Online Intimidation

A few stories have cropped up over the past week that cause me to worry quite a bit about free speech protections on-line. First up is the silencing of GayPatriot by a gay activist convinced that if you’re gay, Republican’s not okay. (Mark has more on this issue and the attempted silencing of Robert Shurbet). The activist ferreted out GayPatriot’s identity and threatened his employer in order to silence speech he didn’t agree with.

The second case is that of National Review’s cave-in in the face of legal threats by CAIR. CAIR has been on a ruthless campaign to stamp out any speech that is in any way “defamatory” of Mohammed or Islam for the last several years and it’s extremely disheartening to see an institution such as NR giving way to CAIR’s disgusting threats.

Last, and most hopefully of all, is the story of Stacey Campfield, a freshman Republican state Representative in Tennessee who has begun blogging on the goings-on in the TN House. His efforts have run him afoul of some senior Democrats in the house, but thus far he refuses to buckle under pressure. Kudos, Rep. Campfield! Although, if you get a minute, you might want to consider a different Blogger template. The polka dots don’t exactly scream “professional legislator”.

The threats to our speech are real and they are frightening. If you don’t have the money to fight a protracted legal battle, you’re pretty much sunk. I only hope someone, somewhere figures a good way out of this current mess.

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