Posting annoying messages is now a federal offence

Networking/Security Forums -> Connectivity // Telecommunications // Internet News

Author: MattALocation: Eastbourne + London PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 7:00 pm    Post subject: Posting annoying messages is now a federal offence
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Fantastic we now have a method of dealing with flamers and trolls that can end with incarceration (for the U.S based one's at least).

<snip>
Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.

In other words, it's OK to flame someone on a mailing list or in a blog as long as you do it under your real name. Thank Congress for small favors, I guess.
<snip>
Full article below.
http://news.com.com/Create+an+e-annoyance%2C+go+to+jail/2010-1028_3-6022491.html?part=rss&tag=6022491&subj=news

Author: capiLocation: Portugal PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 7:10 pm    Post subject:
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This is ridiculous. First, annoying someone is not, or rather should not, be illegal. Second, and from this stems my first point, how do you define annoying?

In fact, I hereby say this thread is annoying. MattA, that had better be your real name Laughing Laughing

Author: capiLocation: Portugal PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 7:52 pm    Post subject:
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cUtEpInKbUnNiEs wrote:
People that want to bash Bush, and dems too...use "anonamous" sources

Ah yes, of course. How dare people anonymously criticise their government? Everyone speaking against the governing body should be fully identified, for interrogation purpos... err I mean, uuh... what was the question? Hmm... look, a terrorist! He went that way!

"Land of the free" indeed.


Last edited by capi on Thu Jan 12, 2006 7:54 pm; edited 2 times in total

Author: zeedoLocation: Scotland PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 7:52 pm    Post subject:
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just don't send porn to GwB as that would make you an annoying, sexually harassing, terrorist - then you'd really be in trouble.

Author: capiLocation: Portugal PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 8:12 pm    Post subject:
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cUtEpInKbUnNiEs wrote:
then...have the source as "anonamous"...then you talk to the author and he reveals off the record it came from CuTePiNkBuNnIeS on so-and-so's blog. lol.

Unverified sources have the credibility each of us is willing to assign to them. I would probably not give too much weight to what some "mr. icemanzorg" said on some online place, unless it had some verifiable facts. Or I could actually agree with it myself a priori. If the guy says idiot things, I will just think he is an idiot. If he says something that is logical and makes sense, I might be convinced, if it is verifiable. Doesn't really matter.

A polititian cannot start demanding that people identify themselves for criticising him or the government. It sets a very dangerous precedent.

If China were to say no one can criticise the leader of the country anonymously, everyone would say "damn police state". If the US does it, why the different reaction?

You cannot outlaw "being annoying". Again, I will say: anyone in this thread who disagrees with me is annoying me and causing me distress. I'm calling my lawyer.

Author: capiLocation: Portugal PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:04 pm    Post subject:
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cUtEpInKbUnNiEs wrote:
I don't believe the media should be able to use anonamous sources, because they could make up their own story, post it anonamously on a blog, then site it in their book, show etc. Ok...you can put "anonamous source" in your book or report, but if I decide to hoist up the BS flag and we go to court, it should be revealeable and a reliable source.

(emphasis mine) Oh, on that much we agree. As long as it is in a legal process, and of course with reasonable justification for the need to reveal the sources in the first place (which will have to be determined by the court).

cUtEpInKbUnNiEs wrote:
George Bush molested monkeys on a trip to Russia" - Fictious Propiganda labeled "Anonamous" but somehow ends up on BBC or CBS (which wouldn't suprise me) (not ok)

But... but... I saw it happen! lol Razz

Quote:
The problem is the media...because they can site "anonamous" sources, exploit it. They don't have rational judgement when deciding what is true and what isn't...especially when it comes to killing the character of someone they despise.

True, media sucks. (oh no, wait I didn't mean to annoy you, media people! I take it back!)

Author: mxb PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:28 pm    Post subject:
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This is turning into an interesting thread. I just think I should add some comments into the mix here.

cUtEpInKbUnNiEs wrote:
I think that's messed up for the govt to come in and try to regulate the internet. I mean squashing kiddie porn, monitoring for anti-terrorism efforts, killing spammers etc is cool...but that's borderline stomping on freedom of speech.


This is some dangerous thinking. You agree with regulation of the Internet under certain circumstances, but not others. You don't know which category you fall in, and it could change anytime. You mention that using it to control spammers, kiddie porn and terrorism[1] is good, but not for others uses. However, in my opinion it's all or nothing. Everyone is allowed free speech or no-one is. Quoting from the Freenet FAQ:

Freenet FAQ wrote:
The true test of someone who claims to believe in Freedom of Speech is whether they tolerate speech which they disagree with, or even find disgusting.


