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NJ Bill Proposes To End Anonymous Internet Forum Posts (from ATSNN)

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posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 12:05 PM
This legislation proposes to eliminate anonymous posts on internet forums by requiring forum operators to collect and maintain the true identity of forum participants and to provide the identity of forum posters to anyone that has complaint against a forum poster.
ASSEMBLY, No. 1327


Sponsored by:
Assemblyman PETER J. BIONDI
District 16 (Morris and Somerset)


Makes certain operators of interactive computer services and Internet service providers liable to persons injured by false or defamatory messages posted on public forum websites.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Our civil liberties continue to be "nickel and dimed" away as state governments start getting in on the act. I have no other links at this time, but it is my understanding that other states have similar legislation pending. The patriot act was only the beginning.

Related News Links:

[edit on 7-3-2006 by df1]

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 02:37 PM
My name is Angelina Jolie if anyone cares. So what are you going to do about it???? Its nice to be undercover on the internet, its the only privacy i ever get.
So what???

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 02:44 PM
That's it! I'm going to legally change my name to benevolent tyrant. I'm already answering to BT and "ben" so why not go all the way. If I can get my wife and kids to change their names, we can be a "family of 'tyrants' ".

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 04:02 PM
No big deal yet; just register your forum somewhere other than NJ.

That being said, people act much more civil towards one another when using their real names on the internet. This has been well-documented. People who can be held responsible in the real world for what they do on the internet take greater care not to overstep the boundaries of decency and respect.

Anonymity is a powerful incentive to misbehave, unfortunately.

There are certainly benefits, however, to having a community of nobodies. We can talk about things like government accountability and police corruption and organized crime without having to worry about a knock on the door the very same night.

There's no such thing as true anonymity, if someone is determined to discover your identity, but right now it just doesn't make sense for most people to go through the process every time someone says a bad word about them.

This country is litigious enough without people sueing every time somebody on the internet calls them fat or ugly or whatever.

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 04:20 PM
the truth hurts and some people will do anything to avoid it.

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 04:28 PM
I have a problem with the intro to this thread, which states that forum owners must provide the true identity of a poster to:

"... anyone that has complaint against a forum poster."

The bill states:

"... to persons injured by false or defamatory messages posted on public forum websites. "

I mean, I could complain about a Yankee fan who hates the RedSox.

I know... picky, picky, picky.

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 04:55 PM
This is what the Overlord had so say about the issue:

Give up your real names and addresses

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 05:22 PM
This Senator didn't like people saying bad things about government officials, thus the impetus of this bill.

State Assemblyman Peter J. Biondi, a Republican from Somerset County, recently introduced legislation that would require any "public forum Web site" to solicit the legal name and addresses of everyone who can post messages to it. What irks Biondi, a top Republican in the state assembly, is the political free-for-all that has grown around the New Jersey Star-Ledger's discussion site at The site's forum for Somerset County--that is, Biondi's home district--is home to a slew of pseudonymous posts that tend to be less than kind to local politicians.


Those remarks violate Biondi's sense of political propriety. "What it's turned into is people just bashing each other, name-calling, personal issues, that kind of thing," Biondi's chief of staff, Scott Ross, told me on Friday. "It's all anonymous. Nobody knows who's calling who what."

The intent of the legislation is "to try to bring back a little civility back into that kind of thing," Ross said. "It's degenerating into name-calling. It's a local problem we're having, in several cities."

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 06:17 PM
I have no problem giving my name out on the internet - in fact, I have many times and it is in many of my posts.

Putting that into law is a bit of a joke, but the fact people have to hide from their views and hide from their opinions is shocking.

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 06:36 PM
It is highly inadvisable to post one's real name and other vital statistics to the internet. I would think that a law student would understand that better than anyone.


posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 07:03 PM
So what's to stop people from entering false information? It's not like theyre going to be required to fax in a copy of their drivers license...

I have a feeling almost every state that passes a law of this nature will have it overturned soon after. We have a right to refrain from volunteering our identiy in public discussion. An individual can walk up to another individual on the street and say, "You're stupid," and not fear getting sued. Maybe punched, but not sued. It is up to the forum as to whether or not they require identification of members.

The only time a person is required by law to identify themselves (generally speaking, some states do have specific regulations that are a bit stricter) is when questioned by a LEO about a crime. Calling someone stupid is not a crime. It's not even slander.

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 08:43 PM
No harm, no foul

I have mixed feelings on this. As long as someone is not causing you harm, or being malicious, I see no reason to identify them. It seems that this Biondi guy was mad about criticism. Too bad, imo.

If, however, someone is malicious, and causes a person harm by falsely attacking their character or name, then they have no right to hide behind a netname.

[edit on 7-3-2006 by jsobecky]

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 09:03 PM

Is this just a sign of the times?

Or the edge of the wedge?

