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'[OT]: Email disclaimers'
2004\11\25@171247 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Nov 25, 2004, at 8:22 AM, Nate Duehr wrote
>> This e-mail is intended for the person it is addressed to only.

> p.s. The above disclaimer is worthless

Bah.  There's a big difference between "not legally powerful" and
"worthless."
MOST people can take a "don't do that" request without having it
delivered by
a lawyer...

BillW

____________________________________________

2004\11\25@173937 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> This e-mail is intended for the person it is addressed to only.

That would put MIT in violation, that email was never intended to be
spread all over the world!

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


____________________________________________

2004\11\25@184524 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Nov 25, 2004, at 2:37 PM, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>> This e-mail is intended for the person it is addressed to only.
>
> That would put MIT in violation, that email was never intended to be
> spread all over the world!
>
huh?  It was addressed to "piclist", wasn't it?  IMO, that certainly
DOES
mean it was intended to be spread all over the world.  Certainly MIT has
a fine excuse for believing that, at least...

BillW

____________________________________________

2004\11\25@193521 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
William Chops Westfield wrote:

> Bah.  There's a big difference between "not legally powerful" and
> "worthless."
> MOST people can take a "don't do that" request without having it
> delivered by
> a lawyer...

Humbug back.

The only way I would ever RECEIVE such a message is if:
a) You accidentally sent it to me, thus negating the restriction on "who
it was intended for".
b) Some mail adminstrator so screwed up his mail server that he copied
it into my personal Inbox.
c) Pursuant to the other discussion about signatures/encryption -- some
dude (easily) sniffed your mail traffic and forwarded it to me.  And if
someone did that, and KNEW about it, they don't care about the
disclaimer anyway, because they know already where they stand legally --
on the wrong side of the fence.  But they won't get sued or charged with
"reading an e-mail not intended for you", they'll get charged with a
myriad of other computer crime laws about improper access to a secured
system.

So I say -- It's worthless.  Worse than worthless - a waste of my time
and the bandwidth I pay for for my mail server.

Your comment about the different circumstances under which people
receive warnings is well-taken... sometimes the threat of "bad things if
you do that" is effective, but I am specifically talking about these
dumb disclaimers on e-mail and the circumstances that surround them
specifcially make them even less effective than "not legally
powerful"... they truly are WORTHLESS.

Nate
____________________________________________

2004\11\25@230811 by madscientist

picon face
actually, it can be due to server problems.  motorola sent me an email
once meant for a different customer, not a machine generated email, but
an answer to a question that was "privileged" (though not enough details
to have meant much, but it easily could have revealed product plans
etc.).  i notified them of the problem, with full source of the email
and they were very grateful, i wound up explaining it to a couple of
their technical people.  they didn't tell me exactly what happened, but
they did tell me roughly how it had happened.  
i agree however, electronic signatures don't solve many problems, any
one who want to fake them deliberately can, unless they employ
encryption, and few readers check such signatures (and if such signing
became routine practice, you would soon see viruses imitating it, in
fact some spam has bogus "pgp" signatures designed to fool spam
filters).  
it would be rather foolish for any admin to block the source address of
a virus as there are several that fake this somewhat convincingly and
you would obviously be blocking a customer (indeed, even crackers spoof
ip numbers in real time, still, it's a valuable technique particularly
if you've managed to corrupt routing tables).  instead, at most they
should email back that they "may" be infected, or more likely someone
with them in their address book is infected.
including a disclaimer/statement of "confidentiality" on email that
isn't does tend to reduce it's legal weight, and many, many competitors
would make full use of any such accidental disclosure.( according to the
"cryptogram" news letter by bruce schneir).  besides, such a statement
will have little or no deterrent value against the unscrupulous in the
best of cases.  and, even worse there is now case law that states that
it's ok to monitor email, any email that runs through your' machine,
even as a relay, and to make commercial use of that information.  it is
being appealed.  it stems from the barnes and noble case where they were
monitoring some email sent to amazon.com users and making them offers
for the same books apparently.  several of the people involved plead
guilty under a plea-bargaining arraignment, but one was found not guilty
as a judge decided that the wire tap laws have no application to email,
and therefore there was no crime!  the ruling implies that any email you
send carries with it no legal expectation to privacy what so ever, at
least in the U.S., or if it simply goes through a relay in the U.S.

further, with some of the bogus "hacking" cases that have been tried
lately it's debatable whether you should even report it to the sender
(people have been charged, arrested, and plea-bargained after bringing
to light security holes which they accidentally discovered, promptly
reported to the machines administrator/owner, and did not make any use
of.  in fact in one case they plead guilty to a felony, which has long
standing consequences for their employability, basically destroying
their professional life).

once again, we have policy makers and the courts ruling on things they
don't understand, and making some very alarming decisions.  if it really
needs to be private, you'd better mail it, that's about all that is well
protected at all, or use strong encryption.

Nate Duehr wrote:
------
>
> The only way I would ever RECEIVE such a message is if:
> a) You accidentally sent it to me, thus negating the restriction on "who
> it was intended for".
> b) Some mail adminstrator so screwed up his mail server that he copied
> it into my personal Inbox.
> c) Pursuant to the other discussion about signatures/encryption -- some
> dude (easily) sniffed your mail traffic and forwarded it to me.  And if
-----

-- “Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question:
is it politic? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience
asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must
take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular- but one
must take it simply because it is right.” : Martin Luther King Jr.
1929-1968 <http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4614717,00.html>

___________________________________________

2004\11\25@233935 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Interesting topic to me.

I've become fascinated with the notion of rejecting all incoming email
UNLESS it has
a keyword on the subject line (COTSE.NET can perform that service). But
that would
eliminate normal business queries.

