Sunday, November 12, 2006

Freedom of Speech violated in Fort Wayne; again

AWB (His online alias) runs a blog in Fort Wayne known as FortWayneNews.com. AWB runs a very biased Republican blog that I read EVERY day.

I enjoy AWB's blog and he does a great job with his blog.

One of the things he does is highlight people who have past convictions as sexual predators. He copies information from various publicly accessible websites onto his blog.

This serves as a warning and is a public servers he provides for his readers...

His blog has been shut down because "SOMEONE" decided to contact his provider and his provider shot down his blog.

This is garbage.

This is a violation of his Freedom of Speech.

There are too many groups in this country who want criminals and past criminals to have more rights then the rest of us...

You can read a lot more about this violation of Free Speech at:
<http://type-that.blogspot.com/2006/11/holy-wow.html>

AWB posts information about people who have been convicted of a variety of crimes; often he posts about people who have been convicted of committing various sex crimes.

I have NO PITY for the criminals that AWB is posting about. I am sick and tired of criminals and past criminals having more rights then the rest of us. Give be a break. This is ridiculous...

I will have to see what happens with AWB. I think I may start posting information about local past sexual predators on my blog as a public service...

Mike Sylvester

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mike,

The reason they typepad blog "Summit City Odds and Ends" was shut down was a log that copied sex offender pictures from the Indiana State Registry, complete with pictures and addresses, along with comments. At this time, an organization with the records are seriously considering legal AND CRIMINAL action against the individuals in the chatroom, PARTICULARLY because there were threats of violence perpetrated by many of the members, including Google imagry of their houses, etc.

What is disturbing is that one member of the blog has actually run a criminal website for Indiana's most wanted. While actions to prevent crimes or locating and arresting fugitives is extremely laudible, there is reason to believe that blatant violations of the law that protect the rights of ALL citizens, even those who have been convicted of crimes in the past, must be prosecuted if we are to maintain a safe, healthy environment for ALL hoosiers. Actions such as the Typepad members in their blog actually lead to GREATER danger for the children they are purporting to help, and society suffers as a whole for it.

Indeed, the offenders' rights, other than being posted on the sex offender registry, are the same as yours and mine. If someone made threats for any reason against you or your family, then you would have every right to report such threats to the authorities. While it may gall several people that certain individuals are out of jail and living in the community, the fact remains that over 95% of all offenders remain offense free (according to US Department of Justice Statistics, compiled over a 10 year period), and to pursue such vigilante justice will make it harder to justify keeping the registry OPEN in the first place. Is that what you want, Mike?

The bottom line: IF You do post images and, in fact, ANY information which appears in the Indiana Sex Offender Registry, then YOU are the one breaking the law. It is NOT intended to be a vigilante shopping list, but rather a registry to assist parents and concerned citizens to further protect the safety of their family. Threatening or harassing them will actually make it worse, not just for the offenders but the entire community, as has been proven in other states time and time again.

Look for charges to appear in the next few days against some of the posters, including the main blogger himeself. By the way, although I am posting as anonymous, my real name is Michael Reese, email man4theages@hotmail.com .

Anonymous said...

I use this website:

http://www.familywatchdog.us/facts.asp

I have not made any user agreement to access this information. I believe we have the right to protect our own families. The comment that was made that has created all of this was in no way a direct threat to anyone.

Someone quoted some way out there stats on my blog earlier this evening on sex offenders that I would strongly disagree with. Most of the stats I have ever seen in regards to a sexual predator i.e. child molestor, is that there is no rehabilitation for them and they will act again given the opportunity. AWB used his blog to make us all aware of what might be in our own backyard.

If we do not protect our children, who will?

If we do not fight for our freedom of speech, who will?

Andrew Kaduk said...

I didn't know Dan had "members" on his blog. What the hell "chat room" are we discussing anyway?

Anonymous said...

Statements were made on the website that are being construed by some of the offenders as threats. Laws were broken vis a vis the statutes of the Indiana Sex offender registry that specifically states that information cannot be used to harass or impugn registrants.

The term "members" meant posters to the blog themselves. First amendment rights are one thing. But when addresses are posted and threats are made, laws are broken, and legal action can be taken.

