Now comes the C&S crunch... let's see if they're predictable...

23 views
Skip to first unread message

Anonymous

unread,
Jun 12, 1994, 9:52:12 AM6/12/94
to

From: mhu...@pms144.pms.ford.com (Mark Hughes)
Newsgroups: news.admin.misc,news.admin.policy,alt.current-events.net-abuse
Subject: Re: Spambot II has arrived!
Date: 12 Jun 1994 18:51:36 GMT

My compliments to the cancel-bots. I looked in all the newsgroups
mentioned and only found 1 copy of the new spam.

Mark

I take it there has been a spam and the cancel-bots were
invoked and worked? Good work! Unfortuunately, my suspicion
is that this is *exactly* what C&S were hoping for. I confidently
predict that C&S will now sue the people who cancelled the articles,
or the system owners of the sites that the cancels were posted from,
or the network providers of these sites. basically it will be
open season.

Can we all spell "Barratry", folks?

Brian Gordon

unread,
Jun 12, 1994, 8:50:54 PM6/12/94
to
In article <1994061223...@chaos.bsu.edu> remaile...@chaos.bsu.edu (Anonymous) writes:
> [...]

>I take it there has been a spam and the cancel-bots were
>invoked and worked? Good work! Unfortuunately, my suspicion
>is that this is *exactly* what C&S were hoping for. I confidently
>predict that C&S will now sue the people who cancelled the articles,
>or the system owners of the sites that the cancels were posted from,
>or the network providers of these sites. basically it will be
>open season.
>
>Can we all spell "Barratry", folks?
>

Can we all say "Good luck filing your suit in Norway, where the cancels
originated"? I _knew_ you could :-)

--
=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
+ Brian G. Gordon bri...@netcom.COM bgg on DELPHI +
= 70243,3012 on Compu$erve BGordon on GENie BGordon2 on AOL =
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

Arnt Gulbrandsen

unread,
Jun 12, 1994, 9:42:38 PM6/12/94
to
In article <1994061223...@chaos.bsu.edu>,

>I take it there has been a spam and the cancel-bots were
>invoked and worked? Good work!

Sort of -- didn't quite work, but it was written in about a minute
today... I fixed it afterwards.

> Unfortuunately, my suspicion
>is that this is *exactly* what C&S were hoping for.

Not quite; I suspect that they wanted people they could sue, or
threaten to sue, to cancel the spam. I'm neither.

Further, I suspect that they used a manual DOS-based system to spam
this time, unlike the shell script they used last time.

--Arnt

Larry Dresser

unread,
Jun 12, 1994, 9:36:23 PM6/12/94
to
: Can we all say "Good luck filing your suit in Norway, where the cancels

: originated"? I _knew_ you could :-)

Unfortunately, they probably have enough evidence to call it a
_conspiracy_ and file against the US deep pockets whose representatives
publicly participated. Hey, I've been lurking for quite awhile and who
knows who else has might have been watching... I'm not saying that a
conspiracy charge would stick but who wants to pay legal fees?

There has to be a better way than this to accomplish the same means.
Lawyers can eat vigilantes alive in the court system and sooner or later
someone is going to sue, if this method of combatting spamming continues.

Granted that the Usenet is a sort of cooperative anarchy, that doesn't
mean that if the Usenet leaders took charge and wrote some real rules
that these rules wouldn't form the basis of a common law defense against
attacks of this kind. Perhaps a type of democracy could be formed to
help give these rules a stronger legal basis. We see what is going to
happen if someone goes into court with "Usenet is an anarchy" as a
defense. I'm not a lawyer but I think some of you who represent large
companies should consult your company lawyers real soon now.

Larry Dresser
--
----------------------------------------------------------
| Larry Dresser (ldre...@netcom.com) |
----------------------------------------------------------

Sridhar Venkataraman

unread,
Jun 12, 1994, 9:28:09 PM6/12/94
to
remaile...@chaos.bsu.edu (Anonymous) writes:

| I take it there has been a spam and the cancel-bots were
| invoked and worked? Good work! Unfortuunately, my suspicion
| is that this is *exactly* what C&S were hoping for. I confidently
| predict that C&S will now sue the people who cancelled the articles,
| or the system owners of the sites that the cancels were posted from,
| or the network providers of these sites. basically it will be
| open season.

Suing the Norway person is open acknowledgement that they advertised
not just in Arizona where they are free to, not just in the whole of
the USA where they are not supposed to but all over the world which is
plainly illegal, isn't it?

Sridhar.
--
Sridhar Venkataraman ASU, Tempe, Arizona USA sri...@asuvax.eas.asu.edu
<A HREF="http://enuxsa.eas.asu.edu:8080/~sridhar/">Home page</A>

Ed Ellers

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 12:50:59 AM6/13/94
to
Sridhar Venkataraman <sri...@asuvax.eas.asu.edu> writes:

>Suing the Norway person is open acknowledgement that they advertised
>not just in Arizona where they are free to, not just in the whole of
>the USA where they are not supposed to but all over the world which is
>plainly illegal, isn't it?

Illegal under whose laws? I can't see the U.S. extraditing its own citizens to
other countries for trial when the alleged offense occurred while the accused
was on U.S. territory.

Arnt Gulbrandsen

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 1:17:53 AM6/13/94
to
In article <5m3vXRb....@delphi.com>,

Ed Ellers <edel...@delphi.com> wrote:
> Illegal under whose laws? I can't see the U.S. extraditing its own
> citizens to other countries for trial when the alleged offense
> occurred while the accused was on U.S. territory.

If they were to sue me, they'd have to come here here -- extradition
wouldn't be necessary. Or they could sue me in the US, and ask
Norway to extradite me (fat chance).

I don't know whether lawyers are allowed to advertise in Norway, but
I've certainly never seen an ad (well, one actually, but that was
from the bar, not any lawyer).

Why don't you forget all this? It's not going to happen. C&S
wanted to see whether they could sneak in some postings early-early
Sunday morning, we showed them no, and that's all.

--Arnt

Scott Hagie

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 3:28:10 AM6/13/94
to
: I take it there has been a spam and the cancel-bots were

: invoked and worked? Good work! Unfortuunately, my suspicion
: is that this is *exactly* what C&S were hoping for. I confidently
: predict that C&S will now sue the people who cancelled the articles,
: or the system owners of the sites that the cancels were posted from,
: or the network providers of these sites. basically it will be
: open season.

For what? There is no law saying you can't cancel a post. In Norway OR the
U.S.

Good job BTW, I never even saw one, I wouldn't have even known it had
happened if I didn't read this group. Anyone feel like sending me a copy,
I'd like to see if I can harass them a bit.

Scott

Casper H.S. Dik

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 5:03:11 AM6/13/94
to
ldre...@netcom.com (Larry Dresser) writes:

>: Can we all say "Good luck filing your suit in Norway, where the cancels
>: originated"? I _knew_ you could :-)

> Unfortunately, they probably have enough evidence to call it a
>_conspiracy_ and file against the US deep pockets whose representatives
>publicly participated. Hey, I've been lurking for quite awhile and who
>knows who else has might have been watching... I'm not saying that a
>conspiracy charge would stick but who wants to pay legal fees?

Well, the machines that store and forward C&S posts are not
owned by C&S. If enough of us testify that we approve of the
removal of C&S posts by anyone through the means of cancel messages,
how can they maintain that what the auto-canceller did is illegal
or harmful to them? We own the disks, we decide what we want to keep
on them.

Casper

Thomas Koenig

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 6:59:08 AM6/13/94
to
Ed Ellers (edel...@delphi.com) wrote in article <5m3vXRb....@delphi.com>:

>Illegal under whose laws? I can't see the U.S. extraditing its own citizens to
>other countries for trial when the alleged offense occurred while the accused
>was on U.S. territory.

Interesting question... would the U.S. extradite one of their citizens
who fired a bullet, while being in the U.S., across a border and killed
somebody on the other side?
--
Thomas Koenig, ig...@rz.uni-karlsruhe.de, ig...@dkauni2.bitnet,
The joy of engineering is to find a straight line on a double
logarithmic diagram.

