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After Columbine, Eric Holder Advocated Internet "Restrictions"

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the but-that-was-then-and-this-is-now dept.

Censorship 430

ErikTheRed writes "In an audio clip discovered by NewsBusters, then-Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder advocated federal censorship of the Internet. This was in the aftermath of the Columbine High School shootings. From the clip: 'The court has really struck down every government effort to try to regulate it. We tried with regard to pornography. It is gonna be a difficult thing, but it seems to me that if we can come up with reasonable restrictions, reasonable regulations in how people interact on the Internet, that is something that the Supreme Court and the courts ought to favorably look at.'" Holder is reported to be Barack Obama's choice for Attorney General of the United States.

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oblig (5, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852223)

Once again, who deemed the internet to be appropriate for children?

Re:oblig (5, Funny)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852423)

Once again, who deemed the internet to be appropriate for children?

I hear that Internet has the prestigious Pedobear Seal of Approval(tm).

Anonymous Coward (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25852837)

The federal whomever should not and shall not as we do not consent have the ability to censor the internet, and we as a people can move to end censorship in china and the east, and to give the people the forum and freedom of speech enforced to be observed to allow them to speak of Government changes and Reforms, ITS ABOUT FIRING PEOPLE, OR IMPRISONING THEM, OR PUTTING THEM TO DEATH FOR TREASON AND HARDCORE 1776 REVOLUTION TYPE SHIT WHICH IS WHAT IT IS COMING TO. The russians could help us! They are like our biggest threat probably besides china and india, oh well. The underground Americans could like ally with Russia to take control, and we could as, well, my faction, gentlemen, we could stomp the whole world down below our boots, and remake it to show the stupidity and error of human ways for future generations to learn from and evolve. :D

It's no more appropriate than the local library (4, Interesting)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852557)

Almost any thought is inappropriate in the context of something else. I agree that the burden of parenting falls to "the parent(s)." But I really feel like in "Man of the Year" [imdb.com] Whoops! Hopefully the new Prez will realize the devastation of censorship.

The interwebs freedoms (freedom to speech, free viagra for 6 months, and free "entertainment") are the last freadoms we still have in the world. You will be shot if you try and stake a claim to new lands (unless your heading to antartica). You will be on the news (and in jail) if you open the throttle of just about any car out there. You just can't go out and tinker anymore: You can't make modifications to your house w/o an inspection, you can't build your own chemistry sets, you can't create your own fireworks, god forbid if you actually make the devices you use every day. You are labeled a terrorist if you do these once playtime activities.

For god sakes, let me at least use the internet to help me and my kids imagine w/ graphic images, surround sound, and the like, what a real gun looks like, or the difference between real and fake tatas, the chemistry behind gunpowder, why the largest slaughters of humans have been in the names of religious deities.

Curiosity is the mechanism by which we live, and the mechanism to which we grow. W/o curiosity we would not lose our innocence, discover new things, or taste new fruits. The internet gives us a medium to try before you buy. To see what really happens if you set yourself on fire. You can google you how to fix a sink, build nuclear weapons, refine uranium, put together a solar installation that won't pass inspection but will produce e-, start your own business, and more. The interenet is a great place to satisfy curiosity.

With all sources of information, discretion (the better part of valor) belongs to the user, and in the case of a minor, the user is the one who pays the cable bills (parents & taxpayers (for library filtering only)).

I say if there is any censorship (I'll vote no), that any act of censorship is forced also to remove anything that isn't true, real, or declared a work of fiction.

that's my .02 not that anyone asked.

Please moderate this guy Obama! Not into the ground, lest you lose your purpose in picking him, but not into the sky lest we lose one of the things we rely on, inaccurate wiki's! (and more.. that was just to illustrate that the net is not the source for all knowledge, just a means to access knowledge presented)

Permits, and racetracks. (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852711)

Yes I know that there are permits and racetracks available to do most of these things, but once upon a time, you were actually liable for what you did! not the state, or other government entity which now writes a new law of what we can not do (or requires special permission to do it) every time they get sued.

Re:oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25852571)

All the terrible "parents" who let video games and tv raise their kids.

Re:oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25852599)

i agree i really wish that ISP's made you sign a contract that stated the internet is intended for adults. children are at their own risk and you, as the parent or guardian, are responsible for the content they see and their protection. if you don't agree don't get the internet. its not everyone else's responsibility to mind your children.

Re:oblig (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25852767)

Who deemed the world appropriate for children? Kids should be kept indoors, driven directly to and from school, kept off the internet and away from TV.

Of course (5, Insightful)

Zak3056 (69287) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852247)

I guess this is what they mean by "Change you can believe in."

Re:Of course (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25852285)

-1 troll

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25852451)

I guess this is what they mean by "Change you can believe in."

