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[P]
"Maverick Judge" Upholds Free Speech in Washington State

By BadDoggie in News
Wed May 28, 2003 at 10:07:51 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

On May 22, the judge who upheld the legality of the FBI Russian hacker trap and also issued a permanent injunction against the City of Medina free speech-stopping statute declared the Washington state law barring publication of law officers' personal information unconstitutional.


It all started in April, 2001, when the city of Kirkland, Washington, filed a lawsuit against the creators of a justicefiles.org. The site listed personal information of the city's police officers. The site's creator, Bill Sheehan, lives in a suburb of Seattle, and posted information he found through the state of Washington's Open Records, private information firms and cross-matching all the information on the site. Among other reasons, he tries to expose fraud and police who are convicted felons.

The city of Kirkland claimed that listing policemen's addresses and social security and home phone numbers would lead to harassment of the officers and possibly to identity theft.

The judicial and legislative branches are beginning to comprehend many aspects of the Internet and learning that what occurs on-line is not inherently different from the physical world in many ways, albeit slowly.

Actually, it all started in April, 2000, when Sheehan filed many requests for information under Washington State's Open Records Act, which requires that public agencies release public information within 5 working days. Both the King County Sheriff's Office and Jail refused. Instead, they filed suit in May and didn't serve him notice until July.

In November, King County Court Judge Michael J. Fox ordered the county to turn over the names. The county refused and filed an appeal, but they didn't file for a stay of judgement and became liable for $100/day penalty for withholding the information.

In March, 2001, justicefiles.org went live. Cracking and DoS attempts started immediately. Sheehan and his partner, Aaron Rosenstein, both network engineers, dealt with it and provided the FBI with evidence of the attacks coming from the King County computer system. Someone in the Department of Corrections illegally obtained legally private information about Sheehan and started spreading it, using free hosts, which Sheehan got shut down for display of illegally obtained information. The FBI is investigating this, too. His employer was pressured to fire him. His ISP was threatened but stood firm, unlike his domain registrar DomainDiscover. However, through domainbank.com, he was back up the same day.

In King County Superior Court in May, Sheehan's attorney Elena Garella pointed out that when the First Amendment was adopted, information was spread by newspapers and handbills, and that when radio and television started, the First Amendment protections didn't change just because of the speed and scope of the technology. Sheehan was claiming to have attempted to increase police accountability. The judge agreed, but nixed Social Security numbers, stating there was a reasonable expectation of privacy for them.

Things only got more interesting from there. In June, Sheehan added Yahoo! and Infospace as defendants in his case, claiming that the same personal information on his site was available on theirs. This would force the Superior Court judge to make a distinction between those firms and Sheehan's site.

The city of Kirkland threatened others, including former Wired writer and libertarian champion Declan McCullagh for his coverage of the public events.

Things were looking pretty bleak for the county, so the Washington state senate got in on the action and in March, 2002, passed a bill banning the publishing of information on "law enforcement-related, corrections officer-related, or court-related employee or volunteer, or someone with a similar name" [my emphasis] without their express written permission.

Being involved in appeals with Sheehan didn't stop the city from using the law against Paul Trummel, a former resident of a HUD-funded housing project for the elderly in Seattle. He discovered what he believed to be fraud and abuse in the management of the home. After management got an order of protection preventing him from approaching his neighbors, he posted the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of the Officers and Board of Directors. The King County Superior Court issued a restraining order which Trummel ignored. The 68-year-old arthritic man was jailed in solitary confinement for contempt, kept in a cell next to the "Green River Killer".

Whether Trummel was a kook or a civil champion, the fact is that the Court made a content-based restriction, stating there was only a "slight infringement on his free speech" and "no prior restraint," which flies in the face of almost every First Amendment decision handed down.

Back to Bill: In July, 2002, Kirkland dropped its $609,000 lawsuit against justicefiles.org. However, there was the matter of the law still on the books of Washington. On May 22, 2003, this law was declared unconstitutional in the District Court of the Western District of Washington.

Here, some excerpts from the decision:

The First Amendment does not protect certain modes of speech or expression, including true threats, fighting words, incitements to imminent lawless action, and classes of lewd and obscene speech. However, the First Amendment protects speech that advocate violence, so long as that speech is not directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is not likely to incite or produce such action.
That was the end of the King County argument that the publication of the information on the site could lead to threats against police and others covered by the law. King county argued that "The release of personal identifying information regarding individuals, together with the intent to harm or intimidate, constitutes a threat." The court found differently:
Whether a particular statement may properly be considered to be a threat [for purposes of the First Amendment] is governed by an objective standard -- whether a reasonable person would foresee that the statement would be interpreted by those to whom the maker communicates the statement as a serious expression of intent to harm or assault." (from Planned Parenthood v. American Coalition of Life Activists, 290 F 3d at 1074)
Judge John Coughenour goes on to write:
... the statute hints at no objective standard whatsoever. Therefore, the statute, on its face, simply does not regulate true threats as defined by the First Amendment jurisprudence. The statute's flaw is further demonstrated by the fact that even if an individual revealed the personal identifying information of a law enforcement-related employee to issue a true threat, that individual would be immune from the statute so long as he or she could demonstrate that he or she lacked the subjective intent to harm or intimidate.
The judge noted that the County asserted that the motivation behind the statement is not prohibited, but that the motivation is the only [judge's emphasis] thing prohibited by the statute.

He clearly explained every flaw in the State's argument and reaffirmed some basic rights:

...because the statute regulates pure speech rather than any constitutionally proscribable mode of speech, such as true threats, it does not constitute a content-neutral prohibition of proscribable speech directed at certain individuals... It would grant the government a dangerous tool to proscribe any speech based solely on the government's speculation as to what harms might result from its utterance... [the county/State] can demonstrate no compelling interest because the statute hinges solely on the subjective intent of the speaker.

Thought-policing is not a compelling state interest recognized by the First Amendment.

...

... a statute that demands self-censorship .. that one police one's own thoughts and subjective intent -- impermissibly sacrifices the public interest in the free exchange of ideas. This chills free speech.

Judge Coughenour concludes that the First and Fourteenth (life, liberty, property; due process; equal protection under law) Amendments "preclude the State of Washington from proscribing pure speech based solely on the speaker's subjective intent.

His concluding words beg the broadest audience:

...we live in a democratic society founded on fundamental constitutional principles. In this society, we do not quash fear by increasing government power, proscribing those constitutional principles, and silencing those speakers of whom the majority disapproves. Rather, as Justice Harlan eloquently explained, the First Amendment demands that we confront those speakers with superior ideas...

The First Amendment protection of Free Speech has been one of the most cherished and strongly protected American rights. As in the past, from Blue Laws (Sunday Closing laws) to the manufacture and dissemination of pornography, the logical arguments stemming from the protection of the exercise of Free Speech will inevitably spread to other areas and, in the long term, give opponents of bad legislation such as the DMCA and copyright extension acts the arguments they need to remove them from the books.

Or it may be that Judge Coughenour, the Harley-riding "maverick" appointed by Reagan in 1981 and chief judge since 1988, is an out-of-touch idealist waiting for a higher court smack-down and early retirement, by "accident" if necessary.

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Poll
Free Speech
o Anything. Anytime. Anywhere. 16%
o It's okay to yell "Fire!" in a theatre only when it's burning. 28%
o Reasonable limits (no threats, slander, etc.). 47%
o Community standards. 0%
o Think of the children! 1%
o Shouldn't that be "Open Speech"? 2%
o Cat's got my tongue. 2%

Votes: 105
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Yahoo
o upheld the legality
o City of Medina free speech-stopping statute
o unconstitu tional
o justicefil es.org
o his coverage
o a bill
o "maverick"
o Also by BadDoggie


Display: Sort:
"Maverick Judge" Upholds Free Speech in Washington State | 194 comments (158 topical, 36 editorial, 0 hidden)
harleys suck (1.00 / 27) (#3)
by BankofNigeria ATM on Wed May 28, 2003 at 03:55:10 PM EST

get a real motorcycle, like a honda or suzuki.

FOR A GOOD TIME, AIM ME AT: Nigerian ATM

Not really. (2.50 / 3) (#4)
by BadDoggie on Wed May 28, 2003 at 04:06:32 PM EST

Actually, Harleys got very good despite AMF's poor handling of the company, because improved manufacturing and pushed through the Evolution motor. It didn't come in time to save AMF -- executives bought the company back in 1981/82 and the Evolution went into production in 1984.

Good motor, good bike, W-a-y overpriced.

woof.

"You're more screwed up than turmeric and you're not even drunk!" — A Proud
[
Parent ]

GSXR :-) (3.00 / 1) (#6)
by duncan bayne on Wed May 28, 2003 at 04:17:59 PM EST

Horses for courses.  

My 2K GSXR600 will eat any Harley known to man, spit out the pieces, and come back for seconds.  Then add handling into the equation ... :-)

That said - I toured from Auckland to Palmerston North on the thing (~ 700km), and wound up with a pinched nerve in my right hand.  Comfortable it isn't.  It also lacks low- and mid-range torque & power, and acres of shiny chrome.

Motorcycle holy wars are just as pointless as programming language holy wars.


[ Parent ]

very well written (2.83 / 6) (#5)
by asad on Wed May 28, 2003 at 04:12:25 PM EST

And informative. Nicely linked to information as we read the article.

Free Speech Is a Joke (2.86 / 15) (#17)
by MicroGlyphics on Wed May 28, 2003 at 07:13:55 PM EST

Now thems fightin' words! In America, this is a nice concept, but so far from reality, and PC speech and euphemism make matters even worse.

Community standards?I can say something here that I can't say there. How lame is that? Lewd and obsene speech? Please.

As Ben Franklin said, "A Democracy will vote away its rights." This is a sad but true inevitibility bacause as de Tocqueville said, "A Democracy requires an educated polulace." That ain't hap'nin'...no how, no way.

Like the empires who have fallen before, America will fall. Sad, too. Not tomorrow, perhaps, and perhaps not next week, next year, next score, but change is inevitible. First Amendment speech and what is so-called protected speech will have fallen long before that day. Lihe the watters lapping away at the cliffs, these rights will be eroded...slowly, but surely.

"Dreams are private myths; myths are public dreams." - Joseph Campbell

Huh? (1.66 / 3) (#28)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed May 28, 2003 at 09:09:02 PM EST

Did you have a point? Anything on topic? Or could you just not resist another opportunity vent your spleen?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Did _you_ have a point? (n/t) (none / 0) (#64)
by tekue on Thu May 29, 2003 at 05:34:20 AM EST


--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and
[ Parent ]
Hey, we're free to speak! (4.00 / 7) (#76)
by Eric Green on Thu May 29, 2003 at 10:16:34 AM EST

As long as it's only in government-approved ways, on government-approved topics. For example, during Bush's campaign visits, Bush supporters are allowed to line the streets that Bush will drive through and wave signs in support of Bush. People with signs critical of Bush are regularly herded off to "free speech zones" miles away and arrested for "holding an illegal demonstration" if they refuse to cooperate. Here in the state of Arizona, THE DIRECTOR OF THE AZ ACLU WAS ARRESTED FOR TAKING PICTURES OF POLICE BEHAVIOR AT A DEMONSTRATION because a cop told her to get across the street with the rest of the demonstrators, she said she was a legal observer, not a demonstrator, and had a right to stand on that side of the street, and then four cops jumped on her and whacked her upside the head with their billy clubs and hauled her off bodily. I expect that my tax dollars will be paying a multi-million-dollar judgement any day now for the illegal actions of our local cops.

Of course, right now prosecutors drop those charges immediately, but the speech has still been suppressed and the person has still be punished for the speech, if only via a night in jail. We're not YET to the Gulags. But I wonder how long that will be? If cops can remove people who engage in unapproved speech to "free speech zones" a mile away, what's to prevent designating, say, a large swath of irradiated desert in Nevada, as a "free speech zone" and carting these pesky free speakers off to there in order to speak to an audience of cacti for the rest of their short miserable lives?

And the sad thing is that the majority of Americans agree with these actions, because they only happen to "those" people, you know, "those" people, who don't look like us, or act like us, or hold middle-class Republican beliefs like us....
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Uh Huh... (5.00 / 2) (#79)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu May 29, 2003 at 11:52:26 AM EST

As long as it's only in government-approved ways, on government-approved topics.

That's patently false. I can pontificate and fulminate about whatever I damn well please and so too can you.