Tim Irvin

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 10:20:44 AM6/13/94
to
In article <1994061223...@chaos.bsu.edu>
remaile...@chaos.bsu.edu (Anonymous) writes:

>
>
Probably the providers. Deep pockets, y'know...

If it's the people doing the cancelling, then maybe we need a legal defense
fund for anti-spam heroes...

Anyway, I've heard that our hero is Norwegian in this case. How does an
American sue a Norwegian over something like this?


Tim Irvin, Programmer/Analyst/Woolly Mammoth Jockey
Lockheed Missiles and Space Co., Inc., Sunnyvale, California
Proud Warrior of the GenX Army--13th Brigade, Division #100865
***** all standard disclaimers apply *****
SOFTBALL '94--Games: 5 Team Record: 2-3 Tim's Batting Avg: .692, 1 HR

David DeLaney

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 12:58:15 PM6/13/94
to
In article <hagieCr...@netcom.com> ha...@netcom.com (Scott Hagie) writes:
>Good job BTW, I never even saw one, I wouldn't have even known it had
>happened if I didn't read this group. Anyone feel like sending me a copy,
>I'd like to see if I can harass them a bit.

There's one still left in one of alt.comp.acad-freedom.{talk,news}; I guess
either the canceller lissed it or figured it was actually on-meta-topic
there...

Dave
--
\/David DeLaney: d...@utkux.utcc.utk.edu; "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. Disclaimer: IMHO; VRbeableFUTPLEX
http://enigma.phys.utk.edu/~dbd/ for net.legends FAQ+miniFAQs; ftp: cathouse.org

Tim Pierce

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 1:10:55 PM6/13/94
to
In article <hagieCr...@netcom.com>, Scott Hagie <ha...@netcom.com> wrote:

>For what? There is no law saying you can't cancel a post. In Norway OR the
>U.S.

If you really think so, then ask yourself whether it would
be legal for me to walk into your unlocked office and delete
a few files from your PC. Then ask yourself what the
difference is.

--
____ Tim Pierce /
\ / twpi...@unix.amherst.edu / No relation to Mary.
\/ (BITnet: TWPIERCE@AMHERST) /

Jim Gillogly

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 2:36:33 PM6/13/94
to
In article <2ti3uv$o...@amhux3.amherst.edu>,

Tim Pierce <twpi...@unix.amherst.edu> wrote:
>In article <hagieCr...@netcom.com>, Scott Hagie <ha...@netcom.com> wrote:
>
>>For what? There is no law saying you can't cancel a post. In Norway OR the
>>U.S.
>
>If you really think so, then ask yourself whether it would
>be legal for me to walk into your unlocked office and delete
>a few files from your PC. Then ask yourself what the
>difference is.

A law that would make this illegal would also make it illegal for you to
walk into my unlocked office and add a few files to my PC. Looks like a
flawed analogy to me.

Canter & Siegel assert that since there is no anti-spamming law, they are
Allowed. If we believe their position in this regard (and they <are>,
after all, lawyers -- depending on whether TN has acted yet), then the
absence of anti-cancelling laws would make <that> Allowed also. A
small-minded person might craft smug metaphors about sauce, geese,
ganders, hoisting and petards...

Welcome to HappyNet... it's <all> Allowed. Maybe we need Detweiler's
MUSENET instead.
--
Jim Gillogly
Mersday, 23 Forelithe S.R. 1994, 18:36

Dale Shuttleworth

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 2:17:08 PM6/13/94
to
Hi,

Larry Dresser (ldre...@netcom.com) wrote:
: : Can we all say "Good luck filing your suit in Norway, where the cancels


: : originated"? I _knew_ you could :-)

: Unfortunately, they probably have enough evidence to call it a
: _conspiracy_ and file against the US deep pockets whose representatives
: publicly participated. Hey, I've been lurking for quite awhile and who
: knows who else has might have been watching... I'm not saying that a
: conspiracy charge would stick but who wants to pay legal fees?

In order to be successfully prosecuted for consipracy, there are two
conditions that need to be satisfied. Firstly, it is necessary to
prove that people conspired (eg communicated with each other to a
common end). I have no idea if this can be proven - probably not,
unless you have samples of email between the two parties, or perhaps
a news thread where both parties took part. Secondly, the act that
these people are conspiring to commit has to be illegal. It is quite
legal to consipre to go and play baseball, and people do it all the
time. I think that it would be as difficult to prove that cancelling
posts is not as legal as making them in the first place. Or to put
it another way, winning the case would make the victor liable to
prosecution themselves. I don't think I would want to clarify the
situation in law if I was in a similar situation to C&S, I might
find that I end up shooting myself in the foot.

: There has to be a better way than this to accomplish the same means.

: Lawyers can eat vigilantes alive in the court system and sooner or later
: someone is going to sue, if this method of combatting spamming continues.

Sue for what? No-one has a right to post news (except on their own
machine any machines whose owners they have agreements with). By
accepting usenet, you are also authorising people to delete news
articles on your machine (ie cancels) just as you are authorising
people to post articles on your machine (ie C&S).

: Granted that the Usenet is a sort of cooperative anarchy, that doesn't

: mean that if the Usenet leaders took charge and wrote some real rules
: that these rules wouldn't form the basis of a common law defense against
: attacks of this kind. Perhaps a type of democracy could be formed to
: help give these rules a stronger legal basis. We see what is going to
: happen if someone goes into court with "Usenet is an anarchy" as a
: defense. I'm not a lawyer but I think some of you who represent large
: companies should consult your company lawyers real soon now.

There are no Usenet leaders. If you don't like the term anarchy, try
decentralised democracy :-) Besides, there are probably some company
lawers who are just dying to get their teeth into a baratry case :-)

It is impossible for anyone to force something onto Usenet which the
majority do not want, and that includes mass cancels. If they become
a problem (I don't see anybody complaining about the current ones
though) then a way will be found round it.

Dale.
--
******************************************************************************
* Dale Shuttleworth *
* Dept of Elec Eng, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK *
* ee9...@brunel.ac.uk *
******************************************************************************

Tim Pierce

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 2:51:18 PM6/13/94
to
In article <2ti8vh$a...@rand.org>, Jim Gillogly <j...@acm.org> wrote:

>In article <2ti3uv$o...@amhux3.amherst.edu>,
>Tim Pierce <twpi...@unix.amherst.edu> wrote:
>
>>If you really think so, then ask yourself whether it would
>>be legal for me to walk into your unlocked office and delete
>>a few files from your PC. Then ask yourself what the
>>difference is.
>
>A law that would make this illegal would also make it illegal for you to
>walk into my unlocked office and add a few files to my PC. Looks like a
>flawed analogy to me.

You mean the law can't distinguish between the destruction
and the creation of information?? Wow! Where do I sign up
for a job with these people?

Anyway, both would almost certainly fall under the
unauthorized use and tampering of your equipment. Are you
saying that it would or should not be illegal to walk into
your office and copy a few files to your computer? What if
one were a virus?

Noel Hunter

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 2:44:06 PM6/13/94
to
Tim Pierce (twpi...@unix.amherst.edu) wrote:
: If you really think so, then ask yourself whether it would

: be legal for me to walk into your unlocked office and delete
: a few files from your PC. Then ask yourself what the
: difference is.

This analogy doesn't quite work. Your PC is most likely a private machine.
If you allowed anyone to enter your office and use your PC to read or
write information onto your hard disk, then the analogy would work.

That's essentially what news is-- an open service where articles are
accepted. Mechanisms are there to control what comes in. If someone
submits a cancel control message to your server, and clearly indicates in
the body of the message that the cancel is for someone else's article,
then it's hard for me to see how that would be illegal. On the other
hand, if they deliberately made the message appear to come from someone
else, and provided no information otherwise, then I can see your point.

Imagine that someone uses this hypothetical PC in your office to post
advertisements for their business. In addition, they post so many copies
of it that it fills up the hard disk so that no one else can use it. How
would you feel about it if someone else came in and said "Hi, I am now
deleting the advertisements. My name is so and so, and I deleted these
files because they were interfering with the operation of your PC. If you
do not want me to delete things in the future, feel free to stop allowing
me to use your computer (by rejecting my input)."

