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Legislation In New York To Ban Anonymous Speech Online

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the enjoy-funding-the-internet-anonymity-police dept.

Privacy 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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Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085715)

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?

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (5, Insightful)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (1)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086081)

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.)

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (3, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#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!

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085893)

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 ...

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (-1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086147)

Well, when the first amendment was written, pretty much all speech was not anonymous. The first amendment was passed in 1789. The radio wasn't even invented until almost a century later. The only kind of speech was stand up in front of a group of people and start talking. That was by definition not anonymous. You could wear a mask, but even then it would have been pretty easy to find out who you were. You could print material and could hide that way, but even then, there wasn't a lot of printing presses, and they could probably easily find out who you were. You could hand write everything, but making copies would be very troublesome and time consuming. Sure it would be nice if we could all just post anonymous articles like Demosthenes and cause a political upheaval but that's not really the way things work. The people who have caused political change have done so by being intentionally not anonymous. They have gone out in public, risked their lives to stand up for what they believe in. The civil rights movement probably never would have happened if Martin Luther King had been some anonymous guy typing comments or blog posts onto the internet. Had it not been for people going out and demonstrating in public, some getting killed, change would not have happened. It's a shame it has to be that way, but having a bunch of anonymous people typing comments on internet forums isn't going to change the world.

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40086199)

Hello? Thomas Paine published Common Sense anonymously. James Madison published The Federalist Papers anonymously, and Ben Franklin published a whole host of material anonymously. Anonymous political discourse was absolutely instrumental in creating the United States.

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086249)

So people in the 1700s didn't write anonymous letters ? These letters were not frequently circulated, published by newspapers and such ?

Strange how you seem to know something that every other historian on earth doesn't. I'll look forward to reading your published research paper which should earn you quite a few honorary PHDs at the very least !

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (4, Insightful)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086287)

>You could hand write everything, but making copies would be very troublesome and time consuming.

Oh and this line... guess those historians also got wrong the date of the invention of the printing press - since this event which changed the world forever is supposed to have happened a long time before the U.S. constitution got it's first amendment.
Wait... didn't Benjamin Franklin use to run a newspaper ? With a printing press ?

If anything we have LESS anonymity now than we had back then. Nobody 400 years ago could actually prove beyond a reasonable doubt which printing press produced a copy, or where it was originally typeset.

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40085949)

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?

No, they're Republicans in NY. That makes them SECOND-rate morons.

Democrats are the first-rate morons in NY.

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086083)

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.

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (4, Interesting)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40085825)

This is just nuts.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

What's next? Ban car horns? Lop off everyone's middle finger? Crap my pants and call me Shirley. Democrats and Republicans are getting out of hand. People need to step up and vote these clown-shoes out of office.

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (5, Insightful)

freeweaver (2548146) | more than 2 years ago | (#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."

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (1)

moeinvt (851793) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086187)

"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.

We agree with the NY Legislature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40086027)

We think the NY Legislature is right and we should attach our names to our posts.

-Yours,

Dick Hertz, Mike Hunt and Harry P. Niss.

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (3, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086075)

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:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40086079)

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.

First Post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40085729)

And violating the law if Slashdot is based in NY

Re:First Post (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085791)

Which isn't a big deal... It is too expensive to host a company in New York. You host it in an other state.

As usual (2, Insightful)

Squiddie (1942230) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Ben Franklin was a Terrorist (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40085745)

He posted as Silence Dogood, Polly Baker and Richard Saunders. Clearly he is a threat to American and should be killed if he weren't dead already.

-- MyLongNickName

Re:Ben Franklin was a Terrorist (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40086043)

Killed? No one said that. You make what could have been a perfectly legitimate arugment against this kind of thing look foolish by your use of hyperbole.

Fucking retarded... (3, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:Fucking retarded... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40085779)

Who are you? Reveal yourself bully!

Re:Fucking retarded... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40086059)

hes just some angry turd.

Hi, I'm Anonymous Coward... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40085761)

...and I say: Fuck you, Jim Conte and Thomas O'Mara.

Re:Hi, I'm Anonymous Coward... (5, Funny)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085915)

Something tells me "Jim Conte" and "Thomas O'Mara" will be doing a lot of comment posting if this goes through...

Re:Hi, I'm Anonymous Coward... (1)

Jim Conte (2646019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086037)

LIES!

How exactly do they plan to implement that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40085767)

So they intend to ask everyone who wants to post to present their passport/driver's license to an accredited agent so that they can then create their online profile?

