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back to article US feds subpoena names of anonymous web commenters

The all-too-typical violent hyperbole found in reader comments across the internet has landed one Las Vegas newspaper in the hot seat with US prosecutors. The Las Vegas Review-Journal says it has been served with a federal grand jury subpoena seeking information on people who posted supposedly threatening anonymous comments on a …

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Stop

star trek fans...

currency of choice is gold pressed latinum

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Stop

Competition?

Is Nevada competing with ol' Blighty for having the most insane justifications for rights infringements?

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How are those threatening, in the least?

Might as well subpoena every deadpool website there is if this is allowed to continue. How about any bookie that's ever taken a bet on how long a terminally ill head of state has left to live?

This just reeks of "Well, I'll show them!!!" complete with a fist pump and a spit of tobacco right into the can. You tell 'em, Steve-Dave!

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Raaahhh yes!

Condemning the IRS, the court system, the US treasury, paper money, public schools, communists....

...not very productive but at least the heart is in the right place.

Actually, I think they should be raging against the Federal Reserve for unsustainable inflation of the money supply, not the treasury.

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Anonymity is not a right

Requesting information on every commentard was obviously too broad, as most of them said nothing of interest. However, death threats are not protected free speech. The ACLU is generally good, but they go too far sometimes.

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I am not a Lawyer...

..., let alone a US Lawyer, but...

If I remember correctly, First Amendment rights do not cover incitement to riot, etc, etc... If the prosecution can show the comments to be inflammatory, then a judge may well give them the injunction they seek.

On the other hand, I don't believe the injunction/subpoena should cover *every* bloger - only those who breached their First Amendment.protection.

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PT

Viva Las Vegas

I love my home town - it's about the only place left in the US where personal liberty is still important and adults are allowed to say and do things without thinking of the children. Our mayor is a former mob lawyer who played himself in the movie Casino, and we love him. So, we have some nutters - what else would you expect to find in the Review-Journal comments section? Our local newspaper combines the reporting quality of the Sun with the paranoia of the Daily Mail and an editorial board that considers Rush Limbaugh a dangerous liberal. I buy it myself sometimes, though not often, as my cat refuses to use the litter box if it notices.

Well it's after 5pm, I'm off to practice with my machine guns in case I see one o' them Yankee revenooers on my land.

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Hmmmm...

I only ever comment using my real name...I have about fifty of them.

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feds are retarded

Oh lets see hmm, there are almost no assnine comments in the Web 2.0 world so I am glad the Feds are pissing away tax money chasing the few examples out there. Really wtf did the feds focus on this one? I guess with Dems in charge they are still paranoid about the right wing nut militias. Once again the only thing government is any good at is spending other peoples money with crap all to show for it.

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Nasty man said boo-boo to me!

BAWL

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@ Competition

Umm, you got that backwards. They actually started it. Look up "Echelon"

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Pirate

American Justice: has that become an oxymoron?

Thus begin the pogroms. Since I make no bones about my displeasure with the corruption and lies from our new president; I expect to be one of the first scheduled to be sent to the "Political Reeducation Camps" that will no doubt soon be opening up. What most refuse to recognize is that Fascism is a Leftist attribute, not an aspect of conservsatism. The Left always knows what's right for everyone else and evgerything not mandatory is forbidden. Let 'em come after me, I'll take an honor guard to the gates of Hell. And I'll pay the ferryman with gold pressed latinum.

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Homeland Security has lots of free time

Frankly, neither comments seem intelligent or particularly meaningful.

Taking a hanging threat seriously is especially dumb. How many murders get committed by someone hanging someone else, let alone 12 others? Sounds like some dumb hick venting. Mature? No. Sociable? No. Somebody you'd like to have a beer with, just to chuckle at? Maybe.

Would "I'd like to see them rot in hell" also be taken literally?

I hope Osama and Co. are otherwise seriously incapacitated if the Feds are this easy to distract, 'cause this ain't helping nab them one wee bit.

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Anonymous Coward

Death Threats Aside

what this really shows, is the private sector is fed up with the public sector.

The Public Sector is taking too much, and the argument that taxation is a mechanism by which the central banking systems maintains control over a country has a ring of truth.

There is no opt out from taxation or public services, no one signed a contract. You will sometimes see people claim that no one wants zero taxation, well they are wrong, I would support that move in a microsecond. The public sector is broken, there is no virtue in it, they take more than they could possibly give, it is pretty much the same way a protection racket works.

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Black Helicopters

My , My !

My , my , the FED's have become a tad sensitive since the so called ongoing scandal of epic proportions by the FBI in it's local terrorist round up in New York City to help a certain corrupt politician/ mayor of that hole win a few more votes from his compatriots of the same faith .

Strange times indeed !

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Joke

That's so stupid!

I'm going to hunt them all down and kill them!

:P

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Alien

Im Anonymous :D

"The sad thing is there are 12 dummies on the jury who will convict him. They should be hung along with the feds," posted one of the offending commenters.

Another wagered "quatloos" (an alien currency from Star Trek) that one of the federal prosecutors wouldn't live to see his next birthday.

I don't see those as threats, they are comments saying these feds should watch what their doing.

