Saturday, July 26, 2008

Let's hope the Portsmouth doesn't follow the Memphis lead

Memphis Police
Originally uploaded by So Cal Metro
I stumbled across an interesting article in the Memphis Commercial Appeal by Amos Maki: Police director sues for critical bloggers' names: Site popular with citizens, officers.
Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin and the city of Memphis have filed a lawsuit to learn who operates a blog harshly critical of Godwin and his department.

The lawsuit asks AOL to produce all information related to the identity of an e-mail address linked to MPD Enforcer 2.0, a blog popular with police officers that has been extremely critical of police leadership at 201 Poplar.

. . .

Whatever the reason, Internet and free-speech advocates said they had serious problems with the city's actions.

"You can complain about the government, and you should be able to do that without fear of retaliation or threatening actions on the part of the people in these positions," said Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington-based watchdog group. "I guess they've kind of annoyed them at some level, but you really don't want to see law enforcement or government resources spent in this way."
Great; let's allow local government to shut down free speech. That'll certainly make it all better.

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