Category: There Oughtta Be a Law

There Oughtta Be a Law

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Georgia State Rep. Pamela Dickerson has introduced a silly law that would prohibit Photoshopping someone’s face onto a naked body, then posting the result on the Interent. Naturally, someone on the Internet responded with this. (Possibly NSFW.)

We fight them with ridicule. Conan O’Brien got into the act last night, too. See the video below. (Probably SFW, but not safe for your dreams.)

Meanwhile, a Louisiana parish wants to ban the wearing of pajamas in public.


Morning Links

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Morning Links

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011
  • Not The Onion: Californians will vote on whether porn stars should be required to wear condoms.
  • It’s all just going to get dumber and dumber until November.
  • Gene Healy: the five worst op-eds of 2011. His delightfully Friedmanesque closer: “And so, my friends, we roll up our sleeves and limp forward, hunkered down to face what 2012 holds, our boats borne back ceaselessly into the past, yet always, always, twirling toward freedom.”
  • Alternet publishes article calling for government monitoring of doctors and their pain patients, a crackdown on prescription painkillers, and generally expanding the drug war, all because . . . corporations are evil. And Florida’s governor loves the Tea Party. Or something.
  • A list of all the new reasons for which governments will send you to jail, starting on Sunday.
  • Woman says she was arrested, had her phone confiscated after trying to record a police beating in North Carolina.

Morning Links

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Morning Links

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Thanksgiving Links

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Congress, Obama Administration Want to Make It a Federal Crime To Lie on the Internet

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011


The way the Justice Department wants to interpret a current law, lying on the Internet would amount to a crime.

Richard Downing, deputy chief of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section at the Department of Justice, argued that in order to properly protect the country, the part of the CFAA that says a person must exceed their “authorized access” to break the law should include a violation of the terms of service.

This is how DOJ went after Lori Drew, the woman who used a MySpace account to pose as a teenage boy in order to torment a girl who was bullying her daughter. The girl later committed suicide, which led to calls for Drew’s prosecution, even though it wasn’t clear that she had committed any crime. The charges were tossed by a judge, so Congress and DOJ want to give prosecutors more power. But in the name of protecting intellectual property and national security.  Here’s how Downing put it in his testimony.

“These are just a few cases, but this tool is used routinely. The plain meaning of the term ‘exceeds authorized access,’ as used in the CFAA, prohibits insiders from using their otherwise legitimate access to a computer system to engage in improper and often malicious activities. We believe that Congress intended to criminalize such conduct, and we believe that deterring it continues to be important. Because of this, we are highly concerned about the effects of restricting the definition of ‘exceeds authorized access’ in the CFAA to disallow prosecutions based upon a violation of terms of service or similar contractual agreement with an employer or provider.”

The Volokh Conspriacy’s Orin Kerr also testified.

“In the Justice Department’s view, the CFAA criminalizes conduct as innocuous as using a fake name on Facebook or lying about your weight in an online dating profile. That situation is intolerable. Routine computer use should not be a crime. Any cybersecurity legislation that this Congress passes should reject the extraordinarily broad interpretations endorsed by the United States Department of Justice.”

I think we should just bar Congress from passing any law related to the Internet.

There Oughtta Be a Law

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Pretty spot-on depiction of how the media responds to tragedy.

Truck Accident That Killed Rafters in Canyon Sparks Truck-Canyon-Rafter Reform Debate

Sunday Links

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Morning Links

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Sunday Links

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011
  • The Bright Young People. A Tumblr blog of young, socialite, 1920s London.
  • Banking customers angry over entirely predictable consequence of federal “consumer protection” legislation.
  • Mark Draughn lays out the basics of that University of Wisconsin poster controversy. When a university statement begins with some language about the school’s commitment to free expression and the the First Amendment, you can bet what follows is inconsistent with free expression and the First Amendment. And when the statement ends with an assertion that the actions the statement is addressing aren’t censorship, it’s also a pretty safe bet that they are.
  • When sending your kid to a better school is a crime.
  • America’s most beautiful college campuses. Makes me miss Bloomington.
  • Amazing photo of Yemenis praying in a billboard.
  • Bear wanders into backyard where children are playing. Father kills bear. Father charged with felony.

MORE: The bear story is a bit dated. Via the comments, it looks like the bear shooter was fined $1,000. Also, the father was initially charged with a misdemeanor, not a felony, though it was punishable by up to a year in jail and a $50,000 fine.

Late Morning Links

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Morning Links

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Laws Named After Dead People

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Murder victim’s mother blames “bath salts” drugs for her daughter’s death. New Jersey rushes to pass a ban on bath salts, names law after victim.

Now: Tests show accused killer had no bath salts in his system.

Sunday Links

Sunday, September 4th, 2011
  • Lawsuit: Man contends he was arrested for contempt for not standing on his leg. Which the arresting officer had just broken.
  • Another arrest in Austin for providing free rides home from bars. And from the discussion of that post over at Reddit: “I am personally involved in the lobbying effort to keep these guys off the street and honestly the reason is simply to restrict competition.”
  • Nice photo of a runway model.
  • Good roundup of great journalism on the death penalty.
  • Anonymous releases hacked emails from Texas police department. Disturbingness ensues.
  • Dustup of the day: Cato’s Tad DeHaven vs. Lloyd Chapman, head of the American Small Business League.
  • How U.S. companies profited from torture flights.