We're not YET to the Gulags. But I wonder how long that will be?

You're seeing a slippery slope where there is in fact a brick wall. Free speech zones are not the first step toward Gulags. That's just plain asinine. People have a protected right to protest abortion clinics, they do not have a protected right to block the entry of the clinic and physically impede its operation. Likewise, separating opposing sides at protests/rallies is a reasonable measure designed to keep everyone safe. Further, isolated abuses of power and heavy handed enforcement are not evidence of a systemic spiral into totalitarianism; your evidentiary gap is a vast chasm.

Do you really believe that your histrionics convince anybody of anything other than your total lack of rational perspective?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Fine (5.00 / 1) (#81)
by Eric Green on Thu May 29, 2003 at 12:34:18 PM EST

I'll ask around, find some potted plants, leave them just inside the back fence, and call the law.

Have fun being homeless after they seize your home under asset forfeiture laws for growing marijuana.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Pardon? (3.00 / 1) (#85)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu May 29, 2003 at 01:19:58 PM EST

Whatever in the world do asset forfeiture laws have to do with free speech rights?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Just pointing out... (5.00 / 2) (#93)
by Eric Green on Thu May 29, 2003 at 02:39:05 PM EST

that it's not "being hysterical" to talk about government violations of people's basic fundamental rights. And I notice you did not contradict my statement that relegation to "free speech zones" means that people are free to speak only in a government-approved location.

As a Libertarian, I do not believe that I need government approval to speak, and I do not believe that government should be allowed to seize my property just because someone dropped some pot plants over my back fence. Note that you're required to prove that the pot plants aren't yours, and that the government has to provide no proof at all that you have ever used or sold pot, otherwise your house now belongs to the Sheriff's Department to be sold at auction...
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Moderation in all things (5.00 / 2) (#97)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu May 29, 2003 at 03:19:32 PM EST

it's not "being hysterical" to talk about government violations of people's basic fundamental rights

Indeed, it's not. But what I accused you of was speaking hysterically and hyperbolically about the subject. A very different thing...

And I notice you did not contradict my statement that relegation to "free speech zones" means that people are free to speak only in a government-approved location

That's simply not true. Free speech zones are a reasonable compromise between people's right to express themselves and the state's obligation to maintain the peace. How does making abortion protesters stand across the street from a clinic deprive them of their ability to express themselves?

Not to mention the fact that free speech zones apply only to one specific form of speech: protest/rally. Surely you recognize that speech in the form of public assembly raises all sorts of pragmatic issues concerning crowd control that are wholly unrelated to whatever message it is that people are looking to get out? There are numerous provisions, procedures, and regulations in place for dealing with public assemblies that have nothing whatsoever to do with expressing a message. Why should someone organizing a rally to protest abortion, war, or a corporation's hiring policy be exempted from the same regulations which apply to the concert promoter and the carnival operator? Having something to say doesn't somehow excuse you from having to abide by the law.

As a Libertarian, I do not believe that I need government approval to speak

I'm with you there, but I fail to see how you are being so put upon. You're speaking right now without needing any form of official government sanction, aren't you?

and I do not believe that government should be allowed to seize my property just because someone dropped some pot plants over my back fence.

Here I am fully in agreement with you. Asset forfeiture laws should, in my opinion, be deemed unconstitutional, but I still fail to see how this is relevant to the free speech issue.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Miles, not feet (5.00 / 3) (#100)
by Eric Green on Thu May 29, 2003 at 03:34:32 PM EST

In the 2002 campaign, where Bush made many speeches in support of Republican candidates, anybody with an anti-Bush sign was often penned up in a barbed-wire-fenced "free speech zone" that might have been miles away from where Bush was actually speaking, while those with pro-Bush signs were allowed to line the route and wave their little signs of support. Any anti-Bush person who refused to be politely interned in their own private little concentration camp far from the cameras and far from the speech were arrested for "disturbing the peace", "failure to obey a lawful order", and whatever other trumped-up charges could be invoked. If you don't see a problem with this, I give up -- you won't see a problem until those "free speech zones" are moved to the middle of the Nevada desert, in which case it'll be too late.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
Sounds a little heavy handed to me... (3.00 / 3) (#111)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu May 29, 2003 at 05:41:57 PM EST

...but hardly the sort of thing which threatens to undue liberal society.

If you don't see a problem with this, I give up -- you won't see a problem until those "free speech zones" are moved to the middle of the Nevada desert, in which case it'll be too late.

Again with the Gulags... it's like talking to a Chicken Little - Sarah Bernhardt hybrid.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
I give up (5.00 / 3) (#114)
by Eric Green on Thu May 29, 2003 at 06:08:04 PM EST

You're right, I have no God-given right of free speech, I only have the right to speak where government allows me to speak. I can only praise my Creator that our government currently allows me to speak in this forum, but if they decided that this forum presented a threat to America, why, I'd just politely shut up and obey my betters.

Satisfied?
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Case in point [n/t] (1.00 / 1) (#116)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu May 29, 2003 at 06:52:25 PM EST


---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Case in point (5.00 / 3) (#121)
by truth versus death on Thu May 29, 2003 at 09:46:25 PM EST

Here.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
As I said... (3.00 / 1) (#134)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri May 30, 2003 at 12:05:43 AM EST

...heavy handed. And pretty damn stupid to boot. I hope the AG's office gets their ass handed to them in court. What it's definitely not is a serious abrogation of free speech rights.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Re:As I said... (5.00 / 1) (#137)
by truth versus death on Fri May 30, 2003 at 12:27:45 AM EST

What it's definitely not is a serious abrogation of free speech rights.

I'll kindly disagree with that statement.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
As is your right... (5.00 / 1) (#139)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri May 30, 2003 at 12:57:10 AM EST

Hell, feel free to rant and rave about it because you are, in fact, free to do so. You could write a letter to the editor of any paper of your choosing, shout your dissent from the rooftops, make a documentary about the issue, even organize a protest; all these options are available to you.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
I'd like to protest Bush... (5.00 / 1) (#140)
by truth versus death on Fri May 30, 2003 at 01:08:05 AM EST

...when he arrives at the public airport with a protest sign. But, due to the threat of being treated as another has been for doing the same, I will abstain. Feels chilly in here.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
I prefer that you could... (4.00 / 1) (#141)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri May 30, 2003 at 01:21:36 AM EST

...but I can't honestly say that the fact you don't free to do so bothers me all that much. Cold? Step back a couple paces, you can still say what you'd like.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Actually, no, I can't (5.00 / 1) (#142)
by truth versus death on Fri May 30, 2003 at 01:30:10 AM EST

As you already acknowledged above, the freedom to do so has been taken from me. I can say other things. But that still doesn't mean I can say what I'd like to.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
The sematics of 1000 yards... (3.00 / 1) (#143)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri May 30, 2003 at 01:36:32 AM EST

...are hardly significant. If anything, they amplify your point.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Welcome... (1.00 / 1) (#144)
by truth versus death on Fri May 30, 2003 at 01:38:54 AM EST

...to the Bush Universe of logic.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
meaning? [n/t] (none / 0) (#145)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri May 30, 2003 at 01:49:17 AM EST


---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Exactly. [n/t] (none / 0) (#146)
by truth versus death on Fri May 30, 2003 at 02:05:27 AM EST



"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
Fighting words (1.00 / 1) (#167)
by jbrandon on Fri May 30, 2003 at 07:47:14 PM EST

Luckily, "fighting words" is a "null category" in legal lingo - in other words, there is no such thing!

[ Parent ]
Who now? (1.71 / 7) (#18)
by gauntlet on Wed May 28, 2003 at 07:20:16 PM EST

I'm sorry... did you say the judge's name is "Michael J. Fox?" I thought he was the Canadian actor from Spin City with parkinson's disease.

Into Canadian Politics?

Yeah but, (3.33 / 3) (#78)
by JahToasted on Thu May 29, 2003 at 11:26:35 AM EST

He took a little drive in his friend's Delorean, and all of a sudden his father is a great sci-fi writer, he owns a new truck, and for some reason everyone calls him judge now.

--
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
[ Parent ]
this is unacceptable (4.22 / 9) (#20)
by crayz on Wed May 28, 2003 at 08:34:29 PM EST

It is becoming more and more apparent these days that the judiciary is the only thing standing between us and a police state. The few courageous stands taken by justices are continuing to slow the inevitable government onslaught, but they won't be able to stop it(especially as the politicians who approve of these blatantly oppressive laws get more chances to replace the current crop of justices with ones more to their liking).

A few more Rehnquists on the Supreme Court, and you can kiss the Constitution goodbye. Maybe the American public ought to open their eyes and start voting in some legislators more respectful of civil liberties. The judiciary provides a useful lag time slowing major poltical paradigm shifts, but that lag time will soon be over.

Tell you what. (4.37 / 8) (#23)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed May 28, 2003 at 08:50:20 PM EST

Post your name, address and social security number here for us, and tell us what happens next.

Then, maybe, you can appreciate why other people don't like it when you do that.


--
I only read Usenet for the articles.


[ Parent ]
Already available (5.00 / 5) (#67)
by BadDoggie on Thu May 29, 2003 at 06:58:21 AM EST

The point is that the information was already publicly available. That's why Sheehan named Yahoo! as a co-defendant -- they make the private addresses and phone numbers of law enforcement employees publicly available, too.

The underlying concept is that of "who watches the watchers?" Sheehan watches them and has exposed fraud. They didn't take too kindly to that.

Because King County kept losing their case, the Washington senate wrote a law so that the county could finally win. This is common practice. However, the law was selective and was based on on the person's motivation. That's thought policing and a litany of previous cases have already nixed that idea.

woof.

"You're more screwed up than turmeric and you're not even drunk!" — A Proud
[
Parent ]

Mostly available (5.00 / 4) (#74)
by Eric Green on Thu May 29, 2003 at 09:55:13 AM EST

My name is on this message. My phone number and city can be uncovered by doing a "whois" on me. My physical address can be uncovered by going to the web site of the tax assessor for my county and doing a search in the property tax records for my name. The only thing you can't find out about me on the Internet is my social security number, for obvious reasons.

I have not had scary people show up at my door, despite the fact that there are some scary people who would rather that I go away (I've posted the threat EMAIL elsewhere). Perhaps it's because I live four doors down from a K9 cop, whose cop car is often parked in front of his house (because, as a K9 cop, he could be called to duty anytime). Or perhaps it's because of security provided by B.F. Mossberg & Sons (six shot 12 gauge pump open choke barrel). Or maybe it's just that scary people don't generally show up in person to harass others, because that would require a courage and willingness to confront an armed citizen that their cowardly behavior elsewhere shows they don't have.

I see no reason why a law officer should be entitled to more privacy protections than I am. That kind of thinking removes police officers even further from the populance that they are supposedly there to "serve and protect", and elevates them to a position of special-ness that, in my opinion, says unpleasant things about this nation. As I noted elsewhere, what does it say about our nation that our governments believe that police officers are entitled to more protections than abortion doctors? Anybody else hear the drumming of jackboots in the distance, slowly, ever so slowly, coming closer?
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

That's just the kicker (4.50 / 2) (#92)
by Armaphine on Thu May 29, 2003 at 02:22:34 PM EST

I see no reason why a law officer should be entitled to more privacy protections than I am.
Good point... so why wouldn't the exact opposite be true?

People can't get your SSN off the internet, but they can sure as hell get them for these guys. I can see the name, salary, and job position. I could see posting copies of complaints against them, arrests they've made, etc. After all, it'd certainly be within the public's right to know. The home phone & address is a little harder to justify under that claim. After all, what difference is his home phone number going to make in whether he's dirty or not?

Question authority. Don't ask why, just do it.
[ Parent ]

Kindly read the ruling (5.00 / 1) (#94)
by truth versus death on Thu May 29, 2003 at 02:54:33 PM EST

The purpose of this information is both background checks and giving service of process (among other things). An address and phone number are both very important pieces of information in tracking down a person to serve process.

I don't know about you, but I like transparency in my government.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
Kindly read his post. (1.00 / 1) (#126)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu May 29, 2003 at 10:15:47 PM EST

what part about "social security numbers" evades your understanding?


--
I only read Usenet for the articles.


[ Parent ]
No part (none / 0) (#138)
by truth versus death on Fri May 30, 2003 at 12:53:55 AM EST

What are you afraid of?

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
Identity theft. (2.00 / 1) (#154)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri May 30, 2003 at 07:33:47 AM EST

Come on, follow thru. Post your personal info, including SSN. I wanna see what happens.


--
I only read Usenet for the articles.


[ Parent ]
I agree, SSN should not be available (5.00 / 3) (#99)
by Eric Green on Thu May 29, 2003 at 03:30:16 PM EST

I agreed completely with the preliminary ruling, which said that everything except SSN could be published. I'm puzzled at why the judge removed that restriction in his final ruling, and it's definitely something that should be addressed, perhaps via a law that outlaws public posting of SSN for *ANYBODY* -- not just for police officers.

Regarding home phone number and address, how can I file a lawsuit against him if those are kept hidden? There's a *REASON* why I must provide the Corporate Commission with my full street address and identifying information if I want to incorporate here in Arizona -- it's because when you deal with the public, you give up your privacy rights to a certain extent because the other person has a right to know who he's dealing with so that the citizenry has redress against those who defraud or otherwise harm them.

Why should a police officer have more privacy protections than a corporate officer? After all, I'm sure there's plenty of people who would love to, e.g., kill the head of Dow Chemical or Exxon. Yet the name and home addresses of those corporate officers are public record, for much the same reason that police officers' name and home address should be known -- so that the people have redress via the courts against them in the event of harm against the people.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

As you pointed out... (5.00 / 1) (#101)
by Armaphine on Thu May 29, 2003 at 03:45:47 PM EST

Regarding home phone number and address, how can I file a lawsuit against him if those are kept hidden?
Well, as you pointed out, that is a matter of public knowledge, and I really don't contest that they could post it. It might not be the greatest thing to do (especially for the good cops), but the legality of it really isn't an issue.

My main issue with it really focuses on the fact that they've posted these guys' SSNs, which really can cause some issues for these guys. Especially those whose only crime was being a cop.

Question authority. Don't ask why, just do it.
[ Parent ]

What if these hooligans had bribed some.. (1.00 / 1) (#95)
by Sesquipundalian on Thu May 29, 2003 at 02:58:40 PM EST

corrupt law enforcement officers to come and get you?

What if this website (or one like it), would have uncovered their corruption in time to have saved you?

Stranger things have happened.


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
Well, that would be the point, wouldn't it? (5.00 / 1) (#125)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu May 29, 2003 at 10:08:45 PM EST

you say cops shouldn't have more privacy than you? fine. why should they have less? What gives someone the right to post their SSNs?


--
I only read Usenet for the articles.


[ Parent ]
Voting for judges (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by BadDoggie on Wed May 28, 2003 at 08:56:17 PM EST

In the U.S., the only judges who stand for election are local judges, and then only in some states. Federal judges like Judge Coughenour are appointed. Coughenour was put on the bench by Reagan and is certainly hasn't handed down the kind of decisions most of Reagan's appointees did.

Eisenhower appointed Warren Burger to U.S. Court of Appeals of the DC Circuit and Nixon nominated him as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Both presidents lived to regret their decisions. Surprisingly, Rehnquist even had something nice to say when he was buried at Arlington.

woof.

"You're more screwed up than turmeric and you're not even drunk!" — A Proud
[
Parent ]

Appointing judges for life is a double-edged sword (4.00 / 6) (#75)
by Eric Green on Thu May 29, 2003 at 10:05:19 AM EST

Let's take, say, Iran. Iran is, in theory, a democracy, with an elected President who got both the plurality and the majority of the vote against real oopposition (unlike George W. Bush who was "elected" with neither a plurality nor majority), an elected legislature that has enacted much progressive legislation giving their people many rights beyond those even we here in the United States have, etc.

But: In Iran, the judiciary was stacked by the ayatollahs when they created their Constitution in 1979.

The result has been disasterous. The ayatollah-stacked judiciary overrules the legislature and President regularly, ruliing their actions un-Constitutional. All attempts to reduce the role of the religious police are ruled un-Constitutional. Common-sense laws such as the one legalizing satellite dishes, or the one allowing women's soccer games to be viewed by both men and women, are overruled as "un-Constitutional". When the religious police arrest publishers and authors who write articles critical of the ayatollahs, the judges happily ship those people off to jail, despite the fact that the Iranian Constitution grants its people the right of free speech.

A judiciary with lifetime tenure, in other words, can be an instrument of repression just as much as an executive department with lifetime tenure, due to its ability to interpret the law and rule laws un-Constitutional. Which is the scary thing about many of the judiciary candidates that George Bush II is trotting before the Senate for confirmation... they have much in common with the Ayatollahs (most of them want religious rule in America, only via Christianity, not Islam), and they will be on the bench for life.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

the other side of the coin... (4.25 / 4) (#80)
by crayz on Thu May 29, 2003 at 12:23:02 PM EST

Is that say for 40 years in the US we have a general respect for civil liberties. And then for four years we have a President who barely squeaks into office and then winds up using a national tragedy to try to throw away some of the citizens most fundamental rights.

Now, is an all-powerful judiciary with a lifelong appointment necessary to prevent him from accomplishing this? No. But is some amount of judicial power, combined with appointments that last longer than the short-lived whims of the country, beneficial?

I think yes. And no, it is not working that well at the moment, although I think even our current conservative SCOTUS would prevent absolute tyranny. But it certainly has worked to the country's benefit in the past.

And are converse situations, like the one in Iran, possible? Yes. But the basic idea of a court, in my opinion, is to have a body that is not immune from popular power, but can serve as a buffer to it, and thus reflect the more general interests of the society, instead of a short faze that without a court could inflict permanent damage.

[ Parent ]

Wheel of fortune (4.60 / 5) (#82)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu May 29, 2003 at 01:14:22 PM EST

It's a great system but unfortunately it's a wheel of fortune and it looks like Bush will be winning the game. Rehnquist, Stevens, and O'Connor aren't getting any younger. If Bush gets a couple retirements or deaths, his appointees (no doubt carbon copies of Scalia and Thomas) might tip the balance enough to seriously scale back civil liberties, even overturn Roe.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Sad that you believe... (1.00 / 1) (#190)
by partykidd on Mon Jun 16, 2003 at 12:44:50 PM EST

might tip the balance enough to seriously scale back civil liberties, even overturn Roe.
Civil liberty includes the right of killing,..oh,..I'm sorry,..aborting a human being. That's twisted how you believe that murder is a civil liberty that should be protected and upheld.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


[ Parent ]

Odd, (1.00 / 2) (#191)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Jun 16, 2003 at 12:59:07 PM EST

You may be the first drug addict I have met who is against abortion.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
you asshole (none / 0) (#192)
by partykidd on Mon Jun 16, 2003 at 01:08:33 PM EST

I'm not a drug addict.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


[ Parent ]

And I'm not in favor of abortion (none / 0) (#193)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Jun 16, 2003 at 01:09:56 PM EST

So there.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
you said it (none / 0) (#194)
by partykidd on Mon Jun 16, 2003 at 01:17:25 PM EST

might tip the balance enough to seriously scale back civil liberties, even overturn Roe.
That tells me one thing: you consider abortion to be a civil liberty. You may not be in "favor" of abortion, but you sure do support the practice of it.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


[ Parent ]

Local Information on the Cities Mentioned (1.60 / 10) (#21)
by OldCoder on Wed May 28, 2003 at 08:35:45 PM EST

Kirkland a pleasant suburb adjacent to Redmond, where Microsoft is. Kirkland is on Lake Washington and is known locally more for it's seafood restaurants and some very nice little parks on the lake than controversy. Immediately south of Kirkland on the lake shore is Medina, an even more wooded and residential village on the shore, famous because Bill Gates lives there (not far from Charles Simonyi). Seattle is on the other (West) side of the lake.

I've lived in the area for over a decade and had not heard of any of these controversies. A search of the Seattle Times website yields no hits on "Bill Sheehan" or "justicefiles.org". The big news around here is the new Boeing airplane contracts and an unemployment rate of over 7%.

I'm sure somebody on K5 is paranoid enough to make a connection between Linux, Microsoft, and this particular free speech issue, but that ain't me...

--
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
Copyright © 2003 OldCoder

Oh, really? (4.75 / 4) (#27)
by BadDoggie on Wed May 28, 2003 at 09:01:50 PM EST

Nothing on this case?

Nothing on Bill Sheehan?

Bad troll! No cookie!

woof.

"You're more screwed up than turmeric and you're not even drunk!" — A Proud
[
Parent ]

All I Can Tell You Is... (3.00 / 1) (#152)
by OldCoder on Fri May 30, 2003 at 04:17:31 AM EST

All I can tell you is that the Seattle Times own search box didn't find anything when asked about either topic. You must have used Google.

I personally thought the economic news was bigger, but the murder and suicide committed by a police chief does get more air time. Tacoma being Tacoma, and America being half full of drunks, dopers, criminals and gun nuts, I've let this one just drift on by.

--
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
Copyright © 2003 OldCoder
[ Parent ]

I used ST's search, not google. (5.00 / 1) (#183)
by BadDoggie on Sun Jun 01, 2003 at 07:30:27 PM EST

You must've misspelled something.

woof.

"You're more screwed up than turmeric and you're not even drunk!" — A Proud
[
Parent ]

Other big news (1.00 / 1) (#98)
by btb on Thu May 29, 2003 at 03:27:48 PM EST

Then there's the small matter of the murder-suicide by the POLICE CHIEF OF TACOMA

http://news.google.com/news?q=brame

[ Parent ]

Here's my problem with that site (4.50 / 4) (#24)
by Armaphine on Wed May 28, 2003 at 08:52:00 PM EST

Where exactly is the difference between posting a cop's home address, home phone, monthly salary, and SSN, as opposed any other employee, government or otherwise? I mean, if a company or university published this information on its employees there'd be a huge suit.

I can see some of this information being up. The name, job title, maybe even salary. But SSN? It seems like they'd be opening these guys up to all sorts of problems.

Question authority. Don't ask why, just do it.

Wasn't posting this info about abortion doctors (2.33 / 3) (#29)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed May 28, 2003 at 09:12:06 PM EST

ruled to be harrassment?


--
I only read Usenet for the articles.


[ Parent ]
No. It wasn't. (5.00 / 5) (#50)
by Kwil on Wed May 28, 2003 at 11:14:03 PM EST

In fact, it was ruled as expressly legal, even when posted on a site that just happened to be anti-abortionist, and that put a big red X through the picture of one of the doctors that had been shot and killed.

It was called distasteful, but not harrassment, and not illegal.

I believe there are appeals still ongoing though.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
Ah. Thanks. [nt] (none / 0) (#123)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu May 29, 2003 at 10:05:24 PM EST


--
I only read Usenet for the articles.


[ Parent ]
Universities (at least public ones) do (3.75 / 4) (#36)
by rosta on Wed May 28, 2003 at 09:36:17 PM EST

I know that the public university that employed my father several years ago made his salary publicly available, and it was published (along with the salaries of several other employees) in the school newspaper.

[ Parent ]
Salarries are one thing (5.00 / 2) (#40)
by Armaphine on Wed May 28, 2003 at 09:50:15 PM EST

Especially when it's your tax / tutition dollars at work. But home address and home phone? It's sketchy at best how they plan to use that to better watch the watchers. And SSN... last I checked that was one of those things that supposed to remain private. I realize in practice it doesn't really remain that way, but still... if these were any other people there would be considered a huge invasion of privacy to have this information posted.

Question authority. Don't ask why, just do it.
[ Parent ]

Good, bad, or indifferent. (none / 0) (#159)
by epepke on Fri May 30, 2003 at 03:31:19 PM EST

Whether you think it's a good idea or not is entirely separate from whether or not it is actually done. When I worked for a state University, all this and more was public information. Heck, the SSN was used as the employee ID. Now, I understand that in the past few years some places have been backing off on the use of SSN, which is all to the good. But still, the publication of the officer's information is no more than is expected of all those with state, city, or county jobs in most of the United States.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
From the article... (5.00 / 5) (#61)
by Repton on Thu May 29, 2003 at 03:01:47 AM EST

"Sheehan was claiming to have attempted to increase police accountability. The judge agreed, but nixed Social Security numbers, stating there was a reasonable expectation of privacy for them."

--
Repton.
They say that only an experienced wizard can do the tengu shuffle..
[ Parent ]

From the site... (5.00 / 1) (#68)
by Armaphine on Thu May 29, 2003 at 07:34:47 AM EST

It certainly looks like he was still posting the SSNs.

Question authority. Don't ask why, just do it.
[ Parent ]

Here's my problem with the city... (5.00 / 4) (#108)
by djaynewman on Thu May 29, 2003 at 05:17:29 PM EST

Strangely enough, everything except the SSN is public information, and I agree with the judge that the SSN shouldn't be published.

However, the problem I have is the harassment that the city did to try to get him to quit. Breaking into computer systems is what criminals do, not the good guys. Trying to get somebody fired is not what the good guys do.

It seems to me that if he was trying to expose bad cops he certainly did so!

ps. I have nothing against the police, but these guys crossed the line. I strongly feel that public servents should be more accountable to the law than average citizens. And lawmakers even more so.

--
D. Jay Newman Gadeteer at Large

[ Parent ]

SSN Reform Needed (none / 0) (#177)
by Arkaein on Sat May 31, 2003 at 02:40:41 PM EST

I does suck for those officers to have their SSNs posted online, but I can't come up with a good, constitutional argument why they shouldn't be allowed to be posted online.

From a practical standpoint publicly available SSNs open up people to identity theft. However, isn't this a problem with how SSNs are used, and what they are in some cases required for? What we need is to deemphasize the the power of SSNs in the U.S. Agencies that use SSNs need to be held accountable for identity theft when it occurs, and identities need to be harder to steal. If the damage caused by identity theft can be reduced, and identities restored more easily, then we can stop worrying about SSNs being available.

The big problem with SSNs is that they are fixed. Proper authentication of identity should require both a fixed ID (SSN would do, for the most part, though I believe they are not guaranteed unique?) and a PIN or password that the individual is able to change. SSNs by themselves are inherently flawed as means of identification.

----
The ultimate plays for Madden 2003-2006
[ Parent ]

SSN reform already done in CA (none / 0) (#186)
by trentonl on Wed Jun 04, 2003 at 05:15:54 AM EST

If you're lucky enough to live in California (never thought I'd hear myself say that), then SSN reform is already done. Check this out California Law SB 168 (Debra Bowen) Identity Theft Prevention.

You get amazing rights like preventing companies from using your SSN as identification (think DMV, health care, universities), plus more control over your credit history.

If you have trouble finding it again, google for: "credit freeze california."

[ Parent ]

What does this have to do with free speech? (2.77 / 9) (#43)
by A Spineless Liberal Commie on Wed May 28, 2003 at 10:17:34 PM EST



Apparently (3.80 / 10) (#48)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed May 28, 2003 at 11:06:51 PM EST

Abetting identity theft is a form of political expression.


--
I only read Usenet for the articles.


[ Parent ]
Apparently you support the idea of ... (4.50 / 4) (#102)
by pyramid termite on Thu May 29, 2003 at 04:04:28 PM EST

... "secret police". You know it's funny how the sheriff and deputies in Podunk County or Anyvilliage USA, don't worry about everyone knowing who they are and where they live, isn't it? It's funny how when the police are known as part of their community that the community respects them more and cooperates with them better - but let them turn into anonymous strangers who live in another part of town and then how are the community's relations with them?

Why shouldn't the police be socially accountable to the communities they live in? And your quip about identity theft is a red herring - you should know that these officers' identities could be easily stolen by those with the skills without them even knowing they were cops - in fact, they could be stealing yours or mine right this minute.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
More humorous observations (4.00 / 1) (#105)
by Control Group on Thu May 29, 2003 at 04:36:33 PM EST

It's funny how it's harder to know all the cops in a town of 600,000 than a town of 6,000. It's funny how a "community" within a city isn't something you can define well enough to assign it its own cop shop.

To borrow a tag line from _Godzilla_: "Size matters."

***
"Oh, nothing. It just looks like a simple Kung-Fu Swedish Rastafarian Helldemon."
[ Parent ]

It's funny how some people ... (4.75 / 4) (#109)
by pyramid termite on Thu May 29, 2003 at 05:37:00 PM EST

... had to fight a long legal battle to gain for big city residents the same kind of knowledge that smaller towns automatically have. It's also funny how some people assume that there are no communities in cities, or that the police can't be in contact with them.

But you've skipped the main point - that if the police in a small town are known to the public and manage to function under those conditions, why shouldn't the police in a large town be expected to? You can't come up with a consistent answer to that, can you? Why should the citizens of Dirt Pile, Washington have public information about their police and the citizens of King County not have it?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
I seem to have left the wrong impression (5.00 / 3) (#113)
by Control Group on Thu May 29, 2003 at 05:55:28 PM EST

I've got nothing against the information on these police officers being exactly as available as the information on other police officers in other places—or, for that matter, exactly as available as information on other citizens.

The point I was taking issue with was painting an idyllic portrait of small town USA, and seeming to expect that large cities should meet that standard. I don't think that's either reasonable or realistic. There are differences between major metropolitan areas and rural areas which are unrelated to how well citizens know the police: gang activity is much higher, drug sales/use is much higher, the incidence of hit&run is much higher, etc. Cities are inherently more dangerous than small towns in many respects, and it shouldn't be surprising that the police force is designed and run differently in response.

This is not to say that it wouldn't be better if everyone knew their local police. And, to be honest, I know a couple of the officers who patrol the area in which I live. But I work 25 miles away from there, and my commute takes me across a lot of area whose police officers I know nothing about. I have friends and do things within a 30 to 40 mile radius around where I live—that's a lot of area in terms of population, and therefore in terms of police coverage. It becomes infeasible for me to know all the police who can impinge upon my life; asking them to know all the citizens in that area is an order of magnitude or two more difficult.

Just the fact that there are more places to eat in a city than in a village means the odds of any given person running into a sheriff at a restaurant are slimmer.

Not to mention that these marvelous small-town police officers are often the absolute last people I want to run into if I'm not from that small town. They may be very personable to all the people in the area, but woe betide you if you drive throuh rural Illinois with a Wisconsin license plate. You'd better check your tailights, headlights, exhaust volume, ground clearance, tire pressure, paint polish and hair color. I don't face that sort of problem driving around in Chicago.

In any event, I apologize for coming across as though I think those officers shouldn't have their information put on the web (although I do object to their SSNs, since I don't see how that helps accountability, but I certainly see how it increases their risk). That wasn't the point I was trying to make.

***
"Oh, nothing. It just looks like a simple Kung-Fu Swedish Rastafarian Helldemon."
[ Parent ]

Why do you need to post a cop's SSN (5.00 / 1) (#124)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu May 29, 2003 at 10:06:38 PM EST

how does that make them more "accountable"?

When will you be posting yours, BTW?


--
I only read Usenet for the articles.


[ Parent ]
I never said I needed to (none / 0) (#160)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 30, 2003 at 04:06:09 PM EST

Please read more carefully next time. SSNs should not be posted.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Snort. The site certainly disagrees with you. [nt] (none / 0) (#169)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri May 30, 2003 at 08:46:41 PM EST


--
I only read Usenet for the articles.


[ Parent ]
holy crap (1.60 / 5) (#45)
by scatbubba on Wed May 28, 2003 at 10:23:57 PM EST

the cops in kirkland make 50-60k US a year. WHy do they make so much money?

Ummm... (4.83 / 6) (#49)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed May 28, 2003 at 11:06:59 PM EST

to keep them from ripping off the drug dealers?

why do you assume 50k is a lot of money to pay someone you trust to shoot the dangerous but not shoot the innocent?


--
I only read Usenet for the articles.


[ Parent ]
Because poor cops... (4.57 / 7) (#55)
by opendna on Wed May 28, 2003 at 11:52:08 PM EST

...can't be trusted.

Poorly paid cops are like waiters: they live off the tips.

If that's the kind of law enforcement you want, I recommend countries where nobody pays any taxes to speak of but corruption is endemic. (like Russia, Mexico, the Philippines, India, Nigeria...)



[ Parent ]

Cost of living in Kirkland (5.00 / 1) (#58)
by robla on Thu May 29, 2003 at 02:16:17 AM EST

The cost of living in Kirkland isn't exactly cheap. You won't find much of anything other than condos for under $200k, and even a small condo will set you back $100k.

Besides, whoever said "public servant"=="indentured servant"?
----
Check out Electorama! a healthy dose of electoral reform talk and bright, shiny things.
[ Parent ]

That's cheap (4.33 / 3) (#62)
by Bartab on Thu May 29, 2003 at 03:38:22 AM EST

'round these here parts, a small condo is upwards of 300k, with one bedroom houses coming in at half a mil.

Police here make 40k/yr.

--
It is wrong to judge people on the basis of skin color or gender; therefore affirmative action shall be implemented: universities and employers should give preference to people based on skin color and gender.
[ Parent ]

That's around here too. (2.00 / 1) (#136)
by opendna on Fri May 30, 2003 at 12:19:48 AM EST

"Here", in my case, would be San Francisco.

[ Parent ]
Ever been to Moscow? (2.00 / 1) (#153)
by EiZei on Fri May 30, 2003 at 04:49:08 AM EST

The Moscow militia has a HUGE number of very poorly paid and trained cops, I cannot remember the exact number, but it was very low even by Russian standards. The militiamen have to literally blackmail tourists to get even adequate amount of money every month.

[ Parent ]
I have only one question (2.07 / 14) (#51)
by Silent Chris on Wed May 28, 2003 at 11:18:34 PM EST

Why in God's name would the justicefiles.org people continue to live in that area, and bother with trying reveal cops' personal information?  Why wouldn't they just leave?  They were honestly only agravating people, and their "mission" (if you could call it that) was hardly entirely noble: pester the police continually.  I mean, I understand the supposedly "greater value" involved here ("They had to tell the truth!") but really... if you are shot down that many times, why bother?

My take: one of them got a bug up their ass about the cops and refuses to let go.  Maybe they got caught on drug possession or one of them has an ex- in the force.  Earth to justicefiles.org: there's a lot of corrupt cops.  Deal with it.  If you can't do anything other than pester them, you won't go anywhere.  Give up your county's little charade and do something worthwhile.  Like writing your congressmen about the issues, getting higher-ups involved, and actually making a difference.

How do you deal with it? (4.33 / 6) (#70)
by ghjm on Thu May 29, 2003 at 09:07:40 AM EST

When the number of corrupt cops exceeds a certain threshold, and especially when the corruption becomes supported and protected by the government itself, it becomes impossible to "deal with it" except by cowering in fear - something Americans are historically not supposed to accept.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

-Graham

[ Parent ]

Keep in mind about those "truths"... (1.00 / 1) (#71)
by Silent Chris on Thu May 29, 2003 at 09:18:43 AM EST

...that the same people who wrote them had slaves, refused to let minorities and women vote, and refused to allow women to be representative in government.  "All men are created equal" indeed.

[ Parent ]
That doesn't make sense (5.00 / 1) (#86)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu May 29, 2003 at 01:21:10 PM EST

That has absolutely nothing to do with the validity of their arguments or their writings. This is the kind of thinking that causes people to start sentences with "The founding fathers would have..."

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Ad hominem arguments hold little merit. (5.00 / 1) (#89)
by ph0rk on Thu May 29, 2003 at 01:45:09 PM EST

The actions or past crimes of a man have no bearing on the validity of their statements.

.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]

They have everything to do with the validity (1.00 / 1) (#171)
by Silent Chris on Fri May 30, 2003 at 09:27:48 PM EST

Bush claims peace and love through religion, then bombs Iraq. What will be remembered? His statements or his actions?

[ Parent ]
those are statements about his opinions (4.00 / 2) (#184)
by ph0rk on Mon Jun 02, 2003 at 11:49:08 AM EST

not statements about fact.

In other words, just because Bush has lied to us in the past, that does not mean he is lying when he says the Earth orbits the Sun.

Just because founding fathers had slaves, that does not mean the statement "All men are created equal" is untrue, or invalid.

It is a weak argument.

.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]

Blatant Nazi comparison (4.25 / 4) (#84)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu May 29, 2003 at 01:18:58 PM EST

Why in God's name would the Jews continue to live in that area, and bother with trying to stay out of camps and ghettos? Why wouldn't they just leave? I mean, I understand the supposedly "greater value" involved here but really... if you are shot down that many times, why bother?

Bitch me out all you want about the exaggeration. I am only comparing the concepts behind two situations, not their magnitude.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Or Blacks... (5.00 / 2) (#132)
by psxndc on Thu May 29, 2003 at 11:36:05 PM EST

Why would the blacks continue to live in America, especially the south? Hey Rosa Parks, I mean I understand the greater value of it, but after getting shot down so many times, why insist on sitting at the front of the bus?

God forbid people stay and fight for what they believe in.

And if you couldn't tell, I agree with your point.

-p

[ Parent ]

Good question (3.00 / 1) (#172)
by Silent Chris on Fri May 30, 2003 at 09:29:36 PM EST

Why would Jews stay in those situations?  Because they lived there for awhile?  Seems a dumb reason to me.  I would've moved, if it meant the safety of my family.

[ Parent ]
Missed my point (5.00 / 1) (#173)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri May 30, 2003 at 09:59:37 PM EST

Of course many Jews left, but it was too late for many others. That's not my point though - do you blame the Jews for what happened? Do you blame the operators of justicefiles.org for being harassed? Are you in the business of giving in to harassment and violations of your rights? Perhaps you should stop.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
So let me get this straight (1.50 / 2) (#178)
by Silent Chris on Sat May 31, 2003 at 08:33:10 PM EST

Police officers harass citizens.  Operators of justicefiles.org harass police officers back to the point of revealing all of the police officers' contact information online.  How is this tit-for-tat any more right on the part of the operators than the officers?

[ Parent ]
Maverick? (4.81 / 11) (#54)
by lauraw on Wed May 28, 2003 at 11:42:22 PM EST

It's a bit scary when a judge who rules in favor of free speech is termed a "maverick".

--Laura

Whassamatta? You don't like links? (5.00 / 12) (#65)
by BadDoggie on Thu May 29, 2003 at 05:56:17 AM EST

From the linked article about Coughenour:
  • he has a no-nonsense reputation for demanding strict adherence to professional conduct rules
  • rides a Harley-Davidson
  • lives part-time on a boat
  • appointed by Ronald Reagan
  • outspoken critic of federal sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimums
  • visits people he has sentenced during and after their prison terms
  • presided over the Michael Forwell case, a UKian who tried to smuggle 72 tons of pot into WA and got a 15-year sentence
  • presided over Microsoft temporary workers' case in which they couldn't buy stock at employee discount
  • upheld TCI Cablevision's suspension of a local cable program based on his finding that the particular show at issue was obscene
  • upheld Lindows.com's claim that "Windows" is a generic word, pointing out advertisements with same prior to 1983. (He also showed Microsoft lawyers generic definitions of "windowing environment" and "windowing software" in the Microsoft Computer Dictionary.)
I hope that's enough. You can Google him for more.

The ACLU loves and hates his decisions. The republican party appointed him and he keeps harping on what bad ideas they come up with.

When you read some of his decisions, you see that he seems to inject no bias nor party belief into the matter. That's a maverick in the U.S. courts.

woof.

"You're more screwed up than turmeric and you're not even drunk!" — A Proud
[
Parent ]

Privacy keeps me alive. (4.00 / 18) (#56)
by opendna on Thu May 29, 2003 at 12:27:06 AM EST

For most people privacy is one of those "nice" things that makes them feel secure. When paranoia strikes we may fantasize that someone's out to get us, but for the overwhelming majority there is no motivation - we're just not important enough to the bad guys.

That's not true of law enforcement officers. There are many people who are actually out to kill cops.

  1. FINANCIAL MOTIVATION: There is a particularily successful customs dog who had (until he retired) a $15000 bounty on his head. A dog. It's common for officers at the land border to have bounties of $5000 or more, and drug enforcement officers are obviously targets of huge numbers of bad guys. Al Queda has offered a bounty for the murder of any U.S. law enforcement officer anywhere in the world.
  2. REVENGE: We've all seen the movie where a psycho gets out of jail and goes hunting for the guy who put him there. In real life it's not that common because finding a cop when he's not carrying a gun is kind of hard. But imagine if Mr. Nasty got drunk and angry, and in a fit of drunken stupidity decided to go kill Mr. Cop. With justicefiles.org's help Mr. Nasty can now find Mr. Cop's home address on the net, drive to his home, and put an axe through his head - all before he sobers up! Is America great, or what?
Privacy is kinda like airport security: a really determined attacker will get through, but privacy raises the bar.

Publishing personal information about an officer does nothing to increase accountablity. His home address, phone number, social security number - these have absolutely NOTHING to do with free speech and everything to do with intimidation and harrassment.

Your right to speech does not over-ride my right to be secure in my person. It's worth remembering that one of the qualifications of being a law enforcement officer is the willingness to kill those who put their lives in imminent danger. Bill Sheehan and Aaron Rosenstein would do well to wonder what Mr. Cop will do after putting a bullet through Mr. Nasty's head.

sigh... There's a reason cops have automatic conceal-and-carry permission (even in California).



Devil's Advocate... (4.33 / 3) (#57)
by RadiantMatrix on Thu May 29, 2003 at 01:34:58 AM EST

Publishing personal information about an officer does nothing to increase accountablity. His home address, phone number, social security number - these have absolutely NOTHING to do with free speech and everything to do with intimidation and harrassment.
For the record, I sort of agree with you. I really haven't picked a side of the fence yet, though.

Just to play Devil's Advocate, though... what about your right to know that a Cop lives next door? Most cops (especially in cities) don't drive the squad car home, so you'd never know otherwise.

Since a Cop is the embodiment of governmental authority, and this country was founded on the ability and freedom to resist a government that was out of hand, don't you think it should be protected speech to publicize where those government authorities live? Otherwise, it would be all too easy to have a secret police force.

----------
I don't like spam - Parent ]

protected speech (4.62 / 8) (#59)
by wij on Thu May 29, 2003 at 02:33:23 AM EST

The "right" to publish these officer's personal information, including their Social Security Numbers, should be protected no more than the right to publish anyone's personal information. Just because these people are employed as cops doesn't make them any less of a person than you or me, and they are entitled to the same protections. If it is protected speech to post their information, then it is protected speech to post anyone's; and if it isn't protected speech to post anyone's information, then it isn't protected speech to post a cop's.

"I am an intellectual of great merit, yet I am not adequately compensated for this by capitalism; this is the reason for my opposition to it."
[ Parent ]
Agreed (4.80 / 5) (#73)
by Eric Green on Thu May 29, 2003 at 09:45:27 AM EST

Just note that it *is* legal to publish any other individual's personal information. For example, the Nuremberg Files web site posts individual information on abortion doctors -- and has similarly been found constitutional, even after anti-abortion activists used information on that web site to kill a couple of abortion doctors.

But I forget, police officers are more "important" in the police state that the United States is slowly creeping toward than abortion doctors are.

When we give police officers more protections than doctors, what does that say about our nation? I don't like what it says, personally. What about you?
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Lack of privacy rights (3.00 / 1) (#90)
by proletariat on Thu May 29, 2003 at 01:49:59 PM EST

I thought the Nuremberg site was extremely creepy. That site was the first thing I thought of when I read this article. I think that everyone should be protected from this kind of intrusiveness.

Communities need to encourage hiqh quality in the personell they hire for police duty. Making them targets of activists/nuts will discourage the people we want as our police officers from becoming police officers.

[ Parent ]

Giving special rights sends wrong message (4.50 / 4) (#103)
by Eric Green on Thu May 29, 2003 at 04:28:38 PM EST

Giving special rights to police officers beyond the minimum needed to do their job sends the wrong message. It sends the message that the police are more important than the people whose job it is for them to supposedly serve and protect. It exudes the putrid smell that follows police states everywhere, where the police have been ripped apart from the fabric of society and are a power unto themselves. It further alienates police officers from the people that they are sworn to serve, and otherwise makes their job riskier and more deadly.

If your desire is to improve the safety of police officers, the solution is not more guns, more armored vests, more shootings of suspicious-looking people who move faster than the police officer expects (but who invariably turn out to be unarmed or, if "armed", are "armed" with a mysteriously untracable gun that has none of their fingerprints on it). The solution is simple: Get rid of the idiotic laws that are placing our police officers at risk and alienating them from the community they serve.

We could start with the drug laws, and move on from there (the drug laws are a good start because over half of people in prison today are there for possession or sale of goods that the government doesn't want them to possess or sell). The only laws we should have should be laws to protect citizens from criminals -- not laws to protect citizens from their own stupidity. If someone wants to blow their brains out on crack cocaine, what business is that of mine?! Criminalizing stupidity is a slippery slope that ends up helping no one and putting police officers at risk when they should be out there hunting real criminals, those who would take my possessions, my physical well-being, or my life.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Re: Giving special rights sends wrong message (none / 0) (#118)
by armaghetto on Thu May 29, 2003 at 07:25:34 PM EST

Just a quick devil's advocate message, despite my agreeing with you in general. "If someone wants to blow their brains out on crack cocaine, what business is that of mine?!" It's really not your business...until said crackhead robs your house for valuables to pawn for their next rock. That's when it becomes your problem. Yes, I realize legalizing a substance would dramatically lower the price of said substance. The problem is that the "hard" drugs can never be cheap enough to eliminate the crime element completely. Now if you wanted to set up a place where crackheads could check in, then smoke for free until they die...well, that's a little bit brutal, but it would definitely keep criminals off the streets.
<error in .sig: user too lazy to make one>
[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#122)
by truth versus death on Thu May 29, 2003 at 10:00:59 PM EST

That's when it becomes your problem

Exactly. When a crime is actually committed, then put people in jail. Not before.

Let the system work -- punish people for actual crimes. It's a good idea.TM

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
Treat the disease, punish the crime (none / 0) (#147)
by Eric Green on Fri May 30, 2003 at 02:08:47 AM EST

So treat the disease (drug addiction) and punish the crime (breaking into my house to get the dough for his next rock). I haven't noticed that the current "War on Drugs" has prevented the latter (breaking into my house to get the dough for his next rock) anyhow. All it has done is drive up the cost of the drugs, so that Joe Addict has to break into *more* houses to get the dough for his next rock.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
Privacy should not be a "special" right (none / 0) (#120)
by proletariat on Thu May 29, 2003 at 08:47:09 PM EST

Giving special rights to police officers beyond the minimum needed to do their job sends the wrong message.

Let me say again: I think that everyone should be protected from this kind of intrusiveness.

If your desire is to improve the safety of police officers, the solution is not more guns, more armored vests, more shootings of suspicious-looking people who move faster than the police officer expects...

That's not my solution. I don't know where you read that. But I believe web sites such as this and Nuremberg and others target people (abortion doctors, people who are being stalked, etc.) and the way to protect them from this abuse is privacy rights.

We could start with the drug laws...

Yes. I agree. But, we also need to protect people from the stupidity of others (drunk drivers for example).

[ Parent ]

Those who deal with public give up privacy right (none / 0) (#148)
by Eric Green on Fri May 30, 2003 at 02:20:19 AM EST

That is written into common law all the way back to the 10th Century. Anybody who deals with the public has no right to privacy in basic identity information. As a consumer, I have a right to know who I'm doing business with, whether that person is the man I hired to build a new patio cover in my back yard, or is the corporation that owns the car dealership I bought my car from. For the former, I can get his complete identity information from the local Board of Contractors so that if he does a bad job or steals stuff from my home, I can take appropriate legal actions against him. For the latter, I can get complete identity information of the corporate officers from the Corporations Commission in my state so that I can have my process server serve notice upon them if they sold me a defective car then refuse to make good on it.

In other words, there is no more right to privacy for police officers than there is a right to privacy for those corporate officers. Both deal with the public either directly or through their proxies (employees), both have the ability to harm me and other members of the public if they abuse their power, thus I am entitled to know the basic identifying information needed to serve legal process upon them.

Note that I'm not saying that I'm entitled to know their hat size, their social security number, what drugs they're taking, their medical history, the names and ages of their children, or whatever. I'm talking about basic information needed to serve legal process. Once we get beyond that, then I agree, there are privacy rights that all people should have -- including police officers.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Serve Process (5.00 / 1) (#150)
by opendna on Fri May 30, 2003 at 03:12:18 AM EST

"In other words, there is no more right to privacy for police officers than there is a right to privacy for those corporate officers. Both deal with the public either directly or through their proxies (employees), both have the ability to harm me and other members of the public if they abuse their power, thus I am entitled to know the basic identifying information needed to serve legal process upon them."

"Officer So-and-So, Smallville Police Department".

It would work for me, I don't know why it wouldn't work for anyone else.

One more reason we don't need a police officer's home address on the web.



[ Parent ]

Doesn't work (none / 0) (#155)
by Eric Green on Fri May 30, 2003 at 09:44:56 AM EST

I've seen cops successfully evade service for months when all that the process server had was his work "address". Cops are pretty good at sniffing out process servers and covering for their buddies, it's part of that whole "blue wall of silence" deal where cops cover up for each other's misconduct. Same deal as with corporate officers -- we have their home addresses because it's hard for process servers to get through the rings of security at corporate headquarters.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
That's why you include the Dept... (5.00 / 1) (#163)
by opendna on Fri May 30, 2003 at 05:26:52 PM EST

If you're limiting your suit to one officer - the individual - for actions committed in uniform, you're making a terrible mistake: You should be serving against the department, then the officer.

The department is liable for the officer's conduct, arguably more than the officer himself is. In fact, there is a rather strong precedent that the officer cannot be held liable for legal actions taken in the course of performing his duty.

Personal suits... well, that's another matter.



[ Parent ]

The deal with actions against officers (none / 0) (#179)
by Eric Green on Sun Jun 01, 2003 at 11:29:46 AM EST

  1. Most state laws provide immunity for actions taken as police officers in the course of their duties.
  2. There is no such immunity for Federal civil rights violations, but reality is that if the officer was in compliance with department policy, you have a case only against the department, not against the officer.
  3. Thus you really have a case against an individual officer operating under color of his authority only when a) he violates your Federally-guaranteed civil rights, and b) he violates departmental policy to do so. For example, it was not LAPD policy to beat the crap out of people unnecessarily, thus the cops who beat the crap out of Rodney King got a huge lawsuit out of the incident as well as the department being sued.
Unfortunately, police officers are human, meaning that there's probably the same percentage of bad apples in their ranks as in any other profession. And some of those bad apples think that their uniform gives them carte blanche to do anything they want to anybody...
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
Special Laws for Special People (4.25 / 12) (#60)
by Eric Henry on Thu May 29, 2003 at 02:34:03 AM EST

For most people privacy is one of those "nice" things that makes them feel secure.

And? Somehow the lack of life and death stuff makes something unimportant? So what, we're not entitled to something because it isn't related to safety? Damn man. We could certainly strip away a heck of a lot of the constititution with that kind of criteria.

...but for the overwhelming majority there is no motivation - we're just not important enough to the bad guys.

Yet we're killed just as often if not more. Bad guys aren't just terrorists, and gang-bangers. They're your drunk next door neighbor who beats his wife, and then tracks her down and kills her after she leaves him. They're con-artists who find out some information about your grandmother and then cons her out of her life savings. And they're even cops who do, well, all kinds of nasty shit. Often times with the help of the same kind of information about us that they don't want anyone to know about them.

There are many people who are actually out to kill cops.

There are many people out to kill any number of people for financial reasons or revenge. The same argument can be made for any number of people. Celebrities, various rich and/or prominent people, CEO's, whatever, all make good targets for financial reasons or for revenge. Not to mention the rest of us unimportant people. But we're never killed for reasons of revenge or over money of course are we? Only important people like cops. You talk about movie psychos getting out of prison and coming after cops, but how many movie psychos get out of jail and come after their old girlfriend, a snitch, or that little kid who was a witness? They don't deserve privacy? They don't deserve safety?

Your right to speech does not over-ride my right to be secure in my person.

But it does over-ride my right to be secure in my person? I suppose I should hand over my guns too. I'm obviously far too unimportant to need any sort of protection. These rights should be reserved for only the important people I suppose.

Listen, I have no problem with trying to protect cops privacy and safety, but these protections should not be extended only to them.

[ Parent ]

Bad people (5.00 / 1) (#127)
by truth versus death on Thu May 29, 2003 at 10:31:29 PM EST

They're your [] next door neighbor who beats his wife, and then tracks her down and kills her after she leaves him.

Spot on.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
Privacy for All. (5.00 / 1) (#133)
by opendna on Thu May 29, 2003 at 11:42:33 PM EST

"For most people privacy is one of those "nice" things that makes them feel secure."

And? Somehow the lack of life and death stuff makes something unimportant? So what, we're not entitled to something because it isn't related to safety? Damn man. We could certainly strip away a heck of a lot of the constititution with that kind of criteria.

What? You want privacy too? Fine, I've got no problem with that. I think a poor interpretation of the constitution allowed your rights to be stripped away for commerical interest. That's too bad.

Celebrities, various rich and/or prominent people, CEO's, whatever, all make good targets for financial reasons or for revenge.

These are also people who have enough money to protect their privacy or hire guards.

I tried to find a good snapshot of the "normal people get targeted too" but there's too much sarcasm. We're on the same page, it just so happens that buddies at justicefiles.org are compiling a list of cops, not victims of domestic violence. That's a good example, actually: I'd be just as opposed to a centralized address list of victims of domestic violence or witnesses to murders. It just isn't what justicefiles.org is putting together.

Listen, I have no problem with trying to protect cops privacy and safety, but these protections should not be extended only to them.

It looks like we're on the same side. The other half of the story just wasn't on the table with this article.



[ Parent ]

OSHA statistics on cops (3.00 / 2) (#149)
by Eric Green on Fri May 30, 2003 at 02:43:12 AM EST

Cops are down near the middle insofar as on-the-job risks of dying are concerned. At the top of the list are various types of construction workers, then factory workers.

I've already mentioned elsewhere that giving cops special priviliges beyond the few needed to do their job smacks of police state mentality, where the police are no longer part of the community they are supposedly serving and protecting but are, rather, an armed paramilitary force that does not mingle with the citizenry. Once you extract police from the community, you are sliding down that slippery slope to fascism.

It's a gradual slope, one that takes decades of observation to notice, but as someone who's twice the age of the typical K5 denizen, I've had time to note the difference between the rights that people had when I was a kid, and the rights that people have today. When I was a kid, we had a (mostly) free press, and cops were armed with .38 six-shooter revolvers and most cops spent their entire career without pulling it out of its holster. If you owned a shop, cops were likely to stop by in uniform and shoot the wind with you. Today, cops are armed with 17-shot semi-automatic 9mm pistols, dressed in enough body armor to rival Darth Vader, and spend their Saturdays practicing beating their riot shields in unison while goose-stepping across the local park's parking lot looking like something out of old WWII German propoganda movies, the only thing missing is the swastika. Hell, I don't think the police department of the city I grew up in (population 200,000) even HAD any riot shields. No cop today would go about his daily business, going to the store, etc., wearing his cop uniform. "Unprofessional". But in the rush to "professionalize" the police forces, we've managed to remove them from the community they supposedly serve and protect, and turn them into an outside armed paramilitary force.

Of course, not all things are as bad as they used to be. Back then, virtually all cops were white, and blacks were terrified of them. Today, police forces are integrated... and blacks are as terrified of the black cops as they are of the white cops. That's progress, I guess.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Risk (none / 0) (#151)
by Eric Henry on Fri May 30, 2003 at 04:01:19 AM EST

Cops are down near the middle insofar as on-the-job risks of dying are concerned. At the top of the list are various types of construction workers, then factory workers.

And more important to this particular discusion are the statistics related to how they die. Most police fatalities result from car/motorcycle accidents, getting hit on the side of the road, and accidently shooting themselves. Very few cops are murdered. And of the ones who are murdered, most are killed in spur of the moment type incidents. The number who are tracked down or ambushed is very small.

[ Parent ]

I agree (none / 0) (#158)
by epepke on Fri May 30, 2003 at 03:23:28 PM EST

When I was a kid, we had a (mostly) free press, and cops were armed with .38 six-shooter revolvers and most cops spent their entire career without pulling it out of its holster.

This was true even in Manhattan, a far cry from a 200,000 population, when I was a kid there in the 1960's. The police also waslked their beats in uniform. You knew the name of the local beat cop. Of course, there was corruption, mostly at the low level where the police would expect to get free lunches at the diner or a free apple from the fruit stand. Ironically, though, I think a certain amount of low-level corruption might be a good thing, as it does keep the police interacting with the community. And there are far worse things than cooking up the occasional hamburger or gyro as a quid pro quo.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
See my other comments (4.84 / 13) (#69)
by BadDoggie on Thu May 29, 2003 at 07:54:00 AM EST

Your arguments are straw men. Despite al-Quaeda's bounty (and how would you find them to collect it?), there has been an unsurprising lack of bounty-hunting and even revenge-based cop-killings, despite their personal information being all over the Web. The information was already publicly available which is why Yahoo! was named as a co-defendant. All of the information is available to anyone who wants to find it. If someone is determined and motivated enough to actually shoot a cop, he'll find the cop with or without yet-another-info Web site.

I think part of the point of the site was to bring police down to the civilian level -- cops have access to lots of information about us, something we don't have on them. I could be wrong about that.

The point of the case was that the Washington law made it illegal write this only if your intent was "the intent to harm or intimidate". Who determines your intent? That's thought-policing. Furthermore, the senate discussion about the bill showed that it made a special protected class of certain law enforcement employees, but only those enumerated in the bill. The judge pointed out that District Court judges weren't on that list and had no similar protection.

As to the identity theft argument, page 13 of the decision answers this:

Defendants also suggest that the statute is directed to the compelling state interest of preventing identity theft. The Court's reasoning equally applies to this purported interest. The state can assert no compelling interest in identity theft when the statute wholly fails to proscribe the public availability of or ability to transact in personal identifying information.
Got that? The law didn't limit availability of public information. It only limited publishing certain information based on intended purpose to publish it. Yahoo! can publish it because they're providing a general service but Sheehan can't provide the exact same information because he wants to stop corruption.

Here's an experiment I just did:
Google "Oklahoma police award officer"

A few links down you find a name in the blurb. The page is "meetofficers.html", so I'm pretty sure I'll get a name here.

Scrolling down, I get Officer "Misel DeLoy" who, the bio states, has been a CU police officer for 10 years. Ten years is more than long enough.

Run a couple searches and you find that he graduated Lawton High School in 1957 (his university cop bio says he's been married for 45+ years. Fits. Cameron university is in Lawton. Check.) Some guy from his high school class has info for most of his former classmates.

DeLoy is listed. He lives at 2426 SW B Avenue. His phone is there, too.

While a reverse phone look-up failed, it's not so bad.

In a couple quick searches, I found out that he lives right by a T-intersection with SW 24th Ave, close to the intersection of NW Sheridan Rd. and W. Gore Blvd. He's not five miles away from I-44. There's an apartment building down the road with $300/month single-bedrooms. I don't know if that's cheap or expensive in Oklahoma because I've never been to the state in my life and I'm in Germany now. I have no idea who Misel is, but I've got more than enough information on him to harm him physically or financially. I just picked a cop at random.

It took longer to write this up than to do it.

woof.

"You're more screwed up than turmeric and you're not even drunk!" — A Proud
[
Parent ]

Let's talk about accountablity. (5.00 / 3) (#131)
by opendna on Thu May 29, 2003 at 11:29:17 PM EST

I think part of the point of the site was to bring police down to the civilian level -- cops have access to lots of information about us, something we don't have on them. I could be wrong about that.

If we're going to "bring cops down to the civilian level" we might as well arm civilians up to the cop level and let them fend for themselves. By the same argument we should have Abrams Tanks and Stinger SAMs on the open market, to "bring soldiers down to the civilian level".

Cops have access to lots of information "about us", but would lose their jobs for accessing it without cause (and they could go to jail for a poor excuse). Sure, I *could* look up the home address and phone number of someone I don't have a case on. But I would have to explain to future employers how I managed to get fired from the police force.

There's a record of every search I make, and the more detailed they are the more carefully they're controlled. If I unexpectedly search someone's address, I'm going to have to explain it to a concerned supervisor ASAP. Further, police forces are supposed to be (and generally are) closely screened for risks - from credit checks to ex-girlfriends to urine tests. Is there a record of who, specifically, is accessing justicefiles.org? Is there any screening of these people to ensure they aren't killers or terrorists? No, this is the net.

Here's an experiment I just did:
Google "Oklahoma police award officer"

I did the same experiment on myself and (once I siphoned the signal from the noise) came up with a P.O. box, a dead phone number and an address I lived at 7 years ago. I guess you can't trust the net. My credit report would get a little closer (though intentionally not perfect).



[ Parent ]

Already done (5.00 / 1) (#161)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 30, 2003 at 04:11:54 PM EST

If we're going to "bring cops down to the civilian level" we might as well arm civilians up to the cop level and let them fend for themselves.

Just what do you think a lot of rural and small-town Americans have done? And no, it's not a problem.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Whackin' and stackin' (4.68 / 16) (#72)
by Eric Green on Thu May 29, 2003 at 09:40:18 AM EST

Interesting comment: For some reason, more perps get whacked'n'stacked in the United States than in any other Western country, or even in Russia, whose police are famously corrupt and violent (many Muskovites say they're more afraid of their police than they are of criminals). Why is this happening? It's not as if police work is a more dangerous job than, say, construction -- far more construction workers die on the job than cops (see OSHA statistics for more than that).

It seems that police officers in the United States have become paranoid and violent over the past few decades in many parts of the country. And I don't know why that's so. In the rural area of Louisiana where I lived for many years, we knew where our local sheriff's deputy lived. Heck, his wife ran a restaurant, and we ate in that restaurant and he was out there chatting with the patrons, and he rented my back pasture for many years to make hay for his cattle. He was just another citizen, who happened to strap on his gun and change into his uniform every night and go on patrol. The name, phone number, and address of every police officer in Bienville Parish was well known to the residents of that rural area, and it wasn't any big deal, because they were themselves residents of the community, who rather than closeting themselves behind bars and hiding from the community were out there doing what everybody else was, eating in the same restaurants, buying groceries in the same stores, etc. If you got stopped by a sheriff's deputy, you were as likely to spend time talking about the weather and about Jackie Page's new truck and whether the watermelon crop was going to be good this year as on the normal police procedure of "put your hands on the steering wheel keys on dash etc." (not that this stopped you from getting a ticket, heh!). And my understanding is that in Canada it's still this way.

What happened? When did American cops get that seige mentality, and start shooting first and asking questions later? And don't say that it's because Bienville Parish is a rural community and thus doesn't have any crime. I taught there. Some of my students came to school (illegally) hung over or stoned. One of my students told me where to score some marijuana. The Sheriff's Department raided one housing project several times over the course of my residence there going after drug dealers. There was an aweful lot of the petty theft and B&E that didn't traditionally happen in rural areas -- for example, both my grandmother's house and my storage shed were prised open with a crowbar and the contents rummaged through for anything valuable.

All I can guess is that, because we knew where our cops lived and what they did when they weren't being cops, we didn't see them as some kind of "outside oppressors", and they didn't see themselves as being "law warriors". They were members of the community. Which isn't the case for cops elsewhere in the United States nowdays, whose only community is other cops.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

It's not the amount (or type) of crime (5.00 / 1) (#77)
by falke on Thu May 29, 2003 at 11:05:54 AM EST

What happened? When did American cops get that seige mentality, and start shooting first and asking questions later? And don't say that it's because Bienville Parish is a rural community and thus doesn't have any crime.
I don't think it's the crime rate differences between small rural and larger cites, it's just a general attitude difference.

I have family and friends working in law enforcement in places ranging 1200 resident small southern Missouri towns to large metros like St. Louis. My father recently retired from the Columbia (MO) police department, Columbia has around 85,000 people now. I remember as a kid having to switch our phone number to unlisted because of all of the calls we were getting from people and families of people he had arrested.

A list of contact information like this makes it much easier for people to harass LEOs. In smaller counties you have smaller groups of people who will actually make that jump to harassment. In a city the size of St. Louis, I could easily see a LEO having to change their phone number.

[ Parent ]

in Canada it's still this way. .. (5.00 / 3) (#83)
by Dr Caleb on Thu May 29, 2003 at 01:18:36 PM EST

It is.

The city I live in has a population of about 30,000 people. I've lived here since the city was only 600 people. The next nearest city, Edmonton, Population 900,000 is about 20 km away, about a 10 minute drive.

I know the local Staff Sgt by name. I know his wife's name. I know his kids name. On November 11, I sit with him and a few constables in the Legion and throw back a few brews. Cops in Edmonton will small talk with you, and may even let you go with a warning if you tell them a good joke. I've even had one let me off a 10 km/h over the limit ticket because he admired my car. "...just slow down!!"

They do get nervous if they are pulling over a little street racer - there have been some street gang incidents here recently, but for the most part the police are pretty cool.

Now, I can't say what it's like in say Toronto or Halifax, but I know what it's like here.
Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

It gets better (4.87 / 8) (#87)
by Djinh on Thu May 29, 2003 at 01:33:22 PM EST

Once, when I visited the USA (I'm from Europe) and was driving around San Francisco, I got lost.

Fortunately I spotted a police car parked by the side of the road with an officer inside. So I park my car, get out and walk up to his driver's side window to ask directions.

The officer inside pulled his shotgun from the holder between the seats and told me to "Please step away from the widow"

I still can't believe that Americans allow such dangerously paranoid people to carry firearms.

--
We are the Euro. Resistance is futile. All your dollars will be assimilated.
[ Parent ]

If you don't want to be public, (4.20 / 5) (#88)
by ph0rk on Thu May 29, 2003 at 01:42:42 PM EST

Then cease working as a public servant.

Peace officers can be targets, true, but only because of the power they hold. (Not much you might say, but certianly more than the average citizen).

Are you perhaps suggesting that the more power an individual holds, the more privacy should be afforded them?  How can they ever be held acocuntable for any of their actions then?

.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]

Privacy for Everyone and True Accountability (5.00 / 2) (#128)
by opendna on Thu May 29, 2003 at 10:41:00 PM EST

If you don't want to be public, then cease working as a public servant.

Unacceptable. We don't attack soldiers for the wars the president wages and we shouldn't attack cops for the laws they enforce. You become a public servant to SERVE, not to pay the price for bad policies made by elected officials.

Peace officers can be targets, true, but only because of the power they hold.

And we want them to leave that power in the uniform, don't we? Then maybe we shouldn't keep them as targets when they leave the uniform.

Are you perhaps suggesting that the more power an individual holds, the more privacy should be afforded them?

I'm a supporter (which is to say funder) of EPIC and a long-time advocate of strict controls on the release of personally identifiable information. Not for some, for all. American privacy laws are insanely weak. See others' comments about stalker boyfriends, etc. If you want my salary info online, that's fine - you're paying, and I'd like to know too. But my home address? What legitimate use does that have?

How can they ever be held acocuntable for any of their actions then?

I believe that accountability of public officers should remain within the system. You vote for the people who make the laws and write the policies. Your representatives have the power to remove servants who abuse their power. They are responsible for who they hire, the laws and the policies. The U.S. is a democracy (of sorts) and the voting public is responsible for their representatives. The officers are not responsible for any of that, at least no more than any other voter.

Somehow that's not enough for you. You want the power to step outside of the system to address a grievance, which is exactly the complaint you have against the rare Dirty Harry wannabe. Accountability doesn't mean surrounding his house with a mob and demanding he account for his actions (which is the only use a home address has).



[ Parent ]

but in our current system... (none / 0) (#157)
by ph0rk on Fri May 30, 2003 at 02:08:31 PM EST

It is legal to publish personal information, currently.  (Nuremberg files anyone?)

If they wish that sort of thing stopped, they need to lobby for it, and for everyone, instead of trying to pass selective laws. (Oh you can't publish that stuff about US...).

When I was last in Florida, a 'peaceful' suburban neighborhood was covered in signs, all pointing the  direction to a certain house, with an address.  The signs were titled "Sex offender".

If it is legal for citizens to do this, then I see no problems with publishing such information about public servants that may or may not have gone awry.  (I do not agree with posting their ssn, though).  End it all, or leave it.  I do not agree with selective privacy laws.

>> Somehow that's not enough for you. You want the power to step outside of the system to address a grievance, which is exactly the complaint you have against the rare Dirty Harry wannabe. Accountability doesn't mean surrounding his house with a mob and demanding he account for his actions (which is the only use a home address has).

I'm not stepping outside of anything.  And keeping accountability within the system is like letting congress vote on their own pay raises.

.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]

Don't worry, it's illegal. (4.66 / 3) (#91)
by darkonc on Thu May 29, 2003 at 02:02:03 PM EST

It's common for officers at the land border to have bounties of $5000 or more,....

If some terrorist/criminal organization had a bounty on your head, declaring that bounty would (or could) be illegal. If I were to release information about you with the intent of forwarding or collecting on that bounty, that would (or could) be illegal.

Those would be content-neutral laws against uttering threats and consipiracy to commit harm. No constitutional problem there. This was a case about intimidation and censorship to block politically valid (but unwanted) speech. The intimidation was arbitrary, and the laws were over-broad.

Privacy is kinda like airport security: a really determined attacker will get through, but privacy raises the bar.

The point, in this case, was that the information was publicly available. The judge's comment was essentially: "If you want it private don't publish it, but don't punnish someone for repeating what you've already made public". He also ruled that SSN information should remain private.
Killing a person is hard. Killing a dream is murder. : : : ($3.75 hosting)
[ Parent ]

Illegal is what criminals do. (4.00 / 2) (#130)
by opendna on Thu May 29, 2003 at 10:57:59 PM EST

If some terrorist/criminal organization had a bounty on your head, declaring that bounty would (or could) be illegal.

Which means nothing to terrorists and criminals. If they weren't into doing things which are illegal, the police wouldn't be involved in the first place. Why do so many people think that the legality of an action matters?

If I were to release information about you with the intent of forwarding or collecting on that bounty, that would (or could) be illegal.

How convenient for the bounty hunter that the information has already been collected. Sounds like justicefiles.org will be party to a murder, sooner or later.

The point, in this case, was that the information was publicly available.

Which is why I said "Privacy is kinda like airport security: a really determined attacker will get through, but privacy raises the bar." The information is out there, but has to be compiled. The justicefiles.org people admit that they have professional investigators aggregating this information, so that they can make it easily accessible. That's kinda like getting rid of the metal detectors so it's easier to carry a weapon onto a plane.

The judge's comment was essentially: "If you want it private don't publish it, but don't punnish someone for repeating what you've already made public".

To which I'd reply: "information belongs to the person it identifies - publishing it without permission is banned. Period."

He also ruled that SSN information should remain private.

Which, IMHO, is an idiotic reservation to make. Who really gives a shit about your SSN?



[ Parent ]

are you a lawyer? (none / 0) (#176)
by dh003i on Sat May 31, 2003 at 12:51:13 PM EST

I suspect the answer to this is no. Though I'm sure you, as a cop, received training on the Constitution, the Amendment's, and individual's rights, that training pales in comparison to the training that judges have received.

Now, not that I agree with judges all of the time, but any opinion they present is likely to have legal precedence.

The entire point this judge was making is that the law he voided does nothing to secure what you call "private information". In fact, that information is not by any means private. Contact information is not private. Anything that can be easily publicly observed can be considered public information.

If you walk around inside your house naked with the windows open, that's public information is anyone happens to pass by and see it. You have to take reasonable measures to secure your privacy for it to be considered private.

Let me clarify by using some examples. You go to an ATM and type in your code to make your card work. That's considered private information, because you there are build-in reasonable measures to protect the privacy of that information. The numbers are small and not readily observed by anyone other than the person entering them. Were someone to scope out an ATM with binoculars and publish your license plate along with the number you entered, that could be considered a violation of privacy.

Theoretically, any information that can be collected about you from your public business is public information, excepting things like credit card number etc, where there are always reasonable attempts made to preserve privacy. The simple fact is, people are collecting information about you all of the time. What stores you go to, what parks you visit, how many times you visit the local strip-clubs, where you children go to school, where you work, where your wife works -- all of this is considered public information, if different individuals decide to collect it and publish it.

After different individual's decide to collect it and publish it, other individuals may decide to centralize and collect that information, creating a database about you. This is the world we live in. None of this is a violation of privacy.

Now, where you would have cause for complain is if one individual followed you around trying to find out all of that information. That would be stalking. But the person who collect this information about you from different soures and centralizes it is guilty of nothing. The other case where you'd have cause for complain is if someone started collecting truely private information about you and publicizing it. E.g., peeping through a crack in your curtain at night to see what your doing, placing small cameras in your bedroom, etc, and then publicizing that information. The collection of that information would also probably be stalking, as well as tresspassing, and a violation of privacy, and because it was obtained illegitimately, it cannot legitimately be published. That which is obtained illegitimately cannot be legitimately published.

The two most important higher rights are the right to privacy and the right to freedom of speech, and they can occasionally be in conflict with eachother (though often the right to privacy [e.g., annonymousity] strengthens acts to support the right to freedom of speech). However, the judge made the correct decision in this case, for many reasons.

Another valid reason for striking down this law was that it only applied to cops, and not to other public officials like DAs and Judges, nor did it apply to private citizens. Cops shouldn't get special treatment over other citizens.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Lack of privacy kills? (5.00 / 3) (#96)
by bwcbwc on Thu May 29, 2003 at 03:07:54 PM EST

By King County's argument, sex offenders whose names and addresses are published in a state registry are being subject to cruel and unusual punishment, because such publication constitutes a threat of violence. There are probably as many people (families of victims?) who would go out and kill a paroled convict in a drunken rage (or put a bounty out on him/her) as those who would go out and kill cops.

I also liked the fact that a free-speech ruling favoring an anti-abortion group was used as a precedent for this case. It puts the censors in the position of re-evaluating their priorities.

[ Parent ]

Rights of criminals (none / 0) (#119)
by stodd on Thu May 29, 2003 at 07:59:52 PM EST

You're neglecting the fact that criminals can be deprived of certain civil rights once they are convicted, including their rights to privacy.

[ Parent ]
On the other hand... (5.00 / 1) (#174)
by vectro on Fri May 30, 2003 at 10:14:24 PM EST

... employees can also lose some rights once they have agreed to work for their employer, such as the right to free speech.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
My argument... (none / 0) (#129)
by opendna on Thu May 29, 2003 at 10:44:12 PM EST

...has no reference to King County's. I don't care what the County said. (I can't say I even studied the argument.)

If you want to know that a convict lives in your neighborhood, that's fine. I wouldn't object to notices that police live in your neighborhood either.

Where exactly either one lives... that just doesn't sit right with me.



[ Parent ]

Read your own sig (4.33 / 3) (#104)
by mcgrew on Thu May 29, 2003 at 04:30:30 PM EST

Nobody's putting a gun to your head and forcing you to become a cop.

Note that being a cop isn't all that dangerous- there are many more jobs, most which pay much less, that you are more likely to be injured of killed.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

uh (1.25 / 4) (#112)
by tacomacide on Thu May 29, 2003 at 05:44:52 PM EST

follow it

*** ANONYMIZED ***
[ Parent ]

24/7 risk for cops? That's insane. (5.00 / 3) (#135)
by opendna on Fri May 30, 2003 at 12:18:43 AM EST

Read your own sig

...?!?

The one that makes reference to all the laws and policies made by people in ornate offices and and cumfy chairs high up in buildings guarded by my fellow officers? "...but that's above my pay grade." has nothing to do with the risks of the job.

"Nobody's putting a gun to your head and forcing you to become a cop."

That's kinda like telling a doctor listed on the "Nuremberg site" to get a new job. The risks of the job have nothing to do with vigilante retaliation. If I get shot on the job, that's a risk I take. If I'm going to get stalked off the job for working on the job, that's an entirely different matter.

If you think cops are jumpy and paranoid now (when in uniform), wait until you see them off the job and on justicefiles.org. "Did he look at me? Is he following me? Do I know him? Is he reaching for a gun?" Fuck it.

If I can't leave the job in uniform, I will quit. As will every other reasonable person. We don't get paid enough to live like that.

Note that being a cop isn't all that dangerous- there are many more jobs, most which pay much less, that you are more likely to be injured of killed.

There are very few professions which have a lower life expectancy. High mortality rates are bad for recruiting. Find me the divorce rate for cops. Or the hear attack rate. Or the suicide rate.

And you're largely wrong about the pay - you're more likely to (get hit and) die if you work on highways, but you also get paid twice as much and work half the hours.

Remember, cops don't get paid that much. You don't take the job for the pay check, you take it to serve. You retire to the private sector when you're ready to take a break and make some real money.



[ Parent ]

Semper Fi (5.00 / 1) (#156)
by mcgrew on Fri May 30, 2003 at 01:00:40 PM EST

If you're a cop, you're going to have put ppl in prison. They get out. You're going to have to watch your back ragardless.

And even still, it isn't nearly as dengerous as one would suppose. Since I've lived here in Springfield there has been exactly ONE police officer that died in the line of duty that the news has reported about. All kinds of cab drivers and convinience store clerks murdered while on the job. Those people make such little pay they're eligible for food stamps.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that cops have a hard job- but they know what they're getting into. That guy working minimum wage at the handi pantry doesn't have a lot of choice.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Food Stamps... (5.00 / 1) (#165)
by opendna on Fri May 30, 2003 at 05:39:16 PM EST

You're right, of course. I wanted to comment on this:

Those people make such little pay they're eligible for food stamps.

Several of my fellow officers are eligible for food stamps.

That's not good.



[ Parent ]

I'll agree with that. (5.00 / 2) (#166)
by mcgrew on Fri May 30, 2003 at 06:15:48 PM EST

Army guys shouldn't get paid so little that they're eligible for food stamps, either.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Do cops really leave the job at work? (5.00 / 1) (#162)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 30, 2003 at 04:17:28 PM EST

If I can't leave the job in uniform, I will quit.

In other words, if you're in plainclothes, off-duty and you see a crime taking place, you're just going to call 911 and let the on-duty cops take care of it?

A lot of police officers will act in that situation and you know it.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
On Being Decent (5.00 / 1) (#164)
by opendna on Fri May 30, 2003 at 05:36:40 PM EST

In other words, if you're in plainclothes, off-duty and you see a crime taking place, you're just going to call 911 and let the on-duty cops take care of it?

I'm not going to stand back and watch, but I've never been one to stand back and watch as innocent people get hurt. I think that sort of behavior is disgraceful, cowardly and anti-social.

A lot of police officers will act in that situation and you know it.

A lot of decent people will act in that situation. I don't have much nice to say about those who won't act. [Insert obligatory 9/11 reference here.]



[ Parent ]

It's true a lot of people will act ... (5.00 / 2) (#170)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 30, 2003 at 09:09:12 PM EST

... but an off-duty police officer will not just act, he will arrest someone formally. My whole point being is you never really stop being a peace officer. Unfortunately, it's true that some people may hold it against you when you're not working, but someone who's really determined to do something crazy is going to find out where you live whether a web site lists your name and address or not. It's public information and people WILL get it, one way or another.

And the alternative, which would be dealing with Officer 465 or 223 is NOT acceptable in a free country. No. If you're not willing to put your NAME behind what you do as a cop then you shouldn't be one. And if that includes people finding out where you live (not your SSN - that's going too far), so be it - it can't be prevented, not with the resources that are available to everyone.

After all the police can demand to know where I live, right?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
The difference between this and Nuremburg... (5.00 / 1) (#168)
by loucura on Fri May 30, 2003 at 08:09:17 PM EST

That's kinda like telling a doctor listed on the "Nuremberg site" to get a new job. The risks of the job have nothing to do with vigilante retaliation.

The Nuremburg files attempted to incite vigilante murder of abortion clinic physicians. The Justice files do not. While they do display their personal information (which was publically available anyway), they do not specifically advocate, or attempt to incite vigilante murder, public humiliation perhaps, but from what I've seen, there's no incitement to violence, or threat thereof.

[ Parent ]

did you think before you wrote that last paragraph (5.00 / 2) (#175)
by dh003i on Sat May 31, 2003 at 12:16:52 PM EST

I mean, your two points are valid, and perhaps so is your point that publishing information about an officer's residency doesn't increase accountability.

However, where you live and your phone number is public information. You're right on social security number, which should not be publicized, but home address and phone number are public information. Courts have upheld publishing the home address and phone number for doctors who perform abortions, and these people have to worry about crazy insane anti-choice fucks who blow up buildings. Why should it be any different for cops? People could look up their addresses in a phone book anyways.

Even if not so, contact information about a person is not considered private information, even if they're unlisted.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

the truth is, a lot of cops suck (5.00 / 2) (#189)
by simul on Mon Jun 09, 2003 at 12:31:03 PM EST

i know quite a few. many of them joined the force because they enjoy physically abusing and intimidating people. i'll admit, it's nice having them as friends instead of enemies. ie: when we go to a bar, we *own* the bar. people clear out of our way. we can say what we want and nobody fucks with us.

it's fun, but, ultimately, it's a bad thing that we let these sorts of people carry guns. i know a lot of them are ok... they've managed to reconcile their aggressive side with their sense of right and wrong. but at least half of them abuse their positions in small, but meaningful ways.

anyone who "gets high on power" should not be allowed to have it. it should be a criteria hard-wired into every subtle aspect of social life.... from politics, to financial negotiations

until that happens, i won't trust cops.... even my friends

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]

WHAT!!!! (2.50 / 6) (#115)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu May 29, 2003 at 06:50:32 PM EST

since when was it free speech for some one to print my personal information that I did not give authorization for such action?

do you read the comments? (4.33 / 3) (#117)
by llimllib on Thu May 29, 2003 at 07:02:03 PM EST

Ever since this personal information was already publically available.


Peace.
[ Parent ]
It's interesting (3.00 / 2) (#180)
by mindstrm on Sun Jun 01, 2003 at 12:47:34 PM EST

to note how, although this judge seems to really have a clue, and the ideals of free speech in America are something that's supposed to be really important.. the US ranks rather low compared to many countries in the Press Freedom Index.

Of course, it's still golden compared to the vast majority, but it's still nowehre near the top, and interestingly enough, a lot of very socialist countries are at the top.

http://www.photius.com/rankings/press_freedom_index.html

Learn to research the source (5.00 / 1) (#182)
by n8f8 on Sun Jun 01, 2003 at 01:29:25 PM EST

An organization founded in a Socialist country ranks Sociailist countries highest in press freedom?Gee, how many opinions did they get per country? Which opinions were more based upon the opinions of reporters or lawyers? What were the nationalities of these voters? Were the "researchers" from liberal institutions? Get fucking real. Go to their website and look at the map for a more possibly realistic interpretation of the data. The methadology is much too fuzzy to be ranking countries on a numbered scale. Any responsable researcher wouldn't do it.

http://www.rsf.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=20

Contact us
International Secretariat :

Reporters sans frontières
5, rue Geoffroy-Marie
75009 Paris - France

Oh yeah, and take a little gander at their "scientific methods":

* The index was drawn up by asking journalists, researchers and legal experts to answer 50 questions about the whole range of press freedom violations (such as murders or arrests of journalists, censorship, pressure, state monopolies in various fields, punishment of press law offences and regulation of the media). The final list includes 139 countries. The others were not included in the absence of reliable information.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]

I've seen a war started... (1.00 / 1) (#188)
by Argon on Fri Jun 06, 2003 at 04:24:22 AM EST

..with less reliable information than this.

Besides, you should watch BBC and CNN to really see the differences of free press and a state sponsored channel. I would not dream make you watch any French channel so you could compare the three...

[ Parent ]

You would have to be stupid (3.50 / 2) (#181)
by n8f8 on Sun Jun 01, 2003 at 01:13:56 PM EST

Everyone hates your guts and if something goes wrong 90% of the politicians start shouting for your head on a pike. Here in Newport News, Virginia (a pretty high crime area) the average cop makes $25K/year. A buddy of mine who was a cop in neighboring Hampton had a guy,injured in a knife fight, die on the hood of his cruiser.

After three years and seeing a female officer with poor evals and an incident of leaving her weapon on the toilet in a public restroom (found by a 3 YO girl) promoted before him, he quit. Stupid, stupid, stupid. You get what you ask for people. Pay them shit, treat them like shit, guess what you get?

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)

You would think ... (none / 0) (#185)
by ChuckVA on Tue Jun 03, 2003 at 06:34:42 PM EST

... that with the level of taxation in Newport News they could manage their police force a little better. Admittedly they have a distribution of officers approximately equal to flies on ... well, anyways. I'd much rather be in an area with 25 competent, decently paid cops than 50 underpaid halfwits. Meanwhile, the good officers get lost in the herd.

I just moved, after living in Newport News for the past two years myself. Before that I was in Norfolk for several. I currently call Isle of Wight county home, and will for the next several years at the least -- I'm keeping my fingers crossed that local administration will prove to be better here.

[ Parent ]

City vs Rural/Suburban (none / 0) (#187)
by n8f8 on Wed Jun 04, 2003 at 07:44:53 AM EST

NN and Hampton both suffer from having to deal with poor inner-city populations. My buddy finally found a position with the GSA as an investigator for $75K+.

Myself, I'm moving to FLorida in the next two months. Virginia has been great for the last fourteen years, but it's time to move closer to family (and warmer weather).

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]

"Maverick Judge" Upholds Free Speech in Washington State | 194 comments (158 topical, 36 editorial, 0 hidden)
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