Anonymous attacks on the internet are now against the law?

Attention Bloggers and Blog Commenters! Are you tired of receiving personal, sometimes libelous attacks by anonymous posters? Well last week, President Bush signed into law a bill that could make such anonymous attacks illegal.

Cnet News is reporting:

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.

As a blogger who publishes commentaries under my real name, I cannot express how happy I am to see this legislation pass. My blog, like many that allow comments has been infested by individuals who have leveled personal attacks, some boardering on slanderous. And while I do welcome those who disagree with me to comment. I believe it is a true act of a coward to do so anonymously or as has happened in some drastic cases, pretendinb to be someone else.

As a matter of fact, there is one poster who has infested many of the blogs at the Western Alliance. This individual has hurled personal insults and engaged in character assassination all while using fake names. And on several occasions, this individual has even gone as far as to pretend to be members of the Western Alliance. Now we have tracked all of these comments to either an IP address registered to an address in Lincoln, California or to Clear Channel Communications, which owns two Sacramento area talk radio stations 650AM KSTE and 1530AM KFBK. So we have a pretty good idea as to the identity of this anonymous poster. But to date we have chosen not to out this individual, even though his actions have been of questionable legality.

Well now there is may be no doubt that what this poster has been doing is illegal. So, I would like to issue a warning to him and his kind, that your anonymous assaults will no longer be tolerated. No longer are your taunts merely acts of a coward who doesn’t have guts to publicly stand behind your words. Now they are against the law!

So feel free to express yourself! But know that you may run afoul of the law by doing so anonymously.

Craig DeLuz

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