to the customers; AOL estimates that somewhere around 60% of
the email traffic is in fact spam.

THEY get to decide whether or not they will carry it, not the users.  It's
AOL that directly bears the cost, and then pass that along to the users.  If
the users don't like not getting spam, they can vote - with their feet.

> When you filter on the end-user side, the end user gets to make the
> choices.

When the end user owns the system, the end user can make the choices.
This is, by the way, the reason I manage my own mail server.  I want to be
able to make the choices.  By the logic in the statement above, by the way,
the do-not-call list shouldn't exist, because the user doesn't get to make
the choice on individual callers.


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