Just my opinion. I am not issuing cancels, but I appreciate those who
did, because they kept C&S from crashing our server. That's the long and
short of it. If no one cancels these spams, the increase on traffic
shuts us down. And even when we are back up, the sites that feed us stay
down.

--
* Noel Hunter, Academic Systems Administrator, Wake Forest University *
* email: no...@wfu.edu http://www.wfu.edu/~noel *

Peter J. Scott

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 3:21:56 PM6/13/94
to
In article <2tgq61$a...@tigern.nvg.unit.no>, agu...@nvg.unit.no (Arnt Gulbrandsen) writes:
> If they were to sue me, they'd have to come here here -- extradition
> wouldn't be necessary. Or they could sue me in the US, and ask
> Norway to extradite me (fat chance).

Thank you for the cancels. I am truly sorry that the legal
situation in this country runs so contrary to common sense that
we needed someone outside the U.S. to save the rest of the world
from the destructive behavior of one of the worst representatives
of that legal profession. I only wish I had the authority to
apologize in some meaningful form for the embarrassment this
has caused.

--
This is news. This is your | Peter Scott, NASA/JPL/Caltech
brain on news. Any questions? | (p...@euclid.jpl.nasa.gov)

to...@netcom.com

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 3:40:20 PM6/13/94
to
In article <2ti3uv$o...@amhux3.amherst.edu>,
Tim Pierce <twpi...@unix.amherst.edu> wrote:
>In article <hagieCr...@netcom.com>, Scott Hagie <ha...@netcom.com> wrote:
>
>>For what? There is no law saying you can't cancel a post. In Norway OR the
>>U.S.
>
>If you really think so, then ask yourself whether it would
>be legal for me to walk into your unlocked office and delete
>a few files from your PC. Then ask yourself what the
>difference is.

Isn't a cancel more like a message to the computer asking it to delete the
file? If you choose to go along with that message, or for that matter
set up your computer to automaticaly honor such requests, that's hardly
the same thing as deleting the file without permission.

--
--

On the whole, I'd rather be reading Proust.

to...@netcom.com

Lee Rudolph

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 3:51:10 PM6/13/94
to
d...@martha.utcc.utk.edu (David DeLaney) writes:

>In article <hagieCr...@netcom.com> ha...@netcom.com (Scott Hagie) writes:
>>Good job BTW, I never even saw one, I wouldn't have even known it had
>>happened if I didn't read this group. Anyone feel like sending me a copy,
>>I'd like to see if I can harass them a bit.

>There's one still left in one of alt.comp.acad-freedom.{talk,news}; I guess
>either the canceller lissed it or figured it was actually on-meta-topic
>there...

The odd thing is that the example posted there (one of about 28, each
with four or so cross-posts, that made it here before Norway took over)
features among its headers

Sender: dae...@eff.org
Approved: use...@eff.org

though as far as I can tell, the group (a.c.a-f.talk) isn't moderated
anyway.

Lee Rudolph

Alex Morando

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 3:57:07 PM6/13/94
to
In article <2ti3uv$o...@amhux3.amherst.edu>,
Tim Pierce <twpi...@unix.amherst.edu> wrote:
>In article <hagieCr...@netcom.com>, Scott Hagie <ha...@netcom.com> wrote:
>
>>For what? There is no law saying you can't cancel a post. In Norway OR the
>>U.S.
>
>If you really think so, then ask yourself whether it would
>be legal for me to walk into your unlocked office and delete
>a few files from your PC. Then ask yourself what the
>difference is.
>
I think you damn well know what the difference is. The files/spam
is on my news server and I can delete them if I want. I didn't have
to thanks to the cancel messages.


The spam is still at C&S, so nothing of C&S was deleted on their
personal machines.


>--
>____ Tim Pierce /
>\ / twpi...@unix.amherst.edu / No relation to Mary.
> \/ (BITnet: TWPIERCE@AMHERST) /


--
! Alex Morando, Engineer-at-large and an all-around good guy
! Internet: a...@netcom.com, amo...@aol.com
! No way on God's green Earth does this post reflect my employer's views.

Don Hurter

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 4:20:30 PM6/13/94
to
In article <hagieCr...@netcom.com>, ha...@netcom.com (Scott Hagie)
wrote:


> Good job BTW, I never even saw one, I wouldn't have even known it had
> happened if I didn't read this group. Anyone feel like sending me a copy,
> I'd like to see if I can harass them a bit.


I never saw one either. Now I'm worried that I'll miss the big ad for
superoxygenated water when it hits the wires, and I'll miss my chance to
snap up a case or two :*(


Here's an idea for a service:

We'll uncancel advertising for a small monthly fee to ensure that you
recieve the ads you've come to expect!


Would this be called a 'live' file? Quite frankly, I'd be grateful to the
cancel squad if advertising is off by default on my server. Thanks to all
who have effectively pre-sorted my junk mail.

The Little Mermaid

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 5:13:15 PM6/13/94
to
remaile...@chaos.bsu.edu (Anonymous) writes:
>
>I take it there has been a spam and the cancel-bots were
>invoked and worked? Good work! Unfortuunately, my suspicion
>is that this is *exactly* what C&S were hoping for. I confidently
>predict that C&S will now sue the people who cancelled the articles,
>or the system owners of the sites that the cancels were posted from,
>or the network providers of these sites. basically it will be
>open season.

I don't think they're gonna sue, I think they're gonna go to the media
and start bashing newsadmins... They're going to try to look as if they (C&S)
are the victims...


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
To find out more about the anon service, send mail to he...@anon.penet.fi.
Due to the double-blind, any mail replies to this message will be anonymized,
and an anonymous id will be allocated automatically. You have been warned.
Please report any problems, inappropriate use etc. to ad...@anon.penet.fi.

Tim Pierce

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 5:18:48 PM6/13/94
to
In article <armCrC...@netcom.com>, Alex Morando <a...@netcom.com> wrote:

>In article <2ti3uv$o...@amhux3.amherst.edu>,
>Tim Pierce <twpi...@unix.amherst.edu> wrote:
>
>>If you really think so, then ask yourself whether it would
>>be legal for me to walk into your unlocked office and delete
>>a few files from your PC. Then ask yourself what the
>>difference is.

I'll phrase that another way. If I leave my briefcase on
the bus and someone walks off with it, is it not theft? It
was unquestionably stupid of me to have done that, but does
it mitigate the crime that was committed?

>I think you damn well know what the difference is. The files/spam
>is on my news server and I can delete them if I want. I didn't have
>to thanks to the cancel messages.
>
>The spam is still at C&S, so nothing of C&S was deleted on their
>personal machines.

Disingenuousness will get you nowhere. I think *you* damn
well know that there is a difference between "rm" and
"cancel."

Jim Gillogly

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 6:13:48 PM6/13/94
to
In article <2ti9r6$1...@amhux3.amherst.edu>,
Tim Pierce <twpi...@unix.amherst.edu> wrote:
>Anyway, both [adding and deleting files on somebody else's computer]

> would almost certainly fall under the
>unauthorized use and tampering of your equipment. Are you
>saying that it would or should not be illegal to walk into
>your office and copy a few files to your computer? What if
>one were a virus?

Agreed. That's why your analogy is faulty: sending articles and cancels
to a computer via Usenet is not illegal, unlike trespassing and tampering
directly with the the disks. Let's go back to talking about Usenet
instead of flawed analogies. C&S Law's point of view is that there are no
laws regulating Usenet, so spam is Allowed. If anything not prohibited is
Allowed, then cancels are Allowed and they have no grounds to complain.

If their green card info is allowed to survive in alt.visa.us, their
hyperoxygenated water ad is allowed to survive in misc.health.alternative
or somewhere, and their thigh cream ad is allowed to survive in
alt.support.obesity (for example), then nobody's free speech is violated...
if that's your complaint here. Also, nobody's rights are violated if those
messages are followed up with their Florida history.

