August 07, 2003

Make a Link, Go To Jail

Posted by shonk at 05:32 PM in Politics | TrackBack

Does it bother anyone that you can go to prison for making a link on a webpage? Now, granted, I'm sure this guy was a nutball, and the real reason for tossing him in jail was because he advocated violent overthrow of the government or some such idea, but since when is offering information (or, in this case, merely telling people where such information is available) illegal? Should we throw chemistry teachers and librarians in jail now, too? After all, one of the chemistry professors at my university would tell people how to make synthetic cocaine, LSD and TNT. Not that anybody did, but he was imparting information which could have been used to break the law. And any decent library has such information available in its stacks. Hell, the U.S. Patent Office has lots of information about "conventional guided weapons with suspected Uranium warhead components" available (PDF; html translation here) on their website. And you don't see the Commerce Secretary going to prison.

The point is, telling people how to make bombs doesn't hurt people: people actually blowing them up in crowded areas does (newsflash: miners use explosives every day). And punishing an anarchist for telling people where to learn how to make bombs on his website while letting the chemistry professor, the librarian and the Commerce Secretary go free is totally arbitrary. So punish the people that actually blow up people and don't punish anybody for dispensing information. After all, the principle of free speech doesn't just apply to nice, government-approved people - it applies to everyone, says me.


The government will never look at that like you have.People have to learn that just because someone is giving out information it is not to hurt people with it is to educate them just like a teacher would. If more people thought like you the world would be a better place.

Posted by: Talon at November 12, 2004 12:55 PM