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Legislation In New York To Ban Anonymous Speech Online 398

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-funding-the-internet-anonymity-police dept.
Fluffeh writes "Republican Assemblyman Jim Conte said, '[this] turns the spotlight on cyberbullies by forcing them to reveal their identity.' Republican Senator Thomas O'Mara added, '[this will] help lend some accountability to the Internet age.' The two are sponsoring a bill that would ban any New York-based websites from allowing comments (or well, anything) to be posted unless the person posting it attaches their name to it. But the bill also goes further, saying New York-based websites, such as blogs and newspapers, must 'remove any comments posted on his or her website by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post.'"
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Legislation In New York To Ban Anonymous Speech Online

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:13AM (#40085715) Journal

    21 2. A WEB SITE ADMINISTRATOR UPON REQUEST SHALL REMOVE ANY COMMENTS
    22 POSTED ON HIS OR HER WEB SITE BY AN ANONYMOUS POSTER UNLESS SUCH ANONY-
    23 MOUS POSTER AGREES TO ATTACH HIS OR HER NAME TO THE POST AND CONFIRMS
    24 THAT HIS OR HER IP ADDRESS, LEGAL NAME, AND HOME ADDRESS ARE ACCURATE.
    25 ALL WEB SITE ADMINISTRATORS SHALL HAVE A CONTACT NUMBER OR E-MAIL
    26 ADDRESS POSTED FOR SUCH REMOVAL REQUESTS, CLEARLY VISIBLE IN ANY
    27 SECTIONS WHERE COMMENTS ARE POSTED.

    What about CDNs physically located in NY that serve news and video from very popular sites [wikipedia.org]? And how are you going to verify all this information? Like, I go through Tor, I tell you I'm Jim Conte, I give you his home address and then I verify that I'm indeed him and all this time someone on the staff of this news site is ... doing what exactly? Verifying how? Are they calling ISPs and saying "Hey, does this IP address check out for this home address? And how on Earth are they going to be able to afford to do this for anonymous comments?

    • by durrr (1316311) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:17AM (#40085743)

      They are technological illiterates like most legislators and belive that human laws work like laws of nature, if you write them down they'll start enforcing themself.

      Did i mention they're also first rate morons?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:23AM (#40085811)

        The New York State Legislature has been a complete retard rodeo for as long as I've been paying attention to it. Anyone with half a brain uses it as a jumping-off point to a better office, i.e. US Congressman, NYS comptroller, lieutenant governor, etc.

        Occasionally there will be one smart person who decides to remain there to corral them in and lead them in a solid, purposeful direction. Unfortunately this "one smart person" is often a crook, and the "solid, purposeful direction" is therefore, well, you get the idea. The last one was Joe Bruno; he's currently in prison.

        This is why I never bought the whole "we should leave more things up to the states to decide" line of argument: as bad as the US Congress is, state legislatures are generally solidly worse; they just don't get as much press. Or maybe this is just a New York thing and other states are different, I don't know.

        • by Loughla (2531696)

          This is why I never bought the whole "we should leave more things up to the states to decide" line of argument: as bad as the US Congress is, state legislatures are generally solidly worse; they just don't get as much press. Or maybe this is just a New York thing and other states are different, I don't know.

          Illinois, that is all. [msn.com](And I found that article with a twenty second search.)

        • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @09:13AM (#40086383)

          This is why I never bought the whole "we should leave more things up to the states to decide" line of argument

          As someone living in Wisconsin, I completely agree.

          I shudder to think how much worse the fuckheads in this state's government would have screwed us if they'd had more power. They did enough damage with the power they have. We've got a full-blown witch hunt going on right now [todaystmj4.com] over people who signed a recall petition against Governor Walker, our Supreme Court justices are physically assaulting each other [jsonline.com], disenfranchisement efforts are in full swing [thinkprogress.org], and women now have to prove to a doctor they're not being coerced before they're allowed to have an abortion [jsonline.com] (because, you know, there are tons of forced abortions in this country, am I right?) and allowing schools to restrict sex-ed programs to abstinence-only [huffingtonpost.com]...

          Luckily we can still recall our reps, although they did everything they could to try and take that right away from us, too. [dailykos.com]

        • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @09:23AM (#40086507) Homepage

          The New York State Legislature has been a complete retard rodeo for as long as I've been paying attention to it.

          I'm waiting for a flurry of posts all made by "Republican Assemblyman Jim Conte"

        • by Thelasko (1196535)

          This is why I never bought the whole "we should leave more things up to the states to decide" line of argument: as bad as the US Congress is, state legislatures are generally solidly worse; they just don't get as much press.

