Since 2002 Texas-licensed veterinarian and Ph.D. Microbiologist, Dr. Ron Hines, has been helping pets and pet owners by giving online advice. Hines offered his advice for a $58 flat fee— or for free to those who could not pay— to pet owners around the world, often helping those who otherwise are without access to veterinary advice. After suffering from a debilitating injury that left him unable to practice, Hines began posting pet-care advice online. Pet owners responded by seeking advice from Hines, where he estimates he has helped more than 700 pet owners.
| Posted by Kathryn H. Van Wie on Sun. April 14, 2013 8:52 AM
Categories: Freedom of Speech
While the potential use of drones on American soil and the disputed authority of the government to indefinitely detain American citizens captured on U.S. soil have dominated the headlines and the attention of civil libertarians in recent months, the Obama administration continues other controversial domestic counter-terrorism measures that go along relatively unnoticed by the public. Last week, a Federal District Court in California gave a respite to civil liberties in the ongoing war on terror as it enjoined on First Amendment grounds the federal government’s further use of National Security Letters.
| Posted by Anderson A. Chang on Sun. March 24, 2013 8:45 AM
News outlets, media advocates, conservative and liberal groups, and First Amendment scholars have joined in filing an amicus brief to the Indiana Supreme Court, claiming that the state’s criminal law barring intimidation violates the First Amendment. The criminal case began with the defendant’s divorce proceedings.
When Daniel Brewington’s ex-wife filed for divorce, the court assigned two psychologists to evaluate custody options; they recommended assigning Brewington’s ex-wife sole custody and Brewington visitation rights. The Court of Appeals of Indiana stated that Brewington responded with “a torrent of abusive letters demanding that Dr. Connor release his entire file to him, withdraw the evaluation, and withdraw from the case.” He accused the doctors of “dishonest, malicious, and criminal behavior” and “unethical and criminal practices.” He also began blogging and using established Web sites to communicate messages to the same effect.
| Posted by Howard M. Lintz (Howie) on Sun. March 3, 2013 7:43 AM
With awards season underway, the paparazzi are out in full force, trying to capture the trophy winning celebrities in their fanciest garb. However, celebrity–friendly states, most recently Hawaii, are fighting back against invasive paparazzi techniques in order to protect their famous residents. The Hawaii Senate Judiciary Committee recently passed the “Steven Tyler Act,” an anti–paparazzi bill. According to the Reporters Committee, the bill has successfully passed its first hurdle to becoming law, and it would take effect on July 1, 2013.
| Posted by Satie R. Munn on Thu. February 28, 2013 8:46 AM
Earlier this month a Virginia judge declined to prohibit defendant Linda Cheek’s use of social media to advance her personal, professional beliefs relating to her impending trial. According to The Roanoke Times, prosecutors requested that U.S. District Judge, Glen Conrad, prevent defendant, Dr. Linda Sue Cheek, from blogging and tweeting about her legal proceedings for fear that these Internet postings could improperly influence potential jurors.
| Posted by Candra K. Baizan on Sun. February 24, 2013 8:15 AM
Categories: Social Media
Since the advent of social media ranging from basic chat rooms to websites dedicated solely to making connections with friends and strangers, the American public has been cautioned against predators online. Parents are told to carefully monitor their children’s activity online and be wary of older cyberpredators posing as peers of their children in an attempt to become close to minors, and occasionally even solicit sexual contact. There has even been a television show entitled To Catch A Predator that chronicles undercover sting operations designed to entrap and arrest online predators by using decoys with the help of a watchdog group called Perverted Justice.
| Posted by Catherine A. McCormick on Thu. February 14, 2013 9:27 AM
Categories: Social Media
The District II Wisconsin Court of Appeals did not agree with the circuit court’s ruling that Wisconsin Statute §940.32 was a facially overbroad regulation of protected speech in violation of Gary Hemmingway’s First Amendment rights. As reported by the Wisconsin State Bar, Hemmingway was found guilty of stalking his ex-wife, Rebecca, after sending her intimidating text messages, phone calls, and e-mails. Excerpts of the communications between Hemmingway and Rebecca include him telling her “that he would love to see someone holding a gun to her and for her to be begging for her life.” He also told her that “the only way she could feel his pain would be if both her sons died at the same time.” These and other threats, coupled with Hemmingway’s prior charges of aggravated battery and negligent use of a dangerous weapon, caused Rebecca to fear for her and her sons’ lives and suffer serious emotional harm.
| Posted by Alexandria N. Bryant on Sun. February 10, 2013 8:27 AM
Categories: Public Health