Monday, October 13, 2008

If You Have a Right to a Phone Call, Do You Have a Right to an E-mail

The big digital rights story from yesterday was the decision to bar defendants from Internet access at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Prisoners often have more stated rights to communication channels than to media access, so it is interesting to see how the Internet is being characterized in this case. In this instance, it appears that the defense made the argument that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed needed to use the Internet as a kind of library, to prepare to defend himself in his upcoming death penalty trial. Judge Ralph Kohlmann, a Marine colonel, argued that the prisoner knew he would face prison restrictions when he chose to act as his own lawyer.

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Anonymous jtc said...


I don't think that there is a "right to a phone call" per se--there is a right to contact an attorney, which is typically done by phone. But I don't believe that the Supreme Court has ever explicitly stated that there's a right to a phone call--movies notwithstanding.

1:37 PM  

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