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Author Topic: "Kentucky Lawmaker Wants to Make Anonymous Internet Posting Illegal"  (Read 7337 times)

byron mc

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WTVQ reports (thanks to Andy Banducci for the pointer); the bill text is here. Pretty clearly unconstitutional, see McIntyre v. Ohio Elec. Comm'n (1995) and the cases on which it relies. Plus of course any such state law would likely violate the dormant Commerce Clause, because it would end up affecting speech throughout the whole nation (given that even national ISPs would have to implement such policies for all their users, because national ISPs "do[] business" in Kentucky).

I should note that the First Amendment doesn't categorically protect anonymity: If someone sues you, or the government tries to prosecute you, based on your speech, and there's a credible claim that your speech indeed falls into a First Amendment exception, the plaintiff or prosecutor can indeed get subpoenas aimed at uncovering your identity. Likewise, the Court has upheld certain kinds of identification requirements for expensive speech related to candidate campaigns, and for corporate speech even about ballot measure campaigns; and identification requirements of some sorts may indeed be constitutionally permissible. Nonetheless, the constitutional rule is still that anonymity is presumptively protected, and a blanket ban on online anonymity such as this one would be pretty clearly unconstitutional.

Finally, let me mention that this is another area in which generalizations such as "suppression of speech has become a liberal monopoly" are mistaken. The legislator who introduced the bill is a Republican, and the two Justices who would have generally rejected a right to anonymous speech in McIntyre were Justice Scalia and Chief Justice Rehnquist. And this was so even though the law applied to clearly political speech; even "suppression of [political] speech has become a liberal monopoly" (an argument tailored to exclude matters such as sexually themed speech) are inaccurate here.

Of course, in McIntyre, other conservatives and moderate conservatives — Justices O'Connor, Kennedy, and Thomas — voted to protect the right to anonymous speech. And where the spending of substantial sums of money for speech is involved, liberals tend to be more willing than conservatives to require some sorts of disclosure (though many conservatives support such disclosure as well). But that just helps show that both the "liberals want to suppress speech / conservatives want to protect speech" and the "liberals want to protect speech / conservatives want to suppress speech" arguments are generally not sound today, at least when put at that level of generality.

Eugene Volokh, March 10, 2008
"Kentucky Lawmaker Wants to Make Anonymous Internet Posting Illegal"

http://volokh.com/posts/1205170371.shtml

report Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008
http://www.wtvq.com/content/midatlantic/tvq/video.apx.-content-articles-TVQ-2008-03-05-0011.html


Quote
Kentucky lawmaker Tim Couch has proposed a bill that would criminalize anonymous Internet posting. Web site and forum operators would be forced to collect and publicly disclose identifying information about all of the visitors who post content on their sites. Failing to do so would lead to a fine of $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

The bill, which extends Chapter 369 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes, would mandate collection of the complete name, mailing address, and e-mail address of all visitors who post Internet content. Web sites would have to display names next to all relevant content and establish procedures that enable anyone to obtain the rest of the information. The bill stipulates that mailing address and e-mail address only have to be supplied to supplicants in cases where someone has posted “false or defamatory” information.
March 11th, 2008
http://twinturbo.org/2008/03/11/anonymous-posting/

the bill text is here.
http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/08RS/HB775/bill.doc
« Last Edit: August 10, 2008, 04:22:39 pm by byron m »
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Junker

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Re: "Kentucky Lawmaker Wants to Make Anonymous Internet Posting Illegal"
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2008, 05:32:17 pm »

Reminds me of the army.

Another den of slave training.
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Zenman

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The End Of The Internet As We Know It
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2008, 11:29:33 pm »

http://www.wtvq.com/content/midatlantic/tvq/video.apx.-content-articles-TVQ-2008-03-05-0011.html

Kentucky Lawmaker Wants to Make Anonymous Internet Posting Illegal

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2008 - 11:11 PM Updated: 12:40 PM
By Kellie Wilson

Kentucky Representative Tim Couch filed a bill this week to make anonymous posting online illegal.

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

Their full name would be used anytime a comment is posted.

If the bill becomes law, the website operator would have to pay if someone was allowed to post anonymously on their site. The fine would be five-hundred dollars for a first offense and one-thousand dollars for each offense after that.

