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NY Senators Want To Make Free Speech A Privilege

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the silence-will-still-be-permitted dept.

Censorship 624

An anonymous reader writes "A group of four NY state senators have written a paper suggesting that free speech should be looked upon as a government granted privilege rather than a right. They're specifically concerned about cyberstalking and cyberbullying, and are introducing legislation to make both of those against the law. Among other troubling concepts, they argue that merely 'excluding' someone from a group is a form of cyberbullying."

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624 comments

I am offended (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605384)

by this attempt, and expect restitution for their callous behavior and pissing on the Bill of Rights.

Re:I am offended (4, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605486)

I knew they were Democrats when their political affiliation wasn't mentioned in the headline. Seriously, it's a strange trend you'll begin to notice if you follow the news--when Democrat politicians do something unpopular, political affiliation is often left unmentioned.

Re:I am offended (2)

Bodhammer (559311) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605620)

You mean like when they forget to mention that the guy who was planning to blow up the Washington Monument and Pentagon is (dare I say it!) a Muslim?

Re:I am offended (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605758)

Or when Republican senators get caught doing something naughty they are labeled as Democrats "by mistake" on Fox News and CNN.

Bullshit (4, Informative)

cappp (1822388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605488)

Only thats not at all what's written. Read the entire report [nysenate.gov] for yourself, you'll be pleasantly suprised.
The quote given is taken completely out of context, infacT the report notes on the page previous that

THE CHALLENGE LIES IN PROTECTING TEENAGERS FROM CYBERBULLYING WITHOUT TRAMPLING ON THE FREE SPEECH PROTECTIONS AFFORDED BY THE FIRST AMENDMENT. THIS PROPOSED LEGISLATION ACCOMPLISHES THAT IN THE FOLLOWING WAY:

The report has some fairly decently nuanced considerations and is being damned by a single, out of context quote. Hell read onto the next page if you like

IN SUMMARY, ALTHOUGH SPEECH IS GENERALLY PROTECTED UNDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT, THERE ARE INSTANCES IN WHICH RESTRICTIONS ARE WARRANTED. IN

HOLY SHIT, THEYRE CONSIDERING THE LAW AS IT'S WRITTEN AND APPLIED IN THE REAL WORLD, NOT MY IDEOLOGICAL BUNKER!!!!!

Re:Bullshit (0)

wickerprints (1094741) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605588)

I wish I could give you mod points for pointing out the yellow journalism in this biased and misleading summary. Alas, it looks like the knee-jerk responses calling for heads to roll have already hit the comments full force, and nobody is going to actually bother trying to see what was actually proposed because it doesn't fit into their delusional partisan worldview.

Re:Bullshit (5, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605866)

It's pretty much irrelevant what they're proposing, because they're trying to fix something that really doesn't need fixing. In fact, if anything their solution makes the problem worse.

The correct solution is to help kids deal with emotional and verbal abuse, not try to outlaw it. You're not doing anyone any favors by putting them in a protective shell until they hit a certain age, then releasing them into the wild to get hammered by all the nasty stuff Real Life has to offer all at once. Some parts of life suck. But you have to learn to deal.

Re:Bullshit (5, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605730)

Only thats not at all what's written. Read the entire report [nysenate.gov] for yourself, you'll be pleasantly suprised. The report has some fairly decently nuanced considerations and is being damned by a single, out of context quote. Hell read onto the next page if you like

IN SUMMARY, ALTHOUGH SPEECH IS GENERALLY PROTECTED UNDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT, THERE ARE INSTANCES IN WHICH RESTRICTIONS ARE WARRANTED. IN

HOLY SHIT, THEYRE CONSIDERING THE LAW AS IT'S WRITTEN AND APPLIED IN THE REAL WORLD, NOT MY IDEOLOGICAL BUNKER!!!!!

Actually, no. The first amendment is pretty clear - and prior restraint is a violation of free speech. Just because something is bad doesn't mean you should ban it - you can still make certain types of statements a crime - but to suggest that preventing someone from uttering them is not a first amendment violation is wrong, IMHO.

They may be trying to make a good faith effort to not violate the first, but I think they fail.

Re:Bullshit (2, Informative)

B1oodAnge1 (1485419) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605748)

ALTHOUGH SPEECH IS GENERALLY PROTECTED UNDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT, THERE ARE INSTANCES IN WHICH RESTRICTIONS ARE WARRANTED.

