Did the Internet Make Terrorism a Hate Crime?

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The Hartford Advocate's Jennifer Abel, better known and beloved by H&R commenters as "Jennifer," tries hard yet fails to find any of the 404 congresscritters who voted in favor of a new terrorism-is-a-hate-crime sorta bill to defend it or even explain what the thing enables law enforcement to do. Excerpt:

What is this Bill of Mystery, that Congresspeople will vote for yet not discuss? It's called the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, also known as HR 1955, and one of the first things it says is that "Congress finds … The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to … terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens."

The bill also says that "preventing the potential rise" of individual domestic terrorists like Tim McVeigh "cannot be easily accomplished solely through traditional federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts."

Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich were opposed. Whole story here, and thanks to alert commenter "NoStar" for the link.

NEXT: Babies for Paul

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  1. It’s always nice to see a longtime H&R commenter make good….

    Even if it’s Jennifer. 😉

  2. The most beloved H&R commenter, of course, is also the most infrequent: Unborn Angel.

    🙂

  3. So now you’re shilling for Big Advocate, Welch?

  4. I cut ties with Unborn Angel when (s)he endorsed Alan Keyes. I don’t know what’s wrong in that fetus’ head.

  5. Maybe if thoreau wins the Nobel Prize in Physics, or Gary Gunnels wins a case before the Supreme Court, or Dave W becomes a successful music distributor, that would top this.

  6. Actually, I think it’s appropriate that “terrorism” should be classified as a “hate crime.” Both terms involve the attempt to give some precise legal content to a concept that really means nothing more than “a kind of murder or assault that we really, really don’t like and that we think should be treated differently from other murders and assaults.”

  7. The title of the bill kills me. I would have thought all 404 congressman would realize that homegrown terrorism is of a better quality than that foreign made crap. We need to encourage and nuture it, not prevent it.

    I support a 25% excise tax an all imported foreign acts of terrorism. That should level the playing field.

  8. Is it so wrong to want to understand the way a law can actually be implemented?

    I guess those of us that want safeguards against the government are just terrorists waiting to take down yet another great american icon.

    *sigh*

  9. Good point, NoStar. Where does Lou Dobbs stand on this?

  10. “Congress finds … The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to … terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.”

    Who will be the first, noble congressperson to take a stand against this evil! It’s time for someone courageous to call for the
    War on Internet!

  11. I hate Congress–always taking half measures. I’m pretty sure that books and television have done more to facilitate such things than the still newish Intertubial System. Why all the hatin’ on new technologies? Guess they don’t want anybody burning their precious books, huh? Hypocrites.

  12. Pro Lib:

    the 1st amendment protects freedom of the press, not freedom of electrons moving around tubes.

  13. Goatse is the 9/11 of the internet

  14. Where does Lou Dobbs stand on this?

    Dr. T.
    Everytime I have seen Lou Dobbs, he is sitting on his fat ass.

  15. “preventing the potential rise” of individual domestic terrorists like Tim McVeigh

    How do you prevent a “potential rise?” And why would you want to? I’d think a better priority would be making sure the rise of terrorists is always only potential… Perhaps they meant “actual rise?”

  16. Good points NoStar, but you failed to mention that homegrown terrorists require fewer terrorist miles–therefore reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases.

    We should all be advocating for “100 mile terrorists.”

    Win/Win/Win.

  17. I had long ago forgotten Jennifer. I was so happy! And now, she’s been sucker-punched back into my memory. Danm!

  18. My crazy, conspiricy believing Aunt warned me about this bill several months ago.

    She, and other tin-foil hat wearers, claim that holding certain unpopular political thougths will become crimes under this bill.

    I actually read the bill, IIRC, it is a 10 page pdg. My interpretation is that HR 1955 is a grant to study how domestic terrorism arises and what can be done to stop it.

    It seemed pretty benign to me. I could not convince my Aunt of that, though.