          In my opinion, the lack of press coverage is why state legislatures are so bad.

          State and local governments generally have a bigger impact on your day to day life than the federal government, yet no one pays any attention to them.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          This is why I never bought the whole "we should leave more things up to the states to decide" line of argument

          And this is exactly why I DO buy the whole "we should leave more things up to the states to decide" line of argument. State legislatures can do some pretty stupid things, true. But the damage they can do is limited and localized for the most part.

          Just wait until the US Congress hears about this proposed law and starts salivating at the prospects. I'd rather have New York websites instead of all US websites on my "do not visit" list.

          Posted anonymously just because I can (for now).

      • by SJHillman (1966756) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:26AM (#40085859)

        Having been to Albany to talk to state legislators a few times, they are mostly idiots. There's a few of them wouldn't even give us a meeting unless they knew we were bringing "a gift." That said, not all of them are idiots. I've gone to a baseball game or two with one of the reps from where I grew up... unfortunately, the smart ones usually stay away from technology issues simply because they know that they don't know enough to make any laws about it.

        Also, I didn't know laws of nature needed to be written down to be in effect. If we burn every book mentioning gravity, maybe we can get flying cars fast!

      • Not only this. They can't read the 1st amendment. I don't recall that it has anything in it about being anonymous or not ...
      • Gotta love politicking. "The art of postponing a decision until its no longer relevant." -that new WW2 movie about the black fighter pilots.

        Where I work, I see that people further down the chain are being trained to do this, and to not answer questions with any sort of real answer. Its quite depressing to see us advance in the wrong direction.
    • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:24AM (#40085821)

      they can't, that's the point. So anon comments will effectively be banned.

      since verifying the person is who they say they are is prohibitively hard it'll also do away with user generated content and we can go back to the way things were in the good old days with massive media companies telling us what to think without every tom dick and harry giving their opinion.

    • by freeweaver (2548146) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:41AM (#40086011)

      Yes it is impossible to enforce. But please don't think for a second that the people writing these "laws" are just stupid, that would be dangerous.

      The intention behind this move is simply to create a legal framework which allows those in control to censor ANY comment which is contrary to propagandised opinion.

      If you or I make a valid yet controversial comment on a website based in NY, the appropriate people will be alerted, the comment will be taken down, and a statement will be issued in its place:

      "This commenters identification could not be verified."

      • by moeinvt (851793)

        "please don't think for a second that the people writing these "laws" are just stupid, that would be dangerous."

        Precisely. The actions of government (like the scum in Washington D.C.) only appear idiotic when you assume that they are attempting to act in the best interests of the vast majority of the citizens.
        We shouldn't mistake evil for stupidity.

    • by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:45AM (#40086045)

      What about CDNs physically located in NY that serve news and video from very popular sites [wikipedia.org]? And how are you going to verify all this information? Like, I go through Tor, I tell you I'm Jim Conte, I give you his home address and then I verify that I'm indeed him and all this time someone on the staff of this news site is ... doing what exactly? Verifying how? Are they calling ISPs and saying "Hey, does this IP address check out for this home address? And how on Earth are they going to be able to afford to do this for anonymous comments?

      Show me you palm, Jim Conte. Hmmm... yes, yes... see that line there? I can tell you by the look of it: your wish will be granted, in a very near future, no Websites will be hosted and no CDN-es will have presence in NY... but when it happens, if you'll remind your voters about your success, they'll throw rotten eggs at you.

    • I would say that those people with CDNs in NY should very quickly end their contracts, migrate their services to other areas, and block the NY /20 at the borders.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      21 2. A WEB SITE ADMINISTRATOR UPON REQUEST SHALL REMOVE ANY COMMENTS
      22 POSTED ON HIS OR HER WEB SITE BY AN ANONYMOUS POSTER UNLESS SUCH ANONY-
      23 MOUS POSTER AGREES TO ATTACH HIS OR HER NAME TO THE POST AND CONFIRMS
      24 THAT HIS OR HER IP ADDRESS, LEGAL NAME, AND HOME ADDRESS ARE ACCURATE.
      25 ALL WEB SITE ADMINISTRATORS SHALL HAVE A CONTACT NUMBER OR E-MAIL
      26 ADDRESS POSTED FOR SUCH REMOVAL REQUESTS, CLEARLY VISIBLE IN ANY
      27 SECTIONS WHERE COMMENTS ARE POSTED.

