US antispam bill is death to anonymity

Florian Weimer fw at
Sat Nov 22 18:14:32 EST 2003

John Gilmore wrote:

> This bill makes it a crime to use any false or misleading information
> in a domain name or email account application, and then send an email.
> That would make a large fraction of hotmail users instant criminals.

Why?  Can't you register a domain using a proxy?  I think this claim is

> It also makes it a crime to remove or alter information in message
> headers in ways that would make it harder for a police officer
> to determine who had sent the email.  Anonymizers will be illegal
> as soon as this bill becomes law.

This is a more severe problem.  However, if anonymizers were actually
used to disseminate commercial email messages to a relevant degree, I
think the providers of such service such be held responsible.  Sending
spoofed IP packets is a similar problem at a lower protocol level,
causing lots of trouble, and I think the network operator who permits
spoofed addresses to originate from his network is partly responsible if
something goes wrong.

However, there are obvious workarounds, such as an opt-in approach for
the receipt of anonymized email.

But I wonder how this anti-spam bill relates to manual message
forwarding (which typically destroys most message headers).

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