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[ NNSquad ] Re: Civil Rights Groups Wants P2P Throttling to Preserve Rights (or something like that)

At 10:19 AM 3/5/2008, Vint Cerf wrote:
>Are you saying that your service is private and therefore you can decide what I can and cannot send through it?

Yes. For example, I can tell you that you cannot spam.

--Brett Glass

  [ Spam, in most jurisdictions, is explicitly illegal.  By definition,
    generally, there is no such thing as "legal spam."  On the other
    hand, P2P is ... (drumroll ... cymbal!) LEGAL.  A big difference.

    Now, there is certainly content that flows through P2P mechanisms
    that may be illegal, but this doesn't make P2P illegal, any more
    than fraudulent physical mail makes all mail illicit.  Even if 99%
    of P2P was illegal content, P2P itself is a technology, not content,
    and would still rightly be legal.

    A key factor in these arguments relates to prior restraint.  My
    view is that if someone is spamming, they should be dealt with.
    If someone is openly using P2P -- or TELNET -- or FTP -- for
    illegal purposes, that can be prosecuted or otherwise dealt with

    But to subject subscribers to a priori restraints -- you can't
    run servers because you *might* use them for spam -- you can't
    run P2P without interference because you *might* use it for
    illicit purposes -- is in total disregard for fundamental values
    of U.S. society at least.

    Envelope vs. content matters too.  If someone sends out clearly
    illegal material in the U.S. mail openly, the USPS can get
    immediately involved.  But if such material is in sealed
    envelopes, the postal service has no general right to open the
    envelopes to check inside to see if they *might* contain
    something illicit.  The same rules should basically apply to
    Internet traffic.

       -- Lauren Weinstein
          NNSquad Moderator ]