NY Governor Announces Creepy Anti-Speech Task Force

[Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York from United States of America, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

Another Democrat has announced that she will monitor what you say online to ensure no one is offended by “hate speech.” New York Governor Kathy Hochul has launched a task force to track what New Yorkers say online. 

The governor of the Empire State announced that “in response to a rise in hate crimes and incidents of harassment, the State of New York will increase staffing to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. Governor Hochul has directed an additional $2.5 million to the New York State Police to deploy ten additional investigators in New York City, Albany, Buffalo and Rochester, ensuring the State Police has a presence in all JTTF investigative groups and areas. 

“I immediately deployed the New York State Police on October 7 to protect at-risk communities and we have continued our laser focus on public safety since then. Surging resources to the Joint Terrorism Task Force is a critical step to ensure New Yorkers are protected from domestic and international threats.”

Hochul told the press that New York has begun collecting data from surveillance efforts on social media and said that authorities will soon be knocking on the doors of those who commit “hate speech,” no doubt something that will defined by her and only her. 

The move comes on the heels of the NYPD using drones to surveil Labor Day parties. “If a caller states there’s a large crowd, a large party in the backyard,” the assistant police commissioner said, “we’re going to be utilizing our assets to go up, to go check on the party, to make sure if the call is founded or not.”

This isn’t the first time that Kathy Hochul has joined other New York Democrats in going after online speech protected by the First Amendment. 

Reason wrote in 2022 that “when politicians echo Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ famous observation about “falsely shouting fire in a theatre,” it typically means they are trying to justify unconstitutional speech restrictions. So it was with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s comments after the racist mass shooting that killed 10 people at a Buffalo grocery store on Saturday.

Hochul, a Democrat, was responding to questions from Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, who during Sunday’s show condemned ‘a permissive culture on the internet’ that allows ‘right-wing extremism’ and ‘white supremacy” to run rampant. Given the role that such views played in Saturday’s horrifying attack, Todd asked Hochul, shouldn’t “internet companies” be ‘held responsible for the easy spread of this propaganda?’

Todd noted with dismay that critics of that proposition tend to cite ‘freedom of speech or things like this.’ Hochul shared his impatience with such objections.

‘I’ll protect the First Amendment any day of the week,’ the governor said. ‘But you don’t protect hate speech. You don’t protect incendiary speech. You’re not allowed to scream ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. There are limitations on speech.’

The New York Governor is also not the only liberal state executive to believe that speech she does not like should be targeted by government authorities. In Michigan, with support from Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Democrats passed a law against “hate speech” that would penalize those who make someone “feel threatened” punishable by up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

At the time, Distinguished Professor Emeritus William Wagner, a former federal judge and legal counsel in the U.S. Senate, spoke to The Daily Wire about the problems with Whitmer’s restrictive bill. 

“Make no mistake about it. Those advocating for this legislation will wield these policies as a weapon capable of destroying conservative expression or viewpoints grounded in the sacred,” Wagner told The Daily Wire. “One merely needs to look at the scores of cases brought against schools, churches, businesses, and individuals around our country. Proponents use these laws to silence and financially cripple those who dare to adhere to a different viewpoint and oppose their agenda.”

The same could be said about Hochul’s latest attack on free speech coming out of Albany. 

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