> You can try to
> claim that it is, but I suspect that we'll find out shortly whether there is
> any chance in hell of that succeeding - coming out of New York State.
Funny thing that -- I would actually have pointed to the Vacco prosecutions
as a primary example of why putting one's trust in CleanNews as a legal
umbrella might not be the best idea. From all accounts, the two ISPs
Vacco shut down in New York were making all of the usual efforts to
cooperate in good faith with Vacco's office.
The reports I've read say that Vacco's office sent them a notice (from an
undercover account) that they had the porn on their servers along with
where it was, and asked for a response.
They sent this to several ISPs (not just the two which were seized). Others
pulled the groups. The two that were seized didn't, but they DID respond
(negatively) to the request.
I suspect this is an issue for the courts to sort out - did they or did they
not have constructive notice of what was there. REGARDLESS, I would argue
that acceptnig a *group* which by its name denotes illegal activity is
begging for trouble.
If I can see from nothing more than a FreeAgent group list as a user on your
system that you're carrying groups which by their name denote illegal activity
I think you've got a problem.
Unfortunately for them, it
was an election year and Vacco was in a tight (indeed, still undecided)
race, so he decided to play the "Internet child porn scare" card
and raided them anyways: http://www.buffnet.net/ag/
Do you know if Buffnet is being completely truthful in that page? I don't.
Moral: acting in "good faith" is...an act of faith. It's no substitute
for concrete legal protections.
Actually, I have spoken to the NYAG's office. They have indicated to me
that if an ISP were accepting such a feed, they would not even consider
prosecuting them for this kind of thing. They obviously decline to provide
*blanket* immunity (what if the poster is on YOUR MACHINE?!) - good faith
is as far as you're going to get when it comes to general protections
against prosecutorial intervention.
[Full disclosure: I am a resident of New York State with a profound
and repeatedly stated dislike for Vacco. The man is scum, and you can
quote me on that.]
> One key when talking to lawyers, though, is to tell them the truth about
> what you do and what you need to do in order to implement something. Its
> very easy to get your shorts in a knot if you play coy with your counsel.
Agreed and emphasized.
Yep. Like admitting that news server software comes with *zero* configuration
out of the box, and that you have to *explicitly* set up the groups you accept
and who you peer with (even if the list is "*")