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This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Electronic Frontier (Fraud?) Foundation two-faced about "spam" emails


-- from an unsolicited email advertising herbal penis-enlargement pills. The subject line of the email was, "How would you like to be hung like a Rhino?" The reference to rhinos could be an allusion to the belief that rhino horn is an aphrodisiac because of its resemblance to a hyper-erect penis. However, a webpage titled "Penis Enlargement Products Come Up Short" says that these pills are worthless.

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A webpage of the Electronic Frontier Foundation says,

Fundamentally, EFF believes that email recipients should control when and how they receive their mail. To the greatest extent possible, anti-spam measures should be controlled by end users, and any measure for stopping spam must ensure that all non-spam messages reach their intended recipients. . When antispam measures prevent activists and nonprofits from sending and receiving bulk noncommercial mail, EFF considers this a problem commensurate with the problem of spam itself.

I am an "activist" who has been emailing the EFF staff "bulk noncommercial mail" about issues of direct concern to the EFF. Despite the EFF policy statement above, Kevin Bankston (bankston@eff.org), an unscrupulous EFF staff attorney, asked me to stop sending emails to all EFF staffers and to just send the emails instead to a "legal intake coordinator," Julie Linder (julie@eff.org), for pre-screening. In other words, instead of just letting other EFF staffers decide for themselves whether my email is of interest to them, this "legal intake coordinator" would make that decision for them. He even had the gall to call my emails "spam" and threatened to put me in the EFF's "spam filter," and he had the presumptuousness of pretending to speak for the other EFF staffers. Meanwhile, the EFF staffers of course expect me to read all the emails that they send to me.

Let's cut the malarkey and get to the point. Email has to a great extent replaced postal snail-mail for communication. If you block the delivery of snail-mail to the intended personal addressees, you go to jail and they throw away the key. It should be the same for thugs who block the delivery of emails to the intended personal addressees.

Go ahead and ignore or filter out my emails, EFF staffers -- then you won't know what others are reading here about your disgraceful practices and policies.

The methods of blocking and filtering "spam" include IP address blocking, which as I pointed out is illegal in the UK and possibly elsewhere in Europe (see this and this), and IMO is also illegal in California (more about that later).

I think that the biggest reason why there is an email spam non-problem is that there are too many lazy bums out there who are too slothful to hit the "delete" button to get rid of unwanted emails. In fact, if they are lazy enough, they don't even have to do that much -- they can just ignore the unwanted emails. This degree of torpor makes a sloth (maximum ground speed about 5 feet/min.) look like a cheetah at full sprint. At least the orthodox Jews who don't want to push street-crossing buttons on the Jewish Sabbath have an excuse -- it is against their religion (for this reason, some places have automatically-timed traffic lights on the Jewish Sabbath). I have been on the Internet for many years and have never had a big problem with spam emails.

The most annoying spam emails are those without descriptive subject lines, so that they need to be opened to see if the contents are of interest. At least the above spam email advertisement of herbal penis-enlargement pills had a descriptive subject line: "How would you like to be hung like a Rhino?"

A law called the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 has some restrictions on commercial and pornographic spam emails. If your emails are noncommercial and nonpornographic, there are apparently no restrictions on "spamming." Anyway, my emails to the EFF were not "spam" -- they were on subjects of direct concern to the EFF.

Here are some ideas:

(1) If one is on a list to receive emails that are on a subject of direct interest or concern to one's occupation or organization, requesting removal from the list should be considered to be rude. If you were on such a snail-mail list, would you bother asking a sender to be removed from the list? Not likely. Handgun Control Inc. once sent me five identical snail-mail letters -- with envelopes that said, "At last! Your first real chance to tell the NRA to go to hell!" -- in the space of about a month, and I never bothered to ask them to stop.

(2) As a courtesy, the subject line of your email should be as descriptive as possible. That will often save the recipient the trouble of opening the email to see if the subject is of interest.

(3) Use the same email address in sending emails to the list. Then the recipient can ignore the email if it is from an undesired sender. As for myself, if an email is on a subject of interest to me, I will not cut off my nose to spite my face by ignoring it just because I dislike the sender.

