> Free speech doesn't include the freedom to shout fire in a crowded theatre.
It most certainly does! There is absolutely nothing to prevent one from
shouting "FIRE" in a crowded theatre.
Actually, it doesn't. When I was on-staff at the computer center at Dartmouth, our provost also happened to be a first-amendment scholar, and he gave us an impromptu speech about the first amendment at a staff meeting
The US Supreme Court recognizes a couple exceptions to the broad permission to speak freely:
- Shouting fire in a crowded theater is explicitly prohibited because of the obvious danger and risk of injury.
- "Fighting words", that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace". [Wikipedia] The example he gave was this: someone standing on a soapbox in Hanover NH, saying that we should storm the gates in Washington and burn the place down is just exercising their free speech rights - there's no credible *imminent* threat. However, standing there and saying that we should burn down the Town Hall could clearly be believed to be a real threat, and the government would be justified in stepping in.
Rich Brown firstname.lastname@example.org
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Your scholar is wrong -- or he is giving the simplified explanation for children and others incapable of rational though and understanding, and you are believing the summary because it is simpler for you than understanding the underlying rational.
Notice that in both cases your presumption of prohibition is based on the actualization of a consequence. It is the intentional causing of the consequence that is the Criminal Act, and not the method by which that consequence is actualized. In other words, it is the causing of panic, mayhem and injury that is the Criminal Act which cannot be saved by your first amendment protections, and the shouting FIRE is but an example of an item WHICH MAY CAUSE such a result. It is not the shouting FIRE which is wrong, it is the mayhem that it causes. In any event of the cause, prior restraint is prohibited in any system of positive law. (Though I have already pointed out that both the UK and the United States are no longer systems of positive law, but rather have become Fascist Dictatorships and a priori prohibition is a hallmark of such regimes).
Anyway, if you fail to understand cause and effect and the difference between them when you have obviously passed the age of four years, it is unlikely that I will be able to educate you at this point in your life.
This is OT and we will not continue this any further.
Your scholar is wrong -- or he is giving the simplified explanation
for children and others incapable of rational though and
understanding, and you are believing the summary because it is
simpler for you than understanding the underlying rational.
Ah, the classic nerd legal misconception. Laws are not software,
because they are interpreted by politicians and judges, not CPU chips.
Dartmouth has a fine tradition of legal scholarship dating back at
least to Daniel Webster, and he knows what he is talking about. There
is plenty of documention of the way that judges around the country
interpret the First Amendment, and if you look, you will find that his
description is the way they interpret it.
You are of course welcome to interpret the law any way you want, but
don't expect to impress any courts with your theories.
ObOperations: Since ISPs are not government actors, the First
Amendment doesn't apply unless we get intrusive Net Neut laws.
PS: I used to be the mayor of my small municipality, and we learned
quite a lot about the First Amendment as applied when we tried to
revise our sign ordinance.
should we now look forward to deep technical opinons from law clerks
The U. S. Congress is on the spot already, proposing "strict scrutiny tests" for filtering and forwarding decisions of all kinds.
Randy Bush wrote: