A Dangerous, Dangerous, Dangerous Precedent
From the United States Justice Foundation:
Two New York legislators have taken a page from the playbook of aspiring internet regulator Joe Lieberman by sponsoring a bill that would make the posting of anonymous comments illegal. The bill written by Republican State Senators Dean Murray and Thomas O’Mara states:
“A web site administrator upon request shall remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his…name to the post and confirms that his…IP address, legal name and home address are accurate. All web site administrators shall have a contact number or e-mail address for such removal requests clearly visible in any sections where comments are posted.”
The stated purpose of the Act is “…to amend the civil rights law, in relation to protecting a person’s right to know who is behind an anonymous internet posting.” Apparently, it has now become a civil right to know what your neighbor thinks of Barack Obama, the United Nations, or Jerry’s House of Pancakes.
According to Murray and O’Mara, passage of the Act would “…cut down on cyberbullying, protect small businesses such as restaurants from unfounded, negative reviews and, naturally, protect politicians from baseless, derogatory attacks during campaign time.” As one wag added, “I’m sure that last concern is only an afterthought.”
The contempt displayed by the nation’s politicos for the constitutionally protected rights of the American public seems to increase with each passing year. Some believe pressure brought to bear by Tea Parties or the occasional primary upset of a longtime incumbent will sort out political hacks like Murray and O’Mara. But so arrogant are these self-important law makers that even decisions of the Supreme Court are blissfully ignored.
End of Article
It’s my belief that this is unconstitutional, and a terrible infringement on free speech. Where in the Constitution does it say that if I shout, or publish, or whisper “You’re wrong” do I have to say, “You’re wrong, and my name is John Doe and my address is 123 Pine Street, Everytown.”
When did it become a law to know what your neighbor believes, and to make him sign in blood if he makes a statement? I cannot begin to tell you how every anti-Constitutional, anti-First Amendment I think this is. The Internet has become the bastion of free speech in this country of ours, a country whose very foundation is free speech, and it’s being attacked from every point on the compass. Now big brother wants to tell you how much smarter he is than you, how much better he can determine what you can believe in than you can. You are unable to determine what’s true and what’s not, and if something is unattributed it must have been posted with malice and is not to be considered…in fact, you’re not smart enough to consider if it’s relevant or true or false. Censorship is the beginning of total Communism/Socialism…. DON’T LET IT HAPPEN.
Here is the actual proposed New York State Law: