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Date: 2001-03-24

US: Cybercrime und SPAM

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Wie jetzt versucht wird, das Netz in den Griff zu kriegen,
darüber sagt dieser Artikel ziemlich viel. Man nehme einen
[einflußreichen] Abgeordneten, der gegen die Interessen der
US-Dienste immer schon die Interessen der IT-Industrie
vertreten hat, nämlich freie Verschlüsselung zum Zweck des

Und schon kommt mit einem politisch korrekten
Gesetzentwurf gegen SPAM eines der Cybercrime Proposals
zum Verbot bestimmter Programme mit ins Spiel.

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Use a Spam, Go to Prison by Declan McCullagh
( 2:00 a.m. Mar. 24, 2001 PST

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Bob Goodlatte does not want you to
read this article.

The conservative Virginia Republican, who is co-chairman of
the Congressional Internet Caucus, hopes to punish the
publication or redistribution of columns such as this with a
$15,000 fine and up to one year in federal prison.

Why? Because I've included a short Perl program that could
be used to spam -- and it seems certain to be banned under
a bill that Goodlatte has recently introduced.

Goodlatte's Anti-Spamming Act of 2001 allows the Secret
Service to police software that "is designed or produced
primarily for the purpose of concealing the source or routing
information of bulk unsolicited electronic mail messages."

It's part of a knee-jerk reaction against unsolicited e-mail on
Capitol Hill, and it follows in the footsteps of the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act, which movie studios have used in
an unsuccessful bid to rid the Net of a DVD-descrambling

Goodlatte -- who is chairman of the House Republican High
Technology Working Group -- has spent years lobbying to
make it easier to export encryption products, but also was a
vocal supporter of the DMCA and the Communications
Decency Act.

This time around, instead of making it a crime to spam,
Goodlatte has decided to amend existing law to ban
spamware, but since the bill is worded so broadly, it might
imperil other programmers instead. That's not a surprise:
Software is flexible stuff, and it's tricky to ban some
applications without going too far. Other potential problems
include that Goodlatte's bill can't remove spamware hosted
overseas and could run afoul of the First Amendment.

A second section of his anti-spam measure says it's illegal
to distribute software that "has only limited commercially
significant purpose or use other than to conceal such source
or routing information."

That could cover utilities like the Perl script below. It's been
slightly altered, but it was originally written as a legitimate
autoresponder CGI script that worked by forging the From:
line of an e-mail message:

#!/usr/bin/perl open (MAIL,"| /usr/lib/sendmail -t -oi");
print MAIL <<END; To: newsfeedback\
From: spammer\ Subject: MAKE MONEY

$1000 a Week, a FREE Car, and FREE Leads!!! Rule
#1 PUT YOUR FRIENDS ON HOLD... do not sell to people
you know until you are making money... I will give you
more FREE leads than you can CALL... END close


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edited by Harkank
published on: 2001-03-24
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