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United States

New Cyberlaws 318

It seems the US Government is at it again. The first story discusses a bill passed by the US Senate (but not yet the House) to prevent cybersquatting. Apparently, anyone who registers a domain in bad faith can be hit with a hefty fine. The second is an article at Wired about a new law being pushed that would make it a felony to link to websites which contain information about drugs and "where to buy related paraphernalia".
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New Cyberlaws

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  • Promoting and selling drugs does in no way fall
    into the category of free speech. The day that
    you lose a love one or more due to drug you will
    realize that drugs is an issue that will not go
    away and that we as parents will support our
    government in keeping those drug dealers out
    of business.



    Drug abuse is a medical problem, not a legal problem, and should be dealt with as such. Prohibition has cause more problems than it has solved. (You'd think that we would have learned that lesson in the '20s)

    Yes abuse of certain controlled substances is a problem, but making criminals of the addicted is not the solution. And prohibiting the free flow of information is definately not the solution.



  • Puritanical morals anyone?

    So you're saying it should be illegal for me to take a bong hit/drink a couple beers and then walk down the street? That somehow by doing that I am endangerig the moral fiber of this country? Gimme a break (and some credit)

    (BTW I am all for making it illegal to drive, cars are very deadly)

  • When was the last time you had to pay $8,000+ to hit the delete button in your mail client? Besides, it's not like there aren't ways to avoid getting spammed.
  • According to the linked article, only parked domains which attempt to profit from TRADEMARKED properties are affected. In other words, the government is bending over backwards to protect the interests of IBM, but domain squatters will still be very much in business, making sure that a really nifty common name or phrase (www.sheep.com?) will cost me at least $5,000, the Internet equivalent of paying hundreds of dollars for a front row seat to a PHish concert.

    Feh.

  • >It looks like these US laws took the combined
    >stupidity of both parties to create. Maybe
    >getting the GOP and 'crats to co-operate isn't a
    >good idea... With Canada's multi-party system,
    >we're virtually assured that there will never be
    >co-operation among the politicians...

    I'll skip commenting about encription considering
    that it is not even part of the article we're
    talking about. Big brother issue but nothing
    to do with the current law being proposed.

    This is to protect companies from assholes
    stealing the names for profit. I would like
    them to broaden it to include family names
    as well. So if your name is not Catudal for
    instance you can't get a www.catudal.com place.
    Catudal is my name. In Canada there is a company
    in BC who bought hundreds of French Canadian
    family names for profit. They are another group
    of assholes who should be nailed.

    Your multiparty system is a joke. It means that
    a political party can technically get elected
    with a majority governement with 25% of the vote
    or less in a case where the votes would be equally
    distributed among the different parties. The
    prime minister is the sole ruler of the government
    and the ministers are what we call in French
    "mitaines" with no real power because if they
    do something the prime minister doesn't want
    them to do they are fired promptly. If a member
    of parliament vote against a law that the majority
    of the population is against he may well be voting
    himself out of office as he is overturning the
    government, thus firing himself. There is no
    real guarantee that he'll get reelected for
    his courage as people know damm well that they
    are electing a dictator prime minister and the
    MPS are just numbers to get that moron elected.

    >Seriously, though, linking a crime? Hello, FIRST
    >AMENDMENT! When will people get it that freedom
    >of speech means you can say, write, or type
    >whatever you want, as long as you're not directly
    > violating someone else's rights (i.e. libel).

    Promoting and selling drugs does in no way fall
    into the category of free speech. The day that
    you lose a love one or more due to drug you will
    realize that drugs is an issue that will not go
    away and that we as parents will support our
    government in keeping those drug dealers out
    of business.

    Any law that would prohibit the discussion of
    the issue on the other hand has no chance of
    standing and will sooner or later be made
    null and void. So far I have seen nothing of
    the kind in the new law. In the previous law
    this was different but it was amended so it
    would not violate the constitution.

    The constitution doesn't protect your right
    to use or sell drugs but doesn't prohibit you
    to discuss it. If your web site promotes it's
    use you may fall into a crack where it would
    be possible to assume that you are a drug
    user or drug dealer. Otherwise why would you
    waste your time doing such ridiculous stuff?

    >The cybersquatting thing doesn't scare me quite
    >as much.

    The day your company has it's name stolen by
    some jerk you might change your tune. It is
    no less than robbery for someone to use somebody
    else's name or property name to make profit.

    As for freedom of the press in general
    canada has no lesson to give here. Remember
    that vicious murder in the Hamilton area?
    There was a news blackout in Canada. We were
    able to know about it here in the US but
    canucks were deprived the right to know about
    the whole thing thus giving the chance to
    the killers not to get the right punishment.
    Come to find out that is exactly what happened,
    the ones involved barely got a slapped on the
    hands. The killer convicted should be released
    shortly. Actually, due to the kind of vicious
    crime he did he should never be released except
    for his funeral, actually his ashes should be
    sent to the dump.

  • Or a liberal who's sick of most other liberals' hypocrisy... but yeah, 50% right.
  • I can imagine the popularity of international domains and foreign web servers increasing if the government manages to get this one through... Then they'd have to start banning *looking*. Silliness.

    BTW, does anyone know if there's even an Internet savvy board or committee? Not to knock our representatives and senators, but I bet I know more about this shit than they do.
  • (sure this is a tired old joke, but somebody had to say it.)
    ...if the anti-drug bill actually passes, somehow I have a feeling Clinton will veto... even if he didn't inhale. ;-)
  • Well, as long as you're going down, how about linking some neat drug-related sites for us?
    Here's a few:

    Jolt [joltcola.com]
    INFACT Homepage [infact.org]
    Altavi sta: Simple Query "drug related" [altavista.com]

    This was just a lazy search for sites. I'm sure there are plenty of drug or paraphenalia related [absolutcollectors.com] web sites around.
  • The title pretty much says it all. I'm not sure what can be done to truly deter spam, though. This bill about cybersquatting is probably a good idea...

    --Lenny
  • By keeping that from happening there is less
    chances for that fucked up person to kill
    in order to get his fix.

    Considering that most killings are drug related,
    reducing the use of drug can limit the number
    of killings. If the killings were only of other
    morons this might be an acceptable route but
    this isn't the case. We often see good law
    abiding citizens being robbed and/or killed
    for drug money.

    There are countless number of good people who
    lose their sons or daugthers due to a drug
    addiction which is often hard to prevent with
    the fucked up school system with no discipline.
  • Oh, knock off the trolling. Republicans have practically nothing in common with Libertarians, as their philosophy is completely different. As for the handful of Libertarians who have run as Republicans, well, there are about as many who have run as Democrats.

    --
    Interested in XFMail? New XFMail home page [slappy.org]
  • We often see good law abiding citizens being robbed and/or killed for drug money.

    we also often see "good law abiding citizens" being robbed and/or killed for food money. Food is EVIL. Let's outlaw it.

    You ignorant fuck. Robbing and killing are illegal in and of themselves. There is no need to prosecute the people who are "good law abiding citizens" except for their drug habits. That is the only effect of having laws specifically against drug use. The people who also commit other crimes can easily be prosecuted for those crimes.

  • CAUTION: Political advocacy below. (Sorry, but the constant attacks on our freedoms are just getting too out of hand to stay silent)

    By repeatedly voting for Republicans and Democrats, the American people have advocated this kind of war on the Constitution. And everyone here that has continued to vote for members of these two parties is a co-conspirator.