(4) It is a bad idea to threaten senders that you are going to ignore or filter out their emails. If the threat makes them mad enough, they may try to confuse you or bypass your spam filter by using different email addresses under the same ISP, using an email forwarding service, or using non-descriptive subject lines.

I previously reported that on the subject of blogs, the Electronic Fraud Foundation is concerned only with the rights of BVD-clad bloggers and is not at all concerned with the rights of blog commenters. The EFF wants BVD-clad bloggers to have special privileges without any responsibilities. Old organizations like the EFF tend to become big, fat, and smug. Well, borrowing the words of Handgun Control, Inc., here at last is your first real chance to tell the EFF to go to hell! Below are the EFF's email addresses:

bankston@eff.org, doctorow@craphound.com, hugh@eff.org, katina@eff.org, ren@eff.org, andrea@eff.org, cindy@eff.org, pde@eff.org, gwen@eff.org, marcia@eff.org, rebecca@eff.org, erik@eff.org, julie@eff.org, corynne@eff.org, le@eff.org, nicole@eff.org, danny@eff.org, lety@eff.org, seth@eff.org, jason@eff.org, derek@eff.org, sobel@eff.org, ssteele@eff.org, lee@eff.org, fred@eff.org, mattz@eff.org, jstyre@eff.org, brad@eff.org, barlow@eff.org, farber@eff.org, felten@eff.org, gnu@eff.org, brewster@eff.org, joe@eff.org, lessig@eff.org, pam@eff.org
.

Labels:

10 Comments:

Blogger Rob Serrano said...

Wow Larry. Once again you've demonstrated your uncanny ability to not understand what you read. There is absolutely no contradiction in the EFF's position, here. As an organization with employees (you know, that list of people you seem to think are going to be so interested in whatever gibberish you want to spout), as the entity that is paying for it's connection to the internet, and as the entity that has to pay its employees when they have to sift through your crap, the EFF is the end-user in this case. Therefore they get to determine what is spam and how to deal with it.

Spam is Unsolicited and Bulk. Commercial or noncommercial is a non-issue as content is not a part of the definition of spam. By your own statement you were sending them spam.

The EFF doesn't send unsolicited messages, they only send e-mail to people who have requested to receive it, which means you have explicitly told them you want them to send you e-mail. If you don't like what they're sending you, uncheck that box and it magically stops. And, really, Larry, the employees of the EFF couldn't care less whether you read any of what they send you.

Filtering email, be it on a user-level or site/enterprise, whatever the method, is not, and cannot, be illegal. For one thing, unlike postal mail (I see you still haven't gotten past your propensity for making up absurd analogies that you really can't support), the recipient pays for the mail they receive, not the sender. Beginning to see why Spam is such a bad thing, yet?

As the e-mail administrator at my site, I am in charge of what e-mail is allowed in and what is blocked. I even control who gets access to e-mail at all and whether or not they are allowed to receive e-mail from off-site sources. Most spam gets cut off at the border before it even gets into our network, (it gets rejected before it even gets onto the server and sent back to whatever the original sender supposedly is). That spam that does get into our network is normally filtered before anyone actually sees it.

Oh, and IP address blocking is not illegal in the UK, despite your fevered delusions to the contrary. Please do try to realize that, despite what you seem to want to believe you are, in fact, not an expert in legal anything, be it in the US or abroad.

>> I think that the biggest reason why there is an email spam non-problem is that there are too many lazy bums out there who are too slothful to hit the "delete" button to get rid of unwanted emails. In fact, if they are lazy enough, they don't even have to do that much -- they can just ignore the unwanted emails. This degree of torpor makes a sloth (maximum ground speed about 5 feet/min.) look like a cheetah at full sprint. <<

Funny, I can't see you receiving the hundreds of spam emails I see every day, so your opinion on this is basically as baseless as most of your other opinions.

>> I have been on the Internet for many years and have never had a big problem with spam emails. <<

You've been on the internet for "many years" but apparently have no knowledge about how things work on the internet nor any idea that other people's experiences with spam may not be the same as yours. So, basically, you're acting like you usually do.