I have no objection to advertizing in moderation: tasteful notes in
relevant newsgroups, blatant ads in biz.*, colorful brochures in WWW
pages, and so on. I also have no objection to encouraging cooperative
behavior on Usenet, and this particular mule needs a metaphorical 2x4
upside its figurative head to get its attention.
--
Jim Gillogly
Mersday, 23 Forelithe S.R. 1994, 22:13

Jason Steven O Rourke

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 9:20:50 PM6/13/94
to
Tim Pierce <twpi...@unix.amherst.edu> wrote:
>I'll phrase that another way. If I leave my briefcase on
>the bus and someone walks off with it, is it not theft? It
>was unquestionably stupid of me to have done that, but does
>it mitigate the crime that was committed?

Let me phrase it one more way:

If someone walk his dog and it shits on your front yard, do you not
have the right to clean it up?

Is not littering a crime?

Does American free speech really extend to commerical speech (no, not
completely).

You may rightfully be concerned about where cancelling is taking us but I
see no reason why we must play by the rules with C&S ignores them.

Jason O'Rourke
IAS Computing Support
Berkeley

David J Walton

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 9:13:46 PM6/13/94
to
ig...@fg70.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de (Thomas Koenig) writes:

>Ed Ellers (edel...@delphi.com) wrote in article <5m3vXRb....@delphi.com>:
>>Illegal under whose laws? I can't see the U.S. extraditing its own citizens to
>>other countries for trial when the alleged offense occurred while the accused
>>was on U.S. territory.

>Interesting question... would the U.S. extradite one of their citizens
>who fired a bullet, while being in the U.S., across a border and killed
>somebody on the other side?

I think the distinction here is that murder is a criminal offense. To get
someone extradited from Norway, C&S would have to file criminal charges
against him, not just a lawsuit.

Dave


--
==========================================================================
David Walton wal...@cs.ucdavis.edu djwa...@engr.ucdavis.edu
==========================================================================

Tim Pierce

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 10:14:35 PM6/13/94
to
In article <2tilms$i...@rand.org>, Jim Gillogly <j...@acm.org> wrote:

>In article <2ti9r6$1...@amhux3.amherst.edu>,
>Tim Pierce <twpi...@unix.amherst.edu> wrote:
>
>>Anyway, both [adding and deleting files on somebody else's computer]
>> would almost certainly fall under the
>>unauthorized use and tampering of your equipment. Are you
>>saying that it would or should not be illegal to walk into
>>your office and copy a few files to your computer? What if
>>one were a virus?
>
>Agreed. That's why your analogy is faulty: sending articles and cancels
>to a computer via Usenet is not illegal, unlike trespassing and tampering
>directly with the the disks. Let's go back to talking about Usenet
>instead of flawed analogies. C&S Law's point of view is that there are no
>laws regulating Usenet, so spam is Allowed.

With every minute this whole debate becomes more absurd. I
am not arguing this from Canter and Siegel's point of view,
but from the point of view of reality. If Canter and Siegel
are really arguing that *no* laws in the U.S. affect Usenet
whatsoever -- for example, those concerning public threats
on the life of the President -- then they are even more out
of it than anyone might previously have suspected. I am
certain, and am sure that you know too, that they are not
arguing that the Usenet is not some rarefied Valhalla where
the laws of men may not touch, but that most laws which had
been invoked upon them could not be extended to cover their
activity. The destruction of others' data certainly would
fall under existing laws.

>If anything not prohibited is
>Allowed, then cancels are Allowed and they have no grounds to complain.

Rubbish.

Alex Morando

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 10:20:18 PM6/13/94
to
In article <2tiifo$a...@amhux3.amherst.edu>,

Tim Pierce <twpi...@unix.amherst.edu> wrote:
>In article <armCrC...@netcom.com>, Alex Morando <a...@netcom.com> wrote:
>
>>In article <2ti3uv$o...@amhux3.amherst.edu>,
>>Tim Pierce <twpi...@unix.amherst.edu> wrote:
>>
>>>If you really think so, then ask yourself whether it would
>>>be legal for me to walk into your unlocked office and delete
>>>a few files from your PC. Then ask yourself what the
>>>difference is.
>
>I'll phrase that another way. If I leave my briefcase on
>the bus and someone walks off with it, is it not theft? It
>was unquestionably stupid of me to have done that, but does
>it mitigate the crime that was committed?
>

Wrong, try again.

The problem here is that you only have one briefcase. In the
case of email, you can have thousands of copies. I have not stolen
anything, the same way it is perfectly legal for me to throw
away any junk mail or chain letters I may receive via USMail.
No crime was committed, certainly not one persecutable under
US law. I can allow the spam to get through as much as the cancels.

As for information being created/destroyed, see the above
analogy, which is a lot more appropriate than yours.

It's unquestionably stupid for you to even discuss it here.
This is a dicussion about proper use of Usenet, which will be
resolved RSN. And you siding with C&S puts you in a minority,
a minority that believes that their rights don't end where
others' begin.


>
>Disingenuousness will get you nowhere. I think *you* damn
>well know that there is a difference between "rm" and
>"cancel."
>

Right, I basically got the spam "cancelled". C&S are welcome
to recreate ther post, since it still exists in some shape or
form. I wish them luck.


>--
>____ Tim Pierce /

Twit.

Tim Pierce

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 11:07:30 PM6/13/94
to
In article <armCrD...@netcom.com>, Alex Morando <a...@netcom.com> wrote:

>The problem here is that you only have one briefcase. In the
>case of email, you can have thousands of copies. I have not stolen
>anything, the same way it is perfectly legal for me to throw
>away any junk mail or chain letters I may receive via USMail.

I care not what you do with your own machine, but if you
send cancels for other people's messages to other systems
with the intent of having the messages deleted, then you've
committed a crime.

>And you siding with C&S puts you in a minority,

The horror! The agony!

Believe me, there is no love lost between Canter and Siegel
and myself. Fallacious arguments drive me bugshit, however,
and "there's no *specific* law against cancelling someone
else's articles" holds about as much water as "there's no
*specific* law against my whanging Lawrence Canter over the
head with a sledgehammer."

>Twit.

AOL user.

--
____ Tim Pierce /

Trif

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 11:48:39 PM6/13/94
to

Heck, then I'm just asking your operating system to delete that file,
and hey if it decides to go along with it, that's your problem. You
could, after all, disable the operating system keywords so you're not
automatically honoring such requests.

Cancels were designed to be executed automatically, just like deleting
a file on your PC. Calling them "just a request" is about as bogus
as saying that "format c:" is "just a request" to reformat the disk.

Trif

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 11:50:11 PM6/13/94
to
In article <armCrC...@netcom.com>, Alex Morando <a...@netcom.com> wrote:
>In article <2ti3uv$o...@amhux3.amherst.edu>,
>Tim Pierce <twpi...@unix.amherst.edu> wrote:
>>In article <hagieCr...@netcom.com>, Scott Hagie <ha...@netcom.com> wrote:
>>
>>>For what? There is no law saying you can't cancel a post. In Norway OR the
>>>U.S.
>>
>>If you really think so, then ask yourself whether it would
>>be legal for me to walk into your unlocked office and delete
>>a few files from your PC. Then ask yourself what the
>>difference is.
>>
>I think you damn well know what the difference is. The files/spam
>is on my news server and I can delete them if I want. I didn't have
>to thanks to the cancel messages.

True, but what gives you the right to do it to everyone else's machines
too? Do what you will with your own news server, but leave everyone
else's alone.

Trif

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 11:54:04 PM6/13/94
to
In article <2tj0li$6...@agate.berkeley.edu>,

Jason Steven O Rourke <j...@uclink2.berkeley.edu> wrote:
>Tim Pierce <twpi...@unix.amherst.edu> wrote:
>>I'll phrase that another way. If I leave my briefcase on
>>the bus and someone walks off with it, is it not theft? It
>>was unquestionably stupid of me to have done that, but does
>>it mitigate the crime that was committed?
>
>Let me phrase it one more way:
>
>If someone walk his dog and it shits on your front yard, do you not
>have the right to clean it up?

Sure, no one is disputing your right to clean up spam from your own
server, and to even refuse it outright. What is being disputed is
whether you have the right to trespass onto other people's servers
to "clean them up". They may not appreciate your actions.

>Is not littering a crime?
>
>Does American free speech really extend to commerical speech (no, not
>completely).
>
>You may rightfully be concerned about where cancelling is taking us but I
>see no reason why we must play by the rules with C&S ignores them.

