Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ahhh. I get it! VOIP...

It makes more sense now...they're likely talking about VOIP!

At the very bottom of my post Monday, I mentioned that a law had been passed by Congress and signed into law by our President. The sensational blog-o-sphere headlines screamed across the net that posting annoying comments (etc.) on the internet could land you in jail.

I had first grabbed a can of "blogger-gasoline" I had laying around to toss onto the pyre, but reason kicked in and I settled down and posted my blog about setting up my father-in-law's pc instead. I'm glad I did. I think it ended up generating a more positive discussion to the web-world than my initial one would have.

As is often the case in the blog world, a fact gets picked up and bundled in a sensationalist tagline and off the flames roar across the grasslands of the virtual world. Only trouble is, frequently once we've burned off our collective energy and caught the latest RocketBoom or HomestarRunner clip for the day, we've long since forgotten what kicked us off in the first place.

So with that in mind, I went back and checked out this story again since it has had some time to percolate around. Here's what I found:

Carl Liner over at Football Fans for Truth, takes a look and found a summary over at Senator Domenici's office supports his interpretation that the law is intended to extend existing telephone harassment laws to cover voice over IP (VOIP) technology that is internet based. If you follow the summary link, save your eyes and scroll down to section 113:

"...To strengthen stalking prosecution tools, this section expands the definition of a telecommunications device to include any device or software that uses the Internet and possible Internet technologies such as voice over internet services." (emphasis mine)

The Volokh Conspiracy folks break it down a bit more in their analysis on the subject.

Not convinced yet? Well, KipEsquire steps though the sections in question and arrives at the same conclusion: New VAWA "Annoying" Clause is Indeed Annoying -- But Not to Blogs.

Finally, if you haven't been convinced yet, Siva Vaidhyanathan and his Friends and Family, will happily pull out their own brand of punishment and whop you over the head with a post that is almost every section of the law code in question spelled out and stitched together for you enjoyment.

Lots more linkage exists on these pages if you just want to follow along, but a supportable and reasonable case seems to exist that a more reasonable (and less sensational) interpretation is that our caring lawmakers saw fit to extend anti-(wire-based) telephony stalking laws to now cover VOIP-based telephony stalking technologies so the fine men in black and blue could legally put some smack-down-hurt on the creepy dudes harassing the ladies trying to get on with their lives. You see, in my world of thinking at least, this law would be seen as a good thing.

If that's indeed the go guys!

And by the way....

If you are one of the best geeky IT guys you know and look good in shades--you might want to know that the FBI is looking for you. No, not for that--nobody really cares what you did last summer! They want to give you a job! Really! And pay you pretty good for it, as well! Act fast, the offer is up at the end of January! Ahh, if I was just a few years younger....

And as an added bonus, I understand the sakura are beautiful in D.C. in the Spring.

My late grandpa was a G-Man with the FBI. He was one of the finest men I ever had the honor of knowing. Get-em grandpa!

See you in calmer skies!

No comments: