Chaz Antonelli (mc4bbs) wrote,
Chaz Antonelli

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Are You Liable If Someone Does Something Illegal On Your WiFi?

For years, whenever the press has written one of their fear-mongering stories about open WiFi, they almost always include some tidbit about how if someone uses your network to do something illegal, you can be arrested for it. It's one of the popular open WiFi horror stories -- but is it true? Well, of course, you can be arrested, but it's unlikely that there would be any legal grounds for the arrest. The latest debate on this issue comes from a tech writer at the Houston Chronicle who is taking Tim Lee to task for an op-ed piece Tim wrote in the New York Times about open WiFi. The Chronicle writer says Tim is missing the real security issue, about how the RIAA can go after you if someone downloads music on your open WiFi. While it is true that they can go after you, there are valid legal defenses for this -- as has been discussed for years. If you are legally sharing your WiFi, then you are a service provider, and under current laws you are not liable for what others do with the service. That's what it says in the Communications Decency Act, and it clearly applies here. In fact, we've even heard stories of people purposely leaving their WiFi open for this very reason -- as it gives them a legal defense should the industry ever come after them. Of course, it's worth noting two things. First, the entertainment industry likes to pretend this defense doesn't exist, even though it's pretty clear in the law -- and they could convince some judges to ignore it. Second, none of this takes into account whether or not your service provider allows you to share your connection via WiFi -- as most do not. However, that doesn't take away from the defense that you aren't responsible for what others do with your connection. You may be investigated for it -- but the use of your network does not automatically make you guilty, and there's a very reasonable defense against it.

from: TechDirt

Meanwhile on the anti-RIC/pro-CIRC warfront...

"Doctor" Tom Stevens, Dallywn Merck, Jeff Grizlo and Chris Reilly (who are all self admitted to be pro-baby-cutting / pro-RIC) have conceded defeat (to me?) and have deleted their pro-RIC Yahoo groups. We're all waiting for the "other" shoe to drop, as you know that following the LP election in Queens, we'll hear from Mr. Stevens once again! Plus, his accusations of me "harassing" him (at least offline, in the real world) are unfounded. Funny thing is, there were a LOT of people involved with this pro-choice campaign, yet -- I take all the blame/get all the credit. See the letter that Stevens posted all over the circumcision discussion groups this morning at 1am:


Just as I would not subject my family to
real threats posed by the Russian Mob
or the Italian Mafia, the personal attacks
on myself, Dallwyn and Jeff Grizlo, plus
the promised further attacks by yourself
and others, have led to the joint decision
to end all advocacy for the pro-circumcision
and pro-RIC movement.

Perhaps you did not call Jeff's grandmother
but someone did. It is criminal harassment
in my view and you seem determined to continue
your campaign against us personally as opposed
to advocating for the issue.

Therefore, effective immediately, ALL Yahoo
Groups owned or moderated by Jeff, Dallwyn
or myself on this issue will be deleted.
With the exception of my appearance on
Hardfire dealing with the general issue
of infant advocacy, I will no longer be
involved with this issue.

Our two "Libertarian" Yahoo Group polls
showed 80% and 90% respectively in favor
of the parental choice position and 100%
of the State Committee members of the
LPNY support parental choice.

Your daily harassment of Dallwyn, Jeff
and myself is too much for us to take.
It is not worth the aggravation.

We are out! And I would ask you to stop
your attacks on the three of us. You will
not hear from us again on any board at
any time.

I hope you feel you have won some sort
of victory through your tactics. I
personally couldn't live with myself
if I did what you have done.

I wish you well,

Dr. Tom Stevens
Dallywn Merck
Jeff Grizlo
Chris Reilly

Oh, by the way, the "two libertarian groups" he speaks of are CENSORED by himself, not allowing people that disagree with him in. He actively posted messages in pro-circ message groups to get people to join his two groups and vote in favour of RIC -- I have a NEW poll in the open group LPNY_Manhattan here -- let's see what a proper cross-section will reply with!

Blay, from the LPNY had this to add...

From: "Tarnoff, Blay \(IED\)" <lists@...>
Date: Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:44 am
Subject: RE: [lpny_manhattan] Re: You Win!

Stevens wrote this, not Dallwyn ("ALL Yahoo Groups owned or moderated by
Jeff, Dallwyn or myself . . . .")

It made me sick to see him play the sympathy card. It's the last one he
uses when cornered. Call me paranoid (yes, I am too), but I think this
is a tactic to get re-elected in Queens.

By the way, my friend said she'd go to the Queens Convention but she was
not really comfortable voting against Stevens without knowing what's so
bad about him. I was unable to articulate that to her satisfaction in a
sentence or two. And, she thinks it is somewhat underhanded of me to
artifically pack the election with people who really shouldn't be voting
in it. She's got a point.


With stories like this, the baby-cutters have no defense...

circumcision was the choice we made for our newborn son in december 2001

Message From: Babycenter Bulletin Board
Subject: Circumcision Debate Board
Posted on Date: 05/ 9/02
Posted by : Pending approval from author (6/20/2002)

"I do not know if you all remember me. My name is Patricia and my son Michael suffered a very severe complication from his circumcision where the head of his penis was partially severed by a negligent doctor.

Since then, much has happened. Everything was going well at one point and it looked like Michael was going to make a good recovery. He'd had his last reconstructive surgery and finally had the catheter removed to see if he would be able to urinate through his urethra. It went very well.

Two weeks ago, Michael developed a fever. He was crying day and night and Tylenol was not bringing it down. The following night, he started having febrile seizures. We rushed him to the emergency room where it was found that he had a major infection and his temperature was 104.7.

Antibiotics were not combating the infection, and his major organs started to shut down within hours. My litte boy never regained consciousness, and we removed him from life support 2 days later, so that we could still donate his organs.

Michael would have been 5 months old yesterday.

I can't stop crying as I write this, because I can't stop running through my head that this could have been avoided! My son would be alive right now...if I hadn't made that decision.

One could argue that something else could have taken him. Be it a car accident or whatever, but this decision was in my control. My son was perfect. Why did I have to put him through this?

These doctors have a vested interest in keeping circumcision alive. Not because it's for the best interests of the children but because it benefits them financially.

I have lurked here for the last few days because I was not sure that I wanted to bring everyone down with my son's tragedy. But after seeing the activity that has taken place here, where everyone is talking about how it's their choice, none of you are even thinking that these babies are the ones who are going to suffer.

They don't have to suffer the way my son did, but they will suffer through the pain and indignity of this surgery.

I want my story to help others. I refuse to allow Michael's death be in vain. You may be lucky enough to never be in my shoes, but I never in a million lifetimes expected this to happen to me either.

So please hold your babies tight. Do not allow this senseless act continue. I don't know if there are enough things in this world that I would give up to have my son back in my arms. To know that I could have prevented this with just saying the word NO is more maddening than you will ever know.

I just want you all to pray for my family and for our tough road ahead. The doctors who did this are going to pay big for what they allowed to happen to my son. No family and no child should have to suffer the way Michael did. My sweet baby boy.


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