Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Liberty circling the bowl?

Assemblyman PETER J. BIONDI (R) of the New Jersey Legislature has introduced a bill which would effectively end anonymous posting on the internet. It is unclear to Leonidas what effect such legislation, if enacted, would have on the internet outside of New Jersey but at the very least is an invitation to the U.S. Congress to intervene in the issue due to interstate commerce/communication issues.

Such a concept is chilling to defenders of free speech for several reasons. For example, many postings on the internet are, by their nature, offensive to various groups or individuals. Under terms of this proposed law a group wishing to inflict retaliation including physical harm for opinions expressed would have little difficulty in locating the subject of their rage.

There are currently at least a dozen European cartoonists and their families in hiding for fear of physical harm as a result of simply publishing unamusing depictions of a religious figure.


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