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View Full Version : Are we losing civil rights on the internet?


SilentScope001
05-16-2008, 11:29 AM
Or, in other news:

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,23711115-663,00.html

Experts said the indictment, handed down in Los Angeles after Missouri authorities declined to prosecute Ms Drew, was the first of its kind.

"We are in uncharted waters here," said University of Southern California law professor and former federal prosecutor Rebecca Lonergan.

"This case is unprecedented. It's also a very aggressive charging decision."

Prof Lonergan said Ms Drew was charged with accessing a protected computer to obtain information, a statute typically used against defendants who hack into government computers.

"While I think most people agree that it merits punishment to harass a young girl to the point where she commits suicide, it's not clear that this conduct is covered by this federal statute," she said.

I understand SA and other organizations would be worried that this can lead to internet prosecutions that can lead to a decrease of freedom of speech, and I know the charges may be a tad...strange. However, I have no sympathy towards cyber-bulling. Especially when said cyber-bulling leads to a person actually killing himself.

So, yes, I am cheering for us Internet users to lose our civil right of free speech for the use of cyber-bullying. At the same time though, it does cause the following situation that might frighten me, and could cause other problems:

Goon: Why don't you kill yourself?
Goon gets thrown in prison for 5 years.

Meh. Far more historic, IMHO.

(EDIT: Titled changed because I realized the original title was in, er, poor taste.)

jonathan7
05-16-2008, 11:50 AM
Or, in other news:

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,23711115-663,00.html


I think it tragic that Megan commiteed suicide, and think that it was a sick joke. While I as ever stand for freedom of speech; I don't think the link comes under freedom of speech. Freedom of Speech does not allow you to make someone think they are in a relationship, its in a way 'fraud' of a far worse kind than the financial type. This goes beyond freedom of speech as it had a type of action involved which harmed another individual.

I think they should be sent to prison for a number of years. It is however as you have pointed out a thin line to tread.

Just my 2 cents...

Jae Onasi
05-16-2008, 01:27 PM
Threats, fraud, and harassment are not protected speech. It doesn't matter whether it happened in person, in a letter, on a phone, or on the internet.

Samuel Dravis
05-16-2008, 03:13 PM
If they were to charge her with that, certainly. However, they haven't done so. From what I understand, they're charging the woman based on some kind of internet fraud law because she "signed up under a fake username" to myspace. So no, I don't like that at all. I sign up under a fake username for everything. That doesn't make what I do illegal or even suspect. There's some fear that this will cause repercussions in that violating the terms of use of a web site would be a criminal charge and not a civil one.

mimartin
05-16-2008, 03:23 PM
If they were to charge her with that, certainly. However, they haven't done so. From what I understand, they're charging the woman based on some kind of internet fraud law because she "signed up under a fake username" to myspace. So no, I don't like that at all. I sign up under a fake username for everything. That doesn't make what I do illegal or even suspect. There's some fear that this will cause repercussions in that violating the terms of use of a web site would be a criminal charge and not a civil one.
The difference between your singing up with fake usernames and her signing up using a fake username is intention. Her deception was not to protect her identity, but to allow her to intimidate and humiliate a young girl.

HIGH ON PIE 14
05-16-2008, 09:13 PM
The difference between your singing up with fake usernames and her signing up using a fake username is intention. Her deception was not to protect her identity, but to allow her to intimidate and humiliate a young girl.

Exactly. Signing in under a fake username is well within someones rights as long as they are not stealing somone else's identity or pretending to be another real person. This woman used it as pettry revenge against a girl. Obviously she has some issues to work out. Threats, harassment etc are wrong and measures should be taken against them.

But unfortunatly like most things they will take the cyber-bullying thing too far as in SilentScope001's Goon quote. How they handled this situation was fine but they will probly take it too far in later issues. In their frenzy to protect peoples rights, they will end up infringing upon them. So yeah I guess I'm a little concerned about my "cyber rights."