>> (1) If one is on a list to receive emails that are on a subject of direct interest or concern to one's occupation or organization, requesting removal from the list should be considered to be rude. If you were on such a snail-mail list, would you bother asking a sender to be removed from the list? Not likely. Handgun Control Inc. once sent me five identical snail-mail letters -- with envelopes that said, "At last! Your first real chance to tell the NRA to go to hell!" -- in the space of about a month, and I never bothered to ask them to stop. <<

This is hilarious. Now you think we should listen to your pronouncements as to what is and is not "rude" on the internet? It is not rude to request someone who is sending you unsolicited email to cease doing so, period. It's not even rude to do so if you requested to receive e-mail from the group in question. Since I'm paying for the e-mail I receive, it's purely my right to determine whether what you're sending has any relevance to me, my life or my career.

>> (2) As a courtesy, the subject line of your email should be as descriptive as possible. That will often save the recipient the trouble of opening the email to see if the subject is of interest. <<

Blazing statement of the obvious. Most people who send e-mail without subject headers are sending to people within the same organization, not to some complete stranger.

>> (3) Use the same email address in sending emails to the list. Then the recipient can ignore the email if it is from an undesired sender. As for myself, if an email is on a subject of interest to me, I will not cut off my nose to spite my face by ignoring it just because I dislike the sender. <<

Most lists don't allow non-registered users to post to the list anyway.

>> (4) It is a bad idea to threaten senders that you are going to ignore or filter out their emails. <<

They didn't "threaten" anything. They told you that what you were sending was considered spam, how you could submit mail and not have it considered spam, and what they would do if you did not send your e-mails to the proper party. And I must say that, given the list of e-mails you provided it looks more and more like the description of your e-mails as spam was entirely apt. Did it ever occur to you, oh Larry, that many of those people maybe working on specific projects and would have no interest in your writing? No, probably not, given your seeming belief that everything you say is pure gold and immensely compelling to just everybody. Like many organizations, the EFF has someone on staff who filters e-mail to determine who, if anyone, should or would handle it. Because these people actually have work to do and they don't ALL need to read whatever you're trying to push.

>> If the threat makes them mad enough, they may try to confuse you or bypass your spam filter by using different email addresses under the same ISP, <<

Not really, most spam filters don't rely on e-mail addresses to block e-mail, since spammers, like you routinely try to do what you are threatening to do (though you claim that you are not a spammer yourself), forge the sender headers. But then, you would only know that if you had any real actual knowledge of spam filters.

>> using an email forwarding service, <<

Again, not effective for the reason stated above. Plus, if I block open proxies or anything coming from the forwarding services IP addresses, you're once again cut off.

>> or using non-descriptive subject lines. <<

Many spam filters filter on content, not just the headers, so once you'd be out of luck.

I could also decide that outside of a particular whitelist of people, no one from outside the organization may send e-mail to anyone other than the designated e-mail filter. The EFF, being an open organization, probably doesn't do that, though, and it is this openness that you are, once again, trying to abuse.

I'd suggest that, before you make a fool of yourself on the topic of e-mail filtering, you actually check out the tests performed by the filtering suites that are available. Try looking at SpamAssassin and look at what it tests for.

Oh, and by the way, the EFF staff attorney you're complaining about actually DOES for the purposes of communications like this, speak for the other EFF staffers, since I'm certain that their responses to you would have been a lot less charitable than Mr. Bankston's.

Sunday, May 27, 2007 9:12:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Pettifogger Rob Serrano is back. Long time no see!

>>>>>>As an organization with employees (you know, that list of people you seem to think are going to be so interested in whatever gibberish you want to spout), as the entity that is paying for it's connection to the internet, and as the entity that has to pay its employees when they have to sift through your crap, the EFF is the end-user in this case. <<<<<<<

The EFF policy that I cited does not make the exception that you're making, i.e., that it is OK for an employer to pre-screen employees' emails. IMO most employers would not dare to pre-screen snail mail sent to employees at the employers' addresses. And not that it matters, but I presume that many EFF staffers are volunteers and not employees.

>>>>>> Spam is Unsolicited and Bulk. Commercial or noncommercial is a non-issue as content is not a part of the definition of spam. By your own statement you were sending them spam. <<<<<<<

By your definition of spam, i.e., any kind of unsolicited email, an email to a politician that states your opinion is spam.

