Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Comment, but don't annoy me...

On his blog, Eugene Volokh discusses the "annoy someone and go to jail" law recently passed by Congress--which states that anonymous comments on the internet that annoy someone can be punnishable by jail time. He says there might be some cause for concern, and you really ought to read the post for yourself. As I've stated elsewhere, I fear that the trouble with this law is in it's vague wording--if something can be read many ways, the chances of unexpected results are greatly increased.

My prediction: sooner or later, this law will probably be used. It might be used by Republicans, it might be used by Democrats--heck, it might be used by peace-loving Buddists--the point is it'll end up being used as a cudgel to silence someone's opposition. It won't matter if the person charged gets acquitted or not, the very act of being charged will have a chilling effect on free speech. Vague law is bad law.


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