1993-03-09 - You Aren’t [I’m Not]

Header Data

From: Eric Hughes <hughes@soda.berkeley.edu>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 83bc40ad813219b492caa00ddf9a161eac02e67691c545da807f274563cf5ce6
Message ID: <9303090316.AA17160@soda.berkeley.edu>
Reply To: <9303052126.AA02211@SOS>
UTC Datetime: 1993-03-09 03:20:10 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 8 Mar 93 19:20:10 PST

Raw message

From: Eric Hughes <hughes@soda.berkeley.edu>
Date: Mon, 8 Mar 93 19:20:10 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: You Aren't [I'm Not]
In-Reply-To: <9303052126.AA02211@SOS>
Message-ID: <9303090316.AA17160@soda.berkeley.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Last night I spoke with Mike Godwin of the EFF about the issue of
anonymous libel.  Mike is not on the list, and I've copied him on this
message.  Mike knows more about electronic speech issues than pretty
much anyone else.  Here is my remembrance about what he said:

1. Anonymous libel exists.  Just because the speech is anonymous does
not mean it can't be libellous.  If libellous speech is made, and you
can infer the identity of the speaker, you can sue.  

2. An anonymous remailer is not liable.  In order to be liable for the
libellous speech, the operator of the remailer would have to have
prior knowledge that the speech was libellous.  Since the operation of
the remailer is fully automated, prior knowledge is impossible.

Those two points are my summary of Mike's opinion.  For further
clarifications, please post to the list and to Mike.  

Left out of this message is any consideration on the _realpolitik_ of
anonymous remailers: whether others will carry such traffic.  I'd like
to not fill Mike's inbox with clutter.