Eventually the virus and/or spam situation will become so overwhelming
that some special
method will have to be devised to accomplish this. I guess the idea of
having a special
email address for EACH life situation solves some problems...

I was appalled in the early days of the www when spammers would harvest
emails and mine
would be used as a (spoofed) return address, resulting in nasty letters
to my me and my ISP.
People are aware of spoofing now, but it still bothers me, and it
happens every day.

It seems to me that email protocol needs to be improved such that email
would only be accepted
if the message could be VERIFIED from the purported sender- and if NOT
verified then it
would be destroyed before being read.

In some states in the US here, spoofing someone else's email address is
a misdemeaner, but
it is impossible to enforce.

--Bob

the madscientist wrote:

{Quote hidden}

it would be rather foolish for any admin to block the source address of

{Quote hidden}

--
Note: Attachments must be sent to
spam_OUTattachTakeThisOuTspamengineer.cotse.net, and
MAY delay replies to this message.
       520-219-2363

____________________________________________

2004\11\26@024117 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> >> This e-mail is intended for the person it is addressed to only.
> >
> > That would put MIT in violation, that email was never intended to be
> > spread all over the world!
> >
> huh?  It was addressed to "piclist", wasn't it?  IMO, that certainly
> DOES
> mean it was intended to be spread all over the world.  
> Certainly MIT has
> a fine excuse for believing that, at least...

'person', I see no plural there :)

I think your reasoning will be agreed by any sane person, which does not
give it much chance in court :(

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


____________________________________________

2004\11\26@141624 by madscientist

picon face


Bob Axtell wrote:
--------
> Eventually the virus and/or spam situation will become so overwhelming
> that some special
> method will have to be devised to accomplish this. I guess the idea of
> having a special
> email address for EACH life situation solves some problems...

it's been done.  spamcop.net offers a nearly perfect solution.  they
don't scan for keywords (which frankly never works and always causes
major problems..).  instead they use several smarter, better solutions
like a list of "open relays", if email has come through an open relay
it's rejected (they do still put it in a separate folder i believe, i
only use them for reporting but a friend uses the full service and is
very happy, and he is extremely active online).  they also have email
addresses designed to attract spam and anything matching that is
filtered out as well (i.e. they aren't used for any "real" email, but
they make an effort to make it easy to harvest those addresses for
spam).  they use other methods as well.  i'm sure there are other
companies.  spamcop is good enough that they've been sued by several of
the spam companies, and won so far though there have been a few quickly
overturned temporary injunctions (easy to get for any purpose if you
find a sympathetic judge, and lets face it they are easy to buy in many
cases).  
of course the direct marketing association continues to insist that spam
is a service to the community, after all you really, really need to know
all the places to get viagra cheap.... of course some in congress have
been bought as well which is largely why spam legislation hasn't
progressed, much the same way that the home shopping channels convinced
the fcc that they are an "essential service", and hence all cable and
satellite providers MUST carry at least one, to properly serve their
customers (the fcc was bought out a long time ago, and it only gets
worse as is obvious to any one paying any attention to their
regulations).  i don't mind people who honestly disagree, but those who
lie and invent ridiculous concepts to support their otherwise
insupportable positions should be shot, imho.  i mean, we know what
their real motivation is, it's money, not serving the community, if they
could make it by starving you they'd be just as happy to get the money
that way, they are corporations, where no one takes any responsibility
for the corporation's actions, there is no soul, and hence no morality
what so ever.  corporations are inherently evil due to their structure
and nature, a lack of accountability or any feeling of accountability
means there is no reason not to behave badly, sometimes very badly.

> I was appalled in the early days of the www when spammers would harvest
> emails and mine
> would be used as a (spoofed) return address, resulting in nasty letters
> to my me and my ISP.
> People are aware of spoofing now, but it still bothers me, and it
> happens every day.
-------

i get very, very little spam and always have.  one thing that really
helps is actually bothering to quickly report it.  it may not shut down
many spammers, but it gets you taken off the list since they really
don't want to be reported quickly to their isp and hosting company, many
of which will shut them down and fine them.  i also recommend to isp's
that they fine such users and close all of their accounts.  another
tactic is to notify the company that there will be a $500 for each
future email received from them or on their behalf, and remind them that
the courts have enforced these fees (which they have in some cases).  of
course it also helps to not use your' email address as a user id at
places like ebay.  spam annoys the hell out of me, but it can be fought
with substantial success.  i get less spam now than i did when i first
started using the web many years ago.  like many things, a certain
amount of diligence is helpful.  it also helps if people who have you in
their address books have proper firewalls and virus protection as this
is another method of harvesting email addresses, and the spammers do
sometimes use a virus to take over a machine and use it as a relay or to
otherwise send out the spam, so that it comes from an innocent user's
account (well, innocent in so far as they were just careless and didn't
keep up with patches or install a firewall, or continue to use virus
magnet applications).  spoofing of source addresses is easy to check
from the headers, spamcop.net does a good job of this though it can be
done manually without too much work as well.  the nice thing is that
spamcop knows where to send the complaints, though some isp's don't take
such complaints, i.e. they like spammers, and such host should be blocked.

also many terms of use specify that companies are allowed to spam you,
it is important to read what you agree to.  a couple of years ago aol
included this, and probably still does as do many companies that i don't
and won't use.  you can also use your' firewall to block some of the
adware and tracking sites and increase your anonymity online
considerably, as well as loading pages faster as it is often the ad
servers that are the most overloaded and slow.  it's a pain, but
reliable source verification isn't likely any time soon, though a
previous isp did do that on email, but if it didn't verify that info was
just in the headers, not terribly useful.

-- “Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question:
is it politic? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience
asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must
take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular- but one
must take it simply because it is right.” : Martin Luther King Jr.
1929-1968 <http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4614717,00.html>

___________________________________________

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