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Out of Control DOJ Comes After Internet Commenters


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If they can come after Reason.com I don't see why they can't come after Political Anarchy. While I'm sure this won't go anywhere, if it does, I'm sure this would effectively kill speech at this site and elsewhere.

 

Ken White at Popehat offers a legal analysis: The United States Department of Justice is using federal grand jury subpoenas to identify anonymous commenters engaged in typical internet bluster and hyperbole in connection with the Silk Road prosecution. DOJ is targeting Reason.com, a leading libertarian website whose clever writing is eclipsed only by the blowhard stupidity of its commenting peanut gallery.

 


Why is the government using its vast power to identify these obnoxious asshats, and not the other tens of thousands who plague the internet?

Because these twerps mouthed off about a judge.

 

the comments in question left at Nick Gillespie’s post about the sentencing of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht:

 

So, do these qualify as “true threats”? White says no:


 

AlanI5.31.15 @ 12:09PMltt
It’s judges like these that will be taken out back and shot.
FTFY.

 

croakerI6.1.15 @ 11:06AMltt
Why waste ammunition? Wood chippers get the message across clearly. Especially if you
feed them in feet first.

 

Cloudbusterl6.l.15 @ 2:40PMIIt
Why do it out back? Shoot them out front, on the steps of the courthouse.

 

Rhywunl5.3l.15 @ 11:35AMIIt
I hope there is a special place in hell reserved for that horrible woman.

 

AlanI5.31.15 @ 12:11PMIIt
There is.

 

Product PlacementI5.31.15 @ 1:22PMIIt
I’d prefer a hellish place on Earth be reserved for her as well.

 

croakerl6.l.15 @ 11:09AMIIt
Fuck that. I don’t want to oay for that cunt’s food, housing, and medical. Send her through
the wood chipper.


AgammamonI5.31.15 @ lO:47AMltt
Its judges like these that should be taken out back and shot.

 

While the comments are not “true threats”, it is nonetheless concerning that federal prosecutors are willing to use their authority to investigate a few outraged anonymous commenters who foolishly made nasty comments about a judge. If it can happen to them, it can happen to any commenter who momentarily loses their sense of discretion and self-restraint.

 

True threat analysis always examines context. Here, the context strongly weighs in favor of hyperbole. The comments are on the Internet, a wretched hive of scum, villainy, and gaseous smack talk. The are on a political blog, about a judicial-political story; such stories are widely known to draw such bluster. They are specifically at Reason.com, a site with excellent content but cursed with a group of commenters who think such trash talk is amusing.

 

The “threats” do not specify who is going to use violence, or when. They do not offer a plan, other than juvenile mouth-breathing about “wood chippers” and revolutionary firing squads. They do not contain any indication that any of the mouthy commenters has the ability to carry out a threat. Nobody in the thread reacts to them as if they are serious. They are not directed to the judge by email or on a forum she is known to frequent.

 

Therefore, even the one that is closest to a threat — “It’s judges like these that will be taken out back and shot” isn’t a true threat. It lacks any of the factors that have led other courts to find that ill-wishes can be threats.

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If they can come after Reason.com I don't see why they can't come after Political Anarchy. While I'm sure this won't go anywhere, if it does, I'm sure this would effectively kill speech at this site and elsewhere.

 

Ken White at Popehat offers a legal analysis: The United States Department of Justice is using federal grand jury subpoenas to identify anonymous commenters engaged in typical internet bluster and hyperbole in connection with the Silk Road prosecution. DOJ is targeting Reason.com, a leading libertarian website whose clever writing is eclipsed only by the blowhard stupidity of its commenting peanut gallery.

 

Why is the government using its vast power to identify these obnoxious asshats, and not the other tens of thousands who plague the internet?

Because these twerps mouthed off about a judge.

 

the comments in question left at Nick Gillespie’s post about the sentencing of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht:

 

So, do these qualify as “true threats”? White says no:

 

AlanI5.31.15 @ 12:09PMltt

It’s judges like these that will be taken out back and shot.

FTFY.

 

croakerI6.1.15 @ 11:06AMltt

Why waste ammunition? Wood chippers get the message across clearly. Especially if you

feed them in feet first.

 

Cloudbusterl6.l.15 @ 2:40PMIIt

Why do it out back? Shoot them out front, on the steps of the courthouse.

 

Rhywunl5.3l.15 @ 11:35AMIIt

I hope there is a special place in hell reserved for that horrible woman.

 

AlanI5.31.15 @ 12:11PMIIt

There is.

 

Product PlacementI5.31.15 @ 1:22PMIIt

I’d prefer a hellish place on Earth be reserved for her as well.

 

croakerl6.l.15 @ 11:09AMIIt

Fuck that. I don’t want to oay for that cunt’s food, housing, and medical. Send her through

the wood chipper.

AgammamonI5.31.15 @ lO:47AMltt

Its judges like these that should be taken out back and shot.

 

While the comments are not “true threats”, it is nonetheless concerning that federal prosecutors are willing to use their authority to investigate a few outraged anonymous commenters who foolishly made nasty comments about a judge. If it can happen to them, it can happen to any commenter who momentarily loses their sense of discretion and self-restraint.

 

True threat analysis always examines context. Here, the context strongly weighs in favor of hyperbole. The comments are on the Internet, a wretched hive of scum, villainy, and gaseous smack talk. The are on a political blog, about a judicial-political story; such stories are widely known to draw such bluster. They are specifically at Reason.com, a site with excellent content but cursed with a group of commenters who think such trash talk is amusing.

