The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006

So Much for Anonymous Blogging 

New Jersey is proposing a law that would make anonymous forum posts (and possibly blogging) illegal:

This bill would require an operator of any interactive computer service or an Internet service provider to establish, maintain and enforce a policy requiring an information content provider who posts messages on a public forum website either to be identified by legal name and address or to register a legal name and address with the operator or provider prior to posting messages on a public forum website.

The bill requires an operator of an interactive computer service or an Internet service provider to establish and maintain reasonable procedures to enable any person to request and obtain disclosure of the legal name and address of an information content provider who posts false or defamatory information about the person on a public forum website.

In addition, the bill makes any operator or Internet service provider liable for compensatory and punitive damages as well as costs of a law suit filed by a person damaged by the posting of such messages if the operator or Internet service provider fails to establish, maintain and enforce the policy required by section 2 of the bill.

Besides the obvious 1st Amendment questions this brings up, one has to wonder how a single state thinks it can regulate the entire Internet. Via Slashdot. But if this works, we'll finally get to find out who Belle and Dennis York are.

Update: The author of the bill is reportedly reconsidering it, and may withdraw it. Hopefully he's learned his lesson.

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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