Subject: Re: OT: - help needed
To: None <>
From: Shannon <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 01/29/2002 18:52:42
On Tue, Jan 29, 2002 at 01:42:46PM -0500, Greg A. Woods wrote:

> You are right though that there are legal jurisdictions in the world
> where ISPs must be careful how they define their services lest they come
> under unwanted regulation by their governments or by their legal system.

Also note that at least in Virginia, USA, once you have taken any
policing action, under the law you are know responsible for all of it.
I worked for an ISP that avoided any site censorship for this reason.
Another ISP got in trouble because they killed a customer site that had
child porn. Perfectly reasonable, right? A few months later an outside
party sued them because another customer had much the same content. The
ISP was not aware of it, and was never warned about it. The judge ruled
that their earlier act of censorship made them legally responsible for
content. Had they never taken action, the current case would have been

Never, ever go to court expecting the law to make sense. You often
have to fight incomprehensible illogic to get our point across in a

> No doubt in many jurisdictions in the world if an ISP is naive enough to
> offer fixed-IP connections to customers and then only after the fact
> decide to limit those connections to client-only service then they risk
> being legally complled to either restore service or compensate their
> former customers for loss of service.

It's not just being naive.  Even the best written contract cannot
predict ever possible customer abuse.  If the law made any sense,
reasonble policing would be allowed without the extended liability.
Of course, some very stupid contract dispute cases would also
be rejected if the law made any sense.

I have never, ever heard such bizarre discussions as I have heard
working at an ISP or other provider of service or content.

IMHO, any business revolving around technology should be required to
meet requirements of engineering ethical standards before even beginning
to discuss business issues. 

I have been reading in my IEEE journals that some attempts are being
made to give computer sciences the same king of "guild" support that
exists in other engineering disciplines. It seems impossibly orthagonal
to current industry practice, but maybe some good will come of it.

--  _________________________________________________
______________________/ armchairrocketscientistgraffitiexenstentialist
 "And in billows of might swell the Saxons before her,-- Unite, oh
 unite!  Or the billows burst o'er her!" -- Downfall of the Gael