Censorship

Tarek Mehanna and the Freedom for the Thought That We Hate

Suppose you and I are friends. We've grown up together. We've shared conversation; we've traded ideas. Now suppose that as I've gotten older, I've changed. In fact, I've become a zealot. One day I bring up the topic of suicide bombers. And, to your surprise, I actually sympathize with people who strap explosives to their chests and go looking for crowds of innocents.

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France Continues to Confuse Censorship with Civility

A French court last month stomped on what we in the United States consider a “basic, vital, and well-established liberty” – the right to record and publish the public activity of police.

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Bigfoot Spotted Fighting for Free Speech at the New Hampshire Supreme Court

Back in March, I wrote a snippet about a guy who brought suit against the State of New Hampshire for its burdensome permit requirements for filming in Monadnock State Park. See Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment.

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The War on Terror, 'Material Support,' and the First Amendment

The U.S. Department of State maintains a list of organizations it believes engage in terrorist activity, and under federal law it is illegal to provide material support to them.

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Bay Area Rapid Transit v. Protesters

Threat Type: 

Police Activity

Date: 

08/11/2011

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

No Justice No Bart, Anonymous, other protesters

Type of Party: 

Government

Type of Party: 

Organization

Publication Medium: 

Email
Forum
Social Network
Verbal

Status: 

Pending

Description: 

According to SF Weekly, on July 3, 2011, a homeless man named Charles Hill was shot to death by police officers for the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District ("BART"). Two and a half years earlier, BART police used lethal force against 22-year old Oscar Grant. Both cases have lead activist groups to stage protests against BART and its police force.

On July 11, 2011, protesters with No Justice, No BART  and other organizations staged a protest in the Civic Center Station, where Hill was shot. According to SF Gate, approximately 100 protesters attended and some blocked the doors of trains, leading BART to temporarily close the station.

According to a BART press release, BART and San Francisco police officers learned of a further protest planned for August 11, 2011 early in the week of August 8th. They believed that protesters were planning to coordinate protests at the station using cell phones, and in an attempt to disrupt that coordination shut down cellular service to specific stations in the BART system. According to Scientific American, BART did this by disabling power to the cell phone and wireless network base stations it owned in the underground system. According to CBS San Francisco, the August 11th protest never materialized.

According to Mashable, web activist group Anonymous responded to BART's closure of cellular service by shutting down the consumer-relations website mybart.org on August 14, 2011, leading to the website's indefinite suspension. Anonymous also organized further protests on August 15, 2011, leading to additional station closures, though no reported cell phone service disruption.

The Bay Citizen reports that the FCC is investigating BART's decision to disable cell phone service in the stations. On August 29, 2011, a group of public interest organizations led by Public Knowledge filed a petition for declaratory ruling to the FCC, arguing that BART's actions violated the Communications Act of 1934.

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Some Say the World Will End in MAFIAAFire: Why Domain Seizures Don't Work

And boom goes the dynamite. Last month I wrote about the looming disaster that is COICA – the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act.  Thanks to a brewing fight between a United States government agency and web advocate and Firefox distributor Mozilla, we're getting a preview of the conflicts that COICA would cause if enacted.

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First Amendment Alert! Author arrested for writing a book

I'm the first to admit that Phillip Greaves is not the most sympathetic figure in America. Greaves wrote "The Pedophile's Guide," which was originally for sale on Amazon.com before the online retailer bowed to public pressure and pulled the book from its online shelves.

I don't necessarily have a problem with that.

But, I have a big problem with today's developments. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd had Mr. Greaves arrested in Pueblo, Colorado on obscenity charges.

Lets remember that Grady Judd's jurisdiction is home to meth labs, cops who diddle children, and a pretty high incest rate.

Despite the "real crime" in his jurisdiction, Judd instructed his detectives to request an autographed copy of the book. Mr. Greaves obliged and Judd used that as his justification for having Greaves indicted on obscenity charges in his little caliphate of inbred-methistan.

Greaves told ABC News last month he wasn't trying to promote pedophilia and was not himself a pedophile: "I'm not saying I want them around children, I'm saying if they're there, that's how I want them to [behave]." (source)

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Marshals v. ahowardmatz.com

Threat Type: 

Criminal Charge

Date: 

07/09/2010

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Author of the site.

Type of Party: 

Government

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

Federal

Court Name: 

Jusge A. Howard Matz

Legal Counsel: 

Pro Se

Publication Medium: 

Website

Relevant Documents: 

Disposition: 

Material Removed

Description: 

The nature of the threat is a secret, known only to judge A. Howard Matz and Agent Smith.The complaint was on July 9, 2010. The site was removed on or about October 7, 2010.

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Won't Someone Think of the Children! Massachusetts' Unconstitutional Attempt to Break the Internet

It is a good thing to want to protect children from the vulgarity of the world. Accordingly, states have adopted prohibitions on exhibiting or selling harmful material to minors. These laws make sense, in that we usually don’t want sex shops selling pornography to kids. But occasionally the legislature goes a bit insane and decides that, in order to fully protect the children, we need to criminalize or block off whole sections of the Internet.

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Who Took Your E-book?

E-readers are spreading both in the U.S. and abroad. Last week the New York Times reported that the Kindle, previously available only on Amazon.com, will be sold in brick-and-mortar stores by Target. College students could grab one when they pick up their school supplies.

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Keeping 911 Recordings Public and Online

When a grizzly bear mauled bicyclist Petra Davis two years ago in an Anchorage park, she called 911 from her cell phone, barely able to speak: "Please help ... bear," she struggled to say. "I can't talk." A fellow biker quickly came to her rescue, grabbing her cell phone and calling again for help: "I have a young girl here who was mauled by a bear and who is in pretty bad shape," Peter Bassinger told the operator.

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The Persian Version: Why Support for ACTA Undermines U.S. Promotion of Internet Freedom

"To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it . . ." –Definition of Doublethink from 1984, George Orwell

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Wikileaks Needs Financial Help

I have a pet theory that perfect informational transparency would make the world a more civil place.  Sure, it might be embarrassing to reveal our personal secrets and foibles to the world, but the tradeoff would be that you'd know when someone was talking out of both sides of their mouth.  In such a world, maybe that senator wouldn't be quite so holier-than-thou when the public knows about his penchant for underage prosti

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Did the US Enable Chinese Hackers to Crack Google?

If you're a regular user of the Webtubes—and if you're reading this blog, you probably are—you're well aware of the kerfuffle that ensued after Google's decision to cease its search-engine operations in China.  And naturally, it's now become a political issue between the US and China.  A recap, in brief:

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Former Rep Ted Klaudt claims "common law copyright" in his name to try and suppress news stories about him raping his kids

We sure do see a lot of intellectual property abuse around here. This has to be the best one yet. Former South Dakota State Representative Ted Klaudt claims that he has a "common law copyright" in his name, and thus any news organization or other publication that uses his name must pay him a licensing fee of $500,000. (source)

It gets better.

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