April 15, 2024

Supreme Court to decide what’s a ‘true threat’ in the age of the Internet

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We are concerned about giving state actors the capacity to make the determination on what is a “true threat”.

In this article for The Washington Times, Alex Swoyer reports on an important legal challenge that could have massive implications for free speech. Billy Raymond Counterman is seeking to overturn his conviction against Colorado’s stalking law, alleging that the messages he sent to a local musician are protected under his First Amendment Right and should not be considered a “true threat”.

The appeal is now being heard by the Supreme Court and it will be the Court’s jurisdiction to determine what is a true threat and what is not.

Editor’s Note: This article is important because it will be a precedent for the use of mis- and disinformation laws to prosecute citizens who express discontent against their governments.

While we do not hold any position in the case of Counterman, we are nevertheless concerned about giving state actors the capacity to make the determination on what is a “true threat”, especially since we have now seen how governments willingly violate free speech and civil liberties if they are allowed to abuse their powers.

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