Tech, Telecom, and Internet Free Speech and First Amendment Issues

Discussion in 'Justice for JonBenet Discussion - Public Forum' started by Watching You, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. Watching You

    Watching You Superior Bee Admin

    Tech, Telecom, and Internet
    Free Speech & First Amendment Issues/Media Ownership & Broadcasting Issues

    Despite the existence of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, policy makers in America have a long and lamentable history of interfering with the right of free speech and free expression. Television and radio broadcasters have always faced the equivalent of second-class citizenship when it comes to First Amendment protections. And now the Internet community is facing a seemingly endless barrage of controls on speech and expression online.

    Regrettably, policymakers have all too often fall into the trap of attempting to sanitize the Internet, television and radio in the name of "protecting children," preserving "community standards," and serving "the public interest." But given the global reach of modern communications technologies, it is impossible to determine what "community standards" even mean anymore. And the task of raising children is a family responsibility, not the government's. Parents should decide what their children see and listen to, not Congress, the FCC or the courts.

    Finally, the "public interest" should not be defined as the random whims of five commissioners on the FCC, rather the public interest is whatever the public says it is. How is that determined? By the interaction of millions of diverse interests and actors in a free marketplace. Asking the FCC to define the public interest for the communications sector is akin to asking a hypothetical Federal Automobile Commission to define what types of cars consumers will demand next year and then determining which firms should be able to supply them and on what terms. Just as the forces of supply and demand are spontaneously calibrated by a free market in cars, computers, corn or coffee, so too can the public interest in communications be discovered by the voluntary interaction of companies and consumers in a free market.

    The problem here is clear: neither party seems ready to take the First Amendment seriously. Free speech rights and the First Amendment are of paramount importance to individual liberty and should be fully honored and protected against government interference. Moreover, electronic media (radio, television, telephones, the Internet) should be accorded the same protections received by print media (newspapers, magazines, newsletters). This is no conceivable justification for subjecting electronic media to a lesser standard than its print counterparts.
  2. Watching You

    Watching You Superior Bee Admin

    I posted this because I believe that in the very near future, we are going to see sharks (greedy, unscrupulous lawyers) coming out of the woodwork to exploit fertile new grounds in which to challenge the free speech laws of this country. The Internet is a shark's wet dream, with its blogs and uncensored forums. Even the well-moderated forums will be targets for the sharks as they seek ways to expand their fortunes.

    There are sharks right now who are trying to be pioneers in Internet lawsuits. Make no mistake, they are ruthless, and their motives are sometimes personal.
  3. Jayelles

    Jayelles Alert Viewer in Scotland

    Dendrite Test


    We retain the notification provision in the Dendrite test. Thus, to the extent
    reasonably practicable under the circumstances, the plaintiff must undertake efforts to notify the anonymous poster that he is the subject of a subpoena or application for order of disclosure. The plaintiff must also withhold action to afford the anonymous defendant a reasonable opportunity to file and serve opposition to the discovery request. Moreover, when a case arises in the internet context, the plaintiff must post a message notifying the anonymous defendant of the plaintiff’s discovery request on the same message board where the allegedly defamatory
    statement was originally posted.

    ETA More:-

    The Dendrite test also has the advantage of discouraging
    unnecessary lawsuits. In the first few years of the Internet,
    hundreds or even thousands of lawsuits were filed to identify
    online speakers, and the enforcement of subpoenas in those cases
    was almost automatic.
    Consequently, many lawyers advised their
    clients to bring such cases without being serious about pursuing a
    defamation claim to judgment, on the assumption that a plaintiff
    could compel the disclosure of its critics simply for the price of
    filing a complaint. ISP’s reported staggering statistics about the number of subpoenas they have received – AOL’s amicus brief in
    Melvin reported the receipt of 475 subpoenas in a single fiscal
    year, and Yahoo! told one judge at a hearing in California Superior
    Court that it had received “thousands†of such subpoenas.
    Although we have no firm numbers, amici believe that the
    adoption of strict legal and evidentiary standards for defendant
    identification in Delaware, like those adopted by lower courts in
    other states, will encourage would-be plaintiffs and their counsel
    to stop and think before they sue, and to ensure that litigation is
    undertaken for legitimate ends and not just to chill speech.
    the same time, those standards have not stood in the way of
    identifying those who face legitimate libel and other claims.
  4. Jayelles

    Jayelles Alert Viewer in Scotland

    How right you are. I'm all for fairness and decency, but you are absolutely right that there are sharks who will exploit any money making opportunity in a heartbeat.
  5. Elle

    Elle Member

    I think you're right WY. I just wonder how this is all going to end (?). Instead of "ambulance chasers," we will have the "net chasers."
  6. Jayelles

    Jayelles Alert Viewer in Scotland

    I'm a member of the EFF. They are working tirelessly on a number of interesting cases. I learned about them some time ago through another forum I belong to.

    You can make small donations or large donations - all their lawyers and workers are volunteers.
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