Tag Archives: Internet

States Debate Privacy Protections as Technology Speeds Ahead

sriFrom the North-Kingston Standard Times:

“Revenge porn is an issue that clearly needs to be addressed. But this isn’t the solution, sales ” said Justin Silverman, pharmacy Executive Director of the New England First Amendment Coalition. “Privacy needs to be protected in a way that does not deter journalists from reporting stories that are in the public’s interest.” [Full Story]
statelineFrom Stateline

Companies that produce some of the new technologies, seek such as the makers of education software and drones, case fear the restrictions will stifle innovation and commerce. Others, such as Justin Silverman, executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition, say some of the restrictions, such as those on drones, body cameras and “revenge porn” — nude or sexually graphic images shared without consent — may infringe on free speech protections. [Full Story]

Defining Who’s a Journalist Gets Murkier as News Platforms Grow

102847051_d035620755_qEight days after a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School, patient  shooting and killing 20 young students, 6 staff members and fueling a national discussion on gun controlThe Journal News in Lower Hudson, New York, published an interactive map of all residents in its community who possessed a firearms permit.

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Computers, Speech and the First Amendment

When asked for his thoughts on the state of Massachusetts’ recent opposition to his town’s controversial profanity ban, ed Middleborough resident Willy Duphily shared what is likely the opinion of many on the topic.

“It is so typical in this country,” Duphily told The Boston Globe. “Everyone has rights that then take away the rights of us law-abiding citizens.”

At the heart of Duphily’s comment is a misguided battle between the profane and the proper. Fed up with foul-mouthed teens congregating around local businesses and —according to some residents — intimidating patrons, ailment  the town voted to enforce a 1968 bylaw banning public profanity (pdf, see Article 8) and made it easier for police to fine those heard cursing in public. Potty-mouthed protests ensued, however, and Attorney General Martha Coakley said on Oct. 10 that the bylaw is likely unconstitutional. The right of citizens to use profane language should be protected, she suggested, and the ban should not be enforced.

What seems to be lost during First Amendment challenges such as this one is the ability to recognize just what our constitution protects. Duphily’s comment seems to represent the view that this conflict is solely about foul-mouthed teens and the effect on those who happen to hear them. On its face, the call to end the profanity ban is about protecting the right of these teens to use foul language. But it’s also much more than that — it’s about protecting the right of everyone to express themselves even if others find that expression offensive. It is not an overstatement to say that by protecting the right of teens to curse in public, we are also protecting the freedom of discourse on which our democracy depends.

Though a loose analogy, I think the following anecdote is to the point: As Occupy protesters last year seized public parks across the country, I was asked if I had considered in my defense of those protesters all the tax money being used for cleanup efforts and increased police presence. I not only considered it, I replied, but I welcomed the opportunity to spend my tax dollars on protecting the right of others to protest. I didn’t agree with much of what those protesters were saying, but I knew that by protecting their right to be in those parks, I was solidifying my own right to do the same when compelled by a different cause.

Regardless of which of the five First Amendment freedoms are at play, the same principle applies: We should unwaveringly support the freedom protected by the constitution, even if we disagree with how others use that freedom. Like carrying the financial burden of a protest in which one is not involved, protecting the right of teens to throw F-bombs in public is a small price to pay for the freedom of speech that is given to us all.

This distinction is probably best described in a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court just three years after Middleborough’s original profanity ban took effect. Cohen v. California,403 U.S. 15 (1971), involved a man who entered the Los Angeles County Courthouse wearing a jacket that displayed the words, “Fuck the Draft.” Police arrested him under a law that banned “offensive conduct.” In its decision to declare the ban unconstitutional, the court provided a strong defense against any effort by the government to curtail offensive speech. They are cautionary words that help frame the situation in Middleborough:

[W]e cannot indulge the facile assumption that one can forbid particular words without running a risk of suppressing ideas in the process. Indeed, governments might soon seize upon the censorship of particular words as a convenient guise for banning the expression of unpopular views. Id. at 26. (Emphasis added.)

