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Former Australian Cop Wants Jail For Internet Trolls

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the you-mad,-mate? dept.

Australia 254

beaverdownunder writes "A former police officer in the Australian state of Victoria has called on law enforcement to prosecute creators of hate pages on social media following Facebook's decision to close down a page mocking Jill Meagher, the 29-year-old Melbourne woman abducted and killed last month. Susan McLean, who spent 27 years with Victoria Police before launching her cyber safety consultancy three years ago, said police have the ability to prosecute the creators of pages that are in breach of Australian laws but appear to be unwilling to use it. 'There have been many cases in the UK where these people have been hunted down and charged and jailed. We need to do that in Australia.' Under section 474.17 of the Commonwealth Crimes Act, it is an offense to use 'a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offense,' punishable by three years in jail."

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254 comments

end of slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685509)

Slashdot might fold if that were to happen, unless they allow slashdot access from prisons.

Re:end of slashdot (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#41685915)

I would think a better definition of troll will be needed. If we use the Slashdot definition it would be prison for anyone who think Microsoft actually has some good products. Doesn't agree with RMS view of Free and Open Source Software. Likes patents. Doesn't consider Android Linux when talking about market share. Does consider Android Linux when talking about Free Software. Thinks Religion and Science can get along, or tries to defend their religion. Claims that New Technology is better the older version. Who didn't like "Cloud Technology" before RMS said it was bad. Who Likes "Cloud Technology" after RMS said it was bad. Doesn't jump to the worst possible scenario on a sliding scale argument.

If we used Slashdot definition in essence all the people who actually think for themselves without following the general consensus would be in prison.

Re:end of slashdot (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 2 years ago | (#41686293)

"a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence"

Think cyber bullying, but as with most things related to the internet, there's a massive wide grey line here.

Re:end of slashdot (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#41686457)

Who is RMS?

Re:end of slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686467)

If we used Slashdot definition in essence all the people who actually think for themselves without following the general consensus would be in prison.

Which is exactly what the government wants. Anything that anyone finds offensive can be grounds for imprisonment if you can whip up enough hysteria. And there are votes in it.

I find police statement calling the imprisonment of large parts of population for posting online offensive to my belief in free speech. As it has been posted online I will be starting a civil prosecution and asking for the maximum 3 years.

TROLL THIS MOTHERFUCKERS !! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685511)

Eat shit and die !!

Re:TROLL THIS MOTHERFUCKERS !! (4, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 2 years ago | (#41685881)

Believe it or not, I think the parent post was on topic.

Dingos (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685529)

Someone needs to take this stupid nazi cunt Susan McLean into the outback and stake her down so that dingos can chew her face off. Although if she was with the police for 27 years she's obviously well into middle age and she probably not terribly attractive considering that she's being still called "Ms." She might be so fucking hideous the dingoes wouldn't be able to stomach her.

Re:Dingo(e)s (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685649)

I wish to subscribe to your newsletter, but it's like choosing between potatoes and potatos, tomatos and tomatoes: you pickin' up what I'm layin' down, bro' ?

Re:Dingo(e)s (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686175)

Bro? Just how many broes you got?

Re:Dingo(e)s (0)

Thud457 (234763) | about 2 years ago | (#41686287)

You say Dingos [merriam-webster.com] , and I say "AAAAHAHHG WILD DOGS ARE EATING OFF MY FACE!!!"


who's really going to believe an American dictionary on the proper plural form of an Austrailailailain word?!

*shiver* (4, Insightful)

Loopy (41728) | about 2 years ago | (#41685541)

The world is a big, mean, scary place full of ill-intentioned people who will take advantage of the uneducated and the less-vigilant.

s/people/governments/ig

Question: do you think it is easier to defend yourself against hateful onslaught by ill-intentioned individuals or against governments that will take away your life, liberty and property just because you aren't toeing the party line? Follow-up: what do you suppose are some of the best ways to defend against tyranny? /popcorn

Re:*shiver* (5, Funny)

swanzilla (1458281) | about 2 years ago | (#41685645)

Follow-up: what do you suppose are some of the best ways to defend against tyranny?

