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Journal Article

Citation

Levin B. Am. Behav. Sci. 2002; 45(6): 958-988.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2002, SAGE Publishing)

DOI

10.1177/0002764202045006004

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

American extremists have traditionally cultivated technology to enhance efficiency and promote goals. This article concentrates on how domestic right-wing and other extremists have used computer networks to these ends. Although the concept of a guerrilla insurgency through "leaderless resistance" became a factor in right-wing extremist movements before the Internet's advent, cyberspace hastened its popularity. The Internet has been useful to hatemongers and extremists because it is economical and far reaching, and online expression is significantly protected by the First Amendment. Various court decisions have established that not all communication is protected, in cyberspace or elsewhere. Although the government cannot regulate Internet expression because it offends sensibilities, it can regulate expression that constitutes crimes that fall under various unprotected areas of speech. Courts have convicted hatemongers who use the Internet to communicate threats rather than merely ideas. Private service providers and foreign governments have greater latitude to prohibit offensive and hateful expression that does not constitute a threat.

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