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98 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 48]

Date Resource Read it at:
Dec 18, 2012 When is social-media use a crime?

QUOTE: Despite the disturbing nature of some social-media messages about the shootings, several legal experts contacted by CNN questioned whether Connecticut authorities could successfully bring charges against whoever posted them.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Mar 12, 2012 Limbaugh and One-Way Wantonness (Op-Ed)

QUOTE: When attacking a woman by questioning her sexual mores, there’s a smorgasbord of slurs, and you can take your rancid pick. Help me out here: where are the comparable nouns for men? What’s a male slut? A role model, in some cases. In others, a presidential candidate.

New York Times
Jun 27, 2011 Justices Reject Ban on Violent Video Games for Children

QUOTE: Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for five justices in the majority in the video games decision, Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, No. 08-1448, said video games were subject to full First Amendment protection. “Like the protected books, plays and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas — and even social messages — through many familiar literary devices (such as characters, dialogue, plot and music) and through features distinctive to the medium...

New York Times
Jun 25, 2011 The Ways of Silencing

QUOTE: We might wish politicians and pundits from opposing parties to engage in reasoned debate about the truth, but as we know, this is not the reality of our political discourse. Instead we often encounter bizarre and improbable claims about public figures. Words are misappropriated and meanings twisted. I believe that these tactics are not really about making substantive claims, but rather play the role of silencing.

New York Times
Jun 03, 2011 When Teachers Talk Out of School (Op-Ed)

QUOTE: Such teachers have become minor Internet celebrities, lauded by their fans for exposing students’ insolent manners and desultory work habits. Their backers also say that teachers’ freedom of speech is imperiled when we penalize their out-of-school remarks...The truly scary restrictions on teacher speech lie inside the schoolhouse walls, not beyond them.

New York Times
Apr 27, 2011 India Puts Tight Leash on Internet Free Speech

QUOTE: Even before the new rules… India has periodically tried to restrict speech on the Internet… The rules do not provide a way for content producers to defend their work or appeal a decision to take content down.

New York Times
Dec 12, 2010 Facebook Wrestles With Free Speech and Civility

QUOTE: Facebook took down a page used by WikiLeaks supporters to organize hacking attack...But it did not remove WikiLeaks’s own Facebook pages...illustrates the complexities that the company grapples with, on issues as diverse as that controversy, verbal bullying among teenagers, gay-baiting and religious intolerance.

New York Times
Jul 18, 2010 China’s Censors Rein in ‘Vulgar’ Reality TV Show

QUOTE: The shows [broadcasted on Chinese television] are now forbidden to “hype up marginal issues, show the ugly side of things, or overly depressing, dark or decadent topics,” according to the directive. Instead, the shows have to “maintain core Socialist values.”

New York Times
Jun 04, 2010 Dressed to Distract

QUOTE: Aesthetic allure is evolutionary...So it was unusual when a knockout in New York, Debrahlee Lorenzana, a 33-year-old single mother, filed suit against Citigroup, claiming that she was fired in August from the Citibank branch at the Chrysler Center for looking too sexy.

New York Times
May 21, 2010 Pakistan blocks YouTube a day after shutdown of Facebook over Muhammad issue

QUOTE: A simmering clash between free speech and religious sensibilities in Pakistan burst from the streets onto the Internet on Thursday, as the government blocked the video-sharing site YouTube and other pages it deemed "sacrilegious" to the nation's Muslim majority.

Washington Post
May 21, 2010 Defiant Judge Takes On Child Pornography Law

QUOTE: the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated a 20-year child pornography sentence by ruling that the sentencing guidelines for such cases, “unless applied with great care, can lead to unreasonable sentences.” The decision noted that the recommended sentences for looking at pictures of children being sexually abused sometimes eclipse those for actually sexually abusing a child.

New York Times
Apr 20, 2010 Justices Reject Ban on Videos of Animal Cruelty

QUOTE: In a major First Amendment ruling, the Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a federal law that made it a crime to create or sell dogfight videos and other depictions of animal cruelty....suggest that the Roberts Court is prepared to adopt a robustly libertarian view of the constitutional protection of free speech.

New York Times
Oct 25, 2009 Court case shows limits of anonymous blogging

QUOTE: US courts have historically looked on anonymous bloggers and commenters with a sympathetic eye, but there are exceptions.

Ars Technica
Oct 14, 2009 Schwarzenegger signs bill to crack down on paparazzi: The law will toughen existing regulations on paparazzi, but it could be challenged in court on First Amendment grounds.