As for those who choose to use words that are particularly offensive, the court added:

[These are] side effects of the broader enduring values which the process of open debate permits us to achieve. … For, while the particular four-letter word being litigated here is perhaps more distasteful than most others of its genre, it is nevertheless often true that one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric. Indeed, we think it is largely because governmental officials cannot make principled distinctions in this area that the Constitution leaves matters of taste and style so largely to the individual. Id. at 25. (Emphasis added.)

All individuals. The foul-mouthed teen and Mr. Duphily alike. It’s difficult to remember, but so important that we do, that individual cases may seem like they protect the rights of some, but when considered as a buttress between citizens and their government, they in fact protect the rights of us all. An end to the profanity ban in Middleborough is a victory not just for the cursing few, but for every resident of that town.
When asked for his thoughts on the state of Massachusetts’ recent opposition to his town’s controversial profanity ban, ed Middleborough resident Willy Duphily shared what is likely the opinion of many on the topic.

“It is so typical in this country,” Duphily told The Boston Globe. “Everyone has rights that then take away the rights of us law-abiding citizens.”

At the heart of Duphily’s comment is a misguided battle between the profane and the proper. Fed up with foul-mouthed teens congregating around local businesses and —according to some residents — intimidating patrons, ailment  the town voted to enforce a 1968 bylaw banning public profanity (pdf, see Article 8) and made it easier for police to fine those heard cursing in public. Potty-mouthed protests ensued, however, and Attorney General Martha Coakley said on Oct. 10 that the bylaw is likely unconstitutional. The right of citizens to use profane language should be protected, she suggested, and the ban should not be enforced.

What seems to be lost during First Amendment challenges such as this one is the ability to recognize just what our constitution protects. Duphily’s comment seems to represent the view that this conflict is solely about foul-mouthed teens and the effect on those who happen to hear them. On its face, the call to end the profanity ban is about protecting the right of these teens to use foul language. But it’s also much more than that — it’s about protecting the right of everyone to express themselves even if others find that expression offensive. It is not an overstatement to say that by protecting the right of teens to curse in public, we are also protecting the freedom of discourse on which our democracy depends.

Though a loose analogy, I think the following anecdote is to the point: As Occupy protesters last year seized public parks across the country, I was asked if I had considered in my defense of those protesters all the tax money being used for cleanup efforts and increased police presence. I not only considered it, I replied, but I welcomed the opportunity to spend my tax dollars on protecting the right of others to protest. I didn’t agree with much of what those protesters were saying, but I knew that by protecting their right to be in those parks, I was solidifying my own right to do the same when compelled by a different cause.

Regardless of which of the five First Amendment freedoms are at play, the same principle applies: We should unwaveringly support the freedom protected by the constitution, even if we disagree with how others use that freedom. Like carrying the financial burden of a protest in which one is not involved, protecting the right of teens to throw F-bombs in public is a small price to pay for the freedom of speech that is given to us all.

This distinction is probably best described in a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court just three years after Middleborough’s original profanity ban took effect. Cohen v. California,403 U.S. 15 (1971), involved a man who entered the Los Angeles County Courthouse wearing a jacket that displayed the words, “Fuck the Draft.” Police arrested him under a law that banned “offensive conduct.” In its decision to declare the ban unconstitutional, the court provided a strong defense against any effort by the government to curtail offensive speech. They are cautionary words that help frame the situation in Middleborough:

[W]e cannot indulge the facile assumption that one can forbid particular words without running a risk of suppressing ideas in the process. Indeed, governments might soon seize upon the censorship of particular words as a convenient guise for banning the expression of unpopular views. Id. at 26. (Emphasis added.)

As for those who choose to use words that are particularly offensive, the court added:

[These are] side effects of the broader enduring values which the process of open debate permits us to achieve. … For, while the particular four-letter word being litigated here is perhaps more distasteful than most others of its genre, it is nevertheless often true that one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric. Indeed, we think it is largely because governmental officials cannot make principled distinctions in this area that the Constitution leaves matters of taste and style so largely to the individual. Id. at 25. (Emphasis added.)

