The press has always been a check on government wrongheadedness.
With the internet, self-publishing on weblogs allows cheap, fast and very narrowly-focused coverage of municipal government. Their usefulness is why there were 156 million of them by 2011.
There was some early attempts at gagging bloggers via lawsuits (SLAPPs) but that has been sorted out. The law and practical politics favours free speech, notwithstanding the impotent saber rattling and simple-minded fearmongering.
I have some experience with internet-based SLAPPs so am not easily intimidated:
- Tupperware dispute is no party, James Daw, The Toronto Star, September 18, 2004.
- Tussling with Tupperware, Andrew Mayeda, The Ottawa Citizen, September 28, 2004.
- Judge issues order in Tupperware dispute, John Saunders, The Globe and Mail, September 29, 2004.
- TupperWars- Revenge of the Courts, Owen Smigelski, http://www.trademarks.smiglaw.com/blog, September 30, 2004.
- Tupperware to ask court to shut down critic’s website, John Saunders, The Globe and Mail, September 27, 2004.
- Distributors fight final bill, firm threatens suit over ‘untruths’ from plastics, Edmonton Journal, September 28, 2004.
- In court, distributors contend Tupperware is a franchise, Christine Selvaggi Baumann, http://www.msnbc.msn.com, October 10, 2004.
- TupperWars Update, Owen Smigelski, http://www.trademarks.smiglaw.com/blog,October 2004.
— Louis Brandeis 1856 – 1941