QUOTE: Some legal experts agree that it [the new paparazzi law] raises First Amendment issues and could chill the gathering of information.

Christian Science Monitor
Oct 03, 2009 Kitty Stomping is Sick: But are depictions of animal cruelty the legal equivalent of child pornography? The Supreme Court will decide.

QUOTE: If the [Supreme] court reverses the lower court's decision and reinstates the law, images showing the intentional torture or killing of animals would be deemed illegal. But technically, so might depictions of bullfighting in Spain or fishing and hunting out of season.

Aug 03, 2009 Iraq Censorship Laws Move Ahead

QUOTE: the Iraqi government moves to ban sites deemed harmful to the public, to require Internet cafes to register with the authorities and to press publishers to censor books.

New York Times
May 28, 2009 U.S. Manga Obscenity Conviction Roils Comics World

QUOTE: “This art that this man [Christopher Handley] possessed as part of a larger collection of manga … is now the basis for [a sentence] designed to protect children from abuse,” says Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Apr 06, 2009 New Approach Sought in Battle to Block U-Md. Porn Screening

QUOTE: state legislator [State Sen. Andrew Harris] who is trying to halt the event [porn film showing at the University of Maryland]... threatening an attempt to cut those funds [for the university]

Washington Post
Mar 25, 2009 Students Sue Prosecutor in Cellphone Photos Case

QUOTE: When a high school cheerleader in northeastern Pennsylvania learned that she might face criminal charges after investigators reported finding a nude photo of her on someone else’s cellphone, she was more confused than frightened at being caught up in a case of “sexting”...

New York Times
Dec 18, 2008 Sting in the Scorpions tale is the exposure of Wiki's weakness

QUOTE: The combination of moral-panic-mongers willing to practice a politics of personal destruction and the ability to anonymously advocate for one's favorite fetish on one of the world's most widely read websites leads to constant low-intensity conflict. Wikipedia trades off quality control for greater production. That same design flaw is manifested in extremely weak and failure-prone mechanisms for determining the boundary between provocative and profane.

Guardian Unlimited
Dec 05, 2008 Is Google Sexist? Absence of one little word might say yes

QUOTE: Why does Google single out this one particular part as too sexually explicit to pass its filters, even if just for discussion, or to answer a question for someone too embarrassed to ask another human?

Nov 24, 2008 Schools, fools, and the tools of ignorance: If not for help from a handful of geeks, Connecticut school teacher Julie Amero would be in prison right now for crimes she didn't commit. What's wrong with

QUOTE: Amero's "crime": In October 2004, the substitute teacher from Norwich, Conn., was surfing the Net on a computer inside a middle school classroom when porn ads began popping up all over the screen. She didn't turn the computer off, because school officials expressly told her not to....Amero isn't totally exonerated. She agreed to plead guilty to "disorderly conduct" (a misdemeanor), pay $100, and have her teaching credentials revoked. The state still refuses to acknowledge it was mistaken.

Oct 16, 2008 ISPs are pressed to become child porn cops: New law, new monitoring technology raise concerns about privacy

QUOTE: New technologies and changes in U.S. law are adding to pressures to turn Internet service providers into cops examining all Internet traffic for child pornography....Privacy advocates are raising objections to such tools, saying that monitoring all traffic would be an unconstitutional invasion....But such monitoring just became easier with a law approved unanimously by the Congress and signed on Monday by President Bush.

Jun 24, 2008 What’s Obscene? Google Could Have an Answer

QUOTE: In the trial of a pornographic Web site operator, the defense plans to show that residents of Pensacola are more likely to use Google to search for terms like “orgy” than for “apple pie” or “watermelon.” The publicly accessible data is vague in that it does not specify how many people are searching for the terms, just their relative popularity over time. But the defense lawyer, Lawrence Walters, is arguing that the evidence is sufficient to demonstrate that interest in the sexual subjects exceeds that of more mainstream topics — and that by extension, the sexual material distributed by his client is not outside the norm.

New York Times
Jun 10, 2008 Net Providers to Block Sites With Child Sex

QUOTE: The move is part of a groundbreaking agreement with the New York attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, that will be formally announced on Tuesday as a significant step by leading companies to curtail access to child pornography.

New York Times
May 19, 2008 Supreme Court Upholds Child Pornography Law

QUOTE: The [Supreme Court] ruling scathingly rejected contentions that the 2003 legislation was so broadly written that it could make it a crime to share or even describe depictions of children in explicit sexual situations, even if the depictions are inaccurate, the children do not really exist and the intention is innocent.

