[Politech] A defense of an "Net driver's license" as way to stop spam [sp]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Wed Oct 15 2003 - 05:30:33 PDT

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    From: pcolsen@private
    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
    Subject: Positive Internet IDs might not be such a bad idea.
    Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 03:25:08 +0000
    Message-ID: 101320030325.4123.2785@private
    Last week I read your note about the RIAA's supposed effort to require 
    positive Internet IDs with the traditional mixture of shock and horror.
    Now I'm beginning to think positive IDs might not be such a bad idea.
    I've just spent about half-an-hour purging spam from my email.  On one page 
    listing 50 emails, 46 were spam.  I support the ideal of free-speech, but I 
    also support the ideal of privacy.
    You may have the right to speak on the street corner, but you don't have 
    the right to hold me there and force me to listen.  Spammers have the right 
    to send mail, but they don't have the right to sent it unbidden over the 
    connection for which I pay and put it on the hard-drive I bought for other 
    purposes.  Your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose --- and 
    your right to send your bits ends at the interface to my network.
    Perhaps the RIAA was too quick with their disavowal.  Positive IDs for 
    downloading files may be a non-starter, but positive IDs to identify 
    spammers might be an idea with legs.
    Last week I would have opposed it out-of-hand.  Now I'm wondering how it 
    might be done.
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