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.

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ZooT_aLLures

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Re: The End Of The Internet As We Know It
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2008, 11:39:20 pm »

That'll never fly......after all......how will all those politicians find anyone that'll talk friendly to them?
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dogsledder54

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Re: "Kentucky Lawmaker Wants to Make Anonymous Internet Posting Illegal"
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2008, 04:26:06 pm »

I agree. But on the following conditions: Let's have every vote by lawmakers recorded and published. And while we're at it, all comittee meetings, debates, and all legislative and executive branch meetings should be public, and transcripts published. How's that for accounaibility ?
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Lenny

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Re: "Kentucky Lawmaker Wants to Make Anonymous Internet Posting Illegal"
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2008, 04:36:05 pm »

I agree. But on the following conditions: Let's have every vote by lawmakers recorded and published. And while we're at it, all comittee meetings, debates, and all legislative and executive branch meetings should be public, and transcripts published. How's that for accounaibility ?

Complete expense reports. Including every meal. Who was there, and who paid.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 09:43:21 am by Lenny »
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Junker

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Re: The End Of The Internet As We Know It
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2008, 10:43:35 pm »

Well...don't know...maybe they should make up into down and v.v. That way all those
bullying put-downs would be good, y'know, build-ups, so to say.

Yeah, and also, make pi equal to three.

Wow, that's cool.  :laugh: How 'bout Christmas in June? We'd get days off then and the Cathlics could
stop yippin' about losing the meaning of their day in December.

And we could smoke dope either way.  :angel1:
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OLD TIRED RN

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Re: The End Of The Internet As We Know It
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2008, 11:14:41 pm »

I can't talk for the rest of the states, but my guess is that there WILL be "some" down here in Tennessee who won't take too kindly to some slick politican from Kentucky who comes down here and tries to enforce that Kentucky law on Tennessee folks.  Also, my guess is there WILL be "some" who won't take it peaceably at ALLLLLLLL.  When he shows up trying to collect the fine, I sure do want to watch.

                                       RN
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rocknbronco

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Re: "Kentucky Lawmaker Wants to Make Anonymous Internet Posting Illegal"
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2008, 11:40:09 am »

I agree. But on the following conditions: Let's have every vote by lawmakers recorded and published. And while we're at it, all comittee meetings, debates, and all legislative and executive branch meetings should be public, and transcripts published. How's that for accounaibility ?
Recall they arent accountable to our laws as such simpletons are.
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Zenman

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Re: The End Of The Internet As We Know It
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2008, 11:47:52 am »

This Kentucky Representative, who feels bullied by anonymous posters, wants to use his political weight to force board owners to pay fines if they don't make posters disclose personal information. Sounds a bit like he's a wimp who aspires to be a bully.
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RagnarDanneskjold

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Re: The End Of The Internet As We Know It
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2008, 01:09:34 pm »

Sooooo, would that mean that any copper who posed as a 13 year old girl would have to pay the fine? hmmmmm? do-ya-think-so?
 :BangHead: :angry4:
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Ire

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Re: "Kentucky Lawmaker Wants to Make Anonymous Internet Posting Illegal"
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2008, 02:10:03 pm »

Lol good luck at that kentucky man

Bastards.
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OLD TIRED RN

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Re: The End Of The Internet As We Know It
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2008, 03:37:12 pm »

He must have been the one that the other boys picked on in grade school at rescess.

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Captain Caveman

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Re: "Kentucky Lawmaker Wants to Make Anonymous Internet Posting Illegal"
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2008, 12:46:26 am »

Sick.

Almost makes me ashamed to live here.

Idiots.
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byron mc

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"New Jersey Law Would Ban Anonymous Forum Posting"
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2009, 12:14:30 pm »

Not just Kentucky now.

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New Jersey Assemblyman Peter Biondi has introduced legislation that would essentially ban anonymous forum posting, and which would hold forum hosts liable for defamatory statements and injury made on their forums!

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The only thing open to question if this law passes is whether someone who lives and operates a forum outside of New Jersey would have sufficient connections to New Jersey to allow for prosecution if someone in New Jersey is able to post to that forum;

circa July 2008
http://www.theinternetpatrol.com/new-jersey-law-would-ban-anonymous-forum-posting/
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