HOLY SHIT, THEYRE CONSIDERING THE LAW AS IT'S WRITTEN AND APPLIED IN THE REAL WORLD

There is no "general protection" for speech in the first amendment, there is absolute protection:

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.

How are they considering the law as it is written?

Re:Bullshit (3, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605752)

Why don't these Democrat NY State Senators mind their own business?

It's possible to exercise freedom outside the perfectly defined bounds of the First Amendment, you know.

It's also possible to govern without trying to be everyone's Mom. Why should we tolerate governments trying to take away every tiny sliver of human freedom except the ones that are explicitly protected by the Bill of Rights? We all know these people would take away even more freedoms if they could get away with it.

Do you want the author of this piece arrested for "Cyberbullying"? Or the Slashdot editors? Just wondering.

Re:Bullshit (4, Insightful)

eparker05 (1738842) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605770)

In essence;

        WE ARE AWARE OF THE EXISTENCE OF A CONSTITUTION THAT PROTECTS PEOPLE'S RIGHTS, BUT WE WILL CIRCUMVENT THESE PROTECTIONS IN THE FOLLOWING WAY:

It also has a plenty of nuance, read the next page if you like

        IN SUMMARY, ALTHOUGH SPEECH IS GENERALLY PROTECTED, OUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THIS FACT SHOULD MAKE YOU LESS SCARED THAT WE ARE ABOUT TO ERODE YOUR RIGHTS. IN

Holy crikey, the OP might have made some sense.

Re:Bullshit (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605816)

In what part of 'NO LAW' do you find nuance? If they want to restrict speech, they must modify/repeal the 1st amendment. It's that simple. Already too many faulty interpretations have made it virtually toothless. A procedure is in place to make changes. They should be followed to the letter.

Re:Bullshit (4, Informative)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605850)

it's textbook knee-jerk reactionaryism.

cyberbullying. root word: bullying. THE SAME SHIT HAS BEEN GOING ON FOREVER. except now you put "... on a computer!" and are granted a new patent I MEAN a new call to action to restrict the rights of citizens BECAUSE OF THE CHILDREN!

rights, mind you, that aren't meant to be restricted. these are not rights granted by the government. these are rights inherent to all people by virtue of their being people -- these are simply rights which the government has recognized the infringement of is inexcusable and tyrannical.

I like the part of the bill where it mentions "...USING ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DIRECTED AT A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF TWENTY-ONE YEARS,..." .. "CAUSES MATERIAL HARM TO THE MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL HEALTH, SAFETY OR PROPERTY OF SUCH CHILD ."

And yes, they do say free speech is a privilege GRANTED BY THE FUCKING STATE -- and not an inborn, inalienable right.
What bullshit.
This is not the use of force to prevent the unjust use of force, these fucktwits have corrupted Mills for their own big-government nanny-state ends. This is simply the outright abuse of force and twisting of the very concept of our rights recognized, not granted, by the government. I'm sorry. Words do not hurt. You can call me what you want -- it only affects me as much as I allow it.

You want to deal with cyberbullying? Get some fucking parents with half a clue to raise their kids. Get some schools that aren't afraid to deal with troublesome students. And yes, they are. Little Jimmy, you see, is special needs, and only acts out because of his bullshit ADHD -- and his parents, gosh, any time the school punishes Jimmy they're down there causing a ruckus because they KNOW Jimmy didn't punch that poor boy and call him a fag! Jimmy wouldn't do that!

Kids: Ignore unkind words that bother you. If someone physically harms you, that's fucking assault and don't let the school fucking feed you any bullshit -- you were fucking assaulted, and if they don't want to deal with it get the fucking cops involved. No, it's not fair you keep getting picked on. Life's not fair. Don't do stupid shit like take nude photos of yourself -- they WILL be distributed, what the hell were you even thinking in the first place. The more you let the bullies know this shit bothers you, the more they will bother you.

This law? This law is bullshit. Flaming some 20 year old is not a crime. I don't give half a fuck. This very post could be argued to cause "... MATERIAL HARM TO THE MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL HEALTH, SAFETY OR PROPERTY OF SUCH CHILD". Fuck that. A child under 21? Since when were fucking children able to enter into binding legal contracts.

