About half of the GOP assemblymen in New York jumped on to support a bill to force online commenters to reveal their real identities. “The Supreme Court has held for 50 years that anonymous speech is protected,” explained Eugene Volokh — a UCLA professor who runs the excellent Volokh Conspiracy website. “This kind of breach of anonymity on demand is just not constitutional.”
But it’s been a long time since legislators worried about constitutionality. In this case, the bill’s sponsor is Thomas O’Mara — whose utter disconnection from reality left him to claim he never considered the First Amendment to be an issue here. But that’s just a dodge — O’Mara, like McCain with the
Incumbent Protection Campaign Finance Reform Act, like McCain and Levin with the unconstitutional arrest and detention without due process clauses in the NDAA of 2012, know perfectly well they are violating the law of the land (or state.) They simply don’t care; their desire to tell you how to live is more important than your freedoms to these people.
Here’s another reason the politicians love it so: “Republican state Assemblyman Jim Conte praised the legislation, writing that it would eliminate ‘mean-spirited and baseless political attacks that add nothing to the real debate.’ “
So our rights are considered irrelevant when some guy with a title gets a case of butthurt due to people probably telling the truth about him. Here’s a little something to help us clarify your issue, Jimmy:
The bill is supposed to prevent cyberbullying. Here’s a better way — libel is illegal. When someone libels you, you first request the posts be deleted. If the website does not comply, you sue the crap out of them.