Taoareyou's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the no,-really,-tao-are-you? dept

This week's favorites come from the wonderfully named taoareyou.

While I read almost every post from this blog, the ones that really catch my eye are those involving U.S civil liberties (because I live here, not that I don't take interest in the plight of others). Posts pointing out where government policy and corporate demands are chipping away at our personal freedoms not only expose the erosion of the Constitution in the name of profits and control, but also provide a platform to educate some people about what their rights truly are. That being said, I would like to thank Mike for giving me the opportunity to name my favorite posts from this week.

When Missouri passed a law to ban teachers from having students as friends on social networks, I was disappointed. It meant to me that a significant number of citizens in that state desired to restrict speech for the protection of children despite any evidence that such a restriction would have any effect whatsoever. If a teacher is going to have a secret relationship with a student, they will make a separate account on whatever social networks they want and not be affected at all. The law only prohibited legitimate communications between teachers and students. Giving students additional access to teachers is a good thing. I was pleased to learn the courts blocked the implementation of this law. This gives me hope that such restrictions will not spread to other states or increase in scope (such as a ban on clergy being friends with children in their parishes).

Another topic that troubles me is police arresting people for filming them. Citizens on public property openly recording public employees (really anyone, but especially public employees) are not only within their rights, but their actions can only help police operating within the law. Every video recording made of an arrest could be used as evidence to support an officer if someone were to claim misconduct. I would think an honest officer would be more than happy to be filmed doing their job and doing it well. In fact, such officers have been filmed and they illustrate this point perfectly. Yet there has been a disturbing trend for some law enforcement officers to abuse their authority and to violate the civil rights of citizens by misrepresenting wiretapping and other laws. These are not hidden cameras and the citizens do not conceal the fact that they are openly recording. The major media outlets have been doing video and sound recording on the street for years, often observing law enforcement at the scenes of accidents and crimes. Why is it suddenly a crime for a free citizen to do the same? I was again pleased when I heard an appeals court found the arrest and seizure of property in these cases to be a violation of 1st and 4th amendment rights. I truly hope this is the beginning of the end of this practice.

Finally, a topic I've been following with extreme interest is the ongoing domain seizures by the U.S. government. I'm not a legal expert by any means, which is probably why I cannot fathom how the DOJ can justify these obvious (to me) violations. What saddens me even more is that so many are just rolling over and accepting this without question. The ongoing efforts of Puerto 80 to challenge this police state style activity give me hope that this too will be stopped. If it remains unchecked, there is no reason why they will stop with domains. Could the government take whatever property of yours they want and call it forfeiture, not seizure? Even without charging you with any crimes? That's happening right now.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    blaktron (profile), Sep 3rd, 2011 @ 12:48pm

    Thanks!

    Great read!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    FormerAC (profile), Sep 3rd, 2011 @ 1:51pm

    "Could the government take whatever property of yours they want and call it forfeiture, not seizure? Even without charging you with any crimes? That's happening right now."

    But if you haven't done anything wrong, you don't have any reason to ...

    First they came for the "hackers", and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a "hacker."

    Then they came for the file sharers, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a file sharer.

    Then came for the Gibson guitars, and I didn't speak out because it wasn't my guitar.

    Then they came for the people with video cameras ...

    Who knows what it will be when they come for me ... but I hope there will be someone to speak freely ...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    IronM@sk, Sep 3rd, 2011 @ 7:06pm

    I stopped reading at "clergy".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    BearGriz72 (profile), Sep 3rd, 2011 @ 10:16pm

    Re:

    Why?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Gabe Mc (profile), Sep 3rd, 2011 @ 10:49pm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Lauriel (profile), Sep 3rd, 2011 @ 11:15pm

    Re:


    First they came for the "hackers", and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a "hacker."
    Then they came for the file sharers, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a file sharer.
    Then came for the Gibson guitars, and I didn't speak out because it wasn't my guitar.
    Then they came for the people with video cameras ...
    Who knows what it will be when they come for me ... but I hope there will be someone to speak freely ...


    Well, there might be someone to speak out for you. Unfortunately, it won't be recorded, set to a poignant soundtrack, uploaded and disseminated, so the chances of someone hearing said speech are slim to none..

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2011 @ 11:41pm

    Re:

    So... You think there should be a law against clergy being friends with kids?

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2011 @ 12:03am

    Re:

    I think people don't get the picture because nobody showed them.

    What percentage of Americans are arrested in their lifetime?
    http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/545987.html

    Something between 50% and 90% of people will be arrested in their lifetimes.

    In 2009 alone 13 million arrests of adolescents were made.
    http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/arrests/index.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2011 @ 12:10am

    Re: Re:

    Rob (Eyeborg) Spence will get the video.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2011 @ 1:21am

    Re: Re:

    Any friendlier than just friendly probably is unlawful right now so why more laws?

    Discriminating against a class of people is illegal also not to mention unconstitutional.

    Is that a tricky question?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Sep 4th, 2011 @ 2:24am

    Re: Re:

    Maybe his page didn't load properly. Try hitting F5, IronM@sk.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 4th, 2011 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re:

    No, I think there should be a law against idiocy, but then everyone would be locked up.

     

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  13.  
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    PubWorksTV, Sep 4th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Arrests for video taping- are we in Natzi Germany??

    Police and the militery personnel knowingly violating constitutional rights I thought was a crime.

    Can't they be sued personnally?

     

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  14.  
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    PubWorksTV, Sep 4th, 2011 @ 10:39am

    The Pledge civil and military service as I understand it

    When militery or policy take a pledge it is the Constitution or some defacto representation such as the flag.

    Such personnel once pledged and accepting their roll and compensation should if they knowingly violate the pledge be fired and held to account for the crime of violating citezens rights.

    If that is not the case the government has lost it's moral authority to govern and is a criminal enterprise.

    Seems simple and straight forward to me

     

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  15.  
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    ibaconi (profile), Sep 4th, 2011 @ 3:31pm

    Freedom?

    Freedom always has been somewhat of an illusion, and must be to some extent in a successful social environment. But now it's not even being feigned at. The right to be "accepted", particularly if you are a social outcast, seems to be the only "right" being fought for and protected the by current and recent administrations. The concepts of freedom and responsibility are actually looked down upon, other than the "freedom" to be bizarre and the "responsibility" to accept bizarre behavior. The Constitution is absolutely meaningless except when it can be twisted in some way to back the absolutely unConstitutional principles under current favor. For example "religion", there is absolutely nothing in the constitution separating the state from religion. The constitution simply protects religion and the practice of it from government. There IS NO separation of church and state, only protection of religion from state, but you'd never know that if you didn't simply read the 1st amendment yourself, and keeping your personal prejudices from interpreting what you read. The biggest problem with our government is that it has become a profession. Our legislators are not there to "serve" they are there to be served and this will never work. "A representative republic, IF YOU CAN KEEP IT" There is still hope but the American people have got to extract their heads from their asses and behave with some nobility rather than holding out their hands to Uncle Sam pleading gimme gimme gimme please. Tolerance and support of the so called, underclasses is destroying this country. You find a hell of a lot more people barking about freedom than responsibility, but the one can't exist without the other. The greater the responsibility, the greater the freedom can become.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    ibaconi (profile), Sep 6th, 2011 @ 10:36am

    Don't believe in Stopping!

    I stopped reading at "stopped".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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