Fuck you, New York, fuck you and your liberal fucking totalitarian dreams and desires.

Oh, and the one citation of a court case I saw in that mess of shit? Was for a case involving cross burning. They used that to justify their crap. Y'see, the difference is, in that case, the burning of the crosses was intended to intimidate -- it was a threat. There are actually already laws regarding the making of threats of violence. Nope, let's not apply those, let's just throw the fucking philosophical foundation of our constitution in the shitter FOR THE CHILDREN!

Re:I am offended (2)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605500)

It will never happen. Those guys do not understand the U.S. Constitution, if that is their true goal. It would probably be best that the citizens of those states that elected those individuals vote them or impeach them out.

Can we move past these incompetent goofballs?

Re:I am offended (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605654)

Yeah, but I can magically guess everyone's intent. Intent is the most important thing ever when it comes to speech. They didn't intend to offend you!

Intending to offend someone through the use of words is absolutely horrible. That's why 99% of the people on the internet likely need to be taught a lesson.

LOL! American Freedom! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605390)

LOL!

Whoever voted for these politicians... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605394)

...should go die in a fire. For fuck's sake, people, what were you thinking??

Re:Whoever voted for these politicians... (3, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605462)

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say they probably didn't campaign on an anti-Bill of Rights platform.

Re:Whoever voted for these politicians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605520)

Mod parent up. Said representatives were voted in because they promised to vote the right way on abortion and gay marriage.

Looking forward to see the next crop of incompetent losers voted in in 2012!

Welcome to Canada? (2, Interesting)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605400)

In Canada, we do not have free speech in absolute terms like our southern counterparts. The difference between us and what those senators are suggesting is that we have a Charter of Rights which protects us from any attempt of gov't approved censorship. It can be annoying at times, but it keeps the holocaust deniers at bay.

Re:Welcome to Canada? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605438)

why would you want to keep the holocaust deniers at bay by giving up the right of free speech?
are holocaust deniers that big a pest or is your free speech worth that little?

Re:Welcome to Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605492)

They are concerned that people will be convinced by the holocaust deniers.

Look at the US -- no restrictions on holocaust deniers -- and I bet they don't even believe WWII happened!

Re:Welcome to Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605602)

you are just asking it the wrong way, instead of asking what happened in world war two, ask them what happened in certain hollywood movies they have seen.
they know the concept and believe in it, they just link it differently.

Re:Welcome to Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605814)

And what's the problem with them thinking the way they do? Most other Americas will exercise their free speech and call them idiots in some fashion or other. The same goes for (truly) racist groups, truthers, birthers, etc. As far as I've seen, the only reason these people get any lime light is because our media gets more clicks and reads when something insanely controversial is in the head lines. Before 24/7 news these kind of people were generally ignored or were at least easier to ignore.

Re:Welcome to Canada? (0)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605514)

Do you have something against being made accountable for your own words? I am free to say whatever I want whenever I want, but I am held accountable for those words. If my words encourage hatred towards a minority, I am committing a hate crime. If my words encourage suicide, I am complicit in their demise. Thats the only real implication.

Re:Welcome to Canada? (3, Insightful)

halivar (535827) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605702)

Cultures who outlaw dickwads are at the mercy of those who define the term "dickwad." Wait until your favorite religion/race/affiliation/cereal-brand is a "hate crime."

The US has free speech so that no man may stifle another man's conscience.

Re:Welcome to Canada? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605732)

There mere expression of an idea cannot hurt anyone. The only way harm can arise is if somebody else acts in a way that is harmful after having heard or seen the idea that was expressed.

You talk about accountability, but you clearly have no idea how to properly assign it. The person who expressed the idea should not be held responsible if somebody else does something that's harmful. Only the perpetrator should be held accountable.

If somebody tells you to smear your own shit in your face, it's not their fault if you go ahead and do it, and then don't enjoy the experience. The only person who should face any sort of accountability in that situation is you, for not controlling your actions.

If somebody tells you to smear your own shit in the face of some third person, it's not the instructor nor the recipient who should be held accountable. Again, it's you, because you're the one who acted on what you heard. In such a situation, you are the one who caused the harm to happen, not the person who merely expressed an idea.

