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Old April 5, 2012, 11:55 AM
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Default In Arizona, Online Discourse May be Ordered Civil

If a bill that has passed the Arizona legislature is signed by the state’s governor and becomes law, it will be illegal to “harass, annoy, or offend” online.

Read more here: In Arizona, Online Discourse May be Ordered Civil | Hardware Canucks
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Old April 5, 2012, 01:19 PM
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However, by replacing telephone with “electronic or digital device” the potential chilling effects for free speech are frightening.
How is applying the same rules for electronic media that you would for a telephone change the game at all other than to bring the law into the 21'st century?

People should be responsible for what they say/do no matter what the medium.
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Old April 5, 2012, 02:01 PM
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Online communication -- say posting on a forum or a blog -- is by default multicasting. What one person may find harassing, another might find legitimate discourse.

This whole thing reminds me of Ezra Levant's book "Shake Down".
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Old April 5, 2012, 02:08 PM
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Ezra levant??? He who sputters incomprehensably when the minority government is threatened with a legitimate coalition to replace it? I didn't realise that anybody listened to anything he had to say. ;)

And yeah... "if you're broadcasting" it, then all people who might reasonably be expected to see/read/hear it should be taken into account. I see no difference with controlling what can legally be written on a web page than what could be printed on a flyer and taped to light posts around town.

What's so wrong with expecting people to be responsible for what they say?
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Old April 5, 2012, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
Ezra levant??? He who sputters incomprehensably when the minority government is threatened with a legitimate coalition to replace it? I didn't realise that anybody listened to anything he had to say. ;)
Polls showed that the majority of Canadians did not approve the play by the opposistion parties to grab power in such a fashion. The Liberal party certainly paid dearly for it, as it set in motion events which eventually relegated them to the political wilderness.

All of Ezra Levant's books have been on Amazon/The Globe's top ten best sellers list. So somebody listens to what he has to say.
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Old April 5, 2012, 02:39 PM
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Ezra levant??? He who sputters incomprehensably
Thats it now you are in trouble!

I think for the most part the system we have is working, but certainly must be improved. I have seen people bullied and harassed on Facebook, to the point where they (teens) injure themselves. Its needs to be easier for folks to defend themselves against these tactics online.
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Old April 5, 2012, 02:46 PM
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It does, but the bill must be carefully worded to ensure that it does not infringe on one's right to free speech.
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Old April 5, 2012, 04:14 PM
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Man, I got another genitalia enlargement e-mail...what to do, what to do...? [Looks at the Delete button] I know I'll just keep it, and anguish about how small my genitalia is, since it is not 10" long. Damn those incessant bullies. Never mind the fact that I lack the life-skills to deal will social conflicts, even though I expose and portray myself with the most intimate details on social media sites. [Ignoring family/parental upbringing as the root cause] Aha, I'll just lobby the government to make band-aid laws that look good and are politically expedient...and future be damned, even if the law will come back and bite me in the ass, one day in the not so distant future.

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It does, but the bill must be carefully worded to ensure that it does not infringe on one's right to free speech.
Very carefully...replace the word "telephone" with the word "communication" or "communication device"...careful, don't slip.

Last edited by EmptyMellon; April 5, 2012 at 04:48 PM. Reason: 'ed
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Old April 5, 2012, 04:17 PM
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When the government starts controlling what is "good" speech they have effectively muzzled the population and can control ALL public discourse.... eg Dont like Gitmo?! You dirty commie you obviously are spouting hate speech against Amurika! etc etc

With a FEW exceptions the government has no business CRIMINALIZING what is said in public. IF its harassment...sue them. Nothing says that it has to be handled via CRIMINAL court...CIVIL court has worked just fine in the past.
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Old April 5, 2012, 05:38 PM
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The telephone is, with rare exceptions, a means of communicating with a specific person or place. It is a tool meant to target a specific audience.

Applying the same standards to a mass-broadcast, one with an audience you can neither control nor anticipate, is illogical. More notably, online communication is persistent, meaning someone for whom the communication was never intended who comes across it long after it was originally released is given the same treatment.

That difference in the medium is significant. It's why slander laws and libel laws -- and the related defences -- are not identical.

That said, some acts of criminalization require legal repercussions. Civil court is only viable if the party involved has the resources to pursue a case, resources which in the digital era go well beyond a lawyer and into the area of cybersecurity. The other is the issue of stalking. And if you read the entire bill, the second section amends an anti-stalking piece of legislation.

Last edited by Galcobar; April 6, 2012 at 04:55 PM.
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