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The Internet

Go To Jail For Visiting a Web Site? Top Law Prof Talks Up the Idea (slate.com) 563

David Rothman writes: Eric Posner, the fourth most-cited law professor in the U.S., says the government may need to jail you if you even visit an ISIS site after enough warnings. He says, "Never before in our history have enemies outside the United States been able to propagate genuinely dangerous ideas on American territory in such an effective way—and by this I mean ideas that lead directly to terrorist attacks that kill people. The novelty of this threat calls for new thinking about limits on freedom of speech.

The law would provide graduated penalties. After the first violation, a person would receive a warning letter from the government; subsequent violations would result in fines or prison sentences. The idea would be to get out the word that looking at ISIS-related websites, like looking at websites that display child pornography, is strictly forbidden" There would be exemptions for Washington-blessed journalists and others. Whew! Alas, this man isn't Donald Trump — he is a widely respected University of Chicago faculty member writing in Slate.

Comment Re:I think this is fair. (Score 2) 223

Did you willfully ignore the first part of that post "If ISPs want to function in a way that disregards their common-carrier status,"

If you don't disregard your common carrier status then... etc.

The phone companies have common carrier status, and for the exact hypothetical you posted, keep it that way. Its the ISPs that don't want to be covered under common carrier (for some reason [cough monopolies])

Science

Animal Rights Group Targets NIH Director's Home (sciencemag.org) 222

sciencehabit writes: Late last month, hundreds of people in two Washington, D.C., suburbs received a letter in the mail claiming that one of their neighbors was tied to animal abuse at a government lab. Science has learned that the letters, sent by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), targeted U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins and NIH researcher Stephen Suomi, revealing their home addresses and phone numbers and urging their neighbors to call and visit them. The tactic is the latest attempt by the animal rights group to shut down monkey behavioral experiments at Suomi's Poolesville, Maryland, laboratory, and critics say it crosses the line.
Censorship

National Coalition Calls for Campus Censorship of "Offensive" Speech (washingtonpost.com) 585

schwit1 writes with this opinion piece from Eugene Volokh, who teaches free speech law at UCLA School of Law, about the push to ban "offensive" speech and censor websites on campus. He writes: "A large coalition of advocacy groups has asked the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights to pressure colleges to (1) punish students for their speech and (2) block student access to certain Web sites — especially sites such as Yik Yak, which allow students to anonymously post their views..... Yet another example of today's Anti-Free Speech Movement for American universities — unfortunately, one that fits well into the Education Department's attitudes. Fortunately, courts have firmly rejected these kinds of calls to restrict college student speech, though the OCR and the college administrations it pressures can get away with a lot of restrictions until the lawsuits are actually brought."

Comment Re:Police? (Score 1) 370

This is a legitimate topic of conversation. "No doxxing" rules (and said enforcement) are really a measure of the forum. Is publicly available information 'dox'? Ostensibly yes, but where do you draw the line? Sometimes its hard to say. If someone goes around with a pseudonym all the time, but then files legal papers, are you forbidden from talking about or linking to the documents because it has that person real name and other public info on it? Does it mean you can no longer reference the public record?

Restriction on doxxing appear to exist for the purpose of preventing overly lazy persons from acting badly. However, as above, once you even talk about the existence of a document in the public record all it takes is to be slightly less lazy to find information. How far do you go? You cannot stop bad actors from acting badly.

Comment Re:No thanks (Score 1) 207

Its funny you mention spreadsheet. This whole commentary from this guy very much feels like what it means to poorly grasp a field/ technology.

Back to my analog, people see spreadsheets with data on them, and think "this is how i should interact with data", being (intentionally) ignorant on how data come together for it to be presented to them. And yet they will pass the spreadsheet around via email, oblivious to all the bad info anyone can put in, and when it comes back to them they have giant "?" over there head as to why all the info is now hopelessly broken and unusable.

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