California Politician Seeks To Radically Curtail Free Speech To Combat “Fake News”

Chau_headshotCalifornia Assemblyman Ed Chau (Democrat, Monterey Park) appears to be finally running into opposition over one of the most chilling, anti-speech pieces of recent years.  Chau is trying to criminalize “fake news” and in the process would curtail free speech for everyone from parodies to comedies to opinion writers.  He is the latest example of how some of the greatest threats to free speech around the Western world today appears to be coming from the left of the political spectrum from speech restrictions on campuses to new criminal laws on inciteful or intimidating speech.

Chau has pulled his bill shortly before a hearing after long ignoring the outcry for civil libertarians that he was threatening core free speech value with his poorly drafted and poorly conceived measure.

Known as the California Political Cyberfraud Abatement Act, Chau heralded his efforts as “an important step forward in the fight against ‘fake news’ and deceptive campaign tactics.”  The Act would make it “unlawful for a person to knowingly and willingly make, publish or circulate on an Internet Web site, or cause to be made, published, or circulated in any writing posted on an Internet Web site, a false or deceptive statement designed to influence” an election.  The wording is shockingly broad and ill-defined.  It is would impact a great variety of opinions and parodies.  What Chau considers “deceptive” or influential on an election is anyone’s guess.  Hyperbole could then be prosecuted as well as Onion-like publications.

Surprisingly, Chau is a lawyer who appears to have missed basic constitutional law as a course at Southwestern University School of Law.

As ambiguous as his law may have been, one thing is clear: constituents should think very hard about their decision to return Chau to the state legislature after the introduction of such a dangerous and reckless piece of legislation.   Politicians have a host of areas that they can use to pander to voters, but they should at least leave our core freedoms alone.  Chau’s “important step forward” was in fact a huge step back to criminalized speech and government enforcement of speech limitations.   To proudly proclaim such an anti-speech measure raises serious questions of Chau’s commitment to basic constitutional values.

167 thoughts on “California Politician Seeks To Radically Curtail Free Speech To Combat “Fake News”

  1. A classic example of why affirmative action never worked. Disgusting Donna Brazile, a liar only still out there because she is black……..

  2. Yet not a word about Trump stating there should be a change in Libel laws to get back at the NY Times for outing his operatives who gave Nunes the wiretap info.

  3. Forget Straight Outta Compton! The Hildebeast has re emerged – looks like she’s had some major “work” done while enjoying her bucolic sojourn in the woods. CAN we please unite and get rid of the Clintons?? It would make millions of people happy.

    Biatch is straight outta the woods….

    • We’re going to just have to get used to it. There will be many failures before real success. But it does suck.

  4. Why did Roosevelt lock up so many Japanese, many who were U.S. citizens born in America, during WWII? Did he really do that or is it fake news? And where would Chang fit in back in those days? Or however ya spull it.

  5. As a leftist, this sell out of our fundamental rights angers me. What I have found is it is extraordinarily difficult to even find actual left wing voices in the public domain. The left is very busy shutting off information and thought. Of course, this is not an intrinsic problem of the left. The right wing is fully willing to do the same as BFM shows. As BB and Autumn point out, the Congress, both left and right are fully enabled to remove any remnant of our rights that haven’t yet burned up! However, at this time it does seem that the left is on a mission from god about censorship of independent thought!

    So why does it matter? Because a well controlled population allows a lot of stuff to go down, stuff that should not go down. Because it turns neighbor against neighbor. In a time when we most need to help one another and work together, we are most separated by stupidity and hatred. I just went to a meeting on helping pollinators survive. The people in this group were left wing luminary of the area. When I asked them if they would consider working with a group trying to create organic produce that ordinary people could afford, they became offended. Why? Because the group trying to get good food to people who don’t have money were mostly Trump supporters. Oh My Heavens! They would NEVER work with such low- lifes!!! How stupid do you have to be not to pull together for this worthwhile common cause. I wish I could say they shocked me, but I’ve come to expect it from the left. Instead, it just disgusted me.

    Lefties are terrified of actually talking with or working with people who don’t agree with them. They apparently believe we just started having wars, petulance, famine and mass surveillance, along with border walls and environmental collapse on Jan. 20, 2017. Up till then, it was a magic time. A time of peace, prosperity and generally a groovy life for all! WHOA!

    I have never seen such terror in being possibly exposed to different ideas! You would think it was the intellectual SWAT team breaking down the mind door, coming to ruin the purity of thought residing beyond the safety of the formerly locked door.

    We need to be able to hear lots of ideas. We need to be able to examine facts on our own. We need to work with people who aren’t exactly like us. RESIST stupidity!

    • Well said.

      They want to destroy all ideas contrary to their own, regardless if they are good and benefit the public at large. This is part of the new normal for the democrat party. They are also determined to fight for the sake of fighting the opposition and to line their pockets in doing so. But after all, this was the same party that foisted the most corrupt presidential candidate in over a hundred years who previously arranged the sale of 20% of our uranium to a country that points nuclear warheads at us. Then afterwards, her husband received half a million for a speech and contributions to her foundation. THAT IS THE DEMOCRAT PARTY OF TODAY.

      So should it come as any surprise that these particular leftists as you refer would want a few locals to pay more for healthy food just because they think different politically? After all, what’s a few Americans going hungry when it is ok for the Russians to potentially nuke a few hundred thousand or million using uranium a leader of the democrats handed them.

      • Well I for one see no reason to associate with people trying to help others! Helping others is so old school left. Now the new school….

      • At the end, Jimmy was mad as hell and not going to take it any more. Good for him.

        He’s probably one of the better voices out there for telling the truth representing his side of the political spectrum.

        • Darren, I agree with your observation. Otherwise Tim Black (TBTV), Jordan Chariton and Lee Camp are honest folks putting out, as you say “another side of the political spectrum”

    • Jill – the exclusivity of environmentalism has bothered me for a while. Anyone who is not far Left feels shut out. Cleaning up the environment, planting native plants, and attracting native pollinators should be inclusive and fun for everyone. But it’s difficult to find an event in which there is not some political bashing. I was annoyed to go to a rainwater harvesting class to find the speaker spend part of the class bashing Republicans. I didn’t pay to attend a Democratic Rally; I paid to learn about cisterns and filtration systems. And I have supported conservation organizations for years, and yet their pages are filled with tiresome political bashes. It turns off everyone who is not ultra Liberal. But being hostile to making organic produce more affordable to people who hold different political beliefs is beyond the pale.

      It’s sad. Politics shouldn’t be injected into every aspect of our lives.

      • “It’s sad. Politics shouldn’t be injected into every aspect of our lives.”
        ~+~
        It is true though I can see why this happens. With a great many of the far-left politics IS their life.

        Politics is so integrated into their daily activities and outlook that they do not see issues with dragging it into their interaction with others. It manifests in almost identical analogues as highly pious individuals do with their religion, in a sense replacing what can be provided with religion for a political lifestyle. These individuals often chastise Christians as being fundamentalists yet their own methods are essentially the same: a belief that they and only they are the righteous ones and everyone else is a heretic.

        A similar situation that you mention with regard to the organic vegetables is how ultra-liberals treat hunters, who they claim are just a bunch of gun-nuts or hicks. Hunters as a whole are great conservationists who would be very supportive of protecting clean water, pristine wilderness, and animals. But instead they are treated as enemies by environmentalists. I’ve even heard them claim hunters are “Bambi Killers.” Yeah right, what sportsman would ever shoot a fawn?

        Here’s an example of how hunters can be conservationists and how that evil NRA, which publishes American Hunter, actually does care about the environment. Read the article if you don’t believe me and pay particular attention to the cause of the caribou decline.

        https://www.americanhunter.org/articles/2017/3/30/quebec-to-close-last-caribou-hunt-for-undetermined-period/

      • Karen,

        i’m sorry about this. I think Darren’s analysis is correct. I resent being subjected to politics in places where it has no place. One jerk started touting the “resistance” in the meeting I went to. This was supposed to be a group about protecting pollinators. Instead I get to hear about Clinton!

        Because these people are rich, they have info on grant money. I stayed long enough to get the info so I could pass it along to the group which is actually trying to help other people. Their utter indifference to poor children and adults’ suffering was disgusting. Less Pharisee, more good Samaritans!

        Like you, I find this offensive. Like you, I see no reason to subject others to political beliefs when people are trying to learn something we should all legitimately share– the value of protecting the earth and it’s lifeforms. Like you and Darren I am offended by lefties relegating right wing people and hunters to the class of untouchables!

        This profound failure to join forces with others for the common good is exactly what has been and will continue to destroy our nation. (Way less Pharisee. More good Samaritans!

