News Article: Twitter troll arrested for 2016 election interference

Go Bama

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Mackey is charged with conspiring with others "to disseminate misinformation designed to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote,"
I'm not sure this charge will hold up to scrutiny. He's not the only guy spreading misinformation.

Why not go after Fox News? They spread more misinformation than anyone.

IANAL, but my guess it this will not hold up.
 
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crimbru

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I'm not sure this charge will hold up to scrutiny. He's not the only guy spreading misinformation.

Why not go after Fox News? They spread more misinformation than anyone.

IANAL, but my guess it this will not hold up.
Federal prosecutors charged Mackey under a “civil rights conspiracy statute,” possibly indicating that investigators are looking into a broader network of bad actors. https://us.yahoo.com/huffpost/fbi-ricky-vaughn-election-interference-022510898.html
 
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B1GTide

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I'm not sure this charge will hold up to scrutiny. He's not the only guy spreading misinformation.

Why not go after Fox News? They spread more misinformation than anyone.

IANAL, but my guess it this will not hold up.
Even if it does not, again, it will expose in court exactly what they did. And it will allow Congress to pass laws that fill the gaps which allowed this kind of behavior in the first place.

This should not be legal. If we do not find a way to stop it, we will see our democracy fall. The weak minded are too easily conned.
 
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TIDE-HSV

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I'm not sure this charge will hold up to scrutiny. He's not the only guy spreading misinformation.

Why not go after Fox News? They spread more misinformation than anyone.

IANAL, but my guess it this will not hold up.
I've been concerned about it on 1st Amendment grounds all along, particularly with this SCOTUS...
 
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crimbru

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I've been concerned about it on 1st Amendment grounds all along, particularly with this SCOTUS...
I think the charges are based on the action of duping people into casting invalid votes rather than his speech, if I understood the article I read correctly-- charged under civil rights conspiracy statute:
  • Section 241 of Title 18 is the civil rights conspiracy statute. Section 241 makes it unlawful for two or more persons to agree together to injure, threaten, or intimidate a person in any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the Unites States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same). Unlike most conspiracy statutes, Section 241 does not require that one of the conspirators commit an overt act prior to the conspiracy becoming a crime.

    The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.
TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 241


  • If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same;...

    They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
 
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TIDE-HSV

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I think the charges are based on the action of duping people into casting invalid votes rather than his speech, if I understood the article I read correctly-- charged under civil rights conspiracy statute:
  • Section 241 of Title 18 is the civil rights conspiracy statute. Section 241 makes it unlawful for two or more persons to agree together to injure, threaten, or intimidate a person in any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the Unites States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same). Unlike most conspiracy statutes, Section 241 does not require that one of the conspirators commit an overt act prior to the conspiracy becoming a crime.

    The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.
TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 241


  • If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same;...

    They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
That leaves me totally unimpressed. In the end, it's still words, IOW "speech." You can't conspire to emit protected speech. Conspiracy has to have an underlying crime, even if just planned. I predict it goes down...
 

crimbru

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That leaves me totally unimpressed. In the end, it's still words, IOW "speech." You can't conspire to emit protected speech. Conspiracy has to have an underlying crime, even if just planned. I predict it goes down...
It might be a weak case but here is the part of the article that does not deal with speech:

Federal investigators determined that more than 4,900 telephone numbers texted their votes to text codes Mackey and his group advertised. Approximately 99% of the texts came in after Mackey first tweeted a deceptive text code.

“There is no place in public discourse for lies and misinformation to defraud citizens of their right to vote,” acting United States Attorney Seth D. DuCharme said on Wednesday. “With Mackey’s arrest, we serve notice that those who would subvert the democratic process in this manner cannot rely on the cloak of Internet anonymity to evade responsibility for their crimes. They will be investigated, caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
 
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