New York Legislation Would Ban Anonymous Online Speech

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posted on May, 23 2012 @ 08:14 PM
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Did you hear the one about the New York state lawmakers who forgot about the First Amendment in the name of combating cyberbullying and “baseless political attacks”?

Proposed legislation in both chambers would require New York-based websites, such as blogs and newspapers, to “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.”

No votes on the measures have been taken. But unless the First Amendment is repealed, they stand no chance of surviving any constitutional scrutiny even if they were approved.



Oddly, the bill has no identification requirement for those who request the takedown of anonymous content.



(Source)


We all know the internet is the final frontier when it comes to free speech, and now they're working on ending that with numerous measures like this and CISPA. It seems like a government regulated internet is inevtiable, and spying on innocent americans will just be another fact of life as our society becomes orwellian.


If a website doesn't want to allow anonymous comments, then they can disable that functionality, it's that easy. Also, it would be hard to prove the identity of someone who logged in with a particular account. It could be anyone logging in, but then, who would get blamed for a potentially inflamatory comment, or post?

If this sounds familar...

China cracks down on microblogging rumours that are 'worse than coc aine'




edit on 23-5-2012 by v1rtu0s0 because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 23 2012 @ 08:22 PM
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We're all anonymous on this site and comments (posts) are as well, if a bill like this were to pass it would affect the whole membership base. Personally I would not change my posting habits if my true identity had to be attached, but until that inevitability ensues as you state...I will stick with my user ID...well...because I like it



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 08:25 PM
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Hell no!

For the simple fact and do not take this the wrong way and by no means i mean ATS readership there are a lot of crazy people out there who will track you down it they do not like what you have to say and god forbid the worse happens.

Free speech is free speech if people can't handle then that is on them and they should leave the rest of us alone.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 08:38 PM
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Originally posted by neo96
Hell no!

For the simple fact and do not take this the wrong way and by no means i mean ATS readership there are a lot of crazy people out there who will track you down it they do not like what you have to say and god forbid the worse happens.

Free speech is free speech if people can't handle then that is on them and they should leave the rest of us alone.



I can't believe we actually agree on something.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 08:57 PM
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I hope it passes and once people are used to speak their mind online they will lose their inhibition to do so offline.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 09:15 PM
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Cyber bullying is for the most part an issue with kids, and the problem needs to be dealt with by parents, not censoring the net.....



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 10:32 PM
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reply to post by v1rtu0s0
 


This is scary, would this mean then it would be against
the law to post something online in NY under a moniker?




posted on May, 23 2012 @ 10:42 PM
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reply to post by v1rtu0s0
 

They are trying to pass this type of thing in the entire European Union. Here is a thread about that from yesterday: www.abovetopsecret.com... "Here Comes the Mark of the Beast".
edit on 23-5-2012 by Aleister because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 10:52 PM
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reply to post by v1rtu0s0
 


Well I have a lot to say to NY...None of it can be put here...T&C's would probably get me banned...
I'll say it nicely...New York you can break off the continent and go join your socialist bros in Korea, tyvm. While your at it stick your big apple up your Hooha!



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 11:07 PM
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Interesting but yet so uninformative -- did the reporter feel it would be too much work to post the proposed legislative language? I will grant that they conspicuously linked the bill; sort of; in another article that wasn't their own.

But if this is such an outrage to the reporter, why not directly link the text? It may seem like nit-picking, but only serves that the reporter only wanted to create outrage and not educate and inform their readers.

Here is the Assembly Bill and here is the State Senate bill for those interested.

At least now the people of ATS can make an informed decision based off the actual language rather than what some reporter wants to say about it. This is of course not an endorsement nor rebuttal to the language -- just wanting to provide information.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 11:10 PM
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Originally posted by Cassius666
I hope it passes and once people are used to speak their mind online they will lose their inhibition to do so offline.


I can see your reasoning here but it won't lead to what you think it will. The thought that if they inhibit the anonymous portion of the Internet, then finally people will "wake up" is a pipe dream.

The majority of people do not reside nor communicate upon the Internet, anonymously. This would only stifle a portion of society and the rest, like the non-smokers, will not see how it effects them.



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 12:45 AM
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reply to post by ownbestenemy
 


Thanks for sharing.

Important note from the docs/what it may entail:

AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to protecting a
person's right to know who is behind an anonymous internet posting




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
23 ANONYMOUS 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.

Source

Possible that that bill will entail us seeing users names as:
___user name___
___your name___

or just your name as a user name.

Web Site admin will have to confirm that the IP address present is that of the person as well as their legal name and home address. I'd suspect through a confirmation process so signing up for the site would not be immediate. In that case how would they go about proving you are who you say you are?A driver's license/ID certified copy mailed to the Site Admin, as in such with sites that you can write articles for ad profit. Or perhaps that an "Internet ID" with the information provided/ probably through your Internet company.

With that I suspect it won't be limited to just NY. If passed suspect a possible coming of the Internet ID.



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 01:06 AM
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Originally posted by dreamingawake
Web Site admin will have to confirm that the IP address present is that of the person as well as their legal name and home address.


Here comes the part where there will be a problem. What if I am using an open WiFi hotspot? Since this bill states IP and not MAC address, can we only speak freely if we are in the confines of our own homes or internet?

The bill, even if passed in the New York legislature faces some immense First Amendment issue along with New York State Constitutionality issues.



Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press.


I don't see where in the New York Constitution does it state a person must own their statements. Furthermore, there does not need to be a law as the State Constitution already calls for those making any speech must be responsible for it.

The means of finding a person who wrote something isn't that hard -- especially when we apply it to cyberbullying; considering most kids post quite freely.


With that I suspect it won't be limited to just NY. If passed suspect a possible coming of the Internet ID.


I believe this has been in the works for the EU -- but don't have any sources as of now, been a long day.



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 03:23 AM
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I don't see how this legislation restricts anyone's right to free speech, from what I can gather about the first amendment it guarantees your right to free speech, it does not however guarantee your right to anonymity. This bill if passed does not restrict what you say, it does however tie you to your statements.

I am not in favour of this kind of bill, makes it far to easy for government to repress the sentiments of its populous, makes it to easy to suppress dissenters. There is some hateful speech on the internet though, viscous attacks on people that need to be governed, such as people trolling relatives of deceased children causing terrible grief, I know this is an extreme example but sadly it does happen often and has to stop, anonymity allows people to do such things so finding a balance is going to be difficult.



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 04:23 AM
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Please refer to me by my given name, Albert Khoholic but my friends just call me "Al" for short. Same way I used to sign my kerosene logs in New York.



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by PrinceDreamer
I don't see how this legislation restricts anyone's right to free speech, from what I can gather about the first amendment it guarantees your right to free speech, it does not however guarantee your right to anonymity. This bill if passed does not restrict what you say, it does however tie you to your statements.


Most likely it is argued that forcing someone to produce a real name (why is it okay to publish books under a pseudonym; or would the Federalist Papers have been written if they couldn't publish under a pseudonym?) and could possibly stifle speech. While the intentions is to bring to light those who use such anonymity to publish filth or make veiled threats, it could easily be ported to say here, where we must strip ourselves of being anonymous and potentially stifle our opinions.

You are correct that the bill itself does not restrict your speech, but the color of the proposed law is rife with potential to stifle it. Our Federal First Amendment states we have access to a "free press"; that isn't newspapers or journalist, it is a means of producing free speech. There should be no legislation that could potentially abridge that freedom and with that, the prospect of no longer being able to produce anonymous speech.





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