SC

“Unlawful” Censorship In SC

We were in the midst of chasing down another lead when we stumbled upon a particularly troubling section of South Carolina’s code of laws – one which gives state government wide latitude to infringe upon our individual liberties. In fact this “unlawful communication” law basically grants government the power to…

We were in the midst of chasing down another lead when we stumbled upon a particularly troubling section of South Carolina’s code of laws – one which gives state government wide latitude to infringe upon our individual liberties.

In fact this “unlawful communication” law basically grants government the power to determine which of our cell phone communications it deems appropriate (and which ones it doesn’t) – effectively turning state and local law enforcement into the morality police.

Take a look …

SECTION 16-17-430. Unlawful communication.
(A) It is unlawful for a person to:
(1) use in a telephonic communication or any other electronic means, any words or language of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or an indecent nature, or to communicate or convey by telephonic or other electronic means an obscene, vulgar, indecent, profane, suggestive, or immoral message to another person;

Note this statute makes no mention of whether the “profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious” or “indecent” messages were solicited … it just outlaws them. Oh, and prescribes the following punishment …

(B) A person who violates any provision of subsection (A) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days.

In other words, if you send your wife a text message informing her of your desire to insert your penis into her vagina later that day (or exchange photographs via text to that effect) you can be thrown in jail for up to a month.

Say huh?

Obviously South Carolinians have a right not to be bombarded by unsolicited messages (obscene or otherwise), but banning specific cellular communications between consenting adults based on the government’s definition of “obscene, vulgar, indecent, profane, suggestive or immoral” isn’t just ridiculous – it’s a violation of our First Amendment rights.

What do you think of this statute? Vote in our poll and post your thoughts in our comments section below …

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42 comments

shifty henry February 24, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Hmmmmm —– I guess that means that Sic’s articles are “unlawful communications”, but I am specifically soliciting them – so there! Anyway, Sic, I’ve got your back!

Reply
shifty henry February 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm

—– and I guess this means no more photos of Mrs. Sic (mid-thigh skirt and 6 inch heels). Sigh………

Reply
shifty henry February 24, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Hmmmmm —– I guess that means that Sic’s articles are “unlawful communications”, but I am specifically soliciting them – so there! Anyway, Sic, I’ve got your back!

Reply
shifty henry February 24, 2013 at 6:14 pm

—– and I guess this means no more photos of Mrs. Sic (mid-thigh skirt and 6 inch heels). Sigh………

Reply
BigT February 24, 2013 at 7:18 pm

It looks to me that a Perv like FITS just wanted reason to write dirty words to perpetuate his creepy fantasies…

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shifty henry February 24, 2013 at 7:56 pm

—– and here you are again, right at the head of the line…

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Thomas February 25, 2013 at 1:10 am

There he goes, trashing his wife again. Who would ever want to advertise their business on this website? I’ll give him to July when he realizes the money he spent on the website redesign means nothing when the content is bovine sewage ramblings of a misogynist nincompoop. The GA is in session, and nothing to write about?

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worthyenemy February 25, 2013 at 9:43 am

You want to talk about the site? How about the injustice or the infringement of personal liberty happening here? Can’t say I’m surprised, hypocrites like you just do what comes natural. What if this were about something like… let’s say some NRA bullshit, you’d be outraged “How dare the government tell me what to do!”. Yeah right! You and everybody like you are just plain phonies. You don’t want the “big bad government” telling you what you can and can’t say but it’s okay if it’s telling the other guy what he can and can’t say.
Typical.

Reply
BigT February 24, 2013 at 6:18 pm

It looks to me that a Perv like FITS just wanted reason to write dirty words to perpetuate his creepy fantasies…

Reply
shifty henry February 24, 2013 at 6:56 pm

—– and here you are again, right at the head of the line…

Reply
Thomas February 25, 2013 at 12:10 am

There he goes, trashing his wife again. Who would ever want to advertise their business on this website? I’ll give him to July when he realizes the money he spent on the website redesign means nothing when the content is bovine sewage ramblings of a misogynist nincompoop. The GA is in session, and nothing to write about?