    The *only* way you're going to stop this rush towards fascism is to stop voting for these fools, and to start voting Libertarian [lp.org], and to get your friends to do the same. Even if you don't support every Libertarian position, you will at least begin to counter-balance the always-pro-regulation fascists who infest our governments.

    As one prominent Libertarian likes to say:

    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.

    Insanity is defined as expecting different results from the same actions. Currently, the voting public is displaying insanity.

    Stop it now. Start the change.

    Thank you for this opportunity to advocate. Now back to your regular /. discussion

    --
    Interested in XFMail? New XFMail home page [slappy.org]

  • I figured it was just pessimism on the rise. After you see so many stupid bills become law, and notice the chance a given bill has to pass into law is inversely proportionate to its Stupidity Factor, you just gradually stop trying to get your hopes up that something will make sense, and call bills law. Chalk it up to Murphy's Bill.
  • As for SB1428 (the drug paraphernalia one), anyone have any good links while it's still grandfathered in? Remember, they can't pass an ex post facto law, so get those links on now, kiddies
  • Alright, I neither drink nor take any non-perscription drugs. However, that's not to say I haven't been interested in these things before. The way I see it, one should be able to evaluate both sides of an argument before coming to a conclusion.

    Now, obviously, drugs are, by and large, a bad influence on many of the people who use them, and (the real problem) the neighbourhood or area where they're being dealt. However, why shouldn't I be able to find out that if I take LSD, I can have some pretty amazing hallucinations - but, that if I take LSD, I will never be able to be a surgeon, because of the possibility of LSD flashbacks? Why shouldn't I be able to find out the pros and cons? After all, if drugs are so bad, obviously the cons will outweigh the pros, won't they?

    The bottom line is, the US government wouldn't even think about banning articles in magazines or newspapers dealing with drugs. Why is it OK to stop people from disseminating information on drugs on the web?

  • The ACLU, like many other organizations, believes that its main tenets do have a moral basis. Their ethos is based on the belief that freedom of conscience should be absolute.

    School prayers seems to be a flashpoint for many, and some might argue that the freedom of religion dictates that religious expression be allowed. The establishment clause, however, dicatates that no religion shall be established.
    In many localities, tacit support is given to "student-initiated" religious activity by some groups (particularly christaian evangelicals), while no support, or active resistance is presented to adherants of other religions.

    Another flashpoint is the display of "The Ten Commandments" in publically funded institutions. While it may be argued that these commandments represent an basis for morality, they do notserve as the basis for all moralities. Several of the commandments deel with specifically religious issue, and some would argue the ten commandments are superceded by the Christian doctrines of the new covenant and the Great Commandment.

    It ma
  • (Damn, I was so close to getting the first post.) What the hell is this country coming to? This smacks of censorship. What happened to free speech? I don't give a rat's ass about drug paraphenalia, but I support the right to discuss it on the web if you really want to. Whay are we afraid of knowledge? Are our leaders so moronic that they really think this would make a difference in the already-lost "war on drugs"? Once again, this is an example of Congress doing something for the sake of doing something, not because it would be effective. Idiots. I become more disgusted with this country every day... and yes it is better than most, but I fear the path that we are taking leads to someplace decidedly repressive... So the question is, what do we do about it? I suggest we start by letting our leaders know how moronic these ideas are.

    --"A man's Palm is his best friend."
  • And of course, if they're homeless, they should try to spend their money on something worthwhile (letting getting some place to live?) instead of getting high!

  • There is a meta-topic that I've become increasingly concerned with in recent years. The topic is the apparent willingness of our legislators to not head the Consititution of this country in preparing bills which in many cases then become law. The Supremes frequently strike down the stupider ones, but they should never have been called upon to do so. A great example is the CDA. Everyone knew it would never fly before it was passed and then signed. But the congress knew that they could pass the law, get some "I'm for the children" votes at the next election, and just let the Supremes clean up their act for them. Clinton could have just vetoed the bill to save time and money of course, but (a) he too likes the "I'm for the kids" votes, and (b) the presidency has an ever longer and more prestigious history of violating the constitution. Ok, so the CDA gets struck down, just as everyone expects. Not a month later, CDA-2 is proposed. Again, everyone knows it's a constitutional obscenity. Again, everyone wants the "I'm for the kids" votes, and everyone votes for it. Again, millions in tax dollars are going to be spent in cancelling it in court. This is just one example. There are many, many, many more. What recourse do the people have when their elected representatives waste time and tax dollars legislating "feel good" laws that are blatantly illegal? Wait till the next election and throw out the bums? We all know that just doesn't happen. On the drug link law, Feinstein's not up again until 2004 -- who the fuck is going to remember this then? By 2004, the law will have been overturned by the courts for a good 3 or so years. Probably Feinstein will be in the news talking about her stance on abortion, and about how she loves being a woman, and doing ads on TV for breast cancer stamps to get the women's vote, and then whoring herself on the technology circuit and in Hollywood, getting all the rich people to stoke her coffers so she can't lose. And what's the alternative anyway? A nazi^H^H^H^Hrepublican like Micheal Huffington, her last serious opponent? Please. So can we sue our government for wasting time and money? Has anyone else ever thought of that? Suing to recover wasted tax dollars, not from the government, but by holding the individual legislators responsible. It might be a bit harder to fund that TV election campaign if you're having to siphon funds off to pay down your civil rights abuse judgement. It's not some unseen "government" that's abusing my constitutional right to (a) publish information about whatever I damned well like, and (b) link to other people's sites that I either agree or disagree with. It's not "the man"; it's not "the republicans" or "the democrats". It's individuals. Individuals who are certainly smart enough to know that what they're doing is both illegal and just plain wrong. Diane Feinstein, Orrin Hatch, I'm coming after *you*. You personally, not at the polls, but in civil court. If you repress me, and illegally attempt over and over to take away my rights under the constitution, I will do something about it.
  • Each person decides whether he is a victim or not. Obviously, you are too complacent to take any action. Perhaps others are not..
  • I'll have to take down all my Amsterdam links

    That's right - and what about all the online travel agencies promoting travel to Holland?

    I wonder what the law would do about a link to a page telling Californians about the requirements to qualify for medical marijuana. Especially if that was a California-approved page...

    I can't wait for some serious, Supreme Court, rulings on the first amendment and the net. Not that I'm all that sure they'll get it right (you know, how I see it...)

  • These articles come on the heels of the article about Ontario (Canadian province) promoting public use of encryption. Could it be that Canada's government (well, OK, Ontario's) has finally gotten a clue (while the US is still looking)?

    It looks like these US laws took the combined stupidity of both parties to create. Maybe getting the GOP and 'crats to co-operate isn't a good idea... With Canada's multi-party system, we're virtually assured that there will never be co-operation among the politicians...

    If only we could get the Canadian government to stop taking your first-born as income tax, and get tech wages here up to more than Silicon Valley janitors make...

    Seriously, though, linking a crime? Hello, FIRST AMENDMENT! When will people get it that freedom of speech means you can say, write, or type whatever you want, as long as you're not directly violating someone else's rights (i.e. libel). The cybersquatting thing doesn't scare me quite as much.

    Score two for us Canucks...
  • There have been numerous people posting questions asking what they hope to accomplish, and why on earth people would focus on this, knowing they can't hope to control all the information on the internet. The cold hard honest answer, is that it is the thrashings of a doomed, failing policy-making body.

