Monday, May 28, 2012

New York Senate bill aimed at destroying anonymity on the internet.

Courtesy of CBS News:

New York state lawmakers have proposed a ban on anonymous online comments. Called the Internet Protection Act (A.8688/S.6779), the legislation would require a web site administrator to pull down anonymous comments from sites, including "social networks, blogs forums, message boards or any other discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages." 

The bill states: 

A web site administrator upon request shall remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate. All web site administrators shall have a contact number or e-mail address posted for such removal requests, clearly visible in any sections where comments are posted.

This is just the latest attack on free speech and privacy on the internet. I am sure that most of you remember the SOPA legislation that was proposed earlier this year and soundly defeated possibly as a direct result of a backlash from all over the internet.

Supposedly THAT legislation was designed to protect intellectual property and stop online piracy, but of course it would have done much more and seriously impacted our Constitutionally protected rights of free speech.

This time they found a different excuse to shut us up.  

Among the bills' sponsors are New York Assemblyman Dean Murray and Sen. Thomas O'Mara, who say the proposed law is to fight cyberbullying. "Cyberbullying has become one of the great tragedies of the Internet age," O'Mara said at a press conference. 

"Numerous national studies tell us that upwards of 40 percent of students have experienced some form of cyberbullying at least once, and they feel helpless in the face of it. Victims of anonymous cyberbullies need protection. We're hopeful that this legislation can be helpful to the overall effort to deter and prevent anonymous criminals from hiding behind modern technology and using the Internet to bully, defame and harass their victims."

Everybody wants to stop cyber bullying, myself included, but THIS is clearly just an excuse to take away the rights of citizens to spread information not controlled by giant media conglomerates as well as our right to speak out and share our opinions without fear of retribution by those who want to shut us up.

By the way I have little concern this will pass, but be warned that it is just one of many attempts coming down the pike to gain control of the internet, which in my opinion is possibly the greatest tool to ensure free speech since the invention of the printing press.


  1. Anonymous3:51 AM

    If you dislike cyber bullying, then why do you cater to it on YOUR blog? You approve some of the most hateful comments in the internet. You know some of the nasty tweets Meghan McCain retweeted? Those don't hold a candle to most of your commenters..

    Think about that.

    A bill like this one would help to cut down on anonymous slanderers out there Think mediainsider and people like that who profess to know specific things yet probably have never met anyone remotely related to the subjects they claim to know.

    Ask Joe M about this. He'll tell you there are plenty of liars out there. Look how he had to do damage control over some things. Remember when, after Sarah's second leg of the bus tour, someone told Joe Sarah and Piper et al were back in Alaska and said person even mentioned Britta? Obviously didn't happen as Sarah was filmed in Arizona that day. He did damage control by saying that ice cream date Britta and Piper went on happened at some other point.

    Plenty of liars and people who WANT To know things so badly exist. Anonymity CAN be a good thing. On the internet, it gives bullies a chance to be hurtful. See blogs like these and twitter for mounds of evidence.

    1. AJ Billings6:26 AM

      WTF? You are complaining about Immoral Minority folks and what we regulars post on here about the lying bitch Sarah Palin, and you don't even sign your name? YOU POSTED ANONYMOUSLY while complaining about anonymous posters!

      An idiotic and brain dead move like that is what we'd expect from $arah, RAM, Brancy, or some other Palin droid

    2. Anonymous6:53 AM

      You are Palin obsessed.

    3. Anonymous11:01 AM


      For starters, you could really benefit by taking at least a couple of English Comp classes, allowing folks to read your entire screed without instinctively just shaking their heads and laughing, thereby dismissing your juvenile outbursts.

      After that, we can delve into the abyss in your brain where critical thinking occurs in normal human beings. It's sad to see an adult like yourself whose opinions are based on such faulty (or non-existent)logic and whose ideas are shaped by unhealthy, obsessive fantasies of self-importance.

      Beefy, on the plus side, your total lack of self-awareness combined with a dearth of vocabulary often make your comments quite humorous, unfortunately not for the reasons you might prefer. Instead, compassionate folks here at IM are too often saddened that you have these afflictions and no one in your self-absorbed, dysfunctional family cares enough to get you the help you need.

      You are heading down the same path of misery as your Mother unless you consciously recognize a need to change by seeking help from qualified mental health professionals.

    4. Anita Winecooler7:38 PM

      Anonymous 3:51

      Serious or Sarcasm? Because your argument goes both ways. Anonymous comments and postings on the internet have been used to expose human rights violations being suppressed from release by dictators and corrupt governments all over the world.

      Also, too, have been used by corrupt ex politicians, such as gunsites and names on a map of districts that the ex politician also too used the constitutional right to bear arms, while hiding behind free speech, resulting in the loss of lives of other politicians, judges, and private citizens.

      FYI Sarah, Bristol, Todd, Breitbart, display some of the same behaviors you call "Cyberbullying", by showcasing (without proof), selective anonymous comments to drive their base into believing they are the victims. Public Figures put themselves and their actions out there, if it's slander or libel, the onus is on them, not us, to prove it.
      Why don't they sue?

