Your identity please

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A bill introduced in the New Jersey legislature would ban anonymous posts in forums like this.

The operator of any interactive computer service or an Internet service provider shall establish, maintain and enforce a policy to require any information content provider who posts written messages on a public forum website either to be identified by a legal name and address, or to register a legal name and address with the operator of the interactive computer service or the Internet service provider through which the information content provider gains access to the interactive computer service or Internet, as appropriate.

Comment anonymously while you can.

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  1. So would this only apply to NJ residents or a server located in NJ? I see a move to “off-shore forums”

  2. Have these jackasses completely lost their minds?

  3. There’s a cutoff age for the internet, sort of like there is for enjoying rap music. Above, say 40-45 years old, most people just have no effing clue about the internet. Think of George Bush talking about draft rumors “on the internets.” Or Ted Kennedy, on a recent talk show, refering to a site’s “web number.”

    What we’ve got here are people with no effing idea what the internet is and how it works, trying to write regulations for it. Because, you see, most legislators are over the cutoff age.

  4. Just watch, the next bill that’s going to be introduced will ban “anonymous transactions” meaning anything paid for in cash! :-0

  5. Is this a “for-real” piece of proposed legislation, or something “submitted on behalf of constitutent” (i.e. “please vote against this dreck”)?

    JMJ

  6. He’s a 63 year old republican who’s wikipedia entry consists of a bunch of BS boards he’s served on and this legislation. He probably introduced it just for notoriety.

  7. But this IS my real name..

  8. But it’s still OK for me to say, “I’m Spartacus” in public, right? Just not on-line?

  9. Constitution? Supreme Court? Federalist Papers? Common Sense? Handbills? While it’s not an absolute right, I think the right to make anonymous statements is pretty well established, and the Supreme Court has consistently ruled in favor of the right to anonymous speech. In the United States, anyway.

    Cato published a briefing paper on this back in 1999: Nameless in Cyberspace: Anonymity on the Internet.

  10. Anonymous Roman Slave, it’s just as okay as it was in Roman times. When they crucified all of those fellas that said, “I’m Spartacus”.

  11. “While it’s not an absolute right, I think the right to make anonymous statements is pretty well established, and the Supreme Court has consistently ruled in favor of the right to anonymous speech.”

    You’re thinking in pre-9/11 terms. Now if people are allowed to speak anonymously the terrorists will win!

  12. Didn’t a national bill recently pass that made it illegal to anonymously annoy people over the internet? If so, then this NJ bill is simply redundant, as all internet speech is annoying.

  13. *chuckle* I suggest they learn something about the internet before they embarrass themselves any further.

  14. You know, how is it that the 9/11 attacks justify things that were illegal and unnecessary when we were facing thousands of nuclear weapons? I’m just guessing here, but I suspect that the Soviet Union was, literally, a billion times the threat than today’s crazed terrorists are.

  15. This is the best bill ever. Will make my job much easier.

  16. I’m surprised this wasn’t part of PATRIOT. Oh well, there’s always the next round.

  17. I’d like to cordially invite the entire NJ State legislator to go and vigorously copulate with itself.

  18. On the plus side, the NJ legislature may finally provide an answer to the question “Who is Jean Bart?” He vowed to stop the motor of the Reason server, and he managed to achieve that goal for an hour or so most days.

  19. I find this offensive.

  20. Another useless law that can’t be enforced…just ask all the al Qaida posters that have been arrested for their anonymous postings…but I suppose this will make someone somewhere feel as if they’ve done something…and afterall, isn;t that what getting elected is all about?

    I am not Gaijin

  21. I have pictures of Peter J. Biondi engaged in the activity of vigorously copulating with a sheep.

  22. I think this will be effective. I’m pretty sure they passed something like this back in ’83 for graffiti writers and there hasn’t been anybody painting things anonymously on walls in NJ since.

    Next they should go after anonymous loudmouths at bars. Seems every time I go to a bar in NJ, some one is saying some shit, and I don’t know who they are. To make matters worse, whenever i confront them about what they said, they are aware that i don’t know them and rub it in by saying things like, “you don’t know who you’re talking to.” Surely legislation can fix this.

  23. So I have to register a legal name and address. It doesn’t say it has to be MY legal name and address, now does it?

  24. Like most of us, I use a “nom de plume” I suppose that would be illegal as well.

  25. The legislator who sponsored this pointless piece of legislation is Peter Biondi. Here’s a link to his info page. Contact him.

    http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/biondi.asp

  26. What we’ve got here are people with no effing idea what the internet is and how it works, trying to write regulations for it.

    I’m not likely to RTFA, but just the summary makes me think perhaps the legislators might not be as ignorant as they sound. It’s not illegal to *post* anonymously, it’s illegal to *allow* anonymous posting. This is a way to shake down website operators, not anonymous posters.

  27. I never use a false name.

    My address is

    1812 Austerlitz ave
    Waterloo IA 50706

  28. “He vowed to stop the motor of the Reason server, and he managed to achieve that goal for an hour or so most days.”

    So the server squirrels periodically take refuge in Bart’s Gulch?

