Saturday, March 17, 2012

Internet and hate crimes - continued redefinition of social life

Here is more in the continuing realignment of social life due to the Internet.

New York Times report headline:
"Jury Finds Spying in Rutgers Dorm Was a Hate Crime"

First paragraph:
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — A former Rutgers University student was convicted on Friday on all 15 charges he had faced for using a webcam to spy on his roommate having sex with another man, a verdict poised to broaden the definition of hate crimes in an era when laws have not kept up with evolving technology.

Please read the rest here:

This was a closely watched event after the story emerged in 2010-2011. It is more evidence of the changes due to the emergence of the everyday surveillance society. It shows the redefinition of actions associated with everyday invasions of privacy and bullying due to the Internet. 

It is possible to see proletariainzation as I have redefined it: the Internet made it possible to surveil and "broadcast" someone's private behaviour. It is also possible to see the push back against the Internet's unregulated space of proletarianization. Theories that explore this territory are necessary now as the claw back to pre-Internet or civil society Enlightenment standards moves ahead in the US courts, as this case suggests.

The irony here is that an Indian student - as a member of a community frequently subjected to racist prejudice - has been successfully prosecuted for prejudice against a gay student for a hate crime. 

The people bleating in protest about the Nanny State should think hard about what it means to not be able to resort to the courts or public institutions for restitution in cases such as this.