      Think about it.

    5. Anonymous12:17 PM

      Such vile people supported the Confederacy and the enemy in both world wars aand now the war on terror. The only thing they like about homeand security is the pork and the attack on liberty. They also seek to conceal how Al Dumbotter, Tin Dog Skyllos, and Joe Monkeyellow have been in bed with the Cuomos and the Crowleys forever.

  2. Anonymous4:24 AM

    Uh oh, the new dog whistle for conservatives is "Cyberbullying" - saw a bunch of that on IM the last few days.

    The mushy butt Palin droolers are convinced that criticism of their conservative spokesmodels constitutes some offense and must be stopped because "we don't know them."

    Hence, the criminalizing of anonymous comments online.

    They want to name names. They want names, addresses and easier means to unleash the flying monkeys of threat and intimidation. . .you know, bullying the 'cyberbullies.'

    Oh the stupid. Sometimes it really f'ing hurts.

  3. Anonymous4:49 AM

    Seems this is another attempt to leapfrog over the sites and servers who have IP addresses attached to the various comments but will not disclose them as the requests are so vague and lame in many cases that it too is an infringment. It's also allows the Gov to be lazy and not have to do the legal work like getting Court orders, many which would never be issued. They also wouldn't be doing the leg work.

    You can be guaranteed Google, Microsoft, Facebook, et al -- all those that hit back hard will be on this too.

    I'm curious as to which side Al Franken will play this time. The speeches he gave at Democracy for America and elsewhere gave impression of one side but if I recall, he voted in support of SOPA, which to me is he's playing both sides of the fence. In my books, it brough Franken down a lot of pegs on the ladder of trust and truth.

    1. Anonymous5:31 AM

      Unless Al Franken miraculously manages to get himself elected to the Albany circus, he won't be playing any side.

    2. Anonymous7:57 AM

      It's not uncommon for those in DC to make commentary on things of interest in the different states

  4. Anonymous4:50 AM

    I agree 100% with New York state lawmakers
    ban all anonymous online comments
    all anonymous activity
    online & offline

    1. Anonymous6:54 AM

      Four years ago all we heard was that Pres. Obama was going to take away all our freedoms.

      So far, it has been only Repubs proposing taking them away- bill after bill. For four years.

      But try to ban guns? Or just limit them? See the hate if we try.

    2. Anonymous7:33 AM

      You can't agree 100% or you wouldn't be posting anonymously.

    3. Anonymous3:23 PM

      @Anonymous4:50 AM-
      Then IM will have to ban you as well. How about that! lol

    4. Anita Winecooler7:43 PM

      It's called "sarcasm"

      Well played Anonymous 4:50 A.M.! Well Played!

  5. Anonymous5:37 AM

    2 Republicans; Murray and O'Mara (Tea Partiers) - what a surprise - NOT !!

  6. Anonymous6:34 AM

    Damn it! If this passes I'll have to stop asking Gryphen if he's gay... NTTAWWT.

  7. Anonymous6:54 AM

    Let me guess. They are Repub, right?

    1. Anonymous9:54 AM

      Yup. I'm sure you're shocked.

      Don't's all about that 'small gubmint' they're always blathering on about.

  8. Boscoe7:16 AM

    Pseudonyms being made illegal? I wonder what Mark Twain would say.

    Also too, I expect we'll hear a scathing rant on this topic from our $arah any second now, right?

    I mean, she *is* the one who's always sooo concerned about our freedoms being taken away.

    LOL Obviously I'm kidding, we all know she LOVES the idea of this. It's not tyranny if SHE agrees with it...

    1. Anonymous9:56 AM

      Don't be so quick to assume that Palin would support this bill.

      After all, how could she and her army of sycophants go online to defend her if they couldn't do it anonymously???

  9. Randall7:34 AM


    Might as well try to outlaw clouds.

  10. Anonymous7:49 AM

    Whenever I see these "extreme" bills, it makes me wonder what Big Money is behind them.

    I wonder (and I could be wrong), but with the criteria they're wanting (real names, physical addresses, IP, etc), it seems to me that the only corporations that would be willing to jump through those hoops -- and the only entities the "average person" might trust to store their personal information would be the major news outlets and maybe Facebook.

    I'm against cyberbullying as much as the next person, but this is too restrictive, and invades the privacy of the innocent posters, and also puts them in jeopardy if their personal information were hacked or somehow given to the wrong people.

    I look at it this way: Let's say you're shopping at Walmart and you see a mother beating the crap out of her kid. Would you say "Hi, I'm Sue Smith and I live at 1214 Pine Street, and I think you're a horrible mother and I hope CPS takes away your kids"..? Of course not. But that's essentially what this bill sounds like to me.