After careful thought a couple of years ago this is what I agree with. No-one has the right to stop other peoples freedom of speech. Spammers can be controlled with technical measures, on either end of the chain. I agree that kiddie porn is disgusting, but there is obviously enough demand for it that it exists. I don't think you can solve the problem by regulation of the Internet. They will go back to trading by post, or using a sneakernet. Kiddie porn is a societal problem, not a technical one, so it cannot be solved by technical means.

As for the media and anonymous sources, people should realise that not everything published is correct and true. The media have developed a great sense of skill in manipulating viewers into their way of thinking through methods such as extreme patriotism, doom saying and other such nonsense. c.f. The Four Horsemen of the Modern Apocalypse: terrorists, child pornographers, drug kingpins, and the Mafia.

Wrecking a persons life doesn't have to occur from an anonymous source. If police took you in as a suspect for kiddie porn under some wrong evidence and the media found out then your life would just be as difficult. You might be released by the police, but the media will have published the fact that you were arrested for kiddie porn to millions of people and it will archived digitally on the Internet for probably eternity. It is this reason that I think people should be allowed to speak to the media anonymously. It is the responsibility of the media to check their sources. A free society needs anonymity to function correctly.

Anyway, to make this post on topic, I think that bill is ridiculous and unenforceable.

Cheers
Martin

[1] I personally think the threat of terrorism is the same as it was years ago. Therefore it will not be discussed.

Author: capiLocation: Portugal PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:33 pm    Post subject:
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Excellently put, mxb. I have to say I agree with everything you said.

Author: capiLocation: Portugal PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:59 pm    Post subject:
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cUtEpInKbUnNiEs wrote:
I think someone really needs to draw a line here on the internet. Either it has the freedom of speech, or the US has the freedom of speech.

[... bunch of stuff about the US government and US organizations ...]

I'm sorry, Jon, but where exactly did that "choice" come from, between the worldwide international network of computers which is the Internet and one single nation which is the US? I don't see how the US should be "having" anything here over any other country in particular.

Quote:
Before you're arrested by police for kiddy porn, that all has to run through a court to approve a warrant for arrest after presenting enough evidence. On the internet, there doesn't have to be any evidence to virtually "convict" someone.

The media never needed any evidence to convict anyone, before the Internet or after. All that is needed is the mere mention of a judicial investigation that involves the name of a prominent figure and that person's reputation is forever destroyed, regardless of the outcome of said investigation.

Here in Portugal we've seen that disgusting tactic being used, with excellent results. There was (still is) a huge pedophilia scandal here concerning a state orphanate and the children living there a couple of decades ago. I'm talking scandal as in the whole media talking of nothing else for months. Conveniently enough, nearing the time for government elections, certain reports "leaked" to the press mentioning a very high political leader of one of the center-left parties had been under investigation in the pedophilia case. For weeks the more right-wing television networks pressed the story, assassinated the man's character, every day did they have new revelations fresh out of phone bug transcripts and other police documents which by law should be kept in judicial secrecy (as they were part of an ongoing trial). The man's political career was literally destroyed, he was forced to step down from office, and in the end the police ended up ruling him out as a prime suspect.

No, the problem here aren't anonymous sources. The problem is the media, period. Anonimity is very much something to preserve and to guard with everything we have.

Author: mxb PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:16 pm    Post subject:
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cUtEpInKbUnNiEs wrote:
If the US has the freedom of speech, than the internet should be able to be used as a RECONNAISSANCE asset in criminal activity (kiddie porn, terrorism, etc), but not a REGULATED or MONITORED asset.


The US is not an individual, it doesn't have freedom of speech. Well, it shouldn't have but corporations do nowadays due to a twisting of the US constitution. However, I agree with your idea of reconnaissance, but only as far as monitoring their own networks. The difficulty is that Internet reconnaissance can be automated on a large scale extremely easily, a lot easier than for the phone or post system. If you setup some packet sniffers in a few key locations on the Internet you could probably tap 90% of the worlds communication (c.f. Echelon). The routing isn't really that redundant anymore. There are still key routes which most of the traffic goes through. I think this might be one reason why they want to kill peer-2-peer. With peer-2-peer the routes become a lot more varied. You could download something from someone from your own netblock and the traffic would never leave your ISP.

capi wrote:
I'm sorry, Jon, but where exactly did that "choice" come from, between the worldwide international network of computers which is the Internet and one single nation which is the US? I don't see how the US should be "having" anything here over any other country in particular.


