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Free Republic v. Aldridge

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the swatting-flies-with-a-sledgehammer dept.

The Courts 296

Jim Howard writes: "The controversial conservative political web site Free Republic has won a permanent injunction against one of its users who was alleged to have conducted a campaign of disruption against the site. The decision was rendered by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia." Free Republic's allegations against the user are online as well.

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Here is a link to a post Free Republic banned. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#303142)

What makes the bean bag right hysterical [vanguardnewsnetwork.com]

Link's been slashdotted... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#303143)

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works. Free Republic v. Aldridge - FR Motion for Preliminary Injunction Miscellaneous Announcement Source: Free Republic Published: 1-25-01 Author: Winston & Strawn Posted on 01/25/2001 16:15:44 PST by Clarity V I R G I N I A: IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF FAIRFAX COUNTY Chancery No. 170290 FREE REPUBLIC, LLC, Complainant, v. THOMAS CHAPPELL ALDRIDGE, JR. Respondent. ____________________________________ MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF COMPLAINANT'S MOTION FOR TEMPORARY INJUNCTION Respondent Thomas Chappell Aldridge, Jr. ("Aldridge") is a computer vandal. His target for the past three years has been a web site operated by Complainant Free Republic, LLC on the Internet. His stated goal is to force Free Republic's web site off the Internet because it promotes political viewpoints with which he disagrees. To accomplish this goal, Aldridge has used a variety of illegal tactics. Those tactics include: (1) using his computer to trespass on Free Republic's web site under anonymous names without authorization; (2) "posting" (i.e., publishing) lewd and defamatory messages on the web site, often under someone else's name; (3) using his computer to harass authorized Free Republic users; (4) using his computer to intimidate Free Republic authorized users by surreptitiously obtaining and posting private information regarding them; (5) using Free Republic's electronic message services without authority to disseminate his messages to millions of users on the Internet; (6) bombarding, in concert with others, Free Republic's web site with bulk electronic messages (commonly called "spam") in order to tie up its bandwidth and disrupt its operations; and (7) counseling others on how to disrupt Free Republic's web site. This conduct violates the Virginia Computer Crime Act ("VCCA"), Virginia Code 18.2-152.1, et. seq., the Virginia conspiracy statute, Virginia Code 18.2-499 and 18.2-500, and common law. Complainant hereby moves the Court to issue a limited temporary injunction that would prevent Aldridge, and others acting in concert with him, from posting any further messages on Free Republic's web site. Factual Background I. Free Republic Background Complainant Free Republic is a California limited liability company that operates a web site on the Internet under the domain name http://www.freerepublic.com. See Affidavit of James Robinson ("Robinson Aff.") at 2. Jim Robinson founded Free Republic in 1996 as a conservative Internet forum that would provide breaking news updates and encourage users of all political persuasions to comment on current events. Despite its concentration on conservative viewpoints, Free Republic is not affiliated with any political party, news source, government agency or any other entity. Id. at 4. Free Republic is funded solely by donations from readers of its site. The web site has over 50,000 registered members and receives an average of 50,000 to 100,000 "hits" per day from people around the world. Because of the volume of daily activity on its web site, Free Republic's limited resources render it vulnerable to attempts by Aldridge, and others acting at his behest, to halt or disable Free Republic's web site with harassing or bulk electronic messages. Id. at 3, 5. II. The Free Republic Web Site Registration Process and User Agreement Anyone on the Internet is welcome to view the messages on Free Republic's web site without registration. But the ability to post a message or a response on Free Republic's web site is a privilege granted only to users who complete a registration process and agree to the terms of Free Republic's User Agreement. Id. at 6. Due to the number of new users who register at the web site each day, the process has been automated. The registration process requires a potential user to supply a valid e-mail address and to agree to the terms and conditions of usage before receiving posting privileges. On the Free Republic registration web page, the user specifies a "screen name" and password after providing his or her e-mail address. Once the registration form is submitted, an "activation code" is sent back to the e-mail address specified by the user in the registration form. The activation code must then be entered at Free Republic's web site before posting privileges are activated. Id. at 7-11. The screen name selected by the registrant becomes the identity of the person on the web site. This allows users to post messages anonymously. If the user posts a message, his or her screen name--but not necessarily his or her real name, e-mail address, or password--appears along with the message on the web site. A Free Republic user cannot post a message on Free Republic's web site, however, without inputting both a screen name and the corresponding password. Id. at 7, 8. Free Republic instituted the password feature to prevent a third party from posting messages under someone else's screen name, one of the activities in which Aldridge was engaging. All potential users agree to the terms of a User Agreement before receiving authorization to post messages on the web site. This User Agreement is found and completed on Free Republic's web site. Id. at 9 & Ex. 1. The User Agreement makes it clear that Free Republic has reserved its right to revoke a user's privilege to post messages on the web site when the privilege is abused: Please remember to use courtesy when posting, refrain from personal attacks and do not use profane or obscene language. Your posts will be read by thousands of people and will be archived for years to come. Violation of these guidelines can cause your account to be suspended or revoked. Your Free Republic account cannot be used to engage in any illegal activity. Id., Ex. 1 (emphases added). The registration process contemplates that a Free Republic user will have only one account and only one screen name. There is no legitimate reason for a Free Republic user to have multiple accounts on the web site. Indeed, the use of multiple screen names circumvents the ability of the operators of Free Republic's web site to refuse access to individuals whose accounts have been suspended or revoked. Id. at 12. A person can respond to having one screen name blocked by using another screen name. That is exactly what Aldridge has done. Free Republic unfortunately lacks the technology and manpower to prevent Aldridge and others acting in concert with him from circumventing Free Republic's registration process and User Agreement. Free Republic has found it difficult, if not impossible, to prevent Aldridge from posting unauthorized messages on Free Republic's web site. Id. at 13. III. Aldridge's Illegal Conduct Targeted At Free Republic, Its Founder, And Its Users Aldridge's political beliefs conflict with the conservative views expressed by other Free Republic users. Instead of engaging in legitimate political debate--which is encouraged by Free Republic--Aldridge, since 1997, has engaged in systematic actions, alone and with others, to halt or otherwise disable Free Republic's web site as well as to harass Free Republic, its founder, and its users. Id. at 14. Aldridge originally registered under the name Eschoir. This was a pun, combining the word Esquire (Aldridge is a member of the Virginia Bar with a law office in Springfield, Virginia) with his being a member of a choir. Aldridge used this name to post messages that attacked the positions espoused by others. Free Republic allowed Aldridge to post messages under Eschoir for several weeks. In the latter part of 1997, after Aldridge went beyond the pale and began posting lewd messages and personal attacks on other users, his privilege to post messages on Free Republic's web site was permanently revoked. Id. at 15, 16. For example, Aldridge used his infamous screen name "Eschoir" to post profane and obscene comments about the daughter of a Free Republic user: "Yuo [sic] can hide but you can't run. You know, when your daughter makes it with President Clinton, she prefers doggie style. RRRrrruffff! . . . And your daughter not only likes it doggie style, but do the words 'Hershey Highway' mean anything to you?" Robinson Aff., Ex. 4 at 7, 8. A. Aldridge's Breach Of Contract And Computer Trespass Aldridge--whose privilege to post messages on Free Republic's web site has been permanently revoked--has found a hole in the registration process that allowed him to register at least 50 new Free Republic screen names. It appears that Aldridge has taken advantage of a feature offered by his Internet Server Providers America Online, Inc. ("AOL") and Erols, Inc. that allows him to create multiple e-mail addresses. Aldridge uses his new e-mail addresses to register dozens of new screen names with Free Republic. Id. at 17 & Exs. 5-7; see also id., Ex. 8 at 2. Based on Aldridge's request for documents from Free Republic, it appears that he has also used the following screen names on Free Republic's web site: 1952vet, 23yotz, 78rpm, a scaparelli, activist amor fati, aptly put, ardent one, ardentdeb, amo vitusian, arnold lunn, atheist conservatives, backtotheesch, basket lunch, batjack v. Klayman, beautiful streamer, ben watson, biggles, big wanda, billingsgate, bloodiedbutunbowed, blunderbuss, blutamoto, boxcars, braveandtrueheart, bite the bullet, burned up, cabinfevered, cancer l999, capncranky, Capt. Freeps, cardinal richelieu, celestian, chappell, cogan's bluff, Connie's a liar, coolid2349, correction fluid, could it be esch?, david schimmel, ddnajar, debased one, debutante, dfu is nuts, dixie gal, dreadscot, dsl69, dung from outhouse, dydimus, elainek7722, ergotism66, eschhaton Eschoir, eschoiragain, eschoir's back 121398, evayy2000, evoy2001, evvay2000, far from it, father abraham, fed foe, Feet of Klay, felching, flush right, freaglerfan, free thought, freedie the dreamers, freeze-out, frogtown justice league, Frogtown commando, frogtown2000, gargantua99, ghfjdk, global warning, gorebore00, grass roots, Hairy True-man, Hand of the White House, hoo- yah!, hot debater, intellectualdebt, jintentionall, italia, italiana, it's embarrassing, jbs1950, jim bowie's blade, Jim Rob'emsome, jim robnson, judge ross, justanewbie99, justice league of frogtown, jwmp271, kenyon, lasserboy, klaxamative, lazy freeps, ledee, lms228, lol hehe rbfhe, longtime lurker, Lotte luigi45, luvvie, macroplay3, major freeping, malocchio, marginalized, mariano, mark text, mark time, massa bush, mcb49, mendoza, merkin, naval gazer, never never never give up, newbie, newbie0987, newsman, nine2fiver, nomorecorruption, nomerrinos, not gary aldrich, novacaine, numberonefreeper, oldster, paco loco hombre, pacolo8294, Paula Jones' Twat, pequod, permanent injunction, pestsquire, philemon2000, Pleaase Delete Me, policywond45, pongopain, posterboy1922, purgedpurged, rat bastard from hell, really eschoir, recovering one, reggie stration, reedeet, regurgitation, riohese, rjt24, scalia wolvet, scooter1967, serpenthead, sfc29, sha-man, shrewish, slowload, smegma, snakeyes, snork, Spamster, st vitus jig, st. Vitus, st.crispin, starrgeezer, stavro galt, street fighter, streetphighter, sturmer, sun'll come out to Morrow, tab align, Tapphy, techlawguy, That Old Black Magic, thatsess-choir, the Discredited Mr. Buckley, the Late Mr. Buckley, the mipplebing of barsoom, The Truth, thebabe, tom, tom the sodomite, to Morrow, toastville, true2you, truemogga, unpersuaded, updater, viagrown, vigorish, villiens 1956, vindicator 1999, virtual chocolate, warrior princess, whuzzup!, xanthan, xantippe, xantippe68, xtream 1st, zondervan, The Dreaded Eschoir, repubilus_fr, sub_terran_1, or Lenny. See Robinson Aff. at 18 & Ex. 9 at 6-7. Because of the multiple e-mail addresses, Free Republic cannot easily trace these new screen names back to Aldridge, thus allowing him to post unauthorized messages on the web site until detected. Aldridge's multiple Free Republic screen names include, among others, "Tab_Align," "Not_Tab_Align," and "my_white_plume." Aldridge also has registered under the screen name "Spamster," evidently in recognition of his use of spam to disrupt Free Republic. In addition, Aldridge has used the profane screen name "Paula Jones' Twat." Id. at 18 & Exs. 4, 7, 9-13. Each time Aldridge re-registers, he agrees to abide by the User Agreement. Aldridge then proceeds to violate the User Agreement by posting lewd and obnoxious messages. See, e.g., id. at 19 & Exs. 6, 7. Once Free Republic detects his presence, his