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Violent Flash Mobs organized through social media

by Evo
Tags: flash, media, mobs, organized, social, violent
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WhoWee
#73
Aug13-11, 01:44 PM
P: 1,123
Quote Quote by Jack21222 View Post
The article was not about such a comparison. There you go again, taking a minor tangential issue and trying to steer the whole thread into discussing it.

Are you doubting the facts presented in the article, or is your only problem just one line in one paragraph?
You made a point to post it. How does my commenting on YOUR post pull the thread off topic?
Your post-my bold
"A rail transit provider in the United States disabled mobile phone services to prevent a planned protest on Thursday, attracting criticism and unflattering comparisons to crackdowns on dissent in the Middle East."
Jack21222
#74
Aug13-11, 02:01 PM
P: 772
So you didn't bother to read the article. I was just providing snippets to show what the article was about.

Anyway, would you like to comment on the actions of BART, or continue with the "hurr durr Al Jazeera derp derp derping?"
WhoWee
#75
Aug13-11, 02:35 PM
P: 1,123
Quote Quote by Jack21222 View Post
So you didn't bother to read the article. I was just providing snippets to show what the article was about.

Anyway, would you like to comment on the actions of BART, or continue with the "hurr durr Al Jazeera derp derp derping?"
I like the idea of (first) flashing a message (to everyone with a cell in an area targeted for attack) that vandalism and violence will be prosecuted. Then if activity continues - a temporary block with an additional message explaining why - temporary meaning perhaps an hour to cool down the growth of the mob. I think the 911 capability should be maintained on all phones in spite of the block.

As for ""hurr durr Al Jazeera derp derp derping?"" - no comment?
SteveL27
#76
Aug13-11, 08:19 PM
P: 800
Quote Quote by DoggerDan View Post
I believe the right as explained in the Constitution (1st Amendment) is the right to peaceably assemble. Outlawing non-peaceful assemblies is Constitutional.
How would you know ahead of time? Isn't this a bit like arresting you for a crime the government thinks you are going to commit in the future? As in the movie Minority Report.
turbo
#77
Aug13-11, 08:23 PM
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Quote Quote by SteveL27 View Post
How would you know ahead of time? Isn't this a bit like arresting you for a crime the government thinks you are going to commit in the future? As in the movie Minority Report.
That's the tack that the ACLU will take in court, and they will win, IMO. The sad thing is that large crowds can be unpredictable, and violence and vandalism can erupt even though the organizer(s) had no such intent. Prior restraint is a very slippery slope.
ThomasT
#78
Aug14-11, 02:37 PM
P: 1,414
The drift of the thread seems to be that not much can be done to stop or at least minimize this sort of thing. Some things that might be done are to change laws (provide tougher penalties), and actually uniformly enforce and prosecute them, so that the consequences for getting caught are more or less certain and pretty severe. But that's not likely to happen for a number of reasons.

So it seems that this trend in electronically facilitated 'wilding' and thuggery isn't just here to stay for the foreseeable future, but will increasingly be a fact of life in urban areas, since the police really can't protect against it and law abiding citizens are forbidden by law to use the sort of force that would be sufficient to stop it.
Proton Soup
#79
Aug14-11, 03:06 PM
P: 1,070
Quote Quote by ThomasT View Post
The drift of the thread seems to be that not much can be done to stop or at least minimize this sort of thing. Some things that might be done are to change laws (provide tougher penalties), and actually uniformly enforce and prosecute them, so that the consequences for getting caught are more or less certain and pretty severe. But that's not likely to happen for a number of reasons.