Re:Welcome to Canada? (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605786)

Yeah, but what if someone yells "fire" in a crowded theater? Clearly an intelligent person would instantly believe them and then trample over everyone else (it's not your fault for trampling over them, though) to save their own skin!

Re:Welcome to Canada? (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605846)

"There mere expression of an idea cannot hurt anyone"
Interesting theory. It does fly in the face of psychology, but hey.. Sometimes, expressions of ideas are the most harmful things around.. And they leave scars you don't get to see, which makes them really convenient if you want to hurt someone and get off free..

Re:Welcome to Canada? (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605734)

I am free to say whatever I want whenever I want, but I am held accountable for those words.

Then I wouldn't exactly call that "free speech."

If my words encourage hatred towards a minority, I am committing a hate crime.

Are you saying that people shouldn't be able to voice that kind of opinion?

If people listen to your words, then I believe they are at fault (and partly you, but I don't care about the person who said it). If they act 'irrationally', then I think punishment should go to them (if necessary or if possible).

Re:Welcome to Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605472)

Can't say we have a major problem down here with holocaust denies down here either.

The power to stop people from denying the holocaust is the power to stifle other kinds of speech that the authorities don't like.

Re:Welcome to Canada? (2)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605648)

The Canadian government can override those rights with the notwithstanding clause, where the US gov just ignores the constitution. (same result)

Re:Welcome to Canada? (0)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605656)

So how's it feel to subjugated rather than free? Call the U.S. what you will, at least we have universal suffrage. I don't know how you feel about it, but if I knew that some of these people in my government would be able to stay in positions of power regardless of public opinion and would pass their positions onto their children (law of succession [wikipedia.org] ) it would make be want to start a revolution [youtube.com] . Err. I guess I'm a little late to that little party, but I think you get my point. If God had to choose, I'd rather he bless America, Canada included than save the queen. No offense.

Re:Welcome to Canada? (1)

Svippy (876087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605840)

Do you even know what the word 'universal suffrage' means? Last time I checked, all people have the right to vote in Canada. In fact, as far as I know (and I might be wrong though), in Canada they don't take away your right to vote if you are convicted of a crime.

Re:Welcome to Canada? (3, Interesting)

Zirbert (1936162) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605668)

In Canada, we do not have free speech in absolute terms like our southern counterparts. The difference between us and what those senators are suggesting is that we have a Charter of Rights which protects us from any attempt of gov't approved censorship. It can be annoying at times, but it keeps the holocaust deniers at bay.

We actually have massive government-perpetrated censorship. So-called "human rights commissions", which are government bureaucracies, impose large fines, with no real legal recourse, on those targets (carefully chosen, of course) who violate the supposed rights of others not to be offended. As long as those others are members of the correct groups, of course.

I know a lot of people in general, and Slashdot readers in particular, won't/don't agree with many of Ezra Levant's positions, but he's done more to shine disinfecting sunlight on the HRCs than all the "civil liberties" groups in Canada combined. Googling his name and doing some reading will quickly show just how fragile supposed freedom of speech really is in Canada. That may be gradually changing, thankfully - there are movements afoot to remove or re-word Section 13 of the Human Rights Act so that just hurting someone's feelings is no longer an offense. In fact, Ezra just did a segment on his show about it: http://ezralevant.com/2011/10/free-speechs-only-hope.html [ezralevant.com] .

The solution to Holocaust deniers is not to stifle everyone's freedom of speech. Let them say their piece, then let the rest of us refute, rebuke, and roundly mock.

Re:Welcome to Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605712)

the senators aren't that good eh? so if i kick you off my facebook now im a bully? then give me your lunch tickets nerd.

why dont you beat them up ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605408)

really ? this is outright violation of first amendment of the constitution your country is based upon. these representatives can propose and attempt such a thing. when does the 'right to revolt against tyranny' in your constitution gets invoked ? never ?

Re:why dont you beat them up ? (3, Insightful)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605460)

They wrote a paper that explains an opinion about an idea that is controversial and unpopular. It is exactly the kind of thing that the First Amendment was intended to protect.

Incidentally, there is no "right to revolt" in the Constitution. The concept is covered in the Declaration of Independence which, while culturally and politically significant, holds no legal weight.

Re:why dont you beat them up ? (5, Insightful)

Grave (8234) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605600)

I believe Thomas Jefferson would argue that the "right to revolt" comes from nature, and does not need to be outlined in any legal document.