new screen name is blocked from accessing the web site. Aldridge then signs on Free Republic again, using yet another screen name. Id. at 19 & Exs. 11, 15. As a result, Aldridge's privilege to post messages on Free Republic's web site has been revoked on many occasions by various means. Since 1999, each time Mr. Robinson identified Aldridge as the person behind a particular harassing e-mail, Mr. Robinson would ban Aldridge from posting messages on the web site. Id. at 20. Free Republic's counsel, Brian Buckley, also sent Aldridge internal emails (or "private replies") through Free Republic's electronic message service to remind Aldridge that he had been banned from the site. Affidavit of Brian Buckley at 7; see also id., Ex. 1. In 1999, the banning process was automated. Since then, Aldridge, or any other person who has been banned from Free Republic's web site, receives the following message--"You have been denied posting privileges"--when attempting to post a message on the web site under an unauthorized screen name. Robinson Aff. at 20 & Ex. 17. Unfortunately, however, there is no simple way to detect Aldridge's presence on Free Republic's web site when he uses a new screen name linked to a new e-mail account. Id. at 20. Aldridge not only is aware that his postings are unauthorized, he takes pride in it. Aldridge is a self-proclaimed "dedicated disruptor [sic]" of Free Republic's web site, id. at 21 & Ex. 18, who "refus[es] to be banned" by Free Republic. Id. at 21 & Exs. 12, 13, 19. On other occasions, he has bragged of the disruption he has caused. Id. at 21 & Ex. 20 ("Have Laz and I working together caused so much bandwidth drain that [Free Republic] is closed down effectively?"), Ex. 21 (encouraging action by others that would "eat up major bandwith [sic]" on Free Republic). His ultimate goal is to force Free Republic off the Internet. Id. at 21 & Ex. 20. Aldridge sometimes has succeeded. His misconduct has forced Free Republic to shut down its posting program for periods of time to ensure that Aldridge's unauthorized posts were identified and deleted. Id. at 22 & Ex. 22 ("Free Republic has been disrupted by some clown [i.e., Aldridge] who is posting under other people's names. I am shutting down the posting program until I can get the mess cleaned up."); see also id., Ex. 16 (boasting that he is the "one disruptor [sic]" of Free Republic's web site). When Free Republic was unable to identify and delete Aldridge's unauthorized posts immediately, such posts commonly elicited many responses from legitimate Free Republic users. This, in turn, has further halted or disrupted Free Republic's web site. Id. at 22. There is little Free Republic can due, short of obtaining an injunction from this Court, to stop Aldridge from continuing his pattern of trespass, disruption and harassment. B. Aldridge's Harassment By Computer Apparently not satisfied with his efforts to halt and disrupt Free Republic's web site, Aldridge and/or people acting at Aldridge's behest began targeting Free Republic's founder, Jim Robinson, and other Free Republic users with harassing messages. Id. at 23. Aldridge apparently hopes that such messages will further his "ceaseless work to put [Free Republic] in the worse possible light" as well as his stated goal of chasing Free Republic off the Internet. Id. at 23 & Exs. 6, 30. Before Free Republic instituted the password feature on its web site, Aldridge posted messages under the name "Jim Robinson" without Mr. Robinson's knowledge or consent, thus falsely attributing insulting and lewd Free Republic message posts to Mr. Robinson. Id. at 24 & Ex. 23; see also id., Ex. 24 at 15-16. Aldridge has since bragged about his impersonations. See id., Ex. 48. Aldridge also posted obscene, vulgar and profane messages under the respective screen names of other Free Republic users. This sometimes resulted in the legitimate users having their posting privileges revoked. Id. at 24 & Ex. 44 (Aldridge bragging that his "disinformation re Lenny" resulted in the real Lenny being banned from Free Republic). In July 1999, Aldridge authored several messages on the Internet that falsely suggest he had sexual relations with Free Republic's Director of Media Relations, Connie Hair. See Affidavit of Connie Hair ("Hair Aff.") at 5 & Exs. 1 & 2 ("Let me nudge her . . . No, she still wants to sleep a little . . . BTW, after a few drinks, CaL [an abbreviation for Clinton's a Liar--my screen name on Free Republic] can be quite - er - vivacious! . . . I don't want to get her revved up again. Hummina hummina hummina."). In late 1999, Aldridge raised his level of harassment to a more serious plane. In an attempt to intimidate and threaten Ms. Hair, Aldridge described the interior features of her personal residence in detail: I went by 831 N. Van Dorn St. today. . . . It is the next to end unit of a two story row house development that dates back to just after WWII. . . . The morning paper [the Post, BTW] hadn't been picked up when I was by about 2:30, but the drapes were wide open and I could see the blue glow of a big screen TV on. There was wicker furniture on the shared stoop. Id. at 6 & Ex. 3. Aldridge has never been invited to the residence; he apparently obtained this information by going to the house itself. See also id. at 7 & Ex. 4 (Aldridge asked the user whether he should "stop by [her] Van Dorn Street row house later for a little night cap?"). The Free Republic user took these messages by Aldridge as a threat and filed a report against Aldridge with the Alexandria, Virginia Police Department early last year. Id. at 7. The police investigation did not deter Aldridge's disturbing behavior. On October 10, 2000, Aldridge harassed Ms. Hair by listing without authorization her California address, her phone number and all but 3 digits of her social security number on the Internet. Id. at 8 & Ex. 5. On October 21, 2000, Aldridge posted an unauthorized message on Free Republic's web site that described Ms. Hair's "room" and an imaginary sexual encounter with her. Id. at 9 & Ex. 6. To further his scheme and to enlist others to assist his cause, Aldridge has used several so- called Yahoo Clubs, many of which he created, that are dedicated to targeting Free Republic, its owner Jim Robinson, and its attorney Brian Buckley. Yahoo is a well-known Internet portal that offers several free services to its users, including the ability to participate in certain so-called "Yahoo Clubs." A Yahoo Club is a web site where users who share an interest in a particular topic can create and join a "virtual club" on the Internet. Aldridge earlier formed clubs titled "AFParodiesSite," "TheAntiFreepers," "AntiFreep," "AFSecretSite," "AFSecondEdition," "AFSS2," "AFSS7," "Up the Anti's," and "Trolls R Us." (Aldridge and his co-conspirators typically refer to Free Republic users as "Freepers.") Aldridge's latest Yahoo Club is called "Free Republic Death Watch," which can be found on the Internet at http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/freerepublicdeathwatc h. Robinson Aff. at 27. Aldridge uses Free Republic Death Watch to boast about his "forced entr[ies]" onto Free Republic's web site. Id. at 28 & Ex. 27. To flaunt his misdeeds, Aldridge provides hypertext links from his messages on Free Republic Death Watch to his unauthorized posts on Free Republic's web site. See id., Exs. 27-29. This allows Free Republic Death Watch users to see for themselves the messages posted by Aldridge on Free Republic's web site and the responses they generated. In one post on Free Republic Death Watch, Aldridge implied that he intends to disrupt and harass Free Republic until it is "blown up," that is, removed from the Internet. Id. at 29 & Ex. 30. As a means to that end, Aldridge has harassed Mr. Robinson by requesting information about Mr. Robinson's benefits from the Social Security Administration and falsely accusing Mr. Robinson of defrauding that agency. See id. In addition, Aldridge often refers to Mr. Robinson using the crude term "RimJob." This was apparently intended as a spoof on Mr. Robinson's screen name "JimRob" that he uses on Free Republic's web site. Id. at 29, Exs. 13, 31. On several occasions, Aldridge also obtained and then posted portions of the Social Security numbers, date of birth, home address, and phone numbers of Free Republic users on Free Republic Death Watch's web site. Id. at 30, Exs. 32, 33. It appears that these messages by Aldridge were meant to imply that he had obtained private information concerning these individuals and would not be afraid to use that information if they did not end their respective relationships with Free Republic. Finally, Aldridge has sent harassing E-mails to Free Republic users concerning messages they had posted on Free Republic's web site. Buckley Aff. at 9 & Ex. 2. In fact, Aldridge confessed in one such e-mail that he has worked on concert with others to disrupt Free Republic's web site with bulk electronic messages. In a June 1999 e-mail to Deb McKay, a Free Republic user, Aldridge discussed how he had registered "ol' Deb" as an unauthorized screen name on Free Republic's web site. He explained that his co-conspirators, or "bannees" (a term describing people banned from Free Republic), "were having trouble registering" when attempting to spam Free Republic. Ex. 3. He accordingly had the "bannees" use the "ol' Deb" screen name. They then posted what Aldridge characterized as "inflammatory, troll-attracting articles." Id. at 10 & Ex. 3. C. Aldridge's Theft Of Computer Services As indicated above, Free Republic operates an electronic message service that allows authorized users to post messages on its web site's so-called electronic bulletin board. Once a message is posted to Free Republic's web site, that message can be viewed by millions of users around the world on the Internet. Free Republic is fully aware that its messages can be viewed by virtually anyone, and it therefore has adopted procedures that govern who may post messages on its web site. Robinson Aff. at 31. By the means discussed above, Aldridge posts unauthorized messages on Free Republic's web site with the intent to obtain use of Free Republic's electronic message computer services without authority. In essence, Aldridge has turned Free Republic's web site into a vehicle through which he showcases his unauthorized messages to the world. Aldridge, who does not contribute to maintaining Free Republic's server and defraying its operating costs, has used, and continues to use, these stolen services at Free Republic's expense. Id. at 32. D. Aldridge's Transmission Of Unsolicited Bulk Electronic Mail Aldridge also uses Free Republic Death Watch to conspire with users of that Yahoo Club to halt or otherwise disable Free Republic's web site. Specifically, Aldridge registers new screen names with Free Republic and then bombards the site with messages. Aldridge also publishes those new screen names and their corresponding passwords on Free Republic Death Watch to encourage others to "spam" the web site. Id. at 33, 34 & Ex. 34 ("Screen name reedeet . . . password andrews . . . Post as much as you can"), Ex. 35 ("jwmp271 . . . password patsie"), Ex. 36 ("Thank you for registering with Free Republic! . . . Your screen name is: Jim Robnson . . . Your password is: freeper"), Ex. 37 ("Anybody want Time to Bite the Bullet, the password is bullet."). Aldridge has expressed his satisfaction when others use screen names he has created to disrupt Free Republic's web site. Id. at 37 & Ex. 40 ("The second one [i.e. message posted by a person using his unauthorized screen name] got a lot of attention. . . . Love it when I can get a troll [i.e., a co- conspirator] to hype my profile [on Free Republic] while I am away."). To further his spamming of Free Republic, Aldridge instructs others on how to register multiple screen names on the web site. Id. at 35 & Ex. 19 ("I have posted over and over the method for using AOL to register and get new screen names."). As referenced in this post by Aldridge, he had previously discussed, on an anti-Free Republic site that has been deleted from the Internet, how to register multiple email addresses with AOL and use those email addresses to register multiple screen names on Free Republic's web site. Even the filing of this lawsuit has failed to deter Aldridge's disruptive behavior. On January 5, 2001, one day after Aldridge was served with the Bill of Complaint, he posted one of his so-called "Freedie run" posts, i.e., a message soliciting others to spam Free Republic: I have created a valid screen name and password for anyone who cares to use it. Lindam, you can have that passage posted that you said you would love to have posted on FR [an abbreviation for Free Republic]. It is now in your hands. The screen name is "Activist" and the password is "freeper." You can post whatever message you have been longing to see on Free Republic now without cost. Id. at 36 & Ex. 38; see also id., Ex. 47 (talking about the "First Freedie Run"). As recently as January 18, 2001, Aldridge posted Jim Robinson's e-mail on Free Republic Death Watch in the apparent hope that others will harass Mr. Robinson with unsolicited bulk messages. Id. at 37 & Ex. 39. Through posts such as this one, Aldridge has worked in concert with other individuals (some of whom also have been banned from Free Republic's