So it seems that this trend in electronically facilitated 'wilding' and thuggery isn't just here to stay for the foreseeable future, but will increasingly be a fact of life in urban areas, since the police really can't protect against it and law abiding citizens are forbidden by law to use the sort of force that would be sufficient to stop it.
oh, that last part would only go on for so long before citizens get fed up and oust all the politicians who support it. in fact, letting the public get a black eye by sitting back and not policing is just the sort of manipulation you'd want to exert to get approval for applying more draconian measures.
WhoWee
#80
Aug14-11, 03:15 PM
P: 1,123
You really can't expect to have it both ways. If the police have to wait until a crime has taken place - then make sure they don't violate the rights of protestors when making an arrest - damage will occur, people will be injured, and some (if not most) of the criminals will exade capture and prosecution - won't they?
Proton Soup
#81
Aug14-11, 03:30 PM
P: 1,070
Quote Quote by WhoWee View Post
You really can't expect to have it both ways. If the police have to wait until a crime has taken place - then make sure they don't violate the rights of protestors when making an arrest - damage will occur, people will be injured, and some (if not most) of the criminals will exade capture and prosecution - won't they?
if the G8 were to visit London for a summit right now, cops would be busting heads of protestors left and right. same would go here at a democrat or republican national committee meeting.
SteveL27
#82
Aug14-11, 05:13 PM
P: 800
Quote Quote by WhoWee View Post
You really can't expect to have it both ways. If the police have to wait until a crime has taken place - then make sure they don't violate the rights of protestors when making an arrest - damage will occur, people will be injured, and some (if not most) of the criminals will exade capture and prosecution - won't they?
Hypotheticals:

1) Suppose a newspaper plans to publish the location of a demonstration in which there is some nonzero probability of violence. May the government order the newspaper to not publish that information?

2) May the government forcibly shut down the operation of a newspaper that publishes information displeasing to the government?
CAC1001
#83
Aug14-11, 06:24 PM
P: 18
Quote Quote by rhody View Post
CAC,

Doubt no more... rootX beat me to this. I was just about to post it. The British Prime Minister, David Carmeron has publically repeatedly displayed his disgust with the situation, no surprise that he is considering this option.
Well I was wrong there!

I hope they don't actually take that step though. However, in the UK, I may be wrong, but isn't there technically no right to freedom of speech there?
Galteeth
#84
Aug14-11, 07:36 PM
P: 320
Quote Quote by Evo View Post
How can this be unconstitutional if it is criminal?



http://www.boston.com/news/nation/ar...--+Latest+news
If you explicitly organize a group with the intention of causing violence, it's surely criminal. The thing is, that's already a crime.

http://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-...-flash-mob-law

http://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-...-maybe-illegal

The law, as it's written, adds penalties for not only actions, but how the person found out about the event.

To understand why this is a constitutional issue: Many cities already have laws on the books about "illegal assemblies" that wouldn't past a constitutional review. Same thing with "failure to disperse" ordinances.

Imagine a legitimate political protest where people are arrested for various reasons. Even if the original reason they were arrested turned out to be invalid, they are now facing a second charge they have to defend based on the way they heard about the protest. Furthermore, this is essentially penalizing people not for the action, but for participation in free speech. For example, if someone was arrested at a protest, and they had had heard about it through a flyer, they would be facing lesser charges then if they heard about it over the internet.

These arguments may sound subtle to you, but they are an extremely important topic right now. Since more and more political organizing and communication is done over the internet, the potential chilling of that vehicle is very important to people who are concerned about civil liberties.

Let me give you a practical example. A group is planning an anti-war protest, and they distribute information over the internet. Members might be inclined to say, I am hesitant to go because if an arrest does occur, I will now be facing greater repercussions then before. This is a legal disincentive to use the internet as a means of communication.

It also establishes a bad precedent, targeting methods of speech instead of criminal actions themselves.

EDIT: Furthermore in order to be enforceable (which it probably wouldn't be) the police would have to be able to search all of a persons' communications to have proof they received knowledge of the event electronically, and possibly their friends communications.


I am not trying to argue the validity of these positions, I know you and I have a very different take on such issues, i am just answering your question from the point of view of civil libertarians.
Galteeth
#85
Aug14-11, 07:38 PM
P: 320
Quote Quote by SteveL27 View Post
Hypotheticals:

1) Suppose a newspaper plans to publish the location of a demonstration in which there is some nonzero probability of violence. May the government order the newspaper to not publish that information?

