AZ HB 2549: Outlawing Internet Trolling (Except it wont)

Arizona Looks to Outlaw Internet Trolling | Techland |

It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use ANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL DEVICE and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.

While I applaud the State’s efforts to update existing laws to ensure new technological means are not used to skirt anti-harassment and intimidation protections, this law will likely not hold up in court because the terms “annoy or offend” were made into “criminal” offenses. Such vague terminology could be used to suppress 1st Amendment rights in Arizona by those who become “annoyed” or “offended” by something someone writes on the Internet. Every day people are “offended” and “annoyed” by the most innocuous of things. That doesn’t mean it’s criminal to say or write them, especially when they are of a non-threatening nature.

Who decides what is “offensive” and there for criminal? I find the derogatory comments about Arizona from progressives, pro-illegal alien supporters and extremist groups like La Raza to harm Arizona businesses via boycotts offensive; so is that a criminal offense? Does that justify 25 years of incarceration? Of course not. And then there is the whole “profane language” part, which the SCOTUS ruled long ago as protected speech, regardless of the level of offense.

A well intentioned law but ultimately one that has been subverted by those desiring to quash free expression in this nation.

Anonymous: Preserving free speech? Hardly.

WikiLeaks: Who Is ‘Anonymous’ and What Is ‘Operation Payback’?

Some Anonymous activists call the attacks part of a new “Info-War” aimed at preserving free speech on the Internet.

Regardless of your opinion on Assange or WikiLeaks it has become patently obvious these script-kiddies (calling them hackers is an insult to genuine hackers) are too stupid to realize their actions are leading directly to the destruction of free speech on the internet in several ways. The most first, and most obvious, is their actions will prompt governments to increase regulations and laws over internet activity especially the free dissemination of information in the name of national security and internet usage stability. The second, organizations that make the internet operate ranging from ICAAN to ISPs to website hosts will want to start overly regulating content to protect themselves from government prosecution. Thirdly, businesses that keep the internet running may demand greater control of what is available on the internet to protect their businesses. Naturally, governments will go along with businesses in such a venture to ensure control for themselves.

So bravo to these morons. You’re destroying the very thing you claim to be protecting, “free speech”, with your delusions that you’re actually accomplishing anything to help your cause. Apparently “free speech” to these idiots means they can say and do whatever they want and every one else can not. Sadly, like spoiled children, they don’t even realize they’ve willingly sold out their own cause to the corporations and politicians by taking such destructive actions.

Well done. </sarcasm>

Another media event? *sigh*

Obama pushes stimulus with hard-hit Americans | Politics | Reuters

Despite voting for McCain, I had hoped for success for the Obama presidency. With each chaotic day that desire fades. Today is such another day. It’s not really surprising that President Obama is pushing the pork fest with yet another media event. Apparently the President still hasn’t realized the campaign is over, he won the Presidency.

We all know the stimulus bill is going to pass in one form or another. So what’s wrong with passing one that is truly bipartisan, stripped of pork spending, and focused on the real economy not the Democratic Party’s social engineering and welfare nanny state agenda being pushed by some elements. I’m pretty close to just labeling him a mindless media whore except he’s too savvy and crafty to be simply labeled as mindless.

I would remind the President, once more, that he should be leading from Washington not flying around the country pandering to audiences aimed at giving the false impression that the majority of the citizenry support the stimulus bill with all the pork. In actuality people want a genuine stimulus bill that will help both workers and businesses while providing some relief for the housing and credit crises. Save the social engineering and government expansion projects for another time. (Preferably never.)

I would also remind him to stop labeling everyone “obstructionist” simply because they disagree with him and offer a different opinion or solution. The Republicans offered an alternative bill that was not even considered and immediately dismissed by our supposedly unifying President. Hardly an open minded approach to governing there. It doesn’t bode well when the administration appears more willing to deal with dictatorships than with the party across the isle.

And a website I thought was interesting, Daylight Network. I haven’t signed up myself yet but it appears to be a  site to predict the first 100 days of Obama’s presidency and also aimed at tracking how and what the Federal Budget will be spent on.

Genachowski FCC pick

Genachowski Picked to Head FCC –

Genachowski seems like a decent pick for the FCC but there are some lingering questions like what is his position on re-instating the so called “Fairness Doctrine” and his view on net privacy and content.

Net Neutrality – He is for genuine net neutrality, not the “net neutrality” being espoused to give preferential treatment. That’s a positive to me.

DTV –  He’s supports it but is likely to acquiesce to Obama’s request that it be delayed. Delaying is a negative. People knew it was coming for over a year. It makes no sense to delay it.

Unfortunately there is little information on Genachowski’s opinions on a myriad of FCC related issues. Will he protect the industry he was a part of or open it up? Will he allow the continued monopolization of the MSM? Will he place corporate control of content over individual control? Will he be just another throwback to the Clinton presidency or will he truly be progressive?