    For close to a full century, there has been a pointless persecution of marijuana. Why didn't we learn the lesson from the 20s and the prohibition era? Prohibition simply doesn't work.

    The point is, the whole "war on drugs" is a bogus, hopeless cash-cow which has reached far beyond the end of its usefulness. Look at murder rates for this century -- they parellel the level of fanatacism in "ridding" our streets of these substances.

    It's not working. But the current regieme of the hyprocritcal white male bastard cannot admit that it has spend a century doing something it cannot do -- so you see even more gregious violations of our basic freedoms in the name of "protecting" us from ourselves. This is just one in a long line of ever-more outrageous assaults, all in the name of the 'war on drugs'.

    And it's all become one mammoth cash-cow now. How many people are on the payroll simply to keep me from putting substances in my body? It's in all their interest to keep things the way they are, even if it means ever more eroding of our freedoms (hey, it goes right in hand with what the FBI is trying to do, cool!), more people clogging up our prisons, more people getting their guts blasted out whiles the pigs are out arresting people for smoking weed, more of everything we need to do away with.

    It's also a strike against the internet. The 19th century beaurocracies of might and steel fear the internet, because they cannot control the flow of information, so all their best-laid iron fist plans get destroyed. It's a fear, and a hatred, which they cannot tolerate -- the government must put it's greedy fist all over the internet, so it can continue to control the minds of the populace.

    He who controls information, controlls the past, present, and future. And they don't want it in our hands.

    Two instances in one case of the death throes of a system that will soon perish. I'll be the first to put 'em up against the wall when the time comes.
  • It's a tough call.

    In that case, yeah that's factual news reporting, and that's okay. But things get murky when the factual news reporting is 'Tony P. at 123 Main St. is selling controlled substances. He's there 9 to 5, and is happy to give you the first hit free.'

    This is why we have the judicial system, to hash out a legal decision on this (because unless you are involved in a case related to it, your opinions don't do much)

    I don't like limiting my freedom of speech but using it to commit a crime is generally considered a criminal act. It is not freedom of speech to give a bank teller a stickup note, for instance.
  • What's the difference between option A and B? It seems to me that option A leads directly to B, in which case option B is not actually "bullshit," but the result of meaningful opinion. Now, to stick my tongue out to all of you who say the Bible is completely useless (btw, there's an extreme duality here, some say its a magic book full of all knowledge, and others say it isn't worth the bookmark that comes with it; I disagree with both), there's a quote somewhere in there dealing with this. Something to the effect of "raise a child in the way that he should go, and all his life he shall not depart from it." Now, I do believe this is true, you know, that parents have a direct influence on a child's future. Considering that, if a child is raised "in an environment that encouraged individualism, intelligence, and free thought," I'd expect that to lead to a child more likely to say "you can't control me." Right? But of course, we can't have teenagers running about saying what they think, property is to be seen and not heard. Maybe I'm wrong, and they will live "happy socially constructive lives and generally doing their best to help forward Hassan." I don't know, that's my take on it at least.
  • Please don't. I like the few thousand km of salt water between the USA and the Netherlands.
  • Do I see a coney hat with eyeholes in it in your future? Heh.
  • if it would be illegal to link to a links page. I'm not american, and I can link to whatever I want. pretty easy to set up a links to all kind of marihuana related pages, including a few about the use of marihuana in medicine. Ofcourse, this information would be illegal too, can't have people know about new medicines/painkillers.and where would the line be drawn? if it's accepted as a medicine, you can link to it? well.. in that case.. link to marihuana all you like. in several countries it's accepted as a medicine. furthermore, marihuana is kinda legal in the netherlands. (strange situation, takes a bit to explain) wanna link to a marihuana site? get a dutch account somewhere.. there's enough of them about :)
  • yeah its too late to salvage the system we have now
    I couldn't have said it better myself
  • I was talking about Canada ( 52 % )

  • Maybe now is a good time to mention the Libertarian party [libertarian.org].

    After I've watched our government attempt to take literally every freedom they can away from me, I made a stand and became a card-carrying Libertarian. The name alone means the world to me, "Libertarian." Liberty. I wish I knew what it was like.

    I will vote a straight Libertarian ticket from this point on, and do everything I can to promote the freedom that this country was built on. Our founding fathers would be rolling in their graves if they knew what the country their brothers died fighting to create had turned into. And our greedy politicians (with their own, personal agendas) are only too happy to increase the RPM of their spinning.

    "The essential principles of our Government... form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty and safety." --Thomas Jefferson, 1st Inaugural Address, 1801.

    Politics has become a game all of its own, where the people we elect either don't feel they can, or simply don't, vote to protect what truly made American special in years past. Some of the ideas the Libertarian party present scared me a bit, at first; some of the Libertarian ideals may scare you at first. Really think about it, though. Is there ANYTHING you can think of that you think the government can handle better than you, yourself?

    Obviously, defending our borders is not a one-man job. But, the Libertarians allow for National Defense. The Libertarians do NOT allow for offensives that take our resources and cause national attention to be focused on us (can you say Yugoslavia?)

    But, do you think you know better how to spend the money they take for income tax? Imagine what you could do with the money that gets taken out of each and every check you've busted your butt to earn. Imagine if that went into investments, instead. Think you'd be able to pay for all your children's education, privately? Not a problem.

    Do you think you know better whether or not you should take drugs into your body? Do you want the violence in your neighborhood to go away, because now you can buy pot, crack, and meth at Eckerds or Revco. Prices go down, violence stops (because dealers are no longer protecting their territories), and the only people who use are the people who choose to. Kind of like smoking, now. And we can EDUCATE those people, just as we are doing and have done with tobacco; it's not as "cool" to smoke as it used to be, because people know it's stupid.

    Certainly, the government doesn't know how to censor yourself or your children better than you. Every time we turn around they are making more and more choices for us on what can and cannot be allowed to fall into our vision.

    Perhaps the most telling thing for me is the symbol of the Libertarian party: The Status of Liberty. Much better than an Ass and an Elephant.

    "Give me liberty, or give me death."

    --Xar
  • I read that the whole "reefer madness" thing was sponsored by a logging company...
    Haven't done the research myself, but I've read that it was W.R. Hearst's publishing empire behind it. He'd invested a lot in vertical integration (wooded land, pulp mills) and didn't want the competition from hemp-hurd paper. If you are interested in the sources, check out Hemp for Victory by Jack Herer.
  • I finally heard the second part of the quote "A conservative is a liberal that's just been mugged." It says that "a liberal is a conservative that's just been arested."

    I guess "a libertarian is a conservative that's just fed up."

  • Cut down most of the trees? Excuse me? The Great Plains hadn't had trees for thousands of years; between grazing buffalo and fires, woody plants couldn't survive. Besides, the shift of tornados to the east (hitting more highly-populated areas than usual) in the past few years has occurred despite a trend toward increased forestation; twisters are created high in the sky from high-intensity storms, not on the ground. The agent responsible is Mother Nature, not man.
  • Obviously you wanna do drugs. Do it. Get the fuck out of this country and go to Europe and you will be able to fuck yourself over as many times as possible.

  • The crime strawman is one of my favorites. What they (proponants of the war on drugs) fail to mention is that the crime is caused by the drug laws. If heroine, crack, etc.. were cheap, they'd just do their drugs until it killed them, and not bother with crime to support an expensive habit (and still do their drugs till it kills them).

    Prohibition was proven a failure in the '20s. Why do we keep wasting public funds on this nonsense?

