imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Sunday, January 15, 2006
SPECTER IS DESPICABLE
Uh-oh, President Bush has made anonymously "annoying" someone online a crime, and we can thank good ol' Sen. Specter for slipping it into the bill. In other words, if y'all didn't know my name, technically I could be arrested for that title. We need line item veto.
Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime:
It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed H.R. 3402 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.
Buried deep in the new law is Sec. 113, an innocuously titled bit called "Preventing Cyberstalking." It rewrites existing telephone harassment law to prohibit anyone from using the Internet "without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy."
To grease the rails for this idea, Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, and the section's other sponsors slipped it into an unrelated, must-pass bill to fund the Department of Justice. The plan: to make it politically infeasible for politicians to oppose the measure.