>>>>>> The EFF doesn't send unsolicited messages, they only send e-mail to people who have requested to receive it, <<<<<<

Bullshit, they can -- and I presume they do -- send unsolicited emails to anyone. For example, there is nothing to stop them from sending an unsolicited email to me in response to this very post. How does that differ from my sending an unsolicited email to them about something posted on their website? You have some really crazy ideas about email netiquette.

>>>>>> If you don't like what they're sending you, uncheck that box and it magically stops. <<<<<<

Uncheck what box? To filter out their emails, I must enter their email addresses into my AOL spam filter.

>>>>> the employees of the EFF couldn't care less whether you read any of what they send you. <<<<<

Why would they bother sending something to me if they didn't care whether or not I read it? And how can you presume to speak for them?

I can't insist that they read my emails if they don't want to. But individual addressees should have the opportunity to decide for themselves whether or not they want to read emails that are addressed to them.

>>>>>> Filtering email, be it on a user-level or site/enterprise, whatever the method, is not, and cannot, be illegal. <<<<<<

Read the EFF position statement again. It says that any filtering should be done only at the end-user level.

>>>>>> For one thing, unlike postal mail (I see you still haven't gotten past your propensity for making up absurd analogies that you really can't support), the recipient pays for the mail they receive, not the sender. <<<<<<

Bullshit. I pay the same flat fee to AOL, regardless of how many emails I receive. And cost is not the issue -- it is so important for postal mail to go through that the US postal service used to deliver mail without postage and then try to collect the postage from the addressee. It was great to know that in an emergency you could send an important piece of mail without postage and the postal service would deliver it. But the postal service stopped that service because too many people were omitting postage just to express displeasure at the addressee, e.g., a bill collector. It is a real shame that we lost that service.

>>>>>> As the e-mail administrator at my site, I am in charge of what e-mail is allowed in and what is blocked. I even control who gets access to e-mail at all and whether or not they are allowed to receive e-mail from off-site sources. <<<<<<

Then you should be thrown in jail, just like someone who interferes with the delivery of postal mail.

>>>>> Oh, and IP address blocking is not illegal in the UK, despite your fevered delusions to the contrary. <<<<<<

You obviously didn't read my two posts on the subject. There are links to those two posts above.

>>>>>> Please do try to realize that, despite what you seem to want to believe you are, in fact, not an expert in legal anything, be it in the US or abroad. <<<<<<

Making insults and ad hominem attacks is easy, you stupid fatheaded ignoramus. Anyone can do it. It proves nothing. Debating the issues is what counts, and you are obviously not doing very well at that.

>>>>>> Funny, I can't see you receiving the hundreds of spam emails I see every day, so your opinion on this is basically as baseless as most of your other opinions. <<<<<<

I have been on the Internet for many years -- why haven't I been getting hundreds of spam emails per day? And I could easily handle a large number of spam emails (maybe not hundreds) if the titles are descriptive -- e.g., selling Viagra or fake watches -- so that I don't have to open the emails to see if the contents are of interest to me. Also, most filtering of real spam is keyword/phrase filtering, which is so unreliable that AOL does not offer the option of automatic deletion of emails filtered out in this way -- I have to go into the spam folder and delete these emails by hand (or save the ones I want to keep). So manual deletion is often necessary anyway.

>>>>> This is hilarious. Now you think we should listen to your pronouncements as to what is and is not "rude" on the internet? <<<<<<

I'm not demanding that others follow my pronouncements on what is rude -- I am only asking that others consider my ideas on what is rude. IMO it is rude to ask to be removed from a list on a subject that is important to one, because that shows that one so strongly dislikes the sender that one is willing to cut off one's nose to spite one's face by taking the risk that one might someday miss some very important material -- and for the same reason, it is foolish of the addressee to be asked to be removed from the list. As for myself, I am always hungry to get emails on subjects of interest to me and -- unless the emails are very long-winded -- I read all of the contents. Even if something is of no immediate importance to me, it could be of importance to me someday. Also, I think that I am entitled to send the EFF or any other organization an email that is critical of that organization -- of course, they don't have to read the email if they don't want to but I think it makes good sense for them to know what others think of their organization.