      What about CDNs physically located in NY that serve news and video from very popular sites [wikipedia.org]? And how are you going to verify all this information? Like, I go through Tor, I tell you I'm Jim Conte, I give you his home address and then I verify that I'm indeed him and all this time someone on the staff of this news site is ... doing what exactly? Verifying how? Are they calling ISPs and saying "Hey, does this IP address check out for this home address? And how on Earth are they going to be able to afford to do this for anonymous comments?

      Adding to that, how does this measure stop anonymous posting or increases accountability?

      My details:

      John Smith
      (917) 345-3445
      59 W 46th St
      New York, NY 10036

      Prove it isn't me.

  • As usual (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Squiddie (1942230) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:15AM (#40085733)
    Lawmakers don't have a clue what they are doing and whenever they do something it's only for the ruination of things we enjoy.
  • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:17AM (#40085749)

    Guess I won't be posting on any more websites hosted in New York.

    What a great way to drive business away from your state. How long before they're all relocated in Jersey? Days?

  • Stupid lawmakers don't understand the difference between anonymous individuals online, and an organized bunch of hackers.

  • by KillaBeave (1037250) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:20AM (#40085775)
    ... that sissies are not allowed on the internet. Is trolling/cyber-bullying bad, sure it is and I'm not condoning it. It's just sad that people are so thin-skinned that some goobers in politics feel the need to attempt to outlaw trollish comments!

    Of course this probably has nothing to do with cyber-bulling or trolling and likely has everything to do with stopping leaks, dissent and general repression of free speech. After all, there is no speech more free than anonymous speech. Are they banning anon tips to the police and anon letters to the editor as well?
    • You might feel very different if your child was being harassed online.

      However I find this law to be useless, and I agree that its just a law designed to shit all over free speech, under the guise "For the children"

      I'm all for anti bullying laws, as long as they are laws that protect children in REALITY, in their schools from endless harassment and violence. Free speech, and anonymous speech should never be illegal. Our government has no right to make such a law as this... and it will not pass.

      However I woul

      • by SJHillman (1966756) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:30AM (#40085897)

        This is why children generally shouldn't be online unsupervised any more than they should be wandering the town unsupervised. By the time they're old enough to do that, they're usually old enough to cope with a little cyber bullying.

        • by CastrTroy (595695) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @09:02AM (#40086227) Homepage
          We always wandered the town unsupervised. Sure we got into a little bit of trouble, but it was a lot better than the current state, where children never go outside, and we have massive problems with obesity. I think it's kind of sad that the baseball fields in my area never get used except for little league games. We used to always play baseball, hockey, football, whatever. Go knock on the doors the doors of every kind in the neighborhood until you had enough people to play, and start a game. Online isn't any different. You just have to teach your kids how to deal with people causing problems. On the internet, it's so easy. If you don't like what someone else is saying, just go somewhere else.
      • There should be no anti-bullying laws, anti-bullying programs should be something schools should independently come up with. Anytime something is codified into policy or law it ends up being broken by default in 99%+ of the cases.
        • by hackula (2596247)
          Or just enforce the existing laws on the books. If you pull a Mitt Romney and beat up the gay kid, then you get prosecuted for assault. By calling this behavior "bullying", even with these special laws, we are ignoring the fact that many of these behaviors are already serious crimes that need to be stomped out. Seriously, we let kids get away with the most insane behavior that would never be tolerated in any other environment. If you punched some random guy on the street, kicked him, and spit on him, you wo
      • by KillaBeave (1037250) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:48AM (#40086087)
        Very true, but I hope that I can instill in my daughter enough self-confidence and common sense that she'll be able to brush this type of stuff off as the worthless ramblings/rants of people who are lashing out because they are subconsciously aware that they are "peaking" in HS ... and life is all downhill for them.

        Everyone had to deal with this type of stuff growing up in one way or another. How one dealt with it says quite a lot about their character or lack there of. Dealing with assholes is a fact of life that will never go away and a life skill that we all sadly must learn. Thankfully my daughter is only 3 and I've got a while before I need to deal with this type stuff.

        I very much agree that there is currently a large failure in schools to mitigate these situations in meatspace. I really think they're harping about the "cyber" part of it because there's a paper trail for them to fall back on.
  • Federalist Papers (Score:5, Informative)

    by mykos (1627575) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:20AM (#40085777)
    Good thing we didn't have laws like this when the Federalist Papers were written.
    • by SirGarlon (845873)

      We don't have laws like this now. It's only a proposal; it will fail, for a variety of reasons.

