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Groklaw shutting down because of our new US survelliance state

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So it's like a sick game show "which service will be next", and one by one we'll be sad, and minus a bunch of stuff, and ... then?
-TaoPhoenix (August 20, 2013, 10:22 PM)
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The come for YOU. But there's nobody left to stand up...

This is going to end in bloodshed. One way or another.

In light of how the psychopaths in power have spoken out against tolerating freedom of speech ( ), it's understandable why some people wouldn't want to go to prison.
-Renegade (August 20, 2013, 08:04 PM)
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My response to that (which also happens to reflect the last 40 years or more of Supreme Court precedent) is that bloggers aren't just covered by the First Amendment. They're the reason it exists.

The misconception that "the press" as referenced in the First Amendment refers to an elite brotherhood of so-called journalists and the media conglomerates they represent is a fiction invented whole cloth by those same people and foisted on the public as part of a legal defense strategy when the Pentagon Papers were published.

In fact those 2 words refer to nothing more or less than a printing press which merely represents the act of publication and promotion. The Press as the term is used today didn't exist when the Constitution was written. Newspaper publishing was nothing more than a side business run by the only people who happened to have printing presses. The first real newspaper in the colonies was a combination of letters that had made their way from Britain informing people of "current" events and a variety of essays - most by a teenage Benjamin Franklin.

In fact if I were to pick out a modern equivalent of that paper (or Franklin's entire career in the newspaper business) it would probably be Popehat. OTOH he was nowhere near as transparent as Ken White and the gang. Franklin had a razor sharp wit that he regularly used to ridicule Boston's public figures and ruling class until eventually his brother James, the actual owner of the shop and paper, forbid him from including his own contributions. After that he simply produced letters attributed to fictional people and even pitted them against each other to illustrate whatever point he was trying to make.

During the lead up to the revolution the British government tried to crack down on newspapers, not because they were full of journalistic exposes, but because they were filled with letters from ordinary people complaining about the government. Those complaints spread as far and wide, from city to city and even the most remote rural regions. Full aware they couldn't reach the source of the letters the British government attempted to use printing contracts as leverage to censor the printers. Government printing jobs were by far the most significant source of income for most printers by that time.

To whatever extent The Press refers to businesses or organizations it would be nothing more than ordinary printers who were being strong armed by government officials. To whatever extent we might feel the need to equate modern institutions to colonial newspapers the most accurate analog would be bloggers who speak out on matters of public interest and discussion forums like this one. Hell, 4chan has more in common with them than the New York Times or Washington Post.

It actually makes me angry every time I hear about some new "journalist shield law" or any other special rules for that particular group of special little snowflakes. Granting a small group of individuals more rights than the rest of us on the basis of their profession is blatantly unconstitutional and frankly offensive. If the editors of the Washington Post were really the public servants they claim to be they wouldn't have caved in to White House demands not to publish statements from an NSA official last week. If their goal was to hold the government accountable the complete, unedited transcript would have been on the front page of the paper, the front page of their website and in 4 foot tall letters on the side of their office building, probably with a giant middle finger on each side of it.

The fourth estate my ass!



Granting a small group of individuals more rights than the rest of us on the basis of their profession is blatantly unconstitutional and frankly offensive. -Vurbal (August 21, 2013, 01:07 AM)
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THANK YOU! Yes. THAT! Exactly that.

"Some animals are more equal than others."

George wrote more than 1 book, and we're seeing history being replayed in more ways than 1.

Things to look forwards to:
Self-imposed shutdown of high-privacy/security emailing services = Passive response, self-imposed suppression/censorship by default.
Impotence and capitulation in the face of progressive and incremental grinding down of Liberty by Totalitarianism.
... Snookered.

Things to ask ourselves:
How did we let this happen?
Were we asleep?
When did it start?
What does it mean for our futures?
What, if anything, can we do about it?
Should we just accept it?

^I think in Groklaw's case it's more a matter of their not being able to protect their sources under a journalist's shield and their inability to guarantee private communication channels that are the deciding factors. Which is not the same thing as capitulation or self-censorship.

 Rather than set an unwitting leaker or correspondent up should they be served with some secret court order they're neither allowed to challenge or talk about, they've called it for what it is. And they've (correctly IMO) decided that any further attempt to operate under the current system makes you a part of the problem. And there's no getting around it. That took serious guts. Unlike Microsoft, Google et al who are wringing their hands and claiming they're doing their best to fight it while still "cooperating" at every level.

The computer Joshua was right: An interesting game. The only winning move is not to play.  :Thmbsup:


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