Saturday 20 November 2004

The US govt sees freedom of speech on the internet as a real threat to the president ?

a word to the wise
I'd actually have to be LESS paranoid to be as paranoid as the writer appears to have become (not that I'd blame them).

Let's just say that I have known about both the Echelon project and the FBI's reach into Australia (and any other ally of the US) for a long time (think decade plus), so unless you haven't been paying attention you would have noticed that I make no posts (or even emails) of a potentially "risky" (in the context of this conversation) nature. In fact, you should have noticed that I may *say* certain things, but I never put them into print myself, rather I quote or link the writings of others. It is a rare occasion when I cannot find somebody to quote, so I have only ever once had to publish something myself. Maybe less than courageous, but probably prudent since anonymity on the 'net is a myth.

For the record, I have been advised that from a legal perspective, the disclaimer "we are not responsible for the posts of others on this site" (or words to that effect) is not a "get out of jail free" card and you can in fact be prosecuted in the US and extradited from Oz if it's bad enough, or prosecuted here if you fail to remove the offending post on FIRST notification from the Oz police (which may just be a phone call, so be aware).

The moral of the story is that post 911, we do NOT live in a totally free society and that Thomas Jefferson's quotation "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance" is more apt than ever. Note that you will have heard me say on many occasions that we have a "legal system", not a "justice system".... he with the deepest pockets usually wins. If you doubt of the lengths to which the US government may go to do things to a close ally, have a read of the history of the downfall of the Whitlam government in the 1970s after the arrest of Christopher Boyce....

For any law enforcement agencies out there, no, I don't advocate anything except the exercise of our democratic right to vote bad governments out of office and the right to express our displeasure in their failings of us the voting public in peaceful protest or print. ok?

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