Not "IM GOING TO KILL YOU!"

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License vs freedom

Leaving aside the issue whether the authorities are acting heavy-handedly in this particular case, I do not like to see anyone threatened, especially those performing a public duty. It IS important to allow jurors, judges, prosecutors, but also police officers, ambulance staff, etc., do their work without fear of abuse, threats, or worse.

Yes, these people do seem like complete morons, and it is the inalienable right of each and every human being to make a fool of themself in public, but if you are at the recieving end of such comments you might not think of it so lightly.

Of course you should have freedom to express your thoughts. Others have the right to call you to account IF you threaten people. Threatening jurors is no joke. These people should be made aware of this. I do not think a full-blown prosecution would be required, but I would not object to questioning them about their motives and intentions.

Maybe, just maybe, they will start thinking before posting

....... NAH, unlikely!

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Anonymous Coward

"death threats"

damn, if that's a death threat I must have made thousands, "I hope that Jackie smith gets what comming to her" "All the lawyers need shooting" "The only good Politico is a dead politico" "Gordon can join the Bankers against the wall when the revolution comes" I mean they arn't threats - just hopes and feelings. Darn the revolution one is treason! Holy crap I'm a rebel!! >.> Or not.

"The sad thing is there are 12 dummies on the jury who will convict him. They should be hung along with the feds,"

If you see that as a threat you're a retard and "deserve to be hanged along with the jurors and feds."

Bet if the threats were saying "Sad thing is they're all commies. They should be hanged along with the terrorists" there wouldn't be so many folk wetting themselves.

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Am I the only one who noticed...

"I'd hate to be the guy who refused to tell the feds Timothy McVeigh was buying fertilizer," Why? When did buying fertilizer become illegal?

I am not condoning what McVeigh did, but no system can completely deal with nutters unless the rest of us are willing to accept that we have no rights or privacy at all. And every now and then, the nutters are right - think of Thomas Jefferson or William Wilberforce, both dangerous anti-establishment figures in their day, heros in our day.

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Dead Vulture

im going to hang him

unless the reg grasses me up !!!

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Sarko, je te vois !

We are in times of totalitarian government nowadays ...

That's even worse in France, "patry of liberty" as they say.

Calling one of the worst minister we've had "liar" since ... she lied, got some 49 years old mother the visit of the police + being sued.

http://www.rue89.com/2009/06/05/hou-la-menteuse-morano-est-bien-allee-jusquau-tribunal

Tons of such stories in Sarkoland ....

Anon for quite obvisous reasons.

PS: Sarkozy, je te vois !

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Boffin

Who's paying?

And who is actually paying for these US Feds and for the subpoena procedures, judges, lawyers etc... to prosecute the 2 web posters?

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Silver badge

Yet another IANAL

Yes, the First Amendment to the US Constitution protects free speech. No, it doesn't provide a license to incite revolt or riot. Yes jurors should be protected from intimidation, and prosecutors should be able to pursue finding anyone who has made a clearly intimidating threat against any member of any jury.

Now, applying these to the postings that are cited in this article, I don't think any reasonable person can interpret those words as a clearly directed threat of an intimidating nature. Of course the problem with my last statement is that these days the phrase "reasonable person" seems to automatically exclude lawyers (and therefore judges) of all kinds. And given the manner in which lawyers have subverted jury selection, it is unlikely that a "reasonable person" will be sitting on jury either. Which is why so many of my fellow citizens are so solidly with The Bard on this issue.

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Pirate

Cry Havoc!, and let slip the dogs of war.

Death to all who oppose me.

Come and get me Mr. fed, I am waiting.

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AB
Flame

@rixt

> I expect to be one of the first scheduled to be sent to the "Political Reeducation Camps" that will no doubt soon be opening up.

Really? *Really?!* Do you actually think this is going to happen, or are you just here for our amusement? It's statements like the one you've just made that cause the rest of the world to equate American conservatism with an urgent requirement for coats which buckle at the back, which isn't totally fair as not every conservative is completely without a link to reality.

Having said that, I don't understand why the feds are going after these posters - as others have pointed out, they're not great death threats, and comments of that type are hardly exclusive to the LVRJ.

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Pirate

@AB re:camping out

Although my comments were somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I would certainly not consider it outside the realm of possibility for the current administration to institute extreme measures to quell dissidents. Obama has demonstrated time and again that he has absolutely no tolerance for criticism. He has demonstrated a complete disregard for the Constitution. He has lied to the American people repeatedly. He is a product of what is probably the most corrupt political environment in the history of the Republic. His ideals bear far closer resemblance to those of Mussolini and Hitler than to those of Tom Jefferson or Tom Paine. His assault on Culture and Class may well instigate the beginning of the Second American Civil War. He has thumbed his nose or outright given the finger to traditional American allies while visiting and consorting with despots and dictators, all the while apologizing for being an American. No act of barbarism he might commit would surprise me in the least.

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Big Brother

Those are...

...hardly bloody death treats. If they are, and we are obliged to prevent them, then we may have no choice but to just turn the whole internet off - just one hour of YouTube comments could jam up the legal system for years!

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