2) May the government forcibly shut down the operation of a newspaper that publishes information displeasing to the government?
To be fair the law in question as I understand it was not suggesting outlawing the communication of such information (would would hands down be unconstitutional) but rather adding penalties if someone were arrested for the means in which they communicated beforehand.
Galteeth
#86
Aug14-11, 07:43 PM
P: 320
Quote Quote by Jack21222 View Post
Looks like San Francisco is putting some of this to the test:

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/am...139693608.html
Yes, that is pretty shocking. I don't see how BART has the authority to do that. Also, the shutdown certainly impacted more then just the alleged protestors.
SteveL27
#87
Aug14-11, 08:00 PM
P: 800
Quote Quote by Galteeth View Post
To be fair the law in question as I understand it was not suggesting outlawing the communication of such information (would would hands down be unconstitutional) but rather adding penalties if someone were arrested for the means in which they communicated beforehand.
I must confess I'm thinking only about the recent incident where SF's BART shut down cell communications in advance of a protest, which ended up not happening. A lot of people seem to think that prior restraint and punishing people for what they MIGHT do is perfectly ok. This was the first time in the U.S. that a government agency shut down cell communications in advance of a lawful assembly of protesters.

Personally I'm troubled by this incident. It's a precedent that indicates worse things to come. That's why I asked how far the government can go in shutting down communications before anything unlawful occurs. Most people would agree the government can't shut down a newspaper ... but apparently they can shut down cell service. At least today. Tomorrow? Stay tuned.
Galteeth
#88
Aug14-11, 08:18 PM
P: 320
Quote Quote by SteveL27 View Post
I must confess I'm thinking only about the recent incident where SF's BART shut down cell communications in advance of a protest, which ended up not happening. A lot of people seem to think that prior restraint and punishing people for what they MIGHT do is perfectly ok. This was the first time in the U.S. that a government agency shut down cell communications in advance of a lawful assembly of protesters.

Personally I'm troubled by this incident. It's a precedent that indicates worse things to come. That's why I asked how far the government can go in shutting down communications before anything unlawful occurs. Most people would agree the government can't shut down a newspaper ... but apparently they can shut down cell service. At least today. Tomorrow? Stay tuned.
Well, BART is apparently expecting another protest Monday. Anonymous started hacking them.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-200...aks-user-data/
Evo
#89
Aug14-11, 08:26 PM
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Quote Quote by SteveL27 View Post
I must confess I'm thinking only about the recent incident where SF's BART shut down cell communications in advance of a protest, which ended up not happening. A lot of people seem to think that prior restraint and punishing people for what they MIGHT do is perfectly ok. This was the first time in the U.S. that a government agency shut down cell communications in advance of a lawful assembly of protesters.
They had a permit? You can't just protest anywhere, anytime, you need a permit.
SteveL27
#90
Aug14-11, 08:40 PM
P: 800
Quote Quote by Evo View Post
They had a permit? You can't just protest anywhere, anytime, you need a permit.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It doesn't say anything about a permit there. Do you think the citizens of Egypt should have gotten a permit from Mubarak before protesting his brutal rule?

Can you see how in general, requiring people to get a permit from the government, in order to protest against that government, would prevent any population from ever protesting against an evil government?

Are people really under the impression that you need a permit (from the government!) to protest against the government in this country?

But that said; you are not addressing the fundamental point of whether the government can shut down cell service to prevent people from protesting. I am willing to stipulate that a flash mob on a crowded subway platform is a hell of a bad idea. I'm not defending criminal vandalism. But in this particular case, there was no protest; only prior restraint of free speech rights.

In the future, should government agencies in the U.S. be allowed to shut down cellphones, shut down Internet service, shut down newspapers and television stations, to prevent the possibility that someone might break the law?

That's what's at issue. When foreign dictators do the exact same thing, we have no trouble condemning their actions. But recently Cameron's remarks in England, and BART's actions in San Francisco this past Thursday, have brought the issue home.


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