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Serious suckage

Via dubhain: It is now a crime to "annoy" someone via the net and/or to do so anonymously.
Buried deep in the new law is Sec. 113, an innocuously titled bit called "Preventing Cyberstalking." It rewrites existing telephone harassment law to prohibit anyone from using the Internet "without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy."

This is bad. As many know, I write under a pseudonym. "Ravan Asteris" is my "nom de net" - it is not my real name. Thus, if anyone finds my rants, opinions, or even jokes "annoying", I have a big problem. Even if I don't, the way it seem to be worded would bar even this posting - I am not, and will not, expose my "identity". Sod off, Congress, I won't be one of your "papers in order, even on the net" clones.

I've used this pseudonym for years. I've griped again and again about attempts to force me to give up my pseudononymity, both on-line (see the soc.religion.paganism RFP archives), and in real life. Always with some sort of "security" or other justification.

It's the prying, surveillance, "safety first over liberty" sheep versus the basic rights to privacy, anonymity and pseudonymity, again and again and again! People pooh poohed my slippery slope arguments, have given me the old, tired "if you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide" bullshit. Now look, where we're going.

It's really no one's business WHY I want to be pseudononymous. It's no one's business why I don't want my finances, comings and goings, grocery shopping, hobbies and bra size hung out in public for anyone to examine and make assumptions about.

I am sick to shit of people who can't (or won't) respect the privacy of others. Now the jackasses in Congress have slipped yet another nail into the coffin of basic rights and privacy in this country.

Edit: Upon telling a coworker about this assininity, he said "Good luck enforcing it." Problem is, enough of it could be enforced to effectively silence whistleblowers, and people who are otherwise being stalked.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 9th, 2006 11:52 pm (UTC)
The Flip Side
I know someone who is being systematically cyberstalked. The stalker publishes anything and everything they can gleen(sic) dig up, make up or otherwise post on an Internet forum, true or not, to attempt to force the stalkee to be fired from their job. The law is meant to make it so that in such situations which involve continuous and repeated stalking, as opposed to expressing an opinion on an idea, the feds or local law enforcement can force the isp to provide ip addresses. As anonymous as you may be, your ip is not, except when you surf through an anonymizing service such as anonymizer. Yes, it can be abused. It would not be necessary, however, if the isp's had been doing their job properly and stopping the harrassment of persons by name, ie true cyberstalking. They refuse to log ips even when it can be shown that there is true damage being done to the person's health and their ablity to ply their trade. Also, the laws of stalking and libel apply somewhat differently to public figures than to private ones. There really is very little real privacy on the Internet, which you know. Nonetheless, for someone to run you down by your nom de plume as someone's daughter and to print lies about you which, if known, could hurt your earning ability, should be able to be stopped.

Don't blame the Shrub and friends for this one. It is the direct result of people who have been misusing the Internet and chat rooms to hurt others including financially and then laughing at it because the law protected them from being considered stalkers. Libel laws in print and Phone stalking laws have been around for a long time. That CDA 230 took the Internet out of inclusion in the print publishing laws is what spawned this particular beast.

YOu are a responsible writer. Your freedom of speech, however, has never included the ability to libel or slander someone in print. The rules there are specific. The best thing would have been to extend them to the Internet. Had that been done, there would be no problem now over cyberstalking. If you are concerned about something you want to write, I suggest that you get a copy of the libel laws of the U.S.A. and the state in which you live and make sure that you don't violate them. That also means using lots of attribution so that your arse is covered and you don't get caught posting something which is not true. The best defense against libel always has been and continues to be the truth, 'cause if it is true (and proveable as such) it is not libel, nomatter what it is!

Love you~~my days go slowly. Bill has been back a couple three times. He is watching over Joy this week, and will be back near me should I need him some more. It is really nice to have a couple more guardians around. peace and hugs
Jan. 10th, 2006 12:42 am (UTC)
Re: The Flip Side
There is a difference between harassment (stalking) and annoyance. The difference is like the difference between saying, once, "Your mother wore motorcycle boots", and posting the same thing 1000 times a day to every forum and blog available.

A lot of stuff I write is annoying. You've even been annoyed by some of what I post. That is now illegal.

IOTW, if the law said "harass" instead of "annoy", I'd be all for it.
Jan. 11th, 2006 04:45 am (UTC)
Re: The Flip Side
Please give me the Chapter and Verse legal reference. I thought it still said harrass for stalking and that any annoyance had to be repeated. I need this to be able to use it to stop some annoyances on local forums. LOL
Jan. 10th, 2006 07:41 pm (UTC)
As a Libertarian, I appreciate what you say. The problem is that politicians will take a genuine concern and twist it until it is nothing more than an instrument to boost their personal power over others. I find spam(for example) to be much worse than annoying, but am hesitant to cheer for anti-spam laws because of free-speech repercussions. I do not trust Republicans or Democrats to define what I can tolerate.

And--your bra size?? Who on earth would be juvenile enough to go looking for that piece of information?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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