Thursday, May 24, 2012

New York Lawmakers Messing Big Time with Anonymous Commenters

New York state lawmakers are proposing legislation that would, for all practical purposes, ban anonymous online comments in the state of New York.

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!


  1. These 'Cyberbullies' are almost as tragic as Sandra Fluke's contraceptives bill.

  2. Butler Shaffer has a nice article on "bullies" over at LRC.

    (signed) Capn' Anonymous

  3. I was bullied as a kid. I decided to not be a victim. At first I ignored him, but that made him more aggressive, so one day as he picked on me unmercifully I got angry and punched his lights out. That shocked the hell out of him. After that, he wanted to be my friend. Heh.

    - Signed A-NON-MOUSE

  4. The Goddamned communist, Thomas O'Mara, should be ran out of the country.

  5. Al Pacino on snitchez:

  6. This blog entry pretty much sums up my thoughts about the issue too.

    It's like they are trying to be un-American on purpose. Or get more bricks thrown through the windshield of my car like the last time I used my real name on an online forum. (Never again.) Yeesh, they trashed the heck out of my car, that's what these New Yorker's want more of?

    My favorite anonymous was Dutch Farmer.
    What a cool anonymous patriotic nic, eh?.

    Also, funny thing, A-NON-MOUSE, I had to do the same thing with the same result. Small world, huh? Ready for that on a larger scale?

    - clark

  7. What does it mean to ban anonymous comments in the state of New York? If the server is there? If the owner of the site lives there? If a page can be viewed there?

  8. I just did a Google Image Search. Dude has a face like a bag of AIDS.

    I was surprised to see that he is a Republican. I shouldn't have been. They do this stuff just about every chance they get, too.

  9. So they solve bullying... with more bullying.

  10. So what are the interests being this? or is it just pure stupidity and evilness?

  11. Sadly this won't be the last attempt to censor online speech.

    They're using the old "think of the children" argument again.

    Here's an (anonymous!) poll they're using to collect data to back their initiative:
    From an NYDailynews article:
    "Faced with trying to control the scourge here in New York, Bronx state Sen. Jeff Klein and United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew are teaming up. They're encouraging teachers and counselors to have their students fill out a NY Cyberbullying Census."

  12. They always concoct some tragic story to take more rights away from the citizenry (ex. check out this swimming pool disabilities retrofit story ). A person stubs a toe(or in this case cyber bullying used as toe stub rationale), and a new law or regulation is proposed to eliminate all risk. In this instance they simply want to stifle speech. And note to those that post as anonymous, you likely are not. IP addresses are often logged and traceable(even this site most likely). It has been common practice for years to file "John Doe" lawsuits with an ISP to gain access to logs containing IP addresses then traceable to the end user (which gets into the question of proving who was actually doing the posting). With steps govt. is taking in monitoring just about everyone's online activity(e.g. the reported giant Utah data center being built), they no longer will even need the pretense of John Doe suits, they will either have the info. avail(even for anonymous posters), or get it very easily.
    --Signed, "Anonymous"(I hope)

  13. This bill anti-cyber bullying bill is in reality a form of government cyber bullying. When you combine laws like the NDAA and this bill, it is the government saying "Hey, tell us who you are and where you go ahead and speak out against out policy...go it...I dare you."

    This is why I am going to be leaving the state of NY as soon as I can find an opportunity.

  14. "Victims of anonymous cyberbullies need protection." Hey, I have some ideas on how to fix this problem. First, parents could monitor kids' online activity. Second, kids themselves could refrain from posting on these forums which are purportedly full of "cyberbullies." I have a feeling this O'Mara character may have been bullied a bit too much as a child.

  15. This makes sense, because if there's one thing that makes America mad, it's bullying... like, you know, when a large country threatens to overthrow a smaller country's government unless the smaller country agrees to permit exploitation of its natural resources at below market value, or to allow the large country to have military units stationed within its borders.


    Violet Blue links the censroship act to an amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on American audiences.

  17. Contingently AnonymousMay 25, 2012 at 5:51 PM


    Thomas O'Mara and other sponsors of the "Internet Protection Act" aren't communists, but fascists. They aim to keep the forms of private property and free enterprise but to eliminate their substance through numerous nips and tucks.

    Probably they imagine that they are defending freedom. So Thomas O'Mara, Dean Murray are deranged.

  18. Contingently AnonymousMay 25, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    By the way, Thomas F. O'Mara is a fan of the military, public libraries (at least when there are construction contracts to hand out), and using the gubmint to protect New Yorkers from the big bad meth bogeyman.

    The fascist's government page is

  19. Somebody should send him a Venn diagram of cyberbullying and anonymous posting.

  20. How in hell do f*cksticks like this ever get elected in the first place??? Come on New York, can't you do better than this dingbat??????????????????

    [Actually, my real name is Thomas F. Anonymous]