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Monday, August 30, 2004

The Man comes down on NaziMedia

[originally posted to Daimnation!]

The U.S. Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into the posting of RNC delegates' names and personal information on indymedia.org:

The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation and is demanding records regarding Internet postings by critics of the Bush administration that list the names of Republican delegates and urge protesters to give them an unwelcome reception in New York City.

Federal prosecutors said in a grand jury subpoena that the information was needed as part of an investigation into possible voter intimidation. Protesters and civil rights advocates argued that the Web postings were legitimate political dissent, not threats or intimidation.
The Indy Media site is run by the NYC Independent Media Center, which describes itself as a grass-roots group committed to using media tools "for promoting social and economic justice in the New York City area." The site includes several lists containing the names of many delegates to the Republican convention, along with e-mail addresses, phone numbers and the hotels where some were expected to stay, as well as links to a site called rncdelegates.com. Most of the lists were posted anonymously or by demonstrators calling themselves the RNC Delegates Working Group. One list includes more than 2,200 delegates, or nearly half the expected total. In publicizing the information, organizers said in a posting that they were trying to supply groups opposed to the Republican National Committee "with data on the delegates to use in whatever way they see fit."

"The delegates should know not only what people think of the platform that they will ratify, but that they are not welcome in New York City," organizers said in a posting.

"This upcoming mobilization in New York is not about the delegates, it's about who and what is going to be affected by the Republican Party platform that these delegates will proudly put their name to and will ratify," the message continued. "It goes beyond that, as we raise our voices and fists and proclaim that this rotten system of capitalist exploitation and imperialist domination must be swept away.''

The site doesn't actually say its supporters should harass and attack convention delegates, but something tells me your average NaziMidiot isn't going to invite them out for pizza.

The ACLU opposes the investigation, and I was going to write something snarky about how they'd have no problem with prosecuting anti-abortion activists who post the names and addresses of abortion doctors on the internet. But to its credit, during the "Nuremberg Files" case a few years ago, the group did file a legal brief supporting the pro-lifers' First Amendment rights. This article explains that (still unresolved) case, and the relevant issues could arise here.

The law, so far, seems to be on the side of the NaziMidiots. But no reasonable person can dispute the real reason why the names and addresses have been posted - or who the real "digital brownshirts" are.

Posted by Damian Penny on August 30, 2004 in International Politics | Permalink


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