The Ridicule of North Dakota and Hong Kong

There is a case in North Dakota where the judge ultimately declares a spammer not guilty and an anti-spammer guilty. And some of the facts that the judge used as a conclusion includes knowing more :

3. At various other times, Ritz issued a variety of commands, including host -l, helo, and vrfy. The afore-mentioned commands are not commonly known to the average computer user. 

And there’s also the claim that “To find all access “authorized” which is successful would essentially turn the computer crime laws of this country upside down“. Then, I’m afraid if anyone can claim their property “unauthorized”, that could be equally be abused as just another reason to condemn people. Hey, “host -l” ( DNS Zone Transfer ) were put to public for usage and documented in RFC 1034. So does that mean if I “dig” (manual for dig) someone and that brings me to know more than “the average computer user” should know and that makes up a point I am liable to be sued?

There’s a part that states the anti-spammer violated the injunction though, that seems to be a point that actually let him be nailed ( lest I be termed a one-sided saga ), and I agree it is a bad thing for the anti-spammer. As the materials are not exposed publicly, I guesstimate that as a hacker you won’t be stopped from the injunction to find evidence of the spammer. In fact, based on the evidence in the past it is highly probable that the spammer is really involved in such activities.

It seems like it’s better to be on the safe side to let spammers spam, and have the trouble to scour through your spam mails for your mails, than to be put behind bars. At least that is true for North Dakota.

Now, that reminds me of another ridiculous case in Hong Kong regarding posting pornographic hyperlinks. A man posted 8 links to pornographic websites in a notable forum Uwants and was fined HKD $5,000. Posting hyperlinks and be sued? I hope the links I cite here won’t go pornographic suddenly lest I shall be behind bars, or the Google Adsense which everybody use isn’t intelligently pointing to pornographic websites lest the smart Google determines from your text that you want to feed such contents. Basically it is the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance in Hong Kong that prosecuted the man. In fact, according to Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance, these “controversial” links, articles and images, etc, should be reviewed and approved prior to publication.

Do you see the ridicule and irony here? Internet has been now built and bred as a place for instantaneous information disclosure and sharing freely crossing boundaries. Yet, the bureaucrats in Hong Kong are driving the city’s advances backwards by pre-censorship. If you have been living in Hong Kong, you’ll know how picky are these people in Hong Kong trying to sue people for nude pictures, whether artistic in nature or not. I have no idea if this precedent set is abused again, and progressively what portion of the computer law in Hong Kong be filled with junk?

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2 Responses to “The Ridicule of North Dakota and Hong Kong”


  1. 1 HelloSam January 22, 2008 at 5:54 am

    喺香港,要charge你求其簡易治罪條例執一條都得啦。唯有寄望唔會變左做個police state就算啦……

  2. 2 log0 January 22, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Sadly, that is true. It is in the States that you can use the term litigious to describe it, and Hong Kong has some associations that are very conservative, or precisely anti-intellectual. It will take a long-term effort and a mass of people if to discourage them.


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