New York Times
Feb 21, 2008 Online Photos Not as Private As District Mother Assumed

QUOTE: [a] District woman [recently] discovered the selected snapshots [of her children] had been viewed thousands of times, while other photos had about 20 hits...[the] story has caused a stir on local parenting blogs. With so many things out in the open on the Internet, how can parents guard their children's privacy?

Washington Post
Feb 13, 2008 Internet Sex Video Case Stirs Free-Speech Issues in Hong Kong

QUOTE: Some Web users here see the police action as an infringement on individual freedoms. They held a protest Sunday, arguing that, among other things, Hong Kong’s anti-pornography ordinance was too broad and too vague, and that this was a case of unequal treatment.

New York Times
Jan 16, 2008 In Child Porn Case, a Digital Dilemma: U.S. Seeks to Force Suspect to Reveal Password to Computer Files

QUOTE: compelling [the suspect] to enter his password into his laptop would violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. "If Boucher does know the password, he would be faced with the forbidden trilemma: incriminate himself, lie under oath, or find himself in contempt of court," the judge said.

Washington Post
Dec 06, 2007 SAFE Act won't turn mom-and-pop shops into WiFi cops

QUOTE: ISPs already have a duty to notify authorities if they stumble across anything that appears to be child pornography or molestation evidence. The new [The Securing Adolescents from Exploitation-Online Act] bill ups the penalties for not reporting this information

Ars Technica
Nov 26, 2007 Law protects church shock tactics, experts say

QUOTE: The jury said the church violated the family's right to privacy, and Snyder hoped the verdict would curtail the church's screeds. Constitutional law experts say the verdict probably violated the church's First Amendment right of free speech and possibly their right to freely exercise their religion.

Oct 30, 2007 Is child-porn law too broad? US Supreme Court takes up the case of a man convicted of trying to distribute make-believe porn.

QUOTE: Under a 2003 child-pornography law, Congress empowered federal agents to arrest anyone for advertising, promoting, presenting, distributing, or soliciting material in a manner that is "intended to cause another to believe" that the material is illegal child pornography. The law applies even if the underlying material isn't actually child pornography.

Christian Science Monitor
Jul 15, 2007 Outsourcing Justice? That's Obscene.

QUOTE: LAS VEGAS Privatization is all the rage these days. ... But it's hard to top this step by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales: His Justice Department has put a privatized eye on American morality.

Washington Post
Jul 08, 2007 Summer Reading Title Prompts Resistance From Parents, Not Students (The Island)

QUOTE: Commack High School thought it was doing incoming sophomores a favor by adding “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” a slender and popular $14 paperback, to its summer reading list .... Now “Perks” has been attacked as overly graphic — make that pornographic — by the parents of some Commack 10th graders.

New York Times
Jun 18, 2007 In Louisiana town, wearing low-rider pants may cost you: Supporters say the new ordinance aims to curb indecent behavior while opponents say it infringes on freedom of personal expression.

QUOTE: in its zeal to right what they see as a fashion wrong that touches on immorality and indecency, critics say this gritty Cajun shrimp-and-oil village has waded into a racial and generational morass.

Christian Science Monitor
Jun 05, 2007 Cracking Down on "Murderabilia"

QUOTE: The bill, filed in late May by Republican Senator John Cornyn, takes aim at the trade by forbidding prisoners from using the U.S. Postal Service to deliver or receive items for profit. The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it is likely to face criticism from civil-liberties groups and support from victims' rights advocates.

Time Magazine
May 29, 2007 Can What You're Reading Prove Intent to Commit a Crime?

QUOTE: Providing an example of the line that the majority was seeking to draw, Trott's majority opinion states: "[A] book such as The Great Train Robbery would not necessarily be relevant and admissible in a run-of-the-mill theft case. On the other hand, if the crime charged happened to be theft of a money shipment from a train, then possession of the book might possibly be relevant -- depending upon the precise facts and circumstances of the case."
May 01, 2007 U.S.: Online Payment Network Abetted Fraud, Child Pornography

QUOTE: At the heart of the government's case are allegations that E-Gold executives turned a blind eye to illegal activity on its networks, activity that allegedly ranged from the transfer of proceeds garnered from pyramid and investment scams to credit-card fraud and payments for child pornography materials.