-1 troll

Why?

Oh, right...because it's your guy he's criticizing.

Re:Of course (2, Insightful)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852951)

Sucks when it's your guy, doesn't it? It remains to be seen what, if anything, happens with all of this...

But here in the cheap seats, it looks like more of the fucking same. Change indeed.

Re:Of course (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852797)

Yeah, I figured this might happen, especially with Biden on the ticket. Still, when your choices are certain loss of rights and likely loss of rights...

Re:Of course (3, Insightful)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852841)

Still, when your choices are certain loss of rights and likely loss of rights...

Well, now that your "likely" is becoming more and more "certain", it may dawn on you, that, what you perceived as "certain", may, in fact, have been "unlikely"... See also "Buyer's Remorse".

Re:Of course (1)

gangien (151940) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852871)

i wonder how long it will be, before obama is worst president ever and GWB isn't quite that bad.

lol can't wait. I give it 3-6 years. may not happen if he doesn't get 2 terms in though.

Re:Of course (4, Informative)

conlaw (983784) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852877)

Okay folks, you're bringing up some very good points about the new administration in general and Mr. Holder in particular. But don't just leave those ideas here for other /.'ers to discuss. Send your thoughts here: http://www.change.gov/page/s/ofthepeople [change.gov]

Obama and Biden say that they are listening, so tell them how you feel about curtailing our rights and freedoms in the name of protecting the country.

Re:Of course (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852895)

How is this a troll you fools? Looks like we've got some mods in agreement with Holder.

This is sickening (4, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852269)

Obama, do not appoint this man!!

Re:This is sickening (2, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852437)

> Obama, do not appoint this man!!

Heh! Guess this isn't the Change you thought you were getting. And this isn't even the scummiest bit in Holder's record from back in the Clinton years.

Not quite time to start yelling "I told ya so!" but I'm getting ready.

US Power to Fade by 2025 (2, Interesting)

hessian (467078) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852577)

Others have noticed, too:

There'll be challenges on all fronts. Climate changes from global warming will lead to shortages of food and water in dozens of countries. That, coupled with a projected population spike of 1.2 billion people worldwide could lead to wars over increasingly scarce resources.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/11/20/world/main4622166.shtml [cbsnews.com]

And from a commentator:

There are other factors: aging baby boomers, changing demographics, weakened economy, massive debt and greater internal chaos.

http://penetrate.blogspot.com/2008/11/us-power-fading-by-2025.html [blogspot.com]

I'm sure I'll get called unpatriotic(tm) for this, but it's politics in that land disillusioned underachievers never see, called "reality."

Re:US Power to Fade by 2025 (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852783)

I read that article this morning, and even the article states that the US will not decline, but other nations'(mentioning China and India by name)will rise in comparison to their present state.

Trollishly speaking, India and China are such dumps that they will only become better and stronger through their increasing significance in global affairs. Their defense advances will be incidental.

The author admittingly used a sensational FUD-ish title and you fell for it hook, line, and sinker!

Re:This is sickening (5, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852563)

He already appointed Ms. Clinton.
Now he only needs Joseph Lieberman and Jack Thompson, and it's complete.

Anyhow, you didn't really think there would be much change, when the choice was between an ultra-conservative corporation-owned reactionary and a republican?

Why those who voted in the primaries didn't say "enough is enough" and voted in someone a bit further to the left (i.e. approaching the European center right) is beyond me. The only thing I can think of is that they thought that Obama was from the left. After 8 years of someone so far to the right that it makes brownshirts appear leftist, it's conceivable that people have lost all perspectives, and think Obama is actually moderate.

Re:This is sickening (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25852761)

Hey retard, the brownshirts were leftist. NAZI -> National Socialist. But feel free to live your life without that perspective thing.

Re:This is sickening (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25852831)

Hey retard, the brownshirts were leftist. NAZI -> National Socialist

And North Korea is a democracy, says so right in their name.

More lies brought to you by people who label anything they don't like as "leftist".

Re:This is sickening (0, Flamebait)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852891)

NSDAP were socialists in the same way as the Chinese People's Liberation Army were advocating liberation and liberty. I.e. not at all.

If you don't know more about the NSDAP and nazism than the name, I suggest you read up a bit before opening your mouth, even as an AC.

Re:This is sickening (3, Interesting)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852811)

"Left" and "Right" make up only one axis of the political spectrum, that of the economy. But there also is a freedom axis. Hitler and Stalin would be the highest of this authoritarian axis, while Stalin would be to the left and Hitler near the center. So of course, Ron Paul would make Hitler look like a leftist, Bush less so. Ron Paul, however, is pro-freedom, Bush is much more authoritarian.

