On Thu, 30 Jun 2005, Theodore Ts'o wrote:
Calling someone a "lair" is making a claim that they are
knowingly stating a falsehood.
That is correct. Fortunately, there is a legal procedure to redress a
"knowing falsehood": It's called defamation. A "court-proven liar" is
someone who has been found responsible in defamation lawsuit. That's what
it means to be guilty of defamation: To have knowingly stated a falsehood.
However, making assumptions about another person's motivations is never
a good thing to do if you are trying to promote conversation.
I make no assumptions. The Judge in a court of law has already
investigated that person's motivations: They were seeking financial gain.
They may have observed a different set of facts in their
geography or in the circles they frequent; they may see a few cases
which you consider to be highly important which they classify as
unimportant exceptions; they may simply be mistaken.
Truth is an absolute defense to defamation. If they spoke truth, they
wouldn't lose defamation lawsuits. Simple mistakes are not usually
sufficient for a defamation lawsuits.
Instead of writing a treatise about lairs and defamtion law,
it would have helped moved the debate forward if you had written what
you have observed, why you think it is an important indicator, and
I'm not writing a hypothetical treatise on defamation.
If you want in terms of "observation": I observed people found responsible
(guilty) in defamation lawsuits, not just once but multiple times, where
the false statements involved open-relays.
This is important to the discussion of an RFC under consideration by the
IETF, because the RFC has statements predicated on claims of people found
in court to be lying on the subject of open relays for financial gain, and
their associates. Supportors of the RFC have offered similar statements,
These facts are fairly well-known, I think, unless you have never heard of
ORBS or SORBS.
My statement that Harald found "irritating" is also true, but not specific
to ORBS. It is an axiom of civil society which applies to the IETF. Here
it is again:
The IETF cannot accept the statements of known, court-proven liars, nor
can it suppress this fact in its deliberations. If the IETF accepts
court-proven and documented liars as reliable sources of fact, then it
will have no more credibility in its statements, as they will be based
on lies, not on truth.
Plainly, those who don't accept the axioms of civil society are by
definition uncivil. Such axioms should not be irritating.
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