Monday, May 15, 2006

Snitching on offensive speech

A Denver Post column says:
Tuesday, the Boulder City Council will take up the matter of allocating public funding for a "hate hotline," which would give residents an opportunity to report incidents in which Boulderites use tactless language.

"Our concern - and there are many - is that there is no confidentiality, no legal confidentiality," explains Judd Golden, chairman of the Boulder American Civil Liberties Union, which has not yet taken an official position on the hate-line. "So it's potentially chilling if people think they are providing this information in confidence and then that information were provided to the government or the government sought access to it. That would chill free speech."
The ACLU's concern is that it is not anonymous?! The city wants a snitch line to report anyone who attacks "personal beliefs and values", and the ACLU just wants the snitching to be anonymous.

No. I say that the govt should not take anonymous complaints about someone else's free speech rights. It shouldn't have the hotline at all, but I am surprised that the ACLU wants it anonymous.