Although not precisely book related, this news seems relevant, to me as a blogger and anyone else who has ever posted anything on the internet ever. Can you imagine having to put your home address on everything you post online? I’m sure cyberstalkers are celebrating everywhere, unlike the rest of us. I truly hope that bill S6779 gets dumped, and quickly. I’m in Canada, but what happens if a server I post on is hosted in New York, or the head office is in New York? And if this passes, how long before other states pass it too?
Perhaps this bill was created with the best of intentions, to stop anonymous bullying and harassment. But the consequences could be damaging, and far-reaching. Think of it like free speech – yes, it does mean that bigots of all types have a right to say their piece. But it also means that others have a right to disagree with them, even if those bigots are in power.
So why does anonymity matter? Mostly, because it isn’t a perfect world. Here in Canada, the government has been threatening to revoke the charitable status of any organization that speaks out against the proposed oil pipeline. So some organizations might want to say something, but are too scared of the consequences. Or an outspoken friend of mine who knows that business and politics don’t mix, so he confines his political rants to a pseudonym.
Website administrators can remove comments without knowing your e-mail address, home address, and home telephone number. Most of the people who would post harmful messages will lie or refuse anyways. So pretty much the only people who will comply would be people who aren’t doing anything wrong to begin with.
What do you think? Am I missing something here?
Christie (address and phone number withheld)