    1. Anita Winecooler8:02 PM

      I agree, and from personal experience, our "privacy" means nothing whatsoever in the grand scheme of things.
      I reported, under the promise of anonymity, an instance of domestic violence, a man was beating up a woman on the front lawn, then dragged her kicking and screaming into the privacy of their home. The tipline operator promised my anonymity, took my statement over the phone, and asked me to report to the local police station the next day for an incident statement. To my horror, the police descended on their property, the woman didn't press charges, and a sheriffs car stopped in my driveway to take an "incident report". Anyone think that people in my neighborhood had any doubt who made the call?
      And I do it again, despite the fallout, but still my privacy was clearly violated, and there's not a damn thing I can do, because it's illegal to tape a call without the person's permission..

  11. Smirnonn8:02 AM

    Bad idea, especially in a hyper-polarized political climate like we currently are experiencing in the US. Some people would needlessly endanger themselves in the interest of free speech. Others, myself included, would just stop posting at places like the IM and the HP if they required proof of identity for every post. I have businesses and my clients surely don't all share my political views. Less posters and less clicks leads to less ad revenue. This bill is actually ANTI-BUSINESS!!! :) WTF, gotp!! I thought you guys were all about business!!

    1. Anonymous8:55 AM

      One of the bill's supporters, Assemblyman Jim Conte, has stated that it it will also cut down on meanspirited political attacks and attacks on business. It will also only be enforceable if a website's administrator/servers are located in New York.

      There is also no mechanism for someone to find out who reqested a post be removed.

  12. WakeUpAmericak8:45 AM

    Let me guess; these are Republicans wanting to increase government and take away our freedoms, right? Why not teach parents how to control what their kids access on the internet and make those controls user friendly? jerks.

  13. Oh Boy...old Baldy must of had a hand in this bill! She is notorious for wanting to know..."WHO SAID THAT?"

    And stupid ass Krusty with her obvious anonymous comments need to have the men in the white coats take her ass away so I don't know why she's babbling about Joe McGinnis and MediaInsider!

    Hey fool...don't you know this bill would include your dumbass too?

  14. Beldar J Conehead10:19 AM

    Gryphen, (if that's indeed your real name, which I highly doubt) before I become a fugitive from such laws, I'm going to publicly confess that "Beldar J Conehead" is not my actual name. Rather, it's my nomme d'net used in a deliberate attempt to obscure my true identity.

    My real name is Yodrick Custodio Pennythistle.

    No, that's not it. My REAL name is Philomeno Wilberforce Pentagraham.

    Hmmm... That's not it either... How about "Reinhard Wehrmacht Gelandestrasse"?

    No... I'm a bit embarrassed to say I've been using a pseudonym for so long I'm unable to recall my actual name....

    How about Benjamim T Cliftwaffle? Mellisio Foie Strapangle? Clinton Tinderpants? Clahn Johannes Wiebenhaus? Tremolo D. Stratocaster? Yngwie J Toahsterofffen? No? Not even close?

    Lemme get back to you on this one...

    1. Anonymous11:26 AM

      Just call me Publius (teabaggers will need to google Publius so they can learn something about the history of the Country they claim to love)

  15. Just another example of censorship.

    "You don't deny a man a steak because a baby can't chew it." - Mark Twain

    The G NO P is all about treating everyone else as babies. Only their 1%er white christian ├╝ber wealthy will be able to eat steak. The rest of us will have to glean for our pablum.

    Isn't that what a fascist state is? Where the top elite have democracy and everyone else functions under a police state? Or in their case a theocratic oligarchy.

  16. Bristol's Real Chin1:45 PM

    I don't think that Sarah Palin could argue on the side of identifying blog postings and other postings on the Internet. She and her minions post all the time, pretending to be other people, voting multiple times in online polls, etc. Cyberbullying is a way of life for Palin and her cronies.

  17. Anita Winecooler7:20 PM

    Ah, yes, the Republican bill against cyberbullying. The state next to New Jersey, where a rich foreign student streamed his college roommate's private sexual encounter on the internet, tweeted to invite people to watch, then held a party in another dorm room. He was found guilty by unanimous jury vote of "second degree bias intimidation" plus 13 other felony counts.
    He faced the mandatory limit of ten years each for the two counts alone, but the judge sent out a clear and concise warning that cyberbullying and bias intimidation would no longer be tolerated, by sentencing him to thirty days (one month) in prison, a ten grand fine and 300 hours of community service. To drive the point home, he decided NOT to deport the criminal felon back to India.
    Tyler Clementi, an out gay male, jumped to his death upon reading the tweets and realizing everyone saw him kissing another man while shirtless. The fact that he committed suicide wasn't allowed to be considered by the jury.

    And they want to ban anonymous comments on the internet and post names and ip addresses?

    It ain't happening. Once again, the GOP wants to stick their nose in other people's business when there's more pressing matters to attend to.

    If someone's being cyberbullied, they can report it to the police and get a court injunction to get the needed information, so what would this accomplish?

  18. Anonymous4:33 AM

    Hmmm. The morons who proposed this idiocy are in the NY State Senate. So the law can only apply to New York. We saw what happened when the Ny folks were sent to Va to enforce a NY desire about guns. Think this law will get any better reception? I think not.


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