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  • Legal ramifications of anonymous posting..

    As relayed from a Slashdot article...

    An anonymous reader writes "The New Jersey legislature is considering a bill that would require operators of public forums to collect users' legal names and addresses, and effectively disallow anonymous speech on online forums. This raises some serious issues, such as to what extent local and state governments can go in enacting and enforcing Internet legislation."
    Link to bill: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2006/Bi...00/1327_I1.HTM

    What would vBulletin do in response to this?

  • #2
    I believe if the bill is signed into effect, it would be for new jersey only (so You'd need to live there, or be hosted there).

    However its already possible to attempt to collect this info.

    Comment


    • #3
      Disallowing anonymous speech is a violation of the US constitution. There is absolutely no chance this bill will be valid.

      (And that's gotta be the most pathetic bill that I've ever seen. It looks like it was written in 30 minutes by some under-paid intern.)
      :)

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't think that bill will last. That's a perfect example of wasting tax dollar and time.
        So Cal Sportbike forum - So Cal Moto - Kawasaki Ninja 250R Forum - Custom vinyl decals - Southern California camping forum

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DirectPixel
          Disallowing anonymous speech is a violation of the US constitution. There is absolutely no chance this bill will be valid.

          (And that's gotta be the most pathetic bill that I've ever seen. It looks like it was written in 30 minutes by some under-paid intern.)
          Exactly. Even if does pass, the Supreme Court would likely nullify it.
          Forums

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          • #6
            no need to worry ... it won't go far LOL
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            • #7
              Originally posted by DirectPixel
              Disallowing anonymous speech is a violation of the US constitution. There is absolutely no chance this bill will be valid.
              Would you mind citing the line where anonymous speech is mentioned in the Constitution? I cannot find it:

              http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html

              By the way, I think this goes too far too. There is no way the majority of forum operators could possibly have the resources to collect and verify a name and address for every single person; if this is widely adopted it would mean the end of online forums.

              Comment


              • #8
                Seriously.

                I mean, what about those sites with like... statistics like offtopic.com? I wouldn't want to even think about going about and doing such a thing.
                Congratulations on the death of vBulletin, Internet Brands.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This was the first case that popped up on a FindLaw search. I believe there is an earlier case that is more specific to the terms of the bill above, but I can't recall the name.

                  http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/script...0&invol=U10296

                  Quick quote regarding the reasoning:
                  Anonymity thereby provides a way for a writer who may be personally unpopular to ensure that readers will not prejudge her message simply because they do not like its proponent.
                  No anonymity means no chance of dissent without retribution against an oppressive government. Reason why this cannot possibly be legal.
                  Last edited by DirectPixel; Mon 6th Mar '06, 6:15pm.
                  :)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well I hate to be pessimistic but if this is on a republican agenda it will definitely get passed and since the repubs basically control the senate & supreme court it will not be denied by them or anyone in current government. I think this is just more big brother/big religion tactics on the way. Now anyone in a forum upset about the government or christianity will be an easy target and promptly picked up and fed-ex'd to guantanamo. Think of the hassle it will save the department of homeland defense in tracking down "traitors" who question the current administration. The constitution is a thing of the past, the Patriot act is the new constitution now.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sross
                      Well I hate to be pessimistic but if this is on a republican agenda it will definitely get passed and since the repubs basically control the senate & supreme court it will not be denied by them or anyone in current government. I think this is just more big brother/big religion tactics on the way. Now anyone in a forum upset about the government or christianity will be an easy target and promptly picked up and fed-ex'd to guantanamo. Think of the hassle it will save the department of homeland defense in tracking down "traitors" who question the current administration. The constitution is a thing of the past, the Patriot act is the new constitution now.
                      I hate to rain on your political parade, but no matter what political party is in control here, the chances of this bill actually becoming valid law is extremely slim.

                      Why? Because there is already a precedent in the Supreme Court that invalidates this bill. In order for this to become legal, you'll not only have to pass it, but also have to get the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling. There is just about 0% chance the Supreme Court will do that, no matter what political party or how conservative/liberal the judges are.

                      Freedom in speech has always received the highest regard when it comes to Supreme Court cases, and above all else, effort has always been made to make sure that the First Amendment cannot be infringed upon.

                      Despite what the media makes it out to be, American politics is not dominated by the Patriot act.
                      :)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DirectPixel
                        No anonymity means no chance of dissent without retribution against an oppressive government. Reason why this cannot possibly be legal.
                        Ah yes, the Bush administration has jailed and killed every person in this country who has expressed the slightest bit of dissent, and buried them in mass graves in Washington D.C., right?

                        Originally posted by sross
                        Well I hate to be pessimistic but if this is on a republican agenda it will definitely get passed and since the repubs basically control the senate & supreme court it will not be denied by them or anyone in current government. I think this is just more big brother/big religion tactics on the way. Now anyone in a forum upset about the government or christianity will be an easy target and promptly picked up and fed-ex'd to guantanamo. Think of the hassle it will save the department of homeland defense in tracking down "traitors" who question the current administration. The constitution is a thing of the past, the Patriot act is the new constitution now.
                        New York and its neighboring states are run by the democrats; looking at the 160 years they were in power from 1830 to 1990 in the federal government, they are the ones who are known for passing idiotic laws (e.g. jim crow laws).
                        Last edited by Shining Arcanine; Tue 7th Mar '06, 2:31am.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If this turns into a political mess I'm going to close the thread...

                          Stay on topic please.
                          Best Regards
                          Colin Frei

                          Please don't contact me per PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Shining Arcanine
                            Ah yes, the Bush administration has jailed and killed every person in this country who has expressed the slightest bit of dissent, and buried them in mass graves in Washington D.C., right?


                            New York and its neighboring states are run by the democrats; looking at the 160 years they were in power from 1830 to 1990 in the federal government, they are the ones who are known for passing idiotic laws (e.g. jim crow laws).
                            Jim Crow laws were passed mostly in the Southern states in order to prevent emancipated slaves from exercising their rights to vote, etc. This was not prevalent in the Northern states, who were mainly anti-slavery going into the Civil War.
                            :)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DirectPixel
                              Disallowing anonymous speech is a violation of the US constitution. There is absolutely no chance this bill will be valid.
                              Doesn't mean it won't be passed and legislated until the Supreme Court reviews it. Many laws are passed that are Unconstitional, large portions of the Patriot Act, the new Anti-Abortion law in South Dakota, among many others. However they remain laws and on the books until invalidated by the courts.
                              Translations provided by Google.

                              Wayne Luke
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