  • You know well I didn't mean pot.
    I meant hard drugs like heroin and related shit.
    If you were doing those for 5 years I doubt you wold be able to make "a very good living programming"
  • ACLU is like fricking censorship. Really. Anything, absolutely anything that might possibly offend somebody else is regarded as a threat to liberty etc ...
    We will end up with society where everybody is to afraid to say anything even remotely controversial in a fear that ACLU and others might go after him.
    Do you want that ?
  • Perhaps
    * If allowed to stand, such would set precedents that would make further bizarre laws easier to pass.

    * The sponsors of the bills think that they'll get 'em votes, particularly given that there's a strange level of "for-the-children"-is going on right now.

    * Ending the "war on drugs" would be a serious admission of either the impossibility of prohibition, or possibly the wrongheadedness of trying. {shrug}

    Hmmm. Governments do benefit from the forfeiture laws, 'tho, as do people who buy off the confiscated property...
  • Prisons ain't cheap. "Cheap prison labour" ain't gonna happen in the US, unless they go Gulag-style or something like that. Plenty of white folks in jail for drug violations, also...

    Money might be involved in that cocaine and heroin dealers tend to contribute less than alcohol concerns, 'tho -- alcohol also benefits from the fact that we tried already to ban it and failed, miserably.

    There's a strong contingent of people who come from the "it's bad for you, it's bad for society, ergo it's now illegal" school. That, and inertia, are probably among the biggest reasons why the "drug war" is continuing. That, and the fact that other countries tend to ask the US for help in this regard.
  • Sen. Feinstein has had a tendency to sponsor nonsense like this, and I guess the main reason she keeps getting elected in spite of this stupidity is both voter apathy and the fact that her Republican opposition is usually worse. It's a sad state of affairs.

    If this thing does become law, I think somebody should set up some offshore web page with some information deemed to be illegal, while not something terribly offensive (maybe something like a technical description of a water pipe -- better yet, find a patent on something like that in IBM's patent database, or find some other gov't document with similar info) then everybody can put a very innocent looking link on their pages to that "illegal" info. That's a slightly more active form of civil disobendience than yet another colored ribbon gif.

  • Actually, most drugs are not terribly lethal. If they were they would be simple poison. most deaths on drugs are due to uncertain supply quality.
    For some things (e.g. opiates) this is true. However, some stimulants appear to have toxic effects even when they're pure; crank seems to drive people psychotic. This may be for no other reason than that they don't get any REM sleep, but the fact remains.

    I've read that long-term use of MDMA can cause neurological damage. This does make it a poison, albeit a very pleasant one. This puts me, a serious small-l libertarian, in a bind. On the one hand, I don't want the government throwing people in prison for doing things that are their own business. On the other hand, I don't want anyone peddling stuff that's inherently damaging, or is un-tested. We have enough trouble with people dying from the FDA-approved stuff, let alone the ones crippled by stuff like fen-phen.

    One thing for sure, neither Feinstein nor Hatch have any business trying to revoke the First Amendment for the things they don't like. I think the next Amendment should attack the problem of knowingly pushing laws which violate the Constitutional rights of the People; the legislators should be barred from holding public office for ten years to life. That'll put the kibosh on this stupidity.

  • || But don't you even *think* of
    || infringing on my First Amendment
    || rights or trying to get government
    || influence on the 'Net to save me
    || from them.


    Neither you nor anyone else have a right...

    Dude, he agreed with you. Yeah, he didn't like drugs. Fine. That's what we call a 'different opinion'. Deal with it. Just don't jump all over him on the 1stAmendment thing because he said your drugs were bad.

    It's kinda hard to see from atop that high-horse, huh?
    (Pun intended)
  • So, what happens when you link to a site on Geocities, and it gets replaced with a new site that has information on selling drugs? Also, what about search engines? They may go happily along linking to these sites. Will AltaVista suddenly be responsible for filtering these out of their database?

    --

    "To do what ought to be done, but would not have been done unless I did it, I thought to be my duty"

  • But the question is : do you want somebody else to decide what is the best way to spend your money ?

    If I need to use public transport I will pay for it - the same goes for healt care. But if I don't why should I be forced to ?
  • Who benefits from the war on drugs? Well, drugs and/or alcohol were involved in about a third of all violent crimes last year, or maybe the year before. Any politician who is tough on other people's drugs can be considered a "good guy" and is immediately elected and reelected. Of course booze won't be mentioned in any big tirades against crime (unless consumed by a teenager), they contribute too much money to the Republican/Democrat Pary. Which brings us to the second beneficiary. Legal drugs. Tobacco and alcohol corporations benefit, they're "okay." Pharmacudical/chemical interests also benefit. Actually, I read that the whole "reefer madness" thing was sponsored by a logging company, because hemp paper was better than tree paper, and they had extensive deforestation rights. I haven't been able to check on that tho. And of course, the CIA can keep selling the illegal stuff [cia.gov]. ;)
  • I see two choices, either start a revolution or leave the system. The first will be probably be as you described;

    'I hope we can get rid of these fuckwads peacefully. I'd hate to have the streets run red with blood, but that sort of thing may be necessary. I'm not optimistic though. This one saying keeps coming back to me... "It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."'

    The second could be here:
    http://www.freedomship.com/
  • With all this said I have but one thing left to say...VOTE GADDAMMIT!

    Ok, I'd love to vote. If there was only someone worth voting for, I would definitely cast my vote for them. I don't trust the senators from my state, Phil Gramm and Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX), any farther than I can throw them. They're both into all sorts of screwed up deals. Gramm is chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, as well as being on the Budget Committee and Finance Committee. He knows where the money is. I've read some of his debates about the budget. This guy has some screwed up thinking. Until you realize that he's not really working for the voters.

    Their Democratic opponents aren't any more appealing. Third party voting is practically hopeless. This is probably the reason we can't get a better election system set up. The current one strongly favors the two established parties. Running a campaign, getting on the ballot, getting into debates, etc. is all very difficult and costly. It will likely only become moreso.

    I'd love to see someone else get elected. Someone who might actually stand up for people's rights and not play political games. Ain't gonna happen anytime soon unless things change though. You can't get anything done in Washington without playing their Congresscritter games.

  • We often see good law abiding citizens being robbed and/or killed for drug money.

    Drugs are expensive because they are illegal. How often do you hear about a shootout over a cigarette or beer deal? Legalise the drugs, and that's how often you will hear about drug related killings.

    Consider that in the '20s when alcohol WAS illegal, there were alcohol related shootings with innocent people caught in the crossfire.

    It would be easier to get treatment for a drug problem if the simple act of saying "Please help me with my drug problem" wasn't an admission to a crime.

  • If you are concerned about your civil liberties being chipped away by the government, who wants to "protect the children" or some such nonsense, and furthermore seems to think that we're ALL children, the least you can do is voice your opinion. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is one of the major proponents of this bill. WRITE or call and let her know what you think about The Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act [loc.gov].

    (from http://feinstein.senate.gov/cal ifornia_offices.html [senate.gov])
    This is her SAN FRANCISCO office, for other offices follow the above link.
    Jim Lazarus, State Director
    525 Market Street, Suite 3670
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    415/536-6868

    You Utah-ites (Utahns? Utonions? Utizens?) can call up Orrin Hatch and give him a piece of your mind too.
  • Ahhhh, Feinstein. The same Senator who appeared lately on... _Dateline_, was it? defending her role in the "Assault Weapons ban" that was based on specific features (such as flash suppressors, folding stock, etc), and who labelled every attempt to redesign thusly-banned weapons to comply as "craven".

