Kentucky lawmaker wants to ban anonymity

A government law requiring online posters to provide real identity strikes me as a tad unconstitutional, but it’s worth noting.

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.

While I believe newspapers should know the identity of people posting to their site (or at least make an honest effort to gather real identity), it seems some level of anonymity on the Web is +1 for society.

Besides, the law would be unworkable.  It’s unconstitutional because it smacks of the government trying to prohibit speech it finds objectionable (going far beyond merely banning hate speech); it’s an unenforceable burden on publishers to expect them to enforce real identity with 100 percent certainty; and the way the web is built, it is absolutely impossible to require real identity.

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  • yomama

    Why bother with real ID’s? A skilled operator can ruin someones life with info gained by a single visit to a site… Its done all of the time by these precious media folk.