The problem is that it isn't "us" against C&S. When you use cancels,
it's you against C&S, *and* the owners of other systems. Just clean
up your own server, then you can rightfully cast it as the black hats
and the white hats.


Trif

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 11:57:18 PM6/13/94
to
In article <armCrD...@netcom.com>, Alex Morando <a...@netcom.com> wrote:
>In article <2tiifo$a...@amhux3.amherst.edu>,

>The problem here is that you only have one briefcase. In the
>case of email, you can have thousands of copies. I have not stolen
>anything, the same way it is perfectly legal for me to throw
>away any junk mail or chain letters I may receive via USMail.
>No crime was committed, certainly not one persecutable under
>US law. I can allow the spam to get through as much as the cancels.

It is perfectly legitimate for you to throw away anything arriving
on your system. It is not legitimate to use an automatic command
to force everyone else to also throw it away.

>As for information being created/destroyed, see the above
>analogy, which is a lot more appropriate than yours.
>
>It's unquestionably stupid for you to even discuss it here.
>This is a dicussion about proper use of Usenet, which will be
>resolved RSN. And you siding with C&S puts you in a minority,
>a minority that believes that their rights don't end where
>others' begin.

I highly doubt that Tim Pierce is siding with C&S. He is siding with
all the sysadmins who don't want every Tom, Dick, and Harry deciding
that they may use cancels for any reason whatsoever because they are
only "requests".

Wolfgang Schelongowski

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 4:42:16 AM6/13/94
to

>I take it there has been a spam and the cancel-bots were
>invoked and worked? Good work! Unfortuunately, my suspicion
>is that this is *exactly* what C&S were hoping for. I confidently
>predict that C&S will now sue the people who cancelled the articles,
>or the system owners of the sites that the cancels were posted from,
>or the network providers of these sites. basically it will be
>open season.

??? Cancels ? Which cancels ? I saw just one cancel here with a broken
header line, and I get several alt groups. Congratulations to the guys
who did that. There should be no discussion about _how_ they did it
because "loose mouths sink ships".

>Can we all spell "Barratry", folks?

Only if I get my dictionary. But seriously, the objective of C&S is
certainly different from what they publicly state. Maybe they were hired
to make UDP enforcable, and now (US) government may step in and say:
"We want no discussions about the following subjects: ..."
"We want no postings from the following sites: ..."

Any other ideas about the *real* motives of C&S ?
--
Wolfgang Schelongowski w...@xivic.bo.open.de

"If you don't look after knowledge, it goes away."
-- Terry Pratchett, The Carpet People

Roy M. Silvernail

unread,
Jun 13, 1994, 8:53:15 PM6/13/94
to
ee9...@brunel.ac.uk writes:

> No-one has a right to post news (except on their own
> machine any machines whose owners they have agreements with).

OK, but contrast this with your next sentence:

> By
> accepting usenet, you are also authorising people to delete news
> articles on your machine (ie cancels) just as you are authorising
> people to post articles on your machine (ie C&S).

"[A]uthorising" is the issue here. My acceptance of Usenet articles in
no way obligates me to accept or propogate any arbitrary traffic. I am
perfectly free to erect a barrier to any traffic I so choose to block.
In fact, since I do not take a full feed, accepting traffic is an
exception for this site, rather than a norm.

This also means that I need not authorize deletions (Cancel commands can
be disabled).

In the future, I'd like to be able to receive lists of spam Message-IDs
via a secured mailing list. Then I could add them to my history file,
and simply drop the offensive traffic on the floor. No muss, no fuss,
no spam stains.
--
Roy M. Silvernail -- r...@sendai.cybrspc.mn.org
"I'm a family man, model citizen."
-- Warren Zevon

Clayton Haapala

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 12:25:39 AM6/14/94
to
In article <ldresserC...@netcom.com>,

Larry Dresser <ldre...@netcom.com> wrote:
>defense. I'm not a lawyer but I think some of you who represent large
>companies should consult your company lawyers real soon now.

That may be a good idea, if for no other reason that a swift response
by net-aware counsel would serve to deter further legal action. They
are counting on company lawyers not having a clue.

My opinion on this is that a cancel control message is just as valid a
message as these damn ads articles on USENET, and because I run my own
site and control what it takes in and sends out, I can send out cancels
if it pleases me. Note, however, that unlike C&S and a few others, I
understand that my site's participation in USENET is a matter of privilege
and professional courtesy, not a right. This forms the basis of administration
ethics and netiquette, and the mutual cooperation that maintains USENET.

Therefore, I would encourage all of you out there who sell network services
to NOT bundle "USENET newsfeed" in with your services, or even have it
as a separate line item, because you then lose control of the feed to
your customers, and are forced to fall back to "common carrier" positions.
Your customers are buying connectivity -- they are free to find someone
out on the 'Net to send their news to, and the traffic will still flow over
the wire you sold 'em. That somebody may even be your own USENET site,
separated by a virtual wall from the network services. If they are such
a poor USENET citizen that nobody wants to exchange news with them, it
remains entirely their problem, and not yours.

I'll get off the soapbox now. Guess a month of Green Card postings has
been getting to me.

--
Clay Haapala "Well, there was the process of sitting around
cl...@haapi.mn.org and wishing I had more computer stuff."
-- Dilbert

mathew

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 5:35:48 AM6/14/94
to
In article <2tj9qu$g...@news.u.washington.edu>,

Trif <d...@hardy.u.washington.edu> wrote:
>In article <armCrD...@netcom.com>, Alex Morando <a...@netcom.com> wrote:
>>In article <2tiifo$a...@amhux3.amherst.edu>,
>>The problem here is that you only have one briefcase. In the
>>case of email, you can have thousands of copies. I have not stolen
>>anything, the same way it is perfectly legal for me to throw
>>away any junk mail or chain letters I may receive via USMail.
>>No crime was committed, certainly not one persecutable under
>>US law. I can allow the spam to get through as much as the cancels.
>
>It is perfectly legitimate for you to throw away anything arriving
>on your system. It is not legitimate to use an automatic command
>to force everyone else to also throw it away.

Nobody was forced. They were all quite free to ignore the cancel
messages, and anyone who'd been watching news.admin.* (as all good
news admins should) would have known how to set up his software to do
so.

Personally, I'd like to thank everyone who issued cancel messages for
the C&S spam. I felt that those cancels were a valuable service to
the net. I'd be quite happy to say so in court, too.


mathew
--
http://www.mantis.co.uk/~mathew/
Looking for: Bug-tracking systems for UNIX, DOS and Windows

mathew

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 5:46:24 AM6/14/94
to
In article <2tj6ti$3...@amhux3.amherst.edu>,

Tim Pierce <twpi...@unix.amherst.edu> wrote:
>In article <armCrD...@netcom.com>, Alex Morando <a...@netcom.com> wrote:
>
>>The problem here is that you only have one briefcase. In the
>>case of email, you can have thousands of copies. I have not stolen
>>anything, the same way it is perfectly legal for me to throw
>>away any junk mail or chain letters I may receive via USMail.
>
>I care not what you do with your own machine, but if you
>send cancels for other people's messages to other systems
>with the intent of having the messages deleted, then you've
>committed a crime.

Bull. INN has a specific file, control.ctl, which specifies which
control messages you want your news system to obey, and what you want
it to do with them.

The clear inference from this is that control messages are requests
which the news system processes according to the wishes of its
maintainer, *not* commands which it will obey. Furthermore, people
setting up news sites are implicitly agreeing to accept such requests
from absolutely anybody on the net.

That's why "cancel" isn't like "rm". There's no file of rules telling
rm what it will or won't do, and more importantly there's no prior
agreement (implicit or explicit) that everyone in the world be allowed
to issue rm commands for this machine.

In this case, there was also ample warning that people would be
cancelling the C&S postings, and enough information was posted that
you could have set up your news system to ignore the spam-cancels
and keep the C&S spam. You chose not to. That was *your* choice.
And in any event, no information was lost; the C&S ad was left in a
couple of *appropriate* newsgroups, so you could still read it.