All individuals. The foul-mouthed teen and Mr. Duphily alike. It’s difficult to remember, but so important that we do, that individual cases may seem like they protect the rights of some, but when considered as a buttress between citizens and their government, they in fact protect the rights of us all. An end to the profanity ban in Middleborough is a victory not just for the cursing few, but for every resident of that town.
When asked for his thoughts on the state of Massachusetts’ recent opposition to his town’s controversial profanity ban, ed Middleborough resident Willy Duphily shared what is likely the opinion of many on the topic.

“It is so typical in this country,” Duphily told The Boston Globe. “Everyone has rights that then take away the rights of us law-abiding citizens.”

At the heart of Duphily’s comment is a misguided battle between the profane and the proper. Fed up with foul-mouthed teens congregating around local businesses and —according to some residents — intimidating patrons, ailment  the town voted to enforce a 1968 bylaw banning public profanity (pdf, see Article 8) and made it easier for police to fine those heard cursing in public. Potty-mouthed protests ensued, however, and Attorney General Martha Coakley said on Oct. 10 that the bylaw is likely unconstitutional. The right of citizens to use profane language should be protected, she suggested, and the ban should not be enforced.

What seems to be lost during First Amendment challenges such as this one is the ability to recognize just what our constitution protects. Duphily’s comment seems to represent the view that this conflict is solely about foul-mouthed teens and the effect on those who happen to hear them. On its face, the call to end the profanity ban is about protecting the right of these teens to use foul language. But it’s also much more than that — it’s about protecting the right of everyone to express themselves even if others find that expression offensive. It is not an overstatement to say that by protecting the right of teens to curse in public, we are also protecting the freedom of discourse on which our democracy depends.

Though a loose analogy, I think the following anecdote is to the point: As Occupy protesters last year seized public parks across the country, I was asked if I had considered in my defense of those protesters all the tax money being used for cleanup efforts and increased police presence. I not only considered it, I replied, but I welcomed the opportunity to spend my tax dollars on protecting the right of others to protest. I didn’t agree with much of what those protesters were saying, but I knew that by protecting their right to be in those parks, I was solidifying my own right to do the same when compelled by a different cause.

Regardless of which of the five First Amendment freedoms are at play, the same principle applies: We should unwaveringly support the freedom protected by the constitution, even if we disagree with how others use that freedom. Like carrying the financial burden of a protest in which one is not involved, protecting the right of teens to throw F-bombs in public is a small price to pay for the freedom of speech that is given to us all.

This distinction is probably best described in a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court just three years after Middleborough’s original profanity ban took effect. Cohen v. California,403 U.S. 15 (1971), involved a man who entered the Los Angeles County Courthouse wearing a jacket that displayed the words, “Fuck the Draft.” Police arrested him under a law that banned “offensive conduct.” In its decision to declare the ban unconstitutional, the court provided a strong defense against any effort by the government to curtail offensive speech. They are cautionary words that help frame the situation in Middleborough:

[W]e cannot indulge the facile assumption that one can forbid particular words without running a risk of suppressing ideas in the process. Indeed, governments might soon seize upon the censorship of particular words as a convenient guise for banning the expression of unpopular views. Id. at 26. (Emphasis added.)

As for those who choose to use words that are particularly offensive, the court added:

[These are] side effects of the broader enduring values which the process of open debate permits us to achieve. … For, while the particular four-letter word being litigated here is perhaps more distasteful than most others of its genre, it is nevertheless often true that one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric. Indeed, we think it is largely because governmental officials cannot make principled distinctions in this area that the Constitution leaves matters of taste and style so largely to the individual. Id. at 25. (Emphasis added.)

All individuals. The foul-mouthed teen and Mr. Duphily alike. It’s difficult to remember, but so important that we do, that individual cases may seem like they protect the rights of some, but when considered as a buttress between citizens and their government, they in fact protect the rights of us all. An end to the profanity ban in Middleborough is a victory not just for the cursing few, but for every resident of that town.
When asked for his thoughts on the state of Massachusetts’ recent opposition to his town’s controversial profanity ban, ed Middleborough resident Willy Duphily shared what is likely the opinion of many on the topic.