Re:why dont you beat them up ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605718)

The paper doesn't bother me, it's that they're basing their legislative views on it. Why should my tax dollars go to the salaries of people who are actively trying to debase the First Amendment? And for what, bullying? What happened to the debt crisis, civil rights issues, and fixing the broken state of education? I swear, this country has priorities all backward.

Re:why dont you beat them up ? (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605774)

The right to revolt against tyranny is in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, which is not considered a legally binding document AFAIK. Not that I disagree with you.

Constitutional hate speech (1)

ZankerH (1401751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605414)

Tree of liberty, blood of patriots, permanent freedom, temporary safety, et cetera.

(I await the SA with bated breath)

Kick these guys out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605416)

Vote these fuckers out of office!

what next not voteing for someone or saying that y (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605418)

What is next not voteing for someone or saying that you will vote for the other guy is a form of bullying as well?

Re:what next not voteing for someone or saying tha (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605536)

Vote for me or I'll cry and then you'll be sorry!

God damn Republicans (3, Interesting)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605428)

Those god damn Republicans continuing to erode our rights like this, first Bush and the Patriot Act and now . . . what? They're Democrats? Oh, well then, carry on.

Re:God damn Republicans (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605502)

Seriously, it will be interesting to see how Slashdot's usual anti-corporation, pro-government readership reacts to this submission.

Re:God damn Republicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605706)

Of course, Democrats. Knew it intuitively.

Re:God damn Republicans (0)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605750)

I can always tell which political side proposes something in the summary by looking at the comments. If it was done by Republicans, there are a good 100+ comments lambasting them as pro-corporate anti-freedom bigots. If Democrats did it, no one mentions their party affiliation. Also, the Republican stories tend to get a lot more comments. As if Democrats are all intelligent, freedom-lovers and anyone who isn't can't be a Democrat.

The truth tends to be that most politicians, whatever they say, tend to seek to extend the power of the government, since that gives those who run it (i.e. them) more power (or money from lobbyists, money being a kind of power). This is why we have a Constitution, to prevent them from going beyond a certain point. Unfortunately, the US Constitution tends to get completely ignored these days, or bypassed by reading in new "powers" that really aren't there and never were.

Re:God damn Republicans (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605788)

Democrats always seem to be more for censorship. Look at Tipper Gore. Perfect example.

I'm largely OK with the first amendment as it stands, though I would like some clarifying language about freedom of speech not being freedom of corruption. It is widely perceived that Congress are a bunch of whores, collectively for-sale to the highest... well... any... bidder. As this perception is corrosive to our system of government, any activities that contribute to these views should not be allowed. I would argue that this includes attempting to undermine amendments to our constitution...

I don't see a problem. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605440)

If excluding someone from a group is cyberbullying and cyberbullying is illegal, then that would presumably apply to all committees, press conferences, political funding bodies, etc. Right? Or is it only groups out of favour with the politicians in power who can't exclude?

Re:I don't see a problem. (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605812)

Or is it only groups out of favour with the politicians in power who can't exclude?

Exactly this.

They're welcome in my group... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605442)

... but first they have to sit still for 2 hours inside a cardboard box which I tape shut around them. Hopefully they won't mind the noise made by the excavating equipment and cement truck.

Re:They're welcome in my group... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605868)

"....excavating equipment and cement truck."

Wait so you put them in the box before digging the hole?

If you weren't an idiot they would only hear the cement truck.....

The box would implode from the weight and it would be just easier to shoot them.

Treason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605444)

Did the senators not take an oath to uphold the constitution? What is wrong with these people?

Re:Treason (1)

readin (838620) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605744)

Did the senators not take an oath to uphold the constitution? What is wrong with these people?

The senators are Democrats and it's a living Constitution!

Land of the Free Home of the Brave - NOT (4, Insightful)

jo42 (227475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605454)

They spent World War II fighting the Nazis. Then they spent the Cold War fighting the Communists. Now they are becoming them. Fucking bastard asshole bags of shit. Hang'em high.

Buisness as usual (3, Insightful)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605720)

They (the US) spent HALF the second world war fighting the Nazis, the other half selling them computers to help round up the jews. The gov of the US has a long history of helping bad men rule innocent people with an iron fist. The only thing new here is that they're doing it to YOU.

