19 Nov, 2008 | Posted by: photosource
Spammer Gets Off
You may remember back in 2004, when Jeremy Jaynes was convicted for sending unsolicited bulk email (SPAM to us). Now, 4 years later, the conviction has been overturned on First Amendment rights. The Virginia Supreme Court (the action was brought in Virginia because the servers that he used to send the emails, AOL, are in Virginia) declared the state’s antispam law unconstitutional,
since at the time, the law was not restricted to commercial email, but included all such email, which would have included political and religious messages. And since the national CAN-SPAM act was not in effect at the time the messages were sent, it cannot be applied.
When Is Email Not Private?
Well, for one, we all know that most companies have a policy that emails sent via their equipment and/or ISP are not considered to be private correspondence, even if you use a non-company email address and/or webmail. Now, how about this:
A reasonable suspicion is not needed for customs officials to search a laptop or other personal electronic storage devices at the border, which would include computers, cell phones, PDAs, memory sticks, etc.
Fortunately, so far, you don’ t have to worry about this unless you are the one being arrested. Passengers will not be stopped just to have their electronic devices searched. But if you do get into an altercation or are stopped for other reasons, your personal electronic devices are subject to this warrantless search. Yet another erosion of our personal rights in the name of justice.
White Spaces Opened by FCC
This November, the FCC voted to allow use of the white space empty electromagnetic spectrum (air waves) between television channels to allow companies to provide broadband internet access.
“What is white space?”
In the old days (analog television transmission), channels were spaced apart to avoid mutual interference, especially in fringe areas. And for some communities, analog TV will still be used, at least for a while. But remember, February 17, 2009 is the date for the nation to switch to digital TV transmission (www.dtv.gov), with the analog TV frequencies auctioned for other uses.
So I just see this as a re-allocation of broadcast spectrum, and not so much as filling in the spaces between TV channels.
And as it has the potential to reduce broadband prices and increase broadband access to millions of people, freeing up the white space is a good thing.
Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.
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