Could CNN be in legal trouble for their blackmail? According to Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, CNN may have committed a crime by threatening Reddit user HanAssholeSolo.
(1/2) Troubling. I assume CNN's lawyers are examining GA § 16-8-16 Theft by extortion. If CNN constructively obtained the gif-maker's IP... https://t.co/ChxqocuDgc— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 5, 2017
(2/2) it's a GA crime if they threatened to "Disseminate any information tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule...." https://t.co/ChxqocuDgc— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 5, 2017
CNN’s headquarters are in Atlanta, Ga., which is the reason state law may be applicable in this case.
It is unclear if CNN ran an IP trace to identify HanAssholeSolo. According to CNN’s story, “Using identifying information that "HanA**holeSolo" posted on Reddit, KFile was able to determine key biographical details, to find the man's name using a Facebook search and ultimately corroborate details he had made available on Reddit.”
While we don’t know if CNN broke any laws, what it did in this story was a clear breach of journalistic ethics. At the very least, CNN ought to be censured by every mainstream media organization and professional journalism association.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.