web site) to disrupt Free Republic's web site with unsolicited bulk electronic mail submissions. Finally, Aldridge, or someone acting at his behest, repeatedly posts fabricated articles on Free Republic's web site. Id. at 38 & Exs. 40-43. These "articles" result in hundreds of responses by legitimate Free Republic users. When this occurs, Aldridge succeeds in harming Free Republic by spamming its web site with unsolicited bulk electronic mail. Id. at 38 & Ex. 15 ("[W]e have a disruptor [i.e., Aldridge] on Free Republic posting false articles. Please ignore all articles by this specific person. He gets banned then signs up as a new member in just a few minutes."). As illustrated by Aldridge's posts to Free Republic Death Watch, Aldridge takes great pride in the number of times his unauthorized posts to Free Republic's web site are viewed, how many irate comments his unauthorized posts generate, and thus how much of Free Republic's bandwidth data he ties up with his unlawful conduct. Id. at 39 & Exs. 29, 40-43 (noting the number of article views and comments generated by his fake articles posted on Free Republic's web site without authorization). Argument Aldridge Should Be Enjoined From Posting Unauthorized Messages On Free Republic's Web Site And Causing Others To Do So Despite multiple warnings, Defendant Aldrich refuses to stop his unlawful attempts to disrupt Free Republic's web site and harass its users. Only a Court-ordered injunction that prevents Aldridge from directly or indirectly posting unauthorized messages on Free Republic's web site will provide any assurance that Aldridge's illegal conduct ceases. An injunction is appropriate under well-settled common law principles. In Blackwelder Furniture Co. of Statesville, Inc. v. Seilig Mfg. Co., Inc., 550 F.2d 189 (4th Cir. 1977), the Fourth Circuit confirmed that the appropriate analysis is the balance of hardships test. Id. at 194. This test--which encourages a court to "maintain the status quo ante litem, provided that it can be done without imposing too excessive an interim burden upon the defendant"--requires a "flexible interplay" of the following factors: (1) likelihood of irreparable harm to the complainant if the injunction were not granted; (2) likelihood of irreparable harm to the defendant if the injunction were granted; (3) complainant's likelihood of success on the merits; and (4) the public interest. Id. at 194- 196. The Blackwelder standards have been recognized by many Virginia state courts. See, e.g., Plate v. Kincannon Place Condominium Unit Owners Assoc., 30 Va. Cir. 323, 325 (Cir. Ct. Fairfax County 1993) (Annunziata, J.) (temporary injunction granted); see also Zaki v. Oberoi, 18 Va. Cir. 209, 210 (Cir. Ct. Fairfax County 1989) (Kenny, J.). Pursuant to the balance of the hardships test, the "first step is to balance the likelihood of irreparable harm to [complainant] against the likelihood of irreparable harm to the defendant[]." Blackwelder, 550 F.2d at 195. If a "decided imbalance of hardship should appear in the [complainant's] favor," then the likelihood of success is determined by the following formulation: [I]t will ordinarily be enough that the [complainant] has raised questions going to the merits so serious, substantial, difficult and doubtful, as to make them fair ground for litigation and thus for more deliberate investigation. Id. at 195 (quoting Hamilton Watch Co. v. Benrus Watch Co., 206 F.2d 738, 743 (2nd Cir. 1953)). Accordingly, the two most important factors are those of probable injury to the complainant without an injunction, and of likely harm to the defendant if an injunction were issued. If the balance were found to be in favor of the complainant, it would be enough that grave or serious questions were presented, and the complainant would "need not show a likelihood of success." Id. at 196. I. Complainant Will Suffer Irreparable Injury. In the instant case, application of the common law factors warrants the issuance of a temporary injunction. Aldridge has committed, and continues to commit, computer crimes in an effort to disrupt Free Republic and harass its founder and users. Those crimes disrupt Free Republic and its operations, antagonize its readers, and frustrate its purpose. Free Republic has no adequate remedy at law. The majority of the harm Aldridge has caused Free Republic--i.e., harm to reputation, a diminution of membership, lost employee time devoted to ferreting out and rectifying Aldridge's misdeeds, and lost donations--is intangible or difficult to quantify. The Fourth Circuit in Blackwelder stated that "irreparability of harm includes the 'impossibility of ascertaining with any accuracy the extent of the loss.'" Blackwelder, 550 F.2d at 197. Similarly, potential destruction to a complainant's goodwill equals irreparable injury. See, e.g., Federal Leasing v. Underwriters at Lloyd's, 650 F.2d 495, 500 (4th Cir. 1981) ("[T]he right to continue a business is not measurable entirely in monetary terms[.]") (citation omitted); see also Blackwelder, 550 F.2d at 197 (holding that "indirect, though at times far reaching, effects upon [complainant's] good will" constitutes immeasurable damages that equate to irreparable harm) (citation omitted). II. No Irreparable Injury Will Befall Aldridge If The Requested Injunction Were Issued. By contrast, Aldridge will not incur any injury, much less suffer irreparable harm, if the Court enjoined his conduct. Aldridge's legal practice is not dependent on his ability to post messages on Free Republic. While he may invoke the First Amendment, his First Amendment rights do not give him a privilege to violate the VCCA or breach his User Agreement with Free Republic. Indeed, he has no constitutional right to disseminate his opinions, much less his form of harassment, on Free Republic's web site. Since Free Republic is a private enterprise, it is not required to give Aldridge access to its web site. Cf Cyber Promotions, Inc. v. America Online, Inc., 948 F. Supp. 436, 437 (E.D. Pa. 1996) (holding that, "in the absence of State action, the private online service has the right to prevent unsolicited e-mail solicitations from reaching its subscribers over the Internet"); Lloyd Corp. Ltd. v. Tanner, 407 U.S. 551, 568 (1972) ("this Court has never held that a trespasser or an uninvited guest may exercise general rights of free speech on property privately owned and used nondiscriminatorily for private purposes only"; "property [does not] lose its private character merely because the public is generally invited to use it for designated purposes"). On the other hand, Free Republic is not asking that Aldridge be totally muzzled, as tempting as that prospect may be. Under the proposed injunction, Aldridge would be precluded only from unlawfully posting unauthorized messaged on Free Republic's private web site and causing, counseling, and/or enabling others to do the same. Aldridge otherwise would be free to operate Free Republic Death Watch and any other forum he wants to establish to broadcast his political viewpoints. III. Free Republic is Likely to Succeed on the Merits. Aldridge has willfully and maliciously violated the VCCA, violated the Virginia civil conspiracy statute, and breached his User Agreement with Free Republic. Accordingly, there is a very strong likelihood that Free Republic will succeed on the merits of this action. A. Aldridge Violated The VCCA And The Virginia Conspiracy Statute. In 1984, the General Assembly enacted the VCCA, which criminalizes computer-assisted crimes. The General Assembly provided a private cause of action for violations of the VCCA. Va. Code Ann. 18.2-152.12. The evidence described above establish that Free Republic is likely to prove at trial that Aldridge violated several sections of the VCCA. First, Aldridge committed computer trespass. Aldridge posts, and conspires with others to post, messages on Free Republic's web site without authorization for the purpose of temporarily or permanently removing, halting, or otherwise disabling Free Republic's computer data, computer programs, and/or computer software in violation of Virginia Code 18.2-152.4(A)(1). Aldridge's conduct has directly and/or indirectly caused Free Republic's computers to malfunction for some period of time in violation of Virginia Code 18.2-152.4(A)(2). Aldridge has also directly and/or indirectly falsified or forged electronic mail transmission information or other routing information in connection with the transmission of unsolicited bulk electronic mail through or into Free Republic's computer network in violation of Virginia Code 18.2-152.4(A)(7). Second, Aldridge stole Free Republic's computer services. Aldridge has willfully used, and continues to use, his computer with the intent to obtain Free Republic's electronic message computer services without authority in violation of Virginia Code 18.2-152.6. Third, Aldridge harasses Free Republic and its users by computer. Aldridge has directly and/or indirectly used, and continues to use, his computer to communicate obscene, vulgar, profane, lewd, lascivious, and/or indecent language, as well as veiled threats, on Free Republic's web site and Free Republic Death Watch with the intent to coerce, intimidate, and/or harass Free Republic in violation of Virginia Code 18.2-152.7:1. Finally, Aldridge has caused Free Republic to suffer injury from unsolicited bulk electronic mail. For example, Aldridge has caused others to post messages on Free Republic's web site under unauthorized screen names he has established. See, e.g., Robinson Aff. at 34, 36 & Ex. 34 (Aldridge posted on Free Republic Death Watch an unauthorized Free Republic screen name and corresponding password along with the message: "Post as much as you can"); , Exs. 35-38. In addition, Aldridge posts fake articles on Free Republic's web site with the intent to cause multiple responses that result in halting or disabling the web site. Aldridge keeps careful tally of how many comments his fake articles generate, and thus how much Free Republic bandwidth he wastes. See, e.g., id. at 38 & Exs. 40-43. This malicious conduct has caused Free Republic to suffer injury from the transmission of unsolicited bulk electronic mail in violation of Virginia Code 18.2-152.12 as well as the Virginia Conspiracy Statute, Virginia Code 18.2-499 and 18.2- 500. B. Aldridge Breached His User Agreement With Free Republic. Like all users who post messages on Free Republic's web site, Aldridge voluntarily agreed to the terms of Free Republic's User Agreement in consideration for obtaining the privilege to post messages on Free Republic's web site. In exchange for this commitment, Free Republic granted Aldridge the conditional privilege to post messages on Free Republic's web site. Free Republic expressly reserved the right, however, to revoke those privileges if abused. Free Republic had to exercise that right after Aldridge posted personal attacks, used profane and obscene language, and engaged in illegal activity on Free Republic's web site. As a result, Aldridge was banned from using Free Republic's electronic message service to post messages on the web site. See Robinson Aff. at 16-20. Because he has been banned from posting messages on Free Republic's web site, Aldridge breaches the User Agreement each time he posts a new message on Free Republic's web site without authorization. IV. The Public Interest is Served by the Issuance of an Injunction. The public interest is served by issuing the requested injunction. Aldridge cannot possibly show that the public has an interest in allowing him to violate freely the VCCA, breach his User Agreement, and harass other citizens. To the contrary, the public has an interest in an exchange of political viewpoints on the Internet that is uninterrupted by those who in essence are computer hecklers and vandals. Another factor is that Aldridge is a member of the Virginia Bar. Indeed, Aldridge has touted the fact that he is a lawyer on Free Republic's web site and has published the statutes he has violated on his Free Republic Death Watch web site. At one time, Aldridge posted his form retainer agreement on Free Republic's web site. Robinson Aff., Ex. 4 at 4. Allowing an attorney to so openly flout the laws of the Commonwealth can only increase the public's disdain for the legal profession and increase the public's skepticism of the legal system. Conclusion WHEREFORE, for the foregoing reasons, Complainant Free Republic prays that this Honorable Court grant its Motion for Temporary Injunction and enter an order enjoining Aldridge and those acting in concert with him from: (a) posting messages on Free Republic's web site; (b) counseling others on how to post messages on Free Republic's web site; (c) obtaining screen names and passwords for others to use in posting messages on Free Republic's web site; and (d) revealing non-public personal information (including, but not limited to, social security numbers) concerning Free Republic's founder or its users on the Internet. Free Republic further asks for an award of such further relief as this Honorable Court deems just and proper. Respectfully submitted, WINSTON & STRAWN ______________________________ Gordon A. Coffee #25808 Charles B. Klein #39117 1400 L Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20005-3502 (202) 371-5741 Attorneys for Complainant Dated: January 25, 2001

