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Proviso Probe

Thursday, January 12, 2006

BLOG, don't be annoying unless you use your name

News.com (Declan McCullagh):
Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.

It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.

In other words, it's OK to flame someone on a mailing list or in a blog as long as you do it under your real name. Thank Congress for small favors, I guess.

What are the odds Emanuel Christopher Welch tries to use this law to sue his critics?

I expect the law will be shot down on First Amendment grounds. Remember, a number of the "founding fathers" produced annoying pamphlets anonymously.


  • I still would recommend a newbie blog anonymously--using a pseudonym--based on my experience.

    It's hard to go after someone who is anonymous.

    It's relatively easy for a shithead lawyer to bring a bad-faith defamation suit.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 9:21 PM, January 12, 2006  

  • I always used my real name and have less respect for folks who blog or comment and don't use their names. If someone doesn't stand behind their comments, I take them less seriously. However, I am concerned about that law. What is annoying? Is telling the truth annoying? Truth is a typical defense to libel. Sounds like an attempt to chill speech.

    By Blogger Ellen Beth, at 10:30 AM, January 13, 2006  

  • Here's an article a reader emailed me.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 1:21 PM, January 14, 2006  

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