        Autumn,

        I really like the Jimmy Dore video because it showed how angry he and many others are with these pious, cruel jerks in the Democratic party. I hope people will leave it in droves. The oligarchy is well represented in the halls of govt.! They don’t need our money or our support. Resist stupidity!!!!

  6. The left and today’s Dems are the most intolerant, un diverse group of people and their desires to create a Maoist state is concerning. If his law passes I guess we can assume SNL, the Colbert Report and most late night TV goes away??? Fake news and false news and misrepresentations of the truth are the Left’s hallmark (see Donna Brazile, Ben Rhodes, Susan Rice and Harried Ried).

  7. Ipso dictor..sign of the times. We have to take note that there are generations of people living in the United States that have no understanding of the concept that our rights are inalienable. They are neither granted by the government nor does the government have the authority to curtail them, come what may. Go Libertarian now, it’s survival.

  8. First, of course he’s from California. Will I ever live down residing in this crazy state?

    Secondly:

    “The Act would make it “unlawful for a person to knowingly and willingly make, publish or circulate on an Internet Web site, or cause to be made, published, or circulated in any writing posted on an Internet Web site, a false or deceptive statement designed to influence” an election.” Would this apply equally to Hillary Clinton, with the “did I wipe it with a cloth?” and “I neither sent nor received classified information on my private email” and “I turned over all work related emails” infamy, all lies told in order to improve her chances at election? I am so very curious if this law would apply equally, and not just be another weaponization of government against conservatives. Because if it did, then I suppose the silver lining is that HRC will be in jail based on a law dreamed up by her own party. That would be poetic justice…but not worth the erosion of a liberty that so many died to provide for us.

    And what about all the lies about how wonderful Obamacare is, or that the economy is great (ignoring the worst GDP growth, lowest homeowernship in decades, and lowest job participation in decades), or any of the other baloney spread in order to influence the election? Or what about all the lies that Republicans hate the poor, are racist/bigots/homophobes or that Trump colluded directly with Russia?

    My God. Are the jails big enough? Maybe we should have a public works expansion to hold all the Democrats who have told some doozies.

      • You prefer innuendo and false narratives to facts. And of course I doubt you even questioned Obama’s “flexible” collusion with Vlad a few years ago? or Hillary’s idiot reset button that allowed Putin to make incursions all over East Eur and into the mid-East? DId you support Obama colluding with the IRS to repress free speech of conservative groups? His colluding with Iran to allow them to continue their nuclear expansion while giving them cash to do so? The hysteria of the Left has been comical. Time for them to add some brains to their political capital.

        • The sitting president is under investigation by the FBI and two congressional committees.Those are the facts. What I thought about Clinton or Obama is totally irrelevant to these investigations of Trump and his gang.

      • No, it’s removing federal subventions to a minor social service that county governments are perfectly free to continue if they elect to do so. It’s not the sort of thing that benefits from central co-ordination or economies of scale, so it’s not properly a federal function.

    • KarenS re: “Maybe we should have a public works expansion to hold all the Democrats who have told some doozies”

      Maybe they can build the wall! I couldn’t resist =)

  9. All in all, I would say that the legislation just passed against privacy on the Internet, including your Social Security number, in the House and Senate of the United States, will do a lot more to damage freedom of speech than any bill that no longer even exists by some two bit local Democrat in California.

      • KarenS – see my above post/exchange with Paul. Congress critters allowing telecoms to sell our browsing history!

        • Thanks, Autumn. Hmmmm, I wonder if I should stop browsing for my guilty pleasure – steamy paranormal romance novels, or if I should stay the course and see what interesting junk mail I get…

          But, hey, count me in for getting the browsing history of Congresspeople and their gophers. If our privacy is not protected, then neither is theirs.

            • Oh you know – romance novels based on supernatural characters.

              I find Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark to be well written with a great deal of humor. One of the races of female characters, the Valkyrie, are written rather like pugnacious sorority sisters who can lift a train. There are a lot of installments in the series, and as they evolve you discover that the mad soothsayer Valkeryie has been juggling billions of decision trees in order to machinate positive outcomes for good hearted beings in the Lore. But since she’s constantly sifting through all these possible outcomes, she often walks around wearing only one shoe muttering, “I’ve already seen this” regarding the conversation she’s currently having. And, unfortunately, the whole “you have to be cruel to be kind” takes on a whole new level considering what the characters have to go through to have a happy ending. And the Bentley! The “gently used” Bentley filled with sand and bullet holes!!! And I particularly like that the female characters all, at least ultimately, end up powerful and strong willed. Funny, the male characters are often hard to like in the beginning and don’t grow on you until the end, as the readers figure out if they want to root for them or not.

