Texas Judge Demands Identities of Online Flamers

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seo (not verified)

The online comments were the result of a criminal trial against the
Leshers, who were being accused of sexually assaulting a former client
in 2008. The Leshers were found not guilty, but that didn't stop the
court of public opinion from berating the couple through the course of
about 70 threads on Topix.com.ilaçlama haşere ilaçlama istanbul ilaçlama kene ilaçlama bit ilaçlama fare ilaçlama
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Bad213Boy

Its not like this persons reputation was ruined at school with your classmates. How the hell can you be that scared from comments on ONE STUPID WEBSITE! They don't even know you in person, who the hell cares. People like that are lonely outcasts that are wired into the net. They obsess with checking messeges every minute. Get a life and move on. Anyone with common sense would tell you there's no case here.

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Bad213Boy

OMG, people will do anything for money nowadays. This is really stupid. If you don't like the comments, then leave. Nobody is forcing a gun to their head for sitting around and reading 178 people bash them. Thats just retarded. Most people can take a hint when they're not welcome somewhere.

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penguinphan

If I understand the thought process of most of the people on this post, then according to the majority of people here, I would be within my rights to say anything I wanted.  For example, I could say "John Smith is a child molester".  I could then post that to all of the public forums I wanted without fear of legal action.  Let's take it a step farther.  I could then purchase advertising space on freeway billboards and newspapers saying the same thing.  At some point, you have to realize that no, you don't have the right to say whatever pops into your head.  With rights come responsibilities. 

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Crevan805

Thats not right, so what Flaming is flaming if u dont like it the X is in the upper right hand corner

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nekollx

I think alot of you are forgetting Freedom of speach cuts both ways. If i call you a asteric pound sign excamation point ampersand you have the right to fire back or seek sanction agaisnt me.

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GreenTurtle

Am I the only one who thought this was a COMPLETLY different article when I first read the headline? o.O

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dstevens

isnt that in america? and dosent america have this thing called...

umm what is it...

oh oh oh yeah i remember now!!...

 

FREEDOM OF SPEECH YOU DUMB *#(&%

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Dirty Harry

Get use to it...

Right now Obama is going after your wallet, but your first and second amendment rights will be in the top 10.

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AndyYankee17

freedom of speech does not apply to libel

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Keith E. Whisman

Freedom of Speech is only for the USA. We are talking Texas here. They are their own crazy country. You know the Lone Star State? Hell in Texas there are towns that are still segregated just like it was in the 1950's befor the Civil Rights movement.

As soon as you can tell me it's safe to be in an inter racial relationship openly in Texas I'll start to think of it as part of the United States. Until then it's a freaky part of this country. Hell I married a black woman and the only members of my family that have any problems with that are you guessed it, in Texas. Hell man South Carolina is a much more friendly and racially diverse state than Texas.

So you see Texans have a crazy mentality that is made evident by this judge. Hell you don't think it's a coincidence that Patent lawsuits are almost entirely exclusive to Texas do you? 

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UpsideDownPants

This is the most ignorant, uneducated comment I have seen on here in a long time. Where do you get your information?

 

all us texans out here chewin grass, rapin horses! I done got me one o them new fangled horseless carraiges so I don't have to have my slaves pull me around in a rickshaw on our unpaved highways now!

 

</terrible redneck ipersonation>

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anonuser

Judge: Suck my ass and TRY to supoena me.

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jiriki

I would suspect that many of the 'real names' will be 'Nope Nada', 'Idont Thinkso', 'Amanda Huginkiss', etc, etc.  Much of it will be a moot issue.

 Unless the judge is willing to subpoena Hotmail/Gmail, etc and even then the ISP's that own the IP's used to access these false identities... only a few will be "identified"... the not-so-bright few.  That is unless this site is tied to an actual RL ID (much like this site has your subscription info).

 As stated, you are liable for what you say legally and ethically.

 What I want to know is the amount of tax payers dollars that will be re-couped from the Lesher's if no 'legal damage' can be proven.  Answer: $0 and that is the real problem with it all.

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MaxFan

I originally had written a longwinded response to this article detailing what I thought the real issue was and the right that was getting missed but was getting stepped on pretty harshly by the jurist in question if the account of the article is accurate.  Then it suddenly dawned on me that a technical explanation of the difference between First Amendment protections and Fourth Amendment protections wasnt what was needed. 