    But you'll find plenty of anti-drug people on both sides of the aisle, methinks. Remember the Reagan years, and the "Just Say No" campaign?
  • Oh well... If that post violates the law, then so will hundreds of others, say any post linking to the New York Times, which also presents drug news regularly.

    This law will not pass, & if it does, will be overturned in all of about 5 minutes.

    I wonder, has anyone asked themselves why our government seems so intent on passing laws that are blatantly unconstitutional? This is just the latest in a long string of these laws lately, such as the law allowing the ten commandments in schools.

    It's somewhat ironic that the republicans are the ones screaming "Tax Cut!", but they are the ones responsible for nearly all of the waste when it comes to passing unconstitutional laws (each of which costs taxpayers many millions of dollars).
  • That's really odd.

    The ACLU defended the American Nazi Party's right to stage a march in Illinois. They've defended the Ku Klux Klan on numerous occassions. Those are two pretty offensive groups IMHO, but they have just as much a right to speak freely and assemble as anyone else.

    The idea is that in order to protect our freedoms, they have to be protected for everyone. Otherwise the door is opened for muting minorities and the unpopular.

    Would you have blacks be denied their civil liberties because whites don't like them? Catholics being denied the right to worship? Windows users burning Linux in the streets?

    The way I see it, the ACLU is more about abolishing censorship than promoting it. Even though they aid groups that would like to get rid of our freedom, they're entitled to as much freedom as anyone else.
  • This law is bullshit. So is the drug war. Here is some truth.

    Genealogy of the Drug War [csun.edu]

    End the Fucking Drug War [csun.edu]

    I will gladly flout the law by keeping these pages up if it does ever pass.

  • "Did the creators of the link law ever stop to think about people with so called 'free for all' link pages? Or how about when someone has a link and the
    content of the site being linked to changes? So because someone puts up something that I may or may not approve of I get the jail sentence?? Sounds
    like someone needs to pull their head out of their rear and get a kl00."


    Thank you for saying this, this needs to be addressed before something like this could ever be enforceable. Would an AC posting an URL to /. be guilty of a felony b/c someone posted an URL? Or any site that allows posting of URLs... could the site itself be sued?

    Not to mention that this has no bearing at all outside the US!!! If I link to a page that links to a page that links to a page with that info, am I in the bad? If those sites aren't in the US, it doesn't really matter, does it? Scary stuff indeed... thank the gods this isn't actually a law yet.
  • Part of my original message was sarcastic (especially the part about it being impossible for Canada's parties to co-operate). Still, your response shows your ignorance of the Canadian political system and of the US Constitution.

    >Your multiparty system is a joke. It means that
    >a political party can technically get elected
    >with a majority governement with 25% of the vote

    It is possible for a President to be elected in the US with less than 50% of the popular vote (his opponent can even get more votes and lose)--ever heard of the electoral college? If a Canadian party wins less than 50% of the seats, they must form a minority (coalition) government with another party. This usually results in a government that actually does what the people want, and doesn't make too many stupid laws. True, Canada does have more severe party discipline than the US. Of course, your President just has people rubbed out if they piss him off (Vincent Foster, Ron Brown, Gary Parks...) :-)

    >This is to protect companies from assholes
    >stealing the names for profit. I would like
    >them to broaden it to include family names
    >as well.

    So what happens if I change my last name to Microsoft? Seriously, though, domain names are a commodity. Let the free market decide what they're worth.

    >Promoting and selling drugs does in no way fall
    >into the category of free speech.

    Linking to the site is an entirely different thing. I look at links as giving someone directions. If you ask me for drugs and I sell them to you, I've broken the law. If you ask me for drugs and I tell you that a penguin named Tux who lives in Finland sells heroin-doped herring, I haven't committed a crime. Just imagine the next step for this law... Linking to strong encryption sites could become high treason... This is not a good precedent.

    About the high taxes here--yes, they suck. Paying over half your income to the government is akin to slavery. True, we get medicare for some of that money, but I'd rather decide for myself what I'm going to spend my cash on. There is some hope--Alberta and Ontario have taken big steps towards reducing the tax load.

    Finally, it's not that cold here! Sometimes I think Americans get confused because Canada's weather is always reported in Celsius, which sounds a lot colder... Where I live in Canada, the temperature almost never drops below 20 F (-7 C) in the winter, and usually stays around a comfortable 70 to 85 F (21 to 30 C) in the summer. Yes, the Yukon and North West Territories are cold (but then Hillary Clinton thinks the Yukon is part of the US, and Alaska is just as cold).
  • hmmm... Well, you seem to be implying then that prescription drugs are more dangerous than illicit drugs, which is probably an overgeneralization. But to make that determination, wouldn't you have to take the ratio of the number of illicit drug users compared to the number of illicit drug user deaths, and do the same for prescription drugs/prescription drug deaths? I think that would be an oversimplification too, you'd have to take usage habits into consideration, too. Perhaps you should say instead that prescription drugs kill more people because of poor usage habits that aren't really talked about because precription drug companies are "okay." You know what I mean. "I have a bad headache, so instead of taking two asprine like the bottle says, i'll take seven, and wash it down with a few glasses of brandy, and take some Tums, the magic ones with Holy Calcium of the Ages (tm) included for fat people in commercials, to calm my stomache after eating those herbal and vitamin supplements on an empty stomache." Just a thought.

    Also, about nine years ago, when I was in sixth grade, during one of those DARE-esque "special" classes in school where they interrupt science or math class to talk about drugs (i'm sure that's why US math and science scores are down - they interrupt class for a different indoctrination period), I asked the teacher what the most dangerous illegal drug was, and he completely freaked out. Complete change in demeanor and an expression of what I assume was shock. He spent something like ten minutes assuring me that all drugs were created equal, and were therefore equally dangerous. He almost pleaded for me to believe it. It was very odd. So, Mr. Chipka, maybe next time I WILL teach class..
  • But because of pot's extreme illegality, people are less likely to do dumb things (which generally involves leaving the living room couch) like driving or operating heavy machinerey.

    The solution is to make driving or operating heavy machinery on pot illegal. As it is now, just smoking it in your living room is illegal, driving is no more illegal (though it IS more dangerous).

    Overly restrictive laws don't turn people into puritans (or responsible adults), they just diminish respect for law.

  • Actually one of the bill's two sponsors is Senator Diane Feinstein, a Democrat from California.
  • Dianne Feinstein has shown in recent years that the old axiom is true: the better of two evils is still evil.

    *sigh*
  • Part of the problem with suing the government is that the government must consent to be sued.
    It's part of the original Constitution. I guess the purpose is to prevent
    frivolous lawsuits from tying up the business of government -- if not,
    I've always wondered what was the purpose of that part.

    I don't know if that applies to Congresscritters individually.
  • Actually, according to Feinstein, it's not okay to bear arms either. But that's a whole different can of worms.
  • an intern giving a married man a blowjob is somehow more offensive and perverse than a teenager humping a pie?

    Sure, the teenager didn't betray his family or lie to the entire population of the U.S.

  • I'm not sure how you could possibly pass a law saying information is illegal. Sure, it's been done before in special circumstances -- but nothing like this.

