That is not a protected act and is prosecutable.
That makes sense logically. I don’t know anything about the legal argument though.
Also, I'm surprised the NPR ran this article, given the disclaimer at the bottom that it's a party to it. Usually the lawyers just don't let you do that.
That's sophistry and confuses the issue. One is absolutely not acting as an FBI agent when forging FBI documents. There is a clear and common-sense difference between impersonation and forgery, and you seem to be misusing language to willfully misunderstand the difference.
When you're forging the document, you are not pretending to be an FBI agent. You are being a forger. The forger then claims that the FBI made the document.
Saying, "The FBI made these documents and here they are" is fundamentally different than saying, "I made these documents and am with the FBI." They do not collapse into the same thing.
To be honest, I still would hope forging FBI documents is a crime in the same way that impersonating an FBI agent is a crime; however that's a matter of law. It is a matter of fact that forgery and impersonation are different. One is falsifying documents, the other is falsifying identity. If you want to say that both can be reduced to falsification or deception, sure, but that's not a crime. Forgery (falsifying documents) and impersonation (falsifying identity) are crimes, and separate ones.
I think it's fair to say that someone creating a document with FBI letterhead/signatures/etc. is pretending to be an FBI agent.
And if they don't, nobody knows this, so nobody has cause to think that they are an agent. They can't really impersonate an FBI agent to themselves because they know that's not true.
Thus, if nobody thinks they're an FBI agent, how can they have impersonated one?
> Whoever falsely assumes or pretends to be an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer thereof, and acts as such, or in such pretended character demands or obtains any money, paper, document, or thing of value, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
> Whoever falsely assumes or pretends to be an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer thereof, and acts as such
If the twitter account operator(s) claims that a document is an official FBI document, when it is not, then they have falsely exercised the exclusive authority of the FBI to issue statements as the FBI, an agency of the United States. The available evidence meets the criteria highlighted above.
(This centers around the definition of the verb "forge"; to forge a document, you must falsely pretend to be acting with authority to produce that document, or else it wouldn't be forging.)
If the twitter account operator(s) was provided the document by someone else and was misled by the provider, then the operators did not falsely pretend to be FBI, and so the operators would be protected from prosecution. The operators would need to make this claim to the court; they do not appear to have done so at this time.
(Standard disclaimer applies. I am not your lawyer, I have not prepared citations for review, please seek legal counsel before taking any action based upon an HN comment.)
I think we should keep definitions of words consistent. Impersonation is not forgery or a dependency thereof. Those are different words for different terms.
People seriously need to get this pounded into their heads. Read the bill of rights. You do not have a right to free speech on private platforms.
Twitter is the equivalent of you arguing with me in my house. I can tell you to be quiet or I’ll kick you out of my house. You have no free speech rights in private spaces. Twitter is a private company. You have no free speech rights on their platform.
Rather, this is a better analog to shield laws, which can protect media from divulging sources in many cases.
There are two free speech arguments. Keep in mind that "free speech" is not relegated to the 1st Amendment and defenses of that generally lean on supplementary law.
1) The free speech of the user. Again, while it's true that it's not protected within a private entity, it's irrelevant because your protections are limited; in this case when your speech breaks another law.
2) The free speech of the platform. Being compelled to reveal this information really doesn't even touch any free speech argument except a vague interpretation of shield laws. DMCA as it exists provides legal protection against the crime, of course.
If so I have a tax return to sell you.
P.S. My cousin is a prince form Nigeria that might want to discuss a business opportunity with you let me know if you’re interested.
Is this really that hard? The Onion fakes documents all the time and claims to have quotes from police officers and government officials on a daily basis.
Free speech is the most essential of all freedoms, and you'd trade it away for a song and a dance out of sheer ignorance.
That said this isn't a criminal case and the state isn't prosecuting anyone. (Yet; I assume the person might be prosecuted at some point)
Free speech laws don't cover the distribution of child porn, for example. Are you saying that the government shouldn't restrict the distribution of child porn because it infringes on free speech?
