Freedom Of Speech Under Fire
There’s a reason lawyers have a bad name. As usual though, it’s not all lawyers that are slimey, but the low-life ones definitely give the whole group a really bad name.
Junkfood Science has been a font of wonderful information lately, thank you Sandy! She recently did a piece about a blogger receiving a supoena. Now I admit that I haven’t thoroughly gone through this other blog, but from what I can see, this is a well maintained, extensively researched blog site.
Threats to citizen journalism
A New Hampshire blogger who has won the admiration of the scientific and medical community for her extensively researched and compassionate articles on disability advocacy and autism at her site, Neurodiversity, was hit with a subpoenaa post that apparently caught the ire of a lawyer. Specifically, a lawyer who has filed 577 anti-vaccine cases under the 1988 National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Her post had revealed troubling ethical questions surrounding research sponsored by an institute he’d founded and his financial incentives in vaccine-injury claims. just hours after writing
The sweeping subpoena she has received demands she produce “all documents pertaining to the setup, financing, research, and maintaining” her blog; personal bank statements, canceled checks, online or offline donation documents, and tax returns; Freedom of Information Act requests, LexixNexis and PACER usage records; all documents (e-mails, notes, memos, letters, etc.) pertaining to communications related to her blog; all documents related to her communications with representatives of the federal government, the pharmaceutical industry, advocacy groups, non-governmental organizations, political action groups, profit or non-profit entities, journals, editorial boards, scientific boards, academic boards, medical licensing boards, any “religious groups (Muslim or otherwise), or individuals with religious affiliations,” and any other “concerned individuals.”
Every blogger cited on her blogroll was also listed in the subpoena.
Read the FULL STORY HERE.
I looked at the supoena posted on the website in question, and I did notice the supoena is NOT signed. On the front page where the Attorney should sign, the Attorney’s name is TYPED in. On the last page where it requires name, signature, date and place as Proof of Service it is not signed. The line that should show the name of the person served the word “served” is TYPED in, no date, place or signature of the server either. Beneath that is the Declaration of Server, requiring the date of execution and the signature of the server. Both these lines are BLANK. My guess is, given how she received this just hours after a post, that the lawyer sent this to her electronically to intimidate her. Fortunately, she seems to have taken the proper legal course to put an end to this.
I suggest you read Sandy’s posting and click her links to this other blog. This could just be the beginning. Some lawyers just don’t care and will do anything for a buck and 15 minutes of fame.
However, we can’t just brush this off completely either. Don’t forget the government (nanny of all nannies) isn’t overly concerned with our First Amendment right to free speech either. A couple of months ago I posted a piece about a bill making the rounds that would basically label a blogger like myself a domestic terrorist just for disagreeing with the president and openly stating such here. They could label me that just for my suggesting that we need to wake up and take back control of the government. Remember, the government loves writing these things in such a way as to leave them lots of room for interpretation. See the Full Text of S. 1959 named: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007
Are you seeing it yet? Or do you still think I’m nuts? This is where we are heading IF we don’t stop them. Who’s THEM? Our representatives, senators, congressman, legislators, elected officials of all sorts. WE are supposed to oversee and control them, not the other way around.
Are you ready to WAKE UP yet?