  19. Big ups Jennifer!

    And GinSlinger, sorry, but the win was stolen at the last minute by Bingo:

    Goatse is the 9/11 of the internet

  20. Good job, albeit a bit late: I noted this bill in point #3 of my first comment back on 11/23 at this very site. Shoulders of giants and all.

    It won’t be many months now before Reason starts discussing that “TransTexasCorridor” thing. Just give them time.

  21. Way to go Jennifer!

  22. Lurker Kurt is correct.
    The act calls for the formation of a Commission to inform congress on the ways that Homegrown terrorists obtain information, organize and carry out terrorist acts. The report is due within 18mos of commission. It is up to Congress to act upon the report. The Act also establishes a “Center” for Homegrown Terrorism studies.

    Of course, the answers to the commission report are pretty clear, even to the layman.

    Social networking (church/mosque, internet, ideological groups (SDS,etc.)) provides the contact for the terrorists while Information exchange (libraries, pamphlets, internet, email) occurs between them.

    The real question is, when Congress finally obtains this overpriced report, what will they do with it? Will they just set it aside and ignore it, or will they attempt to crack down on information sharing on the Internet in the interest of “National Security”? Do you want to wager on the options?

  23. TLB,
    Perhaps, instead of linking to your MexicanHating blog, you had actually bothered posting a link to the bill text it might have generated some discussion.
    Of course, you could have, you know, suggested it to Reason via the “Tips and Suggestions” link on the left hand side of the page as well. But then you wouldn’t have the “I told you so” satisfaction would you?

  24. Do you want to wager on the options?

    Sounds like a case of heads we all lose, tails we all lose!!

    But then you wouldn’t have the “I told you so” satisfaction would you?

    And we wouldn’t have come to the realization that he’s the most important person in the world as we clearly see now.

  25. First we saw the slow death of the 2nd Amendment (“Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms”).

    Now we are witnessing the death of the First Amendment (“Free Speech”).

    All Hate Crimes are really “Thought” Crimes: the punishing of unpopular thinking.

    However, it’s a good way for politicians to shut down debate and eliminate political opponents; just label the opposing views as “fomenting terrorism or hate”.

  26. This bill lacks real teeth as usual, let the FBI etc monitor as usual and if the eprson is here illegal (immediate deportation) if a citizen (send an EMAIL that the FBI has captured the transaction and they now issued a citation to appear in court to renounce/debunk or Remain On the department of Homeland Security watch list).. That would really curb the concerns and to use the IP addresses to trace all the way to the individual pc using the IP address and subnet nodes, PC ID, etc to get the point accross.

  27. I’m happy to see my friend Jennifer moving up in the world of journalism. I knew her when.

  28. IIRC, Ron Paul didn’t vote on this puppy, though I’d be shocked and apPauled if he did support something like this.

    If you do something that people like, would you say they were Pauled by your action.

    Bad pun. Bad prolefeed. Bad!

    * ducks *

  29. Good points NoStar, but you failed to mention that homegrown terrorists require fewer terrorist miles–therefore reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases.

    Well, technically, if you fly a plane into a building, you’ve not only saved on the gas that would have been burned on the return trip, but also on all future flights the plane would have flown — and permanently reduced the carbon footprint of all the passengers to zero. So, shouldn’t ardent global warming alarmists be pro-terror?

  30. prolefeed,
    True that. Plus, wiping out the human race is the only sure way to end man-caused global warming.

  31. “””I hate Congress–always taking half measures.”””

    For me, that half a measure too much.

    “””It seemed pretty benign to me. I could not convince my Aunt of that, though.”””

    I wonder. It seems that H.R. 1955 might redefine probably cause for electronic surveillance of U.S. citizens and Internet activity in general.

    I have the feeling that it’s a prelude as to why government needs to monitor and or catalog our Internet activites.

  32. Assuming it goes from bill to law. Maybe the Senate will ignore it.

  33. Cornered Feingold about this one back around Thanksgiving. He’s going to make a (likely futile) attempt to jam it.

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