Thursday, August 03, 2006
Sedition in its modern meaning first appeared in the Elizabethan Era (c. 1590) as the "notion of inciting by words or writings disaffection towards the state or constitued authority" [1,89]. Ibid, p90: "Sedition complements treason and martial law: while treason controls primarily the privileged, ecclesiastical opponents, priests, and Jesuits, as well as certain commoners; and martial law frightens commoners, sedition frightens intellectuals."
An infamous Federal statute in U.S. history is the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Australia's sedition laws were amended in anti-terrorism legislation passed on 06 December 2005, updating definitions and increasing penalties.
Laura Berg, a nurse at a U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs hospital in New Mexico was investigated in September 2005 for sedition after writing a letter to the editor of a local newspaper, criticizing the government. Ms. Berg is now being represented by the ACLU.