You're arguing that whether a particular form of speech is illegal or not should have no weight on deciding whether or not to protect that form of speech? Are you really arguing that laws don't matter here? So straight up, do you believe that the government is infringing on people's rights by banning child porn, yes or no?
I don't know if they're arguing that, but I will argue that. Whether or not it is protected speech is a question you approach before you decide whether or not it is illegal.
For example, speech intended to cause someone to immediately assault you is not protected. It's not protected regardless of whether or not the government chooses to make it illegal, it can both not be protected speech, and still be legal. On the other hand arguing for a political position (with the goal of advancing the political position, not "arguing" a political position in an attempt to get someone to immediately punch you) is protected. It's protected regardless of whether or not congress passes a law forbidding it.
> So straight up, do you believe that the government is infringing on people's rights by banning child porn, yes or no?
This question misses the point, no, but I also wouldn't believe it was protected speech if the government had just not passed a law against it. Rather I would continue to believe that by virtue of it's lack of expressive nature and by virtue of how it harms people unable to consent that it is not protected speech.
All those are slightly different definitions, but I wasn't being precise enough in my previous comment that the differences are important.
Protected speech is any legal speech that additionally enjoys protection from the constitution, while unprotected speech would be legal speech that is not otherwise protected. And then you have illegal stuff that is outlawed.
Courts to my knowledge, even in american, don't consider the constitution at the lower levels, just local legislation, ie any legal speech is equivalent regardless of protected status.
Specific protection status would be regulated by precedent in higher courts which do have the capacity to interprete the constitution.
Courts at every level consider the constitution. Lower level courts routinely rule on constitutional grounds.
The legislature routinely passes unconstitutional laws that purport to punish constitutionally protected speech, and those laws are routinely not enforced against that speech. (Often these laws have other constitutionally valid purposes and are still enforced for those purposes, more rarely their main purpose is to forbid protected speech and they are thrown out entirely).
It is simply not the case in the us that the legislature passing a law against speech means that the speech is unprotected and illegal.
What you'd rather want to say is "they are thrown out in court".
>It is simply not the case in the us that the legislature passing a law against speech means that the speech is unprotected and illegal.
Until a court considers otherwise, it very much is. A law is valid until a court overthrows it. Hence it requires proper police (the executive) to enforce it. Otherwise the state will just not function.
According to U.S. law some kinds of child pornography are legal. Do you believe, therefore, that it is against the principles of freedom of speech that the NZ government has banned them. Yes or no?
Do you have any evidence of this? I'm not aware that this is true at all and I don't believe it to be the case.
> Do you believe, therefore, that it is against the principles of freedom of speech that the NZ government has banned them. Yes or no?
No, I believe that freedom of speech comes with limitations and preventing distribution of child porn is a perfectly good limitation to put in place on freedom of speech.
Anyway, to make the point in a more straightforward way:
What ought and oughtn't be allowed expression according to the principles of freedom of speech is not a clear-cut thing. There are many different views on it, and to dismiss all those with views different from those who wrote US law is silly.
A. The kinds of expression protected under U.S. law
B. The kinds of expression which should be protected according to the principles of freedom of speech
The point is that, because A and B are separate things, the fact that impersonating an FBI officer is not protected under US law does not entail that impersonating an FBI officer should not be protected according to the principles of freedom of speech.
which may or may not be the case, I'm not a lawyer nor an American
Nothing. There are some aspects where US law is pretty well aligned with the principles of freedom of speech, and others where it isn't aligned at all. For example: A significant percentage of speech is carried out on social media, where US law does not require free speech to be enforced - but, according to the principles of freedom of expression, free speech is very valuable.
Also people tend to forget that freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences; limiting consequences of speech, even if it were desirable, can start restricting others' freedom of expression and association. If Bob gets on a stump and starts spewing controversial hate speech his employer is perfectly free to not want to associate with that behavior and fire him.
As I recall it, people can and have been prosecuted for drawing and owning cartoons of child porn. That is a victimless crime - so yes it probably has gotten to the point where the government is infringing rights unreasonably. The government can walk in and created a loser in a situation where nobody was unhappy. It is the production of the porn that worries me rather than the possession. I'd be ok with the whole situation if everyone was sticking to one cache of obscene material produced 50 years ago and nobody new was being harmed.
But more to the topic at hand, CP isn't a free speech issue. The crime is, by and large, possession of child porn and so the issue is one of privacy rather than speech. They may as well legalise distribution, if anyone were stupid enough to do it publicly it would make it easy for the police to find everyone involved and prosecute them.
-RULES OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION-
1. Any person may say anything
Spouting falsehoods under a false pretense as an authority shouldn't be protected. Otherwise what's stopping society from drowning in a he-said she-said of conspiracy noise?
1. If the government is to restrict speech, then it must be granted the power to restrict speech
2. If the government is granted the power to restrict speech, then it may misuse this power in its own perceived interests
3. If the government misuses its power in this way then democracy will be threatened
4. Democracy is good
Conclusion: the government should not be allowed to restrict speech
I completely agree that it child porn exposes children to abuse and should be illegal, but it’s important to note how proponents of that medium argue for its legitimacy.
Distributing sexual images of someone without their consent is a clear crime against that person. Children can not consent.
This is what they always say. All of the exceptions get some reason why they don't count as free speech. Why can't this argument be used on both sides?
Are you really arguing there should never be any legs consequences for text/speech? If so, so many laws would no longer apply - fraud, harassment, false advertisement, perjury, racketeering... hell, you couldn't even convict someone of hiring a hit man to kill someone, because it was just words telling the guy to kill someone for money!
Fraud is a tort that involves several elements, with the ‘speech’ being merely one element.
Ditto with harassment.
To analogize, your comment is akin to the following:
Poster: We should have a right to use knives.
You: Murder by stabbing is not a right!
In short, you can lie all day long... it’s your right. It only becomes ‘fraud’ when (in most jurisdictions):
1. You make a misrepresentation,
2. About something material,
3. That you intended another to rely upon,
4. And which they did in fact rely upon,
5. And that reliance was reasonably justified,
6. And they suffered harm thereby,
7. And the harm was proximately caused by the statement.
If any element is missing, your free to engage in the conduct without interference by the govt.
Newspapers and Twitter users have no right to expect that anonymous statements made online or documents given to them for free are accurate or true. If they chose to publish defamatory articles based on their lack of due diligence, the civil liability rests with them.
This isn’t charging someone with lying in a tweet. This is someone who used twitter to contact people in order to commit a crime (or at least that is what is alleged in court)... they can use the law to attempt to find out who this user is.
I'll apologize if I have the details of the case wrong, but where is this supposed fraud? The only way I could see this being fraudulent is if (1) the private investigator being PAID for his investigatory services created the account and faked the document himself to continue getting paid for additional investigation or (2) the journalist being PAID for her journalistic work created fake documents so that she could publish them and accrue the financial benefits of authoring a juicy story.
But if whysprtech is anyone else on the planet—a conspiratorial kook, a troll, or even a political operative trying to embarass people—no fraud has been committed and there is no basis for unmasking him. The people responsible for the defamation aren't random anonymous internet trolls, but publishing companies who make money purporting to report the rigorously validated truth, but are actually lazy, naive, and gullible.
Your are confusing lying under oath with the crime of perjury.
The false statement, standing alone, is not actionable... it is merely one of several elements that make up the crime of perjury.
For example, 'right to a fair trial by a jury of their peers' means that judges and the rest of them must be organised, paid for, etc.
If you are willing to recognize that society has had an incorrect view of rights in the past, you must recognize that there is a standard beyond society to appeal to.
