PSA – ACLU

The ACLU has a keen interest in cases involving freedom of speech and cases involving online anonymity and identity.

Internet Speech

The ACLU  has vigorously protected online freedom of speech in all of it forms on the internet. They have said:

We brought the first case in which the U.S. Supreme Court declared speech on the Internet equally worthy of the First Amendment’s historical protections. In that case, Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, the Supreme Court held that the government can no more restrict a person’s access to words or images on the Internet than it can snatch a book out of someone’s hands or cover up a nude statue in a museum. (bolding mine)

Online Anonymity and Identity

The ACLU is at the forefront of fighting those who try to unmasked political dissidents or online critics. They have said the following about anonymity:

The right to remain anonymous is a fundamental component of our right to free speech, and it applies every bit as much in the digital world as it does in the physical one. In the words of the U.S. Supreme Court in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, “Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority.” (bolding mine)

The Nunes Mess

ACLU has a post on this and there are many articles that show up on google. Devin Nunes has a sad because several parody accounts on twitter criticized him. One of those account, Devin Nunes’ Cow, on twitter referred to him as a “treasonous cowpoke” whose “boots are full of manure”. Nunes doesn’t have to like it but Cow has the first amendment right to express the sentiment. The ACLU and Public Citizen have filed a friend of the court brief in the proceedings involving ‘Cow’. In June a judge has since thrown out the twitter part of the suit.

Where Things Stand

Someone trying to shut down your criticisms of them on social media is a first amendment issue. You are also entitled to anonymity on social media including IG and unmasking attempts are also a constituional issue. It is within your right to expose a lie if you so choose. If you questioned someone’s info, for example on a CV, and contact the entity in question to ask them to verify it and they respond they have no record of it or it is false – those respondent documents are receipts and can be used in a court of law. Screen caps documenting changes in a CV after certain lies are exposed are also receipts. Contact the ACLU of Southern California or a branch in your locality and ask for legal assistance.

 

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