 

The “threats” do not specify who is going to use violence, or when. They do not offer a plan, other than juvenile mouth-breathing about “wood chippers” and revolutionary firing squads. They do not contain any indication that any of the mouthy commenters has the ability to carry out a threat. Nobody in the thread reacts to them as if they are serious. They are not directed to the judge by email or on a forum she is known to frequent.

 

Therefore, even the one that is closest to a threat — “It’s judges like these that will be taken out back and shot” isn’t a true threat. It lacks any of the factors that have led other courts to find that ill-wishes can be threats.

 

Glad to see that we are on the same page, at least on this one.

 

I hope you are equally appalled at similar attempts to silence "denialism" http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2015/05/02/silencing-skeptics-conservatives-and-free-speech-n1993348/page/full ,

 

and "gun speech" by the administraton.

 

http://www.wnd.com/2015/06/nra-feds-seek-gag-order-on-gun-talk/

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If they can come after Reason.com I don't see why they can't come after Political Anarchy. While I'm sure this won't go anywhere, if it does, I'm sure this would effectively kill speech at this site and elsewhere.

 

Ken White at Popehat offers a legal analysis: The United States Department of Justice is using federal grand jury subpoenas to identify anonymous commenters engaged in typical internet bluster and hyperbole in connection with the Silk Road prosecution. DOJ is targeting Reason.com, a leading libertarian website whose clever writing is eclipsed only by the blowhard stupidity of its commenting peanut gallery.

 

Why is the government using its vast power to identify these obnoxious asshats, and not the other tens of thousands who plague the internet?

Because these twerps mouthed off about a judge.

 

the comments in question left at Nick Gillespie’s post about the sentencing of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht:

 

So, do these qualify as “true threats”? White says no:

 

AlanI5.31.15 @ 12:09PMltt

It’s judges like these that will be taken out back and shot.

FTFY.

 

croakerI6.1.15 @ 11:06AMltt

Why waste ammunition? Wood chippers get the message across clearly. Especially if you

feed them in feet first.

 

Cloudbusterl6.l.15 @ 2:40PMIIt

Why do it out back? Shoot them out front, on the steps of the courthouse.

 

Rhywunl5.3l.15 @ 11:35AMIIt

I hope there is a special place in hell reserved for that horrible woman.

 

AlanI5.31.15 @ 12:11PMIIt

There is.

 

Product PlacementI5.31.15 @ 1:22PMIIt

I’d prefer a hellish place on Earth be reserved for her as well.

 

croakerl6.l.15 @ 11:09AMIIt

Fuck that. I don’t want to oay for that cunt’s food, housing, and medical. Send her through

the wood chipper.

AgammamonI5.31.15 @ lO:47AMltt

Its judges like these that should be taken out back and shot.

 

While the comments are not “true threats”, it is nonetheless concerning that federal prosecutors are willing to use their authority to investigate a few outraged anonymous commenters who foolishly made nasty comments about a judge. If it can happen to them, it can happen to any commenter who momentarily loses their sense of discretion and self-restraint.

 

True threat analysis always examines context. Here, the context strongly weighs in favor of hyperbole. The comments are on the Internet, a wretched hive of scum, villainy, and gaseous smack talk. The are on a political blog, about a judicial-political story; such stories are widely known to draw such bluster. They are specifically at Reason.com, a site with excellent content but cursed with a group of commenters who think such trash talk is amusing.

 

The “threats” do not specify who is going to use violence, or when. They do not offer a plan, other than juvenile mouth-breathing about “wood chippers” and revolutionary firing squads. They do not contain any indication that any of the mouthy commenters has the ability to carry out a threat. Nobody in the thread reacts to them as if they are serious. They are not directed to the judge by email or on a forum she is known to frequent.

 

Therefore, even the one that is closest to a threat — “It’s judges like these that will be taken out back and shot” isn’t a true threat. It lacks any of the factors that have led other courts to find that ill-wishes can be threats.

 

Glad to see that we are on the same page, at least on this one.

 

I hope you are equally appalled at similar attempts to silence "denialism" http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2015/05/02/silencing-skeptics-conservatives-and-free-speech-n1993348/page/full ,

 

and "gun speech" by the administraton.

 

http://www.wnd.com/2015/06/nra-feds-seek-gag-order-on-gun-talk/

 

 

Free speech, means free speech. I will happily and forever fight and stand up for that right.

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If blowhard stupidity is illegal, the NY puppet squad is gonna need some representation. At the very least, there are a lot more freedom lovers to oppose this kind of crap, since the Americans were evicted from the White House. Unbelievable.

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Going after free speech on a libertarian website. You can't make this shit up.

 

Any judge that can't stand anonymous internet criticism for a controversial sentence, really shouldn't be a judge. This is jurisprudence not baseball.

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Going after free speech on a libertarian website. You can't make this shit up.

 

Any judge that can't stand anonymous internet criticism for a controversial sentence, really shouldn't be a judge. This is jurisprudence not baseball.

 

 

There's no crying in Baseball!!!

 

On this topic, BL, we're in concurrence. This on the surface appears to be a misapplication of statute. Might be more to it that the "reporting" hasn't seen fit to include, but....

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Going after free speech on a libertarian website. You can't make this shit up.

 

Any judge that can't stand anonymous internet criticism for a controversial sentence, really shouldn't be a judge. This is jurisprudence not baseball.

 

 

There's no crying in Baseball!!!