      As much as I hate the idea of this law, it is probably a positive thing to raise the subject for public discussion. That way we can remind ourselves and our legislators that free speech still matters, and we still care.

    • I wish I had mod points. I think *THIS* is the primary problem here.

      The Declaration of Independence is also a good example of the importance of free speech rights even in the era or the Internet. On July 4, 1776 the original declaration of Independence was signed by only two people, Charles Thomson as Secretary and John Hancock as President of the Continental Congress.

       

  • Three things:

    * So if the comments are really anonymous, whom do they prosecute?
    * If the comments and/or the websites originate from outside the jurisdiction...?
    * The First Amendment.

    • It sounds like they'll be holding the owners of the sites (whom are generally not anonymous) responsible if they don't delete all anonymous posts. This affects sites hosted in NY - they really don't care where the poster is located.

    • They could only go after the websites that had a business presence in New York State. So, all websites that have a comments section would leave the state. Sites like the New York Times, would have to subcontract out their comments section to the Caymen Islands.
  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:21AM (#40085793)

    If there's one thing New York is good at, it's driving away businesses. I've watched cities around the state raise commercial taxes claiming it will bring in businesses, vote down major infrastructure improvements because it would "hurt businesses" and try to turn already clogged five lane avenues into two lane streets to "force people to slow down so they will see all of the businesses along that road".

    • by alphatel (1450715) *

      ...and turn already clogged five lane avenues into two lane streets to "force people to slow down so they will see all of the businesses along that road".

      All in the name of "bike lanes" utilized by less than .0001% of the population and only when it's 80+ degrees and not raining. Yes we need to cater to those very important people by removing two of five lanes. Oh wait, we also need express bus lanes even though the buses don't use them. Bus time improved by 1% per bus per day - saving the city billions! There goes another lane. No standing on the only available side but there's always a truck there unloading so now there's 1 lane left (the fire lane). It's

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:21AM (#40085799)

    you fuckers will start treating AC posts with some respect!

  • by J'raxis (248192) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:22AM (#40085801) Homepage

    This will probably cost New York a pretty penny if it passes and they get sued over it.

    Fortunately, crap like this wouldn't even make it out of the gate in New Hampshire, where I live, not after our legislature created a "constitutional review" standing committee a couple years ago. Any bill that a legislator believes to be possibly unconstitutional gets referred to that committee after coming out of its first committee, and they get to attach their recommendation when the bill gets voted on by the full legislature.

    • The problem isn't necessarily with the state governments, in most cases its easy enough to move out of their jurisdiction. The problem is with the federal government which is now crafting insane laws to make it nearly impossible to leave (through passport restrictions and now a proposal that would bar individuals who the government believes to have expatriated for "tax purposes" from returning to the US, force them to pay even more taxes despite the fact they are no longer US citizens AND is retroactive!).
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      The New Hampshire House is probably the most functional state legislature in the country, for 2 major reasons:
      1. Each representative only represents about 4,000 people, so their constituents usually either know them or know somebody who knows them. (When I was growing up in NH, I knew about a half-dozen)
      2. They get paid $100 per year. That means everybody in the House is really your everyday citizen, and not a professional politician. For instance, a former Speaker runs a day care center, another rep I knew

  • The law does not, apparently, require that takedown demands have a name attached. Clearly, the cyberbullies will give up in abject defeat in no time...
  • by stevegee58 (1179505) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:23AM (#40085813) Journal
    Just goes to show how out of touch our legislators have become to believe it's even technically possible, let alone constitutional.
    They're so disconnected from reality (i.e. the normal lives of their constituents) that it's like being ruled by space aliens.
    • that it's like being ruled by space aliens.

      Shhhhhhhh! Don't let the aliens know that you're on to them !!!

  • by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:24AM (#40085819)
    Anonymity is necessary for Joe Public to exercise his right to free speech. The rich and powerful can't crush him like a bug if they don't know who he is.
    • Anonymity is necessary for Joe Public to exercise his right to free speech. The rich and powerful can't crush him like a bug if they don't know who he is.

      This is EXACTLY what I was thinking. What they really want is SLAPP [wikipedia.org] suit fodder. If you criticize them (the politicians and the interests lining their pockets), they want to be able to make you to sit down and shut the fuck up, and also make it painful enough that you won't DARE do it again.

  • So if you are referred to as "John Doe" (if your IP address was snooped somewhere, for instance), you cannot reply as John Doe?
  • "unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post"

    The definition of an anonymous poster :) Nice wording there, senator.

