1993-03-02 - Re: more ideas on anonymity

Header Data

From: mccoy@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu (Jim McCoy)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 1e02f001065a7e11fa4dfb9e91c522a5cfc27e7cd49c7cade36e5cfb87fbaeaa
Message ID: <9303020450.AA04260@tramp.cc.utexas.edu>
Reply To: <9303011827.AA15335@maggie.shearson.com>
UTC Datetime: 1993-03-02 04:51:30 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 1 Mar 93 20:51:30 PST

Raw message

From: mccoy@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu (Jim McCoy)
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 93 20:51:30 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: more ideas on anonymity
In-Reply-To: <9303011827.AA15335@maggie.shearson.com>
Message-ID: <9303020450.AA04260@tramp.cc.utexas.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text

Perry Metzger writes:
> > From: Theodore Ts'o <tytso@athena.mit.edu>
> > I see.  So you don't believe in libel or slander laws.
> > 
> > And NBC was perfectly justified in faking an explosion in a GM truck to
> > show it was unsafe, and broadcast it on prime-time TV.  And it didn't do
> > anybody any harm at all.  Uh huh.
> > 
> > Try again.....
> I believe that Theodore is confusing the notion of tort and the notion of
> crime.
[disctinction between crimes and torts wrt slander and libel...]
> The issue is if a
> non-anonymous individual or entity with credibility, like NBC, says something
> that is false.

Remember the intent as well.  It is not enough that one utters false
statements, one must also intend to do damage with those statements (the
"malice aforethoght" part).  If I honestly thought that GM trucks were
firebombs waiting to happen and told someone else I am not being libelous,
but if I were to publish a statement that I knew was untrue (or one in
which I was negligent in my research, but I am not sure about this...) then
I might have a date in court in the near future...

Either way, these actions are civil one, not criminal.  The U.S. government
is extremely limited in it's ability to use prior restraint to prevent
publication of something (although there are many ways around the existing
protections, as many on this list will undoubtably attest to.)