Anonymous Coward Anonymous Hacker (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085771)

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

Re:Anonymous Coward Anonymous Hacker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40086013)

Law makers prefer it if there was no public exposure of their corruption so it's all win win to them.

I propose an alternative law ... (5, Insightful)

KillaBeave (1037250) | more than 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:I propose an alternative law ... (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085843)

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 would like to see something done to protect children from excessive, constant harassment in schools at a young age. School should be a place to learn, not a place of mental torture and physical abuse.

Re:I propose an alternative law ... (4, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:I propose an alternative law ... (4, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086227)

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.

Re:I propose an alternative law ... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085917)

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.

Re:I propose an alternative law ... (2)

hackula (2596247) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086285)

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 would be in jail. If a middle schooler does the same thing, they are asked to shake the kids hand and apologize. No wonder we have such a big bullying problem; we tolerate abhorrent behavior and are training little crazy ass monsters.

Re:I propose an alternative law ... (3, Insightful)

KillaBeave (1037250) | more than 2 years ago | (#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 (4, Informative)

mykos (1627575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085777)

Good thing we didn't have laws like this when the Federalist Papers were written.

Re:Federalist Papers (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086157)

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.

Re:Federalist Papers (1)

Mr. Droopy Drawers (215436) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086201)

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.

 

YES, just like those attempts to ban... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40085783)

... all that spam snailmail and all those anonymous letters, right?

Get the hell out of government you moronic twats.

Unenforceable. (1)

blcamp (211756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085789)

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.

Re:Unenforceable. (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085909)

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.

Four: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40085925)

Also Jim Conte and Thomas O'Mara are poopie-heads.

Re:Unenforceable. (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085927)

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.

New York (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#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".

Re:New York (1)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086093)

...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 like this from Upper West to Lower East. No damn joke.

Bloomberg did it the same way he does everything - without oversight. No review, no committee, just "what I deem good". I can't wait until we finally kick him out of his forcibly elected illegal third term. My first referendum will be to destroy all his stupid masterpieces.

So maybe now... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40085799)

you fuckers will start treating AC posts with some respect!

Another reason not to live in New York (4, Interesting)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085801)

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.

Re:Another reason not to live in New York (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085961)

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!).

And sadly, unless New Hampshire leaves the US government, they are still under those same oppressive laws.

Amusingly... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085805)

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...

Out of touch legislators (3, Insightful)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085813)

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.

Re:Out of touch legislators (1)

ByteSlicer (735276) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085997)

that it's like being ruled by space aliens.

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

Anonymity = Free Speech (5, Insightful)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Anonymity = Free Speech (2)

IceNinjaNine (2026774) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086117)

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.

John Doe (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085831)

So if you are referred to as "John Doe" (if your IP address was snooped somewhere, for instance), you cannot reply as John Doe?

anonymous? (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085837)

"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.

Ok this is stupid (2)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085841)

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...?

Re:Ok this is stupid (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085939)

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.

Re:Ok this is stupid (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086019)

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.

Don't panic.. (1)

gallondr00nk (868673) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085867)

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.

Consider... (3, Funny)

martinux (1742570) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Free Nation ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40085879)

Where are we headed? Free speech getting nicked with idiotic bills. Communications being spied on in every shape, form and manner. Just not in the states, Canada is mimicking the United States Government.

I think we are no longer living in a Democratic and Free society. We are headed (if we are not already there) to a TOTALITARIAN state.

Pitty. Because the terrorists of the world have won! They got we they wanted. Remove our freedoms!

My name is Jim Conte and I'm a clueless legislator (3, Funny)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#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)

Re:My name is Jim Conte and I'm a clueless legisla (4, Informative)

Jim Conte (2646019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086077)

I'm Jim Conte, wtf are you talking about?

Who could have foreseen? (2)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085891)

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.

A new era dawns (2)

pipboy9999 (1088005) | more than 2 years ago | (#40085899)

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 (5, Insightful)

AlKaMo (106874) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40085937)

Some congressmen are real dicks.

signed,
Thomas O'Mara (R) New York

Re:great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40085969)

Agreed. Also, have you ever noticed that rabbit turds taste better than deer turds?

Signed,
Jim Conte

This won't take long (4, Informative)

gruntled (107194) | more than 2 years ago | (#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:This won't take long (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

as a new yorker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40085947)

i have one thing to say, "go fuck your self!"

Isn't there a book for them to read? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40085971)

Seriously, we need to come up with something that explains to politicians how the Internet actually works... popup book preferably.

Being a Anonymous Coward is a 1st Amendment Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40085973)

Can the New York Legislature say "Unconstitutional"?

