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Create an e-annoyance, go to jail

Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime:
Perspective: Create an e-annoyance, go to jail

It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity....

Think about it: A woman fired by a manager who demanded sexual favors wants to blog about it without divulging her full name. An aspiring pundit hopes to set up the next Suck.com. A frustrated citizen wants to send e-mail describing corruption in local government without worrying about reprisals.

In each of those three cases, someone's probably going to be annoyed. That's enough to make the action a crime. (The Justice Department won't file charges in every case, of course, but trusting prosecutorial discretion is hardly reassuring.)

Read the full story....
It seems that hardly a day goes by where US citizens don't lose another civil liberty. It's going to be interesting to watch the First Amendment challenges that will obviously arise the first time this law is enforced.

The fact that the Republicans keep passing crap like this (this provision was slipped into a must-pass bill to fund the Department of Justice by Sen. Arlen Specter, R-PA, e.g.) that drove me out of the party. I wish they'd return to their conservative, limited-government roots.

Just in case this post annoys anyone, my name is Greg.

Hat tip to brad.

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Comments

( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
christtrekker
Jan. 9th, 2006 06:49 pm (UTC)
I wish they'd return to their conservative, limited-government roots
That's why I joined the Constitution Party. The GOP is a joke these days.
drmellow
Jan. 9th, 2006 06:55 pm (UTC)
Re: I wish they'd return to their conservative, limited-government roots
I almost went Libertatarian until I realized that NC lets "Unaffiliated" voters vote in the primaries for either of the two major parties, so I did that instead.
(no subject) - prester_scott - Jan. 9th, 2006 07:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - drmellow - Jan. 10th, 2006 02:56 am (UTC) - Expand
arcticturtle
Jan. 9th, 2006 06:55 pm (UTC)
Holy cow. I want to say more, but the article already said it very well.

My first thought is, "But the Supreme Court won't sit for that... will it?"

I hope that isn't false confidence. But even if it isn't, it's still scary to think that two branches of government would practically repeal the 1st amendment so glibly.
tldz
Jan. 9th, 2006 07:05 pm (UTC)
Re: The Supremes
One word for you regarding the trustworthiness of the Supremes: Kelo.
Re: The Supremes - drmellow - Jan. 9th, 2006 07:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The Supremes - meep - Jan. 9th, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
prester_scott
Jan. 9th, 2006 06:57 pm (UTC)
Appalling. And yes, this is a great example of why I'm no longer a Republican, either.
drmellow
Jan. 9th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC)
Exactly. The sad thing is I didn't change, the party did.
arcticturtle
Jan. 9th, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)
wail of despair
When there were two parties with somewhat intellectually consistent principles, I think it was a lot easier to have meaningful debate on genuinely different approaches to issues.

When there are simply two large competing public relations firms, angling for the catchiest buzz-phrases and the most effective attack ads wherever they can find them... ugh.

But then, they wouldn't produce it if people didn't consume it... the parties would provide substance if the public demanded it with their votes. Maybe they'd provide it eagerly, maybe reluctantly, but they would.
(no subject) - prester_scott - Jan. 9th, 2006 07:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - meep - Jan. 9th, 2006 08:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - christtrekker - Jan. 10th, 2006 02:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - prester_scott - Jan. 10th, 2006 02:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - christtrekker - Jan. 11th, 2006 02:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
good ol' Ronnie - christtrekker - Jan. 10th, 2006 02:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: good ol' Ronnie - drmellow - Jan. 10th, 2006 04:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: good ol' Ronnie - christtrekker - Jan. 11th, 2006 02:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
stevenredux
Jan. 9th, 2006 07:23 pm (UTC)
Geez. Might as well have passed a law criminalizing the whole of LJ.
rhiannonstone
Jan. 9th, 2006 07:30 pm (UTC)
I'm just waiting for the more drama-prone LJers and LJ communities to start up with, "This post annoyed me. You'd better identify yourself or I'll report you to LJ Abuse!" (except not spelled properly).
(no subject) - yesthatjill - Jan. 9th, 2006 08:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Jan. 9th, 2006 08:30 pm (UTC)
you don't know me. but I intend to annoy you.

thisisthesongthatneverendsyesitgoesonandonmyfriendsomepeoplestartedsingingitnotknowingwhatitwasandthey'llcontinuesingingitforeverjustbecause

poptarts
yesthatjill
Jan. 9th, 2006 08:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, GREAT. Now it's stuck in my head.
emike2k3
Jan. 9th, 2006 09:22 pm (UTC)
Geez, just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water...

This goes back to something I have been trying to convince people of for the last 8 years when everyone gets worked up on the federal courts and abortion. It's not abortion that will be the "hot ticket item" over the next 25 years for the Supreme Court, it will be privacy rights in the digital age. This legislation just goes to furher my argument.

I agree with you, Greg, it's this sort of crap that is driving me out of the party. The Republican party wants to be the party of "small government" except when it comes to personal freedoms, like the first amendment.

As someone who has studied history allmost all of his life, the actions of the republican party, and the current administration, over the past 5 years has begun to raise some serious alarm bells. I keep hoping that I'm wrong in what I see happening but I can't escape the similarities between the last 5 years and the rise of police states. First, it starts with a particular relgion, then it gets to what is "good" and "bad" for people to read, then laws to curtail civil liberties, and finally stuff like this. It scares me.

Of course, one good thing might come out of this with the coming mid-term congressional elections. I can see now, one canidate screaming that his opponent "anoyed" him with some web blog or another...
drmellow
Jan. 9th, 2006 10:02 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, while I'm unhappy with the Republicans, I don't see the Democrats lining up with my ideals, either. And, really, there aren't any other viable choices.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - drmellow - Jan. 9th, 2006 11:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - christtrekker - Jan. 10th, 2006 02:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - drmellow - Jan. 10th, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ccohoon - Jan. 9th, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: Mooning President Greg. - yarbiedoll - Jan. 10th, 2006 04:28 am (UTC) - Expand
"there aren't any other viable choices" - christtrekker - Jan. 10th, 2006 02:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: "there aren't any other viable choices" - drmellow - Jan. 10th, 2006 05:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
arcticturtle
Jan. 10th, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC)
OK, I know this is entirely too much commenting for one thread, but I just remembered - the Founding FathersTM wrote anonymously constantly, both before and after the Revolution, especially when the topic was controversial. The Federalist Papers were published anonymously, for crying out loud. And they annoyed plenty of people.

I wish they'd rise en masse from their graves, all up and down the Eastern seaboard, and descend upon the capital in a swarm of zombie indignation. Unfortunately, Enlightenment types that they were, they probably wouldn't go in for all that ghost story nonsense.
drmellow
Jan. 10th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
Zombie Founding FathersTM would be pretty cool, though.
( 37 comments — Leave a comment )

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