Moat. Can't go wrong with a moat.

Re:*shiver* (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 2 years ago | (#41685955)

I fill mine with alligators. To ensure I am not liable I have signs posted every 5 ft that say "BEWARE OF MOAT ALLIGATORS".

Re:*shiver* (2, Funny)

Millennium (2451) | about 2 years ago | (#41686063)

That's probably not enough to protect you from liability, because it doesn't adequately explain the danger of moat alligators. I'd suggest something like this.

BEWARE OF MOAT ALLIGATORS
MOAT ALLIGATORS ARE CARNIVORES
IF YOU GO IN THE MOAT THEY WILL EAT YOU
YOU MIGHT DIE

That might work.

Re:*shiver* (5, Funny)

ToadProphet (1148333) | about 2 years ago | (#41686327)

Also,

MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS

Re:*shiver* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686421)

That's only a problem AFTER a few people have ignored the signs.

Re:*shiver* (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41686519)

And someone will sue you because one of the signs fell on them.

Re:signs (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#41686615)

Do the signs have rounded corners? Apple might become upset.

Re:*shiver* (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41685969)

Actually, I think it might be cool to have a moat.

Re:*shiver* (2)

rvw (755107) | about 2 years ago | (#41686009)

Follow-up: what do you suppose are some of the best ways to defend against tyranny?

Moat. Can't go wrong with a moat.

Yes you can! [poopreport.com]

Re:*shiver* (3, Informative)

horza (87255) | about 2 years ago | (#41686093)

Not only do government officials get their own moats, the taxpayers have to pay to clean it [telegraph.co.uk] . "Cherchez le vache!"

Phillip.

*shrug* (3, Insightful)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 2 years ago | (#41685821)

Question: do you think it is easier to defend yourself against hateful onslaught by ill-intentioned individuals or against governments that will take away your life, liberty and property just because you aren't toeing the party line?

That depends very much on what systems of control and accountability are in place, in either instance.

E.g., I know that either an anonymous stranger or government agents can invade my home or remove my access to my own property. That said, I also know which is more likely to happen. I also know my chances of having such a wrong (if it is indeed a wrong) being redressed in either instance.

Bonus, I know which is going to help me right any wrong committed by the other.

I notice you specify "ill-intentioned individuals" and "governments". Perhaps you think all governments are "ill intentioned"? (Honest question). Personally, I don't.

Re:*shrug* (1)

fche (36607) | about 2 years ago | (#41685919)

"Perhaps you think all governments are "ill intentioned"? (Honest question). Personally, I don't."

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Re:*shrug* (3, Interesting)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about 2 years ago | (#41686199)

Death by 1000 paper cuts. Sure there are despots and places that make skull monuments of the people they've killed, but the ones who are "just looking out for you" and who "know what's best for you" are the ones that are the most ill-intentioned, even if they don't think so. The well-intentioned try as they might, can't figure out why some people just won't jump on board. I mean, if you listen to the current political babblers on TV here in the US, you'd get the impression that they're downright flabbergasted that Romney isn't polling in the single digits or low teens. (I have one reason why... Obama killed an American Citizen with a drone.... pissing on the right of due process and innocence until proven guilty all in the name of "war on Terrah!") But I digress....

That's why the US government is dismantling the Bill of Rights piece by piece... not all at once, because "we know what's best." Fuck 'em. First we start by getting the weirdos... the people who post photoshopped images of Michele Obama dry-humping a fencepost. Then we start getting those "evil nasty pirates" who spread IP around like peanut butter. Then we go after those who aren't "tolerant" of others' beliefs and rituals.... then we get a police state that rivals Orwell's vision in size, scope, and efficiency.

So defending the trolls who are just being crass and crude is simply keeping our freedoms intact.

Re:*shrug* (1)

Millennium (2451) | about 2 years ago | (#41686075)

I don't think there are very many governments out there that are truly "ill-intentioned." They're the ones you really have to watch out for.

Re:*shrug* (2)

Real1tyCzech (997498) | about 2 years ago | (#41686155)

Government: Necessary Evil.

I hear a lot of folks talk about "trusting" or having "faith" in government...and it scares the living daylights out of me. How anyone could possibly believe without a moment's thought (there's my answer) that any institution has their best interests in mind is utterly beyond me.

The institution, by definition, lives to support itself, and those that align with it. If you do not fall into 100% lock-step with said institution, it no longer serves you. Institutions do not serve individuals, they serves an agenda. That agenda may be "the betterment of society", but we're right back to there not being one single individual that is 100% in lock-step with "society". ...as such, they serve no-one.

Far more people need to understand this and have the proper disregard for their "good intentions".

You said "toeing", not "towing" (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | about 2 years ago | (#41685937)

A grateful world sends its thanks that there is one person left who knows the difference and uses the correct phrasing, the one that actually makes sense.

Re:*shiver* (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#41685945)

police have the ability to prosecute the creators of pages that are in breach of Australian laws but appear to be unwilling to use it

...because they know if they do they'll have every whining emo adolescent in Australia constantly on the phone asking them to "do something". Pretty soon the entire system will collapse.

Re:*shiver* (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 2 years ago | (#41686255)

Well. I have decided that at least here in the US I have already at times chosen not to say things do to fear of government (local, state, federal) reprisals.
On the current topic though...
Who is this storm trooping ex police nazi Susan McLean?
Is she that Susan McLean from Australia that killed 12 children and then ate their private parts?
Or
Is Susan McLean the Australian cop that "accidentally" killed 2 infants in a stroller?
Does Susan McLean have anything to say about her alleged rape 6 small boys in 1999?
Is there any truth to the rumor that Susan McLean is a lesbian who "likes em young"?
I just wonder if Susan McLean ever looked into a mirror and said "Susan McLean. You need to slow down on all that dope you have been doing."?
Did I just hear that Susan McLeans mother was killed by the Taliban for being a whore? Not sure if I heard that correctly.
I am currently looking into a story I thought I might have seen about Susan McLean taking bribes from pedo porn publishers and supplying children for the industry.
Has anyone any information to the contrary on this?

Re:*shiver* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686355)

People in police/government don't understand satire at all.

The problem with attitudes like this they cause bad laws that are used just against people they don't like for the wrong reasons.

Cause offense - go to jail (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685545)

I know I'm wasting time and space, by pointing out that if this fascist law were to be enforced, that would be the end of free speech. This police woman's remarks offend me and have been published on the Internet, so when can I expert her to be prosecuted?

Re:Cause offense - go to jail (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41685605)

As a law abiding person, you should expect her to turn herself in.

Re:Cause offense - go to jail (1)

Zemran (3101) | about 2 years ago | (#41685677)

Politicians???

ACAB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685581)

nuff said

Do Not Want! (5, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41685585)

a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offense,' punishable by three years in jail."

Cause offense? Your existance offends me! Your funny-colored hair offends me! The fact that you're a man, woman, human, or bovine offends me! See, that's the problem with "cause offense" -- it's entirely subjective. It depends on the recipient. No free country should have a law on the books claiming things that are offensive are illegal, anymore than people should be liable for the emotional reactions of others. When you make something criminal, you need to be specific about the behavior. "Entered house with force and intent to steal." That's provable, objective, and fairly unambiguous. "Caused emotional distress" can't be proven, it's totally subjective, and highly ambiguous. In any criminal test, you have to ask yourself: Could a reasonable person determine ahead of time that the behavior in question was (unambiguously) illegal?

Kill this law with fire, and while you're at it, tell the legislator to fuck off, eat a bag of dicks, and that his face is ugly. But be sure to put a smiley face at the end... we wouldn't want to sound... offensive. In other news, please enjoy this politically, culturally, and sexually correct joke:

___________________________________

Re:Do Not Want! (4, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 years ago | (#41685787)

A priest, a minister, a rabbi and a polar bear walk into a bar. Bartender says: "What is this, some kind of joke?".

