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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

DOES FREE SPEECH COVER SITE THAT ACCUSES COMPANIES OF HIRING ILLEGAL WORKERS?

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The Dallas Morning News discusses the site www.wehirealiens.com which
allows people to anonymously post the names of companies it suspects of
hiring unlawfully present immigrants. The site's owner claims no
responsibility for the accuracy of the posts and damaged companies are
up in arms. I understand the 1st Amendment arguments, but I also know that a lot of people equate being Hispanic with being an illegal immigrant and just assume that any worker with an accent is undocumented. Even the title of the web site seems to show the site's owners don't really distinguish between legally present and illegally present workers - they're all suspect. What do you think?

By the way, my friend Dan Kowalski has a good quote in the story. 

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Comments

  1. JoeF's Avatar
    Well, wouldn't the posters risk libel suits? The site may be immune if they don't edit the content, but not the individual posters.
    Even if the posts are anonymous, the web server records the IP address and the date and time of the posts. From that, it is possible to determine through ISP records from which account the posts came (except if using an anonymizing service, but how many people have something like that installed?)
    This is pretty much the same way the RIAA finds out who was illegally sharing music files. All that's needed is a subpoena to get these records.
    It is probably obvious that I am a techie, and I know where all this information is stored... And I have an anonymizer installed for a reason, including a plugin for Firefox...
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