Let Obama know what you think? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25852657)

You can always go over to change.gov [change.gov] and tell him what you think of this guy.

But to be fair, it wouldn't hurt to see if this guy has changed his mind any time in the last decade or so. I mean, back in the 90s, they were clamoring to have encryption regulated as a munition and now you see them talking about requiring it...

Re:This is sickening (2, Insightful)

trabisnikof (694721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852753)

I think the chance of the feds censoring the internet is 0%. Why? The democratic party has too many powerful people against it, it isn't realistic that they could come up with a plan, and most importantly too many companies and political groups have a vested interest in no internet censorship.

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25852959)

Exactly. There's wasn't enough political will to ban flag burning (at the height of Republican power no less) so it's safe to say that the internet will not be censored.

Reasonable restrictions? (5, Insightful)

nakajoe (1123579) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852271)

I can't think of any feasible government restrictions that would also be reasonable.

Re:Reasonable restrictions? (3, Funny)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852445)

That is why you'd never be considered for a government position.

Here's a reasonable restriction... (5, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852641)

I can't think of any feasible government restrictions that would also be reasonable.

I can. Try this on for size. The language is a little dated, but I think it gets the point across pretty nicely:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

That seems like a perfectly "reasonable restriction", upon which the Supreme Court not only ought to, but has, repeatedly "favorably looked at".

If, as Holder says in TFA, the court has "struck down every attempt" that he and his kind (whether they be religious zealots attempting to censor whatever their God deems "pornography", or nanny-statists attempting to censor portrayals of violence and whatever "hate speech" is this week) have made to get around it, then what would be so wrong with respecting the court's decision?

Holder, you're about to become the Attorney-General. If you really want to demonstrate "change" relative to the prior Administration, why not do things differently? You could start by respecting the Judiciary as a coequal branch of government, even when (and especially when) its rulings aren't to your personal liking.

As Lenny Bruce put it almost 50 years ago, "If you can't say 'Fuck', you can't say 'Fuck the government.'" As the Supreme Court ruled in 1971, Cohen v. California, can even say Fuck the Draft [wikipedia.org] .

Sometimes offensive speech is political speech. In modern idiom, Holden doesn't have to post tits, but if he thinks he can stop you from posting tits, the Courts have made it clear that he's the one who should GTFO.

Re:Here's a reasonable restriction... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25852915)

Ladies and gentlemen, the boobies-modern Supreme Court decision.

Re:Reasonable restrictions? (5, Informative)

kenobi_wan_obi (586333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852747)

Actually, the restrictions Holder had in mind were mostly passed into law four months after he gave that interview. See 18 USC Â 842(p):

(2) Prohibition. - It shall be unlawful for any person -
(A) to teach or demonstrate the making or use of an explosive, a destructive device, or a weapon of mass destruction, or to distribute by any means information pertaining to, in whole or in part, the manufacture or use of an explosive, destructive device, or weapon of mass destruction, with the intent that the teaching, demonstration, or information be used for, or in furtherance of, an activity that constitutes a Federal crime of violence; or
(B) to teach or demonstrate to any person the making or use of an explosive, a destructive device, or a weapon of mass destruction, or to distribute to any person, by any means, information pertaining to, in whole or in part, the manufacture or use of an explosive, destructive device, or weapon of mass destruction, knowing that such person intends to use the teaching, demonstration, or information for, or in furtherance of, an activity that constitutes a Federal crime of violence.

Re:Reasonable restrictions? (2, Interesting)

servognome (738846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852749)

I can't think of any feasible government restrictions that would also be reasonable.

Restrictions of spam, net neutrality, protection of personally identifiable information...

Hahah . . . no more Washington insiders, huh? (5, Insightful)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852277)

People will believe any promise pandered to them during a campaign. Daschle, Clinton, and now Holder? Change, indeed.

Re:Hahah . . . no more Washington insiders, huh? (4, Insightful)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852475)

Not sure Obama ever claimed to be an outsider. He was a Senator, after all. I believe it was the lobbyists and the crony appointments of the Bush administration that he said he would avoid.

I could be wrong though.

But setting aside the rhetorical point you're trying to make, what's wrong with having smart, capable, experienced people in positions of authority?

Re:Hahah . . . no more Washington insiders, huh? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852543)

Look what it did to Bush's presidency. I mean he surrounded himself with the brightest people in washington but they were from another era and it didn't quite work out for him. The more then shined, the more Bush Failed.

Re:Hahah . . . no more Washington insiders, huh? (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852851)

Look what it did to Bush's presidency. I mean he surrounded himself with the brightest people in washington but they were from another era and it didn't quite work out for him. The more then shined, the more Bush Failed.