Re:Do Not Want! (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41685887)

That's offensive to drunk clergymen. I'm afraid you're going to have to go with:
Someone walked into a bar and said "Ouch!"

Re:Do Not Want! (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 2 years ago | (#41685975)

That's offensive to people who walk into bars.

Re:Do Not Want! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686025)

A marine walks into a bar. He looks around, confused. Finally, he asks the bartender.

Re:Do Not Want! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685917)

A horse walks into a bar. Bartender says, "Get the hell out! I've already heard that one three times this week!"

Re:Do Not Want! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686015)

Does anyone actually know a priest-minister-rabbi joke? I've only ever heard it as a meta-joke.

Re:Do Not Want! (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 2 years ago | (#41686079)

A priest, a minister and a rabbi are discussing when life begins. The priest says "life begins at conception". The minister says "life begins at birth". The rabbi says "life begins when the kids move out and the dog dies".

Re:Do Not Want! (0)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#41685793)

Though I agree with many of your posts, on this one I think you have missed a point. The operative verb is "use" as in "use a carriage service...to cause offence".

There is a difference between posting something on a website that somebody has to go and look at - clearly I don't expect to find rational and polite criticism of, say, Obama on Fox News - and if Rush Limbaugh was to obtain Obama's private email address and send him a torrent of racist abuse.

Clearly many US citizens disagree with this; there's a lot of hatred bottled up in an awful lot of people all over the world. But I tend to agree that there should be an offence of deliberately sending messages intended to upset someone. In English law we have a saying "You take your victim as you find him". This means that if someone deliberately knocks over a person with brittle bone syndrome and they die, it is manslaughter because when you decided to behave violently, you became responsible for all possible consequences. If you send poisonous abuse to someone who, as a result of whatever problems, then commits suicide, you should be prosecuted because you did something wrong and must accept the consequences.

It is only a slippery slope if the word "deliberately" is omitted or the law is ridiculously extended (as in the Paul Chambers case, where the Lords of Appeal criticised the lower court.)

Re:Do Not Want! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685933)

What happens then when someone comes looking to prosecute you because the phrase

you have missed a point

gave this poor, sensitive soul a terminal heart aneurism?

You take the victim as you find him. In this hypothetical scenario, you are a murderer.

Re:Do Not Want! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41686363)

This means that if someone deliberately knocks over a person with brittle bone syndrome and they die, it is manslaughter

Because you didn't intend to kill him?

Wrong!

It's murder even if you only intended to commit serious harm (e.g. GBH). The reason for this ought to be obvious even to you.

Re:Do Not Want! (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41686443)

I think the difference is that if someone targets someone for harassment, it should be treated very differently than if someone takes offense at a public posting.

Most of the pushes for restrictions are after examples where someone deliberately targeted a person with the intent to cause harm, and succeeded in that goal. Then the whiners on Slashdot complain that you can choose what's offensive and the person harmed should have chosen to not receive harm from the person who intended them harm. Nice theory, but that's not how people work. and then it gets generalized to where people think it would apply to general statements about groups or made in public forums with no specific intention to harm. Because the arguement about the first case is harder, they assume the second and attack that.

Re:Do Not Want! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685811)

"Offense" may mean "an illegal act" not "to offend someone." Layers have their own jargon.

Re:Do Not Want! (1)

joocemann (1273720) | about 2 years ago | (#41685855)

Let's stay on topic.

These are people who are misrepresenting the truth, often creating online profiles as people whom they actually are not, and that action is hurtful to society.

It's not a simple case of "I don't like that."

Done here.

Re:Do Not Want! (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41686273)

These are people who are misrepresenting the truth, often creating online profiles as people whom they actually are not, and that action is hurtful to society.

If misrepresenting the truth is a crime, anyone who's a politician or politically active is a criminal. Creating online profiles as people who they are not means a lot of people who only use Facebook to play Farmville are now criminals. And my definition of hurtful to society depends on an objective, clear, and unambiguous hurt -- like cutting off someone's arm, stealing their car, etc. There's a clear loss there. "Someone lied to me!" isn't harming society to the extent that it needs to be regulated behavior.