Reply
worthyenemy February 25, 2013 at 8:43 am

You want to talk about the site? How about the injustice or the infringement of personal liberty happening here? Can’t say I’m surprised, hypocrites like you just do what comes natural. What if this were about something like… let’s say some NRA bullshit, you’d be outraged “How dare the government tell me what to do!”. Yeah right! You and everybody like you are just plain phonies. You don’t want the “big bad government” telling you what you can and can’t say but it’s okay if it’s telling the other guy what he can and can’t say.
Typical.

Reply
We are all in trouble now February 24, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Could the Sanford-Chapur e-mails (perhaps even ones the blackmailer didn’t leak) not only have revealed adultery and adulterous intent but could also have been technically unlawful in SC!?! Sanford mentioned something obliquely about Chapur sharing tantalizing sexual details in their communications. Although Sanford was very savvy with description (two magnificent parts) so he must have been aware and was skirting the law. Maybe there has also been some sexting due to their great geographic distance at times. Very amusing.

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We are all in trouble now February 24, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Could the Sanford-Chapur e-mails (perhaps even ones the blackmailer didn’t leak) not only have revealed adultery and adulterous intent but could also have been technically unlawful in SC!?! Sanford mentioned something obliquely about Chapur sharing tantalizing sexual details in their communications. Although Sanford was very savvy with description (two magnificent parts) so he must have been aware and was skirting the law. Maybe there has also been some sexting due to their great geographic distance at times. Very amusing.

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Mike at the Beach February 24, 2013 at 11:07 pm

C’mon now…how many of these prosecutions have you seen or even heard about? That’s because they don’t happen. It is a poorly worded statute (it should have included language exempting consensual exchanges), but if the exchange is consensual and transmitted in an otherwise legal manner it is protected by the First Amendment and, voilà! No criminal offense has occurred…

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Mike at the Beach February 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm

C’mon now…how many of these prosecutions have you seen or even heard about? That’s because they don’t happen. It is a poorly worded statute (it should have included language exempting consensual exchanges), but if the exchange is consensual and transmitted in an otherwise legal manner it is protected by the First Amendment and, voilà! No criminal offense has occurred…

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Richard Gozinya February 25, 2013 at 12:33 am

Nothing to fear…. This is an evolution of the code for “Unlawful Use of a Telephone.” State law was not keeping up (shocker!) with the change in technology. So the code was amended. The cops won’t know about the “communication” unless someone tells them, so no First Amendment violation. While I think the “gubmint” are a bunch of untrustworthy, sneaky bastards, I don’t think this one is it.

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Trevor Bauknight February 25, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Unless somebody tells them? You mean like AT&T? They’d never tell anybody…

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Richard Gozinya February 24, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Nothing to fear…. This is an evolution of the code for “Unlawful Use of a Telephone.” State law was not keeping up (shocker!) with the change in technology. So the code was amended. The cops won’t know about the “communication” unless someone tells them, so no First Amendment violation. While I think the “gubmint” are a bunch of untrustworthy, sneaky bastards, I don’t think this one is it.

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Trevor Bauknight February 25, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Unless somebody tells them? You mean like AT&T? They’d never tell anybody…

Reply
EJB February 25, 2013 at 7:59 am

The way some of the people on this web site post would be a violation of this statute and if the right politician got particularly offended they could begin the process of finding and punishing that offender.

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EJB February 25, 2013 at 6:59 am

The way some of the people on this web site post would be a violation of this statute and if the right politician got particularly offended they could begin the process of finding and punishing that offender.

Reply
shifty henry February 25, 2013 at 9:57 am

FOR THE RECORD, AND TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN—

Comments posted on Fitsnews by me are strictly and absolutely my personal opinions, and/or my intellectual creation, and were developed, initiated, and/or plagiarized by me
—- all under duress.

His Signature: Shifty Henry
Notary for South Carolina (Lexington County): Ludwig Wittgenstein

Reply
BinxBolling February 25, 2013 at 9:57 am

Why are people surprised when lawmakers who espouse freedom and liberty turn around and legislate their (selective and often arbitrary) versions of morality? I’m sure you could fill a book with similar examples from all over state law. It’s what politicians do. And we elect them, so…

Reply
shifty henry February 25, 2013 at 8:57 am

FOR THE RECORD, AND TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN—

Comments posted on Fitsnews by me are strictly and absolutely my personal opinions, and/or my intellectual creation, and were developed, initiated, and/or plagiarized by me
—- all under duress.