>>>>>> Most people who send e-mail without subject headers are sending to people within the same organization, not to some complete stranger. <<<<<<

I am not talking about sending emails without subject headers, which is rare -- I am talking about sending emails with non-descriptive subject headers. A big problem is that many real spammers have been sending spam emails with non-descriptive subject headers.

>>>>>> Most lists don't allow non-registered users to post to the list anyway. <<<<<<

I am not talking about formal Internet discussion groups where you just send an email to a single address and it is distributed to the group -- I am talking about sending emails to lists of individual addresses. With the formal discussion groups, sometimes a copy of the email -- called an "echo" -- is even sent back to you because you are on the list (though as the sender you could be excluded from the distribution).

>>>>>> They didn't "threaten" anything. <<<<<

They did threaten. The attorney threatened to put me in the EFF spam filter.

>>>>>> Did it ever occur to you, oh Larry, that many of those people maybe working on specific projects and would have no interest in your writing? <<<<<<

That is for them -- and not you or the "legal intake coordinator" -- to decide. BTW, not that it matters, but it appears that this "legal intake coordinator" has no legal training or experience. Anyway, she should not be deciding what others want to read, regardless of her qualifications.

>>>>> No, probably not, given your seeming belief that everything you say is pure gold and immensely compelling to just everybody. <<<<<<

Irrelevant -- they could easily be filtering out a legal genius (and I am not saying that I am not a legal genius). And not everything needs to be pure gold -- for example, the silver and bronze Olympic medals are highly prized (BTW, the gold medals are only gold plated). And surely you've heard the expression that even a blind pig occasionally finds an acorn (the expression might be fallacious because pigs have a keen sense of smell which enables them to find truffles). Anyway, the value or usefulness of my emails is a matter for the individual addressees -- and not you or the EFF "legal intake coordinator" -- to decide. And BTW, I certainly don't consider the worthless crap that you post on this blog to be pure gold.

>>>>> Like many organizations, the EFF has someone on staff who filters e-mail to determine who, if anyone, should or would handle it. <<<<<<<

If an organization had someone on staff who filtered snail-mail sent to individual addressees, the ones responsible would go to jail and the key would be thrown away. Also, filtering personal emails may require opening them and they may contain confidential material. Also, many of the EFF staffers are attorneys and their EFF emails could contain confidential attorney-client material or something that could later become confidential attorney-client material.

>>>>> most spam filters don't rely on e-mail addresses to block e-mail, since spammers, like you routinely try to do what you are threatening to do (though you claim that you are not a spammer yourself), forge the sender headers. <<<<<<<

Wrong again. My AOL spam filter offers the following options:

(1) Keyword/phrase filtering -- AOL-chosen keywords/phrases and/or user-chosen keywords/phrases. So unreliable that automatic deletion option is not offered here -- emails must be manually deleted from spam folder.

(2) Sender filter -- block individual senders, block domains (e.g., eff.org), allow only AOL users, allow only people I know, create a custom sender list. Automatic deletion option is available.

(3) Block emails with pictures or attachments.

IP address blocking is not available. No filtering is of course an option.

>>>>> using an email forwarding service,<

Again, not effective for the reason stated above. <<<<<<

Wrong. An email forwarding service gives you one or more new domains (some email services offer several domains) and a new IP address, so domain filters and IP address filters won't work until you learn the new domains and IP addresses (or IP address ranges). Also, domain filtering and IP address filtering can filter out desired emails.

>>>>> if I block open proxies or anything coming from the forwarding services IP addresses, you're once again cut off. <<<<<<<

Some blog services somehow learned how to detect open proxies, but email forwarding services are not open proxies. Also, as I have previously explained, IP address blocking is often ineffective and often also blocks wanted messages.

>>>>> or using non-descriptive subject lines. <<

Many spam filters filter on content, not just the headers, so once you'd be out of luck. <<<<<

As I pointed out, filtering on content (and filtering on headers is also a form of filtering on content) is so unreliable that the AOL spam filter does not even offer the option of automatic deletion on this kind of filtering -- it is necessary to go into the spam folder and delete or save the filtered emails by hand.