You say "brightest people in Washington" as if that were saying something. An equivalent expression would be "brightest people in a special-needs class." Politicians, lobbyists, lawyers, and such are not known to be the brightest.

Re:Hahah . . . no more Washington insiders, huh? (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852979)

I mean he surrounded himself with the brightest people in washington

You owe me a new keyboard. Funniest sentence I've read on Slashdot all day.

Re:Hahah . . . no more Washington insiders, huh? (5, Insightful)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852663)

Oh please! Did you not hear his slogan "Change you can believe in"? The entire foundation of that slogan was an attempt to convince people he wasn't a Washington insider.

He'd look pretty ridiculous saying "Vote for change by voting for a Washington insider", now wouldn't he?

Re:Hahah . . . no more Washington insiders, huh? (0, Troll)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852839)

OK. Granted that the word "Change" was used ambiguously, but I repeat, he was a Senator. Maybe we have different understanding of what it takes to be considered a Washington insider.

The change he talked about in his campaign was a change away from the partisan divide. A change away from cronyism and lobbyists writing legislation. A change from a culture of fear to a culture of hope.

I think his message was, "Vote for change by voting for someone that espouses policies that are different than those of the current administration."

As opposed to, "Vote for change by voting for someone who has no idea how Washington operates or what he'll do when he gets there." Which seems to be the message you heard.

Re:Hahah . . . no more Washington insiders, huh? (0, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852501)

Yes change.
Bringing in people who can do the job wel is a good thing, and this is a non sequitor to the 'change' meant.
As in a change from the current administrations policies.

Man, you are really stretching there.
What, you want him to grab people randomly from the street?

Change will be measured by the action that is taken and it's results. To use anything else is just stupid.
Of course, pundits ignore how well the economy, foreign policy, and scientific advancements flourished during the Clinton administration. All of which was crushed by Bush and his cronies.

Re:Hahah . . . no more Washington insiders, huh? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852593)

Change will be measured by the action that is taken and it's results. To use anything else is just stupid.
Of course, pundits ignore how well the economy, foreign policy, and scientific advancements flourished during the Clinton administration. All of which was crushed by Bush and his cronies.

But the republicans don't control congress now like they did under clinton.

Re:Hahah . . . no more Washington insiders, huh? (1)

TheGeniusIsOut (1282110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852855)

What, you want him to grab people randomly from the street?

Actually, that might not be such a bad idea. A cabinet post that rotates through random people from across the nation, to keep fresh ideas flowing. To paraphrase an old adage, in every ton of coal there is a good possibility of finding a diamond. Sure most of the time you would have someone who brings nothing of value to the room, but every once in a while, you may come across a real gem that gives insight to a problem the Washington types might never have known existed.

Re:Hahah . . . no more Washington insiders, huh? (1)

zxnos (813588) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852551)

biden... ...daschle... ...clinton... ...holder... can someone fill in the gaps? i am too lazy.

technically, it is change. otherwise the administration would be made up of all bush appointees. it just isnt the change people expected. kinda like casting wish in d&d. it sounds good at first, then you get fucked.

Re:Hahah . . . no more Washington insiders, huh? (2, Informative)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852633)

biden... ...daschle... ...clinton... ...holder... can someone fill in the gaps? i am too lazy.

You forgot Rahm Emanuel. These appointments are laughable and downright hypocritical coming from someone who railed against Washington during his entire campaign.

He's probably against a few other things too. (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852283)

Right now, he's probably drafting a proposal to delete all archives of anything from the net too.

Truthiness be damned!

I'm not too concerned yet (2, Informative)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852307)

Even if this dude is appointed, he can't unilaterally make law that will censor anything. And even if he pushes for that, the SCOTUS has been heavily against any censorship of the internet for many years, so I would hope they would strike down any such efforts.

Re:I'm not too concerned yet (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852375)

Don't forget Obama will also probably be appointing one or two new SCOTUS judges in his term.

Re:I'm not too concerned yet (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852809)

Or follow the FDR example and try to expand the number of justices.

Re:I'm not too concerned yet (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852427)

The problem isn't whether he can carry out censorship; the problem is he has been shown to support it. What else does that say about him?

Re:I'm not too concerned yet (1)

krou (1027572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852507)

If you thank that says a lot about him, what does defending Chiquita [portfolio.com] , which paid some $1.7 million to death squads in Columbia (death squads which just happened to play nice, be pro-business, and just target Leftists and unionists), say about him?

Change (5, Funny)

isotope23 (210590) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852311)

All your CHANGE is belong to us....

Welcome to the Obamanation.

"Reasonable Restrictions" (1)

grassy_knoll (412409) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852327)

Great buzzword.

Since the speaker defines first that restrictions are "reasonable" then, obviously, it's just a matter of how far those restrictions should go, right?