The Clash said it best! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605506)

You have the right to Free Speech, as long as you are not dumb enough to actually try it.

Okay.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605508)

So they want to make a law that would exclude people from free speech to stop people from excluding people in free speech...

Why not both? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605510)

This article is under duress for one or the other; that is bully, no?

Government mandated friends huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605526)

Wonderful...

Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605538)

It is no coincidence that they are all democrat. The far left want to control speech and this is just the latest attack.

Reeks of Rorty (1)

colnago (91472) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605542)

Wow, exclusion is a form of bullying. Post-modernity gone amuck.

Re:Reeks of Rorty (1)

black3d (1648913) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605646)

Once I was in World of Warcraft (to judge me!) and I was inviting folks to a dungeon group in The Deadmines. I'm a nice guy and nothing rude was said, however one kid messaged and asked if he could come - I said "no, you're too low level" (we had no high-level toons running us through, and the highest member of the group so far was level 17 - kid was level 13 - backstory for anyone familiar with the game :)).

Anywho, he replied "You have to take me!!!!" when I said no, he replied "I'm reporting you to a GM!!!" "For what?" "For exclusion!!!!"

With young kids in school now, I can tell ya - they're being taught that exclusion is a form of bullying at a public level. In the school yard apparently it's so that nobody feels excluded because blah blah cry me a river. But the point is they're bring raised with this point of view. I was a skinny dweeby kid - I was exluded from everything. But I learnt a lot about life from my experiences as a kid. It seems kids are being raised today to think 1) life should be an easy ride 2) you deserve to be famous 3) the world owes you for gracing us with your presence 4) nobody has a right to tell you what to do or not to do - even if they're a parent trying to protect you.

Re:Reeks of Rorty (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605690)

post-modernity ended somewhere at the end of the 90ies... we are now into Post-postmodernism also called post-millennialism which is also know (probably more appropriately) as pseudo-modernism

The courts have already upheld censorship (2)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605574)

The standing precedent is that the First Amendment is really just a law against "prior restraint." In other words, the courts have decided that, the First Amendment just says the government can't stop you from speaking. However, they can punish you for your speech after you do it!

I think most normal people would find this interpretation of the First Amendment as ridiculous. But guess what? It is the precedent that our courts have upheld.

Re:The courts have already upheld censorship (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605778)

That's an interesting perspective. Care to back it up with actual precedent? While doing so, please dispel if possible* the common concept of "chilling effect", which couldn't possibly exist as a consideration before the law if your assertion were true.

*Here's a hint: don't even bother trying. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that laws punishing, for instance, political speech is effectively prior restraint and specifically uses the phrase "chilling effect" or "deterring effect" to describe the situation you describe: you can speak but will be punished for it, so your speech is deterred.

Both parties hate you and the Bill of Rights (4, Informative)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605608)

Just to drive it home, since the summary and article avoid it scrupulously, this is a Democratic party proposal from an 'Independent Democratic Conference'.

Not because I think the Republicans are any better, but people seem to need reminding that both major political parties hate the Bill of Rights and love short sighted dangerous 'fixes' for whatever they think today's social panic is.

Re:Both parties hate you and the Bill of Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605708)

There's no social panic that a good trimming of the Constitution can't fix.

Ass-backwards "solution" (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605638)

I find the whole fixation on "cyberbulling" to be stupid and offensive.

No one's forcing these kids to commit suicide. No one is killing them. But more importantly, no one is helping them deal with the emotional/verbal abuse either.

Being emotionally/verbally abused or bullied is a part of life. It's GOING to happen. It sucks, but that's how it is. The correct solution is for adults to help kids learn how to deal with it, not find ways to make it illegal.

No story here (1, Informative)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605674)

There's no story here. Here's the original report, from the Volokh Conspiracy [volokh.com] , a card-carrying rightwing blog. That enough should discredit the story. Second, the entire point of this blog posting is to point out that the politicians involved were all Democrats, something the Techdirt article (correctly) discards from the narrative as irrelevant. So, this is just a hit piece, no story other than "scary Demoncrats", everybody can go on to the next article.