 

On this topic, BL, we're in concurrence. This on the surface appears to be a misapplication of statute. Might be more to it that the "reporting" hasn't seen fit to include, but....

 

 

 

According to the Washington Post, under current judicial precedent federal prosecutors "likely have the authority to seek subpoenas in cases like this" This says two things to me, both chilling. that prosecutors and justices can abuse the system in this way and cost people who utilize free speech to express their opinion a lot of money defending suits that cannot succeed and the mere suppression of free speech within our system is both outrageous and inexcusable.

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Going after free speech on a libertarian website. You can't make this shit up.

 

Any judge that can't stand anonymous internet criticism for a controversial sentence, really shouldn't be a judge. This is jurisprudence not baseball.

 

 

Who said dat? ;)

 

Sincerely,

 

Publius

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  • 2 weeks later...

How the Government Stifled REA$ON'$ Free $peech

 

For the past two weeks, Reason, a magazine dedicated to "Free Minds and Free Markets," has been barred by an order from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York from speaking publicly about a grand jury subpoena that court sent to Reason.com.

 

The subpoena demanded the records of six people who left hyperbolic comments at the website about the federal judge who oversaw the controversial conviction of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht. Shortly after the subpoena was issued, the government issued a gag order prohibiting Reason not only from discussing the matter but even acknowledging the existence of the subpoena or the gag order itself. As a wide variety of media outlets have noted, such actions on the part of the government are not only fundamentally misguided and misdirected, they have a tangible chilling effect on free expression by commenters and publications alike.

 

 

 

US Attorney Chills REA$ONable $peech

 

What do you call it when a prosecutor forces a magazine to hand over confidential information and then orders the magazine not to publish anything about it? Some might call it heavy-handed judicial overreach, but lately it's just another day at the office for those who purport to administer justice.

 

The magazine is Reason, a well-known libertarian publication that has been around for decades. The confidential information was IP and server information that would allow federal authorities to identify certain blog commenters to a story about the verdict and sentence in the Silk Road case. Though I and other legal experts who've looked at the situation don't think those comments could plausibly be considered "true threats" (and thus outside the protection of the First Amendment), Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Niketh Velamoor served Reason with a subpoena ordering it to turn over the IP addresses and other identifying information for those commenters.

 

Was that legal? Probably. Although particularly in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Elonis v. United States, which came out days before Bharara's office acted — Internet hyperbole can't be punished unless it's both intended and reasonably understood as an actual threat, federal law enforcement has extensive investigative powers. So although the First Amendment gives you the right to say nasty things and, even, to say them anonymously it doesn't stop federal investigators from issuing a subpoena in an effort to discover your identity.

 

And if you're a magazine, such as Reason, that prides yourself on open comments, it doesn't stop the government from forcing you to turn over that identifying information. And, apparently, it doesn't stop the fed from ordering you not to tell people that you've been forced to turn over that information.

 

...

 

When the government orders people not to talk about what it's doing, it's hard to keep track of what it's doing. That's what the First Amendment is intended to prevent. It's ironic that the Obama administration whose supporters in 2008 made much of threats to civil liberties from George W. Bush's national security apparatus has so thoroughly embraced surveillance and gag orders.

 

 

REASON's publishers think they are publishing a libertarian magazine. I think so too. Others may think they are publishing something else, but no one has said what that might be, so I'll go with my original conclusion.

 

But does that make them part of the pre$$?

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Secret subpoenas, secret courts, whewww.

 

At least the existence of Gitmo is out in the open proving our governmental transparency.

 

I would figure once you are handed a subpoena, it's yours to publish as you like.

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  • 2 weeks later...

How the REASON gag order went public

Short answer for those who don't like to click: bloggers in pajamas once again proved more useful in informing the public than "the pre$$," whomever they may be.

 

 

"I got an email and I looked at it and I thought wow, this is a federal grand jury subpoena to Reason magazine," says Ken White, a writer at the legal blog Popehat who is himself a former federal prosecutor. White sat down with Reason TV to talk about how he broke the story and what he thinks it means for press freedom and open expression online.

 

"What's upsetting is that there is no indication whatsoever either that the prosecutor or the judge gave any consideration to the fact that this was being aimed at a reporting organization about a First Amendment issue," says White. What's more, White stresses that the comments named in the subpoena are commonplace for the internet and especially at Reason.com, a site, he notes, "whose clever writing is eclipsed only by the blowhard stupidity of its commenting peanut gallery."

 

Sorry, pajamas and Pope hats. People who actually share info about how our government works dress funny.

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Guest Dabnis

Wood chippers generally do what they are told to do, but maybe in Loretta's case, not wanting to be called a racist,

they might have a fussy & refuse to start.

 

If Loretta did find her way through one, all wood chippers everywhere would be confiscated & destroyed, Australian style. :(

 

Paul T

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  • 1 month later...

What happens when they bust a drug dealer on the street? He is immediately replaced by the market.

 

What happens when they bust a drug dealer on the internet? He is immediately replaced by the market.

 

Well, the online marketplace for illicit goods' competitors and successors live, anyway. The original Silk Road and its operator were taken down by the United States federal government in an over-the-top campaign that featured stunningly corrupt federal agents. Beyond its employees' sticky fingers, the federal government almost certainly hacked servers hosted overseas in the course of its efforts and then shrugged its institutional shoulders over the legal status of the tactic. But even as the feds brutally targeted Ross Ulbricht and his underground marketplace, new sites proliferated on the anonymous TOR network to more than replace what the U.S. Government had shut down.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

More on the government corruption surrounding the case against Ross Ulbricht.

