Crime and speech

Very thorough and interesting paper from Eugene Volokh on Crime-facilitating speech – that is, where (and how) do you draw the line between free speech and speech that should be banned because it facilitates crime. Many examples, from flashing your lights to warn approaching cars about a speed control to publishing nuclear secrets.
I particulary enjoyed the up-to-date references to computer technology and software – there aren’t many law professors (and even fewer regulators) who can discuss law and technology to this level.
An interesting aspect here might be how the revlution in information access changes the rules – since anything published can be instantly found on the Internet (thus removing obscurity as a defence), this would argue for a limitation of certain rights of speech. On the other hand, rapid publishing might be a good defence against evolving crime – such as publishing software insecurities so users can block them, which will also alert criminals and expose the users who don’t block immediately to an increased risk.
Anyway, I never thought I would see the term “script kiddies” in a serious academic paper, especially in law, so this was welcome.
(Via Ed Felten)

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