March 7, 2006

Will they never stop reaching for what isn't theirs?

Slashdot | NJ Bill Would Prohibit Anonymous Posts on Forums
The internet isn't supposed to have a face. People who have a presence online spend time and money trying to keep it as oblique as possible to safeguard their lives and livelihood. New Jersey has decided you don't have the right to anonymity anymore, and will work to make sure that limitation on your rights sticks.
Some might extrapolate from this comment that I'm a little bit hypocritical since I advocate monitoring of potential terrorism related international communications. That can't be further from the truth. While requiring personal information to be gathered on international forums might further the national security of the US, there is no way to verify an internet user's submitted information. I have two email accounts where my name and address were required to be submitted before they were made usable, but I didn't provide either truthfully. If a state is going to require you to provide your information they'll end up with a lot of people lying just to be able to use the forum, and the law will have solved nothing. Call monitoring, on the other hand, has a definite start and end point which are resolvable in real-time and space. Althought you can resolve an IP address to a locality the internet is like Robert Jordan's Tel'aran'rhiod, or the world of dreams. Because your IP address is rarely static, and the ability for proxy surfing, pinpoint IP routing discovery isn't really possible in real-time. Thus, gathering personal data from forum users is pointless, and an invasion of your privacy on the internet, as well.

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