the trailboss abuses his CodeRanch power for his other stuff (power corrupts. absolute power corrupts absolutely is kinda neat!)
permaculture light bulbs permaculture electric heat permaculture cast iron permaculture wood burning stove permaculture solar food dehydrators
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes When people complain about the curtailment of freedom of speech Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "When people complain about the curtailment of freedom of speech" Watch "When people complain about the curtailment of freedom of speech" New topic
Author

When people complain about the curtailment of freedom of speech

Mohanlal Karamchand
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 14, 2003
Posts: 189
You see a lot of that here. Here is an old article with some interesting comments from the Indian Supreme Court.

"freedom of speech is subject to reasonable restrictions".

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1857285.stm
Richard Hawkes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
The picture caption is a classic:
The court kept in mind that Roy "is a woman"
Arjun Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1874
That means punishment would have been more if writer would be a man.
{
freedom of speech is subject to reasonable restrictions
}
I don't think anything wrong here.
[ June 20, 2004: Message edited by: Arjun Shastry ]

MH
Joe King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by Mohanlal Karamchand:
You see a lot of that here. Here is an old article with some interesting comments from the Indian Supreme Court.

"freedom of speech is subject to reasonable restrictions".

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1857285.stm


While most people would agree with the above, its the one word "reasonable" which causes all the problems. One person's reasonable is another person's unreasonable. There are several areas in which people could argue it either way:

* If a person burns their country's flag, are they exercising their right to free speech, or being unpatriotic and an enemy of the state?

* If person X publicly declares that person Y is cheating on his wife, is person X speaking freely, or likely to be taken to court for libel?

* If a person is a journalist and reveals flaws in some part of the national security, is this free speech, or endangering the country?

Its hard to say. No wonder lawyers make so much money.....
[ June 21, 2004: Message edited by: Joe King ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
In the USA:

* If a person burns their country's flag, are they exercising their right to free speech, or being unpatriotic and an enemy of the state?

Excercising their free speech.

* If person X publicly declares that person Y is cheating on his wife, is person X speaking freely, or likely to be taken to court for libel?

In trouble only if they had reason to know or should have known their statement was false.

* If a person is a journalist and reveals flaws in some part of the national security, is this free speech, or endangering the country?

Free speech.


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11499
    
  16

If person X publicly declares that person Y is cheating on his wife, is person X speaking freely, or likely to be taken to court for libel?


neither. technically speaking, libel is done in print - newspapers, magazines, possibly web pages.

If they are speaking aloud, it may or may not be slander.

if the person really is cheating on his wife, truth is a defense for either one, regardless of damage.


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
if the person really is cheating on his wife, truth is a defense for either one, regardless of damage.

The law in the UK is a little different but in the USA truth is always the perfect defense. I can say any rotten, horrible, cruel thing about you that I like as long as they are true.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11499
    
  16

I can say any rotten, horrible, cruel thing about you that I like as long as they are true.


Back at ya, Thomas!!!
[ June 21, 2004: Message edited by: fred rosenberger ]
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
In the USA:

* If a person burns their country's flag, are they exercising their right to free speech, or being unpatriotic and an enemy of the state?

Excercising their free speech.

In most monarchies: disrespect for the monarchy and possibly heresy as well (in those countries where the crown is also head of the local religion like the UK).


* If person X publicly declares that person Y is cheating on his wife, is person X speaking freely, or likely to be taken to court for libel?

In trouble only if they had reason to know or should have known their statement was false.


That's how it should be. In reality as long as you're a journalist you can lie without danger...


* If a person is a journalist and reveals flaws in some part of the national security, is this free speech, or endangering the country?

Free speech.


Which is wrong, seriously wrong. Revealing problems with national security should be and in many countries is high treason, selling out to the enemy, and espionage.


42
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Anybody who willingly reveals information they know to be classified should be put in prison. AFAIK this is quite illegal. That's not always how it works though, particularly if you're a member of Congress it seems.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Wow, the alarmists are coming out hot and heavy this week. From a night in jail and a few rupees for criticizing a dam to selling secrets to the other side.