“It is so typical in this country,” Duphily told The Boston Globe. “Everyone has rights that then take away the rights of us law-abiding citizens.”

At the heart of Duphily’s comment is a misguided battle between the profane and the proper. Fed up with foul-mouthed teens congregating around local businesses and —according to some residents — intimidating patrons, ailment  the town voted to enforce a 1968 bylaw banning public profanity (pdf, see Article 8) and made it easier for police to fine those heard cursing in public. Potty-mouthed protests ensued, however, and Attorney General Martha Coakley said on Oct. 10 that the bylaw is likely unconstitutional. The right of citizens to use profane language should be protected, she suggested, and the ban should not be enforced.

What seems to be lost during First Amendment challenges such as this one is the ability to recognize just what our constitution protects. Duphily’s comment seems to represent the view that this conflict is solely about foul-mouthed teens and the effect on those who happen to hear them. On its face, the call to end the profanity ban is about protecting the right of these teens to use foul language. But it’s also much more than that — it’s about protecting the right of everyone to express themselves even if others find that expression offensive. It is not an overstatement to say that by protecting the right of teens to curse in public, we are also protecting the freedom of discourse on which our democracy depends.

Though a loose analogy, I think the following anecdote is to the point: As Occupy protesters last year seized public parks across the country, I was asked if I had considered in my defense of those protesters all the tax money being used for cleanup efforts and increased police presence. I not only considered it, I replied, but I welcomed the opportunity to spend my tax dollars on protecting the right of others to protest. I didn’t agree with much of what those protesters were saying, but I knew that by protecting their right to be in those parks, I was solidifying my own right to do the same when compelled by a different cause.

Regardless of which of the five First Amendment freedoms are at play, the same principle applies: We should unwaveringly support the freedom protected by the constitution, even if we disagree with how others use that freedom. Like carrying the financial burden of a protest in which one is not involved, protecting the right of teens to throw F-bombs in public is a small price to pay for the freedom of speech that is given to us all.

This distinction is probably best described in a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court just three years after Middleborough’s original profanity ban took effect. Cohen v. California,403 U.S. 15 (1971), involved a man who entered the Los Angeles County Courthouse wearing a jacket that displayed the words, “Fuck the Draft.” Police arrested him under a law that banned “offensive conduct.” In its decision to declare the ban unconstitutional, the court provided a strong defense against any effort by the government to curtail offensive speech. They are cautionary words that help frame the situation in Middleborough:

[W]e cannot indulge the facile assumption that one can forbid particular words without running a risk of suppressing ideas in the process. Indeed, governments might soon seize upon the censorship of particular words as a convenient guise for banning the expression of unpopular views. Id. at 26. (Emphasis added.)

As for those who choose to use words that are particularly offensive, the court added:

[These are] side effects of the broader enduring values which the process of open debate permits us to achieve. … For, while the particular four-letter word being litigated here is perhaps more distasteful than most others of its genre, it is nevertheless often true that one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric. Indeed, we think it is largely because governmental officials cannot make principled distinctions in this area that the Constitution leaves matters of taste and style so largely to the individual. Id. at 25. (Emphasis added.)

All individuals. The foul-mouthed teen and Mr. Duphily alike. It’s difficult to remember, but so important that we do, that individual cases may seem like they protect the rights of some, but when considered as a buttress between citizens and their government, they in fact protect the rights of us all. An end to the profanity ban in Middleborough is a victory not just for the cursing few, but for every resident of that town.
When asked for his thoughts on the state of Massachusetts’ recent opposition to his town’s controversial profanity ban, sale Middleborough resident Willy Duphily shared what is likely the opinion of many on the topic.

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The ‘Mugshot Racket’ II: A Commercial Purpose Exemption?

http://www.justinsilverman.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/cropped-cropped-DSC_01663.jpg
http://www.justinsilverman.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/cropped-cropped-DSC_01663.jpg
http://www.justinsilverman.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/cropped-cropped-DSC_01663.jpg
Justin is an attorney based in Westborough, cheap Mass. He has a general practice, focusing on business and media law, information access and trademark law. His experience is a broad mix of journalism, law and entrepreneurism.

