There has been a running discussion lately in the SD blogosphere relating to support or opposition to HB 1277 and HB 1278, which relate to “obtaining certain information from online content providers in slander and libel actions. ”
There have been thoughtful and thorough comments from various SD blogs. I particularly liked Ken’s comment on SD Politics hearkening back to the “ancient” (to borrow a descriptive designation from the SCOTUS decision bouncing McCain-Feingold) traditions of our early republic, and its lively, invective-filled, and often anonymous debates.
I started on a somewhat lengthy commentary from my own point of view…and finally decided that to address everything I thought about this idea, I would be writing a major thesis. I have enough writing to do for the history master’s program I’m in, so have to pass on that one for now.
So, it’ll just have to be enough to say that these bills are NOT a good idea for a number of reasons, both technical and philosophical, many of which have been discussed elsewhere by others. The long and short of it is that I don’t see a benefit in extending the police power down to the levels that would be necessary to even attempt to enforce this. Besides, based on what I know of history, who would say that sometime in the future it might be considered libelous to criticise officeholders, etc. This HAS already happened elsewhere, and elsewhen.
I know, “It can’t happen here!” Wanna bet? (I don’t!)
It may well be the proverbial cold day in hell since I agree with the ACLU …hmmm…the Saints won the Superbowl…maybe it really is cold down there!