Now while they are... well, Fox News and taking it too far much like the other media Conservative on fact usage reporters, they do have somewhat of a point that this request from the White House isn't very well thought out. Now, a lot of these mis-infotainers have been saying that the request states if someone says that they are against the health-care plan that you should be sending them to the firstname.lastname@example.org email address. The problem that Fox and Friends, of course left out, is that the White House in their statement was asking if there was false information about the health-care reform being spread around to let them know. So, while Laura Ingraham tries to say that they could be talking about anything from asking questions about it to flat out lying about it, this is obviously not true based off of the previous statement than the one they quoted from the same request.
The problem with this is that it could (or perhaps SHOULD) still very much be a violation of the First Amendment rights granted by the Constitution in which U.S. Code 522a(e)7 states:
"maintain no record describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless expressly authorized by statute or by the individual about whom the record is maintained or unless pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity;"
In this sense, "maintain" is defined by maintain, collect, use, or disseminate.
I don't think that this really applies to statement 2 or 3 in this situation. The individuals are not giving their consent to be flagged nor is it really anything to do within the scope of law enforcement activity. The issue arises when said "unless expressly authorized by statute" (which means a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a country, state, city, or county- source is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute ).
I do not believe that spreading misinformation is against the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which promotes freedom of speech. I also do not believe that the request by the White House could be made without a vote by the Legislative branch of government, i.e. Senate and House of Representatives. Therefore, I find the request to be against the law and rights on the First Amendment to the constitution of the United States of America.
What do you think? Is the spreading of misinformation about a governmental issue such as health care reform against the First Amendment of the Constitution? If not, is it even remotely possible that the request is done based on the activity of law enforcement agencies? Did the White House break the law by asking people to send them e-mail addresses to collect that spread misinformation using their First Amendment rights?
If the White House attempts to do anything to intimidate, silence, shut down, censor, or penalize those spreading the (mis)information in any way, they will have undeniably crossed the line. As of now, they seem to be very close to the point of having crossed the line.
Of course, similar actions were carried out under the Bush Administration. Indeed, this seems to be a recurring theme in America. Skirting constitutional boundaries, an American tradition?
But doesn't U.S. Code 522a(e)7 state that even the collecting of these e-mail addresses based off of the individuals usage of their First Amendment right to freedom of speech is already crossing the line?
However, my point is the United States government has repeatedly done much worse without having faced any demonstrable consequences, even from the civil liberties community. Considering the sorts of infractions against the First Amendment that go unimpeded, this is unlikely to be stopped. I do agree, however, that he's breaking the law and that even if this wasn't illegal it would be wrong.
Which is true, but I think we should hold everyone up to the standard that we see as right in all cases and still go after the other blatant offenses that were far worse. I just thought that while there's been so much controversy going on about the conservative media and their outright lies it should be said that there is something to this.
Actually, spreading harmful misinformation about anything from people to projects is illegal in the US due to slander and libel laws.
So... no, taking in this information, potentially to be used in slander law suits down the road toward people knowingly spreading misinformation in an attempt to harm and discredit the government or it's programs isn't illegal. It's standard legal process when someone is thinking of filing a slander or libel suit.
Except that you can not libel the government or a public official unless if there is "malicious intent" which basically means that what is being said would absolutely destroy the person/government. Here, this will explain it better than I can:
Actually it just means that what was being said was meant to hurt the government's initiatives on purpose. The intent was to harm. That's all malicious intent means. Not that whatever your saying could destroy the government.
It'd be hard to prove intent, but misinformation spreading with intent to harm is still illegal under slander laws.
Alright, if that is correct interpretation of the law, then it simply depends on the integrity of various people. So most of the underlings who actually believe the lies won't be able to be charged, while the lobbying firms spouting the talking points could be, if I understand correctly.