Justin graduated from Suffolk University Law School in 2011. While a student, he worked as a full-time law clerk at the Boston firm Prince Lobel & Tye, LLP. At the firm, he worked directly with the lead counsel of what would become a $24 million arbitration case involving the insufficient payment of commissions to financial advisor co-claimants. Justin helped prepare and develop litigation strategy, writing more than 100 pages of legal analysis and drafting several motions used in the hearing. While at the firm, he also assisted the domestic relations practice, analyzing recent cases involving the division of marital assets.

In 2009, Justin joined the Board of Directors for the New England First Amendment Center. He now serves as the coalition’s second vice president, leading the group’s communication initiatives and managing its social media accounts. The center’s goal is to defend, promote and expand public access to government and the work it does.

Justin is currently a contributor to the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard Law School‘s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He interned there during his third year of law school, writing about media law and technology. He wrote a primer (.pdf) on state shield laws that was distributed at MCLE events and helped produce a recent report on copyright concerns posed by news aggregators and the companies that provide them.

Justin is also an active member of the American Bar Association. In 2010, the ABA’s General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division named him Outstanding Student Liaison. He currently manages the social media accounts of the division.

While in law school, Justin founded Suffolk Media Law and its ABA-recognized blog, SuffolkMediaLaw.com. He appeared on the podcast The Week in Law and the Boston Phoenix quoted him in a story on Internet privacy. During his time at Berkman, Justin presented to the Media Law Resource Center’s Pre-Publication Review Committee and had an article he wrote on student speech included in a recently published textbook on privacy.

In 2004, Justin began Boston Media Solutions to help local businesses devise publication and marketing strategies. In addition to creating websites for various companies, Justin developed the prototype to a Boston sports magazine and published the quarterly newspaper of the Needham Business Association.

While attending Syracuse University, Justin served as news editor of The Daily Orange, earning a nomination for both Reporter of the Year and Story of the Year awards at the 1999 Associated Collegiate Press Conference. He received in 2002 a William Randolph Hearst Award for his work.

During his senior year at Syracuse, Justin founded a bi-weekly newspaper and website for students in Central New York. In its three years of publication, the newspaper earned 16 awards for journalism excellence from the New York Press Association and the SPJ. The Syracuse University Whitman School of Management awarded the venture first place and seed money during its inaugural Entrepreneurial Competition in 2002.

Justin now lives in Newton with his wife and son.
http://www.justinsilverman.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/cropped-cropped-DSC_01663.jpg
http://www.justinsilverman.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/cropped-cropped-DSC_01663.jpg
Justin is an attorney based in Westborough, cheap Mass. He has a general practice, focusing on business and media law, information access and trademark law. His experience is a broad mix of journalism, law and entrepreneurism.

Justin graduated from Suffolk University Law School in 2011. While a student, he worked as a full-time law clerk at the Boston firm Prince Lobel & Tye, LLP. At the firm, he worked directly with the lead counsel of what would become a $24 million arbitration case involving the insufficient payment of commissions to financial advisor co-claimants. Justin helped prepare and develop litigation strategy, writing more than 100 pages of legal analysis and drafting several motions used in the hearing. While at the firm, he also assisted the domestic relations practice, analyzing recent cases involving the division of marital assets.

In 2009, Justin joined the Board of Directors for the New England First Amendment Center. He now serves as the coalition’s second vice president, leading the group’s communication initiatives and managing its social media accounts. The center’s goal is to defend, promote and expand public access to government and the work it does.

Justin is currently a contributor to the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard Law School‘s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He interned there during his third year of law school, writing about media law and technology. He wrote a primer (.pdf) on state shield laws that was distributed at MCLE events and helped produce a recent report on copyright concerns posed by news aggregators and the companies that provide them.

Justin is also an active member of the American Bar Association. In 2010, the ABA’s General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division named him Outstanding Student Liaison. He currently manages the social media accounts of the division.