    What I find insulting is that it will be illegal for me to link to a drug-related site (apparently, even if the site isn't located in the US), yet it's acceptable for a police officer to come into my sixth-grade class and tell us that drugs are bad, but then proceed to tell us how to do them safely. And on top of that show us what a crack-pipe and bong look like, not to mention photos of tar-heroine, marijuana, etc.

    Finally, how can they make linking to information (or providing that information directly) illegal when I can go downtown to two of the most popular music stores in Portland and see them selling pipes, lighters, paper-rolls, etc -- right from the display cases next to the tee-shirts and collars?

    What's next? Criminalizing talking about it? Or even criminalizing talking about criminalizing it?

    [paranoia] One sure thing is that the best way to prevent change is by preventing discussion. Just imagine what it will be like when they silence discussing politics and sharing political information? [/paranoia]
    ---
    seumas.com

  • Not to mention the fact that said teenager was a figment of somebody's imagination, later filmed as a actor in a studio.

  • Leader of the free world starts to sound stupider and stupider (yes, I know...) as I see more legislation like this being passed (halfway) and more clueless controllig politicians.

  • Speaking as a California resident who voted for ANYone else, Diane Feinstein isn't happy with anything she can't personally control, and the Net? a wilderness of anarchists, dope dealers, sex offenders, tax evaders -- can't have any of THAT going on, NOOOO!!

    The obvious way to invalidate a law against linking to "paraphenelia" sites is for some cloutful outfit like -- oh, say the NYTimes to have such a link. The little guy like you and me can be stomped into silence, but I'd like to see the gov't try to take on the major print press -- no one else is so well equipped to demonstrate the stupidity and futilty of such a ridiculous law.

    If PRO is the opposite of CON, what's the opposite of Progress??
  • yeah, I knew feinstein, a democrat, was the co-author of the "link to drugs and go to prison" bill. I didn't switch my flag from the republican to the democrat side, by any means, that's like jumping out of the frying pan and into the 4e7 K core of any various blue giant star. Right now, my flag of political alignment belongs to no one party. Not anymore. I'll never vote along party lines. But, as americans, we don't get much of a choice in these virtual puppet elections, do we? Hmmm...

  • Why are we still wasting money on these pointless laws? Who benefits from the war on drugs?

    I tend to believe that drugs are illegal because they might expose someone to facets of reality which aren't broadcast on the officially sanctioned reality channels (ie, television). That might lead to individuality and free thought and we sure can't have that, now can we?

    PeeWee

  • Exactly. How is it that the "We need more jails for all our prisoners" arguments never quite crosses with the "We need more laws to control the criminals" philosophy.

    More laws = more criminals. I'd like to see a study on 1)how many jailed criminals are there for possession/sale of controlled substances. and 2) how many jailed criminals are there for crimes committed obtaining money to buy said controlled substances.

    Making things illegal makes them expensive. It DOES NOT NOR EVER WILL make them impossible to get. As Governer Ventura put it "as long as there is a demand there will be a supply." The only way to make progress is to attack they demand. I think that would work with a better presentation of the facts and the realities of drug use, not trying to destroy those facts as this legislation would attempt.

    Personally I'd like to see all drugs legalized, and then controlled either through licensed distributors and licensed buyers (make them controlled not illegal) or some other "so crazy it just might work" idea, maybe after taking classes and signing a waiver (i.e. "I hereby do take responsibility for my own actions and the consequences thereof.)

    Anybody who has read about or is familiar with the criminalization of marijuana would know what a complete farce it was. "Marijuana freak goes on killing rampage in suburban school" That's how they scared people into criminalization. This is possible only by CONTROLLIG THE INFORMATION about such activities.

    With all this said I have but one thing left to say...VOTE GADDAMMIT! (know where you stand and don't be afraid to stand your ground)

  • dont let it happen.

    lest the thought police come after you
    or our govt. becomes like the chineese govt.

    yes this is a brash statement. the FIRST AMMENDMENT may well be our most precious right.

    wonder if this means ill have to do political shit. i hate politics and all that shit...
    maybe ill just tell the hyper liberal hippies
    i went to collage with... they seem to like all
    that....
  • Since crypto is a munition, should we defend the
    right to encryption on Second Amendment grounds? :)
  • That's nuts. I can understand a law against posting where to purchase drugs, as that could tie in with the selling of them. (not that I really care if people darwin themselves, just that telling people where to go to purchase contraband is related to selling the contraband)

    Other information about drugs however, and the *linking* to that information, should remain legal. I have few doubts that this law will be upheld given how it violates some of the rights granted by the first amendment. Anyone know what the ACLU's said?
  • Watch out for the day it'll be a felony to link to Slashdot !



    If the link law passes, then it'll be illegal to link to this discussion.



    PeeWee

  • I agree, no way would a law like this stand up in courts. It would just prove annoying for some time and could put some people out of business. (the lag time from passing the law to it being ruled unconstitional). I am curious as to who, in particular, thinks that proposing these types of laws is thier duty.
  • Troll or stupid, can't tell....

    I'm sure the Bar Association of America (or it's real world equivelent) would love such legislation.
  • If I won't be able to link to these sites, I'll have to take down all my Amsterdam links (cuz you can buy the "stuff" there).


    Remove all my gardening links (cuz I could use that information to grow the "stuff", plus it might contain the words 'growing' and 'pot').


    Take down any link which may contain references to hydroponics and wide-spectrum lighting (cuz I might use that information also for growing "stuff").


    I'd also have to remove the link to Crack.LinuxPPC.Org [linuxppc.org]


    Could I leave the link to a page entitled "Methamphetamine - for fun and profit"?

  • Of course your post could cost Rob, what, like $10.000 and three years in jail.

    Rob: But it clearly states that we are not responsible for posts!?

    Cop: And the law clearly states that if you link to one of these sites you go to jail.

    I know what will solve the problem, more lawyers (note: "lawyers" should be in bright green to reflect it's acidicly sarcastic purpose)
  • There are a handful of people in the US who receive every month in the mail a big biscuit tin with 300 machine rolled reefers, supplied by Uncle Sam. They are all sufferers of terminal ailments like cancer and Parkinson's disease, and it's a research program about the medical benefits of cannabis. The goodies are grown on a research station in one of those midwest states beginning with M.

    I don't know the details, but this is not an urban legend, this is real - it is frequently cited in pro-legalisation discussions, and the process is shown by UK documentaries on the issue.

    I'm sure a quick sweep of the pro-legalisation web sites will turn up info about it.
  • I read this story earlier today and was basically unable to control my anger. What kind of law is that, you can't LINK to a page that promotes drugs? What are they going to do, tell the search engines not to index pages that include the phrases "smoke up" and "weed is good"? What kind of fucked up shit is this?

    Does not the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States state, quote,
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    ?

    It seems to me that Congress and/or the Senate is working in direct opposition to the cardinal principle on which this entire nation was founded. What possible purpose can this law serve? Do they think that preventing links to pages about marijuana will somehow stop drug problems? Haven't there been drug problems since long before the internet was even conceived? What is the point of this useless legislation?

    I would like to take this opportunity to say that, square as it may sound, I have never used any drugs of any kind, except alcohol (the drug of choice today -- and forever, I'll wager). But I think that people have the freedom to do whatever they want to their own bodies, and any attempt by the government to limit what a person can do to him/herself is flat out wrong (as long as they are only hurting themselves, of course).