>>>>> I could also decide that outside of a particular whitelist of people, no one from outside the organization may send e-mail to anyone other than the designated e-mail filter. <<<<<

Try giving your local post office a "whitelist" of senders and see how far you get.

>>>>> The EFF, being an open organization, probably doesn't do that <<<<<<

The EFF staff attorney tried to do that when he asked me to send my emails only to the "legal intake coordinator." who functions here as the "spam filter."

>>>>> . . . the EFF staff attorney you're complaining about actually DOES for the purposes of communications like this, speak for the other EFF staffers, since I'm certain that their responses to you would have been a lot less charitable than Mr. Bankston's. <<<<<<

Here is what the EFF website says about Kevin Bankston. I cannot see anything here indicating that the other staffers and the board of directors designated him to speak for them:

Kevin Bankston, a staff attorney specializing in free speech and privacy law, was the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Equal Justice Works/Bruce J. Ennis Fellow for 2003-05. His fellowship project focused on the impact of post-9/11 anti-terrorism laws and surveillance initiatives on online privacy and free expression. Before joining EFF, Kevin was the Justice William J. Brennan First Amendment Fellow for the American Civil Liberties Union in New York City. At the ACLU, Kevin litigated Internet-related free speech cases, including First Amendment challenges to both the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Edelman v. N2H2, Inc.) and a federal statute regulating Internet speech in public libraries (American Library Association v. U.S.). Kevin received his J.D. in 2001 from the University of Southern California Law Center, and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas in Austin.

If the other EFF staffers had any guts, and they probably don't, they would rake him over the coals for presuming to speak for them.

If EFF had a real spam problem, IMO Bankston would probably not have wasted his time complaining to a single "spammer," i.e., me, just as I didn't waste my time complaining to the spammer who sent me the above ad for penis enlargement pills. I think Bankston complained to me because he found my emails and blog posts to be too persuasive and he does not want other EFF staffers to be influenced by them.

Thanks, Rob, for helping me to strengthen my case against the EFF, though I know that was not your intention.

Monday, May 28, 2007 7:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

This is reminiscent of when several people involved in the smog fee case (on your side yet) asked you to stop sending them your material. You reacted by redoubling the volume of your crap. You claimed that the only possible reason that they would have asked you to stop was to intentionally annoy you.

Monday, May 28, 2007 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> I didn't waste my time complaining to the spammer who sent me the above ad for penis enlargement pills. <

Perhaps that is because as the world's oldest virgin you have no use for them?

Monday, May 28, 2007 10:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Spam Victim said...

> I didn't waste my time complaining to the spammer who sent me the above ad for penis enlargement pills. <

I like the ad (not that I believe it particularly). Better than most. :-)

Monday, May 28, 2007 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Urbanness driveled,

>>>>> This is reminiscent of when several people involved in the smog fee case (on your side yet) asked you to stop sending them your material. <<<<<<

You are just mouthing off again about something about which you know nothing. The attorneys who were fighting the fee in state courts (they originally sued in a federal court) asked me to send them information, particularly news articles about the fee. And since I was suing in federal courts whereas they were suing in state courts, there was no way I could have hurt their case unless perhaps if I got to the US Supreme Court and lost (whether their case would have been hurt would have depended on the Supreme Court's ruling).

>>>>> Perhaps that is because as the world's oldest virgin you have no use for them? <<<<<<

If the pills worked, you would have far more use for them than I would.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 8:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

>>>>> Perhaps that is because as the world's oldest virgin you have no use for them? <<<<<<

> If the pills worked, you would have far more use for them than I would. <

You have confirmed his statement.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 8:51:00 AM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

>>>Despite the EFF policy statement above, Kevin Bankston (bankston@eff.org), an unscrupulous EFF staff attorney, asked me to stop sending emails to all EFF staffers and to just send the emails instead to a "legal intake coordinator," Julie Linder (julie@eff.org), for pre-screening.<<<

Looks like Mr. Bankston was merely informing you of company policy:

Note: If you have general questions or concerns or are not sure to whom your message should be addressed, please write to information@eff.org rather than emailing multiple staff or board members. Our full time intake coordinator will be happy to get back to you promptly and make sure your message reaches the appropriate person.

