Censorship v3.1

I have a new essay up on SSRN, titled Censorship v3.1. It’s under consideration by the peer-reviewed journal IEEE Internet Computing. Here’s the abstract: Internet censorship has evolved. In Version 1.0, censorship was impossible; in Version 2.0, it was a characteristic of repressive regimes; and in Version 3.0, it spread to democracies who desired to [...]

Tempest in Tempe: First Amendment in the Desert

In the spirit of the excellent colloquy here about Marvin’s thinking on First Amendment architectures, I bring up this news item: Arizona State University blocked both Web access to, and e-mail from, the change.org Web site. ASU students had begun a petition demanding that the university reduce tuition. The university essentially made three claims as [...]

Defining Network Neutrality

The net neutrality fight is on, as FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s proposal for new rules moved on to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Now, the two sides are digging in: AT&T, telcos, and unions on one side; Google and content providers on the other. I tend to favor protecting end-to-end in the Internet context, but [...]

How Filtering Affects ISPs

This is the write-up of a short talk I gave at the Filtering Workshop put on by the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre at the University of New South Wales last week. I welcome comments, feedback, and criticism! Filtering Workshop: Implications for ISPs (University of New South Wales, 4 March 2009) My theme is that [...]

Like the Poor, Spam Is Always With Us

Network World has an interesting article called “CAN-SPAM: What Went Wrong?” This title is akin to: “Subprime Mortgages: A Bad Idea?” There are three depressing trends: spam remains a huge problem, both in IT costs and in volume; legal efforts have been mostly useless; and experts still disagree about solutions. There are two interesting ones: [...]

Spam in a Can? Direct Mail as Information Problem

The NYT interviews Michael Critelli, head of Pitney Bowes, who disputes claims that direct (snail) mail harms the environment, annoys consumers, kills kittens, and is otherwise bad. There’s a mix of ham and spam in his claims. For example, it’s not shocking that the direct marketing industry has long been a fan of “informed consumer [...]

Facebook Inserting Users Into Ads

Dan Solove at Concurring Opinions has some quite sensible concerns about Facebook’s new advertising program — specifically, that it may violate privacy law. I think he’s right, and then some… In short, the new program allows corporations to set up Facebook pages where visitors who take certain actions can thereby trigger the sending of a [...]

Is Spam Still Part of the Info/Law Debate?

Discussing Washington v. Heckel (2004) with my Computer and Internet Law students earlier today, I wondered aloud whether anybody really cared about the spam issue any more. Here at Info/Law, we’ve got our spam tag over there on the right-hand side, and if you click it, you can see the half-dozen or so posts, some [...]

Corporate Responsibility and Info/Law

Activists and policy wonks who work with environmental issues take it for granted that private corporate activities and markets lie at the center of both the problems and the potential solutions (like this and this) to issues such as water pollution, global warming, and habitat destruction. Organizations like Ceres work with businesses to help them [...]

How Not to Be A Spammer

Simple: don’t send unsolicited e-mail, right? It’s more complex than that. Kelly Jackson Higgins at Dark Reading has a list of suggestions / rules on how not to be labeled as a bad actor. Some are easy: when someone asks not to receive messages anymore, unsubscribe them! Some are more complex: make sure you don’t [...]