If sex offender laws are too lax, then they shoud be adjusted so that sentencing is greater. The trouble with registries is that they take the punishment phase out of the courtroom and into a society who is ill-equipped to handle such information. While it makes us feel good that offenders "get theirs", the problem is that we do NOTHING to solve the very real problem of child molestation in the FIRST place, which is the GREATEST tragedy of all.

The bottom line: I want the registries to REMAIN OPEN, but actions such as the blog owner who posted all the information only allow the ACLU types to close it down, and in this case I'm in agreement with them.

Michael Reese
man4theages@hotmail.com

Stan Matuska said...

Wow! Just got back in town, so I missed a lot of this. This is a bid deal for a lot of reasons. It calls into question several things all at the same time.

My feeling is that if the "owner/host" of the blog site is not charging for their services, than they can do as they choose. If they are being paid for hosting services, then I don't believe they have a right to close it down. Were they requested to shut it down per a police order, or because some unknown person compalained? If it's the latter, then I think they made a bad call. They are trying to protect their asses, would be my guess.

I have seen the site in question, and I was a bit surprised at what I saw, but I figured hey, it's a free country, and the information was obtained online, so great.

I think the thin line in question is between the laws about threats vs. freedom of speech. I will be following this to see how it all comes out, but I am rooting for AWB.

Andrew Kaduk said...

The post in question, titled something like "Kill them all" or whatever, was written about a guy who just turned himself in for murdering a teenager a couple of weeks ago. The subject of the post was in police custody, and it strikes me as being a little odd that he would take offense to Dan's blog from a jail cell. No other offenders were specifically mentioned in the piece.

Where's the threat?

Andrew Kaduk said...

Stan,

TypePad is a pay service, it's not free.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Mr Reese,

I think you are wrong to suggest that posting pictures and information from the sex offender registry is against the law.

Copying a picture and other information is most certainly informational and cannot be construed by any reasonable person as a direct threat.

I also think it's laughable to suggest that posting a google map of their REGISTERED address is a threat.

I have not seen the actual comments so I will refrain from judging whether or not the were a threat. However, I think you and your organization are a threat to the first amendment and I hope you lose your case.

As a card-carrying member of the ACLU I am not always thrilled w/ those they choose to represent. However, I feel very strongly that EVERYONE has constitutional rights that should never be trampled on. What you and your cohorts are doing is shameful...

Anonymous said...

From the website's actual homepage:

http://www.insor.org/insasoweb/

"...Information in this registry may not be used to harass or threaten sex offenders or their families. Harassment, stalking, or threats may violate Indiana law.

"I verify that I have read the information on the purpose, limitations, and proper use if this registry as explained above."

The information that Dan posted in his website has actually broken several laws with regard to the above statement. Therefore, I have corroborated my statement that his website contained illegal information. In addition, threats were made to some of the individuals, or items that any reasonable person would call a threat to an individual.

And yes, showing a google'd satellite picture of an offender's home is considered a threat, especially when said offender has a family who may be affected by threats made in public on such a blog.

The reality of the situation is this: If Dan did not copy information from the registry website, including their pictures and addresses, this would not be an issue. But the laws ARE clear: information posted in such manner is considered seriouis enough to warrant the statement that I included in quotes above.

In fact, I HAVE seen the entire blog, and yes, threats were made by several posters, including Dan himself, to certain individuals that were posted. What I find more troubling than the sex offenders who are LAWFULLY registered with addresses, is the fact that when sites such as Dan's post the information, it will inevitably lead to more violence that will ultimately take out completely innocent people, such as family members, and not just the technically innocent offenders.

Please don't abuse the First amendment by advocating violence. You say that I'm "trampling on the rights" of the bloggers from posting names and addresses with insinuations and threats to shooting them. And as a conservative law and order type who actually understands the consequences of such short-sighted activity such as Dan's in breaking the law, I will make one thing ADAMENTLY clear: Children's lives are more in danger, precisely because law enforcement resources become dilluted by answering to threats such as Dan's, as opposed to keeping the peace by ensuring registrants' compliance.

As far as any pending legal action, that will be determined by the organization of individuals who will be contacted regarding the threats that were made in the blogs. The bottom line: Let's ensure that we have sane, rational sex offender laws that keep them in jail longer for aggravated offenses, and that allow some offenders to work their way to societal acceptance, over time, once their debt is paid. Most of all, let law enforcement do its job.

Michael Reese

Anonymous said...

