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Court: Clogging email and voicemail systems can be legal

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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-15-11 11:33 AM
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Court: Clogging email and voicemail systems can be legal
A U.S. Appeals Court handed down a ruling this week that, at first blush, gives the public free reign to overflow a company's public email and voicemail systems in the name of a legitimate cause, even if they are intentionally hindering the company's ability to do business in the process.

Companies would be well served to pay attention to the ruling, which continues to flesh out the arguably vague U.S. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. It means that, while they may be legally protected from such activities as malicious hacking and spamming, they can't legally prevent people from using public communications channels -- such as email and phone -- to protest a company, even if their tactics amount to a well-orchestrated DoS-style attack.

Whether the precedent set by the ruling should be viewed as a victory for proponents of free speech or for bad guys looking for loopholes to wreak havoc is best left to the beholder.

In a nutshell, here's what happened. The LIUNA (Laborers' International Union of North America) launched a protest against a Michigan-based company called Pulte Homes. The reason for the protest isn't relevant here; the important point is how the union chose to respond. It started bombarding Pulte with vast quantities of targeted emails and phone calls. The union went so far as to employ an auto-dialing service to flood Pulte with calls. The fallout: Pulte's systems couldn't handle the flood of email and calls. They became overloaded, thus hindering Pulte's ability to do business.
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William769 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-15-11 11:44 AM
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1. GOOD!
I had a damn AC company calling my house 2 to 3 times a day after I repeatedly asked them to stop calling me because I had another company service. This went on for about two weeks. I got pissed and made it my mission to tie up their phone lines. I would call ask how it felt to receive a unwanted call then hang up and repeat the process. I was relentless! after about two days of doing this the owner of the company called me and asked me to stop calling his place of business, I told him when he stopped calling my home. He said he had a right to call me at home but I didn't have a right to tie up his business phone. He then threatened me with harassment charges, I told him to go for it. They don't call my house anymore.
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Salviati Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-15-11 12:22 PM
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2. Wow, it's like some people have just never heard of word of mouth...
or have no idea that their buisness develop a reputation. I'm sure that by refusing to take no for an answer to this extent (I'm amazed that the owner actually said that to you!) that their company has lost more than just your buisness. I'm sure that you've steered everyone you know away from this place. Is it manditory that you be an idiot to run a company in the US today, or is it just optional?
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proudlib8134 Donating Member (50 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-15-11 01:30 PM
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3. +1
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