Unless you want to invoke divine will as that "standard beyond society," humanity and its arbitrary social constructs are all you have available to deal with, and some problems can't be reduced to objective and absolute terms as a result.
You could invoke "nature" but nature doesn't recognize rights. No creature has a natural right to food, safety or property. Nature engages in warfare, cruelty, violence, rape and slavery with abandon, and without even the pretext of morality. Even anarchists wouldn't want to live in a world governed entirely by natural law.
A slave will appeal to society because society has the power. But if the society does not listen to the appeals of the slave, we can still judge that the slave is correct and the society is wrong. And that judgement is not arbitrary.
The same grounds that we use to argue against slavery today. Just because the society around you doesn't believe certain rights are real doesn't mean you can't personally buy into them. "Rights are a societal construct" doesn't mean that nobody has a right to believe different things from society. It just means that our conception of rights derive from societal consensus, not a higher power or objective source, and conversely that there is no higher power or objective source we can invoke to override society's mores.
> If you are willing to recognize that society has had an incorrect view of rights in the past, you must recognize that there is a standard beyond society to appeal to.
No, you can just criticize them using the today's moral standards. You can be sufficiently committed to your moral standards to be willing to impose them on other people without simultaneously believing that those moral standards are a objective property of the natural universe.
Hume's is-ought guillotine is a thing. A normative statement does not magically become an positive fact just because that normative statement is an extremely strongly held (e.g. slavery is bad). The notion of inalienable rights is a rhetorical trick that lazily conflates the normative and the positive.
Unless society doesn't recognize your right to believe differently, no?
The is-ought problem does not rule out the existence of normative facts. It simply states that they can't be proven by positive facts. You seem to be trying to rule out the existence of normative facts by appealing to positive facts.
Having an opinion doesn't make that opinion an objective fact!
1) The Twitter user isn't charged with anything, so no one is trying to restrict their speech.
2) Anonymous speech isn't the same as free speech
3) This is a civil suit. Civil suits have always been able to compel the disclosure of some private information in some circumstances.
The potential for reprisal in expressing your choice or opinion in some circumstances is very high and anonymity is sometimes the only thing that can eliminate the chill of that risk. It is in this way a free speech issue.
On the other hand, if a crime or tort was committed, well that isn't considered free.
Interestingly, this has not always been the case. Elections in the US did not use anonymous voting until nearly the 20th century. And the reason for instituting the secret ballot was apparently less due to free speech concerns, and more because of rampant corruption and bribery to buy votes.
> On the other hand, if a crime or tort was committed, well that isn't considered free.
And this is a tort case
British elections aren’t anonymous - the ballot paper has a unique identifier and this is written beside the voter’s name on the polling station’s list when the ballot is issued by a polling clerk.
The list is sealed when the polling station closes, but can be opened by court order if the election result is challenged.
Ballot papers (votes) and their corresponding number lists (matching voter to ballot paper) are kept for 12 months before destruction, and together allow who voted for who to be known - however - it seems no-one is allowed to inspect this except for the purposes of prosecuting an electoral fraud, so votes are to all intents and purposes private.
Perhaps the top downvote was for pedantry (?), but there is a difference between anonymous and private. The British system could issue ballots without recording to which specific person - that would be anonymous. You’d lose the ability to ask a particular voter if their counted ballot was the one they marked (substitution fraud), but I don’t think this ever actually happens.
I didn't know larping was illegal
Not talking about Twitter here - the individual may not be American (America - the new Rome.)
It really doesn't matter where I am physically to break a law of a different country. Now whether my country is going to extradite me is a different question.
I am a strong privacy advocate, but the idea we should give corporations our data while hiding it from the government is kinda ludicrous when you look at the results.
I think society should either accept that if there should be anonymity, that there must also be free speech (which includes free speech you may not like). And the inverse is also true - that if there's no anonymity, then there can be no free speech (including free speech you _do_ like).
