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News Link • Homeland Security

The DHS Wants to Know Who’s Spreading the News (or Expressing an Opinion), Your Rights Optional

• www.jonathanturley.org
Submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

Freedom of speech is a well established right in this country and rooted in the 1st Amendment.  ”Congress shall make no law [. . .] abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”.  The U.N.’s  Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 19 reads, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”  Within the United States and our jurisprudence there are some exceptions to this freedom, but by in large (up to this point in history) the restrictions are both reasonable and necessary: the Miller test for obscenity, child pornography laws, laws prohibiting speech that incites imminent lawless action, restrictions on fighting words, regulation of commercial speech such as advertising, copyright and patent laws protecting authors and inventors control over their work, and the prohibition of slander and defamation.

Let’s be clear here that the subject isn’t just free speech, but anonymous political free speech.

Here at Res Ipsa Loqitur, there is a long standing policy of allowing anonymous posting to comments and protecting poster’s anonymity.   The decision to post under your own name or not is entirely yours.  This policy encourages free speech while allowing that having an unpopular or minority point of view should not have negative political consequences for the speaker or unnecessarily complicate their lives simply for expressing their views.  Many political insiders and Washington professionals have told Professor Turley that they enjoy reading this blog and have enjoyed posting anonymously.  The only posters here required to use their real identities are the guest bloggers and the requirement is voluntary.  None of us were coerced into using our real names.  When offered the honor of being a guest blogger, it was simply (and I think I speak for all the guest bloggers when I say fairly) a requirement in assuming editorial responsibilities.  However, all of this raises an important question.

 

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by David Jackson
Entered on:

 Give me a break!

  Make a law? Create a law? Cram a law...?

  When are folks going to wake up and realize that the second-rate traitors and thugs in Conress are the reason we are in EVERY mess we are in! I'm telling you:  This is the "New Common Era" of the most common of men and women doing the most common of things and being rewarded for it - even if they reward themselves. We are at the end of cvilization, folks! The government of the United States is the vanguard of the "movement"!


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