Date: Fri, 20 May 1994 17:53:37 -0700 (PDT) From: Glee Harrah Cady====
Subject: Dear Fellow Network Providers and other interested parties. NETCOM On-Line Communications has taken the step of cancelling the service of Laurence Canter of Canter and Siegel, the lawyer commonly referred to as the "Green Card Lawyer". Mr. Canter had been a customer of NETCOM in the past. He had been cautioned for what we consider abuse of NETCOM's system resources and his systematic and willful actions that do not comply with the codes of behavior of USENET. Mr. Canter has been widely quoted in the print and on-line media about his intention to continue his practice of advertising the services of his law firm using USENET newsgroups. He has also widely posted his intention to sell his services to advertise for others using the newsgroups. We do not choose to be the provider that will carry his messages. NETCOM believes that we can and will refuse service to people who have demonstrated that they do not respect the guidelines preventing posting advertisements to inappropriate USENET newsgroups. As a commercial Internet service provider, NETCOM encourages commercial activity on the Internet and believes it to be an important part of a complete service. However, NETCOM also believes that commercial activities need to be undertaken in an orderly and thoughtful manner, with attention to appropriate usage and sensitivity to the cooperative culture of the Internet community. Our position is that NETCOM can be compared to a public restaurant where a customer may be refused service if the customer is not wearing shoes. For the health of the other customers and the good of the restaurant, that customer may be turned away. NETCOM believes that being a responsible provider entails refusing service to customers who would endanger the health of the community. Customers, commercial or not, who will contribute to the health of the community, respect the laws of the land, and the rights of others, will be welcome. With best regards for a expanded Internet community, I am John Whalen, President, NETCOM On-Line Communication Services === PIPELINE From: firstname.lastname@example.org (James Gleick) Newsgroups: alt.current-events.net-abuse,alt.stop.spamming,news.admin.policy Subject: The Pipeline and Canter & Siegel Date: 31 May 1994 12:25:41 -0400 Organization: The Pipeline Lines: 22 An item in Power PC News, as well as articles in this newsgroup, have reported at face value an assertion by Canter & Siegel that our site will permit them to abuse Usenet with their commercial postings. This is absolutely false. We wish that Power PC News had checked with us before publishing such a thing. On the contrary, as the New York Times reported correctly, Canter abused his Pipeline account once and was warned (long before the public furor) that if he ever again used it to post commercial messages to Usenet the account would be terminated. Our policy is clear, and it's available for perusal in our gopher (pipeline.com). Canter & Siegal will *not* be permitted to abuse the Internet from our site. James Gleick Chairman The Pipeline
From the Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, June 22, 1994 Phoenix Lawyers Irk Internet Users Again By Broadcasting Ad * * * Company Providing Service Threatens to Pull Firm Off In `Cease and Desist' Order by Jared Sandberg, Staff Reporter of the Wall Street Journal A controversial law firm has riled Internet users again by broadcasting an ad for its services, leading to a threat to yank the firm off the global network unless it stops the practice. Phoenix attorneys Lawrence A. Canter and Martha S. Siegel posted a new message to more than 1,000 electronic bulletin boards late last week, offering their services to help immigrants participate in the federal government's ``green card lottery''. The husband-wife team brought in about $100,000 in business since their first ad was posted on the Internet in April, said Ms. Siegel. Although Internet users don't object to ads posted in certain areas, they loathe widely broadcast messages to unrelated bulletin boards. Earlier this week, the lawyers' new ad -- beamed to thousands of users despite fierce opposition -- prompted the company that provides the firm with access to Internet to order the lawyers to ``cease and desist''. Performance Systems International Inc., an Internet access provider in Herndon, Va., told the lawyers they must stop such ads or risk losing their account. Martin Schoffstall, vice president at Performance Systems, said the lawyers' actions violate acceptable use of the network, ``and that's actionable.'' Mr. Schoffstall said many Internet users have sent his company angry electronic mail messages for providing the lawyers with access. Four other companies that had also linked the lawyers up with Internet have either restricted them from posting or have taken away their access altogether for violating ``netiquette'', loosely established rules of behavior on the network. Responses from critics have been anything but polite. Ms. Siegel said she has received obscene phone calls and ``car-loads'' of magazines to which she never subscribed. ``This is a down and dirty bunch of irresponsible'' miscreants, she said, yet, they ``are being characterized as warm and fuzzy innocents.''