If someone goes around mass-cancelling *all* copies of some information
*without warning*, then you have good grounds for complaint. In this
case, only unnecessary duplicates were removed, and you were warned,
so what's the problem?

Chris Owen

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 6:14:13 AM6/14/94
to
In article <2ti3uv$o...@amhux3.amherst.edu> twpi...@unix.amherst.edu (Tim Pierce) writes:
>In article <hagieCr...@netcom.com>, Scott Hagie <ha...@netcom.com> wrote:
>
>>For what? There is no law saying you can't cancel a post. In Norway OR the
>>U.S.
>
>If you really think so, then ask yourself whether it would
>be legal for me to walk into your unlocked office and delete
>a few files from your PC. Then ask yourself what the
>difference is.

Of course that wouldn't be legal - it'd be trespass, obviously. But if I
cancel an article that is held on your PC, there's nothing you can do about
it. I'm not *physically* present; you don't have to accept my cancel, but you
have chosen to do so; you have not issued any warnings saying that I can't
cancel articles on your PC; I'm not misusing your machine (a la hacking)
because you have deliberately chosen to give me full access to your news
spool for the purpose of adding or removing articles; there are no passwords
or other limitations that I have to get through.

There's no comparison.

--
| Chris "Chris" Owen, Trinity College, Oxford | tr9...@black.ox.ac.uk |
|----------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Canter and Siegel's criminal Armenian grandparents have committed |
| genocide on 2.5 million Green Cards in order to MAKE.MONEY.FAST... |

Dale Shuttleworth

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 5:57:41 AM6/14/94
to
Hi,

Tim Pierce (twpi...@unix.amherst.edu) wrote:

: Believe me, there is no love lost between Canter and Siegel


: and myself. Fallacious arguments drive me bugshit, however,
: and "there's no *specific* law against cancelling someone
: else's articles" holds about as much water as "there's no
: *specific* law against my whanging Lawrence Canter over the
: head with a sledgehammer."

OK. Which non-specific law says that I cannot cancel someone else's
article? I would have thought that by running a news system which
accepts cancels I am accepting the fact that anyone can cancel articles,
much as I am accepting the fact that anyone can post them. Whilst
posting an article and posting a cancel do two different things, it is
difficult to argue that one is more allowed than the other.

Dale.
--
******************************************************************************
* Dale Shuttleworth *
* Dept of Elec Eng, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK *
* ee9...@brunel.ac.uk *
******************************************************************************

Trif

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 8:16:57 AM6/14/94
to
In article <1994Jun14.1...@black.ox.ac.uk>,

Chris Owen <tr9...@black.ox.ac.uk> wrote:
> Of course that wouldn't be legal - it'd be trespass, obviously. But if I
>cancel an article that is held on your PC, there's nothing you can do about
>it. I'm not *physically* present; you don't have to accept my cancel, but you
>have chosen to do so; you have not issued any warnings saying that I can't
>cancel articles on your PC; I'm not misusing your machine (a la hacking)
>because you have deliberately chosen to give me full access to your news
>spool for the purpose of adding or removing articles; there are no passwords
>or other limitations that I have to get through.

Sorry, the fact that you aren't present and don't have to give passwords
has no bearing on whether something is unauthorized access. The only
thing that matters is whether you were authorized to do what you did.
In fact, since someone else's name has to be forged on the cancel, a
forge canceler *is* taking steps to sidestep the access precautions
that guard the use of cancels.

I'm tolerating the cancels being used against C&S right now simply because
the new software is not yet in place. But I don't pretend to come up with
some convoluted reasoning why using cancels is "perfectly okay". Once the
new software is in place, any argument for using third party cancels will
hold *no* water at all.

I note that the Spamhunters missed the "URGENT!" spam going around. Surely
this was as damaging to news spools as the C&S stuff that was recently
posted. I would hope that once the new software is in place, the spamhunters
will target this stuff too. Otherwise, sysadmins whose spools can't
tolerate spam won't be able to count on you.

Trif

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 8:26:51 AM6/14/94
to
In article <2tju9g$9...@sunforest.mantis.co.uk>,

mathew <mat...@mantis.co.uk> wrote:
>In article <2tj6ti$3...@amhux3.amherst.edu>,
>Tim Pierce <twpi...@unix.amherst.edu> wrote:
>>I care not what you do with your own machine, but if you
>>send cancels for other people's messages to other systems
>>with the intent of having the messages deleted, then you've
>>committed a crime.
>
>Bull. INN has a specific file, control.ctl, which specifies which
>control messages you want your news system to obey, and what you want
>it to do with them.
>
>The clear inference from this is that control messages are requests
>which the news system processes according to the wishes of its
>maintainer, *not* commands which it will obey. Furthermore, people
>setting up news sites are implicitly agreeing to accept such requests
>from absolutely anybody on the net.

No they are not. Why do you think people have to forge the from line
in order to get cancels to take? Because the software has a safeguard
that is intended to explicitly refuse any "request" from "absolutely
anybody". I think a court would view forging someone else's name in
order to get around those safeguards as unauthorized access.

rm checks permissions on files before it deletes them, so obviously it
doesn't fulfill all requests from anybody. Should I somehow manage to
appear to rm to be someone else, am I then justified in saying that
"hey, it was just a request".

>That's why "cancel" isn't like "rm". There's no file of rules telling
>rm what it will or won't do, and more importantly there's no prior
>agreement (implicit or explicit) that everyone in the world be allowed
>to issue rm commands for this machine.

rm has no rules for its use? Then why can't I delete a root file unless
I somehow get rm to think I am root. Obviously, rm *does* have rules
telling it what it will or won't do.


Snowhare

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 9:54:14 AM6/14/94
to
Sorry, couldn't resist given Tim's propensity for issuing rmgroups on altnet.

Tim Pierce wrote on 13 Jun 1994 23:07:30 -0400:
: Alex Morando <a...@netcom.com> wrote:

: >The problem here is that you only have one briefcase. In the
: >case of email, you can have thousands of copies. I have not stolen
: >anything, the same way it is perfectly legal for me to throw
: >away any junk mail or chain letters I may receive via USMail.

: I care not what you do with your own machine, but if you
: send cancels for other people's messages to other systems
: with the intent of having the messages deleted, then you've
: committed a crime.

Pot. Kettle. Black.

I assume this means you will quit issuing rmgroups. After all, if you
send cancels (rmgroups) of other people's messages (newgroups) to other
systems with the intent of having the messages (entire groups!) deleted,

then you've committed a crime.

--
Benjamin Franz
"Waiting with bated breath for Tim's justification of why his rmgroups
are acceptable while cancels are not."

Tim Pierce

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 10:05:04 AM6/14/94
to
In article <2tju9g$9...@sunforest.mantis.co.uk>,
mathew <mat...@mantis.co.uk> wrote:

>The clear inference from this is that control messages are requests
>which the news system processes according to the wishes of its
>maintainer, *not* commands which it will obey.

It's an interesting conclusion. I'd be thrilled if this one
actually held up, though I'm not sure if it would hold legal
water; doesn't RFC1036 specify that the cancel message
*will* delete an article? Hell, RFC1036 even treats rmgroup
as a destructive message.

Tim Pierce

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 10:10:14 AM6/14/94
to
In article <2tkcq6$3...@xmission.xmission.com>,
Snowhare <snow...@xmission.com> wrote:

>I assume this means you will quit issuing rmgroups. After all, if you
>send cancels (rmgroups) of other people's messages (newgroups) to other
>systems with the intent of having the messages (entire groups!) deleted,
>then you've committed a crime.

In this case I am not under even the vaguest impression that
any site will accept my rmgroups, since I am well aware that
it is a no-op message; I issue them for a variety of reasons
involving net.politics. So as far as intent goes, I am in
the clear -- good point, though!

>--
>Benjamin Franz
>"Waiting with bated breath for Tim's justification of why his rmgroups
>are acceptable while cancels are not."

From a legal standpoint, probably neither is acceptable. I
do not object to the morality of cancels being sent for
Canter-and-Siegel-age, but to the statement that there's no
law against it.