 

Shaun Bridges, former US agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration plead guilty on August 31 to charges of wire fraud and money laundering. Bridges will be sentenced by a judge in December and faces a maximum 20 years in prison and US$250,000 fine.

 

Bridges, 33, appeared in a San Francisco Federal Court admitting to extortion, moving US$800,000 in bitcoin under his possession along with obstruction of justice in the Silk Road case. After this news, Ross Ulbricht’s Lawyers immediately stated that these charges “remove any question about the corruption that pervaded the investigation of Silk Road.”

 

During the hearing, US District Judge Richard Seeborg ordered Bridges to wear an electronic monitoring device at his residence because prosecutors were informed hours earlier he tried to change his name during the trial. Federal agents learned that Bridges had made multiple attempts to change his identity, including his social security. The investigation found a few illegal firearms with the former officer as well. The Baltimore-based taskforce’s other member, Carl Force, of the DEA unit also admitted to guilt back in June for the same crimes.

 

 

 

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This US Attorney needs to go through a wood chipper.

 

Are you trying to get Scot a subpoena or something?

 

Speaking of tools, the landscaper who drops off wood chips for me left his chipper and truck here for the past few days. I don't know why.

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  • 4 months later...

Ulbricht Appeals

 

His attorney argues that the two corrupt government agents on the case are not reliable, that Ulbricht might not be the Dread Pirate Roberts, that overdose deaths attributed to Silk Road sales should not have been a basis for sentencing, and that

 

Rather than require the government to establish probable cause in advance of reviewing categories of electronic data, they would license the government to examine every file to assure that probable cause to seize it did not exist. Any more dramatic or patent example of the “rummaging” could not be envisioned, yet that is what the government has done in this case with respect to Ulbricht’s laptop and Gmail and Facebook accounts.

 

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  • 6 months later...

New Appeals Reply Brief Filed

Two of the investigating agents, Carl Force of the DEA and Shaun Bridges of the Secret Service, have since Ulbricht's arrest both themselves been arrested for crimes related to their investigation.

Dratel in the brief notes that, despite later government attempts to separate Force, after his arrest, from the core of the case against Ulbricht, that "The United States Marshals' Intake Form for Ulbricht, completed upon his arrest October 2, 2013, lists under the "Arrested or Received Information" section, as the only law enforcement officer, "Carl Force"...

Information that has since arisen from the cases against Force and Bridges that Dratel thinks should have been relevant to Ulbricht's conviction include that "[w]hile at the Secret Service [bridges] specialized in, among other things, use of the Dark Net and identity theft." and that "(Bridges "committed crimes over the course of many months (if not years). . . . [and] "was an extremely calculated effort, designed to avoid detection for as long as possible, ironically using the very skills (e.g., computer skills) that he learned on the job and at the public's expense."

...

Very key to the defense contention that Bridges' involvement should have contaminated the case against Ulbricht:

At Bridges's sentencing the government also described how Bridges's corruption had affected investigations in which he had participated: "[t]he number of cases that Mr. Bridges contaminated, not just existing criminal cases, but also investigations across the country that his conduct has let to have to be shut down, is truly staggering. We start here – there was a criminal investigation that another district had into Mt. Gox that's had to since be shut down."...."ut that's just one example. I can tell you from my own knowledge that in this district a number of investigations have had to be shut down directly – directly, a hundred percent, because of Bridges."

 

But Bridges and Force were good enough to convict Ulbricht while there was still implausible deniability of their crimes.

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  • 7 months later...

They couldn't resist a parting shot.

What's next for Preet Bharara?

...Law firms and hedge funds both pay more than government work. Work for private clients might have the additional benefit of providing Bharara with some useful perspective that he had lacked about what it feels like to be on the receiving end of prosecutorial inquiries. On the other hand, Bharara's financial needs appear to be less acute than those of some of his predecessors; he reportedly made $1 million as an investor in his brother's online diaper company, which was sold to Amazon.com. (The irony of an "insider trading" prosecutor profiting handsomely from a legal private investment in a family member's company is a topic for another column.)

...

Initially, my hope was that President Trump might find some part of the federal government in which Bharara's investigative zeal, unfettered in too many cases by the traditional restraints, might actually be an asset rather than a liability. Maybe he could be in charge of tracking Iran's cheating on the nuclear deal, or of shutting down access by the Islamic State to the international oil markets. Perhaps he could be put in charge of rooting out fraud and abuse in Medicaid, food stamps, or other welfare programs. Maybe he could investigate North Korea's human rights abuses or its nuclear program.

The more I thought of it, though, the more I realized that there just aren't many positions in the federal government where an approach of the sort Bharara has become known for would be a virtue. The risks of innocent people being wrongly ensnared are too great. It's a rare distinction. Of how many government lawyers can it be said, upon their departure from public service, that you wouldn't wish them on even your worst enemies?

A really successful second act for Preet Bharara would be one in which he restored his reputation. For expertise on that, the prosecutor might want to consider seeking out some of his former targets.


I just hope he stays far from government.

Anyone who thinks comments like this one:

This US Attorney needs to go through a wood chipper.

 

merit a subpoena should not have the power to issue one. I'm glad Preet doesn't any more. Guns.

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. (The irony of an "insider trading" prosecutor profiting handsomely from a legal private investment in a family member's company is a topic for another column.)

 

 

There's no irony, just clueless grudge bullshit from the circlejerk at reason magazine. fer fucks sake tom, read something intelligent for once.

