Monday, March 10, 2008

Anonymous web postings to be banned?

It's been proposed...by Republican Kentucky lawmaker, Tim Couch.

The bill would require anyone who contributes to a website to register their real name, address and e-mail address with that site ... and to display their full name with their comments.

"Representative Couch says he filed the bill in hopes of cutting down on online bullying. He says that has especially been a problem in his Eastern Kentucky district."

Perhaps this Republican legislator should re-acquaint himself with the concepts of freedom, limited government and individual responsibility that are supposed to guide members of the Republican Party.

Complete story here. Your thoughts?

9 comments:

Steve Horn said...

You can't even begin to describe the absurdness of the bill.

Enforcement is not only difficult, it is impossible...unless the government wants to step in and create a "global online identification" system. Lets see why...

As soon as Joe Anonymous figures out he's got to register himself, he is going to provide a false name. To fix this, you will have to provide proof of who you are which will require paper documents and snail-mail correspondence (similar to how banking websites verify identity). And now it makes sense to create this central repository of identity...because if you don't then you have millions(billions/trillions???) of websites who have to facilitate this process. It's ridiculous to think that the average web user is going to validate his/her identity for every different website that they post content to.

This bill is simply more legislative noise that clutters up the process of getting _real_ laws through.

I'm sure his constituents are happy to see their concerns being addressed in such a creative way. < / sarcasm >

gordon gekko said...

He is probably tired of people posting anonymous comments about his horrible NFL career.

Signed
Anonymous

The A-Hole Lawyer said...

But Maggie "Its for the children!" so it must be OK.

Another RINO? or is the gulf between libertarians and the GOP ever widening? I have always considered myself a conservative republican with libertarian leanings. I might fall over if I lean over any more.

Might have to join Brian at the Ohio Libertarian Party convention in Columbus in April.

The A-Hole.

toledo1 said...

As I was saying to some of my less tech savvy teacher friends who are trying to keep a child from creating another personal page after his first vulgar attempt, it is truly impossible to monitor. You can be whoever you want to be on the internet. And on-line bullying? First, I hope they are referring to children because I would think that adults should be able to handle themselves if someone is saying negative things about them on-line. Second, if it is for kids, then parents have a responsibility to monitor their children's use of the internet. The problem there lies in the fact that most kids know more about technology than parents and parents just can't keep up. The internet is an awfully mighty thing that is going to take a lot more than some silly law to keep the stalkers, predators, bullies, and spies away.

Carol said...

One more case of government interference in personal lives. I fear it will never end at this point.

Tami N. said...

First, I’ll begin by saying that I agree, this law is not going to stop cyberbullying.
For those who don’t however, believe that cyberbullying is a concern I would refer you to the story of Ryan Halligan (http://www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org/). A child whose suicide has been linked to the cyberbullying he endured. When the topic was mentioned on Brian Wilson’s show today a comment was made downplaying the severity of this new technique of bullying. I submit, however, that this is actually a more severe method of bullying. As a child who was teased often I can tell you that during that time of my life I had a safe place to go…my home. However, with the presence of computers at home, school, library and the ability to IM on cell phones… cyberbullying has the potential to reach into those once safe places in a child’s life. Emails, blogs, text messages, social networking sites and more are all instruments that bullies can employ.
Toledo1 is right. Parents, teachers, grandparents and other adults responsible for the care of children who use the internet much educate themselves on this tool. Another excellent rule is to make sure the computer is kept in a common area of the home. There are many organizations which provide education to these adults. I am certified to teach on a method called i-safe (www.isafe.org) and have given several talks on the topic in northwest Ohio. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (http://www.ncmec.org/) also offers educational tools for adults and children to learn internet safety.
I feel that more education not more legislation will be the key to solving this problem.

Robin said...

Silly waste of time.

Ben said...

Waste of time, I pretty much agree with the other commenters.

Tim Higgins said...

Maggie,

Now I take some pride in the fact that my name sits over anything that I say online (in spite of the fact that it often points out how stupid and inane that I can be). I likewise understand that there are those who could not say what they do without some level of protection through anonymity.

The last thing that we need however, is the government on any level stepping into this situation. This is clearly a free speech issue, and what's more, the government has a perfect record in creating legislation to mandate personal responsibility ... 100% failure.

The truly amazing (and sad part) of this however, is that it is being proposed by someone who is supposed to be a member of a conservative political party. I would have expected this from someone of a more progressive point of view, oh say the inventor of the Internet, Al Gore.

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