Scientology Crime Syndicate

Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Internet Privacy-Letters to the Ed. LA Times
From: zinjifar@yahoo.com (Zinj)
Date: 21 Jun 1999 11:59:31 -0500

Like other users of the Internet, I appreciate the fact that I can surf the Web with anonymity--at least I think I can. But your June 14 article about the use of "John Doe" suits to determine users' identities misses a very important point.

It is one thing to say that people who use the Internet are entitled to privacy when their actions do not interfere with the rights of others.

But if one posts critical or accusatory messages in a public forum, such as a chat room or electronic bulletin board, is it reasonable to expect that his identity will be kept secret? Consider the rights of the victim (i.e., the target of the criticism). If somebody made negative comments about you, don't you think you would have the right to know their identity, if it was ascertainable? The right of privacy is not absolute.

Yucca Valley

Mr. Petzel misses a very important point: Criticism doesn't make you a victim. You may have curiosity to find out who's saying nasty things about you on the internet, but no right to find out unless there is actual libel involved.

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act is fatally flawed in a number of places, but nowhere so much as in it's lack of recourse for those on the receiving end of it's terms.

The DMCA has reasonable provisions for libel and copyright infingement, but no adequate provisions for the misuse of those provisions for pure harassment. As we've seen in numerous cases, one of them being the one of the formerly anonymous 'Safe', organizations such as the Church of Scientology and corporations are using the provisions for libel and copyright infringement in bad faith. They claim to be pursuing a court action but have yet to actually do so.

I know of numerous cases so far where the Church of Scientology has blatantly and fraudulently claimed copyright infringement only to use the provisions of the DMCA to harass. If the 'Church' is not just folowing it's religious precept, as given down by Hubbard himself, to use the justice system to harass, then it must actually file a copyright lawsuit against 'Safe' or sue for libel or whatever other justification it has claimed for it's call to the DMCA.

Since no copyright infringement or libel actually exists it's obvious that the so called 'Church' will not so do. Of course the DMCA gives 'Safe' and other true victims of harassment recourse. That is to sue the harassing party. Unfortunately the only penalty that they can claim against that party is for 'damages' which are intangible in the case of a lost anonymity that opens one up to other well documented harassing actions of the perpetrator, or in the case of claimed copyright infringement, leads to the purpose of the complainer in the first place; to still criticism.

The DMCA must be changed to allow heavy penalties for fraudulent claims.

Joe Lynn

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