    What makes this even more idiotic than the principle behind it is the fact that they are doing this with marijuana. Not crack, or heroin, but pot. Reefer. The drug that you KNOW everybody in the Senate, House, and White House has used at one time or another. Surely the most harmless drug available today, I'll bet even less harmful than alcohol, which can clearly be tied to problems like cirrhosis of the liver and drunk driving accidents. When was the last time you heard of someone dying from an overdose of weed? Come on.

    I am sick and tired of our elected officials working to do things completely contradictory to the reasons we elected them. Who has ever voted for someone that said, "Vote for me, I'll restrict your access to information, but it'll be for your own good!"? But how many of us would love a candidate that said "Vote for me, I'll make all information available to you and let you make your own life decisions!" I sure would. But given politicians' reputations for keeping their words, the first one would probably be the better choice because at least he was telling the truth.

    There are more important problems facing America today than trying to limit access to the incredible resources on the Internet. This is related to the thing Jon Katz wrote about kids not being able to see American Pie. Do you think any 14/15/16 year old is not mature enough to handle this stuff? Do you think they don't already have stacks of Playboys hidden away somewhere? Do you think the people who passed these asinine laws didn't have stacks of Playboys when they were 14?

    I just don't see how the government can do the complete opposite of what everybody wants and then have the nerve to tell us it's for our own good. Maybe we can show them what we think of these stupid ideas when the next polls come around.

    Oh, and this is the same government that sponsored the Starr Report, which was more perverted than American Pie, and probably more "morally damaging" than a movie or drugs could ever be, because it deals with infidelity, blowjobs, etc, and it's all TRUE.

    Why don't we start a new campaign for the next election? We can call it "Get rid of the fucking hypocrites." You'll have my vote.
  • Is it just me or is the law prohibiting the mere discussion of drug use downright frightening? Wouldn't this make sites that talk about the side effects of drugs illegal? Of course, as the article mentions this law would probably be selectively enforced so that the government would leave alone anti-drug sites which may list the side effects of hard core drugs, but prosecute other sites which point out that alcohol and nicotene are more harmful than certain illegal "soft" drugs.

    The more important point, though, is that they are attempting to crimilaze a particular point of view. The way it sounds, I could get in trouble for saying that I support marijuana legalization even though I have no intention of ever using it myself. I find it inconceivable that they would consider throwing me in jail for merely stating what I think.

    You may not care about this law now if you agree with the government's war on drugs, but you should care. If this law passes it will set a precedent for the government's ability to restrict free speech. Eventually, there may be some other issue that the government declares "war" on which you happen to disagree with. Would you want to go to jail from peacefuly disagreeing with the government in public? We're not even talking about taking any physical action here. All you have to do is publicly state your views and you go to jail.

    I, for one, will not follow this law if it is passed. In fact, I don't have and never have had any links to drug related sites on my homepage, but if this law passes I will most certainly add some links. Hmmm... maybe I'll even do that now. Maybe a whole slew of us should do that now in protest. I'm off to check out the NORML homepage to see whether I want to link to it...
  • >your response shows your ignorance of the
    >Canadian political system and of the US
    >Constitution.

    I was born and raised in Québec, went to
    university in Québec. I know the political
    system very well.


    >It is possible for a President to be elected in
    >the US with less than 50% of the popular vote

    Not 41% as it is usually the case in Canada and
    they get a majority government with that.

    >(his opponent can even get more votes and
    >lose)--ever heard of the electoral college?

    That's only true on paper

    > If a
    >Canadian party wins less than 50% of the seats,
    >they must form a minority (coalition) government
    >with another party. This usually results
    >in a government that actually does what the
    >people want,

    If I recall the Canadian economy was brought
    down the toilet in the days when Trudeau went
    to bed with the comies at the NDP.
    The biggest screw ups in Canada have been
    done during the short lived coalition
    government. Not to say that Trudeau and Ray didn't
    do a lot of this on their own.

    Ontario's economy had quite a fall with Ray. With
    a good system like here Ray wouldn't have been
    able to screw up the Ontario economy like he
    did.

    >and doesn't make too many stupid
    >laws.

    HA!HA!

    GST and the tape tax to name a couple.

    >True, Canada does have more severe party
    >discipline than the US. Of course,

    Dictature you mean, here the representatives
    are free to do what they want wether or not
    the party leadership likes it.

    >your President just has people
    >rubbed out if they piss him off (Vincent Foster,
    >Ron Brown, Gary Parks...) :-)

    Moronic and unfounded accusations.

    >Linking to the site is an entirely different
    >thing

    If you link to a drug site this is because you
    approve of it but are too chicken to put the
    stuff on your own site.

  • First off: Diane Fienstein(D) is one of the major proponents of the Drug Links Ban. So it's not just republicans taking away our freedom...

    As Bill Hicks (a true visionary) says:
    "I'll show you politics in america, Here it is right here:
    `I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs'; `I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking'.
    Hey wait a minute! There's one guy holding up both puppets...'Go back to bed America, your government is in control!'"
  • The various governments in the US sure are getting blatant with their violations (and attempted violations) of the Constitution (especially the Bill of Rights). It's almost as if they are trying to provoke a revolution. Maybe they think that they're in a position where they can win, and impose some sort of totalitarian nightmare regime in which they don't even pretend to support the idea of individual liberty.

    This shit is seriously scary.

    I hope we can get rid of these fuckwads peacefully. I'd hate to have the streets run red with blood, but that sort of thing may be necessary. I'm not optimistic though. This one saying keeps coming back to me... "It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." Where's that from anyway?

  • Morpheous wrote:

    "What the hell is this country coming to? This smacks of censorship. What happened to free speech?"


    It's protection of trademarks. More draconian versions of this bill were thankfully rejected. This one, for example, still permits traditional things like parody/criticism (the news article I read on this bill mentioned www.pepsibloodbath.com, which is allowed under this bill but wouldn't have been under some other proposed versions of the bill).



  • Oh, sorry, your were talking about the *other* bill. I should have gone to bed already. :-)

  • It's about time that somone did something about all the DNS squatteres out there. IMNSHO, DNS squatting is the worst thing to ever happen to the net... and now... the IANAN (or whatever they're called) has giving NetNation the ability to register domains directly. (NetNation just so happens to be the largest DNS squatter out there, with over 18 000 domains registered).
  • Did the creators of the link law ever stop to think about people with so called 'free for all' link pages? Or how about when someone has a link and the content of the site being linked to changes? So because someone puts up something that I may or may not approve of I get the jail sentence?? Sounds like someone needs to pull their head out of their rear and get a kl00.
    The cybersquatting law IMO is right on the money.. so long as it protects the rights of people to parody and protest, something that there appears to be a provision for.
  • I would agree that he is a moron and anyone
    who support drug use but really the democrats
    aren't socialists by any mean.

    There are conservative and liberal democrats.
    Some suck up to liberal groups some don't.

    Republicans are for the most part hypocrites
    who suck up to the fundies and the richest
    people in America.

    Ideally we'd want someone like Ross Perot
    but then again he's against free trade.

    In the end we're better off with a mixture
    of Democrats and Republicans who fight each
    others and leave us alone. The democrats keep
    the Republicans in line so they stay out of our
    bedrooms and can't install their theocracy and
    the republicans keep the democrats in line so
    they don't tax us to death.

  • What's wrong with the American Civil Liberties Union? Their aim is to preserve our rights. They're not perfect, and they have limited resources, but I like any organization that is willing to at least try to preserve our rights from a government that seems to be encroaching on them more and more each day.