 

 

It could be read that way but I suspect that if that other column were written it would say that investing in a family member's company that later gets bought by an internet giant is not wrong. I'd agree. At some point, things like that become insider trading.

 

Did you read the Buzzfeed article? They seem to like him. This man has a variety of fans. This thread on him at Free Republic is downright weird. I haven't seen so many of them come so close to actually questioning Trump on any other topic.

 

I'm more in Olsonist's camp, though I'm worried about USA190520's comment. Wood chippers are very useful machines and I wouldn't want to hurt one. Guns.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

We don't have a separate thread for "Out of Control Congress Comes After Internet Commenters" so I'll just drop this here.

 

Actually, they're not after us lowly commenters (unless we happen to own a boat or something worth seizing). They're after the far deeper pockets of people like The Ed. Guns.

 

Why? "It's almost always easier to locate and serve/prosecute site owners than it is to go after those actually violating laws."

 

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  • 8 months later...

Crackdown On Sex Trafficking
 

Quote

 

The bill currently has 171 co-sponsors, including ample numbers of both Republicans and Democrats.

Specifically, Wagner's bill would amend Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, which says that websites and other online platforms should not be treated as the creators of user-posted content. What this means in effect is that these third-party platforms can't be sued or prosecuted for users' and commenters' illegal speech (or illegal actions resulting from speech)—with some major exceptions. Digital platforms do not get a pass for content they actually create "in whole or part," for instance.

As it stands, states cannot generally prosecute web services and citizens cannot sue them when user-generated content conflicts with state criminal law. Rep. Wagner's bill—like the similar and more-hyped "Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act" (SESTA)—would end this state and civil immunity for digital platforms in cases of "sex trafficking" or "sexual exploitation of children."

But while that may sound like a small concession, it actually opens up a huge range of activity for liability. At the federal level, the above offenses encompass everything from the truly horrific and unconscionable (like sex trafficking by force) to things like sexting between teenagers. And at the state level, definitions can be even more varied and blurry.

 

Looking forward to the Federal Dept Of Distinguishing Between A Date And A Hooker.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ulbricht Appealing Sentence to SCOTUS
 

Quote


This case presents two important questions of constitutional law with broader significance for the rights of criminal defendants generally. First, the Second Circuit affirmed the government's warrantless collection of Mr. Ulbricht's Internet traffic information by relying on the third-party doctrine, which the Court is reviewing in a different context this Term in Carpenter v. United States....This case would afford the Court an ideal opportunity to address how the doctrine applies to Internet traffic information.

...

Second, the Second Circuit affirmed the sentencing court's determination of facts never submitted to the jury, which significantly altered the Guidelines range and ultimately led the court to impose a life sentence—a sentence the Second Circuit admitted "condemn a young man to die in prison." Several justices have previously questioned whether this kind of judicial factfinding violates the Sixth Amendment. For both these reasons, this case warrants Supreme Court review.

...

Calling the Internet traffic information collected by pen/traps today "constitutionally indistinguishable" from the list of telephone numbers at issue in Smith is "like saying a ride on horseback is materially indistinguishable from a flight to the moon": "both are ways of getting from point A to point B, but little else justifies lumping them together."

...

While "Ulbricht's Sentencing Guidelines range would have resulted in a recommended sentence of, at most, 30 years in prison," the sentencing judge considered various allegations that Ulbricht paid for (uncommitted) murders, allegations never actually tried in court. The Second Circuit in his initial appeal "reluctantly affirmed, concluding that the alleged murders for hire separated the case from an ordinary drug crime."

From this layman's perspective, it seems hideously unjust that a judge can sentence based on crimes never proven in court. Shanmugam explains in the memo however that "the Court has previously declined to grant certiorari on petitions presenting this question" (of sentences based on unadjudicated accusations).

 

The allegations about murder for hire may not have been tried in court, but they achieved their desired effect:

On 9/3/2015 at 11:29 PM, benwynn said:

It's a shame you can't infer that public officials be shot and get away with it anymore.

Specifically, convincing people that allegations are fact and that therefore Ulbricht somehow deserves a life sentence.

This would be a good standard to apply to that Hillary woman. Who has had more allegations? She must be the worst person ever.

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1 hour ago, mikewof said:

A friend told me about it, he said that there are a lot of drug sales and worse on that.

I can't think of a more depressing thing to do, as spend any amount of time on that. It seems like the confluence of a Penny Shopper in Davenport, Iowa meets an asylum for the criminally insane. I'm sure there are a lot of otherwise friendly and well-adjusted people who have lost their wealth, health and freedom in that mess.

The above is from the UFO thread in General, which somehow went to dark energy and then dark markets.

The real-world black market for drugs is actually much more violent, dangerous, and corrupt than the online one created by the Silk Road was.

I know, I know, when corrupt govt agents decided to shut it down, they put out allegations of a murder for hire plot which have been taken as true despite never being tried in court. Guess what? Corrupt govt agents smear their targets.

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2 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

The above is from the UFO thread in General, which somehow went to dark energy and then dark markets.

The real-world black market for drugs is actually much more violent, dangerous, and corrupt than the online one created by the Silk Road was.

I know, I know, when corrupt govt agents decided to shut it down, they put out allegations of a murder for hire plot which have been taken as true despite never being tried in court. Guess what? Corrupt govt agents smear their targets.

It can't be shut down, and the governments wouldn't want it to be shut down, they seem to enjoy doing Tom and Jerry on it.