Re:"I know not what course others may take . . ." (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#303146)

80md?

Re:What did he do, exactly? (2)

Sabalon (1684) | more than 13 years ago | (#303159)

Read the second link - the allegations. It goes into quite a bit of detail.

Some of the points touched on make me think I need to cancel all my extra hotmail/yahoo ID's and just create one with my name and that is it, lest I get sued by yahoo :)

Re:Liberals (3)

zaphod (2284) | more than 13 years ago | (#303166)

be prepared that we may start muttering "McVeigh" under our breaths

And conversatives will sigh "SLA". Remember that left wing group of American terrorists who killed a mother in front of her child during a bank robbery?

Anyway, McVeigh is not a right winger. He hated all things about government which is not a right wing view. He was coined a right winger by the left wing media folks like Dan Rather (you know, the "independent" who raises money for the Democrats - no media bias there).

While the original posters message was over the top, there is hypocricy in the liberal camp. Here in Minnesota a 13 year old wore a harmless sweatshirt the read "Straight Pride" because his school has placed pink triangles around the school as "safe zones" for gay/lesbian/transexual kids (your basic government run indocrination centers - but I digress). Anyway the same "tolerant" liberals who put up the pink triangles banned Elliot from wearing his "Straight Pride" shirt even though the government run school could display "Gay Pride" posters.

So here we have liberals who want free speech, but ONLY if you say the right thing. So much for liberal tolerance.

Re:enemies at the gate (1)

WhiteDragon (4556) | more than 13 years ago | (#303170)

they allow anonymous users, but even the anonymous users have to agree to the user agreement.

Re:Acceptable Use Policies (2)

stevew (4845) | more than 13 years ago | (#303171)

" (For instance, Gore never said he "invented" the internet.) Even if he didn't - even LIBERAL's used that joke against Gore.

Re:Acceptable Use Policies (2)

stevew (4845) | more than 13 years ago | (#303172)

Just did a little digging - what Al REALLY said -

"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

Close enough - which of course isn't close to accurate since the Intenet evolved from Arpanet which has been around since 69.

That's not a free speech issue. (3)

Booker (6173) | more than 13 years ago | (#303175)

free speech does not mean that the newspapers have to publish whatever you want to say, even if you offer to pay for it.

There's nothing fascist about that.

---

Re:That's not a free speech issue. (2)

general_re (8883) | more than 13 years ago | (#303181)

Au contraire - if those newspapers are published by state-run institutions, paid for by state/public money, then those newspapers _are_ an arm of the state. And the state has no business promoting some political viewpoints while refusing to air others.

This is, to my knowledge, not settled law, but it's definitely a makeable case. For private schools/papers, however, you are generally correct.

Re:Liberals (1)

Outland Traveller (12138) | more than 13 years ago | (#303195)

It's really sad that this flaimbait has been moderated up to five. I can only hope that it got that high based on "+1 funny" votes for the double-irony of the content.

Hmmmm.... (2)

Ravenscall (12240) | more than 13 years ago | (#303196)

I wonder if because of this story we will see less postings by the Slashdot Trolls now?

I hope so.

I realized that slashdot trolling has gone way too far when I saw goatse.cx scrawled on a restroom wall of a local pizzashop/geek hangout. That was just too much.

Re:Speaking as someone peripherally involved. (2)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#303197)

By posting goatse.cx links they were able to subvert the prevalent political message and perhaps make people start to think for themselves.

It's true - usually hitting one of those links makes me stop thinking "open source blah blah blah" and start thinking for myself: "dammit, hit the back button!".

Re:Liberals (1)

Photon Ghoul (14932) | more than 13 years ago | (#303198)

Whoa. At the time I'm posting this, you have a score of 5. This is obviously a troll or at least a joke. Speaking as an extreme-mad-as-hell-militant-not-your-daddys-bleed ing-heart liberal, I have to say that you are full of bullshit for linking some vandal with liberalism in general. Is it okay for me to think of all conservatives by my impressions of the morons from Texas that dragged that man on their truck? (btw, I'm native Texan - conservative capital of the world). I'm really interested, why are you calling this vandal a liberal? He has nothing to do with me.

ends don't justify the means (2)

Kris Warkentin (15136) | more than 13 years ago | (#303200)

Free Republic seems to be a load of right-wing, racist, homophobic crap but the bottom line is Aldridge stepped over the line. Either engage in discussion within the rules of the forum or leave it alone. Any sensible person should be able to see that spamming and posting personal information and threats is not the way to fight and now the courts have put it in writing. I may not like what FR has to say but I'd rather let them say it than have a**holes like Aldridge get away with that kind of behaviour...

*sing* I'm a karma whore and I'm okay....
I work all night and I post all day

Re:I'm a member, and not a nut. (2)

sith (15384) | more than 13 years ago | (#303204)

Err, just a note ... they're being sued by a bunch of newspapers for mirroring those stories as you seemed to hint slashdot should do. Copyright infringement and all, just like cmdrtaco always said....

Re:your hateful spew (1)

still cynical (17020) | more than 13 years ago | (#303206)

I see. So if I subscribe to such attacks, I'm ok, but if I call them what they are, I'm a hypocrite? Interesting reasoning.

Re:"Endowed by our Creator" indeed! (1)

still cynical (17020) | more than 13 years ago | (#303207)

"But you were at least trying to quote the Declaration, so I'll take the thought for the deed and let it slide." - Wow, how generous of you! BTW, I wasn't trying to quote anything. It's called a paraphrase.

"The problem here is that you and the rest of the liberals do not acknowledge your Creator." - Really? And you know my religious views how? What gives you the monopoly on God? And yet you claim to acknowledge God, and acknowledge the rights granted by God, and somehow those rights don't apply to those you can slap a "Liberal" label on. Are you saying that God plays partisan politics?

And what "reasonable standards" are you referring to? Obviously not US law, that doesn't seem to interest you. By what right do YOU decide who is and isn't a patriot, much less even a citizen?

I love politics (2)

still cynical (17020) | more than 13 years ago | (#303208)

"Trespassing" on a public web forum? Interesting concept.