    I like the ACLU, I like the NRA for approximately the same reasons (although there are few people who like one and don't hate the other), I like lots of groups that seek to keep us free. I personally don't want to try a test case of this (in order to have it stricken down) myself. But I'll gladly lend what meager assistance I can to someone willing to. The ACLU is one of those sorts of groups.
  • Huh? What socialist tendancies? The ACLU, AFAIK, has been against removing/constricting the rights that we're given in the Constitution. For them to be a socialist organization, so would the entire basis of the US government, for the last 200+ years. Like I said they're not perfect by any means, but it's a noble goal, and one that can only help everyone.

    Also, even if they're as socialist as the day is long, SFW? I feel that to homogenize the world would be a fairly bad idea. While having many different factions and ideologies and peoples may be inefficient, it's also pretty robust. I'd think that around here monocultures would generally be looked down upon.

    You're welcome to your own opinions of course, I'm just having trouble grokking them. I'd like to though.
  • We need to find a body of people, including
    free speech advocates, ACLU-like lawyers,
    and companies that would have vested interest in
    such, and prepare a report that YOU CANNOT
    REGULATE THE INTERNET. The lawmakers
    need to know that, number 1, the internet is NOT
    the US's property. This report should be
    presented orally to the House and Congress,
    as well as sent in written form to all lawmakers,
    at ALL levels of government.


    No, we're not trying to lie pockets, but we have
    to make them informed. Then, if a bill like the
    above is introduced, we can elect someone to
    whap the person over the head with a hammer.

  • You might expect support from "the taxpayers," but not everyone who reads slashdot, or "experiments," makes the mistake of believing that their need is a claim against the lives of others. As hard as it may be for you to believe, there actually exist people who prefer to keep to themselves and don't expect "help" from the government, which is nothing more than benefitting from stolen wealth--the fact that the government steal it notwithstanding.

  • Wake up and smell the coffee, son. The whole damned political culture is corrupt and cynical. There really isn't a dime's worth o' difference between any of them. Even those with the best intentions are taken in the back rooms and read the riot act as soon as they reach the halls of power. It's the "leadership" [cough] of both parties that run things in Washington, and all they care about is their gravy train--life, liberty, and the pursuit of property be damned. It's one big, nasty game of good cop/bad cop, and we're the suckers stuck in the middle.

    I don't imagine the situation is much different anywhere else in the world.

  • The current US government position on Free Speech is:


    1. We have a First Amendment but it has limits. Lots of limits. So many limits in fact, that it is really just a nice idea that should only be followed when the Free Speech doesn't offend anyone. See Dick Armey's "Reflection on Values" [freedom.gov] Notice the way he says, I'm for free speech, but I'm not for free speech, on the same page.(Sorry for picking of the Republicans, but I haven't found anything equally stupid from the Democrats on the Web.)


    2. Technology is Scary: Plenty of articles on this, including this one from Wired, The Bus Stops Everywhere [wired.com]. I actually think the reason why so many politicians are out to regulate technology to such an absurd degree is what has been called future shock in which technology has moved ahead way to fast for some people to keep up with it. Suddenly, your in the future, and you don't like it. It is akin to culture shock like when French radio stations are required to program X-amount of French programming because too much American stuff is popular. So they play a lot of Celine Dion songs [celineonline.com] over and over again...


    3. Electronic Speech is just plain evil: You don't have Jack Valenti (or someone like him) rushing down to capitol hill whenever electronic speech is attacked, because technology companies I think (much like me) would like to pretend politics don't exist. It's this dirty, ugly, mind-numbingly stupid world, and besides we've only got X-amount of time to get that code done before M$ beats us to it. Who has time to go vote when you've got a milestone to deliver that week? So you combine the fact that there is no Pro-Tech lobby, politicians resent having to keep up with computers and the current disrepute of the First Amendment, and you've got a recipe for authoritarianism.

  • In Slashdot Terms:


    A 'Bill' is equivalent to a submitted story.


    A 'Law' is equivalent to a posted story.


    Basically, a bill is the introduction of any
    legislation into either Senate or the House.
    The bill, once introduced, is sent to both
    the Senate and House, and each sends it to
    a committee to 'adjust' the details. (Sometimes
    there are changes due to party issues or
    other things....), then the bill goes back to
    both houses. If a majority
    in both houses, but there are changes in the bill,
    then both committees work to adjust the bill,
    then it's revoted on (the same version now)
    in both houses. If still a majority from both,
    it's sent to the Pres' desk, and if he signs
    it, AT THAT POINT, it becomes Law.
    (I probably have a detail wrong somewhere, but
    the gist is there :-)

  • Because Congress has the collective spine of a jellyfish, that law (prohibiting links to drug information) will pass precisely because it is so bad. Among the crayon-law set it's a good idea, while the more sophisticated members will realize that that the courts will enjoin its implementation and ultimately declare it unconstitutional.

    I can even give you likely arguments before The Supremes. Let's take the Library of Congress, a valuable resource that is clearly protected by the First Amendment. Now randomly shuffle all of the books within it and burn the card catalogue.

    The value of the books is unchanged, but the value of the emergent *library* is completely lost. To be meaningful, the FA *requires* the ability to disclose the organization of a collection of protection works.

    What's the nature of the web? If Congress has it's way, it will reduced to nothing more than another platform for corporate ad agencies. Who would invest thousands of hours in creating *and organizing* information if it's the least bit controversial and Congress may wipe it out an instance? The net effect will be a profound chilling of free speech, since the entry barriers to *meaningful* print publication is far higher than the entry barriers to publishing web pages. (I'm making a distinction here between printing out a couple copies of your thesis on your laser printer, and getting it printed, bound, and distributed to a bookstore, no matter how small, in each major city nationwide. If people can't get your thesis to read it, you might as well not written it.)

    Extending this a bit further, I'm sure that even Congress isn't dumb enough to prohibit my publication of a *book* containing a printed list of URLs containing drug information. The same content, on the web, is illegal. This would change the FA from a protection of the *contents* to protection of the *presentation*, roughly akin to saying that indency (read: porn) is acceptable in print, but not on VCR tape. (N.B., the restrictions on electronic publication of strong cryptographic code do *not* apply domestically; the law only bans export of that material and the web, as implemented today, makes such restrictions extremely difficult to implement.)

    We could go even further, if *all* links are prohibited that means that you can't even provide links between pages of material. That changes the FA from protection of *content* to protection of *binding*, roughly akin to saying that Ulysses can be published on a scroll, but not in a bound book.

    In both cases, this is a profound and fundamental change in the way the FA is viewed, something that the courts (rightly) are hesistant to do. The fact that "conservatives" would suggest such major changes over a triffle exposes the philosophical corruption at the core of the modern "conservative" movement.

    Finally, as if the prior arguments aren't enough, I'm sure the challengers will be able to locate a parent *demanding* to have access to a list of nearby sources of drugs and paraphenia. Not because he wants to score some drugs for himself, but so he can be a responsible parent who warns his child away from these areas. Or so he can form a "neighborhood watch" group with the intent of lawfully driving such business out of his neighborhood. There is damn little information which can't be used for both "good" and "bad" purposes.

    I am not a lawyer, so you can imagine what experienced Constitutional Law experts could do with these arguments. And that's precisely why I'm concerned that this bill will soon be passed -- like the CDA, it's a way to get (mostly good) press back home without a shred of fear that the law would ever be enforced. Expect it to pass by a large margin.

The only difference between a car salesman and a computer salesman is that the car salesman knows he's lying.

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