Actually, that quote is in the dissenting minority opinion, and the majority opinion was reversing the prior dismissal of charges against the ISP Owner/Operator, saying that he had in fact acted illegally by retrieving stored messages for purposes not related to the ISP service rendered nor their intended use (communication between the addresses). However, given that it is true one signs or otherwise indicates agreement w/an ISP contract, it is likely the dissention might be the majority rule in other cases. Plus, proving discovery via the ISP and its employees might not be straightforward. So, the heuristic of not emailing it if you would object to/be harmed by it becoming public knowledge is still valid.

-----Original Message-----
From: UVM Blogging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Richard E. Parent
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 1:54 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Mystery of Gossipy Blog on the Judiciary Is Solved

> As with email, which has an assumption of privacy, but is really 
> public, webpostings should be considered fully public, even when you 
> use a "pen name" to post them.

Steve (et al.),

The First Circuit Court of Appeals recently rule that there is *no* presumption of privacy (and, thus, right to anonymity) in e-mail.

"When a customer signs up with an e-mail provider like Interloc, he routinely is asked to read and expressly sign off on a privacy agreement which defines his expectations of privacy visą-vis the provider. If the protections are inadequate, he may decline the e-mail service and seek an alternative service contract which will afford him the protections he requires. [....] If Interloc did intercept its customers' messages in breach of a privacy agreement, the remedy lies in contract, not in the Wiretap Act." (47-48)

In other words, your presumption of privacy extends no farther than the contract you "sign" with your ISP, and if you don't insist on adequate privacy (and your ISP doesn't give it to you), you're pretty much up the creek.

Sad, sad, sad.

But back to the Court Blog -- I have no sympathy for this guy at all.  
He outed
himself because he wanted "recognition" for all of his work on the blog.  When the consequences come a-knocking, he's got no one but himself to blame.  One would have thought that an Ivy-educated lawyer would have been taught more prudence and discretion.

Richard E. Parent, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English
Old Mill 435, University of Vermont
Burlington, VT  05405
Phone (802) 656-3312
Fax (802) 656-3055
[log in to unmask]

Quoting Steve Cavrak <[log in to unmask]>:

> On Nov 17, 2005, at 4:51 PM, Chris Moran wrote:
>> Um.. I find that highly wrong. While I rarely hide my identity when  
>> I speak up,
>> anonimity is protected to at least some extent.
>> From :
>> "Appeals Court Upholds Anonymous Online Speech. In the first  
>> appellate decision
>> to address the issue, a New Jersey appeals court has established  stringent
>> procedural and evidentiary standards that must be met before the  
>> identity of an
>> anonymous online poster can be disclosed through litigation.
> While there is often a presumption of anonimity, there is no  
> guarantee of this ...
> "Litigation" refers to legal procedures, and in this case, the rights 
>  of "discovery."
> Discovery, however, doesn't always have to come through court  
> procedures. That's what keeps newspapers, etc, in business. (Not to  
> mention private detectives, or even private database companies ...)
> As with email, which has an assumption of privacy, but is really  
> public, webpostings should be considered fully public, even when you  
> use a "pen name" to post them.
> Steve