    Eradication of whistle blowers, opinions and free speech in general? Nice move.
  • by IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:25AM (#40085841) Homepage Journal
    We all agree on that, but I have to wonder where this is coming from? I don't mean from the (R) fellow, but where the money trail leads to. Maybe because I'm tired, but I can't think of who stands to monitarily benefit from this. Google? FBI? What's the point...?
    • The politicians themselves.... it's a "let's protect the children" issue, so the voters keep them in office. Re-elections are one of the few things politicians do without a direct money trail being involved... because staying in power is what keeps all of the rest of the money coming in.

    • The trail is obvious, he's working for the government and governments have always wanted to exercise even more and more power. It doesn't matter that the legislation is stupid, those in charge want more and more power. Just look at the lives of those who ruled Rome with absolute power. Most of the things they did served no practical purpose other than to please themselves by exercising power over the common man. 2000 or so years later, we essentially have the same structure and the same behavior.
    • (R)s in the northeast are (D) wanna-bes

    • by T.E.D. (34228)
      Hanlon's Razor applies here; there isn't likely some grand conspiracy. Most likely, "the (R) fellow" didn't like something somebody said about him in an anon comment. Probably something comparing his IQ to that of a fungus would be my guess.
  • It'll never get anywhere. Yes, it's awful that someone even thought of it, but the whole thing is so ludicrous and impractical (never mind the 1st amendment issue) that it'll never go much further than this stage.

    Sometimes it pays to remember that politicians are often monumentally stupid.

    • It might not get anywhere, but pieces of legislation like this give us a glimpse of what certain legislators would pass if they got the chance. Reason enough to vote them out so they never get the chance.

  • Consider... (Score:3, Funny)

    by martinux (1742570) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:28AM (#40085873)

    Listen, I'm not saying that anyone who posts anonymously is definitely racist, I'm just saying that we can't currently prove that they aren't.

    - MickB1942.

  • by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:29AM (#40085889)
    In the US, you can call yourself anything you want to, as long as you aren't trying to defraud someone. While they *might* be able to enforce this for NY residents, people who live in other states or countries would be free to do as they pleased.

    I'm Jim Conte, you're Jim Conte, we're all JC. If this bill passes, I propose that slashdot change "Anonymous Coward" to "Jim Conte" (Oh, I see, he just wants to go down in history with Ted "Series of Tubes" Stevens, and Santorum)
  • by Baldrson (78598) * on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:30AM (#40085891) Homepage Journal
    From a 1982 essay [archive.org]:

    The first obstacle is, of course, legal. As the knights of U.S. feudalism, corporate lawyers have a penchant for finding ways of stomping out innovation and diversity in any way possible. In the case of videotex, the attempt is to keep feudal control of information by making videotex system ownership imply liability for information transmitted over it. For example, if a libelous communication takes place, corporate lawyers for the plaintiff will bring suit against the carrier rather than the individual responsible for the communication. The rationalizations for this clearly unreasonable and contrived position are quite numerous. Without a common carrier status, the carrier will be treading on virgin ground legally and thus be unprotected by precedent. Indeed, the stakes are high enough that the competitor could easily afford to fabricate an event ideal for the purposes of such a suit. This means the first legal precedent could be in favor of holding the carrier responsible for the communications transmitted over its network, thus forcing (or giving an excuse for) the carrier to inspect, edit and censor all communications except, perhaps, simple person-to-person or "electronic mail". This, in turn, would put editorial control right back in the hands of the feudalists. Potential carriers' own lawyers are already hard at work worrying everyone about such a suit. They would like to win the battle against diversity before it begins. This is unlikely because videotex is still driven by technology and therefore by pioneers.

    The question then becomes: How do we best protect against such "legal" tactics? The answer seems to be an early emphasis on secure identification of the source of communications so that there can be no question as to the individual responsible. This would preempt an attempt to hold the carrier liable. Anonymous communications, like Delphi conferencing, could even be supported as long as some individual would be willing to attach his/her name to the communication before distributing it. This would be similar, legally, to a "letters to the editor" column where a writer remains anonymous. Another measure could be to require that only individuals of legal age be allowed to author publishable communications. Yet another measure could be to require anyone who wishes to write and publish information on the network to put in writing, in an agreement separate from the standard customer agreement, that they are liable for any and all communications originating under their name on the network. This would preempt the "stolen password" excuse for holding the carrier liable.

    One must bear in mind that this was back when private companies still had a shot at establishing the network effect now realized by the Internet.

