Monday, May 21, 2007

At the bottom of the slippery slope.

[tinfoil hat on] No wait, this is already happening.

Myspace gives up "sex offender data".

With the filing of the required subpoenas, MySpace has agreed to supply the names, email addresses and IP addresses of all convicted sex offenders who have set up a profile on the site. While MySpace has deleted all accounts established by people confirmed to have been convicted of such crimes, it has retained all the vital information so it can comply with the subpoenas.

Win/win right? No one likes child molesters, and they shouldn't be allowed on myspace because there are *cough*unsupervised*cough* children on myspace! It only makes sense, and it's for the children!(tm)

I wrote a post a bit ago, Protect the child molesters! because I wanted people to be aware that we should judge our justice system by how it treats our most hated individuals. When we can convict someone of a crime, send them to jail, release them after having served that time, then take steps to make it nearly impossible for that person to get a job or live anywhere while forcing them into second-class (third? forth?) citizenship, and tracking their every move for life, we REALLY need to take a step back and seriously consider the gravity of what we're doing here.

But wait...
While a step in the right direction, Monday's accord only goes so far. The information won't concern sex offenders who aren't registered or are using aliases on the site. Only honest offenders are likely to get caught in the net, it would seem. Offenders who have fibbed while registering their profile can easily slip by, at least for now.

If you're a convicted sex offender, who must register every month or whatever, with your name in every database imaginable, and you plan to lure children to you through myspace, you're probably not going to use your real name. So this action won't even do what it's supposed to do... Except set prescident.

I'm not even going to get into the idea of government stopping you from using a free privately owned service because you might use it in the comission of a crime. What's next? Banning sex offenders from parks, malls, libraries? Where does the list end?

But hey, myspace is just a place for people to hang out and be idiots right? It's not like anyone's getting arrested for things they've posted on myspace.

Matthew Corwin.
Here's a quick news video on what's happened to him.

The student body president at East Los Angeles College, was arrested after students and faculty members contacted authorities in response to his MySpace page showing Corwin in fatigues and holding weapons.

In fatigues??? He's a military vetern, and part-time MP in the US Army Reserve. I'd say the fatigues could be expected.
Holding weapons??? He founded Students for the Second Amendment, a gun enthusiast and advocacy club on campus. Hmmm... One might assume that someone who founded such a club owned... guns?

It's not like he's being railroaded! If he makes bail, he'll be allowed to continue with his life right? Nope. He's been barred from coming within 100 yards of his school, and has been assigned an inordinately high bail.

So they raided him, and charged him with five counts of unlawful assault-weapon sales, four counts of unlawful possession of assault weapons, two counts of possession of a deadly weapon and one count of receiving stolen property. Clearly there was some other evidence than just some pictures on myspace... (right?) Surely, pictures aren't enough for the ATF to set up and execute a raid against someone right? Wrong.

If they raided him, he must have been doing something wrong. Surely there wasn't a rush-to-judgement... Whoops.
"After further investigation by the (federal officials) they determined that the Browning machine .30-caliber was lawful. So we dismissed six counts today. The remaining six counts will be prosecuted," district attorney's office spokeswoman Jane Robison said.

So they dropped 50% of the charges they were going to persue.

So where is this leading? The big T word.

While sex offenders are (somehow) more villified than terrorists, we know who the sex offenders are. They've been tried, convicted, served their time, and live as second (or third) class citizens after being "rehabilitated" in the criminal justice system. Terrorists, however, are anyone and everyone. Which means that we must give the government unchecked powers to weed out the terrorists hiding in our closets and under our beds. Suddenly there exists a "terrorist watch list" which is held in the strictest secrecy by an agency that was just recently created who will speak nothing to how names get on the list or how to get them off the list.

But only terrorists will turn up on a terrorist watch list right? Wrong. Ted Kennedy was perturbed to find himself on the terrorist watch list, and used his connections to get his name removed from the list. After several weeks. If it took someone with as much political clout as Ted Kennedy several weeks to remove his name from this secret list, do you even think it'll be possible for you or me to do so? Do you think they even had a process for doing such a thing? I doubt it.

Barring any mistaken identity or general cock-up, you've got to be planning to blow something up to be labled a terrorist, right? Wrong. According to the Phoenix FBI training manual, possible terrorists may be characterized by the following:
Defenders of the U.S. Constitution against federal government and the UN
Groups of individuals engaging in para-military training
Those who make numerous references to the U.S. Constitution
Those who attempt to police the police
Lone individuals

Looks like this was worth of the attention of the NRA, who says here;
Do you believe gun control is a way to remove our ability to protect ourselves? Do you believe the Bill of Rights protects God-given rights, as opposed to granting rights from the government? Do you believe U.S. sovereignty is threatened by the actions and actors at the United Nations?

Congratulations. You might be a domestic terrorist.

Whoops. You've just been wiretapped, had your electronic communications and credit card purchases flagged, and are subject to an overzealous search when attempting to board a plane. Not to mention any other bit of nastyness we the people aren't even aware of.

Can you imagine being on this list if you were someone the government didn't like? Say, an opponent of a particular party, group, or agency?

But it's not like you're going to just get shipped off without any explanation.
Whoops. Bush has suspended writ of habeus corpus.

So what am I trying to say here?

I'm not trying to say anything. It's already been said, and done.

You can be forced to live your life as a second class citizen.
You can be rejected from living in certain neighborhoods.
You can be refused free, private services.
You can be tagged like an animal and have your location tracked for life.
You can be investigated and raided based on things you put on the internet.
You can be investigated and raided based on a picture of you in the newspaper.
You can be labeled a terrorist by defending the US constitution.
You can be put on a watch list that will allow your 4th amendment rights to be suspended.
You can be put on a terrorist watch list on accident.
You can be wiretapped without a warrant.
You can be jailed out-of-country where rights may be suspended.
You can be jailed without due process or ability to defend yourself, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

This is not tin-foil hat time. This is now.

Good fucking luck to all of us. We're going to need it.

Follow up post on this topic;
Unpopular people have no rights.


Anonymous said...

Banning MySpace? Chicken Feed!

How about banning the ENTIRE INTERNET??

Take a gander at this...

"N.J. Close to Sex Offender Web Ban"

Key paragraph...

"Under the plan, convicted sex offenders would have to submit to periodic, unannounced examinations of their computer equipment, install equipment on their computer so its use could be monitored and inform law enforcement if they have access to a computer. Those caught using the Internet would face 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine."

Whoa.... we aren't at the bottom of a slippery slope, we have entered a black hole, it seems.

Anonymous said...

The Communists have won. We just don't know it yet.