Called the Internet Protection Act (A.8688/S.6779), the legislation would require a web site administrator to pull down anonymous comments from sites, including "social networks, blogs forums, message boards or any other discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages," if requested to do so by anyone.
The bill 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 or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate. All web site administrators shall have a contact number or e-mail address posted for such removal requests, clearly visible in any sections where comments are posted.
Among the bills' sponsors are New York Assemblyman Dean Murray and Sen. Thomas O'Mara, who say the proposed law is to fight cyberbullying.
O"Mara's justification for this nuttiness:
Cyberbullying has become one of the great tragedies of the Internet age. Numerous national studies tell us that upwards of 40 percent of students have experienced some form of cyberbullying at least once, and they feel helpless in the face of it. Victims of anonymous cyberbullies need protection. We're hopeful that this legislation can be helpful to the overall effort to deter and prevent anonymous criminals from hiding behind modern technology and using the Internet to bully, defame and harass their victims.No O'Mara, cyberbullying is not one of the great tragedies of the internet age. The nanny state and totalitarian government are the great tragedies of the age.
O'Mara, the America'a founding fathers would roast you via pen (anonymously, of course) for your totalitarian proposal. As tellfred makes clear (my bold):
Who wins when individuals challenge the ruling class. When they exercise their natural rights to free speech. When they ask questions and get ridiculed, mocked and threatened. When they are retaliated against by having their livelihood taken from them. Shouldn't "Common Sense" prevail as it did in Thomas Paine's vivid defense of liberty through the use of pamphleteering.
What conditions compelled so many of America's founding fathers and ordinary citizens to write thousands upon thousands of pamphlets that were sold and distributed throughout the colonies. "It was in this form - as pamphlets - that much of the most important and characteristic writing of the American Revolution appeared," writes Harvard University historian Bernard Bailyn. American patriots opposed attempts to require anonymous authors to reveal their identities. They needed the freedom to express themselves without fear of retaliation from King George III of England.
Many of the essays in the Federalist Papers were published under the name "Publius". Who shared this pen name? John Jay, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton is also known to have written several newspaper essays under the veil of anonymity using a variety of names taken from characters from ancient Rome. "Candidus" a name used by Baptist minister Benjamin Austin, also authored some of the Federalist Papers. Ever hear these names from your American history classes: "Silence Dogood," "the Busy-Body," "Obadiah Plainman," "Robin Good-fellow," "Richard Saunders," and of course, "Poor Richard" as in "Poor Richard's Almanack." These were pseudonyms of American patriot Benjamin Franklin. Our second President of the United States, John Adams, often used the pseudonym (just another name for anonymous) "Novanglus" and "Clarendan.
Here's an anonymous message to you, O"Mara:
You are a dumb bastard who has no clue about the views, principles and activities of the founding fathers. Your views are more in line with the fallen Soviet Union. I hope hoards of anonymous posters work night and day to see to it that you never win an election in America again. ANYBODY BUT O'MARA!