[funsec] Rage against spammers and telemarketers
Tomas L. Byrnes
tomb at byrneit.net
Thu Jul 23 14:32:20 CDT 2009
From: funsec-bounces at linuxbox.org [mailto:funsec-bounces at linuxbox.org] On Behalf Of David M Chess
Sent: Thursday, July 23, 2009 7:07 AM
To: funsec at linuxbox.org
Subject: Re: [funsec] Rage against spammers and telemarketers
> According to court documents, Charles W. Papenfus, 43, allegedly
> told a sales representative during a May 18 telephone call that he
> would burn down the building and kill the employees and their
> families. He was indicted for making a terrorist threat, a Class D
> felony; and he could be sentenced to up to four years in prison if
Maybe I'm overlooking something key, but I'm finding the reactions on the thread here sort of puzzling. I mean, if threatening to burn down a building and kill the occupants and their families isn't a terrorist threat, I don't know what is.
Presumably he didn't say it in order to make the person at the other end of the line feel *more* secure in life and property, and to calm their fears...
Now maybe he didn't mean it, maybe he was just upset and speaking without any actual intent, and if so great he can use that in his defense at trial, and maybe he'll be acquitted as a result.
But really, if I yell into a phone that I'm going to burn down a building and kill a company's employees and their families, I would hope I *would* get to spend a little time in a quiet place, thinking about whether that was really a wise thing to say...
Not the kind of thing this left-libertarian usually finds himself writing to mailing lists,
[TLB:] There's nothing more libertarian than holding people accountable for their actions towards other people. The basic premise of libertarianism is that the fundamental human right is the right to be free from coercion. Threats are one of the strongest forms of coercion, because the threatened has only one viable option if they believe the threat is real, which is to immediately terminate it (acquiescing to threats usually leads to more extortion), thereby placing themselves in physical danger, and running the risk of being found liable for their physical acts.
One of the oldest crimes is Assault, and it should continue to be taken seriously. Now, expanding that into some special category of "Terrorist Threat" is another manner. Any threat should be taken seriously, and the penalty related to the seriousness of the threat.
On the other hand, if I threaten to go back in time and kill your ancestors, I should be given a psych eval, assuming the arresting officer has no sense of humor, not thrown in jail.
Last, but by no means least, by some of these metrics, most inhabitants of the British Isles are terrorists. Except it's the tradition of "Slagging" or "taking the piss". (The is very different from a.)
I prefer to use Pythonesque insults when dealing with recalcitrant or malingering customer service agents, they humor sometimes makes them realize how silly they are being. Better yet, I just hang up and call back hoping to get someone else.
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