And your definition completely omits from its definition of a crime the person's intent in doing those things. I consider that pretty important in determining what should be a crime and what shouldn't be. So do most criminal defense attorneys, judges, and law enforcement... they want to see criminal intent, not just "oops"

Re:Do Not Want! (1)

JakeBurn (2731457) | about 2 years ago | (#41685943)

The only problem there is that there are people who's intent is to cause emotional harm. The Canadian gov't is dealing with a girl who was harassed to the point of suicide. While most of us here on planet internet seem to be soulless assholes who have no problem ignoring most of the hate, the rest of the world that is just now catching up to us on internet usage has not had decades to slowly acclimatize themselves to it. While I don't think the above mentioned law is the way to go, something needs to be done. The only reason why the internet is so filled with hate is there are ZERO repercussions. People like to act like words don't harm a person in an even worse way than physical violence but they do. Why do you think people rarely open their mouths in public but everyone on the internet is a tough guy? That person in public you just cut deeply with your words is likely to stomp your ass into the ground and not care one bit about the consequences.

Re:Do Not Want! (3, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 years ago | (#41685973)

You countered your own argument:

"Could a reasonable person determine ahead of time that the behavior in question was (unambiguously) illegal?"

A reasonable person could. Sure as with all tests of reasonableness there's going to be a nebulous area between hey, that's ok, and hey holy shit you crossed a line. But so what? As long as the penalty for treading into the nebula is appropriate. (read: small -- community service, small fine, a warning the first time...) I'm fine with 'a test of reasonableness'.

No free country should have a law on the books claiming things that are offensive are illegal, anymore than people should be liable for the emotional reactions of others.

Right. As teens my friends and I thought it was hilarious to call that 11 year old boy a faggot every time any of us saw him - it was so funny we got the whole grade 6 to join in. It was just our thing. Why should we be at all liable in any way that it upset him to the point of depression and attempted suicide?

And now when I continually proposition my hot coworker for sex and compliment her ass? She should be flattered. But now I've got this sexual harrassment charge pending. WTF!

No free country should have a law on the books claiming that offending people are illegal, right?

So then I posted images of holocaust mass graves, except with little penises drawn on the bodies, and each one labelled a faggot. It was hilarious, so I posted it to the local jewish temple's public forum with the subject "the faggots deserved it"

Like what reasonable person could determine ahead of time that this was going to offend any one? Not me, that's for sure!

Now in all serious, I -am- a proponent of free speech, and I even defend our right to say something that offends, or even to be offensive.

But at the same time, I do think there should be tools in law for people to protect themselves from complete assholes who are just deliberately harassing them.

There IS a balance that needs to be struck.

Re:Do Not Want! (1)

Millennium (2451) | about 2 years ago | (#41686129)

Then make harassment a crime. This can be done without criminalizing any particular form of speech, thus preserving a right that should be absolute, and it has the added bonus of covering non-speech forms of harassment in the same law. The only losers in such an arrangement are the ones who want to silence people, and they deserve to lose.

The right to bear arms doesn't shield someone from committing crimes with a weapon. Neither need the right to free speech shield someone from committing crimes by speaking.

Re:Do Not Want! (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41686385)

A reasonable person could.

So you really think if I round up a dozen people and ask them whether a given behavior is offensive, all 12 of them will agree in the substantial majority of cases that it's offensive (or not)? Because I've been watching the Presidential debates, and let me just say, even when not giving offense is at a premium, they're still regularly infuriating people in significant quantities. "A binder full of women" anyone?

Why should we be at all liable in any way that it upset him to the point of depression and attempted suicide?

Because being a douchebag isn't a crime. If it was, most of the people on slashdot would be on America's Most Wanted.

And now when I continually proposition my hot coworker for sex and compliment her ass? She should be flattered. But now I've got this sexual harrassment charge pending. WTF!

You're interfering with a person's ability to work, something everyone needs to do to survive. Workplace behavior is more regulated because of that. Now if you left the workplace and did the same thing you wouldn't have that charge pending. Different circumstances, different standards.

