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Censorship Government The Courts Your Rights Online News

New Jersey Judge Shields Anonymous Blogger 61

netbuzz brings us an update to a case we discussed earlier this month: "In a widely watched free-speech case, a New Jersey judge has upheld a blogger's right to criticize county officials anonymously. The contention of those officials was that the blogger is actually a former mayor/attorney being sued by the local government for malpractice. This comes less than a month after the Electronic Frontier Foundation began their legal efforts to shield the blogger, claiming that the subpoena for Google to release his identity was 'part of an unrelated and unauthorized campaign to embarrass or otherwise outmaneuver the Defendant.' Score one for the First Amendment."
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New Jersey Judge Shields Anonymous Blogger

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  • by Doug52392 ( 1094585 ) on Saturday December 22, 2007 @10:58AM (#21790598)
    I have been watching the world literally crash these days, with all the pointelss lawusits, people being sued/arrested for no reason, etc. I have just about lost hope. Finally, at least some victory! Our constitutional rights these days are so twisted that I do not see what could happen. The Internet should be a place where people can talk about themselves and how they feel about something without the fear of legal action. But they get sued and thrown in court like a common criminal for expressing their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech. Why?
  • Re:First amendment? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by civilizedINTENSITY ( 45686 ) on Saturday December 22, 2007 @12:25PM (#21791216)
    The real question is can you be forced (or others be forced to help,) to identify yourself if there is no suspicion of illegal activity?
  • Re:First amendment? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheoMurpse ( 729043 ) on Saturday December 22, 2007 @06:44PM (#21793560) Homepage

    "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." I believe you are explicitly incorrect. The first amendment clearly says that no law may be passed abridging freedom of speech.
    Surely you cannot be suggesting that the First Amendment gives me the right to practice a religion that requires human sacrifice in contravention of murder statutes simply because there is no murder statute in the Constitution!

    Taking this into consideration, can you understand why the First Amendment right to freedom of speech isn't 100% absolute? Should I not then be allowed to brand all my crappy software "Google" with their logo? Should I not then be allowed to freely distribute any copyrighted material to anyone, since it's merely free expression? Should I not then be allowed to shout "Fire" in a crowded theater, or point a megaphone at my neighbor's house and shout through it at all hours of the day?

    Clearly the First Amendment says Congress cannot prohibit what I've just suggested, since they are all speech activities that Congress is, by the First Amendment, not allowed to abridge.


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