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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Oregon Republican Wants to Outlaw Online Organizing

Posted by Goldy on Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 1:59 PM

If you're wondering how much right-wingers truly hate America, you need look no further than Republican-sponsored Oregon Senate Bill 1534, which would create the felony crime of "aggravated solicitation" for, you know, tweeting...

(2) A person commits the crime of aggravated solicitation if, with the intent of causing two or more other persons to engage in specific conduct constituting a crime, the person uses an electronic communication to command or solicit other persons to engage in that conduct at a specific time and at a specific location.
(3) In a prosecution under this section, the state need not prove that the electronic communication was received by specific persons or that the defendant intended for specific persons to engage in the criminal activity.

That's right, if you use Twitter, or Facebook, or a blog, or email to help organize, or even just let people know about some event, where some crime is ultimately committed, you could be found guilty of a felony, punishable by as much as 20 years in prison. And prosecutors don't even need to prove that anybody actually read your tweet, or that you ever intended for a crime to be committed.

For example, let's say you tweeted (or retweeted) "Come join me at today's Occupy Portland protest at Chapman Square", where some folks were ultimately arrested for misdemeanor trespassing. Under SB-1534, you could be charged with a Class C felony!

More after the jump...

Sure, the bill is DOA in Oregon's Democratically controlled Senate Judiciary Committee, and likely unconstitutional to boot (it is one thing to criminalize yelling "fire" in a crowded move theater, it's another thing to criminalize tweeting "Hey, let's go to the movies"), but the very fact that a full third of the Oregon State Senate would attach their names to such an offensively anti-free speech piece of legislation, illustrates just how quickly our nation could slide into fascism.

This is the type of legislation that dictators would use to crack down on and repress an Arab Spring. No American legislator who advocates for such a stunningly anti-American piece of legislation should ever be taken seriously again. And yet, they are.

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