So then I posted images of holocaust mass graves, except with little penises drawn on the bodies, and each one labelled a faggot. It was hilarious, so I posted it to the local jewish temple's public forum with the subject "the faggots deserved it". Like what reasonable person could determine ahead of time that this was going to offend any one? Not me, that's for sure!

That would be poor taste. Nobody was harmed, and you didn't go on to advocate or incite violence against jews, so it would be protected speech.

But at the same time, I do think there should be tools in law for people to protect themselves from complete assholes who are just deliberately harassing them.

Most people solve this with restraining orders. The remainder usually beat the shit out of them, and the law recognizes this -- if someone punches you in the face after you call them names and/or provoke them, they will probably only get a simple misdemeanor assault charge, and not be arrested or serve jail time. It happens every day.

There IS a balance that needs to be struck

Yes, and historically that balance has been far on the side of protecting free speech, even if it's offensive, unethical, immoral, or disgusting. Speech in and of itself has a low inherent ability to harm -- in most circumstances you can walk away. In the remainder, you can get a court order to keep them away. Only in a very tiny island out of the vast ocean of things a person can say, is there a danger zone where regulation is needed. Inciting to violence, yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theatre, etc., are classic examples of unprotected speech -- because it's speech that poses a imminent danger to the life or wellbeing of others. That is the balance point.

Re:Do Not Want! (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#41686081)

Cause offense?

Offensive speech is the only kind that actually needs free speech protections. Nobody bothers to challenge speech that causes no offense.

Americans used to say, "I hate what you say, but I would die for your right to say it." Now it seems to be overwhelmingly, "don't rock the boat, man. What's on TV tonight?"

Re:Do Not Want! (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41686131)

Americans used to say, "I hate what you say, but I would die for your right to say it."

Actually, that was Voltaire, a french man best known for writing such withering critiques of certain written works that the authors would commit suicide. He said "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Americans paraphrase it by just saying "free speech, fuck yeah!"

crooked cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685613)

I want jail for crooked cops. The only repercussion for crooked cops seems to be "internal investigations" or kopbusters. Where are the independent checks and balances?

Re:crooked cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685889)

In South Africa, that would mean there would be no more cops. Probably a good thing, too.

Re:crooked cops (1)

i286NiNJA (2558547) | about 2 years ago | (#41686209)

I think it's very interesting that some crimes far less damaging to society seem to get punished harsher than those that betray public trust.

Sure (4, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 2 years ago | (#41685663)

Sure lets all put them on a boat and ship them to an island.

Re:Sure (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 2 years ago | (#41685699)

It's Australia. They're already on an island.

Re:Sure (1)

aicrules (819392) | about 2 years ago | (#41685803)

woooosh

Re:Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685825)

It's Australia. They're already on an island.

woosh

Re:Sure (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 2 years ago | (#41685827)

Wow.... that is the joke. You realize that Australia's purpose for the British was to have an island to ship their criminals off to, right?

Re:Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685957)

Why did they stop?
If I were them, I'd still be shipping my criminals there.
Or at least to Somalia or some place like that.

Re:Sure (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 2 years ago | (#41686003)

And before that it was Georgia, IIRC. Then they had a little spat over taxes and lost it.

Re:Sure (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41686427)

And then the Australians found Tasmania.

Re:Sure (1)

kwark (512736) | about 2 years ago | (#41685829)

They are on the B Ark and don't even know it.

Re:Sure (1)

dimko (1166489) | about 2 years ago | (#41685877)

As per earlier post - I suggest UK, they seem to handle this sort of people there.

debt collectors must go to jail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685719)

I'm all for it as long as it applies to everyone. Debt collectors have threatened and harassed me, even when I owed nothing.

freedom of speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685763)

As someone pointed out in a different story, US is a peculiar nation in the world with an almost absolute freedom of speech (just don't yell "fire" in a theater). Don't get me wrong, I like it and I'm glad that dissenting speech is protected and wish that was viewed elsewhere in the world as well.

