From: IN%"stanr @
net" "Stan Ryckman" 10-SEP-1996 23:26:54.06
>Please read the First Amendment, and then tell me how it gives you
>the right to advertise to me in a manner that costs me money. Be
I'm not claiming that the First Amendment, or free speech/press
rights in general, means that you have to accept or read anything. (I
support AOL in its decision, for instance, so long as their contract with
the users allows such an action.) What I was saying is that it isn't your,
or the government's, or anyone else's business to insist on having (in
Vinge's phrase) the "True Name" of the commercial entity corresponding
with anyone. If you don't want to do business with anyone unless you
have full ID information, go right ahead. If you don't want yourself (or
a list you maintain) to receive anonymous email, any legitimate anonymous
remailer service will block you at your request.
>Then, just to make life interesting, please explain how you intend
>to apply First Amendment issues to non-US posters/receivers.
>A fair amount of the internet (and probably a fair amount of this
>list) is located outside the US.
First, the person proposing the law in question was proposing it in
analogy to US laws on telemarketing (which I'd also call unconstitutional).
This usage implied that the person wanted to see such a law in the US. (I
apologize if my memory is incorrect on this point, but my other two points
are still valid.)
Second, given the international nature of the net that you point out,
laws not including all countries with reasonable internet access will simply
lead to "regulatory arbitrage" and the movement of spammers who wish to be
anonymous to countries such as the US with free speech protection (unlike, say,
China, Singapore, Germany, and England).
Third, I do not regard "national sovereignty" as a good when it
conflicts with individual liberties. Societies such as the ones I mention above
have a problem - they are doing something that is wrongful when they restrict
free speech, including commercial speech. Therefore, I would support those
violating such limits, just as I did (and am doing) in the German censorship