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01/10/2006 Archived Entry: "Yikes!!"

A new post on the libertarian discussion BB associated with this site:

I am posting the attached article by the incredible Declan McCullagh under the "Personal" category because I know that many members maintain blogs, post and otherwise communicate under monikers and, so, may wish to change their personal e-habits or, at least, be aware of the possible consequences associated with maintaining those habits. The article opens:

"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. This ridiculous prohibition, which would likely imperil much of Usenet, is buried in the so-called Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act. Criminal penalties include stiff fines and two years in prison."

Thank goodness I've never been on the Web under anything but my own name. Sometimes that's seemed a disadvantage because anything I post anywhere is vulnerable to being lifted out of context and reposted on gender feminist lists etc. in order to "prove" that I hate women or torture small animals. Compared to being pursued by the feds, however, the occasional silly slander by gen-fems or men's rights activists is trivial. Read the entire piece. Amazing. Frightening.

BTW, and as a digression, my FOX column this week is on another unnoticed but terribly draconian addendum to the Vioence Against Women Act. My God! Has anyone actually read the whole document? It modifies immigration policy, criminalizes anonymous email communications...it strays so far away from domestic violence -- or, rather, it so broadly defines the areas that need to be controlled in order prevent DV -- that nothing seems exempt from its totalitarian tenacles. Yikes.

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