Elliott C. Back: Internet & Technology

To Annoy Online Illegal

Posted in Blogging,Computers & Technology,Law,Politics by Elliott Back on January 10th, 2006.

Many sources are reporting the cnet post Creata an e-nnoyance, go to jail, which notes that a new recently passed law (Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005) outlaws anonymous annoying:


(a) In General- Paragraph (1) of section 223(h) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 223(h)(1)) is amended–

(1) in subparagraph (A), by striking `and’ at the end;

(2) in subparagraph (B), by striking the period at the end and inserting `; and'; and

(3) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

`(C) in the case of subparagraph (C) of subsection (a)(1), includes any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet (as such term is defined in section 1104 of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (47 U.S.C. 151 note)).’.

(b) Rule of Construction- This section and the amendment made by this section may not be construed to affect the meaning given the term `telecommunications device’ in section 223(h)(1) of the Communications Act of 1934, as in effect before the date of the enactment of this section.

This rewrites an older law prohibiting telephone annoying. The nice thing about it, technically, is that no online communication is anonymous because you leave comments with a unique IP address. So bloggers, you’re safe.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 10th, 2006 at 8:17 pm and is tagged with . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback.

2 Responses to “To Annoy Online Illegal”

  1. Elliott Back says:

    Those people are harder to trace, yes, but the fundamental idea is that you are not “anonymous” in any sense. You could “lie” about your name just as easily as your home router “discards” your ip, MAC mappings. Perhaps in the future NAT will have to keep verifyable FBI ready logs!

  2. ceejayoz says:

    What about those behind proxies, NATs, etc.?

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