David DeLaney

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 12:02:47 PM6/14/94
to
twpi...@unix.amherst.edu (Tim Pierce) writes:
>Alex Morando <a...@netcom.com> wrote:
>
>>The problem here is that you only have one briefcase. In the
>>case of email, you can have thousands of copies. I have not stolen
>>anything, the same way it is perfectly legal for me to throw
>>away any junk mail or chain letters I may receive via USMail.
>
>I care not what you do with your own machine, but if you
>send cancels for other people's messages to other systems
>with the intent of having the messages deleted, then you've
>committed a crime.

Um, no. No laws on UseNet (your previous example of "I'm sure that the law
applies to destruction of data" begs the question of "where?" and also fails
to see that, for instance, you can get the data perfectly well from Dave Hayes'
machine, which has disabled cancels; if you don't want *anyone* cancelling
things on your machine, you may follow Dave Hayes' example). He's committed a
*sin* - but not a *crime*. He then gets to come over here to news.admin.*,
stand up, and say "I took it upon myself to cancel this stuff" and see what the
reaction is; depending on what the stuff was, he may end up a Dick Depew or a
hailed spam-canceller, or something in between, and may or may not be absolved
of this sin. The cancellations of the C&S stuff were done with the *intent*
that spam be halted and contained before (for instance) it damaged systems
worldwide and caused them to crash or go offline... [and for those who remember
me arguing at length against Dick, cancelling spam *because it's spam* is okay
with me. Cancelling based on content isn't.]

>>And you siding with C&S puts you in a minority,
>
>The horror! The agony!
>
>Believe me, there is no love lost between Canter and Siegel
>and myself. Fallacious arguments drive me bugshit, however,
>and "there's no *specific* law against cancelling someone
>else's articles" holds about as much water as "there's no
>*specific* law against my whanging Lawrence Canter over the
>head with a sledgehammer."

There's a *specific* law against whanging LC, regretfully: laws against
assault. *Unless* LC had set up a mechanism, or had decided to use a mechanism
someone else had developed, by which people could occasionally come by and
whang portions of the environment near or on him (Whack-A-Luser, anyone?). The
News systems we use are *set up* to allow cancels to be handled automatically
if the site-owner wishes, and you *cannot* complain [if you haven't set your
site up (as, for instance, ANU-NEWS is set up) to not accept cancels whose
senders don't match the authors of the article] if your site goes ahead and
cancels messages from people who weren't the poster.

Dave "Martyr to gruesomely-cancelled posts' agonies doesn't become you, Tim"
DeLaney
--
\/David DeLaney: d...@utkux.utcc.utk.edu; "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. Disclaimer: IMHO; VRbeableFUTPLEX
http://enigma.phys.utk.edu/~dbd/ for net.legends FAQ+miniFAQs; ftp: cathouse.org

David DeLaney

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 12:15:34 PM6/14/94
to
ee9...@brunel.ac.uk writes:
>Tim Pierce (twpi...@unix.amherst.edu) wrote:
>: Believe me, there is no love lost between Canter and Siegel
>: and myself. Fallacious arguments drive me bugshit, however,
>: and "there's no *specific* law against cancelling someone
>: else's articles" holds about as much water as "there's no
>: *specific* law against my whanging Lawrence Canter over the
>: head with a sledgehammer."
>
>OK. Which non-specific law says that I cannot cancel someone else's
>article? I would have thought that by running a news system which
>accepts cancels I am accepting the fact that anyone can cancel articles,
>much as I am accepting the fact that anyone can post them. Whilst
>posting an article and posting a cancel do two different things, it is
>difficult to argue that one is more allowed than the other.

The relevant RFC says something on the order of "Cancels shall only be issued
by the poster or the admin of the site the post came from". It doesn't even
allow for moderators' cancels or third party cancels in any way; moderators'
cancels (of forgeries) are *interpreted* to be allowed because the moderators
are the only ones allowed to post there, and anyone else that does is forging
to look like them; thus the "by poster" is interpreted to apply, as it is
when you cancel an article by someone else forging to look like you did it.
Thus, *every* time you cancel an article that's by someone else, you're
violating the RFC (unless you're an admin at the site the article came from),
and you have to stand up and take responsibility for violating it, and say why,
and hope your reasoning's accepted.

Dave

Steve Brinich

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 12:31:59 PM6/14/94
to
> >Suing the Norway person is open acknowledgement that they advertised
> >not just in Arizona where they are free to, not just in the whole of
> >the USA where they are not supposed to but all over the world which
> >is plainly illegal, isn't it?

> Illegal under whose laws? I can't see the U.S. extraditing its own
>citizens to other countries for trial when the alleged offense occurred
>while the accused was on U.S. territory.

I don't expect anything like extradition and prosecution (and a good thing
too -- that would set a precedent we don't want).
However, wilful posting of the ad in areas where it violates local laws
and regulations about legal-services advertising (especially posting to
local newsgroups which are _targeted_ to jurisdictions with such laws and
regulations) is something that probably won't amuse the Bar one bit.

--
Steve Brinich | If the government wants us to respect the law, |
<ste...@access.digex.net> | it should set a better example. |
PGPrint (finger for key) 89 B9 92 BB E6 7F 7B 2F 64 FD F2 EA 14 37 4C 65

Gregory G. Wolfe Woodbury

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 2:43:21 PM6/14/94
to
twpi...@unix.amherst.edu (Tim Pierce) wrote:

> I care not what you do with your own machine, but if you
> send cancels for other people's messages to other systems
> with the intent of having the messages deleted, then you've
> committed a crime.

That may be your opinion Tim. Please point out what class of tort
or criminal violation is being committed?

It may be somewhat unethical to remove a posted notice from a bulletin
board out in public -- however, very few folks are going to object to
someone removing the 40 *repetitions* of the posting that are plastered
all over the bulletin board (and covering up the other postings.)

> Believe me, there is no love lost between Canter and Siegel
> and myself. Fallacious arguments drive me bugshit, however,
> and "there's no *specific* law against cancelling someone
> else's articles" holds about as much water as "there's no
> *specific* law against my whanging Lawrence Canter over the
> head with a sledgehammer."

It is clear to see that banging LC with a sledgehammer is assault
and battery -- please explain what similar class of law is violated
by removing their messages from a series of private machines.

--
Gregory G. Woodbury @, but not speaking for Duke Univ.
System Admin Demographic Studies Box 90408 Durham NC 27708
g...@cds.duke.edu g...@acpub.duke.edu g...@wolves.durham.nc.us
Myth is metaphor,and ritual is the enactment of Myth-J.Campbell

Pete McKay

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 2:45:43 PM6/14/94
to
In article o...@amhux3.amherst.edu, twpi...@unix.amherst.edu (Tim Pierce) writes:

> >For what? There is no law saying you can't cancel a post. In Norway OR the
> >U.S.
>
> If you really think so, then ask yourself whether it would
> be legal for me to walk into your unlocked office and delete
> a few files from your PC. Then ask yourself what the
> difference is.

I think that there is a difference. If you walk into MY office and
delete MY files that I placed there, you are destroying MY work.

If someone places (or tries to place) something in my office that I
don't want, I have every right to remove/delete/destroy it.

------------------------------------------------------------------
| Pete McKay | Baker Hughes INTEQ | e-mail: pmc...@inteq.com |
| UNIX Sys. Admin. | 7000 Hollister St. | phone: (713)744-8050 |
| | Houston, TX 77040 | fax: (713) 744-3695 |
| | USA | |
------------------------------------------------------------------
| The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Baker |
| Hughes INTEQ, or any person either living or dead - including me.|
------------------------------------------------------------------


Trif

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 3:25:50 PM6/14/94
to
In article <1994Jun14.1...@exlog.com>,

Pete McKay <pmc...@inteq.com> wrote:
>In article o...@amhux3.amherst.edu, twpi...@unix.amherst.edu (Tim Pierce) writes:
>
>> >For what? There is no law saying you can't cancel a post. In Norway OR the
>> >U.S.
>>
>> If you really think so, then ask yourself whether it would
>> be legal for me to walk into your unlocked office and delete
>> a few files from your PC. Then ask yourself what the
>> difference is.
>
>I think that there is a difference. If you walk into MY office and
>delete MY files that I placed there, you are destroying MY work.
>
>If someone places (or tries to place) something in my office that I
>don't want, I have every right to remove/delete/destroy it.

