James Leroy Wilson's blog

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

So, It's Not A Hoax?

I first heard of the ban on anonymous annoying e-mails from a yahoo discussion group. And then another. I didn't read the whole story, but it looked to me like dry satire. I assumed it was a hoax and felt a bit embarrassed for the senders. Then I saw comments on it on blogs. Come on, is this April 1? At this late stage, I'm still not totally convinced. I'm having a hard time accepting that such a law actually exists.

Apparently it's only supposed to extend current telephone harrassment laws to the Internet. But why is there a law against telephone harrassment? If things get unpleasant, hang up. Or in this case, hit delete. I can understand state laws against persistent harrassment of targeted individuals, because it's a form of stalking. I can even see e-mail messages used as evidence of stalking. But I see no reason, and no provision in the Constitution, for the federal government to get involved in such forms of crime control. Even if this law isn't broadly interpreted to criminalize spamming (which can be annoying but is nothing people should be prosecuted for), this unnecessary broadening of federal powers provides further evidence that our leaders are creating a police state for us in which our every move, and now, our every e-mail, will be watched.

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