The difference in the digital space is that Twitter/Facebook/etc. have all that forensic data... and then just refuse to provide it.
You should probably look at the historical cases about harm and speech.
>The Court, in a unanimous opinion written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., held that Schenck's criminal conviction was constitutional. The statute only applied to successful obstructions of the draft, but common-law precedents allowed prosecution for attempts that were dangerously close to success. Attempts made by speech or writing could be punished like other attempted crimes; the First Amendment did not protect speech encouraging men to resist induction, because, "when a nation is at war, many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight, and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right." In other words, the court held, the circumstances of wartime allow greater restrictions on free speech than would be allowed during peacetime, if only because new and greater dangers are present.
Reminder that the US has been at war since 2001.
The harm caused by whoever is the perpetrator of the moral panic of the moment always pales in comparison to the harm caused by the response to it.
Let a thousand Russian bots post on facebook, it will cause less damage to society than a single deleted post.
That ship has sailed, it seems convenient to argue for their users first amendment rights when out the other side of their mouth they argue that they are a private platform and should not be subject to free speech regulations when they choose to censure speech.
As a note before any projection I am a advocate of free speech and also a advocate of corporations being able to choose their direction. I am just not an advocate of hypocrisy and only pointing out the obvious.
No. You are operating under an extremely confused and muddled understanding of the law and its purpose. The First Amendment and associated case law is an actual specific legal thing, and is not necessarily the same as broader subjective feelings "free speech". Specifically, it applies exclusively to the government, not the people. From a legal point of view, the purpose of freedom of speech and freedom of association is to allow the public at large to sort out what ideas and information is useful within extremely loose boundaries rather then the government using its monopoly on physical force to impose it. Part of that freedom is naturally social and economic consequences (as opposed to physical consequences): you have the "right to generally say what you wish" but other people by the same token have the right to have nothing to do with you, and to refuse to help you if they think you are wrong.
So no, like most of the times people use "hypocrisy" on the internet you've gotten it wrong. There is nothing hypocritical in the stance you describe, because the United States Government and private actors are not legally equivalent. The USG is both empowered to do things private actors may not, and forbidden from doing things that private actors can. Twitter may assert its rights to associate with whom it pleases. Under different law (the same that protects Hacker News and every other US-based user content site in existence), Section 230 of the CDA, Twitter is also empowered to moderate as it wishes to the best of its abilities without having to be 100% perfect without incurring liability rather then being forced to choose between full common carrier or full publisher. It could also voluntarily cooperate, within its various contracts and law. But the USG doesn't get to do the same.
And rightfully so.
Absolutely. Your analysis WRT 1st Amendement and CDA230 were spot on.
I'd add that while Twitter isn't liable for the speech of the anonymous "FBI Agent", in this case no one is suing Twitter for liability.
Rather, Twitter was trying to quash a subpoena for potentially identifying data about the twitter handle "@whyspertech" in a civil suit brought by Seth Rich's brother.
The judge's order upholding the subpoena lists Twitter as a "non-party" in the defamation lawsuit and provides background and context to the court's denial of the motion to quash the subpoena.
This isn't a First Amendment case at all, it's an issue of discovery in a civil case, regardless of Twitter's claim to be attempting to protect the anonymity of the twitter handle.
As the order states:
"Motions to quash are limited by the scope of discovery under of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26, which
states that “[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party’s claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties’ relative access to relevant information, the parties’ resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). The relevancy standard under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 also applies to third-party subpoenas."
[Removed excess whitespace for readability.]
Also a point of clarity I was not trying to insinuate that the bill of rights can or should be applied to private entities. I am clear on the fact that it restrains what the government can and cannot do. I apologize if that was not clear in my post. I still contend that Twitter, the organization, is being hypocritical here.
In public. You have that right in public. Twitter is not in public. Twitter is the equivalent to you coming into my house.