However, we must remember we're not the center of the world. UK doesn't guarantee the same protection (libel for example); Germany - can't talk about Nazis; India; and of course, everyone's favorite beating child: China (self-explanatory).

Where am I going with this? Something along the lines of don't judge other cultures/ countries. They may be English-speaking, but they're not Americans. If anything, Aussies align themselves more with the Brits than Yanks.

It ain't the U.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685791)

It isn't the United States, there is no free speech ammendment.

(OT) Enough with the logos! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685833)

Who thought it was a good idea to have an animated "pong" logo? I want to read stories and comments, not be distracted by a ball bouncing around...

Mrs. McClean (1)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | about 2 years ago | (#41685903)

Mrs. McLean is super mean, her IQ is but two
Her husband married this hog
Cause' she was surrounded by fog
And now they live in a zoo


Sue me.

Send a clear message - Vote 'No' on their poll (1)

HellYeahAutomaton (815542) | about 2 years ago | (#41685923)

"Poll: Should the creators of online hate pages be prosecuted?"

No. People can spew whatever hate they want, and if you don't wish to view it, go to another web page.
Too simple for a cop to understand, no?

"to menace, harass or cause offense..." (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 years ago | (#41685925)

Terrible law. Once you start making it illegal to "cause offense" to anybody, you have effectively shut down any pretense to freedom of speech.

In the U.S., "offensive" speech is particularly protected by our 1st Amendment, according to the Supreme Court, for the simple reason that non-offensive speech does not need protection.

Re:"to menace, harass or cause offense..." (1)

0racle (667029) | about 2 years ago | (#41686263)

Australia doesn't seem to care for Freedom of Speech, so I doubt that is a really big issue to them.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685947)

No one gives a #%$ what Law Enforcement in OTHER English speaking countries think.
Really. It'd bad enough with the gestapo wave by our own cops.

Besides, we're the only English speaking country who still has a working Freedom of Speech.
The cops here will not put me in jail for denying the Holocaust, calling Muslims or Jew pathetic worm bait,
or in the above similar case making fun of Amanda Todd online (I was moved by her video...).

However, when our own cops start charging newspaper editors for "Retaliation" like some US cities do
to individuals for posting on social media mocking said cops, then ITS ON!!!

Crazy Horse

Disparaging the boot is a bootable offense! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41685967)

Disparaging the boot is a bootable offense!

Clowns to the left of me Jokers to the right (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41685995)

Who says the Saudis have a monopoly on madness?

RIP Free speech (1)

koan (80826) | about 2 years ago | (#41686007)

Although we may not like what people say I find the whole "prosecute them" mentality to be frightening, it starts like this and pretty we are given a little book of acceptable terms to use.

If you disagree with people today some call hate (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 years ago | (#41686019)

Just look at US politics today. If you have a differing opinion than someone else today the other side will accuse you of hate. Once you go down the road of punishing haters with jail, suddenly you're on the road to jailing you political opponents for disagreeing with you. Congrats son, you're on the road to Tyranny.

Thereoughtabe (1)

carrier lost (222597) | about 2 years ago | (#41686021)

I find everything Susan McLean writes offensive.

If only there were someplace I could complain about her...

TATIS supports Susan McLean! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686027)

As an official spokesperson for a TATIS (Trolls Against Trolling International Society) I would like to voice my support of Susan McLean's plan! Trolling is a horrible act of public violation, not unlike rape or genocide, that maliciously offends hard-working honest folk that just want to mind their own business! Trolls pouring into living rooms of everyday citizens hiding behind anonymity of the internet is a real danger, and can happen to anyone - you, your neighbor, YOUR CHILDREN!

Start with real life trolls (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#41686031)

Won't have space in the jail to put the internet ones, just with politics and preachers they would be full in no time

Yes well (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#41686043)

I believe that former Australian cop is trolling us, so he would be first in line for prison!

