It may be idiocy but it is also fascism — zero tolerance means the state defines all speech as subject to state definition — both a tautalogical redundancy and a clear and present overturning of the Constitutional right to free speech.
Authorities are leaning more toward zero tolerance of teenagers who fling around online threats about acts of violence or terrorism. As a result, what might have once merited a slap on the wrist may today result in criminal charges.
The case of teenager Cameron Dambrosio might serve as an object lesson to young people everywhere about minding what you say online unless you are prepared to be arrested for terrorism.
The Methuen, Mass., high school student was arrested last week after posting online videos that show him rapping an original song that police say contained “disturbing verbiage” and reportedly mentioned the White House and the Boston Marathon bombing. He is charged with communicating terrorist threats, a state felony, and faces a potential 20 years in prison. Bail is set at $1 million.
Whether the arrest proves to be a victory in America‘s fight against domestic terrorism or whether Cameron made an unfortunate artistic choice in the aftermath of the Boston bombing will become clear as the wheels of justice advance. What is apparent now, however, is that law enforcement agencies are tightening their focus on the social media behavior of US teenagers – not just because young people often fit the profile of those who are vulnerable to radicalization, but also because the public appears to be more accepting of monitoring and surveillance aimed at preventing attacks, even at the risk of government overreach.
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Published on May 3, 2013
METHUEN, MA — A high-school student has been arrested on terrorism charges because of the lyrics in his amateur rap video. 18-year-old Cameron D’Ambrosio could face up to 20 years in federal prison for “terroristic threatening” in his rap video and Facebook comments. The kid is being held on $1,000,000.00 bond.
Police Chief Joe Solomon said that the student “did not make a specific threat against the school or any particular individuals,” but that the content of his posts were alarming enough to arrest the student.