Instead of that long winded response let me propose a question to you folks out there so adamantly stating that anonymity should be breeched in this instance by advocating that the 178 be subpoenaed by name to testify in court.

What if it were you who got the subpoena in the mail?  You are sitting in your home.  Essentially typing a private correspondence to others in a letter.  Were this 1990 or before you would most likely be writing a letter rather than professing an opinion on a privately owned forum.  In the former case it is easy enough to see that Persons acting under color of authority that entered your home without your permission and made a copy of that letter and used it against you in court would be infringing the 4th amendment not the first right?  Another question then.  How is a privately owned forum for registered users different from that private letter you were writing to your gran in alabam? 

I dont see an exception that meets the requirements for National Security or Immenent Public Danger, so in my opinion, this jurist has breached his authority and stepped in front of a 4th amendment train wreck.

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wytworm

Because you don't own your ISP. You send your private property to their server over the internet which is not owned by you OR the ISP. 

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GreenTurtle

Because not everyone in the world can potentially read your letter to your "gran in alabam".

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MaxFan

The Federal Government is restricted from being able to read and then use as evidence against you that letter or ANY OTHER PRIVATE COMMUNIQUE.  Per Several different interpretations on the 4th amendment.  It is not the fact that the world could or could not read my letter to my gran in alabam.  It is the doctrine that states

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The text therein states quite unequivocally that you are free to write whatever to whomever and not have your mail read.  nor to have your communications intercepted unless there is one of the following:  A)  Probable Cause to justify a search and or seizure B:  A Warrant has been issued describing in detail what is to be seized of evidentiary value or whom and supported by Oath and signed by a Magistrate. or C)  in the event of a National Emergency of which the Chief Executive Officer of the USA (also known as POTUS) has declared Martial Law and suspended 4th amendment rights to which once said crisis is over will be held liable and accountable by congress and the judiciary, and if found wanting is then deemed to have not acted in the best interests of the USA and failed to uphold the Constitution and could concieveably be sentenced to death for having commited treason.

 

The fact that it is available on the internet does not make a communication public as far as the federal government is concerned. The jurist in question overreaches his authority severly when he branches to a point this far from the normal boundaries of justice.

 

I may not like the 178 people who did such an immoral thing (opinion) but I must support their willingness to retain their anonymity as that is the heart and sole of privacy. Privacy is gauranteed by the 4th amendment. If you and I do not stand against such broaches of judicial tyranny then you and I will suffer the consequences when it is OUR anonymity we wish to protect.

 

 

 

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wytworm

Privacy equates to anonymity? Since when? I am not sure there is a right to slander that is protected by anonymity as privacy. 

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nekollx

against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,

 

key work here "unreasonable search and seasure"

 

when the coment in question can be sean by anyone by typing in a url, their no violation of privacy going on. its like posting a letter on a wall

 

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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wytworm

Posting a letter on a wall with your tag on it that is traceable back to you. 

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DjdanRT

The fools who post online thinkng its anonymous are finding out the hard way. A lot of these kids do it to be extreme to sort of test the limits to show off to their friends how crazy(cool) they are. They have ruined the web for having sites with anonymity. I hope they find them and sue them like crazy.

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Keith E. Whisman

Not really there would be alot more people getting their butts kicked for being jerks. But I think people would still speak their minds. Like me they will just arm themselves.

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Keith E. Whisman

Hey lets target that Judge on every damn website that will let us give a piece of our minds. In this country I can talk crap about anyone including the president so long as I make no threats against anyone I can say what I will. Hell the press goes out of it's way with the daily investigative reporters out there destroying peoples lives I've never heard of any reporter being taken to task for what they have done. They always scream 1st ammendment. Free Press. Freedom of speech. 

So judge you want a piece of me come here to Phoenix and confront me and tell me to my face I can't speak my mind. FU Judge. 

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Teknobenji

I dislike anyone in the government interfering with my "rights" and "freedoms" HOWEVER hopefully your mother taught you to never say anything about anyone that you wouldn't say to their face - so why cower behind a username? secondly- any defamation of character, slander, or libel is punishable in a court (and well should be) and may I also make that point that our rights and freedoms are not FREE we pay for them by being responsible in our use of them, and that is our duty - so 178 posters should be held responsible for their comment and see how it feels to put their names and faces with the names and faces of those previously acquitted.

