FC: Toronto woman sues over her stored email, wants $110,000

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Sat Nov 02 2002 - 09:13:50 PST

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    [A few points: (a) Seems to me this is, or at least should be, a 
    straightfroward contractual dispute, not a sign of the impending 
    apocalypse. If you want your ISP to handle email in a special way, shop 
    around. If there's sufficient demand, ISPs will offer different options. 
    (b) This illustrates why it's good to own your own domain name and use it 
    for email. If you have a billing dispute, point your domain name to another 
    ISP. (c) I suspect this is hardly unprecedented or raises novel issues. I'd 
    wager that some commercial voicemail or mail-receiving services take a 
    similar pay-overdue-bills-to-gain-access approach. (d) Let's be careful 
    about using emotionally-laden terms like "hijacks." Perhaps it could be 
    described better as "stores incoming email until customer pays up their 
    overdue bill." --Declan]
    Date: Sat, 2 Nov 2002 08:58:13 -0800
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    Subject: ISP hijacks woman's email
    From: Paul Schreiber <shrubat_private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declanat_private>
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    Message-Id: <46668F80-EE84-11D6-88CF-00039301A02Eat_private>
    >  The Toronto-based freelance TV producer has been battling U.S.-based 
    > Inter.net Group for the past 16 months over a billing dispute she says 
    > may have cost her a lucrative job opportunity. Now she wants $110,000 in 
    > damages over a policy that led Inter.net's Canadian subsidiary to keep 
    > her ISP account open for incoming e-mail even while denying her access to 
    > the account.
    >Beyond the money, Carter said she wants to change the way ISPs handle 
    >suspended and canceled e-mail accounts. At stake, she asserts, is an 
    >industrywide practice that amounts to extortion, in which ISPs may hold 
    >private communications hostage until bills are settled up.
    Privacy commisioner's report:
     From cryptonome:
    Slashdot thread:
    CNet article:
              shad 96c / uw cs 2001
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    fan of / sophie b. / steve poltz / habs / bills / 49ers /
    "To disable the Internet to save EMI and Disney is the moral
      equivalent of burning down the library of Alexandria to ensure
      the livelihood of monastic scribes."
      --Jon Ippolito, of the Guggenheim, on the CBDTPA
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