You too are muddling things a bit, and this is important and goes to the core of the point of what US 1A "rights" actually are. A person's right here encompasses not having force used against them, directly or by proxy. If you have someone as a guest in your house, they still have "the right to generally say what they wish", they cannot be criminally prosecuted, fined, and you may not just shoot them or punch them in the face or the like either. But of course you absolutely may say as you wish right back, give them the boot, refuse to help out with a cab fare (you didn't previously contract too), tell other people about it, never voluntarily associated with them ever again, etc. You may freely discriminate based on ideology. Their 1A rights don't go away in your house, and neither do yours.
And all that is "Free Speech" as well, because it's not a single solitary thing, it's a system. It's not that ideas are all equal and deserving of "fair treatment" or the like, it's that they're not, but we don't have an oracle to tell us which is which. Keeping consequences to social and economic balances some level of stability and pushing people towards what many/most consider to be good ideas while allowing room for those dedicated enough to try to go against the current accepted wisdom and convince others. A process which may well take years, decades, even centuries, but the hope is that with enough time good ideas and information will tend to succeed better then false, so long as the system remains dynamic.
Fundamental rights are very different from (for example) contract law where duties are often somewhat connected to each other.
I don't think that's a common interpretation of how the law works. The First Amendment is generally held to protect you from government restraint or retaliation, but not private restraint or retaliation, and having retaliated against someone for speech you find objectionable is not generally held to remove your Constitutional rights.
Even ignoring the other arguments made about companies versus the government, I don't think the right to be anonymous is from the First Amendment. Most often the Fourth Amendment is cited as the basis; although it's not as explicit as the First Amendment is about the protection of speech, the Ninth Amendment does say that rights don't have to be explicitly enumerated.
(You can feel free to disagree with this approach, it's just not "made up".)
> “An author's decision to remain anonymous, like other decisions concerning omissions or additions to the content of a publication, is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.” McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm'n, 514 U.S. 334, 352 (1995). The Ninth Circuit recognizes that the decision to remain anonymous extends to anonymous speech made on the internet … The Ninth Circuit has explained that “the ability to speak anonymously on the Internet promotes the robust exchange of ideas and allows individuals to express themselves freely without ‘… concern about social ostracism.’”
The Seth Rich as the DNC leaker "conspiracy" theory was set off by the fact that there was a DNC data leak large enough that some people think that it couldn't have been remote without being detected, so they think it was by an insider. Also, Seth Rich, a DNC IT guy was randomly murdered in an unsolved case.
Nothing else. There was no evidence, just a suspicious coincidence. It is a theory with no evidence supporting it other than that coincidence, not a refuted or a false theory.
This is a person who fabricated a document supporting the theory, not the person who set it off.
Other outlets have generally been more careful.
Key elements of it were false, though. The conspiracy theory largely focused on his “assassination” by being shot in the head, when in reality he was shot twice in the back. There was also physical evidence of an altercation, suggesting robbery. The idea that a trained assassin would first try to fistfight the target and then shoot is pretty absurd.
Later, the public found out that hackers tied to Russian intelligence hacked the DNC, which further refuted the conspiracy theory. There’s a lot out there that fundamentally contradicts the conspiracy theory.
That was debunked this summer.
Here's the Republican-led senate report from September confirming exactly that the Russian intelligence hacked the DNC:
"The committee found that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian effort to hack computer networks and accounts affiliated with the Democratic Party and leak information damaging to Hillary Clinton and her campaign for president" etc.
See page 174 onwards for details of what the GRU did and how they were traced.
https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/docu... or a good summary if you prefer: https://theintercept.com/2020/09/03/trump-russia-senate-repo...
The earlier Mueller report finds the same thing of course.
"Beginning in March 2016, units of the Russian Federation’s MainIntelligence Directorateof the General Staff (GRU) hacked thecomputers and email accounts of organizations, employees, and volunteers supporting the Clinton Campaign, including the email account of campaign chairman John Podesta." - see page 36, https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/docu...