Its lawsuit mongers like you who are more of a threat than Dan. I hope your case is more substantial than what you have shown here. because there are a whole lot of holes in it. But this may all be a moot point as this may get thrown out of court because of your harrassment of Dan.Prepare for a counter-suit buddy. Discussing a case outside of the courtroom is a no-no.

danturkette said...

Mike.. I have a post here

Tim Zank said...

Well, I'm no lawyer but, The disclaimer on ISOR says"...Information in this registry may not be used to harass or threaten sex offenders or their families. Harassment, stalking, or threats may violate Indiana law."

Any of you armchair Clarence Darrows note the word "MAY" in that disclaimer?

MAY violate...not WILL violate or DOES violate..

Dan Turkette said...

Mike and others following this stupid turn of events. www.FortWayneNews.com is back up and running. Image files are not there yet, but will be soon.

They cannot and will not stop me from doing this. Bring on the lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention, that is not the information source that is used on "Fort Wayne News" - why is no one listening....there are other sources with no user agreements, I use "Family Watch Dog", I have had it bookmarked on my computer for years.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Mr Reese,

There is no law that says posting registered information about sex offenders is considered a threat. I challenge you to produce such a law. Making THREATS is against the law and as I said before I have not seen the post in question so I will withold comment about that.

However, you are 100% incorrect to say that posting images and information about sex offenders is illegal. It's also incorrect to suggest that posting a google image of someone's address is illegal. Please produce the Indiana or Federal statute that declares this as threatening behavior.

Until you do so, which you cannot, I will most certainly see you as a threat to the first amendment because what you are doing can only be construed as limiting free speech. If there were REAL threats made then I will change my opinion. But up until now you have produced no evidence of such threats and you continue to distort the law by suggesting it covers actions it most certainly does not.

Registered sex offenders DO have rights but the courts have declared that the public has a right to know their whereabouts. AWB's blog (at least the posts I've seen in the past) was simply providing this information to the general public.

I stick by my original statement - your distortion of the law and threatening behavior to the first amendment is shameful...

Tim Zank said...

Geez Jeff, We agree on this one...
Have we entered a "parallel universe?" lol

B.G. (Semper Paratus) said...

Tim:
I would think that BIZARRO WORLD would be more "in tune" with the goings on....don't you agree?

Mike:

The first amendment IS at stake here, and unfortunately someone is letting this minority of the minorities (NOT racially implied in case the NAACP is watching) have sway over the vast MAJORITY of the people.
Sorry, that doesn't sit well with me.
As to having a sex offender IMPUGNED by anything makes me want to piss myself laughing (not in an incontinent way, in case the AARP is watching).

It's time for the VICTIMS to get their rights to justice re-invoked...the perps gave their's up when they committed whatever deed they did.

Our nation is fast losing it's way in dealing with these criminals with all the loopholes THEY can wrangle themselves through (plea deals come first to mind).

One thing many of these "bleeding hearts" fail to realize is that although no threat is implied or intended, the right to OPINE on what "might" need to be done for the betterment of all cannot be refuted.

If "they" have a gripe...I say "Get yer OWN blog, people"....

But that's just *my* opinion...
please don't take it as a threat (in case the ACLU is watching).

B.G.

B.G. (Semper Paratus) said...

Tim:
I would think that BIZARRO WORLD would be more "in tune" with the goings on....don't you agree?

Mike:

The first amendment IS at stake here, and unfortunately someone is letting this minority of the minorities (NOT racially implied in case the NAACP is watching) have sway over the vast MAJORITY of the people.
Sorry, that doesn't sit well with me.
As to having a sex offender IMPUGNED by anything makes me want to piss myself laughing (not in an incontinent way, in case the AARP is watching).

It's time for the VICTIMS to get their rights to justice re-invoked...the perps gave their's up when they committed whatever deed they did.

Our nation is fast losing it's way in dealing with these criminals with all the loopholes THEY can wrangle themselves through (plea deals come first to mind).

One thing many of these "bleeding hearts" fail to realize is that although no threat is implied or intended, the right to OPINE on what "might" need to be done for the betterment of all cannot be refuted.

If "they" have a gripe...I say "Get yer OWN blog, people"....

But that's just *my* opinion...
please don't take it as a threat (in case the ACLU is watching).

B.G.