Topic drift is a fact of life in this forum, but it sure seems more like a riptide hell-bent in the direction of conservative anxiety lately.


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11499
    
  16

If a person is a journalist and reveals flaws in some part of the national security, is this free speech, or endangering the country?


was the information publically available, or did they steal secret documents? If i'm interviewing 30 poeple about national security, all on the record, and i put some pieces together that nobody else had (A says something is B's job, B says it's C's, C says its.... and Z says it's A's), isn't it my DUTY to let people know?

however, if i happen to read a TOP SECRET document when a General goes out of the room, then maybe i should be tried...
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by fred rosenberger:
however, if i happen to read a TOP SECRET document when a General goes out of the room, then maybe i should be tried...


What if you are interviewing somebody who you may reasonably believe read such a document and you can reasonably believe the information this person is giving you came from such a document. In that case, I believe that not only should the reporter be tried, he should be forced to give up his source and that source must be tried..
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Anybody who willingly reveals information they know to be classified should be put in prison. AFAIK this is quite illegal.
Never heard of the Pentagon Papers?
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11499
    
  16

Never heard of the Pentagon Papers?


no...(hangs head in shame)
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by fred rosenberger:


was the information publically available, or did they steal secret documents? If i'm interviewing 30 poeple about national security, all on the record, and i put some pieces together that nobody else had (A says something is B's job, B says it's C's, C says its.... and Z says it's A's), isn't it my DUTY to let people know?

however, if i happen to read a TOP SECRET document when a General goes out of the room, then maybe i should be tried...


You should tell those people, not plaster it all over TV and newspapers, and these days the net, where anyone can go and see how to abuse that weakness.

As to the docs left in the open, that would be the exact breach of security your journalist would love to expose: "general doesn't lock up secret documents, leaves them for all to read. Here's the text to prove it".
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by fred rosenberger:
no...(hangs head in shame)
In the late 60's, the Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, asked a small group in the Defense Department to produce an analysis of the Vietnam War, how the US became involved, and the decision making process that was used to escalate the war. The final report was 7,000 pages and was completed in 1969. 15 copies of the report were produced and were given to the president. 2 copies were sent to the Rand Corporation for analysis. Daniel Ellsberg, an analyst at Rand, was shocked by what he read and made copies of the classified report and gave them to the NY Times, Washington Post, and 17 other newspapers in 1971. The NY Times and the Washington Post both published excerpts starting in mid-1971. The government went to court and got a restraining order to stop publication but the courts ultimately ruled in favor of the press (plus the the other newspapers that were not under the restraining order published other excerpts).

Ellsberg was tried but all charges were dismissed in 1973 because of governmental misconduct.

The Pentagon Papers led to the formation of the Plumbers, a White House group designed to plug leaks. The Plumbers included G. Gordon Liddy and became directly involved in the break-in at the Watergate Hotel. So the Pentagon Papers can be directly linked to the resignation of Richard Nixon.
Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Jason Menard:

What if you are interviewing somebody who you may reasonably believe read such a document and you can reasonably believe the information this person is giving you came from such a document. In that case, I believe that not only should the reporter be tried, he should be forced to give up his source and that source must be tried..

I think it's the reporter's job to get what information he can, and let the source worry about what's classified and what's not. Freedom of the press - in particular, freedom to criticize the government, and publicize things the government has done that it perhaps ought not do - really is critical to preventing the government from being overly powerful. It's not a coincidence that dictatorships generally have government control of the press.

If the source has a clearance for classified information, it's the source's job not to reveal that information - the safest way is by not talking to reporters - and of course the source should be tried and punished if found guilty of revealing it.

Should the reporter have to reveal his sources? I think normal legal processes should apply - for example, if the source is tried, the reporter can be subpoenaed to testify.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11499
    
  16

In the late 60's...

in my defense, that's when i was born. and in high school history, we never got past WWII.

What if the reporter gets all the information from readilly available public sources? public interviews, articles, journals, papers under the freedom of information act? and they've then made honest and true efforts to have the government address the issues, and are rebuked at every turn?

sometimes the only way to get change is with public pressure...
 
permaculture playing cards
 
subject: When people complain about the curtailment of freedom of speech