Off with their heads (1)

houghi (78078) | about 2 years ago | (#41686141)

The last time I read about this, the person was not yelling "Put them in jail." but rather "Off with their heads! [youtube.com] "

Welcome to SlashBLOG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686159)

.org

Fuck Mohammed Fuck Emo Bitches and Fuck You (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 2 years ago | (#41686161)

I live to see you witness the sexual murder of your entire family before someone tears your eyes out with duct tape. Legislate that, cunt.

lock him up (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 2 years ago | (#41686171)

Under section 474.17 of the Commonwealth Crimes Act, it is an offense to use 'a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offense,' punishable by three years in jail."

I'm very offended that he would suggest this. In fact I find it menacing and feel harassed. Lock him up!

Arse about tit (1)

horza (87255) | about 2 years ago | (#41686177)

In related news, the UK government chastened by the bad publicity following the needless prosecution of people exercising their free speech or even making jokes on Twitter, stated "There have been many cases in Australia where these people have not been hunted down and charged and jailed. We need to do that in UK".

The government has launched a three year inquiry into whether the use of common sense could be a viable tool to be used by the prosecution services in deciding whether to jail people for telling bad taste jokes on social media, diverting funds from less important crimes like rape and murder.

Phillip.

I'm not completely against this kind of law (1)

Hazelfield (1557317) | about 2 years ago | (#41686243)

While I'm definitely against censorship and a big supporter of freedom of speech, I still think it's reasonable to set certain limits to it. Long before the Internet there were several laws that can be seen as limiting free speech:

- Defamation. If you maliciously spread false rumours about someone, that constitutes a crime in many jurisdictions.
- Perjury. You're not allowed to lie under oath.
- Causing danger to others (not sure about the English term for this). It might be illigal to shout "fire" in a theatre, to take a classic example.

To uphold free speech we must protect it from abuse. As long as the wording of the law is clear and precise and proper trials are held, I think laws like these are acceptable. Online bullying and harassing are big problems today, so you need to see both sides of the coin. If you're making life a living hell for someone and constantly send them harassing text messages or slander them on Facebook, you can't expect to hide behind free speech.

Note that I still strongly disagree with any kind of law that tries to limit free speech that's being "offending". That's bad for two reasons: 1) What's offending is different to different people and 2) it can be used all too easily to silence inconvenient voices.

Re:I'm not completely against this kind of law (1)

valentinas (2692229) | about 2 years ago | (#41686621)

Hitchens about shouting "fire" in a crowded theater (and about freedom of speech): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyoOfRog1EM [youtube.com]
The bit about fire is just a joke, but later on he talks about freedom to listen as opposed to freedom of speech, which is quite interesting.

Someone wants something? (1)

Jack9 (11421) | about 2 years ago | (#41686303)

> Former Australian Cop Wants Jail For Internet Trolls

Why is this news? I know a woman who thinks everyone should get free gummy bears. Her opinion isn't important either.

No Right To Not Be Offended (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 years ago | (#41686381)

Are some of these sites people set up offensive? Sure.
Are some of the people who set up these sites horrible people? Probably
Should they be locked away for making a website? In most cases*, no.

* If the person is advocating violence then that should be an offense. You have the right to say "People in Group X are stupid." You don't have the right to say "Let's round up everyone in Group X and put bullets through their brains." In addition, some of the trolling goes beyond offensive comments and lands into scary. If you're tracking people down and posting Google Earth views of their houses, or publishing information about what school their kids go to, you've crossed the line and there should be some stalking/harassment penalties invoked. This would be above and beyond setting up a "So-And-So Is A Horrible Person" website.

Wanting (1)

Pokey.Clyde (1322667) | about 2 years ago | (#41686451)

He can want in one hand and shit in the other, and see which fills up first.

Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41686493)

This law has been on the books for many years. The only thing this officer is doing is suggesting that it should be applied for harassment over the internet. When you have cyber bullying causing kids to kill themselves something like this would be immensely helpful. We cannot simply assume that a law such as this would be used for censorship but then that seems to be the typical knee jerk slashdot reaction, this law has not been used to censor anyone so you can't just assume that it will after many years since it has received a little media attention.

"...it is an offense to ... cause offense..." (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about 2 years ago | (#41686559)

Conveniently vague, isn't it? I'm sure it would never be abused, though.

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