And it seems that if you scream, shout and intimidate people in an attempt to influence a national election regardless of the vote, it's free speech. When you act annoying on a conservative web forum, it's illegal and you get taken to court. Funny world.

Re:Liberals (1)

CrosseyedPainless (27978) | more than 13 years ago | (#303212)

This to me shows the overwhelming hypocricy of the liberal movement. I have no doubt that those attacking this site were liberals, doubtless believing themselves to be on some righteous crusade.

You have no doubt? Well, then, that settles it, right?

Typically, however, the liberals show themselves to favor censorship when it suits them, - that is to censor opposing views.

Ah, I guess I missed the part where conservatives encouraged opposing views. Well, if you're right about liberals, at worst, they're no worse than you.

It appears clear that these liberals will stop at nothing in the pursuit of their own agenda - posting obscene messages, and so on, and even "targeting Free Republic's founder, Jim Robinson" in pursuance of "his stated goal of chasing Free Republic off the Internet". I have seen enough. I have tolerated their supposedly well-meaning activities, but I will not accept these kind of attacks.

Stop by a liberal website sometime; you'll see plenty of obscenity and general hate mail sent in by freedom-loving, tolerant conservatives.

As for accepting these kind of attacks, who the hell asked you to? You almost sound like you want to censor an opposing view!

I'm just embarrassed that this idiot stooped to freeper tactics to attack them; I'm glad they shut him down. Let him start his own website.

Not really. (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 13 years ago | (#303215)

This to me shows the overwhelming hypocricy of the liberal movement.

I'd say that being an a**hole is pretty much orthagonal to your political persuasion. Look around -- if you can't find somebody on your side that is an embarassment, then it's probably you.

FreeRepublic isn't . . . (2)

werdna (39029) | more than 13 years ago | (#303223)

Apparently these folks don't believe that freedom includes rights to free speech. Rather than competing in the marketplace of ideas, they apparently prefer to impose their own brand of free speech antitrust law.

I imagine that the defendant must have gone well beyond the pale for a court to grant such a motion. However, it is ironic that these folks couldn't themselves find more credible ways to monitor and moderate their own property.

It is the FreeRepublic who has acted inconsistentl (2)

werdna (39029) | more than 13 years ago | (#303224)

The freedom of speech issue is consistently held on this forum, both by liberals and libertarian conservatives. You allege "cowardly and snakelike" inconsistencies, but none can be found here. Partisans of Slashdot here have consistently defended speech they loved as well as speech they have hated.

It would appear that it is the FreeRepublic, however, that has deviated from avowedly libertarian views by seeking court-ordered censorship of speech which they disdain, and not the denizens of Slashdot.

Brandeis had it right: the only proper remedy for bad speech is more and better speech. The marketplace of ideas does not require antitrust laws.

If actors, be they right-wing or left, cannot stand the heat of enlightened, reasoned argument and respond in kind, but must resort to hard-knocks battle tactics, this says more about the lack of intellectual quality of those positions than anything else.

Re:FreeRepublic isn't . . . (2)

Steve B (42864) | more than 13 years ago | (#303226)

Apparently these folks don't believe that freedom includes rights to free speech.

This is the same nonsense that spammers use to justify themselves. No, freedom does not include rights to "free speech" that use other people's property without permission.

However, it is ironic that these folks couldn't themselves find more credible ways to monitor and moderate their own property.

They did -- they warned him that he was breaking the rules, and when he continued they told him to get lost. He sneaked back anyway under aliases, and got caught at it. If you warn off a repeated tresspasser and he keeps returning in disguise, wouldn't you eventually call the police?
/.

Re:Good precedent! (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 13 years ago | (#303227)

>First posters, trolls, etc., beware.

Why should they have to worry about anything? It has nothing to do with them.

What the guy did was closer to a cracker-attack or spam-flooding their email.

FirstPosts and trolls are trivial to handle compared to this.

Re:Speaking as someone peripherally involved. (1)

RocketJeff (46275) | more than 13 years ago | (#303229)

look at the "My 15 minutes" [salon.com] column by David Horowitz (on Salon.com). It's part of the on-going 'battle' he is having trying to get his anti-reparations ad into college papers. Mainly, because he isn't agreeing with the liberals on campus, colleges have refused to run his ad and some editors have !!appoligized!! for running it. (and at Brown, 'activists' stole the paper so that no one could see it!)

Pretty much it seems like their mantra is 'Everyone has a right to be heard, as long as we agree with you.'

The left is looking more and more like the facist right.

Re:That's not a free speech issue. (1)

RocketJeff (46275) | more than 13 years ago | (#303230)

free speech does not mean that the newspapers have to publish whatever you want to say, even if you offer to pay for it.

I agree. My disagreement is with the faculty/students who aren't involved with the paper demanding that the ad not be run (and demanding (and getting) appologies from the editors that ran it). If you haven't, read some of the salon.com stories/columns about this to find out how just how far some people are going to block ideas they don't agree with.


I'd bet that most of them would be screaming bloody murder if they couldn't get their ads run. The hypocrisy just amazes me...

Re:"I know not what course others may take . . ." (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 13 years ago | (#303231)

Troll, troll, go away, find a better way to play.

Tom Swiss | the infamous tms | http://www.infamous.net/

Re:I love politics (2)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 13 years ago | (#303235)

Although the web forum is open to the public, it is hosted on a private server and as such is technically private property.

The server is property. The forum is information, and information is only property through copyright or patent.

What copyright or patent was violated here?

Trespassing isn't the right claim. Maybe fraud would be a better fit; making false representations in order to obtain a service. Or perhaps harassment.

(But of course, a right-leaning group is going to go for a property claim (however wrongheaded) since property rights are central to their philosophy (however wrongheaded).)

Tom Swiss | the infamous tms | http://www.infamous.net/

Re:enemies at the gate (1)

behrman (51554) | more than 13 years ago | (#303236)

Thats one the problems a company should address with a diclaimer in order to not fall into the legal handlings of someone claiming dire crimes against them. People should know, when your on the Internet, especially exchanging during a forum, your not going to find that everyone is Sally fucking Jo Homemaker with etiquette. The problem I see, is that not much was done by those who had their information posted, to hide their information in the first place. Don't they know what privacy is, or was it until someone bitched about it, they turned and said, "Oh my maybe I should not have made my login name maryjosuefrom21mainstreetbirminghamalabama@someshi t.com"

So... does that mean if you're listed in the phone book, you're not trying to hide yourself, so I can harass you? If you have a license plate on your car, I can get your information from the transporation cabinet and harass you, because you're not obscuring your plate number? If it's illegal to harrass, then it's illegal to harrass, regardless of how easy the victim made it for his attacker, just like it's still a crime to take stuff out of my car regardless of if my doors were locked or not.

Re:Speaking as someone peripherally involved. (1)

markalot (67322) | more than 13 years ago | (#303242)

ok, so you don't like what they say. So What? Does that give anyone the right to try and 'subvert' it. Doesn't everyone have the right of free speech and association? Oh, I guess it's only if you approve?

mark

Re:I love politics (5)

scoove (71173) | more than 13 years ago | (#303245)

And it seems that if you scream, shout and intimidate people in an attempt to influence a national election regardless of the vote, it's free speech.

Sure, like the known hecklers that got thrown in jail for 48 hours when Bubba Clinton came to town last fall.

Kind of hard to scream and shout when you're held in jail without charges, then released when Bubba's gone.

When you act annoying on a conservative web forum, it's illegal and you get taken to court.

When you write annoying opposing thoughts to a liberal president, it's not illegal and you get thrown in jail without going to court.

However, when you put metal spikes in trees trying to kill loggers, hack opposing websites to supress speech that you don't like, steal campus newspapers that prints things you don't agree with, torch expensive houses built on land you think should go back to the wild to deprive people of their homes, send bombs to conservative businessmen who you believe don't appreciate the environment, break into research labs and set infected animals free, it's considered "progressive activism" and is regarded by the social elite to be an acceptable means to the end?

Funny world.

I'd have to agree...

Re:Liberals (1)

tkr (87256) | more than 13 years ago | (#303249)

Please Dan, take a deep breath; I can see the veins popping out on your neck. Count to 10. As a cowardly and snakelike liberal, I can guarantee that the liberal movement is not in favor of censorship. This guy is not a "liberal"-- he is an "attorney", and some might say, a "lunatic." He is going to be spanked, and life in this great republic will go on. Put your weapons back on the shelf and do us and yourself no harm.

60+ posts... (1)

stang (90261) | more than 13 years ago | (#303252)

...and not a single comment about the screen name "Paula Jones' Twat"?

C'mon, that was funny.

--

Re:60+ posts... (1)

stang (90261) | more than 13 years ago | (#303253)

This has been moderated "Offtopic"? Am I the only one who read the linked material [freerepublic.com] from the article [slashdot.org] ? Hello?

Perhaps a review of the moderation guidelines [slashdot.org] is in order.

--

Re:"Allegations" (2)

briancarnell (94247) | more than 13 years ago | (#303259)

"why not take it to his ISP? He could do a lot less without an ISP to help him harass this site, and going to court would waste resources which could have been saved, but oh well!"

From personal experience, a lot of the most annoying trolls do their damage from public terminals at libraries, etc. And what are you going to do if he's using say EarthLink. Are you really going to send an e-mail to EarthLink and say "somebody who uses you as an ISP but posts here using a Hotmail account is being abusive. Please make him stop"??

Some of this isn't making sense (2)

Macaw2000 (103146) | more than 13 years ago | (#303268)

Both slashdot and freerepublic have championed free speech in the past. But, with any big forum, there are disruptive people. Appropriate to their idiologies, slashdot solved the problem with clever technology (moderators, points, etc.) and Free Republic solved the problem with hoards of angry conservatives :-) Suing over the matter is actually quite out of character for freepers because they don't like trial lawyers and dislike lawsuits. Anyways, I can't believe that joker pleaded the 5th in a civil suit. WTF is up with that?

Re:"I know not what course others may take . . ." (1)

Captain Sarcastic (109765) | more than 13 years ago | (#303269)

Irony = 100%

Bravo! Thank you for such well-stated, succinct views!

Irony = 0%

Now, if I understand you properly, you then argue that the only people who have any rights are the ones who agree with you. Anyone who disagrees with you lacks honor, does not work hard, is not self-sufficient... in short, can be labeled easily with the term "liberal," and, by your lights, can be safely considered an "un-person."