I’ll reserve final judgment.

News Commentary 08 Sept 2008

Canada’s Conservatives could be headed for big win | International | Reuters Interesting. Didn’t think the Libs were in such trouble in Canada. But then the Green party seems to have imploded up there as well.

McCain, Obama deadlocked in presidential race – I take the shift om the polls as a good sign for McCain/Palin but it’s way too early to say who’ll win the election, especially with the constantly changing economy and world political situation. Also, CNN’s explanation for why their poll is so different from other polls is some what questionable. Given recent problems of bias at NBC and MSNBC I do wonder at CNN’s impartiality. As a side note: I do keep wondering why the Obama supporters are comparing Obama to Palin considering Obama is running against McCain.

Iran calls for oil output cut ahead of OPEC meeting – Just another reason the U.S. needs to get off oil, foreign or otherwise and switch to new resources. The fact that OPEC members, aside from Saudi Arabia, want to keep oil prices at $100/barrel or more should be reason enough to change. Better to change than be bled dry by other nations that would prefer the U.S. be crippled or destroyed anyway.

What the rescue means for borrowers – Sep. 7, 2008 While I understand the reasons for the government deciding to bail Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out, it rankles me whenever U.S. taxpayers have to pay (and they eventually will) for these companies inability to run themselves. Worse if the fact that it will do little to nothing to end the housing problem in this country.

‘Harry Potter’ author wins copyright claim – Sep. 8, 2008 Not unexpected ruling since Rowling is the creator of the series. The only thing I disliked was Rowling supporting the website when it benefited her and then turned on them. This is her right of course but also a reminder of fans to never trust creators no matter how supportive and friendly they seem unless you have written permission to create derivative work, even those based on fair use. I also seriously doubt she had creative difficulties because of the case as she lamely claims. That’s why I get some amusement at the relative pittance the judge ordered for damages.

Google turns 10, raises monopoly concerns – While it’s good Google has reached a milestone, the company has also become pretty questionable in their behavior (i.e. censorship, China, Chrome, questionable claims of ownership of others creative works, etc.).

Demo: UsableLogin lets you use one password for all sites | Webware : Cool Web apps for everyone – CNET It sounds like it has potential, but I can’t help but wonder whether you really want a single password for everything. The company likes to claim it’s impossible for others to access but I have yet to see a security system a hacker could not crack. Can you say goodbye to all your online information in an instant?

China counts down to third manned space launch | Science | Reuters I notice the Chinese have become somewhat more conservative with their space flight plans.

Kazakhstan accuses Russia over space crash | Science | Reuters Definitely not a good thing to have Russian Proton rockets crashing near industrial centers, especially when the Kazakh president is in the region. Not sure how this going to effect changes Kazakhstan wants made over the use of Baikonur but I’m sure they’re going to demand greater safety and compensation for ecological damage.

News commentary

Robotic Suit Helps Paraplegics Walk Personally, I think this is fantastic invention. I know my paraplegic friend was very interested in the ReWalk suit when I showed him the article. And the estimated price tag, US$20,000, really isn’t that bad when you think about it.

Iraq Says US Wanted Presence Until 2015 So if the agreement (assuming this is part of the final agreement) is accepted on both sides and all goes reasonably well, the U.S. will withdraw in 2011. Sounds reasonable to me without being needlessly reckless.

US, Russia anchor military ships in Georgian ports And the tension and Russian occupation continues. As noted in the article there was a very thinly veiled threat now against Moldova using the same nationalist notion of “protecting Russians”. Sounds way to much like Hitler and his supposed desire to unite the Germanic peoples. Remember how that conflagration ended?

Computer Virus Found on Space Station – Switched Somehow I can’t stop myself from laughing at the absurdity of this. I guess I just expect better security on such important computers and software systems. As an engineer I find it disturbing given the previous attempt by a disgruntled worker to sabotage equipment intended for the ISS.

Woman With Last Name of ‘Yoda’ Barred From Facebook – Switched How stupid. Ignorant people making ignorant decisions. But then I avoid social networking sites for exactly that reason.

T-shirt gets Van Nuys woman kicked out of federal building – LA Daily News This it what happens when small people get a little perceived power and think “Big Brother” will cover their actions. Fortunately even DHS recognized this guard was a fascist asshole and made it clear the guys was out of line. I hope Paragon Security Company loses its DHS contract as well as is penalized for its discrimination against a US citizen over such a stupid thing.

Dead Sea Scrolls to go digital on Internet | Science | Reuters Excellent.

Union prepares proposal for Boeing as strike looms | U.S. | Reuters Not good news if negotiations fail. And both sides seem a bit hot under the collar at the moment. Both sides really need to come to an equitable agreement before any disagreements damage both sides, though Boeing has far more to lose than the IAM.