South Korea already tried this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40086025)

For the same reasons even. They gave up when the database of online IDs got hacked.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/05/technology/naming-names-on-the-internet.html?_r=1

if I were the Rt. Hon. Lord Bumbleton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40086033)

Who actually knows what he's talking about, then I would just stop posting. As a result, the Internet will be filled with people who don't know what they're talking about. Anyone who does would just shut up. Can you imagine if Wikipedia could only be edited by people who opened themselves to legal liability by doing so (on any subject). Well, it would be little more than an empty project with a stupid name.

Think of the children!!11! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40086051)

You're doing it wrong.

What could possibly go wrong?! (2)

jaminJay (1198469) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086053)

  • 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

Call WAAAAMBULANCE (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086057)

Republican doesn't like "baseless political attacks"??

I mean, seriously, what's he doing in politics then?

Can't handle the heat? Then GTFO of the kitchen. This is how politics works in free countries.

Oh please...please... (2)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

How to do this properly (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086073)

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.

Full names (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40086085)

G+ would've had much more market share if they wouldn't force full names. I have no trouble with google or facebook having my name and and interests so they can generate fitting advertisements. However I don't think everybody that google's my name needs to know everything I post on the internet.

Time to expand 42USC1983 (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086097)

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.

Open up Super PACs first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40086103)

Republican Assemblyman Jim Conte should first demand that these Super PACs reveal where their money comes from.

That speech, from the PAC, is backed by a lot of money, which means it can buy radio, TV and billboard advertising making it very much louder than one A/C on one website. That speech is politically motivated and influences directly politicians who pass laws.

One persons voice has no traction on its own, unless either backed by marketing money, or by consensus opinion. He can pretend it's 'bullying' but bullying is the threat of physical violence not speech, even angry speech. Without the likelihood of violence it is not bullying it is name-calling.

See "62 Percent of Fund Raised by Rove’s Groups Come From Mystery Donors":
http://unitedrepublic.org/2012/62-percent-of-fund-raised-by-roves-groups-come-from-mystery-donors/

Karl Rove by the way is funding lobbying to block laws (via is Crossroads superPAC) so that Super PACs can keep their donations secret. After "Citizens United" it is probably corporate money, and could simply be US Corporate fronts for foreign powers. We don't know because their money is secret.

In one way it sucks this will die so soon (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086135)

It would be nice for the supreme court to formally endorse internet anonymity.

Yeah, that will work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40086139)

Yabba Dabba Doo.

Posted by,
Fred Flintstone.

Everyone send them feedback!!! (1)

sureshot007 (1406703) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086141)

http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/James-D-Conte/contact/ [state.ny.us]

http://www.nysenate.gov/senator/thomas-f-omara/contact [nysenate.gov]

Everyone, not just NY'ers, send them feedback. But use an obviously fake name, address, phone, email. Tell them you did this to prove a point. Don't make the message threatening - try to be informative. If they get thousands of messages, maybe....just maybe...they'll get the point.

(I know they won't, but it least I feel like I'm doing something about it)

I am sparticus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40086149)

I am sparticus

In other news... (2)

MachineShedFred (621896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086151)

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

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

Didn't happen in Enders Game (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086161)

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.

politicians and technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40086221)

Not as funny as the 'Internet is a series of tubes' skit by the late Ted Stevens but very amusing though...

Not me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40086247)

I don't think they should be able to pass any ordinance or law in secrecy, but they do it all the time.

I have no obligation to obey and unconstitutional statute. Being Anonymous can be a form of Free Speech.

Even if it were constitutional, I'm not in New York, so I have no obligation to their laws, and if I were, I would make sure my web sites, blogs, vlogs, etc. were outside of New York.

If I were in New York, and did post information on a New York web site, I would not comply with that statute anyways.

What about pseudonyms (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086283)

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 everyone else's right to free speech.

How about a law requiring disclosure of ... (1)

tweenbean (1627021) | more than 2 years ago | (#40086293)

1) who donated to their campaign for office (not just trust and corporate names) but people
2) who voted/authored any given legislation

cyberbullies and whistleblowers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40086301)

'[this] turns the spotlight on whistleblowers by forcing them to reveal their identity.'

The State has some interest in eliminating free speech.

The basic issue here though is that this violates the principle of freedom. It is only permissible to enforce something on someone if they are trying to do so themselves; so it IS okay to force cyberbullies to reveal their identity, but it's NOT okay to force this upon everyone, because that includes (a large number of) people who are not trying to force themselves on others.

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