Saturday, May 29, 2004

Buy Dead Prez's "Revolutionary But Gangsta"

Freedom of Speech vs. The Patriot Act?

In this article, it seems that some guy got arrested for :

The Saudi-born Ph.D. candidate set up and ran Web sites that prosecutors say were used to recruit terrorists, raise money and disseminate inflammatory rhetoric.

However, for me the freedom of speech issue concerns this bit:

"To the extent that someone provides guns or money to a group for terrorism, that should be punished," said Kevin Bankston, an attorney for the civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation. "But you can't outlaw advocacy for any group or position, and that seems to be what they are attempting to do."

The implications are that if you take on an opinion that is deemed "a threat" by the Establishment?

The case is seen as a major test of a provision of the Patriot Act that targets "secondary" terrorists who provide "expert advice or assistance." In January, in another case, a federal judge in California ruled the provision violates people's First and Fifth Amendment rights.

This concerns me. Could Paris, Dead Prez, or even Talib Kweli be considered "secondary terrorists" if they say the wrong thing?

I know that it is a stretch to make a connection between rappers and terrorists, but I just think that this is a dangerous precedent to giving the opponents of free speech more power.

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