Recent reports of extreme forms of intimidation being used against those exercising their free speech rights online are troubling. One tactic being used against some conservative bloggers is referred to as "SWAT-ting" -- when individuals call emergency dispatchers under the guise of another person's name with false claims intended to prompt dispatch of an emergency response team to the victim's home. The result is an extremely dangerous situation for the victim, law enforcement officers and the public.
The First Amendment guarantees those of every political viewpoint the right of free expression. Efforts to stifle political speech through acts of intimidation and threats of violence, especially those involving abuse of the criminal justice system, not only have no place in political discourse in our country, but in many cases are in violation of the law.
Today, I join with 86 of my fellow House members in a letter to Attorney General Holder asking him to review recent cases of "SWAT-ting" to determine whether any federal laws have been breached, and to prosecute those crimes accordingly.