Thank you Normy for telling me that we were no longer in the same thread.

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  • 1 year later...
On 12/27/2017 at 7:48 PM, Importunate Tom said:

Ulbricht Appealing Sentence to SCOTUS
 

The allegations about murder for hire may not have been tried in court, but they achieved their desired effect:

Specifically, convincing people that allegations are fact and that therefore Ulbricht somehow deserves a life sentence.

This would be a good standard to apply to that Hillary woman. Who has had more allegations? She must be the worst person ever.

The Supreme Court turned him away last summer.

Quote

 

Ulbricht attempted to bring his case before the Supreme Court last December, alleging that his fourth and sixth amendment rights had been violated. Ulbricht said that during the investigation and his sentencing, law enforcement agents had collected internet traffic information without warrants, and that the judge presiding over the case had imposed an “unreasonable sentence” due to reports that Ulbricht had tried to hire a hitman — a crime for which he was never convicted or charged with.

Ulbricht’s attempts to bring his case to the Supreme Court had been met with support from several organizations including the Gun Owners of America, the National Lawyers Guild and the Reason Foundation.

Upon hearing the recent case Carpenter v. United States — which involved location data stored and obtained by cell phone providers — the Supreme Court ruled that the fourth amendment does offer individuals “legitimate expectation of privacy” over their personal data, even if they voluntarily provide it to third parties. The ruling convinced many of Ulbricht’s supporters that the Court would be willing to at least consider his side of the story, though it appears these hopes have been dashed, and Ulbricht’s life sentence will stand.

 

So an unproven accusation of murder that never reached the level of a charge in court is a factor that can be considered in sentencing.

 

 

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  • 9 months later...

Is the FBI Snooping on Political Groups and Ideological Publications?
 

Quote

 

...

Patrick Eddington, a research fellow at Cato, has submitted more than 200 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for FBI files on political advocacy groups, civil liberties organizations, think tanks, and publications across the political spectrum.

For about two dozen of those requests so far, the FBI said it could neither confirm or deny whether it had collected national security or foreign intelligence records on the groups. Those organizations include the immigrant rights group Kids in Need of Defense; the Transgender Law Center; former Rep. Ron Paul's (R–Texas) Campaign for Liberty; the grassroots Fourth Amendment advocacy group Restore the Fourth; the Cato Institute; and the Reason Foundation, which publishes Reason.

(You can see the Justice Department response upholding the FBI's refusal to confirm or deny the existence of national security or foreign intelligence records on Reason here.)

In a press release issued Tuesday, the Cato Institute said the responses "reveal the need for Congress to launch an aggressive investigation into FBI domestic surveillance practices."

The well-worn "can neither confirm nor deny" phrase is known as a "Glomar response." The term originated from a 1975 FOIA lawsuit by a Rolling Stone journalist against the CIA seeking records on the Glomar Explorer, a salvage ship the spy agency used in an audacious attempt to recover a sunken Soviet nuclear submarine.

A federal judge ruled that the CIA could refuse to acknowledge the existence of such records if doing so would in and of itself compromise national security.

...

 

I can't confirm nor deny whether this is capricious use of the Glomar Get Out Of FOIA Free card or not.

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  • 11 months later...

Trump Is Considering Clemency for Silk Road Founder

Quote

In his final weeks in office before Joe Biden’s inauguration, President Donald Trump is weighing granting clemency to Ross Ulbricht, the founder and former administrator of the world’s most famous darknet drug market, Silk Road, The Daily Beast has learned.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-considers-clemency-for-ross-ulbricht-silk-road-kingpin-convicted-of-drug-and-money-laundering-charges

 

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1 hour ago, Mid said:

I'm a bit surprised he isn't considering it for Carl Force and Shaun Bridges. Pleasantly surprised.

As noted above, Ulbricht's sentence was based on allegations that were never tried, let alone proven. What was proven was the corruption of Force and Bridges.

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8 hours ago, Quotidian Tom said:

I'm a bit surprised he isn't considering it for Carl Force and Shaun Bridges. Pleasantly surprised.

As noted above, Ulbricht's sentence was based on allegations that were never tried, let alone proven. What was proven was the corruption of Force and Bridges.

WTF are you on about now?  He was tried and convict of crimes, and sentenced.  He's appealed numerous times and failed.

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People on the nets seem to think their speech rights have no limits whatsoever. 

But lets look as a few counter arguments - judges have in fact been threatened and murdered, mostly by the Reich. 

Gummint at various levels is taking those threats seriously - as well they should. 

I'd be more sympathetic with the keyboard warriors if they posted under their own names. 

If you want to say or write that a judge should be put through a chipper, sign your own name to it. 

If you don't do that, one has to question your sincerity in talking about "personal responsibility". 

Rights of speech also come with responsibilities - you are not allowed to slander, libel, plagiarize or threaten. 

If you do those things, especially anonymously, I have zero respect for you. 

Man/Woman the hell up !! 

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5 hours ago, Grrr... said:

WTF are you on about now?  He was tried and convict of crimes, and sentenced.  He's appealed numerous times and failed.

This, in addition to the proven corruption of two people working the case who I mentioned.

On 12/27/2017 at 7:48 PM, Quotidian Tom said:

While "Ulbricht's Sentencing Guidelines range would have resulted in a recommended sentence of, at most, 30 years in prison," the sentencing judge considered various allegations that Ulbricht paid for (uncommitted) murders, allegations never actually tried in court. The Second Circuit in his initial appeal "reluctantly affirmed, concluding that the alleged murders for hire separated the case from an ordinary drug crime."

