Sign in to follow this  
Guest SoarPics

Trolling is now OFFICIALLY illegal

Recommended Posts

http://news.com.com/Create+an+e-annoyance%...22491&subj=news"Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.In other words, it's OK to flame someone on a mailing list or in a blog as long as you do it under your real name. Thank Congress for small favors, I guess.This ridiculous prohibition, which would likely imperil much of Usenet, is buried in the so-called Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act. Criminal penalties include stiff fines and two years in prison."The use of the word 'annoy' is particularly problematic," says Marv Johnson, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "What's annoying to one person may not be annoying to someone else."Buried deep in the new law is Sec. 113, an innocuously titled bit called "Preventing Cyberstalking." It rewrites existing telephone harassment law to prohibit anyone from using the Internet "without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy." "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

In general, Ken, I think you're right in your interpretation. But, FWIW, I've always held that if it wasn't something you'd say to another person's face, while sitting together at the dinner table, it ought not be protected by the anonymity of the internet.Bart BartholomayDeacontg272

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the concern Ken expressed isn't over the anonymity issue, but over the way a word like "annoy" could be used to prosecute people. An example--someone observes a malicious comment about family or loved ones at a racial hate site, and out of concern, anonymously posts to the site. Imagine being sued or prosecuted because of such a post because it can "annoy"? Even I have jumped into political discussions without revealing my identity--express some points of view otherwise, and your life comes under threat. Something like this could be a very effective tool for suppressing free speech. If someone has a right to bash my race, creed or color, I should have a right to respond without fear of retaliation against me or my loved ones. -John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is very scary indeed. Big Brother has been on the march at full stride in this country for twenty years. Unchallenged and even encouraged by the sheep that make up the vast majority of the population, his pace has quickened in recent years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regardless of whether or not it's even true, the mere fact it's even being brought up is scarey.I hate to say it, but you know what? The path this admninistration is going down is the wrong one by any stretch.For our international folks here at Avsim, the word "annoying" by the american meaning can mean just about anything. It's a generic catch all.This is just outrageous. I hope it's all a joke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The path this admninistration is going down is the wrong one by any stretch."Indeed, Jeff. And you're hearing that from a Republican (although the Bush folks may actually cure me of that).Subject to interpretation... to prosecute one for "annoying" another, the prosecution would then have to show intent. And that may or may not be a challenge. In the end one could only hope for the clear thinking of 12 right minded people to decide whether or not one had true intent to annoy another. Evenso, the mere fact that a federal prosecutor could drag a citizen into court (and force upon them the expense of a legal defence) is enough.Which brings another issue to mind... that federal prosecutor has virtually unlimited protection (with but a few very difficult to breach qualifications) to do anything they wish to a citizen. Which is pretty much a very nasty annoyance. Seems to me that what's good for the goose should be good for the gander (although the Bush people clearly would not agree).Do ya think the terrorists are enjoying all these various protection schemes the current administration is providing us? They don't have to kill off our culture... our leadership is doing that for them.Embarrasing leadership... ooops, hope I'm not annoying any of them.Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Greg, but I've served under his father, and it just keeps getting funnier and funnier until finally it starts to really get serious and it's not funny any more.It doesn't matter whether or not a conviction can actually be had, here in the US the mere fact you've been arrested can now ruin a life completely no matter the charge. The arrest still stays with you, the conviction or not is irrelevant. (spelling all over the place I'm sure)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope you're not suggesting that it should make any difference whether there was INTENT to annoy or not in the consideration of making this a Federal crime. Who among us would walk free today if doing so required that our past was totally free of any intent to annoy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you, Charlie, but intent must be proven by the plaintiff (prosecution in this scenario). A jury could not find the defendent guilty under U.S. statute unless intent is proven. Failing that the "annoyed" party could then bring their own action against the accused in a civil court (the only sticking point being they'd have to find a very bored judge who is willing to inpanel a jury for such an action). But the annoyed accuser would not then have to prove intent (under civil law).And your point is most valid. How many folks can say they have never in their life intended to annoy someone. This is another one of those laws that can be easily proven to be stupid and invalid... it's one that makes criminals out of most (if not all) citizens.Cheers,GregP.S. On a lighter note... this discussion is beginning to annoy me. You've all benn warned. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, totally ridiculous! What horrible wording. We can only assume that they meant to use words like "threaten" or "harass". I get annoyed by those moronic e-mail chain letters. I can't wait to tell my in-laws that they are going to jail for sending that stuff to me. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At last we now have the law behind us when acting against all those anonymous trolls and spoilers on forums we moderate ;)You see, everything has 2 sides :)Yes, this law is open to abuse. But so is any other law. Speed limits can be used to extort money from unsuspecting drivers, yet everyone would agree there's a place for them.Violent crime laws can be used to place people you don't like in "protective custody" just when you want them out of town for a while (think of what the DNC did to opponents in Boston in 2004), yet when it comes to locking up murderers and other serious offenders they're very useful.It was high time the law was enhanced to make stalking online a crime just as stalking over the phone or fax is. Of course any such law has unintended consequences (or can have) but you try to write the text so that such is impossible without leaving the law essentially useless (which so many laws are of course).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's about high time that someone made a law about that then don't you think? LOL c'mon now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I can't wait to tell my in-laws that they are going to jail for sending that stuff to me. "LOL, Craig. I just told that one to my wife... she gave me the "look" (burrrr, it's suddenly very cold here).Jeroen, no one here is disputing the law's usefulness for protecting citizens from stalking and/or harrassing (including those stinking spam e-mailer's). What we're all concerned about is the civil servant who would use the law to go after someone for posting something "annoying" in, say, an open forum (such as this one). Defining the law under the term "annoying" leaves an ugly number of possibilties open for the governemnt to bring prosecution. And given the current administration's zeal for controlling everything in the world, there's ample enough reason for everybody (including you... say something bad and the U.S Government could wisk you off to one of those non-existant jails that aren't located in various places off U.S. soil) to be concerned.Simply put, it's too much power by creating too many loopholes for the government to operate thru.Cheers,Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't say I blame everything on Bush. There are 100 Senators and some (485 isn't it?) Represenatives. For it to even reach Bush, the majority had to have said yes to this. Though laws like these are ussually so well hidden in the deal that half the people probably didn't even realize it was in there. There are quite a few laws like that that were hidden by Senators and Reps in the past, which is the part that I generally find disgustingly underhanded. It would be interesting to read the Bill and see which Congressman stuck it in there.I also think that rules should be changed that allow only one law to be on a bill at a time to keep people from hijacking these things like that. Sometimes they put these frivolous laws in so that just so Congressmen will catch them and vote no on the bill they would have otherwise voted yes on.----------------------------------------------------------------John MorganReal World: KGEG, UND Aerospace Spokane Satillite, Private ASEL 141.2 hrs, 314 landings, 46 inst. apprs.Virtual: MSFS 2004"There is a feeling about an airport that no other piece of ground can have. No matter what the name of the country on whose land it lies, an airport is a place you can see and touch that leads to a reality that can only be thought and felt." - The Bridge Across Forever: A Love Story by Richard Bach

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this