Monday, January 09, 2006

"With Intent to Annoy"

I just thought you should all know, just in case anyone here is a stoolie.

Perspective: Create an e-annoyance, go to jail

Apparently, it is now illegal to be irritating online without disclosing your real name:

"Whoever...utilizes any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet... without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person...who receives the communications...shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."

I checked out the relevant U.S. code, and while I'm sure that this is really not what they meant (the code above is takes a lot of sections and combines them), it's pretty much what they did.

So watch out, anonymous posters! ...Of course, they do have to find you, first.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the law but there is definitley a case for going after someone who sends anonymous unsolicited e-mails, annoying or not, directly to an e-mail address. On the blog side of the equation the blogmaster, etc. should be able to control the situation.

Hope I didn't annoy anyone

BDRubenstein888 said...

why not just end the ability to post anonymously? Someone with an opinion should have the balls to post their name and be upfront about their position on the topics of the day.

Anonymous said...

The blogmaster can end the ability to post anonymously at any time if he so choses. Then I'd post as daffyduck888 or kerryfan86. I read and comment on this blog, complying with the rules, for ideas. Who posts them is fully irrelevant to me as everybody gets equal weight and most of the tags are meaningless anyway.

signed:daffyduck888 and kerryfan86

Chris MC said...

1787-1788
[...] Using name "Publius," Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and Madison co-author The Federalist. These essays, published in newspapers and bound editions, argue for ratifying new Constitution.

What the f*ck?

Why not just create a Central Directorate of Opinion to regulate who gets to say what? We could have the NSA run it out of the West Wing.

Genghis Conn said...

To be slightly more fair than the people who wrote this ill-thought-out law deserve, I think the intent was to cut down on harassment over email, chat, etc. Unfortunately, they made the defintion of "telecommunications device" so wide that blogs, USENET, web forums and just about every other type of online communication falls into it.

I resolve to be as mild as milk from here on out.

Anonymous said...

OK, now we are down to something serious. The law Genghis posted goes to electronic harrassment and something did need to be done. Is it a good law? I don't know yet.

On the NSA eavesdropping side, it is troubling but we really do not know what is being done and how it is being done. It doesn't even appear thet George W. understands it from his comments. Sen. Spector plans to hold hearings with the Judiciary Committee and he's already even condemned what went on to some extent.

What amazes me is how quickly this riled people when we've been hearing the government has been picking up "chatter" for several years now every time they changed the national threat level. I never thought they were talking about what was going on down at the tap room at Foggy Bottom.

Anonymous said...

Now might be a good time to point out the "Who's On" feature of the site meter.

Some of you are not nearly as anonymous as you think. I stick out like a sore thumb, as I have my screen resolution set to 1200 x 1600.

FWIW

Chris MC said...

Nice that you can post such an annoying remark anonymously, isn't it?

;-)

Chris MC said...

That was interesting. Curiously, I can't see me there. But I bet the NSA knows exactly where to find me.

Chris MC said...

Hang on, I have to get the phone...

Chris MC said...

It's the IRS. Gotta go now.

Anonimity Breeds Contempt said...

If ive said it once, I've said it a thousand times -

"Anonimity Breeds Contempt"

"The Anonymous will inherit the earth."

Genghis Conn said...

That's it!

I'm calling the Feds. :)

Anonymous said...

ChrisMc: I hate to burst your bubble but even if the NSA is doing it without the proper Congressional and Judicial oversight, they don't care about you or me. But a couple of other less professional agencies do!

Chris MC said...

Anonymous 12:38 -

That is my point, and the point of the Bill of Rights.

How annoying of you to suggest I am taking myself too seriously.

There oughta be a law.

Anonymous said...

Your bank with few exceptions, super market (if you use one of those little swipe cards), internet provider and the credit agencies know more about you than you probably want them to know. They are more annoying than any NSA, which by the way is part of DOD, but we'll get to all that later.

Chris MC said...

Yep. The information on individuals that deep pocketed institutions with a desire to know can buy is amazing. Privacy ain't what it used to be.

That is an unfortunate consequence of modern life, and perhaps we should have greater recourse than we do in the event that such information is used in ways we'd prefer it weren't.

The Patriot Act, unfettered institutional access to private communications, the enormous knowledge gap between the average citizen and the federal government and large corporations, and the legal, financial and political cost/benefit analyses that drive policy making in large institutional environments, make this as meaningful an issue as it is a broad one.

Anonymous said...

Actually on the commercial side there are all kinds of things you can do to protect your privacy if you take the time and energy to do it.

The PATRIOT Act has some provisions that need to be cleaned up but even the ACLU goes along with most of it. And as humans ar the ones doing the work there will always be honest mistakes and abuses. We had a big abuse by the DOJ right here in CT.

But one reason to post here is that the pols from both parties, not to mention the press, monitor it and react in one way or another. Mayor Perez had a quick 60 seconds on WTNH that he wants to change the way the state deals with kids by focusing more on prevenrtion and less on rehabilitation. I expect it will be in the papers tomorrow. No doubt, the DCF, prosecutors and Troopers union employees won't like it because it will cut in to all the money they make from CT's steady habits. Sad but true, they won't want to cut their ranks to pay for the changes.

Chris MC said...

No real disagreement with you there, A1:33. Thinking less jocularly about it a bit, I guess I am saying that it takes quite a bit of effort and time to do something about it. And one might be perceived as a kook in attempting to. That's anecdotal, but I think it serves as a cultural indicator. For more concrete and recently accepted evidence, see identity theft

And I am pointing out the need for commensurate recourse, which we certainly do not have.

In plain english, it's easy to get screwed, pretty tough to do anything about it. (Remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry gets his stereo or something ripped off, and the cop says "We'll let you know if we find anything." Seinfeld "You ever find anything?" "Not really." ROTF funny, because it is so true and everyone gets it, just never really thinks about it. Just like fish in water).

There is a distinct drift (occasionally brought into relief when the government responds to a major event like 9/11 for example) that normal people are unaware of, even when a law is passed and someone writes about it in an electronic medium someplace.

I can't speak to the DCF, Troopers, and so on. But perhaps there is a role for those stakeholders in the new direction Mayor Perez is leading.

Anonymous said...

Concenred about privacy...go to Google and do a reverse lookup

Prett soon you'll know all your neighbors former hometowns, ages, and names of their relatives ( you can check by house number).

Considering any numbskull with a computer can do this, being worried about the NSA seems a bit misplaced.

Anonymous said...

So is Kevin O'Connor being positioned to run agaist Lieberman or the yuppie cable guy? He's on my ezzzzy listnin' station yesterday afternoon telling all of us that if a felon asks us to buy him some guns and ammmo "Don't do it" because it's a crime courtesy of the federal taxpayer's Project Safe Neighborhoods. Sounds lie the noraml Rowland use of the media to push his stock and name.

As for the state employees having a stake in anything it's about their leadership always working to make the union bigger.