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Hmmm. Texas: 78(R) SB 1116 - - Bill Text is one of the bills mentioned on a site called Freedom to Tinker (thanks sc4r4b) as an example of proposed legislation that they say will make it illegal to use a firewall! I am not a lawyer (though I play one on TV), so I can't say for sure their interpretation of this is correct, but it certainly seems to be supported by the language in the bill(s). Here's an excerpt:

The states of Massachusetts and Texas are preparing to consider bills that apparently are intended to extend the national Digital Millennium Copyright Act. (TX bill; MA bill) The bills are obviously related to each other somehow, since they are textually similar.

Here is one example of the far-reaching harmful effects of these bills. Both bills would flatly ban the possession, sale, or use of technologies that "conceal from a communication service provider ... the existence or place of origin or destination of any communication". Your ISP is a (communication) service provider, so anything that concealed the origin or destination of any communication from your ISP would be illegal -- with no exceptions.

If you encrypt your email, you're in violation, because the "To" line of the email is concealed from your ISP by encryption. If you use a secure connection to pick up your email, you're in violation, because the "From" lines of the incoming emails are concealed from your ISP by the encrypted connection.

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22. Do they even know... Mar 28, 2003, 14:45 Tigger
Anyone ever wonder if the politicians have any clue about the stuff they are trying to write laws for?

I guess this might make blocking your telephone number from Caller ID illegal, too!


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