1. Kim DotCom said he knew Seth Rich and knew he was the leaker. He tried to Mueller to take his testimony about Seth Rich but he wouldn't reply to his emails.
2. "two men working with the Rich family - private investigator and former D.C. Police detective Rod Wheeler and family acquaintance Ed Butowsky, have previously stated that Rich had contacts with WikiLeaks before his death."
3. Friend of the family Ed Butowsky says there's an FBI report "establishing that Seth Rich sent emails to WikiLeaks."
4. Private investigator and former D.C. Police detective Rod "Wheeler also claimed in recently leaked audio that Seth Rich’s brother, Aaron – a Northrup Grumman employee, blocked him from looking at Seth’s computer and stonewalled his investigation."
6. "Metro police detectives claim that Mr. Rich was a robbery victim, which is strange since after being shot twice in the back, he was still wearing a $2,000 gold necklace and watch. He still had his wallet, key and phone."
Has any of this changed or been questioned since then?
"...we rate Zero Hedge an extreme right biased conspiracy website based on the promotion of false/misleading/debunked information that routinely denigrates the left."
"Dave Van Zandt is the primary editor for sources. He is assisted by a collective of volunteers who assist in research for many sources listed on these pages."
All these fact checking organizations rely on young, inexperienced unpaid/low-paid interns to interpret complex situations and provide a final 'truth' score that is then used as some sort of authority. Insanity.
The articles look exactly like real news articles except for the text "A paid supplement to the Wasington Post" in the upper right corner. Had I not known better I would've assumed this meant I'd get a paywall if I viewed too many articles.
This seems every bit as egregarious as anything you'd find on ZeroHedge. I have a very low level of trust for almost all media, but I check Zero Hedge to at least see interesting items ignored by the mainstream.
This conclusion is supported by the most highly paid experts including Bill Gates, his wife Melinda and Mr Fuzzballs; their trusted family cat. The evidence is absolutely overwhelming and undeniable.
It should also be pointed out that self-strangulation inside a prison cell using a piece of clothing which bears no trace of DNA and resulting in 2 broken neck bones while the security cameras are off and all the guards are asleep just as you're about to testify in an important high-profile case is the preferred suicide method for would-be whistle-blowers.
I used to drive late at night and occasionally would catch an episode of Coast to Coast (a conspiracy radio show). It felt like a kind of performance art where callers would world-build together, each adding or changing or clarifying another bit. The end result was a complicated parallel world of psychics and aliens and illuminati woven together into a kind of cohesive narrative.
This 'FBI Impersonator' was just one individual adding to the existing conspiratorial narrative that Seth Rich was killed by Democrats because he knew too much.
They have no obligation to do so and this persons actions were dishonest, anti-social, and likely unlawful.
Under a reasonable system, this person should be interviewed to see what their connection to Seth Rich was and possibly what their initial motive was for forging and publishing what they had.
Having said this, I do see some issues down the line around how this unmasking could be abused. Someone might post something they think is trivial and a parody but could have dire consequences based on a chain reaction of events that happen.
In the texts, Biggs stated “It’s a fake for sure.” Zimmerman responded “Do you know anything about him or where he really works or who he is? . . . [I’m] wondering why he passed a fake document when other info he’s shared has been spot on.”
You’ll note that the first mention of Whyspertech emails ... dates several weeks after Fox published the initial article. Whyspertech wasn’t a source for the article. He was someone who was encouraging Fox to keep it up, and possibly go further in reporting.
It wasn’t Fox just willy-nilly reporting what some Twitter account said… It was complicated with multiple people being deceitful, in a coordinated way.
Well, first of all, that's not what's happening here. But, er, why do you think it shouldn't prosecuted? Much more minor fraud than this is routinely prosecuted.
The news source (Fox) had a fair idea it wasn't real.
