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:
- Arizona Passes Sweeping Law Criminalizing Internet Speech (jonathanturley.org)
- Stop SOPA Now (lewrockwell.com)
- Morning Bell: The Unintended Consequences of Internet Regulation [Stop SOPA] (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- Arizona Law Amendment Would Criminalize “Lewd Or Profane” Language On The Internet (techcrunch.com)
- Lamar Smith: SOPA protesters were “misinformed.” (gigaom.com)
- Arizona Passes Internet Censorship Bill (waylon1776.wordpress.com)
- Md. Senate Passes Electronic Harassment Bill (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- Web Hosting Firm, GreenHostIt.com Denounces SOPA (prweb.com)
- SOPA or How to Use Copyright as an Excuse to Censor the Internet (revolutionizingawareness.com)
- SOPA and PIPA far from dead, despite concerns of White House and changes to bills (news.consumerreports.org)