His sentencing was based on allegations of murder for hire. Not actual indictments, not convictions. Allegations.

If your sentence for a crime were increased because of mere allegations, would you think that is right?

I don't think it's right.

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Quote

I'd be more sympathetic with the keyboard warriors if they posted under their own names. 

If you want to say or write that a judge should be put through a chipper, sign your own name to it. 

A finger print tied to a real name should be used for any internet interaction.   Most all of the social ills that are flourishing on the internet would decline to near zero.   Won't happen though.   

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2 hours ago, Quotidian Tom said:

This, in addition to the proven corruption of two people working the case who I mentioned.

His sentencing was based on allegations of murder for hire. Not actual indictments, not convictions. Allegations.

If your sentence for a crime were increased because of mere allegations, would you think that is right?

I don't think it's right.

"You don't think it's right" is a far cry from something illegal.  He was convicted.  He was sentenced.  It was upheld in repeated appeals.

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3 hours ago, solosailor said:

A finger print tied to a real name should be used for any internet interaction.   Most all of the social ills that are flourishing on the internet would decline to near zero.   Won't happen though.   

You da man !! 

And notice how the Right avoids talking about actual personal responsibility for what they write 

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8 hours ago, Grrr... said:
10 hours ago, Quotidian Tom said:

If your sentence for a crime were increased because of mere allegations, would you think that is right?

I don't think it's right.

"You don't think it's right" is a far cry from something illegal.  He was convicted.  He was sentenced.  It was upheld in repeated appeals.

I didn't say it was illegal. I said I was pleasantly surprised that Trump was considering clemency, which is also not illegal, for him and not for the corrupt agents who concocted his case.

I asked a question and provided my answer.

Can you answer the question?

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6 hours ago, AJ Oliver said:
10 hours ago, solosailor said:

A finger print tied to a real name should be used for any internet interaction.   Most all of the social ills that are flourishing on the internet would decline to near zero.   Won't happen though.   

You da man !! 

And notice how the Right avoids talking about actual personal responsibility for what they write 

Well, OK.

12 hours ago, AJ Oliver said:

I'd be more sympathetic with the keyboard warriors if they posted under their own names. 

You're talking to "solosailor," whoever that is. Meanwhile, my original screen name, still available on my profile, is my real name.

So does that make me the more credible one to you?

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2 hours ago, Quotidian Tom said:

I didn't say it was illegal. I said I was pleasantly surprised that Trump was considering clemency, which is also not illegal, for him and not for the corrupt agents who concocted his case.

I asked a question and provided my answer.

Can you answer the question?

Yes.  He was tried, convicted, and the sentence upheld repeatedly.  The judges involved know far more about this than you or me, and I'm not going to second guess what they did.

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Why President Trump Should Free Ross Ulbricht
 

Quote

 

...

At that fateful hearing in 2015, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest told the courtroom that she had decided to go well beyond the mandatory minimum of 10 years because Ulbricht had taken a philosophical stand against drug prohibition.   

The Silk Road's creator thought that he "was better than the laws of this country … This is deeply troubling, terribly misguided, and very dangerous," she said in her opinion. The Silk Road's "stated purpose," she said, "was to be beyond the law."

Judge Forrest was exactly right, which is why prohibitionists should have tried to learn something from Ulbricht's creation.

What's actually "troubling" and "terribly misguided" is the U.S. war on drugs, which has cost the public more than $1 trillion, fueled decades of crime and violence, and stolen life years away from millions of Americans.

...

Ulbricht's critics often point to a series of contract killings that he allegedly ordered with the intention of stopping blackmailers who were threatening to bring him down. But those allegations remain unproven, the alleged murders were never carried out, and the government never charged him on those counts. 

...

 

Wonder why no charges were filed? Possibly because bullshitters don't do so well in courtrooms?

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On 6/24/2015 at 6:20 PM, Saorsa said:

At least the existence of Gitmo is out in the open proving our governmental transparency.

Good thing Obama closed Gitmo down.

I'm old enough to remember that was a major campaign issue in the race against the GOP's war criminal McCain.  

A Nobel peace prize winning accomplishment!  :lol:

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On 12/16/2020 at 4:00 PM, AJ Oliver said:

People on the nets seem to think their speech rights have no limits whatsoever. 

But lets look as a few counter arguments - judges have in fact been threatened and murdered, mostly by the Reich. 

Gummint at various levels is taking those threats seriously - as well they should. 

I'd be more sympathetic with the keyboard warriors if they posted under their own names. 

If you want to say or write that a judge should be put through a chipper, sign your own name to it. 

If you don't do that, one has to question your sincerity in talking about "personal responsibility". 

Rights of speech also come with responsibilities - you are not allowed to slander, libel, plagiarize or threaten. 

If you do those things, especially anonymously, I have zero respect for you. 

Man/Woman the hell up !! 

LOL The Nutty Professor is the only one in the whole skool who doesn’t know who Tom is. 

 

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29 minutes ago, chum said:

LOL The Nutty Professor is the only one in the whole skool who doesn’t know who Tom is. 

The last two lines are actually meant for you . .

Man Up !! 

I also wrote, "And notice how the Right Reich avoids talking about actual personal responsibility for what they write " 

FIF(Me) 

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Hmmmmmmm, really? Oh, well it’s the responsibility of the writer to be.clear, I could swear you were addressing  Tom anon. 

To what end professor?

