News & Analysis
US Internet Criminalization Now Pursued at State Level – Conn. Attacked
ACLU Blasts 'Electronic Harassment' Bill; Says It Criminalizes Free Speech ... The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut is blasting a bill proposed by state prosecutors that would make "electronic harassment" a crime — including such acts as posting information on the Internet that "has the effect of causing substantial embarrassment or humiliation to [a] person within an academic or professional community." The bill, which comes up for a public hearing by the legislature's judiciary committee Thursday, "criminalizes speech that is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution," said Sandra Staub, legal director for the state ACLU. "It's vague. It's overbroad." For example, Staub said, it contains "no standards for substantially interfering with someone's academic performance." – N Hartford Courant
Dominant Social Theme: Now SOPA moves to the states. Good.
Free-Market Analysis: These bills are all about the criminalizing of the Internet. Now that SOPA has been pushed back on the federal front, the action is turning to the states. The idea, in our view, is to whittle away at the Internet bit by bit. Create precedent at the state level and then move in again at the federal level.
The powers-that-be don't like the Internet or what we call the Internet Reformation that has changed the context of the power debate in the US and throughout the world.
The Internet has exposed the memes of the elite, the dominant social themes that are used to promote world government by scaring people into cooperating with internationalist facilities like the UN.
The powers-that-be are using the same strategies as regards the Internet. They are trying to convince people that a series of organized electrons are as a dangerous as a dark alley on a bad side of town. The Internet needs to be seriously policed and criminalized.
SOPA itself was an attempt at this criminalization. Here's something from Wikipedia on the bill, which has not passed thus far:
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a United States bill introduced by U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith (R-TX) to expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. Provisions include the requesting of court orders to bar advertising networks and payment facilities from conducting business with infringing websites, and search engines from linking to the sites, and court orders requiring Internet service providers to block access to the sites. The law would expand existing criminal laws to include unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content, imposing a maximum penalty of five years in prison. A similar bill in the U.S. Senate is titled the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).
Whether or not these bills are being written by well-meaning people, they have the result of turning a free-speech arena into a criminally patrolled environment. As a result, communication will suffer and the ability of people to explain to each other the Way the World Works will also degrade. Here's more from the article excerpted above:
As the bill is written, someone could be charged with electronic harassment — and, theoretically, jailed for up to a year and fined $2,000 because the crime would be a "class A" misdemeanor — if he or she posted information about a person that was true, Staub said. For example, she said, even if a student posted accurate information on Facebook saying that a certain professor had committed misconduct in the past, and that professor found it embarrassing or humiliating, the professor could ask the police to arrest the student.
Civil statutes and long-established case law already deal with allegations of defamation — a person can sue for slander or libel if his or her reputation is damaged by untrue information — and there's no need to criminalize the issue, Staub said.
The virtue of civil defamation law is that a person cannot be held liable for defamation if the offending statement is true, Staub said, noting that the "electronic harassment" bill, as written, even removes truth as a defense.
Besides, Staub said, in a free society citizens should be able to offer negative opinions that may not even be absolute fact. Students should be allowed to rate the performance of professors, for example, by offering criticisms that they are inept or seem to take their lectures right out of some textbook, Staub said. "We have a constitutional right to annoy, bother, and offend, basically."
Whatever else the ACLU may be, they have moments when they perform a real service, as in this case. There is nothing on the Internet that needs another law to confront it, as Staub herself notes. "Moreover, there are already criminal laws under which people are arrested for threatening and harassing others, she said. These existing criminal statutes contain well-established standards for what constitutes a crime — such as making statements to a person that cause him or her to fear physical harm."
Perhaps a key point made in the article is a statement by Staub that the bill, Senate Bill 456, "has emerged seemingly out of nowhere, relatively far into the legislative session ... 'I have no idea why this bill is here.'"
We think we do, though. The US is apparently in the grip of directed history. A small criminal clique has grasped control of the US and is driving the country and the world toward global government. The Internet stands in their way and they will destroy it if they can.
Who knows if the Connecticut bill will go anywhere. It is "overly broad," to say the least. But its introduction in Connecticut – a fascist mess of a state – is notable.
It does seem, in our humble view, to mark another expansion of the elite's war against the Internet in the US. Perhaps there are similar initiatives being pursued in other states as well.
Conclusion: They begin at the federal level. That's the first and simplest option. But now they are likely starting to work their way down to state and even municipal levels if necessary. This is how the dialectic is pursued.
Posted by amanfromMars on 04/03/12 11:57 AM
Crikey ... ... what would that all mean for the muppets who swallowed and paraded as their own and spread this information/misinformation around the world ... ... .. Click to view link
Although there are those who tell you that he was/is well paid to say he supplied the intel but actually is that just a fabrication too.
Posted by eternal on 04/03/12 01:25 PM
Evidentially it's too difficult to bring libel cases in US..?
