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More NSA Spying Fallout: Groklaw Shutting Down
from the the-pain-of-being-watched dept
A few months ago, after the NSA spying stories first broke, we wrote about a bit from This American Life where the host, Ira Glass, was interviewing lawyers for prisoners detained at Guantanamo, about the impact of knowing that the government was listening in on every single phone call you made. The responses were chilling. The people talked about how it stopped them from being emotional with their children or
other close friends and relatives. How they had trouble functioning in ways that many people take for granted, just because the mental stress of knowing that you have absolutely no privacy is incredibly burdensome. PJ, the dynamo behind Groklaw, has written a powerful piece explaining the similar feeling she's getting from all the revelations about government surveillance, in particular the shutting down of Lavabit by Ladar Levison, and his suggestion that if people knew what he knew about email, they wouldn't use it.
Because of this, she's shutting down Groklaw.
In a legal context, a chilling effect is the inhibition or discouragement of the legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights by the threat of legal sanction. The right that is most often described as being suppressed by a chilling effect is the US constitutional right to free speech. A chilling effect may be caused by legal actions such as the passing of a law, the decision of a court, or the threat of a lawsuit; any legal action that would cause people to hesitate to exercise a legitimate right (freedom of speech or otherwise) for fear of legal repercussions.
Groklaw was an award-winning website covering legal news of interest to the free and open source software community. Started as a law blog on May 16, 2003 by paralegal Pamela Jones ("PJ") at Radio UserLand, it has covered issues such as the SCO-Linux lawsuits, the EU anti-trust case against Microsoft, and the standardization of Office Open XML.
Jones describes Groklaw as ..."a place where lawyers and geeks could explain things to each other and work together, so they'd understand each other's work better. When you have an idea you hope might work, and then to implement it, tweak it, and morph it, because other people show up and have ideas that are better than yours...and then have people you care about and admire tell you that what you are doing matters – I can't think of a more satisfying feeling."
Originally posted by MidnightTide
But a question to ATS, do you now hesitate before writing out an email or writing in a forum?
But a question to ATS, do you now hesitate before writing out an email or writing in a forum? Perhaps a google search?
edit on 20-8-2013 by MidnightTide because: (no reason given)