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Civil Groups Band Together to Demand US Protect Press Freedoms

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posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 09:31 AM
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Civil Groups Band Together to Demand US Protect Press Freedoms


www.rawstory.com

"We urge caution against any legislation that could weaken the principles of free expression vital to a democratic society or hamper online freedoms," the groups declared in an open letter to Congress.

Government officials "have rashly proposed legislation that could limit the free speech of legitimate news reporting agencies well beyond Wikileaks,"...
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 09:31 AM
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The outcome of Wikileaks' persecution will affect us all - and either ensure that our Rights and Freedoms are protected, or guarantee that they're gone.

When we post on the Internet, we are ALL writers, journalists, editors and publishers. If Wikileaks does not have these rights and freedoms, then neither do we.

The open letter to Congress is here (pdf).

The groups lay out what amounts to a legal defence:


They outlined a series of legal precedents that Congress should consider before potentially criminalizing what WikiLeaks has done. They are:

• Publishers have a First Amendment right to print truthful political information free of prior restraint, as established in New York Times v. United States.

• Publishers are strongly protected by the First Amendment against liability for publishing truthful political information that is lawfully obtained, even if the original disclosure of that information to the publisher was unlawful, under Bartnicki v. Vopper.

• Internet users have a First Amendment right to receive information, as repeatedly endorsed by a series of Supreme Court cases, including Stanley v. Georgia.

• The public has a First Amendment right to voice opinions about government activities. This is core political speech, which receives the highest protection under the Constitution.


www.rawstory.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 09:34 AM
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Only bad thing is, that most media outlets whom wish to cry foul, are only rehearsing, and regurgitating what they were told to by their respective gov.t's. So NOW, all of a sudden they want to preach the 1st Amendment? Sounds kinda fishy to me.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 09:39 AM
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reply to post by Whereweheaded
 


I don't much care what the 'media outlets' say. I just know that if our rights to free expression and freedom of the press are overturned, I'll be arrested for "sedition," and Above Top Secret will be shut down down, it's archives purged and our 3 Amigos led out in handcuffs.

ALL our rights and freedoms hinge on the 1st Amendment.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 09:42 AM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


Agreed, but with this "NET neutrality " I fear all informative websites including ATS will be shut down anyhow.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 09:47 AM
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Originally posted by Whereweheaded
Only bad thing is, that most media outlets whom wish to cry foul, are only rehearsing, and regurgitating what they were told to by their respective gov.t's. So NOW, all of a sudden they want to preach the 1st Amendment? Sounds kinda fishy to me.


Official media outlets are obsolete with the advent of the www. and anyone with access to information can publish it via the web. And they will unless Draconian measures are instituted, which is also a possibility.
Information will always be accessible unless they shut down the entire web.
edit on 23-12-2010 by whaaa because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 09:50 AM
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reply to post by Whereweheaded
 


they prefer the term "phased out".


it sounds less forceful



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 10:03 AM
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reply to post by Whereweheaded
 


True, "Net Neutrality" legislation opens the door and gives the FCC the legal right to implement "controls."

BUT.

We still have the First Amendment, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. We have a right to free expression, freedom of speech and of the press.

IF we allow governments to go after Wikileaks and Assange on the grounds outlined - we're letting them toss out ALL our rights and freedoms to do it.

It's fundamental. We have to fight for Assange' and Wikileaks' rights and freedoms to defend our own. ...Consider it a trial balloon, a test case.

It's not about Assange or Wikileaks. It's about us: our rights, our freedoms.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by soficrow
 

People, especially young people, need to get used to fighting for their freedoms. That should be the word on the street, fight, fight, fight, to protect your rights.
We can win this thing.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 10:30 AM
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Originally posted by Stewie
reply to post by soficrow
 

People, especially young people, need to get used to fighting for their freedoms. That should be the word on the street, fight, fight, fight, to protect your rights.
We can win this thing.



I think if the youth even remotely thought their precious Facebook, MySpace etc were threatened they would be
raising hell in the streets; as well they should.

Knowledge is power. That is why the Gate Keepers are ****** bricks right now and trying their damnedist to squelch this movement.

www.abovetopsecret.com...
edit on 23-12-2010 by whaaa because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 11:22 AM
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Originally posted by whaaa


Knowledge is power. That is why the Gate Keepers are ****** bricks right now and trying their damnedist to squelch this movement.



I suspect that those gatekeepers trying to control access to the gate don't realise how much the nature of that gate has changed.

Essentially, without destroying the gate (closing the whole internet) the gate is now beyond their total control.

To use another analogy ... For every finger they stick into a leaking hole, several other leaking holes appear.... and there will always be a way to leak info (and access it) online.

Personally, I think it's great!!!



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 05:51 PM
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reply to post by Stewie
 


I agree - but the questions are, "How do we fight? And who, and where?"

And with what?

...My generation tried to fight from the "inside," using the law and other sanctioned tools. We failed.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 06:21 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 

How do we fight?
I think we are already learning that, and in fact, we are winning the fight in many ways without even knowing it. First, we are raising awareness. Alternative news media (internet) is far more influential than "they" would have anyone believe. They simply can't control the news anymore. Result: Win for us.
Second, we stress that some of the battles are up to us to win INDIVIDUALLY, without a slap on the back. Don't try to be an internet hero. Quietly do what needs to be done.
Third, we have to recognize that there are a lot of patriot groups out there fighting...showing up. We have to take some time out, and lead those that watch our actions by example.
The world is not screwed up because of television, it is because we WATCH television. Let's get out and change one little thing, and like a seed it will grow.
It works.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 07:31 PM
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reply to post by Stewie
 


As it happens, I totally agree with you.



And you're right. It does work. Like water changes landscapes.




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