I thought that too, but you beat me to the chase. I don't think any government should ``rule'' the Internet, not even a collection of governments. Technology changes too fast for governments to keep up, so they try and stifle technological development so they can control it (peer-2-peer anyone?).

capi wrote:
The media never needed any evidence to convict anyone, before the Internet or after. All that is needed is the mere mention of a judicial investigation that involves the name of a prominent figure and that person's reputation is forever destroyed, regardless of the outcome of said investigation.


My point exactly. Nothing needs to be proved, nothing needs to be certain. Once it's published it's ``out-there'' and people take it as fact.

capi wrote:
No, the problem here aren't anonymous sources. The problem is the media, period. Anonimity is very much something to preserve and to guard with everything we have.


Again, I agree 100%. Anonymity is needed in a free society, but people don't realise that. If you remove the anonymity you cannot speak up against the ruling power without fear of persecution.

Cheers,
Martin

Author: Jops PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:35 pm    Post subject:
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There goes the first amendment..... and habeous corpus for that matter.....


If you fart in church please go to jail... do not pass go....

Author: Jops PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:14 am    Post subject:
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Quote:
I believe the person who made those documents (Bush docs) should be held accountable...by having anonamity...justice will never be served. This act was fraudulant, and piped through some legal loopholes...which was terribly wrong. Remember, critisize = ok, create fraudulant documents = wrong...we're not talking about someone critisizing the gov't here, we're talking about a crime.


cUtEpInKbUnNiEs: You just opened up a whole *nother* can o'worms.

I really don't want to turn this into a political discussion but it's all ready too late. You already Mentioned Lord Bush himself.

We have a process here in this country. It's normally called the law. It was founded on our principles and created by our founding fathers (don't forget the mothers) ... yadda yadda yadda.... which was made into the constitution.

http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7779.shtml

The problem with this whole situation is we have people playing by the rules except the people who make them. They are somehow above the law shall we say.

I'm about to blow this way out of proportion, so buckle up buckaroos!!!!
You take something small such as posting annoying e-mails, blogs etc. which are false and make it a crime??? I'm sorry but isn't that calling the kettle black?


Here comes the "ride" buckaroos....as promised:

Quote:
fraudulant documents = wrong


What about intel on 9/11? What about our boys... future generations and leaders wiped out. May I pose the question what constitutes documents? From what I am reading it sounds like News *may* constitute as documents. There have been reports put out by the Pentagon through the AP that they do indeed create false news stories as well. Is this wrong? Who can be held accountable for this? In addition... I think the law makers better come up with the TRILLIONS... yes that is right TRILLIONS missing in OUR (I.E. Tax payers) money before they worry about someone defaming our PUBLIC SERVANT, King George.

This is just another Fabian Socialistic movement to silence critics and control speech, plain and simple.


The BIG BUT here is that you are right, defaming someone is not an ethical thing to do just for it's sake. That is where our discerning mind comes into play, right? Sorting through the crappadookie, lies and disinformation? Right?

But that is why we have good ole "Christian" GWB in office...

You won't here this on Focus on the Family...just boot licking.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=44649


Okay Buckaroos... it's the end of the ride now. Here's something to chew on though. Is it American to make so many laws that it's almost impossible not to break one? Are we really all criminals? I think accountability starts from the top down..... and that's the rest of the story.


P.S. The Dems and Reps are just different tenticles of the same monster. Think about it.

Author: capiLocation: Portugal PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:31 am    Post subject:
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Ok friends, I'd just like to ask everyone to please remember to keep things friendly and civil as they currently are, all right?

Don't get me wrong, absolutely no one has been less than friendly and civil here, there's nothing wrong in this thread. I'm just being preemptive, since we are starting to wonder into the realm of political discussion.

Discussing different ideas can be very interesting and stimulating, as long as we all remember to keep things cordial and to the plane of ideas, and continue to respect diferring opinions, as you have all done so far.

So, with that in mind, feel free to carry on Smile

Author: Jops PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:33 am    Post subject:
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No problems here =) It's fun to have discussions.... bafoons argue =)

In any case, My friend, I was merely attempting to elaborate on the slippery slope we are on.

Quote:

If that was really true BBC, Fox, CNN, CBS etc would be all over it in a heartbeat. As was mentioned earlier, its about sorting through the filth.


