1995-11-06 - So much for free speech…

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From: tcmay@got.net (Timothy C. May)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: d0dee5e4d35448eaf31ba30d581871b48729c90785dd10d603f52c1ff0ac20ca
Message ID: <acc37a5b03021004553e@[]>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1995-11-06 17:59:08 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 7 Nov 1995 01:59:08 +0800

Raw message

From: tcmay@got.net (Timothy C. May)
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 1995 01:59:08 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: So much for free speech...
Message-ID: <acc37a5b03021004553e@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 1:34 PM 11/6/95, s1113645@tesla.cc.uottawa.ca wrote:
>On Mon, 6 Nov 1995, Dr. Frederick B. Cohen wrote:
>> In the United States, we have the right to express whatever view we
>> wish, so long as it doesn't endanger others (e.g., insight to riot,
>> scream "fire" in a crowded theater when there is no fire, etc.).
>> Everyone has an inherent right to question why a person seeks moments of
>> anonymity or privacy.
>You're forgetting our good friends the libel laws. Another reason to go anon.
>You have the right to say whatever you please, but you'll have to be able
>to defend it in court if it damages someone's reputation. It can also get
>you fired. (or shot if you're MLK)

Sadly, the tradition of "free speech" is under assault. On many fronts. The
new "civil rights" laws are just one avenue for the suppression of what was
once considered free speech.

Submitted for your disapproval:

"13-year-old student arrested for racial slurs" (Santa Cruz Sentinel, p. 1,
3 November 1995)

by Michael Green, Redding Record Searchlight

"REDDING -- When a 13-year-old Redding student was arrested for allegedly
making racial slurs, police and school administrators said it was necessary
to maintain order and send a strong message against racism.

"But some legal experts take a dimmer view of the boy's arrest, saying that
calling someone names, even offensive ones, is not a crime and in fact is
constitutionally protected.


"The Redding-area boy, who is white, allegedly made racial insults toward a
12-year-old Hispanic student before being arrested last Thursday.


"Police Chief Bob Blankeship said he would encourage officers to use the
civil rights laws to stop racial harassment if prosecutors determine it is


"The boy was arrested on suspicion of violating the Hispanic student's
civil rights. Penal Code section 422.6 makes it a misdemeanor to interfere
with another person's rights or harm their property because of their race,
gender, religion, disability or sexual orientation."


Wow! "Verbal abuse." Throw away the key. "Freedom does not mean the freedom
to think bad thoughts," as Big Bro once said.

If they don't get you for illegally using random numbers, they'll get you
for uttering incorrect words.

Back to reality. No word on whether prosecution will take place (I doubt
it...this will likely be dropped, now that the message has been sent to the
students, and now that civil rights folks are getting interested).

Children are usually not accorded full constitutional protections,
especially not in public schools, but this does not mean the police should
arrest those who utter the wrong words! (Maybe suspending the student,
though I certainly wouldn't do that.)

This is the "safe and secure" world we are in, where bad thoughts and bad
words are punished. Or threatened with lawsuits. Anarchy seems infinitely
preferable to me.

--Tim May

Views here are not the views of my Internet Service Provider or Government.
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
tcmay@got.net  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
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Higher Power: 2^756839      | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders are just speed bumps on the information superhighway."