Techdirt published a story Wednesday about an Arab man being pulled over by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBC) in Indiana, seizing $240,000 and then refusing to give it back. A reader calling himself “Digger” posted a comment that caught the attention of CBC because it vaguely suggested the death of their agents.
As everyone knows comments on the internet are often over the top and full of hyperbole, as Techdirt pointed out in an article today where they also wrote about being called by the CBC over the identity of Digger. They were told that they will be served a subpoena demanding the information.
This raises a lot of questions about governments relationship with the media, the right of a news publication to protect the anonymity of its commenters and what constitutes a real threat. To me, it was just the commenter blowing off steam and was not a real threat. After all, he didn’t say that he was going to shoot an agent, he inferred that the man who is suing the government probably knows people who would. I think it was a stupid and foolish comment considering he’s talking about government agents, and because of that it is serious.
However, the CBC in my opinion should be able to see that his comment wasn’t an actual threat and therefore isn’t worth their time. My two cents.