Commercial email : LUSENET : 6805-team-6 : One Thread

We didn't have time on Sunday to discuss commerical email and I think we wanted to discuss this issue and address it in our legal and technical architecture section. What are the major issues that we should address with this?

Lauren: I don't want to put you on the spot, but, since you have thought a lot about this, would you point out which issues you see as most important for the future in this area? Thanks in advance. :)

-- Anonymous, November 24, 1998


For some reason, this free exchange of information thing is just turning me on tonight.... I think even in this case it dictates a pretty interesting policy:

- free exchange of information means the sender of email should feel little if any burden of censorship. So, by default, any email is fair game.

- however, harrassing email (like constant commercial propositions from an anonymous address) hinders the free exchange of information because they push people out of cyberspace (too much spam email and people shut off their accounts).

- similarly, overloading an ISP's mail server hinders other users' ability to freely exchange information, and thus is a problem.

If we look at this with respect to entitlements, we should attempt, as much as possible to push for the "entitlement to freely exchange information in Cyberspace."

God I feel like a hippie.

-- Anonymous, November 25, 1998

Here are a few initial thoughts on the topic:

Think about entitlements. What rights do we have to send e-mail for private, commercial, or educational (and other) purposes? On the other end, what rights do we have to receive e-mail for these purposes? Do we accept some type of implicit contract just by having an e-mail account? Who is liable for messages routed through a relay or messages that overload a server?

From a technical perspective, e-mail has many degrees of freedom that we can use to distinguish and to control information. Some of these are: origin, content, and length of messages, number of messages sent at one time, and route of messages (i.e. through ISPs or relays). How can we incorporate these in our architecture?

Can e-mail be viewed according to our public and private space scheme? Is my inbox a container of public or private space? Is a filter a barrier around my inbox?

-- Anonymous, November 24, 1998

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