Wouldn't want to be "unreasonable".

What? (5, Insightful)

Reapy (688651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852347)

The internet is just a way for people to talk to each other. If you censor "the internet", it is the same as censoring what you can speak to another person. We have this whole thing called the 1st amendment that protects that.

If a parent doesnt want their child on the internet, they shouldn't allow them on it. Case by case. It is the same reason why you don't bring your kid with you to a sex shop. The material should be allowed to be there, and the parents should choose whether it is appropriate for their child or not.

There is no such thing as "reasonable" censoring.

Re:What? (0)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852569)

"..., it is the same as censoring what you can speak to another person. "

Some censorship does happen when you speak to another person. I can list many cases, but I suspect if you actually think about it you can come up with one or two.

"There is no such thing as "reasonable" censoring."
Yes there is. Liable, yelling fire in a theater, etc..

Re:What? (3, Informative)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852671)

Those aren't even censorship.

You're not being forbidden from saying anything, you're simply being held responsible for your actions.

not too progressive on drugs either (4, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852367)

"We have too long taken the view that what we would term to be minor crimes are not important," Holder said, referring to current attitudes toward marijuana use and other offenses such as panhandling.

When he was a U.S. Attorney in D.C., he seemed to spend a lot of effort attempting to impose [washingtonpost.com] massive penalties for low-level marijuana possession. Because, you know, people possessing small quantities of marijuana are really a big problem, and overcrowded prisons aren't. I wonder if Holder thinks Obama, as an admitted drug user, ought to be a convicted felon instead of in the White House? Or is it only a crime if you get caught? Basically either Holder is wrong here, and possession of marijuana should not automatically ruin someone's life with felony charges, or Obama is unfit to be president. Either way, I don't see how the two can be reasonably paired.

Re:not too progressive on drugs either (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852627)

I suspect he was pressured by the white house and their crazy anti-marijuana stance. Ironically Bush was an admitted drug use as well.
But when crazy people with an agenda based on belief control a portion of the government, what do you expect?

You assume he feels a felon is unfit to be president.

perhaps not unfit (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852765)

But, as a practical matter, Obama would not have even been in the running for a major-party nomination if he had been convicted of a drug-related felony.

My response: a resounding "eh" (2, Insightful)

GMonkeyLouie (1372035) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852639)

Obama has said time and time again he wants to bring in people he disagrees with to staff his cabinet. I would presume the purpose of doing that would not be to enact policies he disagrees with. Presumably, since Obama made reducing jail time for non-violent drug offenders an (admittedly minor) issue in the campaign, he will have spoken to Holder about that view and made sure that Holder isn't going to do anything monumentally stupid. I am not afraid that being caught with weed will be worse under the Obama administration than it was under Bush.

Censorship but only after Columbine? (4, Insightful)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852377)

Yet another case proving that as soon as children enter the decision making process, rationality goes out the window.

Re:Censorship but only after Columbine? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852707)

I don't think the problem is children. I think the problem is the religious, who feel an obligation to protect other people's children from what's against their personal doctrines.
And, of course, if you appoint a freethinker, you are guaranteed not to get re-elected.

Would that really be his role? (1)

Mad_Rain (674268) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852379)

Could someone clarify if this is even one of the roles/responsibilities of the Attorney General? Given the size and the scope of the "problem", wouldn't it be beyond him? And if it is beyond his control then, so what? (I have a pretty good answer in mind, but I'll wait to hear from what others might say).

Re:Would that really be his role? (1)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852547)

I am pretty sure that his job as Attorney General would be to oversee the federal attorneys in their duty to prosecute according to the law, not to push legislation for a personal agenda. Of course, the president is also not able to introduce legislation, and it is not his job to push agendas, laws, etc. through congress (read the Constitution). Yet every president since Andrew Jackson (a real American asshole) has done so or attempted to do so.

Re:Would that really be his role? (4, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852687)

The AG's office also creates legislation to be presented to the congress, that's where the patriot act and many other bills came from, they check over the president's purposed legislation for legalities like constitutionality and they give validation to policies.

The AG isn't some office drone who does only what he is told to do. He is like the head of the legal department at a large company and plays a large role in steering their actions.

Alberto Gonzales would reply: (1)

GMonkeyLouie (1372035) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852649)

I don't recall, I don't remember being briefed on tht, I'm really not prepared to answer that question.

why not be mindful of the time he said it? (3, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852383)

Is it not possible that he was just reacting out of a still far too fresh sense of the horror of those events?

People say all sorts of things after distressing events that they wouldn't say normally, or believe in the long term.

Re:why not be mindful of the time he said it? (2, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852455)

"Is it not possible that he was just reacting out of a still far too fresh sense of the horror of those events?"