  • I hope this doesn't signal a new "I'll get my bill auto-approved by saying it addresses _____" era. While I support almost any thing to stop bullying, I worry that this is just a "well we tried bill".
  • Irony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AlKaMo (106874) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:31AM (#40085911)

    This law would likely do exactly the opposite of what it's theoretically intended to do. When someone posts something that you don't like, you'll have all the information you need to stalk and harass the poster. Forget online bullying, this would enable physical bullying.

  • This won't take long (Score:5, Informative)

    by gruntled (107194) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:34AM (#40085945)

    In McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, a 1995 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court found that "Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society."

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Also see Talley v California, a 1960 US Supreme Court decision declaring that a local ordinance banning the posting of anonymous handbills was unconstitutional. The Court said:

      "There can be no doubt that such an identification requirement would tend to restrict freedom to distribute information and thereby freedom of expression. "Liberty of circulating is as essential to that freedom as liberty of publishing; indeed, without the circulation, the publication would be of little value." Lovell v. Griffin, 303

  • by jaminJay (1198469) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:46AM (#40086053) Homepage
    • Person A sees person B's real name and address-identifiable post that they find disagreeable.
    • Person A bullies person B in meatspace.
    • Person A and B have no other contact with each other whatsoever and person A has never posted on site-in-question.

    How does this alleviate bullying, again?

    I assume that the 'deanonymized' data would not be shown for most people, but it must be for the site owner (apparently), so even if it's not hacked and exposed, the site owner is now a target for social engineering or direct manipulation or even bullying

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:47AM (#40086067)

    ...let Anonymous kindly step in and do its thing with Mr. Conte/O'Mara...that would be a nice ironic touch here.

    I love when politicians bring forth these kinds of "true identity" issues, for they are usually the LAST ones who wish to have certain activities tied to them. Perhaps feeding them a dose of their own medicine would shift opinion.

  • Assuming one wanted to be able to identify people, the correct way to do this would be for the government to set up an openid host and give an account to every citizen, much like an id card. Third-party websites could then ask users to log in through their government account, the government openid host guaranteeing the identity of the person to the third party.

  • Shit like this, which the Supreme Court has already taken a dim view on constitutionally needs a new amendment to 42USC1983:

    The enactment of any policy or law by a state or municipality which alters or abolishes any right, privilege or immunity acknowledged by judicial precedent shall constitute a deprivation of liberty under color of authority for the purpose of this section. Enforcement of the same shall be considered a deprivation of liberty under color of authority.

  • It would be nice for the supreme court to formally endorse internet anonymity.
  • by MachineShedFred (621896) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:54AM (#40086151) Journal

    ... colocation facilities in New Jersey and Connecticut see a rise in business.

    Do these idiots know that electrons don't care about state boundaries?

  • With this we could not have Valentine and Peter Wiggan posting on the nets as Demosthenes and Locke, becoming powerful demagogues and setting each other up as straw men for their arguments.
  • I live in New York. I also blog under a pseudonym and don't reveal my real name on there. Would my blog postings run afoul of this law? What about my commenters that use pseudonyms? If "BloggerGuy" leaves a comment on one of my posts, has this broken the law? Or is it only if he leaves the comment as "Anonymous"?

    Given that I know a bunch of bloggers in New York, I think I'll rally the troops (so to speak) and work against this law. I'm a big fan of preventing bullying, but not at the expense of everyo

  • by morgauxo (974071) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @09:18AM (#40086439)
    My first thought, like many of the comments here was that this would be completely unenforceable. Then I realized, it doesn't have to be enforced across the board. Sure, there is no way a law can completely eliminate anonymous speech on the internet, especially a law that is only applied to one state. What this does do however is give anyone who is against free, anonymous speech a new tool for removing posts they don't like from the internet. If the site is hosted in NewYork this is a 'get it off the net free' card for anybody who wants to remove something.
  • that's backwards (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PJ6 (1151747) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @10:11AM (#40087245)

    '[this will] help lend some accountability to the Internet age.'

    Why don't we focus on transparency and accountability in our leadership first?

    How could the problems caused by any individual even begin to compare to the damage government failures cause?

  • by rickb928 (945187) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @10:20AM (#40087427) Homepage Journal

    apply this to all media, including print and radio.

    What? You can't really verify someone's identity when they call in to a radio show? And those letters to-the-editor are similarly also difficult to ascertain the true authorship of?

    Oh my, we've NEVER had any way to do this? The horror!

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