A little less hate at the keyboard would be great- even you will feel better when you give a compliment rather than a put down.. .(thanks for that too Mom!)_

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badkarma2022

You have every right to speak your mind and do as you please. However, YOU are responsible! 

 

You are free to shop for the latest and greatest Core i7 but you best have the money to pay for it before walking out the door. Otherwise, that is illegal and a price must be paid. Freedom isn't free as you have often heard. If you open your mouth, you better be right for you will be held accountable.

 

Freedom isn't a blank check. 

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pratt

There is such a thing as Defamation of Character. In laymans terms, it means propegating lies about an individual and their actions and personal being. Things that are "free" always have a catch to them. You have the freedom to say whatever you want, but you better be free on March 6 to stand up and be held responsible for whatever ignorance flew from your mouth.

 

And honestly, I hope those 178 punks get in trouble over this. People seem to think because you're hiding behind a computer screen you can say anything you want with no accountability. It's about time that changes. I have a friend who codes applications in his free time for the Andriod phone and you have no idea how much hate-mail he gets from ignorant fools who know nothing about his app and what it does. Its actually a really really good and well coded app but he still gets stupid individuals sending him death threats and all sorts of non-sense because they aren't smart enough to figure out how to follow a tutorial or a FAQ on how to use it.

Oh and my friend got tired of all the hate and forwards all hatemail to the local police internet crime division. Still waiting to hear if any fools get strung up for their blabber mouths.

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routine

Freedom is such an unpopular concept nowadays. Most people have no problem sending our troops into harms way in the name of Freedom but when it comes to what's going on at home, we give it up so easily. We don't just give it up, we beg them to take it away.

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Phated1

You DO have the right to free speech.  This judge never said you couldnt say what you wanted.  The issue is that when what YOU say takes away someone elses rights, then its illegal.  Defaming someone takes away their right to the pursuit of happiness.  and THATS why the judge ordered their release.

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routine

First of all, where in the Constitution does it say you have the right to the pursuit of happiness?

Please, point it out. 

Secondly, that would be real hard to prove in court. What I said took away your right to the pursuit of happiness. 

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Phated1

The consititution doesnt say it, it was in the declaration of independence.  The point is these people being flamed had just as much right to not be defamed as anyone else.  There needs to be a stop to people being able to hide behind a username.

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routine

And the Declaration of Independence is not the law of the land. The Constitution, however, is.

So, it would be alright if the people doing the flaming were doing it out in the open? Let's say on their front yard? It only needs to be stopped when their hiding behind a username? 

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Phated1

What are you talking about? Are you really just arguing for the sake of arguing?  I never said ONLY people behind computer screens should be held accountable; I was merely pointing out that up until now they werent, and they should be.

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atomaweapon

routine has a point dude. Freedom of speech. Unless they can somehow prove that they have received some serious harm from some silly comments over the internet, it's free speech.

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PCIV

Anyone notice, if this happened in real life, it would be a mob rule, and everything short of lynching them?

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GreenTurtle

 Even if it is untrue? I guess they can be free to let everyone know who they are then right? And maybe get someone to " free speech " them?

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routine

They're already attacking the 2nd Ammendment. Next to go is the 1st.

 Good bye Bill of Rights. It was nice knowin ya. 

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Hamerlock

To prove slander/libel in a court of law, you have to prove that the person you are accusing of it knew for a fact that what they were saying was a lie and said it to be malicious. Which is why its so hard to prove these kinds of cases. To nail any of the posters on the board they would ether had to have been in attendance at the court during the trial of these people, or they will have to testify in court under oath that they knew the truth. That said these 178 people need to be identified and testify in court to defend themselves at least. Opinions are always protected under the 1st amendment no mater how messed up they are.      

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Evilmale

come on this is free speech the judge ha no right to demand the names of the posters if this can happen then that means people will be scared of saying what they want and that is a serious problem if one o the fundamental rights of people in the US are infringed

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GreenTurtle

 If they are scared to say what they want, is it because they know it's wrong? People need to think before they speak or write. If you are unwilling to say it directly to someones face, then don't post it. Period.

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MaxFan

[quote]

 If they are scared to say what they want, is it because they know it's wrong? People need to think before they speak or write. If you are unwilling to say it directly to someones face, then don't post it. Period.