A professional should not react that way, slaughter or not. If he did so for that reason it bespeaks poor self-mastery and that's not what we need in an AG.

Re:why not be mindful of the time he said it? (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852561)

A professional should not react that way, slaughter or not. If he did so for that reason it bespeaks poor self-mastery and that's not what we need in an AG.

Let me disabuse you of that notion. All professional training and experience gets you is the ability to cope while a crisis is occurring (I speak as a former nurse who used to work in a casualty department, that's ER to Americans).
Afterwards you're just normal folk, as likely to get outraged as anyone else. Or puke on the way home as you think about what you saw during your duty hours, that happens too...

Re:why not be mindful of the time he said it? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852775)

DO you really want a nurse who faints at the site of blood? Or let me rephrase that, do we want an AG that is willing to support some unconstitutional law or become overly zealous about something because he can't control his reactions to an event? How would continued knee jerk reactions on anything with a shock value large enough to get America's attention away from Britney Spears for five minutes be good for the country? The majority of bad laws we have were ill concieved and rushed through because of knee jerk reactions. Just look at this bailout package and what the dems were saying to get it passed, "it isn't the best law, but it gets something done". Now they are complaining about what it is getting done.

Re:why not be mindful of the time he said it? (2, Insightful)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852629)

My memory is a little fuzzy. What part did the internet play in the Columbine shootings?

Re:why not be mindful of the time he said it? (3, Funny)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852931)

A gun barrel is a type of tube. Ergo, the internet is a series of guns.

Re:why not be mindful of the time he said it? (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852817)

Those times are when people need to be more rational than ever. Not less. Especially when you're some sort of leader or person of authority. If anything it's a worse failure than it would be during a boring day at the office.

Re:why not be mindful of the time he said it? (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852843)

It's entirely possible, but that doesn't excuse it.

Hell, the Patriot Act gets a free pass using that excuse.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the huge difference between actually passing something like the Patriot Act, and merely saying "We should censor the interweb." But the president has power to push something like that through. And it's not a good sign when somebody advising the president has a history of jumping to wild conclusions like "We should censor the internet."

Joy, another CDA bill incoming (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25852393)

This was being held over heads for years as net hostile yahoos like Biden and Lieberman worked on the Communications Decency Act which got stuck down in the courts, then by the Supremes.

Early drafts of this act would make an ISP and all its employees go to prison if someone typed a swear word, and it went through their routers to another destination.

Later drafts would still make it a Federal felony to have anything "indecent" on the tubes.

This passed the House and Senate, Clinton signed it into law... and before it took effect, the courts stuck it down.

What Clinton did get passed was the DMCA.

Looks like Obama's administration will be just as net hostile if not worse. Expect "trusted" chips in all computers/devices and forcible positive identification everywhere.

The RIAA will score, repressive governments who love monitoring their citizens will score, game companies will score, even criminal organizations will score... the honest law abiding citizen gets nothing except increased criminal penalties, more in your face DRM, and no anonymity.

Surprise, surprise (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852411)

Holder is in favor of censorship, massive gun control, a drug war hawk... and you *ahem* hoped for change from Obama. How is this any different than Gonzalez, Ashcroft or Reno, except maybe a squeamishness about torture?

Go ahead, moderate me down, but you know I'm right. For anyone who believed that things would change, Holder's nomination is basically total effing treason to that.

Seriously, I will be surprised if we don't trade Gitmo and secret CIA prisons for a second round of Waco and Ruby Ridge if this is the start that Obama is off on with his DoJ appointments.

Re:Surprise, surprise (1)

zxnos (813588) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852481)

all anyone needed to see was his vp pick. seriously.

Re:Surprise, surprise (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852703)

Holders position is to enforce laws and to lower crime. Within the proper context, he is doing his job.

It is YOUR(and mine) job to change the laws he is bound to enforce.
Thinking of better ways to do his job isn't a bad thing. It one of many reasons we have a process in place.

Legalizing it would be a better solution, but as a DA he can't really say that.

Re:Surprise, surprise (2, Interesting)

krou (1027572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852731)

All the individuals who became the mass movement behind Obama believing there would be real change should read a book called The True Believer [amazon.co.uk] by Eric Hoffer.

One of the most potent attractions of a mass movement is its offering of a substitute for individual hope. This attraction is particularly effective in a society imbued with the idea of progress. For in the conception of progress, "tomorrow" looms large, and the frustration resulting from having nothing to look forward to is the more poignant. ... A rising mass movement preaches the immediate hope. It is intent on stirring its followers to action, and it is the around-the-corner brand of hope that prompts people to act. ... Later, as the movement comes to power, the emphasis is shifted to the distant hope - the dream and the vision."