  29. It’s just a ‘know your customer’ requirement. No different from what we already require of all manner of businesses. This just closes one of the loopholes the terrorists have been exploiting.

  30. Comment by “SR”

    “You’re thinking in pre-9/11 terms. Now if people are allowed to speak anonymously the terrorists will win!”

    If that sort of thinking prevails, the terrorists HAVE won.

  31. It’s just more pedophile bogeyman law. People think that because John Q. Babyrapist can use anonymous boards to lure children, that making people have to identify themselves will solve this “epidemic”.

  32. I’m not worried about this at all. In fact, here’s my address, for anyone who’s curious:

    The Threanah
    Sandleford Warren
    Hampshire, UK SO20 6LQ

  33. This is the worst news ever.

    5 4 3 2 1 0 …. you’ll never see me again.

    I think this is an infringement of free speech. Free speech can be anonymous speech if it wants to be.

  34. Usually I just use candy, or pictures of an allegedly lost puppy. The internet is nice, but hardly necessary.

  35. “Ihre ausweis, bitte!”

  36. I’d laugh if it wasn’t so very sad…

  37. What, y’all got something to hide?

  38. smacky, I wouldn’t worry too much. The bill sounds overbroad and doesn’t really purport to advance any compelling interest, anyway. It would also make being an ISP pretty tough, since the bill increases the chance of being held liable for “republication” of defamatory remarks. How stupid is that? Gosh, we could end defamation by duct taping everyone’s mouth shut, too.

  39. I like that Dave W. decided to post “anonymously” as me. Obsess much, Dave?

  40. Die Phil

    Hope an Arab chops off your head Phil

    Since I’m not posting this anonymously the New Jersey legislature can kiss my ass Phil

  41. Patently unconstitutional. Not even close.

    Doe v. 2TheMart.com, 140 F. Supp. 2d 1088:

    “The right to speak anonymously extends to speech via the Internet. Internet anonymity facilitates the rich, diverse, and far ranging exchange of ideas. The ‘ability to speak one’s mind’ on the Internet ‘without the burden of the other party knowing all the facts about one’s identity can foster open communication and robust debate.’

    People who have committed no wrongdoing should be free to participate in online forums without fear that their identity will be exposed under the authority of the court.”

  42. Hope you get a job that involves wearing a red shirt at CTU, Phil.

    (Just kidding.)

  43. Well, I hope you assholes are all happy now.

  44. Happy as a pig in shit Phil

  45. Hope I post as you, Phil, and that it upsets you as a result.

  46. The object is not to ACT

    the object is to be seen as an ACTOR

    Consultants’ corollary:

    We’re not here to fix the problem, we’re only here to assign the blame

  47. I normally post with my real name, but now I have to wonder if, by doing so, I’ve become some sort of complacent statist sheep. I just hate it when a legislature requires something I already do; it takes some of the zest out of life. Now I’ll have to start calling myself “Anonymous,” just to spite New Jersey.

    But you can call me Bruce if it’d be less confusing.

  48. P Biondi,

    Or, as Despair.com says about consulting, “If you’re not a part of the solution, there’s good money to be made in prolonging the problem.”

  49. P Biondi,

    Or, as Despair.com says about consulting, “If you’re not a part of the solution, there’s good money to be made in prolonging the problem.”

  50. Hope I post as you, Phil, and that it upsets you as a result.

    Replace “upsets” with “amuses.” You’re a sad, funny little man, Dave. A dishonorable one as well, to be sure, but sad and funny nonetheless.

  51. If the law passes, we should all post as “Anonymous” for a day or something.

  52. When I want your opinion, I’ll beat it out of you, AND MAKE YOU SIGN IT

  53. It appears that the mysterious Jean Bart stopped the motor of the server…for lunch!

  54. The post that Phil quotes uses my email address but is not me. I was writing to make this clarification 5 or 10 minutes ago, but the server rejected my comment as it often used to when I used to post.

    The “Phil” post that uses my email address is me. I was trying to make a point about respecting people’s privacy. However, I used my own email address in case ppl somehow started thinking that the real Phil really said this law was good.

  55. If anonymous is outlawed, only outlaws will be anonymous. And then how are they going to catch any of them?

  56. Since when did NJ get its own internet?

    I never use my real name, and I am a resident in the Police State of NJ.

    I’m not worried. The internet was designed to withstand nuclear (Nukular for the remaining 18% who approve of our president)attack. Surely it can withstand an Ass-embly from New Joisey thinking it can change it.

  57. I need a drink!

  58. My anonymous comment is that the sponsor of the bill, Peter J. Biondi, is a clueless dimshit.

  59. ‘The post that Phil quotes uses my email address but is not me. I was writing to make this clarification 5 or 10 minutes ago, but the server rejected my comment as it often used to when I used to post.

    The “Phil” post that uses my email address is me. I was trying to make a point about respecting people’s privacy. However, I used my own email address in case ppl somehow started thinking that the real Phil really said this law was good.’

    OK, I’m lost.

    “If the law passes, we should all post as “Anonymous” for a day or something.” Does anyone else remember “Slander Michael Savage Day?”

  60. OK, I’m lost.

    Not as lost as Dave, I suspect.

  61. Like most of us, I use a “nom de plume”

    Not me! I use a “freedom name”! Take that, faithless French traitor!

  62. Wait, so the guy who posted as Dave W. wasn’t, but Dave W. posting as Phil was Dave W., but Phil is Phil?

    I’m lost too.

    Will the real Slim Shady please stand up? I repeat: Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

    We’re gonna have a problem here.

  63. joe, isn’t slandering Michael Savage redundant? I always wondered if he wasn’t some sort of agent provocateur for the left, he was (is) so crazy.

  64. This is the best bill ever. Will make my job much easier.

    Hope your shoes are uncomfortably tight, causing you to walk around in stocking feet, discovering the principles of static electricity.

    Hope you go insane trying to download music from my website.

    Hope your wife develops an aversion to sex, and every computer you access blocks p0rn.

  65. Yeah, the downloads are subject to a crap-crap-crappy interface. I am waiting for my GOOGLE Gdrive, but they haven’t started giving those away. May have to break down and buy some more webspace this weekend.

  66. I’m one of the few on this forum who uses his real name and real e-mail address.
    So ….
    FUCK YOU, NEW JERSEY! FUCKIN’ FASCISTS! COME AND GET ME, COPPER! YEAH, SEE, YA AIN’T GONNA GET ME ALIVE, SEE!
    Sorry, lost my head. I live in Missoula, Montana. I’m in the phone book.

  67. Me, to.

  68. 69’ed!

  69. I wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t related to the anti-naked short selling conspiracy campaign in NJ. Serial offending pump and dump scam operators want to be able to sue or otherwise harass people who point out their histories.

  70. I’d say it’s probably closer to “pedophile panic legislation” than anything else. It’s ill advised, and I’m sure it will be misused for other unintended ends.

  71. let’s move our servers to Sealand.

  72. “May have to break down and buy some more webspace this weekend.”

    Oh man, Coldplay’s proper fucked now.

  73. At least I hope they are.

    God, that band sucks.

  74. I know NJ. They seem to be plagerizing ‘I Will Bear Witness’ as thier game plan. I have little doubt this will pass.

    As a NJ resident, with his server in Utah, (now THAT is a combunation), I have had to make a change to my website in anticipation of this law.

    Since this proposed law applies to PUBLIC websites, I have had to declare my site PRIVATE, with very restrictive membership requirements.

    While I will miss the voluminous comments made by those affected by these new restrictions, I think it will be a better place after we welcome our new Biondista overlords.

  75. “They seem to be plagerizing ‘I Will Bear Witness’ as their game plan.”

    The Victor Klemperer book???

  76. SR, Yup. Great read. Very chilling.

  77. There’s a cutoff age for the internet, sort of like there is for enjoying rap music. Above, say 40-45 years old, most people just have no effing clue about the internet.

    Dear Joey:

    The “internet” is a proper noun spelled “Internet”. No one who has had much of anything to do with inventing the Internet is younger than 40.

  78. “STFU N00b54uc3!” -Anonymous

    TERRORISTS WIN!

    (Counterstrike Humor)

  79. JK,

    Bloody semantics! Go ahead and completely discount an argument because of a failure to capitalize. It’s not the people who built and intimately know the Internet (happy?), whom are surely older than 40, that are making decisions about it. What does “inventing the Internet” have to do with knowing how to use it? (Feel free to marginalize this post if I misused “whom”.)

    I always thought “most” meant “more than half, but less than all” but (dumb stuborn little me) I’ve been proven wrong over and over. When will I learn that “most” means “all”?

  80. JK,

    1. Only family members and women I’m sleeping with are allowed to call me Joey. Which are you?

    2. Save the capitalization corrections for English class, schoolmarm.

    3. “No one who has had much of anything to do with inventing the Internet is younger than 40.” is not a refutation of “There’s a cutoff age for the internet, sort of like there is for enjoying rap music. Above, say 40-45 years old, most people just have no effing clue about the internet.”

  81. Conclusions:
    1. Biondi is an ignoramus
    2. Biondi is attempting to facilitate debate over defamation and the internet without expecting the bill to pass AND he’s an ignoramus.
    3. Biondi is a lawyer or is in bed with lawyers looking for a cash cow before he gets kicked out of office for incompetence AND he’s an ignoramus.

  82. In the future, we will also have to show our ID before talking to anyone in the streets. Also, we will not be allowed to buy anything in a shop without presenting proper ID.

  83. “There’s a cutoff age for the internet, sort of like there is for enjoying rap music. Above, say 40-45 years old, most people just have no effing clue about the internet. Think of George Bush talking about draft rumors “on the internets.” Or Ted Kennedy, on a recent talk show, refering to a site’s “web number.”

    What we’ve got here are people with no effing idea what the internet is and how it works, trying to write regulations for it. Because, you see, most legislators are over the cutoff age.”

    Are you nuts? Do you think the internet is new? Who do you think put together a network like this? And it happened overnight? I’m way over the “cut-off age”.. way over… And I’ve been an internet (ArpaNet) user most likely since before you were born….

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