[Foundation-l] 09-f9-...

Anthony wikilegal at inbox.org
Mon May 7 23:42:35 UTC 2007

On 5/7/07, Ed Sanders <ejsanders at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Todd Allen wrote:
> > If you're correct there, then...wow, things are worse than I imagined.
> > What if you did have a collection of 2000 credit card numbers, and
> > never made an unlawful purchase on a single one? Who's been harmed?
> > Likelihood of replication doesn't change the basic premise. That's
> > getting into the realm of outlawing information and concepts rather
> > than actions and deeds, and that's not a very good road to start
> > walking down.
> Well if you didn't have a good reason to be hoarding credit card numbers
> you could be convicted of conspiracy to commit credit card fraud.

A charge of conspiracy to commit credit card fraud requires that there
actually be credit card fraud.  There may in fact be a law against
possession of credit card numbers, most likely requiring an intent to
use them for fraudulent purposes, but conspiracy is not such a law.

> In the
> same way the only reason to distribute a number generated from porn
> would be to distribute the porn,

In the case of child pornography, there is a law specifically banning

> and the only reason the distribute that
> exact DVD key is to circumvent a protection system (which is illegal in
> the US, I believe).

I don't know about anyone else, but the reason I distributed the DVD
key on this mailing list was in order to make it clear what string had
triggered the spam blacklist.  I was quoting from the blacklist

But that raises a question.  Is it illegal for a Wikimedia dev to add
the number into the spam blacklist, or for Wikimedia to store the
number in the spam blacklist, or for a dev to send an email to another
dev with the number in it, for the purpose of telling them to set up
the spam blacklist?

How about the block log?  There are users blocked that have the number
in their username.  Is the block log now illegal?

> This is about outlawing the distribution of certain
> information, which is very much a real crime in some circumstances.
Well, that's somewhat of an incomplete description.  The word
"distribution" isn't used in the law in question, and one of three
specific criteria must be met regarding that certain information.

But I agree that it's silly to say it's OK to distribute the
information simply because it can be expressed as a number.


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