Jihadist blog

Rosenthal, Lawrence rosentha at chapman.edu
Sat Oct 20 14:14:24 PDT 2007

If all the government did were monitor and surveill, without disclosing what it was doing, I do not think anyone would have standing to challenge the investigation under Laird v. Tatum, 408 U.S. 1 (1972).  The Sixth Circuit's holding that the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program is an example of this principle.  Even if the subjects learned of the surveillance, I doubt that the "chilling effect" of knowing that monitoring and surveillance was afoot would be sufficient to amount to a violation of the First or Fourteenth Amendments.  Visitors to blogs are not promised that no one will monitor or surveill their visits; given the technology at issue, such a promise could not be kept.  Therefore, I do not think there could be any kind of constitutional right to privacy under the First, Fourth, or Fourteenth Amendments at stake here, just as the Bank Secrecy Act was not thought to erect a constitutional right to privacy requiring a warrant before otherwise private bank records can be obtained by subpoena.  See United States v. Miller, 425 U.S. 435 (1976).
Larry Rosenthal
Chapman University School of Law


From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu on behalf of guayiya
Sent: Sat 10/20/2007 1:30 PM
To: Steven Jamar
Cc: Discussion list for con law professors
Subject: Re: Jihadist blog

The question of monitoring the blog and surveilling its visitors, with or without  warrants, raise important  con law issues, no?
Daniel Hoffman 

Steven Jamar wrote:

	I don't see any issue under U.S. law.  Now if we had ratified Article
	20 of the ICCPR, maybe.
	On 10/20/07, guayiya <guayiya at bellsouth.net> <mailto:guayiya at bellsouth.net>  wrote:

		The Charlotte Observer this week reported on a local nineteen-year old
		named Samir Khan.  Born in Saudi Arabia, he maintains a blog that
		praises Bin Laden and advocates violent jihad as the duty of all true
		Muslims.  The blog is said to be among the top one hundred in the
		country in number of hits.  His parents, with whom he lives, are
		reported to disagree completely with his views.  I do not know his
		citizenship status.
		Do list members find this a close free speech case or an easy one?  Can
		the blog be shut down based on its content?  Can records be compiled of
		those who visit the blog?  On one hand, it is not easy to calculate the
		imminence of the danger.  On the other, its gravity is obviously
		extreme.  And this differs from the case of the website that menaced
		named abortion providers, because there the identified targets could at
		least seek extra protection.
		Daniel Hoffman
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