1993-03-26 - Re: Anonymity, accountability, and control

Header Data

From: Theodore Ts’o <tytso@Athena.MIT.EDU>
To: mccoy@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu
Message Hash: 75dd5d92a9d35ae91cc1a074ad7aca5c14cc5a2411a5ed465e7eadd10642dd66
Message ID: <9303262102.AA04094@SOS>
Reply To: <9303261754.AA06965@tramp.cc.utexas.edu>
UTC Datetime: 1993-03-26 21:04:15 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 26 Mar 93 13:04:15 PST

Raw message

From: Theodore Ts'o <tytso@Athena.MIT.EDU>
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 93 13:04:15 PST
To: mccoy@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu
Subject: Re: Anonymity, accountability, and control
In-Reply-To: <9303261754.AA06965@tramp.cc.utexas.edu>
Message-ID: <9303262102.AA04094@SOS>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

   From: mccoy@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu (Jim McCoy)
   Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1993 11:54:39 -0600 (CST)

   I believe that UUNET has applied for and received common carrier status, in
   which case they are not responsible for thier traffic and cannot make any
   judgement calls regarding the traffic coming from a particular site.  It is
   kind of like the phone company; they may not approve of the 976-BABE
   numbers, but as long as those operations do not break the law there is
   nothing the phone company can do about them no matter how many complaints
   they may receive.

	I'd love to hear more about this --- my understanding was that
"common carrier" status only had a specific meaning for telephone
companies, and also meant as a side effect that they had to regulated by
the FCC.  I was not aware that "common carrier" status had any meaning
in the computer networking arena, since no regulatory agency would have
the right to receive applications and grant common carrier status,
unless a law were specifically passed by Congress or perhaps some action
resulting from a Federal court decision.

	Or is it that UUNET merely considers themselves a "common
carrier" but that this has yet to be tested in court?

	Would Mike Goodwin be willing to comment on this?  It would
certainly have a lot of implications towards providing free speech on
computer nets, and I'd love to have a real lawyer's perspective on this
--- as opposed to the perspective of millions of people who merely play
one on USENET.  :-)

						- Ted