Posted by SoCal fellow on 04/03/12 01:28 PM
It seems like the same kind of bill has just passed both houses in Arizona:
Click to view link
So, it appears that the Money Mafia, unable to pass things at the Federal level, will go state-by-state.
I look forward to the crash of the market for U.S. Treasuries, which may be the only sure way to seize up The Machine.
Posted by amanfromMars on 04/03/12 01:48 PM
The bigger shock to the people would be that US foreign policy appears to be led by foreign agents with their own private and personal agendas.
Posted by runderwo on 04/03/12 02:08 PM
Section 230 Revision Will Likely Impact Anonymous Internet Speech
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Joe Lieberman is proposing an amendment to section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That is the law that gives immunity to information content providers for the conduct of others. In other words, a blogger or forum host isn't responsible for defamatory comments by anonymous commenters.
This amendment to that law would change that, by stripping out the immunity and leaving web hosts potentially liable.
Posted by provolone on 04/03/12 09:45 PM
The Internet was better when there were less idiots online. Now everyone and their grandmother knows how to publish a blog and having a Facebook account is a requirement for job interviewers.
With all of these new idiots in the system, someone has to keep them safe. Big government is all to happy to oblige. There was a time when the Internet was obscure enough that nobody cared. The ISP was more likely to call you on the phone with a stern warning concerning your youthful hacking mistakes than call the police.
Now there are a million services like siteadvisor and mywot that help the public decide what is a 'safe' website and what is 'potentially malicious' whatever that means.
Using the Internet to get paid? Not without the express blessings of the FTC I hope. The Internet has just become too big of a target for regulators. Touch typists who have no business behind a keyboard are getting taken advantage of. Big government has been named the vengeful champion of people who are too lazy or incompetent to take responsibility for educating themselves.
DB, check the FTC's recent actions against the affiliate marketing community. Note that the FTC is not taking action against the same behaviors from other bigger networks including cable TV ads. In the next years we will see more of these companies moving overseas to avoid regulation.
Reply from The Daily Bell
"DB, check the FTC's recent actions against the affiliate marketing community."
You have a link?
Posted by runderwo on 04/03/12 11:47 PM
Even worse than SOPA: New CISPA cybersecurity bill will censor the Web
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H.R. 3523, a piece of legislation dubbed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (or CISPA for short), has been created under the guise of being a necessary implement in America's war against cyberattacks. But the vague verbiage contained within the pages of the paper could allow Congress to circumvent existing exemptions to online privacy laws and essentially monitor, censor and stop any online communication that it considers disruptive to the government or private parties. Critics have already come after CISPA for the capabilities that it will give to seemingly any federal entity that claims it is threatened by online interactions, but unlike the Stop Online Privacy Act and the Protect IP Acts that were discarded on the Capitol Building floor after incredibly successful online campaigns to crush them, widespread recognition of what the latest would-be law will do has yet to surface to the same degree.
Posted by amanfromMars on 04/04/12 12:15 AM
Do senators have any kind of immunity privileges ... ... for such contrived and inequitable privileges are always systematically used and abused by the weak-minded and dim-witted in whatever field and jurisdiction they are found/delivered to?
And in so doing, does immunity create a self-destructive nest of vipers/great octopussy web of overwhelming deceit and crashing despair for immunity from accountable responsibility is a delusional notion ... ... a fools' gold trip for the intellectually challenged and fundamentally flawed and morally bankrupt ... ... . the immoral and amoral.
Or do you disagree, and posit that it cannot be so easily abused and used?
Posted by amanfromMars on 04/04/12 01:22 AM
The same shenanigans are thought to be a wise provision, which can, and therefore will be easily abused by any and all with internetworking savvy and remote access in the UKGBNI [United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland] which has fallen on hard times because of a lack of political leadership nous and a colossal information and intelligence black hole in hearts and minds and mass media mankind management ... ... .. Click to view link
When lunatics thinks they are in control of the asylum, what can one expect other than bedlam and chaos reigning at the reins ... ... but one should never for one moment be confused nor imagine that CHAOS* has any part in those proceedings.
* Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems have altogether much better Beta ProgramMING Projects to Stealthily Deliver for Astute Anonymous Autonomous Clients ... .. Privileged AAA Customers.
The intellectual property deficits and deficiencies though are easily remedied and reversed with the only obvious difficulty being in identifying who is to be contacted to share and enable implementation of the solutions. Casting pearls before swine is not going to achieve anything, is it, hence that present dilemma to be pondered on, and even considered to have no solution in the local population and thus would it need to to be shared further afield and in foreign fields, as we are all in this together apparently/allegedly ….. Click to view link
…… although you may choose not to believe any of that, considering it just pretentious posh tosh and childish self-serving rhetoric.
Posted by Agent Weebley on 04/04/12 11:17 AM
I would imagine that if they are successful in pulling the wool over people's eyes yet again, the only content that would continue to make it onto the net is business data, mainstream propaganda, and . . . art.
How well versed are we all in the art of business?