The new film ‘Taking Liberties‘ is all about everything anyone with a brain-cell has understood for years. What is interesting is that on its weblog, when you want to publish a comment it is set to:
“This blog does not allow anonymous comments.”
Nice one. Anonymity and the ability to publish anonymously is an important right:
In the legal tradition, the right to anonymity is integrally related to an individual’s freedom of expression guarantees. Historically, many authors publish anonymously because their message is too controversial and they risk persecution or social ostracization for the content of their speech. Fundamental principles upon which the US Constitution is grounded were first espoused in The Federalist Papers , by “Publius”, the famous moniker used by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton when they wished to publish anonymously. Ironically, George Orwell, author of 1984 and Animal Farm , concealed his name and identity, Eric Blair, out of fear of political backlash for his views. The historical and political use of anonymous speech demonstrates that it is a vital part of freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
Like the right to distribute thoughts and ideas, the right to anonymous publishing is an essential component to freedom of expression guarantees. It protects the most valuable speech in a free society: the views that challenge the status quo, the majority, or government.
The US Supreme Court has historically recognized that the constitution’s freedom of expression guarantees protects a publisher’s right to anonymity. According to the US Supreme Court, the right to speak anonymously, “exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and the First Amendment in particular.” ( McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm ., 514 U.S. 334 (1995). According to Justice Stevens, anonymity is a prerequisite for speech in some cases. He pointed out that the motivation for anonymous publication may be to avoid social ostracism, to prevent retaliation, or to protect privacy. It is anonymous speech that shields individuals “from the tyranny of the majority … [It] protects unpopular individuals from retaliation – and their ideas from suppression – a the hand of an intolerant society.” Id.
In Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, Inc. v. Village of Stratton , 122 S. Ct. 2080, 2090 (2002), the US Supreme Court ruled that a municipal ordinance requiring pamphleteers to disclose names implicates “anonymity interests” rooted in the First Amendment’s freedom of expression guarantees. The US Supreme Court also struck down a law requiring citizens to wear identification badges because it violated citizens’ First Amendment right to anonymity. ( Buckley v. Am. Constitutional Law Foun., Inc. , 525 U.S. 182 (1992).
Lower federal courts have specifically extended the right to publish anonymously to the Internet, ruling that “the constitutional rights of Internet users, including the right to speak anonymously, must be carefully safeguarded,” ( Doe v. 2TheMart.com, Inc ., 140 F. Supp.2d at 1097). The First Amendment right communicate anonymously over the Internet was also upheld in ACLU v. Johnson , 4 F. Supp.2d 1029, 1033 (D.N.M. 1998), aff’d, 194 F.3d 1149 (10 th Cir. 1999) and in ACLU of Georgia v. Miller , 977 F. Supp. 1228, 1230 (N.D. Ga 1997), which additionally recognized the constitutional right to communicate pseudonymously on the Internet.
Canadian courts have likewise extended the right to speak anonymously to the Internet:
“Some degree of privacy or confidentiality with respect to the identity of the Internet protocol address of the originator of message has significant safety value and is in keeping with what should be perceived as being good public policy.” Wilkins J. in Irwin Toy v. Doe (2000), 12 C.P.C. (5 th ) 103 (Ont. S.C.J.) [...]
But there is much worse about these people….
What is most galling about them is their ‘what you can do‘ page.
We had this debate on BLOGDIAL before the historic march organized by StopWar. Demonstrations are pointless because they do not achieve their ends, and the people who go on them are nothing more than stupid monkeys; the people who organize them are actually working for the enemy. Time and time again we have said this, (and other stuff) and had it proved, sadly.
Now the directors of this film, after everything we have said and witnessed are asking everyone to:
Visit and sign up online:
Visit and sign up online:
Email Your MP
Demand to know what they are doing about the issues raised in the film:
Join the Mass Lone Demos
Demonstrations take place 5pm to 7:30pm on the third Wednesday of every month, forms [MS WORD] [PDF] must be handed in or sent by recorded delivery 1 week beforehand.
Joining Amnesty will not cause one law to be repealed, nor will it stop new bad legislation from being enacted.
Similarly, Joining Liberty will achieve absolutely nothing at all.
Emailing the very people who pass the laws that enslave you is just STUPID.
And joining demonstrations we know about, don’t we?
Telling the truth is not enough. Acting is not enough. Correct Action is the only thing that will change what you want changed.
But you know this!