Thursday, March 13, 2008


(Each "Featured Question," an idea which I gleaned from A Republic If You Can Keep It, will remain toward the top of the blog until the next question appears. The previous QUESTIONS are HERE. Please scroll down for recent postings)

Are our days as anonymous bloggers limited? Not yet, but Kentucky lawmaker Tim Couch has proposed such a bill in his state legislature.
From this source on March 5, 2008:
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.


Some said they felt it was a violation of First Amendment rights. Others say it is a good tool toward eliminating online harassment.

Represntative [sic] Couch says enforcing this bill if it became law would be a challenge.

FEATURED QUESTION, in two parts: (1) Would you still blog, including both posting articles and making comments, if you had to reveal your true identity? (2) Is legislation proposed by Tim Couch a violation of freedom of speech, or does such legislation protect Internet users?

(Hat-tip to Nanc for emailing me the link for this FEATURED QUESTION)

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posted by Always On Watch @ 3/13/2008 01:00:00 AM