His Signature: Shifty Henry
Notary for South Carolina (Lexington County): Ludwig Wittgenstein

Reply
BinxBolling February 25, 2013 at 8:57 am

Why are people surprised when lawmakers who espouse freedom and liberty turn around and legislate their (selective and often arbitrary) versions of morality? I’m sure you could fill a book with similar examples from all over state law. It’s what politicians do. And we elect them, so…

Reply
Philip Branton February 25, 2013 at 11:49 am

LOL…..LOL….BRING IT ON..!!

Does anyone understand the REAL purpose of this ..?? The most powerful word in this article is “suggestive”..!!

What anyone in power wants to do is to control anyone who dares use the tactics prescribed and used by Martin Luther King to get fellow citizens to understand how to use a “suggestion” to take action at a specific time involving a specific dollar amount without the use of GUNS..!!

When the “majority” understand just how “valuable” freedom is….the very few in control counterattack with the accusations of “chaos”..!!

Case in point……when “I” (Philip Branton) dare suggest that everyone in the state of South Carolina take action on a specific day to offer their actual “vote” in this very website comment section to offer a redundant location of vote authenticity…… to prove that the vote they actually cast was in fact the way they voted….would any court dare question the validity of who the citizens were when FITSNEWS could actually verify WHO each poster is electronically..??

….when “I” (Philip C Branton) dare “suggest”……..

….yep…a penny for your “suggestive” thoughts are actually “GOLD” to ….who?

Reply
Philip Branton February 25, 2013 at 10:49 am

LOL…..LOL….BRING IT ON..!!

Does anyone understand the REAL purpose of this ..?? The most powerful word in this article is “suggestive”..!!

What anyone in power wants to do is to control anyone who dares use the tactics prescribed and used by Martin Luther King to get fellow citizens to understand how to use a “suggestion” to take action at a specific time involving a specific dollar amount without the use of GUNS..!!

When the “majority” understand just how “valuable” freedom is….the very few in control counterattack with the accusations of “chaos”..!!

Case in point……when “I” (Philip Branton) dare suggest that everyone in the state of South Carolina take action on a specific day to offer their actual “vote” in this very website comment section to offer a redundant location of vote authenticity…… to prove that the vote they actually cast was in fact the way they voted….would any court dare question the validity of who the citizens were when FITSNEWS could actually verify WHO each poster is electronically..??

….when “I” (Philip C Branton) dare “suggest”……..

….yep…a penny for your “suggestive” thoughts are actually “GOLD” to ….who?

Reply
Mike February 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Looks like a violation of the Equal Protection Clause under the 14th Amendment.

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EJB February 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I’m not a constitutional lawyer but I would agree, however, one would have to go through the whole ordeal to get that affirmed by the Supreme Court and that takes a boatload of money, an awful lot of time and plenty of suffering and persecution. Not many have the resources to fight that and would plead to a lesser charge to get out from under it, until the one person comes along that can and does fight it. But all the lives screwed up until then are still screwed up (they agreed to lesser charges and wouldn’t get automatic reversals). Kill it while it’s a pupae or deal with the bugs that come out of it.

Reply
Mike February 25, 2013 at 11:07 am

Looks like a violation of the Equal Protection Clause under the 14th Amendment.

Reply
EJB February 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I’m not a constitutional lawyer but I would agree, however, one would have to go through the whole ordeal to get that affirmed by the Supreme Court and that takes a boatload of money, an awful lot of time and plenty of suffering and persecution. Not many have the resources to fight that and would plead to a lesser charge to get out from under it, until the one person comes along that can and does fight it. But all the lives screwed up until then are still screwed up (they agreed to lesser charges and wouldn’t get automatic reversals). Kill it while it’s a pupae or deal with the bugs that come out of it.

Reply
Trevor Bauknight February 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm

It seems to me that this would apply to the Internet as well. This is the most corrupt state in America, and that’s saying something right there.

