Ahhhh Facebook... the necessary evil settlement link. What is even more evil is that after the $3M in attorney fees what will happen is that more of the established new old First Amendment guard will get the money.
The settlement requires Facebook to pay more than $3 million in attorney fees, court costs, and administrative expenses, with the remainder of the money to be used to fund education about online privacy issues. This cy pres portion of the settlement is being administered by a new entity called the Digital Trust Fund, whose board consists of Chris Jay Hoofnagle, who heads the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology; Tim Sparapani, Facebook’s public policy director; and writer Larry Magid.....
Senior Judge Andrew Kleinfeld dissented. “The most we could say for the cy pres award is that in exchange for giving up any claims they may have, the exposed Facebook users get the satisfaction of contributing to a charity to be funded by Facebook, partially controlled by Facebook, and advised by a legal team consisting of Facebook’s counsel and their own purported counsel whom they did not hire and have never met. Facebook deprived its users of their privacy. And now they are deprived of a remedy.” The case is McCall v. Facebook, Inc., 10-16380.The Berkeley Center, like the First Amendment Center, is another one of those think tanks that is a repository of information on First Amendment and intellectual property matters.... It doesn't get down and dirty with the common folk on the streets. Similarly, some of you may remember Harvard's Berkman Center and Citizen Media Project. They are the same folks who pretend I don't exist ever since I publicly announced I was Boston Bob when I was in the process of embarrassing Harvard alum Jeffrey Denner after he got the Courts to violate former client Derrick Gillenwater's First Amendment Rights. Mr. GIllenwater brought a legal malpractice case that settled after the Court found that Denner had provided ineffective assistance of counsel. What you have in America is basically a bunch of largely (read: almost exclusively) white First Amendment elitists who run the show. I've got into it with Dan Kennedy (I will ask for inclusion to his new Boston Media Tweeters and see what happens) about this and I'm about to make a movie about it, including the fact that I have asked to be a guest speaker at his class, asked him to lunch and asked to be included in his associated clique and never got anywhere. Update: He did include me in Boston Media Tweeters and I appreciate that, thanks Dan, and no worries about your issue we discussed.
You see the truth of the matter is that people like Kennedy will always win awards like the CBS Boston's Most Valuable Blogger, while the people who are actually out here in the streets and in the Courtrooms and on the "wrong side" of the fence (regardless of educational pedigree or trial experience) will be ignored whenever possible, unless or until we make a mistake. But I don't make mistakes because I know what the hell I am doing. They have to step lightly because they are part of the machine, whereas I am smart enough to recognize that I will never be part of that machine, so I can really lay it on the line, and I take no prisoners. That's what the First Amendment is supposed to be about, remember?
I have been making my clippings along the way to prove my point. Now mind you I am not saying these folks don't do any good. Of course they do. But the larger point is that the ACLU, the First Amendment Center and all matter of purported First Amendment champions pick and play favorites and if you are not in the cadre they will ignore you to the best of their abilities. It is not strictly racial, it is also in substantial part reflective of ideology and how hard you press the establishment. For example I know they tend to ignore my brother Freeman Z (Jeffrey Manzelli) as well and he's white as the day is long, LOL. All of this is interesting because the First Amendment should not be about political bed buddies and all of that crap. The simple fact of the matter is that there are few citizens in the Country who do what I do as effectively as I do, going into courtrooms, confronting counsel on thorny issues and providing legal citation to relevant case law, all at no cost to the general public. I am the first area blogger to be registered with the SJC under Rule 1:19. I am the first area blogger who has actually won First Amendment criminal trials as an attorney. I am the first area blogger to run video of an ongoing police homicide case (the Dan Talbot Murder Trial). Hell, I help people I don't even know exercise their First Amendment Rights, remember Alderman Teeboom and me working together to change Nashua NH law and the Izzy Figueroa sweater issue in Lawrence, MA? She eventually prevailed in her issue and her mother wrote me to congratulate me for helping people to speak up about injustice. In NH that earned me a Mayoral Commendation, and in MA I told you Superintendent Wilfredo T. Laboy was bad news and I was right, he's since been FIRED in the aftermath of fraud and embezzlement charges.
I sit back as people call and email me from all over the Country thanking me for my efforts at Mortgage Movies Journal (BoA on the hook for foreclosure fraud) while all of Boston's First Amendment elite turn a cold shoulder. And that's a shame on them, not me. It's all kind of funny, because I used to worry about my lack of inclusion, then it all became clear.
cc: Freeman Z.