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  1.  (1306.1)
    Anyone seen this?

    Kentucky legislator writes law to ban anon comments on the internet.
    (Even though he knows it is unconstitutional and will never pass)
    http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008803060402

    The most frightening aspect for me is not the law itself. It is the utter contempt the lawmakers here in my homestate have towards respecting the rights of it's citizens. There is one very telling portion of the article in this regard: it's become routine for legislators to sponsor bills at odds with the First Amendment. Yeah just another day at the office, trying to erode and erradicate that pesky Constitution....
  2.  (1306.2)
    I sub-rented space from a Tennessee legislator a few years ago. He introduced legislation to make porn illegal on the internet. Not downloading porn in Tennessee mind you, this was to make porn illegal on the internet. He was quite proud of himself until I explained to him how the internet worked, and how little control he had as to whether there were dirty pictures on it or not. Beyond the First Amendment issues, I'm always stunned by that specific combination of ignorance and arrogance.

    Of course he also introduced legislation to make it legal to eat roadkill.
    •  
      CommentAuthortekende
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008
     (1306.3)
    Of course he also introduced legislation to make it legal to eat roadkill.


    If this is a major problem in Tennessee, I think I might avoid visiting as much as I can.
    •  
      CommentAuthorUnsub
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008
     (1306.4)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    What's wrong with eating roadkill?
    •  
      CommentAuthorChrisSick
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008
     (1306.5)
    Beyond the fact that people elected to represent the people in government seem to not understand the basic rights enshrined to those people in The Bill of Rights, it's pretty disturbing how little these representatives understand how the internet and modern technology actually works.

    Anyone remember when Orin Hatch wanted to develop technology to blow up the computers of people illegally downloading?

    A red letter day for Democratic government to say the least.
    •  
      CommentAuthorliquidcow
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008
     (1306.6)
    Is the fact that people occasionally write 'ur gay' on YouTube comments really a big enough deal that it needs a law against it?

    Regarding people's ignorance towards technology, it's like the way people have been trying to get laws made to stop filesharing, such as making Torrent files illegal. Dumb on so many levels.
    •  
      CommentAuthorobliterati
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008
     (1306.7)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    There are some evil people out there who exploit anonymity online and sometimes I wish something could be done about it. I had a huge stalker problem for months which was surprisingly serious, and it was only possible because of anonymous commenting, but registering all internet users like Tim Couch is suggesting seems far more scary. That Kentucky Representative guy is decadent and depraved. How can you trust a guy whose job title is "KY lawmaker"?
    •  
      CommentAuthorm1k3y
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008
     (1306.8)
    can we start with the lawyer jokes now?
    has anyone written a utopia-novel that starts with the death of the last lawyer?
  3.  (1306.9)
    @ m1k3y

    I'd read that.
  4.  (1306.10)
    Yes, but then you would all be denied my presence, and would you be sad then?

    Er. Maybe I should not ask that.
  5.  (1306.11)
    Ok - jokes aside. Serious Cat time.

    The thing to see is this is arguably not a free speech issue, its a privacy and thus constitutional penumbra issue. He is not challenging the right under which they speak, but the right to do so in private. Now, I am a firm believer in the penumbra, but I am good solid lefty after all, but its a highly contested idea on the right among the original intent crowd to say the least. In fact, if it was not for left leaning justices and lawyers I hazard the penumbra would be demolished and sold for scrap shortly. And honestly it only exists because of legal theory by lawyers and "activist" (pronounced "ethical and intelligent" ) judges. Now you can construct this as a speech issue obviously, the 1st is part of the penumbra, but the article is being a bit lazy in so quickly placing it in that arena exclusively.

    And in absence of lawyers, as bad as we can be I know, you are left relying on the common wisdom and good sense of the American population to do what is right for their neighbor and seek genuine justice. If you can read the last bit without laughing your a stronger person then I.

    Er, back to jokes now. Sorry.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKPeff
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008 edited
     (1306.12)
    Two years ago there was a similarly goofy federal statute that eventually got neutered by the courts. 47 U.S.C. ยง 223. Anyone remember this?
    Whoever ... in interstate or foreign communications ... makes a telephone call or utilizes a telecommunications device, whether or not conversation or communication ensues, without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person at the called number or who receives the communications....
    Later on in the statute, it goes on to say that the statute also applies to any communications made over the internet.

