Wednesday, July 02, 2003
Aaargh!Not even the California Supreme Court understands what the first amendment's "free speech" provisions are! Newspapers all over the country are carrying stories similar to this one in USA Today: "California Supreme Court says anti-Intel e-mail not trespassing."
But a private individual or corporation is not enjoined by the first amendment, only the government is. It is stated that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" nor "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." [emphasis added]
"Congress" and "the government", mind you, not Intel!
Its rare that two lower courts get a verdict right only to be overturned by a state's highest court who should be expected to be more knowledgeable about the law, but it does happen - it has happened.
What this verdict means is that no organization in the state of California can block unwanted email to their site as long as they can not demonstrate significant loss. That's wrong.
AS a US citizen, you have a right to express your views and opinions but you also have the right to NOT listen to others expressing their views and opinions. The right to speak has a concomitant freedom to listen and the California Supreme Court has now removed Intel's freedom to listen and that, simply, is wrong.
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