[/quote] 

Yeah.  Scared.  Think it through long and hard before you travel down that path my giddy young friend.  It was after all the fact that the people were scared to voice their objection that allowed Hitler to roll in to Poland in 1938.  It was after all the fact that the people were scared to voice their opinion that allowed Hitler to march through the Arc De Triomphe in 1939 whilst the Vicci looked the other way.  It was after all that the people were scared that allowed them to believe in a Neville Chamberlain.  It was after all the fact that the people were scared that allowed a monster like Stalin to come to power in the 1930's.  Again it was the fact that the people were scared that allowed the Noblisti to be undermined and Il Duce to gain prominence in Italy in the late twenties and early thirties.  Fear allowed Pol Pot to reign unmercifully.  Fear Allows Ahcmed Dinner Jacket (intentional misspelling of the name) to rule in Iran.  Fear Allows Bin Laden to roam free.  Fear Created Mao. 

Anonymity serves its purpose.  It veils from view of a government the private thoughts of its citizenry such that a Police State or a Facisti cannot come to power through fear of reprisal by a government or individuals in the government exerting pressure on its citizens and quashing political thought.  When we agree there is no fear.  When we disagree fear uncertainty and doubt are all part of the portrait.  But fear that one should be attacked or lose ones liberties or lose ones properties in the name of swift justice is a travesty our founding fathers specifically removed from the provenance of those who judge or write laws or execute them.  It is the very heart and soul of our constitutional form of government that not only do we have the right to speak our minds and our opinions on matters of daily import, but that we also be able to veil our true identity from those who would do us harm no matter what the constitution may say. 

It is a citizens right to speak anonymously and a citizen always has a reasonable expectation of privacy when he speaks anonymously.   To think otherwise is to trudge willingly down the slippery slope into tyranny.  To be scared of tyranny because "the walls have ears" is to already have begun the transition to that gray Orwellian future.

If the 178 had not spoken anonymously and they all were there when the first trial closed and had the prior information that the claimant was in fact not what they said he was and they said what they said about him malicously or with intent to harm publicly or incite to riot, Then the jurist in question MIGHT have reason to subponea for libel or defamation otherwise its clearly not necessary to subponea and goes against the fabric of the constitution itself.

 -MaxFan

 

 

 

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GreenTurtle

How are you comparing this to Hitler and world war two?

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nekollx

the thing is the 178 DIDN'T have "secret info" they were bandwagon hoppers who continued to abuse and defame somone declared inocent.

 

Think of all the people who call OJ guilty.

 

Was he? I don't really care. The court said he was inocent, continuing to shout and berate him as a 'dirty rotten liar and killer' after the first trial IS defimation of character.

 

Suceeding trials may alter these details, even over rule a past verdict but the fact remains that it is defimation of character once the cort of law rule a inocence verdict.

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MaxFan

OJ was guilty as hell and we all know it.  Jury Nullification does NOT mean that the person is innocent.

It wouldnt matter if the 178 had secret info or if they were defaming someone.  Until each one individually or collectively is brought to trial BY THE PLAINTIF for defamation it is not of the courts concern.  By making it the courts concern the court is doing the legwork for the plaintiff and in the bargain throwing reasonable expectation of privacy OUT the fucking window.  They HAVE reasonable expectation because the Forum Owners GAVE them reasonable expectation of privacy.  Anonymity is guaranteed when a forum for speech provides means and methodolgy to assure anonymity.  If a jurist uses his power to break that it better be for a damn good reason.  Like someone will die in the next 5 minutes if he doesnt.  This jurist is NOT doing that he is abusing the power afforded to him by color of authority

 

 

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wytworm

There is no protected right to free anonymous speech.

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MaxFan

In fact there is just such a right.  The first amendment provides the guarantee of freedom to offer forth opinion publicly or not anonymous or not at the issuers pleasure, protected speech.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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wytworm

It is well-established that there is no free speech right to engage in illegal or defamatory activity. Threats, "fighting words," obscenity, and libelous speech are not protected by the free speech clause. So there is no free speech right to engage in these activities anonymously or to maintain your anonymity against a legal challenge.

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nekollx

And where does it say "and with total privacy and anonimity of person"

 

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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MaxFan

Certainly there is.  Freedom to speak (and by extension to write) assumes that anonymity may not be broken.  Ask any reporter about a guy named Sullivan.

 

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