Justice Breyer Confounded by Watching The Social Network

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Oh, dear. What's a "Winklevei"? Photo: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images

Most viewers left The Social Network a little perplexed. What was fiction and what wasn't? Was Aaron Sorkin trying to make Mark Zuckerberg look like a sniveling outcast? At a speech at Vanderbilt Law School yesterday, Justice Stephen Breyer revealed that he was just as bewildered, but for different reasons. "If I'm applying the First Amendment, I have to apply it to a world where there's an Internet, and there's Facebook, and there are movies like ... The Social Network, which I couldn't even understand," said the 72-year-old justice. But it's not like the rest of the gang's any better. During a case about violent video games, a state lawyer had to explain to Justice Kennedy that V-chips only work on TV programs. Then there was that time Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia discussed how a text-messaging service works. "I thought, you know, you push a button; it goes right to the other thing," Roberts said. Responded Justice Antonin Scalia: "You mean it doesn't go right to the other thing?" We can't wait until the recent privacy battles make their way to the court. Packet sniffers? Referer URLs? It's going to be a hoot!

Breyer says justices must adapt to Facebook world [WP]