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red2

@fastwebnet.it
reply to Anonymous1

Re: Is it legal to give fake information on the Internet?

said by Anonymous1 :

Sorry if I'm being an ass here, but please don't say something is legal or illegal when clearly the ACLU and the EFF have been campaigning about this very issue because it's not clear cut.

I understand your point and appreciate a good discussion.

Let me try this another way.

There is NO specific law that I know of in the US that states that using a fake name, birthday, etc. is illegal. Rather, there is a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act that COULD be INTERPRETED, if DESIRED, in such a way as to hold almost anyone who uses the internet to be in violation. I'll buy that.

So, there needs to be INTENT, someone needs to have been "harmed" and "damages" sustained.

The example of theft was just to say that circumstances can be INTERPRETED many ways. It depends on context, intent, the harm caused, etc. Let's go back to the filming of a police officer example. Is that illegal? Absolutely not. But if you record audio, he could contend this is wiretapping. If you get in his way, he could contend that you interfered with the performance of his official duties. So does that mean "Don't film police officers. Because it is Illegal." No, it simply means that, as with many things in life, you need to use discretion.

I'll continue to use the name "red2", and you can continue to be "anonymous1". We both won't lose any sleep over it, though we both don't appreciate that the wording of the CFAA could potentially create an issue. Then again, few things in life are certain, other than death and taxes.


Anonymous1

@verizon.net
said by red2 :

The example of theft was just to say that circumstances can be INTERPRETED many ways. It depends on context, intent, the harm caused, etc. Let's go back to the filming of a police officer example. Is that illegal? Absolutely not. But if you record audio, he could contend this is wiretapping. If you get in his way, he could contend that you interfered with the performance of his official duties. So does that mean "Don't film police officers. Because it is Illegal." No, it simply means that, as with many things in life, you need to use discretion.

Interpretation is what lawyering is all about. It's basically plumbing with words. Words have meaning, and all the arguing is simply what is the meaning of a certain word. If one is a textualist (strictly looking at a statute's text and nothing else), there's nothing denying the interpretation that a TOS breach is a violation of the CFAA. The thing is, many judges and lawyers are textualists. Hell, there's a few justices on the US Supreme Court who are pretty strict textualists. They simply believe it's not their duty to go beyond what the text says, because that would in essence be legislating from the bench (simply unconstitutional). Therefore it's important that laws are written clearly. It's also our duties as citizens to push for clearly written laws.

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Yes.. In majority of states where all parties must consent to an audio recording, there's usually an exception where if it's obvious a recording is taking place, and the recording is in public, there's simply no reasonable expectation of privacy. So we simply don't run into this problem. I believe Maryland is an example of this, although its officers seem to have bad training.

Unfortunately there are certain states that are a bit backwards when it comes to wiretapping/eavesdropping laws such as Illinois and lack such an exception. When that happens you get ridiculous cases e.g. the kid who was peddling $1 art on the streets, and was charged with a misdemeanor for not having a proper license. But because he decided record with audio he was charged with an illegal recording. The judge refused to drop the illegal recording charges. Simply ridiculous.

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Btw. I'm anonymous1, you're red isn't a violation of any of dslreports' TOS. However, it certainly is on e.g. Google.