Where has my “right to speech” crossed the line here?  “Rights of speech also come with responsibilities - you are not allowed to slander, libel, plagiarize or threaten.”

Moking your intellect and beliefs does not constitute any of the above.

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Lol “taking responsibility for what they write” I’ve given you many many opportunities here to justify calling me a Nazi. You’ve given zero. Its just that I disagree with you, or did once when we had a ...semi discourse... before the Nazi thing...came out.

You sir, are a blowhard joke. 

Merry Christmas. Peace be upon you.

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So, if it was intended for me, was the use of “Woman” meant as a perjoritive? Surely you know enough about me from what I write to know my gender, right?

Proffessor?     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professor?  AJ?    J     J      J     j        j         j        ................

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  • 5 months later...

FBI Backs Off Attempt To Subpoena Info on USA Today Readers

Quote

 

In an insane new bit of federal law enforcement overreach, the FBI demanded that USA Today turn over records showing who read a February story about two FBI agents killed in Florida. The FBI sought information, including I.P. addresses, on all "computers and other electronic devices" that accessed the story during a 35-minute period on the evening of the shooting. The subpoena is "a clear violation of the First Amendment," said USA Today Publisher Maribel Perez Wadsworth in a statement.

In late May, USA Today's parent company, Gannett, asked a federal court to quash the April subpoena, calling it unconstitutional and a violation of Department of Justice (DOJ) rules. "The FBI has failed to demonstrate compliance with the United States Attorney General's regulations for subpoenas to the press—regulations that President Biden himself recently pledged the Administration would follow," said Gannett's May 28 motion, revealed by USA Today last Friday.

Amid the publicity, the FBI backed off. "The FBI has withdrawn a subpoena demanding records from USA TODAY that would identify readers of a February story," the paper reported on Saturday.

But disturbingly, the agency doesn't seem to think it did anything wrong. The FBI didn't withdraw the subpoena because it was a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution but because the person it sought to find through subpoenaed reader records was identified "through other means," USA Today says.

That makes the FBI's move even more shocking. Authorities clearly had other ways to find the suspect they were looking for and, apparently, still decided that infringing on freedom of the press was a good first step.

The situation highlights a broader debate about the federal government's lack of respect for First Amendment rights and media. Under the Trump administration, the DOJ obtained the phone records of reporters from CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. When this was first revealed, President Joe Biden called it "simply, simply wrong."

But once in office, Biden changed his tune.

"Unfortunately, new revelations suggest that the Biden Justice Department not only allowed these disturbing intrusions to continue — it intensified the government's attack on First Amendment rights before finally backing down in the face of reporting about its conduct," Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan wrote in an op-ed published yesterday

...

 

Simply, simply unsurprising.

 

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Feds Seize CNN Reporter's Data, Then Gag CNN
 

Quote

 

On Wednesday, CNN Executive Vice President and General Counsel David Vigilante made a revelation sure to startle those unaware of the state's vast power to not just seize information from journalists but bully their employers into silence about it under penalty of jail time.

"Since July 17, 2020," Vigilante wrote, "I have been bound by a gag order or a sealing order that prohibited me from discussing, or even acknowledging, that the government was seeking to compel the disclosure of the professional email communications of CNN reporter Barbara Starr."

...

The Trump administration launched a crackdown in 2017 against national security-related leaks, an effort that led to the secret seizure of three Washington Post reporters' phone records, which was revealed only last month. In doing so, former President Donald Trump's DOJ prosecutors followed the rules and legal justifications established by their predecessors in the Obama administration, which prosecuted more leakers than every prior presidency combined, even charging Fox News White House chief James Rosen as "at the very least, either…an aider, abettor, and/or co-conspirator."

...

The CNN general counsel seems to think such doubly punitive measures—the seizure, and the stifle—are rare in the journalism and communications world. "I was aware that such secret orders were used by DOJ on matters of national security," he writes. "However, in the 20 years I have been at CNN, we have never been subject to one. That is likely because the law and existing DOJ regulations establish (at least on paper) a very high bar for such an order to be issued directly against a media organization."

Well, not exactly. As Nick Gillespie and I wrote six years ago, "From press accounts of similar actions at other news publications and social media sites, we know that it is increasingly common for the federal government to demand user information from publications and websites while also stifling their speech rights with gag orders and letters requesting 'voluntary' confidentiality."

...

We were then especially conscious of the practice because it had just happened to us. On June 2, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York sent Reason a grand jury subpoena demanding personal information of six people who had left hyperbolic comments about the judge presiding over the controversial federal conviction and sentencing of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht.

The comments ranged from speculative fantasy violence ("judges like these that should be taken out back and shot") to darkly referential humor ("Why waste ammunition? Wood chippers get the message across clearly. Especially if you feed them in feet first"), to 100 percent normal Internet speech ("I hope there is a special place in hell reserved for that horrible woman"). None represented a true threat, yet that's how U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara took it.

From our account

...

We notified our commenters immediately, and less than seven hours later came the gag order, preventing us from discussing even the existence of the original subpoena to any outside third party for the next six months. Because none of the six commenters decided to fight the case, and because successfully challenging such grand jury subpoenas is virtually unheard of, we grudgingly complied with the original government records request. But not before word of Bharara's heavy-handed response leaked out, generating a tremendous amount of media criticism, which surely helped us get the gag order lifted.

...

 

Whaddaya know? The same sort of shit that happened to Reason can and did happen to CNN.

Simply, simply unsurprising.

 

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