To quote the Judge's order, quoting the reporters on the story: "It's a fake for sure.[...] wondering why he's passed a fake document"
> The identity of the user is directly and materially relevant to Rich's defamation claim since it will inform whether Defendants made their statements with the requisite state of mind … The information sought is also materially relevant to the defense of truth because the original source may be able to provide what facts, if any, formed the basis for the various assertions about Rich. Additionally, the user information for the Account could lead to an essential witness for Rich and/or Defendants.
The Twitter account may be the only way to identify him ... assuming he didn’t take basic precautions.
He hinted that Seth rich was a Leaker to him, and encouraged people to think that without saying it explicitly. He was either A) lying to cover up getting information from The Russians, or B) telling the truth and the “analysis” that says the Russians hacked the DNC server is actually false.
Assange was still communicating with and receiving DNC documents from his source after Seth Rich was already dead. Assange was not telling the truth. It was obviously option A.
A journalist should try to hide their sources. A journalist doesn't try to hide their actual source by pretending their source is a dead person and as a result opening that dead person's family up to repeated harassment.
The report itself has a number of technical details of the hack. See page 174 onwards: https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/docu...
However, that is not the case with Julian today - but he would be the one who actually knew whether Seth Rich leaked the DNC documents.
Also Assange was still communicating with and receiving DNC documents from his source after Seth Rich was already dead. Seth Rich wasn't Assange's source.
Regardless of whether in actual fact the murder has anything to do with the leaks, the claims that an absence of evidence is evidence of absence serve only to promote an evil purpose. We will likely never know the truth, and the narrative that this couldn't possibly be related to the leaks is a major part of why. The answer to cui bono [from the narrative] is therefore "the murderer, whoever that is, regardless of whether there is in fact a conspiracy". Why then do so many support the narrative?! Why has the murderer been deemed "part of our tribe" and thus worthy of plot armor, as it were?!
Removing the number gets you locked out again.
Surely fabricating evidence to accuse a group of individuals of assassinating someone amounts to defamation?
The Washington Times is run by the Unification Church (popularly known as "moonies") which some consider a cult.
And this isn't just an assumption. I know a few of these people in real life and that's how they think.
Personally, I think it would be a better move to just ignore this completely.
It doesn't matter if conspiracy theorists get upset, many of them were convinced that there was a child sex dungeon in a pizza shop. If everybody started basing their actions on trying not to upset conspiracy theorists, society would completely stop functioning.
If this riles up conspiracy theorists, Butowsky and friends should simply be made to pay for further shielding for Rich's family. It's not the Rich's fault this conspiracy theory spread like wildfire.
If you're going to tattle, you have to be smart about how you go about it.
For example, their lawyer could avoid unneeded attention by not pushing for motions that generate national news headlines and fire up the conspiracy theorists.
You can't win with conspiracy theorists.
This isn't a criminal suit. It's a civil thing having to do with Fox's behavior. And their failure to validate their sources and documents isn't really related to the original identity of those sources. I mean, we don't know who @whyspertech is, Fox certainly didn't know who @whyspertech was. No one knew. So why is it relevant for us to know now to determine whether or not Fox was at fault?
I don't know how to cope with the knowledge that the system is so fundamentally broken that even simple facts are no longer able to be agreed upon. How can complex problems be addressed when truth is perceived to be entirely subjective?
"Learning the identity of @whysprtech is necessary in order to confirm that @whysprtech was not in fact a FBI 'insider' or otherwise someone who had access to non-public FBI material," Benedict Hu wrote in a filing."
And, it goes to Fox being a non-journalist non-news agency which should be de-listed in any structural sense, since they are incapable of displaying what true journalism is.
You seem to want to address the second. No problem, but I don't think that invalidates the first. I want to know who this is. I want to know who Q is. I want to know who the White House Deep Throat is. I am tired of anonymous sources.
What we need, is whistleblowers. Not deep throat.