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Re: [declan@well.com: [Politech] Lawsuit challenges law targeting Internet "annoyances" [fs]]

Eugen Leitl wrote:

Seems like a reasonable law? Sure, if you've just put down the crack pipe.
A reasonable law should *protect* the operator.

Regarding my intent, let me elaborate. I was looking for a simple, coherent and intelligent answer or discussion. I invite you to not respond to any of my future posts or queries if you can't refrain from trite adolescent comments. It should be obvious that I am *ignorant* of the what is triggering your panic, hence the question. The rest of your response however, is much appreciated.

I disagree that the law should explicitly *protect* the operator. Its equivalent to asking that there be a law to protect knife manufacturers, because people use knives to kill other people. (Er no, thanks but I think that would just cause law bloat.) The law should neither do more nor assume more in the case of anonymizing server operators than it does with knife manufacturers, i.e. innocent until proven guilty.

Isn't anyone paying attention to this clause - "and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person"? It isn't anonymity or

If the abusive traffic *seems* to originate from your server, then
1) intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass is clearly evident from abuse
complaint (emails, web server logs, etc).

No, intent isn't clearly evident from a mere complaint. You're assuming that it is. A complaint and associated emails, logs, posts, etc. can only serve to identify that your ip was the final origin of the illegal action, nothing more. It needs to be proven in court that you were the first origin of the action. If you're just a middle node you have nothing to fear. Even if you're an entry node or client node you have nothing to fear. You've done nothing wrong. Even examination of your seized hardware will demonstrate that fact.

2) the originator is suddenly you, until proven otherwise

The proof is usually associated with a search warrant, hardware
confiscation (the process is so slow you can consider that loss
permanent), and plenty of quality time spent with your lawyer, and in court.

I can see how this helps making more USians run Tor servers.

I agree, partially. Only the final origin is you. Any attempt in court to prove you as the first origin will fail. You're not complicit in the abuse, just an unwilling pawn used by someone else. So again, I ask, what's the fear for? The courts can't charge you for receiving or forwarding the abuse *knowingly*. That's what the law is about - receiving & forwarding abuse *knowingly*.

I'm certain that there will be charges laid and some pain on the part of a *few* people (yes, with a few lawyers making good $$$ :) ). But that is how the system works. They'll try prosecuting a few people & fail when it'll be seen that Tor node operators are not *knowingly* receiving & forwarding abuse. (Neither are i2p or Freenet operators doing so.)

In other words, doesn't such a law apply to your ISP as well? It is they who carried the communication *to you* in the first place. All the ISPs upstream to you are complicit and involved in the "annoy, abuse, threaten or harass" intent. If they, large corporations with loads of cash are not required to examine all packets and prevent certain traffic, then, neither can you, a poor single individual be expected to do so. You're merely running a router, nothing more. In that sense, you're identical to every ISP, no?

anonymizing services that are being targeted, but misuse of anonymizing technologies.

But misuse of anonymizing technologies is habitual. The current anonymizing
infrastructure doesn't allow persistent pseudonyms and prestige tracking,
so this is an inevitable side effect of providing anonymizing service at all. We could use a law making operators guilty until proven otherwise like another trepanation.

You don't know that. You're assuming it is true. Read the Tor documentation sometime. A variety of people (government spies included) are using Tor & other anonymizing networks! It isn't just being used by losers to abuse people.