Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Criminalizing Your Thoughts and Associations

Have you heard of the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007? I hadn't until reading this post by Jeralyn at Talk Left. Here is an earlier post by Jeralyn, which she wrote soon after the bill was approved by the House:

I try to stay on top of what Congress is doing but this one escaped me. And, since I'm not seeing much about it in the news or on blogs, I'm not the only one.

On the same day last week that the House passed the Ammonium Nitrate bill, it also passed HR 1955, titled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. The vote on this bill was 404 to 6. Meaning even progressive Democrats voted for it.

This is a thought-crimes bill, aimed at preventing domestic terrorism by judging the thoughts, including those expressed on the Internet, of American citizens.

.... take a look at the definitions of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism as defined in Section 899A of the bill. The definition of violent radicalization uses vague language to define this term of promoting any belief system that the government considers to be an extremist agenda. Since the bill doesn't specifically define what an extremist belief system is, it is entirely up to the interpretation of the government.

Via Libby, who has more (not yet criminalized) thoughts on this legislation.

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