The Texting Suicide Case Is About Crime, Not Tech

"And yet, according to Danielle Citron, author of the book Hate Crimes in Cyberspace, there are 21 crimes that have to do explicitly with speech—things like threats, extortion, aiding and abetting, and conspiracy. None of these types of speech are protected by the First Amendment. “If the First Amendment’s a house, where inside speech is protected, threats can’t walk in the door. Neither can extortion. Neither can solicitation of a crime,” Citron says. In other words, not all speech is covered by the First Amendment's proverbial roof."

"“This story is news because it involves technology, but people have been using words to commit crimes as long as there have been crimes,” says Neil Richards, a professor at Washington University Law School, who specializes in speech and constitutional law. “People commit crimes with words, and now people use tech to communicate words, so now people are using tech to commit crimes with words.”"