Re:Surprise, surprise (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852773)

Holder is in favor of censorship, massive gun control, a drug war hawk... and you *ahem* hoped for change from Obama. How is this any different than Gonzalez, Ashcroft or Reno, except maybe a squeamishness about torture?

Seriously, I will be surprised if we don't trade Gitmo and secret CIA prisons for a second round of Waco and Ruby Ridge if this is the start that Obama is off on with his DoJ appointments.

You know if I had a choice, I'd rather have neither, but between those two sets of choices I'd rather have Gitmo rather than Waco. Waco is around 7.5 hours from where I live. Gitmo might as well be on the moon. If Obama encourages our domestic nut jobs, all hell will break loose sooner or later. As long as all hell is breaking loose atleast 2 full days of travel away from me, I can live with it.

Domestic censorship, gun control and the drug war are all things that raises domestic unrest. I'd rather legalize just about every drug and treat them like beer and tobacco. We tax it heavily and have signs banning folks from doing it any where public and big public groups opposing using it in your car or around your kids or neighbor or government/public buildings. No one cares when the government goes after tax evaders. No on gun control.

We shouldn't really worry about guns out there. Every cop just about wants only cops and the military to be the only armed force in the US. That ain't happening. We need
to learn to live with it or try to change the bill of rights. On Domestic see my previous sentence. Actually its simpler than that. No one likes any one else telling them what they can or can't say. It causes tension and unrest if you even try. It's much more successful to just ignore content that you don't like.

Re:Surprise, surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25852821)

I know you're a dipshit. "reported to be Obamas choice for AG."

OMG A RUMOR ON THE INTERNETS!

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance (5, Insightful)

decalod85 (1214532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852431)

Censorship does not have a party affiliation.

awesome (2, Insightful)

zxnos (813588) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852449)

change we can believe in

And then the ACLU intervened... (1)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852453)

This was in the aftermath of the Columbine High School shootings.

And then the ACLU intervened, calling for calm, fearing backlash against innocent gun owners [thepeoplescube.com] :'all gun owners aren't terrorists'.

It's a Rovian conspiracy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25852457)

Barry is so net savy he would never do something like this!

Not a concern (4, Insightful)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852465)

Big suprise. Lawyer wants more laws. I don't think this would happen under obama's watch who has clearly stated the preservation of an "open" internet and "net neutrality". Furthermore, he regularly seeks counsel from the EFF. See obama state his tech policy on this page [barackobama.com] . I understand that saying and doing are two complete different things. The article; however, is speculation and ignores the president's stated policy. I'm sure the EFF would have commented on this if they thought it was a concern. They havn't and I doubt they missed obama's speculated appointment.

Who Expected Anything Different? And Why? (4, Informative)

XLawyer (68496) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852477)

Doubtless the point will be made that NewsBusters is a strongly partisan site, and this is true. Fortunately, though, they aren't asking anyone to take their word for it, instead posting a recording of Holder himself.

While the Bush administration has certainly been no friend of free speech, I am not sure why anyone thinks that Democratic politicians and administrations have been better. For example, when Janet Reno was AG under Clinton, she warned the TV networks to clean up their shows, or the government would do it for them. Influential voices on the left call (unsuccessfully for the most part, it must be recognized) for censorship of various things on various grounds.

The point here is not that one party is great and the other is terrible, but that neither major party is committed in principle to individual freedom, including freedom of expression. Believing otherwise is a dangerous but widespread error.

Eric Holder is a putz! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25852483)

like many in the Clinton administration.

Here he is blatantly lying on the news. Despite the fact that it's Fox, Holder is still blatantly lying.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIiIG5GqcZ8 [youtube.com]

According to Volokh, this is a molehill, not a mou (4, Informative)

belmolis (702863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852583)

Libertarian legal scholar Eugene Volokh has posted a discussion [volokh.com] of this in which he concludes that what Holder advocated was actually a very narrow restriction on helping people build bombs.

i just want to remind everyone about reality (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852621)

in a democracy, you don't get to choose the candidate who fits your beliefs exactly, because such a candidate would, by definition of appealing so tightly to you, therefore appeal to only a small subset of society, and therefore be unelectable

at BEST you get a candidate that appeals to you very weakly. because that candidate must cover as many commonalities of belief as possible in order to get elected

and this is a GOOD thing: a government should closely adhere to the center of society, not to its various fringe groups. so if you are severely disappointed in obama, you're a fool, for judging him against absurd standards that will never, ever be met in reality

in a democracy, you get a choice betwen the candidate who is slightly less evil than the other. that's all you EVER will get to choose from. and that is a sign of a HEALTHY society. meanwhile, when someone is elected who appeals to a small group of people ecstatically, something has failed, and society will suffer for that, for this candidate most certainly doesn't appeal to the majority of society he or see is supposed to lead. got that?:

