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NY Dems introduce bill that would deliver a crushing blow to the First Amendment

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If a new bill introduced in the New York legislature passes, New Yorker’s will have a new online nanny ready to fine them $250 a day for saying something the government doesn’t like.

New York Assemblyman David I. Weprin and Sen. Tony Avella have introduced Senate Bill 4561 which would force New Yorkers to remove from their internet postings any “inaccurate,” “irrelevant,” “inadequate” or “excessive” statements about other people if a complaint was made, ZeroHedge reported.

Failure to comply with these demands would result in a $250 a day fine (plus attorney fees) for either the search engines listing the post or the people making the post.

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The bill demands the following:

  • Within 30 days of a ”request from an individual,”
  • “all search engines and online speakers] shall remove … content about such individual, and links or indexes to any of the same, that is ‘inaccurate’, ‘irrelevant’, ‘inadequate’ or ‘excessive,’ ”
  • “and without replacing such removed … content with any disclaimer [or] takedown notice.”
  • “ ‘[I]naccurate’, ‘irrelevant’, ‘inadequate’, or ‘excessive’ shall mean content,”
  • “which after a significant lapse in time from its first publication,”
  • “is no longer material to current public debate or discourse,”
  • “especially when considered in light of the financial, reputational and/or demonstrable other harm that the information … is causing to the requester’s professional, financial, reputational or other interest,”
  • “with the exception of content related to convicted felonies, legal matters relating to violence, or a matter that is of significant current public interest, and as to which the requester’s role with regard to the matter is central and substantial.”

The Washington Post’s Eugene Volokh is shocked and dismayed by this odious law noting that it will necessarily require Google and other online services to begin censoring everything they do because things on the Internet don’t just appear in New York.

“So, under this bill, newspapers, scholarly works, copies of books on Google Books and Amazon, online encyclopedias (Wikipedia and others) — all would have to be censored whenever a judge and jury found (or the author expected them to find) that the speech was ‘no longer material to current public debate or discourse,'” Volokh wrote.

Volokh adds, “But the deeper problem with the bill is simply that it aims to censor what people say, under a broad, vague test based on what the government thinks the public should or shouldn’t be discussing. It is clearly unconstitutional under current First Amendment law, and I hope First Amendment law will stay that way (no matter what rules other countries might have adopted).”

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This would be a shocking breach of America’s First Amendment rights to free speech. But it would also quash freedom of the press of the First Amendment. So, will the liberals in New York prove they revere our Constitution and ditch this terribly un-American bill? We’ll have to wait and see.

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