Tuesday, May 29, 2012

FREE SPEECH ALERT: Stop Lawfare Against Bloggers!

This story has been going on for the last few weeks (well, longer, but I've seen lots of posts about it recently). I admit to reading about it and then dismissing it as just more infighting in the blogosphere, but things seem to really be getting out of hand. Also, I try to not post anything too political (sometimes I can't help myself), but I think this issue should transcend partisanship.

You probably don't know about Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day, so click here for the back story.

More people from all political backgrounds are coming to the defense of bloggers being targeted by Brett Kimberlin, et al., for having the audacity to spread the truth about his background online. I'm all for spirited discourse, and, even though I don't like it, I think we should also allow for nasty, personal attacks and general mean-spirited-ness in the name of free speech. If Kimberlin doesn't like what's being said about him, then he can respond in kind. Instead, he has taken to abusing the legal system in an effort to silence those bloggers with whom he disagrees and, in doing so, harms the freedom of all of us to express ourselves online without fear of SWATing or Legal Abuse.

via Popehat (hat tip to Michelle Malkin):
Despite what you believe, you can be imprisoned in America for writing about public controversies. Aaron Walker--who until recently blogged as Aaron Worthing--found that out today. 
I first wrote about Aaron when I sent out the Popehat Signal seeking pro bono help for him in Maryland in connection with his disputes with convicted bomber and perjurer Brett Kimberlin. Much more recently, I wrote about him when he revealed how Kimberlin had pursued him in retaliation for his writing, including making a demonstrably false criminal accusation against him. 
After Aaron temporarily prevailed over Kimberlin and told his story, Kimberlin sought, and obtained, a new "peace order" (Maryland law-speak for a restraining order) against Aaron, trying to portray Aaron's protected expression as harassment and threats. 
Today Aaron showed up in court in connection with that order, and was taken into custody for violating it--apparently on the grounds that by blogging about Kimberlin's behavior, had had violated the peace order. 
Today is a setback for freedom of expression and a victory for sociopathy and the abuse of the legal system for crass political ends. But it is not over. Not by far. It's time to pull in some First Amendment heavy hitters to assist. It's time to get more attention to the situation, and inflict the Streissand Effect even more than Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day already did. It's time to fight.
Have a blog? Know someone who does (me)? Support free speech and call out legal BS like this that is meant to stifle speech in the blogosphere.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I believe in free speech. Please don't abuse it. I will take down posts which are absurdly offensive to others. Thanks for your comment!!