              I hate bad writing. Cole is one of the few romance authors who can juggle multiple plots (many of the books happen simultaneously), as well as inject a steady stream of humor.

              My absolute favorite, however, is the Patrick O’Brian Master and Commander naval warfare series (more than 20 books I believe – best modern writer of our times. I cannot believe he died whilst writing the last book. We were robbed. The fans were so inconsolable that they had to publish his notes.) And another favorite is, of course, the fabulous Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, again centered on a very strong female character. Again, the fans are a bit intense, and we call Ms Gabaldon “Herself.” If you are going to write historical fiction, do your homework. O’Brian and Gabaldon were both renowned researchers, and it showed.

              Sigh. I’ve always loved getting lost in a good book.

  10. I agree 100% with California Assemblyman Ed Chau! We desperately need a law to make it “unlawful for a person to knowingly and willingly make, publish or circulate on an Internet Web site, or cause to be made, published, or circulated in any writing posted on an Internet Web site, a false or deceptive statement designed to influence” an election.

    We must stop the fake news orchestrated by the Russians and their heinous Communist propaganda to influence our elections! We can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids, as demonstrated by the late, greats Sterling Hayden and Peter Sellers:

    • Don’t you believe in local control or has conservatism pitched that tenet out the window too?
      This guy is an assemblyman from California. What control or influence, even if his bill passed, would he have on the rest of the country.
      Might want to play these out a few steps before one jumps to over generalizations about an omnipotent yet phantom enemy you so wantingly paint of the Left.

      • There are 38 million people living in California. The depredations of the California legislature are not what is meant by ‘local control’.

  11. On this subject I predict no peeps from the frequent leftist progressives who lurk and post here. I wonder if Isaac and the rest of his progressive posse here helped author this bill.

    And exactly what could possibly be even worse than the anti-free speech laws from the “brain” of the above described CA Assemblyman with a law degree? This: in Canada to the north, and to the east in seventeen EU nations, it is a felony crime to simply disagree with the Western-prescribed version of the so-called Judaic “holocaust.” The so-called justification for violators rotting in prison today is for the “security” of the Jews. Oh yes, always for someone or something’s “security.”

    I have read, and not seen contradicted, that global warming scientists proposed the exact same “thought crime” legislation for persons not properly towing the global warming line. I desire to minimize carbon footprint more than the average person, but Turley’s story herein, “holocaust denial” laws, and global warming denial laws, are IMO likely indicators and predecessors to civil war in the US.

    • Please let me say that I consider my self a progressive and a strong supporter of the the 4th amendment. I’m not sure there really exists a profile of a progressive that can be defended from the projection you and DDS continue to embalm anyone other than your own confused political identity that might exist.
      The l;abel is mine to defend on my terms not what you think it is.
      Did you want me to start on “conservatives”?
      Please let me know.
      Isaac is a Trump hater, that’s all I know. I am not, does that make me a non progressive?
      Seriously.

    • This: in Canada to the north, and to the east in seventeen EU nations, it is a felony crime to simply disagree with the Western-prescribed version of the so-called Judaic “holocaust.” The so-called justification for violators rotting in prison today is for the “security” of the Jews. Oh yes, always for someone or something’s “security.”

      You do have people prosecuted for this, but I doubt you could find many examples of people imprisoned for it. Robert Faurisson was fired from his job and assessed a fine. (On the substantive question, they’re cranks, and commonly malicious cranks for ‘a that).

      Much more troubling are people prosecuted for taking a position the Establishment dislikes on topical questions. Geert Wilders has been prosecuted multiple times, as has Brigitte Bardot.

  12. Apparently lefties are not the only ones who think we need government intervention to figure out the truth.

    I just head of this bill: H.R. 1430, Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment (HONEST) Act of 2017.

    Just what we need an “Honest’ Act in congress – its about time too.

    I can’t wait to read the details.

    • Thank goodness. One might have been tempted to look for themselves, but that fixes it. At least we get a pretty good picture of who they are writing this stuff for.

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