And then you follow that up with claims of tolerance? Either this is irony of the finest sort, for which you are to be commended, or you actually believe this....

Re:enemies at the gate (1)

Tralfamadorian (115732) | more than 13 years ago | (#303278)

If FreeRepublic allowed for anonymous users than how the heck is this trespassing? Or did FreeRepub just make an exception to the rule and say "Well everyone else can be anonymous, just not X"?

Freerepublic doesn't allow users to log on anonymously, that's the point. The server is private property, so Jim Rob can let anyone he wants on there, and if an offending user keeps on coming back, and harassing the people on the board, he will get charged with trespassing.


He who knows not, and knows he knows not is a wise man

Re:FreeRepublic isn't . . . (1)

Tralfamadorian (115732) | more than 13 years ago | (#303279)

The site is not a "republic" and never claimed to be, so the site can restrict as much as it wants, and still have a valid name. The name refers to our republic.

People have a right to protect their property, and that includes private forums like /. and FR.


He who knows not, and knows he knows not is a wise man

Re:Speaking as someone peripherally involved. (2)

Tralfamadorian (115732) | more than 13 years ago | (#303280)

A private server disallowing people to post on its message board is NOT trampling anyone's freedom of speach. It's as if you owned a bar, and someone kept on making trouble in your bar, you would kick him out, and keep him out, and use the law if necessary.

Many of the articles on the site border on disgraceful racism

WTF does this mean? That because someone posts an article that you *think* (note the key word, as liberals tend to think most anything is racist) is racist, the whole site is bad?

There are many black and asian people on that board for your information.

BTW, they don't "clamp down on those who think differently" as I often go there, and post opposing view points, there is the occasional idiot, but there are those everywhere.


He who knows not, and knows he knows not is a wise man

Re:Free Republic: Oxymoron (2)

Tralfamadorian (115732) | more than 13 years ago | (#303281)

The site is not a "republic" and never claimed to be, so the site can restrict as much as it wants, and still have a valid name. The name refers to our republic.


He who knows not, and knows he knows not is a wise man

Got what he deserved (2)

DrXym (126579) | more than 13 years ago | (#303283)

I don't like extreme right wing politics at all but I'm glad they got this guy. Obviously he's one fucked up individual to spend so much time and effort disrupting a site just because his tiny, child-like brain can't take it when they ban him.

Good for them I say.

Re:Liberals (1)

north.coaster (136450) | more than 13 years ago | (#303292)

Passing judgement on a group of individuals based on the actions of an extreme few will not lead anyone to the truth. This applies to liberals, conservatives, christians, jews, blacks, whites, and any other "movement" that you care to name. Let's drop the generalizations, and start addressing our real differences.

north.coaster

Re:Liberals (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 13 years ago | (#303295)

This to me shows the overwhelming hypocricy of the liberal movement.
No. A single (mad) liberal. If you want to tar all liberals with the same brush, due the actions of one nutter, be prepared that we may start muttering "McVeigh" under our breaths.

Re:I love politics (2)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 13 years ago | (#303298)

"Trespassing" on a public web forum? Interesting concept.
If you are banned from a store or restraunt, and you return, you are tresspassing. Prior to notice is given, it is not tresspassing.

scapegoating (1)

bool (144199) | more than 13 years ago | (#303303)

Wow, look at all those aliases they are claiming he used... looks like he is becoming a scapegoat for this company to blame all of their problem.

----------
do { Work(); PayTaxes(); Eat(); Sleep(); } while (alive)

Re:Some of this isn't making sense (1)

bool (144199) | more than 13 years ago | (#303304)

As a memeber of the bar he should be aware that in a civil case silence CAN be held aginst you. This guy appears more like a childish moron than anything else.

----------
do { Work(); PayTaxes(); Eat(); Sleep(); } while (alive)

Suing AC's? (3)

zaius (147422) | more than 13 years ago | (#303306)

I can see the case now: "Slashdot vs. Anonymous Coward(s)"...

Re:"I know not what course others may take . . ." (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 13 years ago | (#303310)

You're close, but not quite there. Despite free speech being an inalienable right, governments regularly try to squelch that right, and people fight (sometimes to the death) to maintain that right. You have the right to spew your hate-filled utter nonsense, but you won't be able to unless someone fights to maintain that right.

Re:Free Republic: Oxymoron (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 13 years ago | (#303311)

Free Republic doesn't sound very 'free' to me.

It is free - you are free to join the discussion and converse on any topic. The problem is when someone gets downright disruptive and refuses to be polite or leave, at which point it's perfectly reasonable to have the disruptor removed from the privately-owned premises. It's akin to someone standing in front of your home screaming libel & obscenitites 24/7 - they do have freedom of speech, yet it's reasonable to have the cops drag him away for disturbing the peace, and have a judge issue a restraining order.

Free speech reality check (2)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 13 years ago | (#303316)

The right of freedom of the press does NOT include a right to use someone else's press.

Re:I love politics (2)

AntiNorm (155641) | more than 13 years ago | (#303317)

"Trespassing" on a public web forum? Interesting concept.

Although the web forum is open to the public, it is hosted on a private server and as such is technically private property. Thus, if someone such as Aldridge is told not to come back, they can be held liable for trespassing if they do.

---
The AOL-Time Warner-Microsoft-Intel-CBS-ABC-NBC-Fox corporation:

Re:What did he do, exactly? (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 13 years ago | (#303319)

It looks to me that he basically spent all his time posting trolls, flames, and whatnot on their site, and from the wording of the accusations, perhaps hacked the site as well. You know, the kind of stuff that goes on every day here ;)

I'd be curious to know if any of the trolls around here ever assisted him. Apparently he was recruiting help at various times...

Free Republic used racial slurs (1)

peccary (161168) | more than 13 years ago | (#303320)

in their allegations against Aldrige. Ironic, nu? See if you can find the slur.

Re:I'm a member, and not a nut. (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#303323)

I think part of it also is that they don't want the other sites to lose ad revenue.

Free Republic: Oxymoron (1)

gwjc (181552) | more than 13 years ago | (#303325)

"... are hereby prohibited from directly or indirectly registering screen names and/or posting messages on Free Republic?s web site without the express written consent of Free Republic?s owner or operator; and it is further"

Free Republic doesn't sound very 'free' to me.
I hope they don't run their nancy butts to a lawyer and get an injunction against me for being critical.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Re:Acceptable Use Policies (1)

mbourgon (186257) | more than 13 years ago | (#303328)

and the other way around too. I've seen liberals "distort the truth" to get their way. I would like to see Aldridge's side of things, but I don't think FR should be required to do it for him.

I'm a member, and not a nut. (4)

mbourgon (186257) | more than 13 years ago | (#303329)

It's actually a fun board to read, provided you (a) don't get offended too easily (some of the viewpoints can be a bit out there, even for me), (b) know your own mind, and (c) have a ton of free time.

Yes, FR can be a bit out there at times, but so can Slashdot. Think of it as an ultra-conservative Slashdot. They post links to stories, (and *cough* usually include the entire story, so you don't need to go read the article then come back to FR in order to comment on it) the stories are typically stuff you won't find on other news sites (it's fun and pointless trying to find Conservative stories on most news sites), and it is an eyeopener. Go take a look.

Ooops, (2)

Xaviar (202211) | more than 13 years ago | (#303336)

It appears that they do [195.92.95.5] have a clue.

Re:Liberals (1)

micromoog (206608) | more than 13 years ago | (#303337)

The fact that this got "+5, Insightful" is glaring proof that (some?) moderators do not follow the guidelines, and moderate according to personal agenda.

Regardless of whether you agree with New Republic's politics, this comment makes some extreme leaps in logic, such as extending one person to equate to "liberals" in general. The author then goes on to attack liberals in a completely childish and sensational manner ("cowardly and snakelike"? "screwing up our country"? "sodomy"?).

Moderators, regardless of whether this comment makes you want to go shoot off your gun for the Republic, it ain't insightful.

Liberals (2)

Dan Hayes (212400) | more than 13 years ago | (#303341)

This to me shows the overwhelming hypocricy of the liberal movement. I have no doubt that those attacking this site were liberals, doubtless believing themselves to be on some righteous crusade. Typically, however, the liberals show themselves to favor censorship when it suits them, - that is to censor opposing views.

They claim to be tolerant, but in fact they are only tolerant of opinions that match with their own - those that agree, for instance, that sodomy is aceeptable behavior, or that we should countenance massive criminal activity because the poor dears were mistreated as children.

As ever, we find the true face of the liberal revealed - cowardly and snakelike, favoring censorship, but doing so by malevolent underhand means - attempting to flood people promulgating their legitimate views with much garbage. I really think it's time that these people were exposed for the cowards they are. We have tolerated liberalism in all its manifest guises - its tolerance of petty and not so petty criminals, its insistence on screwing up our country - for many years now. Never have we attempted any such underhand tactics against them.

It appears clear that these liberals will stop at nothing in the pursuit of their own agenda - posting obscene messages, and so on, and even "targeting Free Republic's founder, Jim Robinson" in pursuance of "his stated goal of chasing Free Republic off the Internet". I have seen enough. I have tolerated their supposedly well-meaning activities, but I will not accept these kind of attacks.

Dos Attacks as Filabuster - free speech? (2)

tenzig_112 (213387) | more than 13 years ago | (#303343)

If the court rules against this guy, does that mean the next time a Congressional representative starts reading the D.C. phonebook to keep a bill from a vote that police will burst in and arrest him or her?

Rock on. C-Span is my new channel of record.

This is so much cooler than National Public Radio. Even their new "morning zoo" format [ridiculopathy.com] isn't this cool.

What did he do, exactly? (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 13 years ago | (#303351)

How, exactly was he disruptive? Did he post too many posts about a naked, petrified Natalie Portman with grits? Did all their base actually are belong to him? What did he do, to have the web site take him to court?

Here's exactly how he was disruptive (1)

ishrat (235467) | more than 13 years ago | (#303352)

To accomplish this goal, Aldridge has used a variety of illegal tactics. Those tactics include: (1) using his computer to trespass on Free Republic's web site under anonymous names without authorization; (2) "posting" (i.e., publishing) lewd and defamatory messages on the web site, often under someone else's name; (3) using his computer to harass authorized Free Republic users; (4) using his computer to intimidate Free Republic authorized users by surreptitiously obtaining and posting private information regarding them; (5) using Free Republic's electronic message services without authority to disseminate his messages to millions of users on the Internet; (6) bombarding, in concert with others, Free Republic's web site with bulk electronic messages (commonly called "spam") in order to tie up its bandwidth and disrupt its operations; and (7) counseling others on how to disrupt Free Republic's web site.

