No Privacy for You Here?

People who comment on this and other blogs are sometimes desirous of remaining anonymous. I do not choose to be anonymous myself, but have no difficulty with others who may wish to do so for a variety of reasons. If a commenter, anonymous or otherwise, turns into a troll, then we all deal with it as well as we can. Some will use the “banhammer,” others will engage and overwhelm, still others will simply turn off the commenting.

Pat Powers at the SDWC is reporting that some South Dakota legislators think we can’t police our own place:

I’ve spoken with several legislators who have signed on, or are being asked to sign on to a pair of bills being circulated by Hamiel who is apparently directing an attack at bloggers. And more specifically, the free speech of commenters.

One of these measures I’m being told directs those hosting or writing blogs to turn over (upon request) identifying information of commenters. I believe the other is with regards to “libelous” statements allowed to remain out on the internet.

There are so many reasons that we should be concerned about this, not the least of which is the bearing on the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Go, read and educate yourself on the matter. Should this overreaching by the legislature make it into bill form, I know we’ll be talking about it in this space again.