Judge Nap Says Gov't Project to Monitor Social Media Is 'Wrong, Unconstitutional'
In 2005, Stephen Colbert famously invented the word “truthiness.”
Now, a government-funded project is borrowing from “The Colbert Report” host and calling their new program to monitor social media activity Truthy.
Truthy – which is being conducted by researchers from the University of Indiana and funded by the National Science Foundation – is a system to analyze and visualize how information spreads on Twitter.
“We also plan to use Truthy to detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation and other social pollution,” the researchers explain on the official site.
A private university running a study like this is one thing, Judge Andrew Napolitano said on Fox and Friends this morning, but when the government collects and monitors speech that triggers many bells and whistles in the Constitution.
For example, the government must have reasonable suspicion to investigate anyone, Judge Nap explained.
“It has to have a reason it can articulate as to why it’s interested in a certain person. No such reason here.”
Also, the First Amendment is in place to protect citizens from being afraid of speaking openly and truthfully, for fear of the government watching and monitoring.
“When people are under observation, they change on account of their being observed," Judge Nap said. "The whole purpose of the First Amendment is to encourage open, wide and robust debate about the government. This project that the government is paying for will have the opposite effect. It’s wrong, it’s unconstitutional."
"The first federal judge before whom this is challenged will stop it from going further.”
Watch the clip above.