04 March 2017

Intimidation? Or free speech?

An anonymous blogger who uses the pseudonym “Doe Publius” knew he would stir controversy when, in July 2016, he published a “tyrant registry” listing the addresses and home phone numbers of 40 California lawmakers who supported a new gun control law in the state.

In California, courts have ruled that similar dossiers targeting abortion providers are tantamount to death threats. Publius published his list anyway. “These tyrants are no longer going to be insulated from us,” he wrote.

The post was quickly picked up on another gun rights blog, and within days, several of the named lawmakers reported receiving threatening phone calls and social media messages...

But on Monday, a federal court ruled that the “tyrant registry” was protected speech. In a lawsuit brought by Publius, Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California said the post and its republishing by another blogger were “a form of political protest.”
More at the Washington Post.
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