By the way what I gather from another post ("Many of the articles on the site border on disgraceful racism, and many of our readers were fond of stirring this up.") and the articles themselves, they too seem to have posted inflamatory views on some political matters, then how is it that they have a right to do so and we don't?

Speaking as someone peripherally involved. (1)

Kiss the Blade (238661) | more than 13 years ago | (#303354)

I am an editor of the now temporarily defunct geekizoid website. Free Republic was one of the most popularly trolled and crapflooded sites that we covered, but we always knew that as a site of intolerant RWM's, it was prone to taking an intolerant attitude to people posting things it diod not want to hear.

Many of the articles on the site border on disgraceful racism, and many of our readers were fond of stirring this up. Fortunately, we also have a despicable crapflooder element at geekizoid, and they are fond of going to sites and posting political slogans that the locals may find offensive. Brave fighters and seekers of truth, such as the WIPO troll, descended upon freerepublic and spread a message of political truth - the message of liberal democracy untainted by capitalism. By posting goatse.cx [goatse.cx] links they were able to subvert the prevalent political message and perhaps make people start to think for themselves.

One day though, Free Republic started to harass one of our users. We upped our campaign and managed to get them to lift their threats.

The thing about Free Republic is that they have a Southern American right wing attitude. To them, you are either a master, or a slave. You are either with them, or against them.

It does not surprise me that they have ignored freedom of speech like this, and started to clamp down on those who think differently.

KTB:Lover, Poet, Artiste, Aesthete, Programmer.

Re:Liberals (2)

Shoten (260439) | more than 13 years ago | (#303366)

This to me shows the overwhelming hypocricy of the liberal movement. I have no doubt that those attacking this site were liberals, doubtless believing themselves to be on some righteous crusade.

Oh, come on, get over it already. This wasn't "Free Republic v. the Liberal Movement," it was "Free Republic v. One Major Nutcase." This was not any project of the DNC or any other garbage like that, just the activity of a single loon who (and here I wholeheartedly agree with you) wanted to violate the rights of others to express themselves. I don't really know the whole message of Free Republic beyond what has been mentioned here, but I don't need to; there is a community with a voice, and they have a right to speak, particularly on a forum website of their own creation and use.

And for those who would say that this injunction is censorship, I suggest you read the details and see just what was taking place. This guy was free to express his opinions for quite some time by merely posting normally; instead he clearly did attempt to disrupt the site to such a degree that it would have to close down entirely. He is the one attempting censorship, not them.

Right Wing, Left Wing BS (1)

nanojath (265940) | more than 13 years ago | (#303367)

I voted for Ralph Nader last year. Draw your conclusions on my personal inclinations from that. This being said, there are two big stupidities being promulgated by the comments on this story. The first is that this action represents an attack on free speech. For those who bothered to actually read what Mr. Aldridge had done, even allowing for a certain hyperbole in the recounting it represents a litany on every form of nasty and reprehensible on-line behavior imaginable. This guy spammed, trolled, talked twenty varieties of trash, faked user accounts to contravene site rules, and least forgivably released personal information on other users as a method of attacking their viewpoints. I don't need this kind of cowardly weasel representing an alternative viewpoint to the right wing. But more to the point, he broke all the rules on a private site and they took an appropriate action to stop him. Note this opinion does not necessarily preclude the reality that those responsible for the FR are a bunch of ultra-conservative assholes. Point the second: the idea that this can somehow be correlated to some statement about the "left wing" in general is ridiculous. Mr. Aldridge is one (obviously troubled) person, and anyone with a brain will acknowledge that there are crazies on both sides of the right-wing/left-wing spectrum, and that there are also those not-quite-so-crazies who will nonetheless defend the irrational actions of their fellows on the irrational basis that a wrong comitted against a wrong is somehow right. Nevertheless, those who seek a real understanding of the ways of this world have a grasp on the fact that knocking down a straw man does not an strong argument make. This is the problem with self-identifying with a worldview where there are only two possible identities: you end up getting lumped in with a lot of crazies, kooks, and bums. In a system where only half the people bother to participate in self-governance, and that half is allowing itself to be split neatly in two by intractable points of ideology, smart people on both sides of the imaginary (and largely handed to us by monied interests) line need to start seeking common ground and arguing issues basd on their merits, not anecdotal bullshit like this.

Re:Good precedent! (1)

BVis (267028) | more than 13 years ago | (#303369)

Beware goatse.cx-style link above.
Guess I should have known better than to click on a link posted by an AC.

Re:"I know not what course others may take . . ." (1)

BVis (267028) | more than 13 years ago | (#303370)

Buddy, look around. It's been more than 200 years since anyone in this country earned the rights you claim to have won for yourself by virtue of your political beliefs.

As I understand it the core tenet of conservatism is the freedom to live one's life free from governmental interference. Being told to defend a nation or a Constitution you may or may not believe in seems to be the antithesis of this concept.

If you're a true believer Conservative as you claim to be, I'm confused as to why you aren't repudiating the court's granting of the injunction, as it interferes with one of the core freedoms in your precious Constitution. Oh, wait, that's right, the free speech in question was Liberal and we can't have those leftie freaks saying whatever they want, now can we?

That being said, I agree that the FR had the right to seek legal relief from this pattern of abuse. As a dyed-in-the-wool New England liberal, I chafe at the restriction of free speech in this case, but my bleeding heart stops short of telling someone they MUST allow whoever they want access to their web site, simply because it's on the Net. My position here is "My system, my rules. You don't like it, don't load the page."

Re:Good precedent! (1)

BVis (267028) | more than 13 years ago | (#303371)

Actually, no, I don't. I probably should.

And why was this modded down off-topic? Posting a warning of an (IMHO) deceptive inappropriate link is off-topic?

enemies at the gate (1)

deran9ed (300694) | more than 13 years ago | (#303374)

This is such typical bullshit, someone law student should look into the future to address future issues such as this to avoid companies, persons, etc., from claiming such broad, bullshit

To accomplish this goal, Aldridge has used a variety of illegal tactics. Those tactics include: (1) using his computer to trespass on Free Republic?s web site under anonymous names without authorization;
If FreeRepublic allowed for anonymous users than how the heck is this trespassing? Or did FreeRepub just make an exception to the rule and say "Well everyone else can be anonymous, just not X"?

(2)?posting? (i.e., publishing) lewd and defamatory messages on the web site, often under someone else?s name; (3) using his computer to harass authorized Free Republic users; (4) using his computer to intimidate Free Republic authorized users by surreptitiously obtaining and posting private information regarding them;
Thats one the problems a company should address with a diclaimer in order to not fall into the legal handlings of someone claiming dire crimes against them. People should know, when your on the Internet, especially exchanging during a forum, your not going to find that everyone is Sally fucking Jo Homemaker with etiquette. The problem I see, is that not much was done by those who had their information posted, to hide their information in the first place. Don't they know what privacy is, or was it until someone bitched about it, they turned and said, "Oh my maybe I should not have made my login name maryjosuefrom21mainstreetbirminghamalabama@someshi t.com"

(5) using Free Republic?s electronic message services without authority to disseminate his messages to millions of users on the Internet; (6) bombarding, in concert with others, Free Republic?s web site with bulk electronic messages (commonly called ?spam?) in order to tie up its bandwidth and disrupt its operations; and (7) counseling others on how to disrupt Free Republic?s web site. This conduct violates the Virginia Computer Crime Act (?VCCA?), Virginia Code 18.2-152.1, et. seq., the Virginia conspiracy statute, Virginia Code 18.2-499 and 18.2-500, and common law.
The problems with the Internet and legal related issues, is that many of the laws are so broad, theres no way to detail what exactly constitutes a crime. Anyone can say whatever and people will eat it up like cereal because their clueless and assume "it must be so"

I think I'm gonna sue Slashdot if anyone clinks this link [antioffline.com] . Since by getting slashdotted afterwards, its Slashdot's fault for allowing this to happen.

Acceptable Use Policies (4)

markmoss (301064) | more than 13 years ago | (#303376)

The fundamental allegation is that after Aldridge's Freep log-in was blocked for egregiously violating their acceptable use policy, he used multiple e-mail accounts to get more than 50 log-ins under various names, and continued posting in violation of the AUP. Much as I dislike them, if there is any truth to that, they are in the right and Aldridge is wrong. It's a private web site. They have to right to kick you out if they want to. You don't have the right to sneak back in disguise.

One problem here is that we have a URL to the freepers' allegations, but nothing about Aldridge's response. Now and then I've noticed a conservative to twist the truth, or even to (gasp!) lie. (For instance, Gore never said he "invented" the internet.) Obviously Aldridge didn't convince the judge, but maybe the judge is a conservative Republican too...

Re:Liberals (2)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 13 years ago | (#303377)

Despite the fact that I think the original post by 'Dan' was a farce, and meant as general slashdot style satirical humor, I do agree with liberals on the free speech thing. And the far right does often like to champion the idea that not all speech should be allowed in public. I would consider myself conservative, but not a Republican. I may be dismayed and concerned about the KKK and Neo-Nazi's being able to spout their ridiculous rhetoric, but if they're not allowed to do so, it's only a few steps closer to the edge of banning all free speech, including the stuff I like to spout off about that others may not like to hear. That is why I specifically DO NOT go to KKK rallies just to boycott them and argue with them. They're largely ignored in America, and they never receive more attention than the occasional Jerry Springer show appearance because everyone ignores them.

And from reading all the posts on FR in response to one of the posts from this crazy guy, it seems he did his job of pissing everyone off. Bad karma posters only get recognition when people argue with them. Ignore people like that and they will stop, or find someone else who will listen to the endless lunatic ranting. FR obviously gave this guy a lot of attention, even though it was negative. So if he was receiving so much attention, why did they have to ban him? If their own conservative crowd couldn't ignore him, I would say they have issues of their own to deal with too.

However, if he was actually causing disruption to the site, DoS attacks, email spams, etc. I would have to say they were well within their rights to legally order him to 'stay off' their private property.