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 09:11 PM
Why would someone want to hide there true identity online? Well first off I can happily talk to friends, family and the guy behind the bar at my local about my views. Online I can also do this, but if it was required that I give a name here then I would be very careful about being critical of anyone or anything. It would basically mean that free discussion would be gone completely. You wouldn't dare mention religion for fear of retribution, even if it was a structured careful argument saying you didn't believe in a certain religion and thought some ideas were wrong and gave your reasons why. You could still be in MAJOR trouble.

Someone here mentioned about entering false identity information. Well you could and what if the penalty is severe if you are found out? To me it sounds like they want to tie this in with recent ideas on more advanced online "passports", maybe encompassing biometrics or something else like a driving license for the internet. That is an obvious leap surely, if you want to register somewhere you use your little card or whatever they give you and then everyone's posts can be viewed.

Anyone here who has read Orwells 1984, get it down from the shelf and re read it, look at the parallels, scary.

It's just further wanting to track everyone everywhere.

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 09:49 PM
Sounds like the operators of the public forum being complained about could use a little instruction from the people running this forum. We are not using our real names & ID's, but we still show consideration & respect to all the other posters on this site. We don't do the same to people we discuss, or who get discussed/cussed, like Bush or Ted Kennedy, but even then no one goes completely overboard for fear of getting banned from posting. And that's the way it should be.


posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 10:07 PM

Someone here mentioned about entering false identity information. Well you could and what if the penalty is severe if you are found out?

Look at the wording of this...

2. The operator of any interactive computer service or an Internet service provider shall establish, maintain and enforce a policy to require any information content provider who posts written messages on a public forum website either to be identified by a legal name and address, or to register a legal name and address with the operator of the interactive computer service or the Internet service provider through which the information content provider gains access to the interactive computer service or Internet, as appropriate.

The webmaster and the ISP are the ones who are expected to maintain the correct information on the users. Consequences if false information is discovered? I would imagine the user's IP being banned. That's about all they could do.

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 11:22 PM
What are you guys worried about this bill will never pass period. If it did over half of the people who always pop in on every anti-government, anti-Gop thread in this forum would be exposed for who they really are paid government hacks. You know who they are. We all do.

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 11:43 PM

Originally posted by WyrdeOne
No big deal yet; just register your forum somewhere other than NJ.

That probaly wouldnt work your location can be tracked via your IP address. Perhaps you could connect remotely or use a Proxy server.
Cheers Xpert11.

[edit on 7-3-2006 by xpert11]


posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 10:15 AM

Originally posted by apc
The webmaster and the ISP are the ones who are expected to maintain the correct information on the users.

It would be interesting to hear the opinions of the 3 amigos on this issue, though I can understand the reluctance in doing so as their is no point in making ATS a target.

Ultimately if legislation such as the new jersey bill starts getting passed in a number of states forum operators are screwed unless organizations such as the ACLU or the EFF take up the battle in court as it would be easy for state AGs to gain compliance by breaking the forum operators financially.

Ive had many stories voted down and it does not bother me, but I quite surprised that this story was voted down as it would impact the operators of ATS as well as everyone that posts on ATS.


posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 10:45 AM

Internet suppliers
may reveal identity of web-posters

Internet service providers will have to reveal the identities of people posting anonymous "talkback" responses on Web sites if a court rules that they raise a concern of libel with malicious intent, a criminal offense, according to the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court.

This precedent-setting ruling, made last week, requires the Barak and Bezeq International telecommunications companies - along with the Tehila project, the Internet service provider for government ministries - to transmit the details of people who posted potentially libelous responses regarding a mother and her infant daughter on a Web site about a year ago.

The mother, a senior civil servant, went to court in an attempt to force the Internet service providers to reveal the names of people who posted comments regarding the identity of the infant's father, the mother's sexual proclivities and accusations that the mother had stolen money.

As you can see this is a global issue that is in no way confined to the U.S.

Animal Activists Guilty Of Terrorism, Stalking
TRENTON, NJ--A web site operated by Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) headquartered in Philadelphia has resulted in six members of the animal rights group being convicted of terrorism and internet stalking against a British company and its associates which operates an animal testing laboratory in New Jersey...


The activists posted personal information on its web site about Huntingdon employees and employees whose firms do business with the British firm. The six activists said they had no role in vandalism, death threats and computer hacking against company employees. Prosecutors presented no direct evidence to prove that the activists were directly related. Instead, they showed the jury that group members made speeches and produced web postings from 2000 to 2004 that applauded the violence and used the collective “we” in claiming credit for it. Although some of the individuals targeted by SHAC testified that they had received death threats and their homes had been vandalized, they admitted they didn’t know who had sent the faxes and emails which they perceived as threatening.

And now back to New Jersey

[edit on 8-3-2006 by df1]

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