    Luckily, in Anthony Dimeo III vs. Tucker Max (Dimeo's PR firm threw a disaster of a New Year's party; Max encouraged his messageboard to ream Dimeo; Dimeo sued), the court decided to protect the "the coarse conversation that, it appears, never ends on tuckermax.com."
    •  
      CommentAuthorm1k3y
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008
     (1306.13)
    @JTraub - sorry dude, present company excluded of coure.. ;)

    ...in absence of lawyers, as bad as we can be I know, you are left relying on the common wisdom and good sense of the American population to do what is right for their neighbor and seek genuine justice

    now THAT's a utopia if ever i saw one

    and don't worry.. i my mind we first get rid of those in Marketing (as the good prophet Bill Hicks said).. then the politicians.. by then maybe the (evil) lawyers will just give up and run away..
  6.  (1306.14)
    @m1k3y

    Your trust in the American populace...is...brave.
    •  
      CommentAuthorm1k3y
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008 edited
     (1306.15)
    @JTraub - yeah, but i'm Australian.

    EDIT - not that it makes much of a difference. we generally look at horror at some of stuff going on State-side.. then our Government goes and does the same thing.
    (or even worse lately, we seem to be back to taking our cues from the UK - who, in a shock twist seem to be following THE FRENCH on internet policy.. now that's a SF moment if ever there was one)
  7.  (1306.16)
    The thing to see is this is arguably not a free speech issue, its a privacy and thus constitutional penumbra issue. He is not challenging the right under which they speak, but the right to do so in private.


    Er, no. The right to make anonymous comments is not a penumbra (privacy) issue. The right to free speech includes the right not to say what you don't want to say, and anonymous commenters simply don't want to say who they are. It's kind of silly to posit that posting on a public forum is "doing something in private."

    Now, that said, it should be no surprise that politicians have no respect for the rights of their constituents. Everyone, without exception, has people they fear and loathe, and politicians are in the business of finding out who their voters fear and loathe, and then offering to step on them. The very idea that someone has inalienable rights never enters into their thinking. If it did, they wouldn't be in politics.
    • CommentAuthorzenbullet
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2008
     (1306.17)
    What do you call a hundred dead lawyers at the bottom of the sea?


    {halfway to an american senate? moving on...}




    I personally would enter politics to defend inalienable rights, even if it was just for other people.

    But hey, I'm crazy that way.

    And I don't cuz I have bad political credit, but we'll see, I plan to run eventually no matter what.

    {and if I fail, I'm becoming a jesuit! Take that future probable voters!}



    But why I decided to add my two cents, I firmly believe in the power of

    the common wisdom and good sense of the American population to do what is right for their neighbor and seek genuine justice




    Two basic problems with this, people define neighbor too rigourously, and a total lack of interest in personally doing what you can to ensure proper government.

    I fully believe in the power of groups to handle themselves- as long as they define themselves as groups.

    {this board for one, arse weasels anyone?}

    I have seen it happen on several scales, but America, as a whole, has left itself to the devices of lawyers.

    I'm not singling out lawyers cuz I hate them, really, I don't, no more than I hate mechanics. It's a fucking job. America is dominated by lawyers (in terms of sheer numbers) in the top levels of government, which is something you don't see in other countries.

    {correct me if i'm wrong please, I only have the word of other Americans on this, and I don't trust them...}


    I was going to make this point about other nations compared to America, but I realized I wanted other people to back me up on the idea that other nation's governing class isn't almost solely comprised of lawyers.



    So I'm going to wait on that and quote Doom 2099 instead:
    EVERY NATION DESERVES ITS RULER!!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2008 edited
     (1306.18)
    I don't get how identifying ourselves before speaking violates our freedom of speech; if anything, it encourages us to think before we speak (type), which I think would be only a good thing. What's the big deal?
    I'd like it if Cheney and Bush both died right now. I think the world would be a better place. You can quote me-- My name is Simon Burke, I wouldn't have typed it if I didn't mean it.
    That's what freedom of speech is; being able to say things I mean without feeling like I have to hide my identity for expressing myself. Why would I say something if I wasn't ready to defend it? If I get arrested and tazed, then my freedom of speech is violated (University of Florida 2007). If I get shot by police, then my freedom of speech is violated (Kent State 1970). But I don't understand why I should feel so ashamed as to not link myself to my words?
    •  
      CommentAuthorjohnjones
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2008
     (1306.19)
    What's the big deal?


    The big deal is that the law removes one more right from you as a citizen.
    •  
      CommentAuthorChrisSick
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2008
     (1306.20)
    Well, Cyman, think of it like this, if you were a gay man asking for advice on how to come out of the closet to your backwards, bible thumping parents on a support group message board for closeted homosexuals, would you want to have to register with your real name and address? Would you want, say, a website dedicated to supporting people in the LGBT community to have to publish or record all their members names and addresses, how long before a hate crime gets tracked back to that information? There's a number of very good reasons why privacy is a protected right when related to speech in nearly any context, these are just the first few examples from the top of my head.

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