1993-07-14 - Whose opinion? (was Re: anonymous mail)

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From: greg@ideath.goldenbear.com (Greg Broiles)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: a484c5edc6ce02f083e8a560c32f49441b5df76fe87ef614633429c704940189
Message ID: <NcqN7B1w164w@ideath.goldenbear.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-07-14 03:08:14 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 13 Jul 93 20:08:14 PDT

Raw message

From: greg@ideath.goldenbear.com (Greg Broiles)
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 93 20:08:14 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Whose opinion? (was Re: anonymous mail)
Message-ID: <NcqN7B1w164w@ideath.goldenbear.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain


Matthew B Landry writes:

>         On the subject of whether personal postings should be considered
> as representing the company, I should point out that:
> 1:      NSF and several regional nets have acceptable use policies which
>         do not permit commercial use.
> 2:      Messages posted by the company (or by someone who is assumed to
>         represent the company) would be in violation of these policies if the
>         messages crossed the applicable networks.

I don't think a description of a policy is at all clearly "commercial use".
Advertising, and use of net resources in the course of doing business seem
to be commercial use - but a discussion with outside folks about policies
or conditions doesn't seem to be commercial use. To suggest that net traffic
originating at a site with a .com domain name is commercial seems to

> 3:      There is no way to prevent a specific message over usenet from crossing
>         a specific network.
> 4:      The owner of a network site (the company) is assumed to be responsible
>         for any "unacceptable use" traffic that comes from the site.

I don't think I buy this one, either. If I can't control traffic (see #3)
how is it reasonable to say that I am responsible for it (#4)?

> 5:      This liability would leave the company open to having its net feed
>         cut off for such unacceptable use.

This assumes that the net feed comes from a provider which restricts
commercial use. Some providers (like Alternet) welcome commercial use.

>         It is therefore in the best interests of any corporation with
> Internet/Usenet access to _assume_ that messages posted by its employees
> are not company business.

It is probably convenient for policymakers to make this assumption. It is,
however, perhaps naiive. If I see a posting from Jim Bizdos, I *do* assume
that he is speaking for RSADSI/PKP, unless he makes efforts to disclaim such
attribution. Ditto for other folks who I know or suspect hold positions of
power or influence with other institutions. I suspect other folks on the net
react similarly to posts (apparently) coming from people who may have some
impact on corporate/institutional policy/behavior. I think it's probably
best to assume that people *will* associate what people post from a site's
name with that site, especially absent disclaimers to the contrary.

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Greg Broiles                            greg@goldenbear.com
Golden Bear Computer Consulting         +1 503 465 0325
Box 12005 Eugene OR 97440               BBS: +1 503 687 7764