[Politech logo]

Politech is the oldest Internet resource devoted to politics and technology. Launched in 1994 by Declan McCullagh, the mailing list has chronicled the growing intersection of law, culture, technology, and politics. Since 2000, so has the Politech web site.

Weekly column: Utah, Michigan e-mail laws spell trouble for senders


Why ribaldry could earn you prison time
June 27, 2005, 4:00 AM PT
By Declan McCullagh

Send a raunchy e-mail to a minor, and you may wind up in jail.

That's the thrust of a new law about to take effect in Utah and Michigan 
that could become a harbinger for the rest of the nation.

Starting Friday, parents in those two states will be able to add their 
children's e-mail addresses to a "do not contact" registry. Anyone who 
goes ahead and sends e-mail deemed to be off-color or "harmful to 
minors" could be imprisoned for up to three years.

The idea sounds wholesome enough, but it could snare legitimate Internet 
companies who rely on e-mail to contact their customers. Critics say it 
could capture discussions or advertisements relating to homosexuality, 
alcohol, sex, cigarettes, certain pharmaceuticals, gambling and more.

[...remainder snipped...]

Posted by Declan McCullagh on Jun 27, 2005 in category free-speech

Get a Politech feed through RSS or Atom [RSS] [Atom]

The Politech general information pages and photographs are copyrighted by Declan McCullagh. Original posts distributed to the mailing list are licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Creative Commons License