The Sound of Civil Liberties Being Flushed in a Back-Room Toilet

  • The Sound of Civil Liberties Being Flushed in a Back-Room Toilet
    Wired News reports that the USA anti-terrorism act is just about done after negotiations between Senate and House committees. While watered down, the USA act still allows police to get court orders to search homes, offices and possessions without notifying the searchee. My favorite quote pretty much wraps up the situation — Rep. Barney Frank, noting the essentially closed-door nature of the Congressional negotiations, says, “This bill, ironically, which has been given all of these high-flying acronyms — it is the Patriot bill, it is the USA bill, it is the stand-up-and-sing-the-Star-Spangled-Banner bill — has been debated in the most undemocratic way possible, and it is not worthy of this institution.”

    Wired News also has an article charting the chilling of free speech on the web in the wake of the massively overwhleming (and tremendously uncritical and unthinking) patriotism that has swept the nation.

    Given the trouble that Indymedia has had with the likes of the FBI prior to the USA act, one has to shudder at the thought of how intrusive the gov’t can be with the Act passed. Will we see Freedom of the Press become a privilege only available to the moneyed few? How much searching of an IMC has to happen before dissenting speech is effectively chilled? Or will an Indymedia’s ISP simply yank service after the FBI warns them that IMC’s are dangerous or “terrorist?”

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