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Crime

Submission + - Website Calls Out Authors of Racist Anti-Obama Posts (cnsmaryland.org)

stevegee58 writes: A tumblr blog entitled "hellothereracists" is publicly identifying other online posters who make racist/assassination comments about President Obama.
Beyond merely identifying online usernames, the blog's author is uncovering and publishing the real names and locations of offending posters.
It's an interesting mess of legal issues. The outed posters are at risk of a Secret Service visit, but the trouble may not end there. The hellothereracists blogger himself may have some problems publicly posters who are frequently underage teenagers.

Your Rights Online

Submission + - Lying Online No Longer a Crime in RI (yahoo.com)

stevegee58 writes: In an outbreak of common sense, Rhode Island repealed an obscure law enacted in 1989 that made it a crime to lie in online postings. Violations of this law carried a maximum penalty of $500 and up to a year in prison.

From the article:

""This law made virtually the entire population of Rhode Island a criminal," said Steven Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union. "When this bill was enacted nobody had any idea what its ramifications were. Telling fibs may be wrong, but it shouldn't be criminal activity."

The law aimed to stop fraud, con artists and scammers, but also outlawed the "transmission of false data" regardless of whether liars stood to profit from their deception or not."

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