While in law school, Justin founded Suffolk Media Law and its ABA-recognized blog, SuffolkMediaLaw.com. He appeared on the podcast The Week in Law and the Boston Phoenix quoted him in a story on Internet privacy. During his time at Berkman, Justin presented to the Media Law Resource Center’s Pre-Publication Review Committee and had an article he wrote on student speech included in a recently published textbook on privacy.

In 2004, Justin began Boston Media Solutions to help local businesses devise publication and marketing strategies. In addition to creating websites for various companies, Justin developed the prototype to a Boston sports magazine and published the quarterly newspaper of the Needham Business Association.

While attending Syracuse University, Justin served as news editor of The Daily Orange, earning a nomination for both Reporter of the Year and Story of the Year awards at the 1999 Associated Collegiate Press Conference. He received in 2002 a William Randolph Hearst Award for his work.

During his senior year at Syracuse, Justin founded a bi-weekly newspaper and website for students in Central New York. In its three years of publication, the newspaper earned 16 awards for journalism excellence from the New York Press Association and the SPJ. The Syracuse University Whitman School of Management awarded the venture first place and seed money during its inaugural Entrepreneurial Competition in 2002.

Justin now lives in Newton with his wife and son.
http://www.justinsilverman.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/cropped-cropped-DSC_01663.jpg
Justin is an attorney based in Westborough, cheap Mass. He has a general practice, focusing on business and media law, information access and trademark law. His experience is a broad mix of journalism, law and entrepreneurism.

Justin graduated from Suffolk University Law School in 2011. While a student, he worked as a full-time law clerk at the Boston firm Prince Lobel & Tye, LLP. At the firm, he worked directly with the lead counsel of what would become a $24 million arbitration case involving the insufficient payment of commissions to financial advisor co-claimants. Justin helped prepare and develop litigation strategy, writing more than 100 pages of legal analysis and drafting several motions used in the hearing. While at the firm, he also assisted the domestic relations practice, analyzing recent cases involving the division of marital assets.

In 2009, Justin joined the Board of Directors for the New England First Amendment Center. He now serves as the coalition’s second vice president, leading the group’s communication initiatives and managing its social media accounts. The center’s goal is to defend, promote and expand public access to government and the work it does.

Justin is currently a contributor to the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard Law School‘s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He interned there during his third year of law school, writing about media law and technology. He wrote a primer (.pdf) on state shield laws that was distributed at MCLE events and helped produce a recent report on copyright concerns posed by news aggregators and the companies that provide them.

Justin is also an active member of the American Bar Association. In 2010, the ABA’s General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division named him Outstanding Student Liaison. He currently manages the social media accounts of the division.

While in law school, Justin founded Suffolk Media Law and its ABA-recognized blog, SuffolkMediaLaw.com. He appeared on the podcast The Week in Law and the Boston Phoenix quoted him in a story on Internet privacy. During his time at Berkman, Justin presented to the Media Law Resource Center’s Pre-Publication Review Committee and had an article he wrote on student speech included in a recently published textbook on privacy.

In 2004, Justin began Boston Media Solutions to help local businesses devise publication and marketing strategies. In addition to creating websites for various companies, Justin developed the prototype to a Boston sports magazine and published the quarterly newspaper of the Needham Business Association.

While attending Syracuse University, Justin served as news editor of The Daily Orange, earning a nomination for both Reporter of the Year and Story of the Year awards at the 1999 Associated Collegiate Press Conference. He received in 2002 a William Randolph Hearst Award for his work.

During his senior year at Syracuse, Justin founded a bi-weekly newspaper and website for students in Central New York. In its three years of publication, the newspaper earned 16 awards for journalism excellence from the New York Press Association and the SPJ. The Syracuse University Whitman School of Management awarded the venture first place and seed money during its inaugural Entrepreneurial Competition in 2002.

Justin now lives in Newton with his wife and son.
Do computers have a First Amendment right to free speech? Tim Wu, try
author and law professor at Columbia University, posed and attempted to answer this question in a June op-ed in The New York Times.

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