Ignorant Dumbasses (1)

pdfsmail (2423750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605684)

This never works.. just try it and watch what the rest of the country does to them. If anyone in office is ignorant or dumb enough to try this they should be immediately thrown out of office for violating the 1st and attempting to corrupt laws that we have in place they should not lay fingers on... They should be lucky to consider themselves in office... etc... If a party doesnt like the Bill or constitution, they should be reconstructed.

A zen question for you (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605686)

Does proposing trolling be outlawed count as trolling?

Who would have guessed? (2)

readin (838620) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605700)

Senators Want To Make Free Speech A Privilege 52

Why does it not surprise me that the senators are all Democrats?

They should be locked up for saying that. (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605724)

Dear Senators, you should be locked up for saying that. Now how do you feel? Sincerely, somebody who didn't get an F in high school civics and who would like very much to see your transcripts.

Just remember folks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605738)

The Second Amendment exists to ensure the government does not trample over the rest.

That's the theory anyway. If you look at what our government has done over the past decade, it seems as though most people don't give a shit and will put up with almost any infringement of their rights as long as they can post on Facebook.

Re:Just remember folks (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605776)

If you look at what our government has done over the past decade, it seems as though most people don't give a shit and will put up with almost any infringement of their rights as long as they can post on Facebook.

I think I'm going to use that as my next status update.

How can they not see the problem here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605804)

It's beyond my understanding how our elected representatives are totally unable to understand the implications of what they're proposing.
Have they never read the multitude of books about censorship? Never seen any movies? Never heard of communism?

Things like this make me truly fear for the future of our species.

It's time that people in the US (and around the world) wake up and do something about this, but unfortunately I'm not sure how to make that happen. The average citizen seems to have little control over what the government does- yes, we can elect new idiots, but that won't do us much good.

Furthermore, people need to grow up and learn that not everyone is going to say things they like. That's part of life.

Technological fear and power. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605808)

I'd say this is just the regular mouth-pieces 'thinking of the children' again, but this takes it to a new level. Essentially, any 'negative remark, post, and upload' against an online profile becomes 'dangerous' and subject to being stifled, by law? So much for /., or every other forum moderating itself.

Couple this with the Free Speech Zones, currently being used outside Political rallies, and you have a very real retraction of both the boundaries of the physical right to express free speech, and your free speech in the digital realm. It's quite obvious that restriction of opposing ideas is what this is really about. Call it what you want, anti-cyber-bullying law, or profile protection online, but you and I both know this kind of thinking doesn't restrict itself to the well-defined addages it is put forth under. We all know this will be used for the general speech, online and off, that elected officials, law enforcement bodies, and anyone with money, don't want to hear about.

Now take it one step further to the 'Occupy Wall Street' camp. Putting the whole purpose of it aside for a moment, does a law like the proposed put organizing camps like them in the cross-hairs? Why would they be exempt?

How much content online 'really is' what this targetted legislation is about? How many forums are public, at will acceptance, yet run by Corporations, non-profits, or private individuals?

To me, all of this strikes as fear of technology and communication. Is it as recognizable to you as it is to me that the public, albeit probably a bit misguided in content, is getting acces to more information than ever before? Do those running the country really want a 'well-informed' public to be at the voting booth? Like most legislation, this is about power. Who has it, how is it controlled, and who has more to lose.

The only real question you should be asking is, 'is this a small step forward for America in general, or a step backward'?

Though I try to avoid quoting movies, one does feel appropriate here:

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people

It seems fear really is turning on those who have the power to wield the kind of control they wish. Hopefully, this absurdity will stop before it gains momentum, and more forums than this one will show the adequate light to the insanity that is being proposed once again, upon a once great nation.

not sure if idiocracy is coming true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37605820)

Yeah, I got a solution, you're a dick! South Carolina, what's up!

Stalking & Bullying: As long as people exist. (1)

jaskelling (1927116) | more than 2 years ago | (#37605872)

Making a law to tell people what they can and can't say online will not solve the problem. They'll just go back to doing it in person. Writing letters, calling, stabbing, murdering, pushing people around. As long as different people continue to be born and exist, this is *not* a solvable problem. You can only mitigate it - and you don't do that by infringing the rights of everyone else. And if we're going to go by this route, the government (at least for now and on paper) is still of, by, and for the people. Thusly, I grant myself the right to free speech and do the same for my fellow citizens and government members...and heartily say "FUCK you, NY Senators." And have a nice day.
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