large appeal to small group != small appeal to large group. large appeal to small group is BAD for society. small appeal to large group is GOOD for society

some of you need to focus on that, and let the implications of that sink in for how you value and judge your leaders

all you could ever hope to do is tug the administration in power SLIGHTLY in the direction of your beliefs. anyone who believed barack obama was going to be some messiah of radical change is frankly, an idiot

i will tell you right now with 100% certainty what you are going to get out of the obama administration: TINY incremental steps away from the bush administration bullshit. and YOU ARE GOING TO LIKE IT, because that is the best you could ever possibly get in reality, as opposed to the fantasies in your head, which some of you seem hellbent on judging your government against. absurd

because the alternative is a continuation of the bush years bullshit. that's worse, right? then pleasde remember that when you judge

Quit making excuses (4, Insightful)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852803)

Change, REAL CHANGE, and eliminating the evils of Washington insiders and lobbyists were a centerpiece of Obama's campaign. Do you really think that message would have been as strong if he said he was going to appoint Holder, Emanuel, Daschle, and Hillary fucking Clinton as part of his cabinet? He would have been laughed at and then ripped to tiny pieces trying to pass that off as *real* change, and rightly so. Instead of a career politician, why not appoint someone that really knows something about healthcare instead of friggin' Tom Daschle, married to a one of Washington's top lobbyists?!!?? The hyprcrisy is downright insulting.

Oh yeah, quit telling me I'M GOING TO LIKE IT. You don't know a damn thing about me.

oh look (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852913)

it's a hopelessly stupid idealist, learning for the first time that politics, more than anything else, is a game for realists

how does one get into power and stay in power? did you ever ask yourself that question? radical change is never the answer to that question, unless you are talking revolution, which is ALWAYS worse than peaceful democratic regime change. yes, i know some suburban skateboarding retards listening to rage against the machine think revolution is cool... go to a country where real revolution takes place. then come tell me how cool revolution is, with the degradation of all aspects of society that accompany that, you pampered coddled child

what are you going to get out of obama? CHANGE. EXACTLY AS PROMISED. moderate, incremental, slow change. and if you had the slightest bit of intelligence about how politics really works, you'd be absolutely ecstatic about that

instead, you are hellbent on judging him against the most spastic, cloistered, idealistic fanboy nonsense that exists only in your isolated head

we talk of people who are socially retarded. well we also have a very real quatity of political retards in this world, utterly incapable of understanding the most fundamental concepts of politics and reality, but all too happy to open their loud, ignorantly idealistic mouths

Re:i just want to remind everyone about reality (1)

loteck (533317) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852903)

you are far more coherent over here than at our other favorite site. why so schizophrenious?

Surprised ? (4, Insightful)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852645)

But... but it's O-ba-ma...

http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/57241.html [hnn.us]
Yup this guy is also a strong drug warrior.
You thought Obama would be nice on drugs? Think again.

I'm fucking pissed off by the morons who keep cheering at every election for a candidate or the other. Oh yea, sure politics is screwed and power corrupts... but but, *this* guy, he's for real, you'll see.

We need change, but not political change. In politics, change means, more shit than before. Political change is for the worth.

Wake up, it's not about the people in charge, the problems lie with the incentives and yes, democracy itself.

Re:Surprised ? (2)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852743)

There is only one problem with American Democracy and that is the entitlement mentality that has overtake it's people in the last few decades. It's only a short matter of time before there will be more on the cart then pulling it.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Whoopde Dooo (3, Insightful)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852673)

I'm sorry, I don't know why this is a big deal. It's not like he said this yesterday. He said it 10 years ago in a panicked climate when a great number of tax-paying citizens were clamoring for the government to do something to keep the intarwebs from contaminating our children.

As far as I can tell, no legislation was ever introduced. Not that the AG writes legislation, which is another reason this is a non-issue.

If this makes headlines, I am sure we'll see a clarification of some kind from Holder.

But other than that, I mean is "Politician in 1999 was wrong about the internet" really a big story?

Is that him or the Clinton administration? (4, Insightful)

burris (122191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25852697)

Regardless of personal views, doesn't the AG advance the position of the administration? You say what your client wants you to say or you find another job. Isn't that the case for all attorneys? So the real question is what will Obama's policy be?

Can Someone Tell Me.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25852971)

What's with all the right-wing, McCain/Bush-loving, military trolls on slashdot? No, I'm not an Obama supporter. I'm just curious.

It was getting pretty bad a year ago when I noticed more of them popping up. Now it's a full-blown cesspool seemingly occupied with drowning out dissenting views, which were the only reason I bothered bookmarking slashdot in the first place.

What happened?

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