Monday, January 09, 2006

Anonymous Bloggers Beware

Some disturbing news from Michael Silence and SayUncle. Apparently it is now illegal to anonymously post a comment on a blog that could "annoy" another party. I'm not kidding; the law actually uses the word "annoy." What does this do for our free speech rights? Do we not have the right as American citizens to say whatever we want as long as it is not a threat? Isn't that why thousands of Americans died during the Revolution? I thought the whole point of the bloodshed was so that we could enjoy our rights as humans! Now it seems to me that Congress is taking away that right. I can understand laws against threats, but I really cannot grasp outlawing annoyances. Sounds somewhat childlike to me ("teacher, Bobby is getting on my nerves"..."Go sit in time-out, Bobby"). According to SayUncle, a person can be fined or put into jail for two years or both. How can our legal system correctly define the word "annoy"? This law could be stretched into about anything. I really hope that this gets more exposure, and people see the injustice being served!

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  1. So, my question is can you, as in the blogger, just not anonymously post things, or could I not anonymously leave comments on your blog that could potentially annoy someone? Just wondering.

  2. I think it works both ways, Brittany. I think that the law both applies for anonymous bloggers and commenters (which is really sad). Arlen Specter got this law passed unanimously by slipping it into a bill meant to fund the Department of Justice and called it “Preventing Cyberstalking.”