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Legislation In New York To Ban Anonymous Speech Online 398

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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  • 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.
  • 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."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:45AM (#40086047)

    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 U.S., at 452 .

    Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind. Persecuted groups and sects from time to time throughout history have been able to criticize oppressive practices and laws either anonymously or not at all. The obnoxious press licensing law of England, which was also enforced on the Colonies was due in part to the knowledge that exposure of the names of printers, writers and distributors would lessen the circulation of literature critical of the government. The old seditious libel cases in England show the lengths to which government had to go to find out who was responsible for books that were obnoxious [362 U.S. 60, 65] to the rulers. John Lilburne was whipped, pilloried and fined for refusing to answer questions designed to get evidence to convict him or someone else for the secret distribution of books in England. Two Puritan Ministers, John Penry and John Udal, were sentenced to death on charges that they were responsible for writing, printing or publishing books. 6 Before the Revolutionary War colonial patriots frequently had to conceal their authorship or distribution of literature that easily could have brought down on them prosecutions by English-controlled courts. Along about that time the Letters of Junius were written and the identity of their author is unknown to this day. 7 Even the Federalist Papers, written in favor of the adoption of our Constitution, were published under fictitious names. It is plain that anonymity has sometimes been assumed for the most constructive purposes."

    Someone in New York should study up on their constitutional law.

  • by Jim Conte ( 2646019 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @08:47AM (#40086077)
    I'm Jim Conte, wtf are you talking about?
  • by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @09:13AM (#40086381)

    Well, when the first amendment was written, pretty much all speech was not anonymous. The first amendment was passed in 1789. ... . The people who have caused political change have done so by being intentionally not anonymous.

    Wrong. Very wrong.

    The Federalist Papers []
    The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 articles or essays promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Seventy-seven of the essays were published serially in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet between October 1787 and August 1788. ...At the time of publication, the authorship of the articles was a closely guarded secret

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @09:39AM (#40086729) Journal

    The Federalist Papers, you moron.

    Fucking hell but it's a sad testament to the American education system that you could say something like that.

  • by zzsmirkzz ( 974536 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @10:37AM (#40087711)

    When you give power to the local states, you're not making it smaller, you're just shifting the power to someone else who is just as corrupt and gets less media attention.

    and lives close to you, where you can make your opinion heard. Not to mention their sphere of influence is smaller. The point in having people with the power to do things that affect you most, closer to you, and on a smaller scale, is obvious (or at least, it should be). Besides, if they are all morons, why don't you run against them next election and win. It's easier on a local/state scale than on the federal level (which is why you don't want everything handled at the federal level).

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @11:09AM (#40088273) Homepage Journal

    No research says marijuana is addictive. Show me a single case of anyone going to the ER for pot. It IS total bullshit, fucking lies.

    Look at the Partnership For A Drug Free Anerica's web site. They claimed for years that marijuana was carcinogous, until a cople of years ago when they were trying to demonstrate its link to cancer and found that there was no statistical difference in cancer rates between pot smokers and nonsmokers (and the pot smokers had fewer cancers than nonsmokers), and that cigarette smokers who also smoked pot had half as many cancers as those who only smoked cigs.

    Now the site says "marijuana contains carcinogens". Fucking morons, PFADFA lies about marijuana, then when the dumb kids find out that they've been lied to about pot, they don't believe them about crack and heroin, ahich ARE addictive. They're contributing to the very drug abuse they're trying to stop!

    And who is behind this "partnership"? The drug lords have apparently been bribing every damned politician in the country.

"I think trash is the most important manifestation of culture we have in my lifetime." - Johnny Legend