Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Free Speech and the Blogosphere

So on the front page of the Business Day section of today's New York Times, a great story about balancing the law and blog posting. What is really interesting is that there seems to be a political bent to the specific blog that was targeted by the New York City's DA in attempting to find the IP addresses of anon posters criticizing Republican lawmakers and posting news reports about investigations that supported their criticism.

Luckily, the subpoena was withdrawn after “The district attorney was not aware that a subpoena was sent nor was he aware of the content of the comments, until after the subpoena was sent. The district attorney reviewed the matter, determined that a subpoena was not necessary at this time, and directed that it be withdrawn.”

But this story should give every blogger and those who publish blogs pause. We are a progressive blog but we don't try to stifle people in the expression their positions as long as it is done in a manner that is more or less in line with common decorum. I think we have only banned one comment in the time this blog has been up, which is a testament to our readers and our posters. However, if government entities begin issuing subpoenas to investigate posters just because they express their opinions anonymously how can real discussion take place? I would like to think that bloggers on both sides of the spectrum share this common thread of being able to express one's political views without fear of retribution from that politician or political entity. That is entirely anathema to what this country stands for. I mean wouldn't you be less inclined to share your opinions on say Jerry Sanders, Donna Frye or any other elected if they could find out who you are? Don't we have rights?

What do you think?

No comments: