• :) it was fun to write :)

  • thanks!

  • oops, posted this below:

    we can certainly agree to disagree.  however, my analysis is not self-contradictory.  you may disagree with my assessment but you'd need to do a lot of heavy lifting to explain how it is somehow "self-contradictory".  i assume you won't take the time to explain it.

  • we can certainly agree to disagree.  however, my analysis is not self-contradictory.  you may disagree with my assessment but you'd need to do a lot of heavy lifting to explain how it is somehow "self-contradictory".  i assume you won't take the time to explain it.

  • well, thanks for playing.  if you've read the above and are still of the same opinion, i wish you all the best in your well-informed life.

  • Good to see that you've been on the site long enough, made a lot of posts, and made a lot of comments, so you're sufficiently well informed to run around HRing people.

    Glad to have you on here with mature commentary like this:


    "We elected President Obama & the new Congress on the promise that they will bring change to Washington. So why should we let Washington change them? Let's remind them who they're working for and what kind of change we want to see on "entitlement reform".

    LMMFAO!!!!

    CHANGEY HOPEY DOPEY!

  • thanks.  i was wondering when the trollrate police would be coming by.

  • that's exactly the legal question i am addressing.  if you'd read the story above, you'd realize that i am entirely concerned with the manner of disclosure.  if a random private citizen like me or you reveals the identity of an anonymous blogger, it wouldn't be unconstitutional -- because the first amendment only protects against state action.  here, a state legislator revealed the woman's name in his official legislative newsletter, sent to his constituents, using his alaska legislature democratic caucus email address, in retribution for the blogger criticizing him.

  • I can't tell if this is snark or not.  If not, I recommend you read all of the commentary above.  Noone is claiming its illegal.  What I'm generally explaining throughout is that it is a violation of a person's free speech right to remain anonymous for a government actor to out such person.  More details above.

  • thanks chris.  the mudflats has done such a great job with this controversy.  there are some great people there and at your blog.  thanks for keeping everyone informed!

  • P.S.  I just wanted to clarify a common mistake that you made.  You wrote:

    "you have the right (I've totally agreed with that) to post anon in political discussions."

    It's not just the right to post stuff anonymously.  The real heart of the right is that you have a right to do so without fear of government punishment or reprisal.  To leave off the last part is to render the right toothless.  Whenever you are talking about rights, you need to ask yourself: "What happens if the right is violated" and "What would my remedy be for a violation of the right"

    Just try out a thought experiment with me, Jerome.  Let's say that I have a right to peacefully pass out pamphlets in a public square (which you do under the First Amendment).  Then a cop comes along, takes your fliers and makes you leave the square because he doesn't like what you're saying.  What could you do?  That's right -- you'd sue the cop (and probably the police department and city) for infringing on your first amendment right to free speech.

    This is because (A) there is a constitutionally protected right (B) that was violated by a government actor.

    Similar to the situation at hand, (A) AKMuckraker had a constitutional right to post anonymously without fear of government reprisal (B) that was violated by Mike Doogan, a government actor, when he publicly revealed her identity.

    Now do you see?

  • To your question "Someone outs you. Then what happens?", I hope you'll grant me leave to quote myself from above:

    I wonder if you know, Jerome, what the remedy is when a government actor violates someone's constitutional rights (e.g., a person's rights under the First Amendment)?  Are you aware that people have access to these things called "courts" in order to file things called "lawsuits" based on something called a "violation of a constitutional right" and seeking redress in the form of "damages" or an "injunction"?

    You are aware, I hope, that people file lawsuits all the time claiming violation by government actors of their constitutional rights (e.g., the right to free speech, due process, equal protection, etc.).

    If you'd actually taken the time to read through the EFF's materials and their case summaries, you'll see there are a wide range of cases that they advocate for, summarize and support.  

    It's actually a bit sad but you've proven again that you refuse to take the time to inform yourself when presented with information contrary to your hastily-assembled position.  

    On what basis do I make this claim?  Well, the various cases on the EFF page dealing with defending the rights of bloggers to not be outed.  See, for example Manalapan v. Moskovitz:

    On June 13, 2007, the New Jersey Township of Manalapan filed a malpractice suit against its former attorney Stuart Moskovitz, alleging misconduct regarding the Township's purchase of polluted land in 2005. The decision to file suit was met by a lively debate in the regional press and among local bloggers. One blogger who was particularly critical of the Township, of this and other decisions, was Blogspot blogger "datruthsquad" (http://datruthsquad.blogspot.com). Inexplicably, attorneys for the Township issued a subpoena to Google (owner of Blogspot) demanding that the identity of this anonymous critic be turned over, along with datruthsquad's contact information, blog drafts, e-mails, and "any and all information related to the blog." Despite repeated requests from EFF (now representing datruthsquad) to explain how this could be anything other than an attempt to out a vocal critic, attorneys for the Township refused to withdraw the subpoena and informed EFF that it could go to court to object to the subpoena if it so chose. On November 28, 2007, EFF filed a motion to quash the subpoena and for a protective order to prevent the Township from issuing similar subpoenas in the future.

    Outcome: On December 21, 2007, Superior Court Judge Terence Flynn granted EFF's motion to quash the Township's September 26th subpoena seeking the identity of datruthsquad and denied a motion by the township to authorize future subpoenas, finding that the subpoena amounted to "an unjust infringement on the blogger's First Amendment rights" and that the blogger "has a right not to be drawn into the litigation." Judge Flynn denied the motion for a protective order, finding that it was unnecessary at this time.

    I hope you'll take the time to apologize to your readers, Jerome, for claiming that the EFF doesn't deal with the issues we're talking about here -- namely anonymous bloggers involved in alleged "partisan political attacks".  I'm sure you'll agree that now that you realize that your claim was false and that an apology is warranted.

  • I really don't know what you meant by "my point looking at the actual outcome of the matter in more practical terms than just screaming about the constitution".  

    If you want to talk about the "actual outcome of the matter", the practical outcome is that a woman who desired to remain anonymous now stands with her identity revealed.  She is now under assault from dozens of freepers who are threatening her, her family and her business after posting her telephone numbers and address on the internet.

    The legal outcome will have to be determined.  A government official used the power and resources of his office to retaliate against an anonymous blogger who was critical of him in violation of the woman's right to speak anonymously without fear of government retribution.  

    I wonder if you know, Jerome, what the remedy is when a government actor violates someone's constitutional rights (e.g., a person's rights under the First Amendment)?  Are you aware that people have access to these things called "courts" in order to file things called "lawsuits" based on something called a "violation of a constitutional right" and seeking redress in the form of "damages" or an "injunction"?

    The legal outcome will depend on a lot of things.  Maybe the blogger will sue Mr. Doogan for violating her rights (see above re: "courts" and "lawsuits").  Maybe the Alaska legislature's ethics committee will punish or censure him.  The eventual legal "outcome" is not as important as a discussion of whether the anonymous blogger's constitutional rights were violated (which I have exhaustively detailed above).

  • Thanks Louis.  I'll take your point to heart so long as Jerome takes the time to inform himself with the facts.

  • P.S.  To your question, you appear to need some definitions in order to evaluate some of the words I used (or implied) above:

    "Reprisal - a retaliatory action against an enemy" -- obviously applies here as AKM wrote critical pieces about Doogan, who then - as a a retaliatory action - outed her against her wishes.

    "Retribution - The act of taking revenge (harming someone in retaliation for something harmful that they have done)." -- see previous.

    "Punishment - the practice of imposing something unpleasant or aversive on a person or animal, usually in response to disobedient or morally wrong behavior." -- see previous.

    Sorry, I assumed you knew what those words meant.

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