Good! (1)

loki29 (307650) | more than 13 years ago | (#303380)

I had heard of this case before - him spamming free republic and harassing individuals (he apparently was posting their addresses, phone #s, etc. He acted like a complete script kiddie and got what was coming!

Re:Speaking as someone peripherally involved. (1)

Brian_Ellenberger (308720) | more than 13 years ago | (#303381)

From this little outburst we can tell who the real intolerant ones are here

BTW, why don't you look up the real meaning of freedom of speech? By spamming and trolling Free Republic's website, you are violating the Free Republic's right to free speech. What next, DoS attacks are free speech?

Come on, Slashdot stands up and gets angry when Scientology does this stuff! They should do the same here.

You misunderstand free speech. (1)

AnotherPundit (315295) | more than 13 years ago | (#303382)

The right to free speech doesn't include the right to walk into someone else's house and plaster the walls with pictures of someone's distended rear. People who moderate and run forums have every right to kick out people they don't like, and I'm cool with pretty much any way they devise to do it, including ways involving judges. It's their pad, not mine.

Anotherpundit.com [anotherpundit.com]

I'm a freeper (1)

helo2u (316026) | more than 13 years ago | (#303385)

It's a private site, funded by donatations from members (who agree to conduct themselves as adults when they join). Anyone of any political veiwpoint is free to join and voice their opinions.

Try following the link and reading it, he wans't kicked out for posting liberal opinions or just being annoying. You'll find more freedom of speech being exercised on Free Republic than what you might be able to bear.

Re:Liberals (3)

Chakat (320875) | more than 13 years ago | (#303387)

Disagreeing with you here, Mr. Hayes. I happen to be a card-carrying Libertarian, and I can see that this guy was merely an idiotic crapflooder who couldn't handle when FR said get out of here, you aren't wanted here. I have playful arguements with the liberals that are in my life, but when the fighting is over, we laugh about it. We don't let the hate and the passion get the better of our civility.

Personally, I feel that at the end of the day, most "liberals" want the same thing "conservatives" want, good food, good love, and good entertainment. It's just that the politics and the path we choose get in the way of the end.

Bad Monkey (2)

nate1138 (325593) | more than 13 years ago | (#303392)

I guess that we don't have to wait for Germany to start a political info war [slashdot.org] , we can do it to ourselves. On a bright note, at least they are doing something to stop a no good spamming troll. Free speech must be protected, but I don't think that vandalism counts.

Wanted: Research Team (1)

Magumbo (414471) | more than 13 years ago | (#303396)

As many of you know, his persistent pattern of bizarre and disruptive trespasses onto our site after repeated bannings became more than reasonable people would tolerate. We assembled an outstanding research team that gathered overwhelmimg evidence of his wrongful behavior

Now if only we could find an "outstanding research team" to figure out who that bloody goatse.cx posting bastard is.

--

Re:"I know not what course others may take . . ." (3)

Hostile17 (415334) | more than 13 years ago | (#303398)

We have earned our rights. The liberals have earned nothing.

You are wrong, if it were not for liberals fighting for freedom, we would have no freedom of religion, our children would be indoctrinated into christianity at very young age by forced prayer in school. There would be no freedom of speech, anything and everything that had anything to do with sex would be banned. It would illegal to be gay. The war on drugs would have turned our country into a military state and the constitution all but suspended. 99% of all the wealth would belong to 1% of the population and the rest of us would be working for 50 cents an hour in sweat shops. Women would be second class citizens, not only would abortion be illegal, so would any form of birth control.

To extend the rights of free men to conservatives is to institute a immoral military state. I, for one, refuse to do so.

Yes this is flamebait and I am a troll, please moderate accordingly.


Good precedent! (1)

Tech187 (416303) | more than 13 years ago | (#303399)

Sweet! This precedent will make it easier to implement a permanent bans of troublemakers and site pests. Weblogs are almost always private property, and the people who post on them are guests.

First posters, trolls, etc., beware.

Re:I love politics (1)

Tech187 (416303) | more than 13 years ago | (#303400)

It's a private forum. Not a public forum.

Re:Bad Monkey (1)

Tech187 (416303) | more than 13 years ago | (#303401)

Trolling is also a problem.

If you don't believe something, why the heck are you expounding it loudly in a discussion? Just to get attention? Just to disrupt the discussion?

Re:Bad Monkey (1)

Tech187 (416303) | more than 13 years ago | (#303402)

So, any opinion that upsets you is 'flamebait' wether or not I believe in what I said?

Re:Bad Monkey (1)

Tech187 (416303) | more than 13 years ago | (#303403)

You trolls are making my case for me this morning.

Re:That's not a free speech issue. (1)

Tech187 (416303) | more than 13 years ago | (#303404)

If the newspapers in question are publicly funded they have responsibilities that privately funded media do not have.

Re:Speaking as someone peripherally involved. (1)

The Gentleman AC (441790) | more than 13 years ago | (#303405)

Dude, ignore the comment rating. KTB is obviously trolling for the definition of racism with side-order of salad and liberal hatred and 'one did wrong they're all idiots' logic. KTB is uncombed, living under a bridge, and green with bit ole' pimple on it's nose.

Re:Good precedent! (1)

The Gentleman AC (441790) | more than 13 years ago | (#303406)

Do you actually change that word each day?

Re:I love politics (1)

The Gentleman AC (441790) | more than 13 years ago | (#303407)

Offtopic? moderators, you haven't a clue do ya?

Don't kid yourself, parasite. (1)

theonomist (442009) | more than 13 years ago | (#303408)


When the going gets tough, the liberals hide under the bed until the conservatives handle the situation. Our War of Independence was fought by armed free men, and don't you forget it.

The wealth of our nation -- which you enjoy -- was created by free men, not by liberals. The freedoms which you enjoy were created by free men, not by liberals.

A hard-working, moral man can do just about anything, and in the United States we've have done just about anything -- with one exception: We've allowed ourselves to be enslaved by the parasitic liberals. We've allowed them to sap our substance with their taxes, their welfare beaurocracy, and their lawyers. We are being nibbled to death by mice, whining, cowardly mice with beards and sandals. When a man can take your property, you are -- in principle -- his slave. This situation is intolerable and will long not be permitted to endure.

"Endowed by our Creator" indeed! (3)

theonomist (442009) | more than 13 years ago | (#303415)


" . . .inalienable rights are endowed by our creator . . ."

No, we are endowed with inalienable rights by our Creator. But you were at least trying to quote the Declaration, so I'll take the thought for the deed and let it slide.

The problem here is that you and the rest of the liberals do not acknowledge your Creator. So how then can you appeal to Him for these rights? You can't. By rejecting the holy and spiritual basis for our Constitution, you reject the Constitution as well. Where does that leave you? Nowhere. By all reasonable standards, you are not a patriot, nor even a citizen -- yet you demand the same rights and privileges as men who fought and died for them.

You want "natural rights"? Here's a Natural Law instead: There Ain't No Such Thing As a Free Lunch

Don't pretend to be naive. (3)

theonomist (442009) | more than 13 years ago | (#303416)


when the rebels fought the men who kept them under their thumb in the revolutionary war, that was heroic.

but when the rebels fought the men who kept them under their thumb in Seattle, that's a bunch of long haired freaks.

You are correct on the first one, but in the second you drift off into absurd propaganda. Those so-called "long-haired freaks" (in fact, most of them were skinheads, the liberals' racist shock-troops) were not being kept under anyone's thumb. They were "protesting" against freedom. They were there to oppose the natural rights and liberties of business enterprises. They were fighting against the creation of wealth. They were fighting against the right to private property and freedom of association.

The dogmatic anti-prosperity/anti-freedom ideology of the Left is hardly comparable to the noble principles set forth by our Founding Fathers.

Your entire argument is meaningless gibberish. Reasoning by analogy is a bad idea: The results are rarely valid, and even then only by accident.

Re:Speaking as someone peripherally involved. (1)

Hugh_Akston_Dales (442177) | more than 13 years ago | (#303419)

"as a site of intolerant RWM's" Gee, as opposed to all those tolerant other types?

I use Free Republic all the time. And to say that the site is full of intolerant people is like saying that here is full of intolerant types- yeah, there are a few, but the overwhelming majority are not.

Generally, I have come to see that there is much more intolerance generated by the political left anyway.

Re:I love politics (1)

Hugh_Akston_Dales (442177) | more than 13 years ago | (#303420)

"And it seems that if you scream, shout and intimidate people in an attempt to influence a national election regardless of the vote, it's free speech. When you act annoying on a conservative web forum, it's illegal and you get taken to court. "

There is a difference between being annoying, and attempting denial of service attacks. The former just make themselves look silly. The latter can prevent the legal conduct of a business or site.

(And as for the election, you should be more frightened at the thought of nobody screaming bloody murder if a group of people tried to take the counting of ballots out of the view of the public, behind closed doors. What did they have to hide? What were they willing to do behind closed doors, that they were unwilling to do out in the open?)

Re:Liberals (1)

Hugh_Akston_Dales (442177) | more than 13 years ago | (#303421)

"be prepared that we may start muttering "McVeigh" under our breaths."

When the left starts doing that?

They started that the day he was caught.

Re:Speaking as someone peripherally involved. (1)

Hugh_Akston_Dales (442177) | more than 13 years ago | (#303422)

"Many of the articles on the site border on disgraceful racism "

If that is the case, it should not take you more than a moment or two to go there, and get some links, and post them here to back up your claim?

Let's see the disgraceful racism in the articles posted there.

I will be interested in seeing if you can do it. Heck, I bet you can't even find any disgraceful racism (in the replies to articles) that are not met with an overwhelming repudiation by the posters on the threads (we get trolls, just like any posting board does).

Re:Speaking as someone peripherally involved. (1)

Hugh_Akston_Dales (442177) | more than 13 years ago | (#303423)

Whoops- lost track of the context. My apologies. My challenge is obviously directed at the guy who wrote the "Many of the articles on the site border on disgraceful racism" line.

Re:Liberals (1)

Hugh_Akston_Dales (442177) | more than 13 years ago | (#303424)

"He hated all things about government which is not a right wing view. "

More than that- what he hated was that the government was not doing more socialist stuff. I sure wish those who would label him a right winger, would find a quote of his, any quote, which displays any of the values that are advocated by the political right.

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