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