This is simply not a true statement. It has been known for years that a handful of companies own the media and various media outlets. What we see is filtered, controlled and monitored. Something may get initially reported but often true stories w/ substance often get brushed over in the nat'l media. I would be more than happy to carry on this discussion on privately, however, some of my sentiments would be better reflected if you happened to watch the documentary "Outfoxed". While I disagree with some of the reporting done in the movie, the premise is the same and it doesn't only apply to the FOX news outlet.

Quote:
I was speaking of criminal activity through the internet and when the government siezes it through hacking etc its somehow not admissable. I was talking about using the internet as a resource for reconnaissance rather than trying to restrict it, govern it, or do such to its users.


This law is essentially geared towards doing so. I would like to add that some of this stuff really makes me sick. For example, a law can be passed for lets say Veterans Benefits. In page 2000 paragraph 2 sub-paragraph 8, line 3 it could read something like this:

Biopharmaceutical companies shall bear no responsibilities or liabilities for any bodily harm done due to a vaccination shot

What does that have to do with the proposed bill? Nothing. It's all about money and sneaking in things like this is worrisome. If it's done overtly w/ bills such as this one... or covertly like the one I glossed over there it doesn't matter, the end result is the same.

Author: _._._._._Location: Ontario, Canada PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:44 am    Post subject:
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i can't really add much, but i agree with all the "this bill is junk" and "the general population is sheep to the media"

i've talked to some people who's voice alone annoys me...should the be forced to stop speaking? probably not, they can't help it, they can't really change their voice, but it annoys me none the less. some people simply don't know how to behave properly, they were never taught not to be annoying.


*starts being annoying to taunt the Americans, knowing that they can't be annoying back* Twisted Evil

Author: hugoLocation: Netherlands, Europe PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:14 am    Post subject:
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Interestingly, I've read the same news via Bruce Schneiers' blog -- he quotes a BoingBoing article where an anonymous lawyer stated the following, which I couldn't keep from this thread.

http://www.schneier.com/blog wrote:
EDITED TO ADD (1/9) Some commenters to BoingBoing clarify the legal issues. This is from an anonymous attorney:

The anonymous harassment provision ( Link ) is the old telephone-annoyance statute that has been on the books for decades. It was updated in the widely (and in many respects deservedly) ridiculed Communications Decency Act to include new technologies, and the cases make clear its applicability to Internet communications. See, e.g., ACLU v. Reno, 929 F. Supp. 824, 829 n.5 (E.D. Pa. 1996) (text here), aff'd, 521 U.S. 824 (1997). Unlike the indecency provisions of the CDA, this scope update was not invalidated in the courts and remains fully effective.

In other words, the latest amendment, which supposedly adds Internet communications devices to the scope of the law, is meaningless surplusage.

Author: mxb PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 12:00 pm    Post subject:
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A number of points have been posted while I was sleeping that I would like to comment on.

cUtEpInKbUnNiEs wrote:
Who says we can't hack in China, Indian, Fuji networks! Its the iNet...which is "free" and unregulated.


I'm not 100% certain about this but couldn't think be taken as an act of war? If a single individual or a minority of citizens attack machines belonging to a particular country it's a lot easier to pass them off as a ``lone group''. If a country specifically targeted another countries infrastructure then it would be different. I'm sure little skirmishes occur all the time, but not to the extent you are implying.

cUtEpInKbUnNiEs wrote:
About that politician...it sucks what happened to him, but there is no doubt he was somehow involved so therefore the report was accurate (from what you've described) and he prob had a dirty hand in something. Somehow he was involved...that's the point. Noone made fictitious documents and propigated them all over BBC or whatever news source you have there.


I agree with you that what happened to that guy was awful, but I don't agree with you that he was necessarily involved. Police agencies normally cast a really wide net and then eliminate people as they go along. What you are implying is that just being caught in that net is enough to make you guilty. Again, the documents don't have to be fictitious, but the end result is the same. If a certain media organisation wanted the other candidate to win then they would push this story again and again, so people would remember it. It's nothing short of character assassination.

cUtEpInKbUnNiEs wrote:
Michael Moore is free to express his opinions in Farenheit 911...since everyone realized what a nut-job he was, it was labeled a fiction and dismissed as such.


This may be dangerous territory, so I'll word my sentences carefully. Did people actually realise that he was a ``nut-job'' themselves or were they told he was by the mainstream media, the people who were partly at fault according to the film? Again, it could be character assassination, like capi's example.

Jops wrote:
The problem with this whole situation is we have people playing by the rules except the people who make them. They are somehow above the law shall we say.
...
This is just another Fabian Socialistic movement to silence critics and control speech, plain and simple.


I agree with both and very well put.

Jops wrote:
What about intel on 9/11?


Again, maybe another political hot potato. I do believe that some evidence was either fabricated or elaborated to support the cause to go to war in Iraq. No weapons of mass destruction were ever found, and the point that Saddam had them was hammered home (at least here in the UK) by the media for a long time. This poses an interesting question, were the media right in pushing the story of allegations of weapons of mass destruction? The articles weren't anonymous, they were from Government / Department of Defence / Intelligence sources. Were the media manipulated themselves to support going to war with insufficient cause?

cUtEpInKbUnNiEs wrote:
If that was really true BBC, Fox, CNN, CBS etc would be all over it in a heartbeat. As was mentioned earlier, its about sorting through the filth.


Adding to what Jops said: Is it really about sorting through the filth or do news agencies have an agenda of their own? For a news corporation to have no agenda it would require a lot of work and checking of stories, as people themselves naturally have agendas. The BBC is normally taken to be neutral, CNN / FOX etc are not. You cite the example of ``if the story was true the news would report it''. Again, only if it meets their agenda. If Bush makes things easier for the news corporation and the opposition would make things more difficult, do you think they would push out stories like that?

Jops wrote:
What does that have to do with the proposed bill? Nothing. It's all about money and sneaking in things like this is worrisome.


Definitely, items such not be attached to bills that have a near certain chance of passing if they are not related. It's just manipulation to push forward a certain agenda.

Hugo wrote:
Interestingly, I've read the same news via Bruce Schneiers' blog


Indeed I read that too. It seems that the law already took this into account, except nobody really realised it. What this will do however is make a lot more people aware of the situation.

Great discussion everyone. Nice to see people discussing important topics such as this while being civil and friendly. Smile

Cheers,
Martin

Author: Jops PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:19 pm    Post subject:
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Quote:
Great discussion everyone. Nice to see people discussing important topics such as this while being civil and friendly.


Gee... you'd think we were all adults or something??? Laughing

Author: capiLocation: Portugal PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:05 pm    Post subject:
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Jops wrote:
Gee... you'd think we were all adults or something??? Laughing

You'd be surprised how difficult it is to find a group of adults that can behave themselves in serious online discussions... Wink

Author: Jops PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 6:11 pm    Post subject:
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Jon-

I have a question for you. Are you a party conservative or a true conservative? There is a notable difference.

Here's a pertinent example.

In WWII you were considered a "Liberal" if you wanted to go to war. A party Liberal that is. Is that the case nowdays? You have what you called Neo-conservatives wanting to go to war. It seems we have done almost a 180 in our party paradigm, no? To clarify, you are now considered a party conservative if you want to go to war. Does this make sense?

My definition of conservatism is small, limited government; adhering to the laws and principles of the constitution; a decentralized unintrusive government. We don't have this anymore.

It's of my own personal opinion that we do not have many true public servants anymore. The elected officials are supposed to represent the people, not enslave or manipulate them. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I tire of the Socialistic rhetoric emenating from the District of Criminals. I'm sick of paying taxes so people who are not citizens of this country get free medical care, schooling, food, etc. How many people would you let live for free in your house? If so, please let me know I'll move in next week.

I know this may be a little off the topic of this bill, but the principle is just the same. They control the laws, they control the language, they control the enforcers. You say the wrong thing, if the right person hears it... you will be silenced.

Author: MattALocation: Eastbourne + London PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 6:47 pm    Post subject:
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cUtEpInKbUnNiEs wrote:
Who says we can't hack in China, Indian, Fuji networks! Its the iNet...which is "free" and unregulated.

The local laws of your country apply, so if you hack a chinese server you've still commited an offence in the U.S and could be tried for it there.
But the Chinese would have to inform U.S law enforcement.

mxb wrote:

I'm not 100% certain about this but couldn't think be taken as an act of war? If a single individual or a minority of citizens attack machines belonging to a particular country it's a lot easier to pass them off as a ``lone group''. If a country specifically targeted another countries infrastructure then it would be different. I'm sure little skirmishes occur all the time, but not to the extent you are implying.

It's could be construed as an act of war if it was government sponsored. It would certainly lead to an international incident...but in fact it happens quite often and gets swept under the carpet.
There have often been incidents such as moonlight maze and various chinese (likely state sponsored) groups trying to steal US corporate designs.

Author: jackfruit09 PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:11 am    Post subject:
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how about posting annoying messages here? Shocked



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