Washington Post
Apr 25, 2007 Should Game Ads Be Censored?: It's not just mature rated games that are being targeted by concerned parties such as the Parents Television Council. It's their advertising, too

QUOTE: It shouldn't come as a surprise then that commercials have become the latest target by those looking to keep mature rated titles out of the hands of children. After all, if children never hear about these "M" rated titles, they're obviously not going purchase them. Certain organizations have taken these thoughts to heart, and have tried to have ads for "M" rated banned from public transit systems.

Mar 18, 2007 Free-Speech Case Divides Bush and Religious Right

QUOTE: While it is hardly surprising to find the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Coalition Against Censorship on Mr. Frederick’s side, it is the array of briefs from organizations that litigate and speak on behalf of the religious right that has lifted Morse v. Frederick out of the realm of the ordinary. The groups include the American Center for Law and Justice, founded by the Rev. Pat Robertson; the Christian Legal Society; the Alliance Defense Fund, an organization based in Arizona that describes its mission as “defending the right to hear and speak the Truth”; the Rutherford Institute, which has participated in many religion cases before the court; and Liberty Legal Institute, a nonprofit law firm “dedicated to the preservation of First Amendment rights and religious freedom.”

New York Times
Mar 13, 2007 Rulings on Free Speech for Students

QUOTE: Students' free-speech rights -- and limits school administrators may impose -- are defined in a trio of cases:

Washington Post
Mar 02, 2007 'Embarrassed' Gun Suspect Sues Microsoft After FBI Finds Sex Videos On His PC: Despite efforts to keep the data private, FBI lab agents were able to access the files by making a mirror image

QUOTE: Michael Alan Crooker, currently in jail in Connecticut, says security features advertised by Microsoft and its business partners should have kept federal agents from accessing the files on his PC. In court papers filed this week in Massachusetts Superior Court, Crooker says he "suffered great embarrassment" as a result of Microsoft's failure to keep the FBI's prying eyes off his computer.

Jan 02, 2007 Young Turn to Web Sites Without Rules

QUOTE: new Web sites like, which is building a business by going where others fear to tread: into the realm of unfiltered live broadcasts from Web cameras.

New York Times
Dec 08, 2006 Fired over 'Wicked Weasel' photo (Police blotter)

QUOTE: An employee at airline America West claimed that he was fired in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act after the company nabbed him with pornographic e-mail...America West won motion for summary judgment in its favor.
Dec 03, 2006 The Boss's Computer (The Ethicist)

QUOTE: The sexual exploitation of children is reprehensible. Yet you have no legal obligation to contact the police, nor should you .... guide your daughter toward tactics that do not consign her to passivity in response to cheating (if this was cheating) or infantilize her by having her parents step in.

Oct 28, 2006 Allen Blasts Webb Novels For Sex Scenes: Veteran Says Works Reflect Trauma of War

QUOTE: With 10 days remaining before Election Day, the allegations about sex-laced passages in Webb's writings inject a new question into a campaign that has centered almost exclusively on character issues: Should the author of a fictional work who runs for office be personally held to account for the scenes in his books?

Washington Post
Oct 09, 2006 Text This: Words Alone Can Violate Federal Obscenity Laws

QUOTE: ...recent news reports and a federal appellate court decision confirm that federal obscenity prosecutions can be brought based on words alone, even when those words are unaccompanied by obscene visual images.
Oct 06, 2006 Sex offender demands Playboy on PC (Police blotter)

QUOTE: Murderer, rapist and sex offender, civilly committed in Minnesota, challenges his laptop being confiscated after Playboy photos are discovered on it...Court permits sex offender's lawsuit to proceed.
Sep 08, 2006 Google carves a middle path on privacy

QUOTE: the company moved a step closer to establishing a global legal precedent on how Internet firms cooperate - or not - with government requests for information about Web users. It's a contentious issue that involves principles of personal privacy, political and commercial free speech, and fighting crime - be it pornography, pedophilia, racism, or terrorist plots.

Christian Science Monitor
Sep 08, 2006 Court Suspends Enforcement of Indecency Ruling: Broadcasters Had Appealed FCC's Findings on 'NYPD Blue' and Other Shows

QUOTE: The court action is the latest skirmish between the FCC and broadcasters over what can and cannot be said and shown on over-the-air television and radio...Broadcasters have argued that they are held to a double standard when it comes to their programming -- cable and satellite channels are not under the FCC's jurisdiction -- and that government regulation of broadcast content has suppressed creativity and is increasingly irrelevant in a 200-channel, Internet world.

Washington Post

98 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 48]