It seems that the job of the intake coordinator is to make sure that the right person gets the message. In this case, from reading Mr. Bankston's personnel description, he is the proper person to receive your complaints, and as such, speaks for the organization. I should note that this is prominently displayed at the top of one of the pages Larry had to have visited when he harvested the email addresses. Seems like Larry was the one being rude!

It should also be pointed out that the courts have upheld the right of companies and organizations to monitor employee/member communications using company-assigned email addresses or while using company computers, so long as the company has a policy that clearly reserves that right. Such a policy can even be a waiver of client-attorney privilege if an employee is sending email to his lawyer using a private email account on a company server.

Furthermore, a company can prevent its employees from receiving personal communications. For example, a company could mark a letter "Return to Sender" if it believes the letter is a personal communication.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 2:17:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Kevin Vicklund says,
>>>>>>> Looks like Mr. Bankston was merely informing you of company policy: <<<<<<

Wrong. Nothing in the official "company" (i.e., EFF) policy threatens to put a sender in an EFF spam filter if that sender sends an unsolicited email to one or more EFF staffers. And the supposed EFF policy that I cited said, "To the greatest extent possible, anti-spam measures should be controlled by end users, and any measure for stopping spam must ensure that all non-spam messages reach their intended recipients."

>>>>>> It seems that the job of the intake coordinator is to make sure that the right person gets the message. <<<<<<

Sometimes the right people to receive the message are all the EFF staffers and board members. The EFF staffers and board members should be allowed to decide for themselves whether an email is of interest to them. Furthermore, this "intake coordinator" apparently has no legal training or experience, and regardless of qualifications should not be deciding for others what should be of interest to them.

Furthermore, visitors to the EFF website are often perfectly capable of choosing specific staffers or board members who should receive particular emails. For example, I am going to ask an EFF specialist in European Internet laws his opinion about my posts claiming that IP address banning is illegal in the UK and possibly elsewhere in Europe.

>>>>> In this case, from reading Mr. Bankston's personnel description, he is the proper person to receive your complaints, and as such, speaks for the organization. <<<<<<

Wrong -- nothing designates Bankston as EFF's official complaint department. And even if he were so designated, I would still have the right to send my complaint to all EFF staffers.

>>>>> Seems like Larry was the one being rude! <<<<<<

I was not being rude if I thought that the emails were appropriate for all EFF staffers.

>>>>>> It should also be pointed out that the courts have upheld the right of companies and organizations to monitor employee/member communications using company-assigned email addresses or while using company computers, so long as the company has a policy that clearly reserves that right. <<<<<<

Can you cite specific cases? And do the companies have the right to block emails, or just monitor them?

Also, it is very likely that many of the EFF staffers and board members are volunteers and not employees.

>>>>>> Such a policy can even be a waiver of client-attorney privilege if an employee is sending email to his lawyer using a private email account on a company server. <<<<<<

Again, do you have any proof of that? And what if an attorney is not aware that a company email address is being used for correspondence with a client? And several of the EFF staffers and board members are attorneys -- suppose that I initially use an EFF email address to correspond with them and I later become a client. Does that mean that my correspondence that used the EFF address is not privileged?

>>>>>> Furthermore, a company can prevent its employees from receiving personal communications. For example, a company could mark a letter "Return to Sender" if it believes the letter is a personal communication. <<<<<<

Again, do you have a reference for that?

The company might have to open the letter to see if it is a personal communication -- wouldn't that be an invasion of the privacy of the employee? And a returned letter must not show any evidence of tampering -- maybe an employer could hide tampering by steaming open a letter but an employer would have to be pretty snoopy to do that kind of thing. And what about certified or registered mail? And what about service of legal process? You are going to have to back up your claims.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 11:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> You are going to have to back up your claims. <

Yes, Kevin. Give your usual scholarly explanation so that the idiot can play his childish game and pretend that you haven't said it.

Does it seem that the quality of Larry's stuff is noticably deteriorating in recent days? Let's get a pool going as to when he is going to blow.

Friday, June 01, 2007 7:58:00 AM  

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