What would you do?

1. You are a young, recently graduated attorney working part-time as part of the re-election campaign team for your midsized cityís mayor. Several citizens have taken to writing strongly worded letters to the local newspaper voicing their displeasure with your candidateís actions in his initial term as mayor. The campaign manager has suggested that you file at least three defamation lawsuits against the most vocal complainers as a warning to others of what they can expect if they are too vocal in their disagreement with the mayor. The goal is to intimidate others who might be inclined to write negative letters to the newspaper. How would you respond to this suggestion?

Providing the letters do not contain anything illegal for against the law. I would have to regretfully decline the request to write the letters. The population of the city the mayor represents are allowed to voice their opinion. The people are protected by the right to free speech. Filing lawsuits in an attempt to stifle the voice of the people is unethical and wrong. I would question the ability of a mayor that would make such a request of someone when his citizens simply donít agree with him.

 

 

9. A friend contacts you about joining his company, Anonymous Remailers Anonymous. He would like you to lead the technical staff and offers you a 20 percent increase in salary and benefits over your current position. Your initial project would be to increase protection for users of the companyís anonymous remailer service. After discussing the opportunity with your friend, you suspect that some of the firmís customers are criminal types and purveyors of pornography and hate mail. Although your friend cannot be sure, he admits it is possible that hackers and terrorists may use his firmís services. Would you accept the generous job offer? Why or why not?

I would not accept the offer of employment. The old adage is true, ďIf itís too good to be true, it usually is.Ē If the company is choosing to do business with and have clients that could be potentially doing illegal activities, I would be hesitant to be involved any such organization. Employees of an organization who knowingly involves themselves in those types of activities could potentially be held liable for any crimes committed.

 

Cases

2. WikiLeaks Continues to Post Classified Materials.

††††††††††† 1. How does the First Amendment protect WikiLeaks from prosecution?

WikiLeaks is protected from prosecution because everyone has the right to free speech under the protection of the First Amendment as long as what is being said, or the information being portrayed meets the requirements to be considered free speech and is not illegal.

††††††††††† 2. Is WikiLeaks justified in releasing Syrian government emails? Is this different from posting classified U.S. documents?

The protection of the First Amendment is within the bounds and the protection of the United States Government. The release of classified US Government documents could be considered treason in the eyes of the United States Government. WikiLeaks may not be breaking any laws in the United States when releasing Syrian Government emails but they may be breaking laws within Syria and they may not have the protections the Bill of Rights afford the citizens of the United States.

††††††††††† 3. What limits, if any, should be placed on WikiLeaksí right to post government or corporate secrets?

I feel they have the choice to post what they feel they should, however; the government should impose limits on information they deem sensitive or confidential or even a matter of national security. If those laws are broken, by anyone, not just WikiLeaks, the appropriate actions must be taken.

 

 

3. Facebook, Freedom of Speech, Defamation, and Cyberbullying

1. Why is Facebook protected from liability for content posted by third parties? Do you think that Facebook and other social network providers should be protected from liability for what their members post? Why or why not?

Facebook is a mere service provider. Facebook could be considered limiting or infringing on their users right to free speech if they are found to be limiting their users by censoring them. With that being said, if Facebook is prevented from limiting their users in what they say or post, they canít be held liable for their userís actions. Facebook essentially has their hands tied. Facebook and other social media network providers should not only be protected; they must be protected. If the social media providers are not protected, the service will not be provided for very long.

2. How is a studentís freedom of speech restricted on social media sites such as Facebook?

If a student post content that an educational institution or employer sees as something that doesnít conform or meet the standards of that organization, they could be held accountable for their actions and open to repercussions from that governing body.

3. Should Taylor Wynn and McKenzie Barker have been prosecuted despite the victimís attitude that the teasing would pass? How should cyberbullying laws be implemented?

I feel they should have been prosecuted, the act of cyberbullying is getting out of hand and needs to be addressed. Swift, harsh, and severe punishment should be implemented to make it clear that these nameless and faceless attacks will no longer be tolerated.