Once again, no one is saying you don't have that right. What is being
disputed is your right to go into *my* office and do the same.

Alex Morando

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 1:18:45 PM6/14/94
to
In article <2tkcq6$3...@xmission.xmission.com>,
Snowhare <snow...@xmission.com> wrote:

Yes, I'd like to receive a copy of any of his attempted rmgroups. Since
I don't have any evidence. I'll refrain from calling him
a hypocrite for now.

Thanks, from one who has neither cancelled nor removed...

Noel Hunter

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 3:57:13 PM6/14/94
to
Tim Pierce (twpi...@unix.amherst.edu) wrote:
: It's an interesting conclusion. I'd be thrilled if this one

: actually held up, though I'm not sure if it would hold legal
: water; doesn't RFC1036 specify that the cancel message
: *will* delete an article? Hell, RFC1036 even treats rmgroup
: as a destructive message.

I wish you would just read the RFC, or re-read it if it's been a while. I
went to the trouble of posting some of it last week. Why not take the
time to read it thoroughly before commenting? The word *will* isn't
there.

Once again, I must point out that the RFC specifies a STANDARD, i.e. how
the software is supposed to work. If you read it thoroughly, you too
will probably realize that the RFC is NOT an attempt at creating news policy.

To refer to your flawed analogy-- suppose you put a sign on your computer
that says "to delete any file on this public computer, enter the author's
name and the title of the file. If the file is present and the proper
information is entered, the file is deleted." If you did that, you would
have essentially what news has with the RFC.

As long as people make it clear in cancels that they are NOT the original
poster, I cannot see how anyone could consider them illegal.

--
* Noel Hunter, Academic Systems Administrator, Wake Forest University *
* email: no...@wfu.edu http://www.wfu.edu/~noel *

Ralph Knapp

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 4:35:54 PM6/14/94
to
In article <ggw-1406...@suemac.cds.duke.edu>, g...@dukcds.cds.duke.edu

(Gregory G. "Wolfe" Woodbury) wrote:

> It may be somewhat unethical to remove a posted notice from a bulletin
> board out in public -- however, very few folks are going to object to
> someone removing the 40 *repetitions* of the posting that are plastered
> all over the bulletin board (and covering up the other postings.)

Why not simply respect the "owner" (sys admin) enough to establish
the rules and regulations regarding what can be posted on their bulletin
board? The key question is - who made you (or someone in Norway)
"guardian of bulletin boards."

Are you going to be as happy when some self-appointed guardian decides
to issue cancels to all of the articles in alt.binaries.* or alt.sex.*
(for instance)?

Trif

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 4:28:33 PM6/14/94
to
In article <2tl22p$3...@quad.wfunet.wfu.edu>,

Noel Hunter <no...@ac.wfu.edu> wrote:
>Tim Pierce (twpi...@unix.amherst.edu) wrote:
>: It's an interesting conclusion. I'd be thrilled if this one
>: actually held up, though I'm not sure if it would hold legal
>: water; doesn't RFC1036 specify that the cancel message
>: *will* delete an article? Hell, RFC1036 even treats rmgroup
>: as a destructive message.
>
>I wish you would just read the RFC, or re-read it if it's been a while. I
>went to the trouble of posting some of it last week. Why not take the
>time to read it thoroughly before commenting? The word *will* isn't
>there.

I have read the RFC, and while the word will isn't in there, there is
no way you can claim that the RFC makes provision for cancels to be
optional.

>Once again, I must point out that the RFC specifies a STANDARD, i.e. how
>the software is supposed to work. If you read it thoroughly, you too
>will probably realize that the RFC is NOT an attempt at creating news policy.
>
>To refer to your flawed analogy-- suppose you put a sign on your computer
>that says "to delete any file on this public computer, enter the author's
>name and the title of the file. If the file is present and the proper
>information is entered, the file is deleted." If you did that, you would
>have essentially what news has with the RFC.
>
>As long as people make it clear in cancels that they are NOT the original
>poster, I cannot see how anyone could consider them illegal.

No, it's more like "To delete a file of yours on this public computer,
enter your name and the title of the file." Leaving behind a comment
that you aren't actually the person implied in "your" is not going to
get you very far. I ran a PC LAN back in the very primitive days that
operated very much like this. You entered your class and your student
ID, none of which was secret information. We certainly would have taken
a very dim view of any student who logged in as someone else, deleted
files, and tried to justify it by leaving a note stating that they
weren't really the person they identified themselves as being.

Falsely presenting yourself as an authorized person in order to delete
files is not a trivial matter, and I doubt that you'd cut much slack
to a user who tried to justify a breakin by pointing out the he/she'd
typed in the line "I am not actually So-and-So, I'm just requesting
the operating system to delete their files."

Seth Breidbart

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 4:49:14 PM6/14/94
to
In article <2tkdo6$a...@amhux3.amherst.edu>,
Tim Pierce <twpi...@unix.amherst.edu> wrote:

> I
>do not object to the morality of cancels being sent for
>Canter-and-Siegel-age, but to the statement that there's no
>law against it.

Please tell me specifically which law prohibits me from sending a
cancel for a C&S article that will remove it from your machine, and
explain how that law does *not* prohibit me from sending a cancel for
an article I posted that will remove it from your machine.

(I'd doubtless not be the only person extremely surprised to find that
RFCs have the force of law.)

Seth

Russell Nelson

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 3:39:45 PM6/14/94
to
In article <2ti9r6$1...@amhux3.amherst.edu> twpi...@unix.amherst.edu (Tim Pierce) writes:

Anyway, both would almost certainly fall under the
unauthorized use and tampering of your equipment. Are you
saying that it would or should not be illegal to walk into
your office and copy a few files to your computer? What if
one were a virus?

Don't be silly. My news server approves all cancel messages. I
installed the software that way. "Inappropriate" cancels are as
legitimate as inappropriate posts.

--
-russ <nel...@crynwr.com> ftp.msen.com:pub/vendor/crynwr/crynwr.wav
Crynwr Software | Crynwr Software sells packet driver support | ask4 PGP key
11 Grant St. | +1 315 268 1925 (9201 FAX) | Quakers do it in the light
Potsdam, NY 13676 | LPF member - ask me about the harm software patents do.

Tim Pierce

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 5:08:55 PM6/14/94
to
In article <1994Jun14.1...@exlog.com>,
Pete McKay <pmc...@inteq.com> wrote:

>In article o...@amhux3.amherst.edu, twpi...@unix.amherst.edu (Tim Pierce) writes:
>

>> ... ask yourself whether it would


>> be legal for me to walk into your unlocked office and delete
>> a few files from your PC. Then ask yourself what the
>> difference is.
>
>I think that there is a difference. If you walk into MY office and
>delete MY files that I placed there, you are destroying MY work.

Right. And if I walk into your office and delete files
created by someone else, which you copied onto your machine,
I am still destroying your property. (Or theirs, depending,
but that gets us into a particular area of intellectual
property that I don't feel prepared to discuss.) Being
unauthorized to do so, I have committed a criminal act.

In this particular case, no one -- or at least almost no one
-- whose files were deleted from their machines cares. No,
I'll rephrase that: it seems that nearly everyone whose
files were deleted is happy that it happened. Great, but it
is no less a crime for that fact. You might call it a
trivial crime.

In this instance I side pretty firmly with Trif's statement
that we shouldn't fool ourselves about what's really
happening here. I have no problem looking the other way
in this particular case, but I think it does not serve us
well to persuade ourselves that someone will not eventually
be able to file tort against a mass canceller.

Seth Breidbart

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 5:04:22 PM6/14/94
to
In article <2tj9dj$g...@news.u.washington.edu>,
Trif <d...@hardy.u.washington.edu> wrote:

>True, but what gives you the right to do it to everyone else's machines
>too? Do what you will with your own news server, but leave everyone
>else's alone.

Then why are you posting other than with a Distribution: local?

Seth

Gregory G. Wolfe Woodbury

unread,
Jun 14, 1994, 5:59:55 PM6/14/94