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Trevor Bauknight February 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm

It seems to me that this would apply to the Internet as well. This is the most corrupt state in America, and that’s saying something right there.

Reply
EJB February 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm

How many times have we heard about some state prosecuting some sucker with some obscure law from 1800s or some time in the past? Heck California just let a convicted (and confessed) rapist out of jail because of an 1800s law that said it couldn’t be considered rape since the woman he raped wasn’t married (twisted individual that dreamt that one up). Just because it isn’t used today doesn’t mean someone won’t suffer tomorrow. This is one of the insidious ways government creeps into our lives and the people that say “it won’t be used that way” are part of the problem. If it can be used in a negative way it will be used in a negative way, it’s only a matter of time before someone picks it up and starts swinging. A sword can be used to crack walnuts but it’s still a sword.

Reply
EJB February 25, 2013 at 12:38 pm

How many times have we heard about some state prosecuting some sucker with some obscure law from 1800s or some time in the past? Heck California just let a convicted (and confessed) rapist out of jail because of an 1800s law that said it couldn’t be considered rape since the woman he raped wasn’t married (twisted individual that dreamt that one up). Just because it isn’t used today doesn’t mean someone won’t suffer tomorrow. This is one of the insidious ways government creeps into our lives and the people that say “it won’t be used that way” are part of the problem. If it can be used in a negative way it will be used in a negative way, it’s only a matter of time before someone picks it up and starts swinging. A sword can be used to crack walnuts but it’s still a sword.

Reply
Ed February 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Limited by judicial interpretation to make it constitutional

http://www.judicial.state.sc.us/opinions/displayopinion.cfm?caseno=3192

Reply
Ed February 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Limited by judicial interpretation to make it constitutional

http://www.judicial.state.sc.us/opinions/displayopinion.cfm?caseno=3192

Reply
Silence Nogood February 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Folks, you’re late to the game. If you like that one, read 16-15-60, 16-15-70, and 16-15-80. It is illegal in South Carolina to have sex if you’re unmarried. Into anal sex? According to 16-15-120, that’s illegal too. All of these laws are unconstitutional but no politician is going to do the responsible thing and take them off the books because that’ll make them look like they’re straying from traditional conservative family values.

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Silence Nogood February 25, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Folks, you’re late to the game. If you like that one, read 16-15-60, 16-15-70, and 16-15-80. It is illegal in South Carolina to have sex if you’re unmarried. Into anal sex? According to 16-15-120, that’s illegal too. All of these laws are unconstitutional but no politician is going to do the responsible thing and take them off the books because that’ll make them look like they’re straying from traditional conservative family values.

Reply
SCCOL February 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm

That same exact statute – before it was amended – the punished was 10 years in prison. It was also classified as a felony as well before being amended. Then the legislatures backed up and changed the statute (mostly because so many women were using it against there ex husbands and ex boyfriends.)
Can you imagine someone being tossed in prison for 10 years because they sent a text message that said, “I want to lick you all over”???
Check the history of 16-17-430 … you can find many cases where men were once being sent to the SC Dept of Corrections for several years for violating it. Now a violation of the statute carries 30 days. Prosecutors will intentionally mis-apply this statute if they want to hang you. But the thing is now, the US Supreme Ct has made it easier to sue prosecutors. In other words, what I read is its not so easy to hide behind “prosecutorial immunity” anymore.
SC sure is a mess and seems to be getting worst.

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SCCOL February 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm

That same exact statute – before it was amended – the punished was 10 years in prison. It was also classified as a felony as well before being amended. Then the legislatures backed up and changed the statute (mostly because so many women were using it against there ex husbands and ex boyfriends.)
Can you imagine someone being tossed in prison for 10 years because they sent a text message that said, “I want to lick you all over”???
Check the history of 16-17-430 … you can find many cases where men were once being sent to the SC Dept of Corrections for several years for violating it. Now a violation of the statute carries 30 days. Prosecutors will intentionally mis-apply this statute if they want to hang you. But the thing is now, the US Supreme Ct has made it easier to sue prosecutors. In other words, what I read is its not so easy to hide behind “prosecutorial immunity” anymore.
SC sure is a mess and seems to be getting worst.

Reply

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