From Threadwatch, the New Jersey state legislature is considering a bill that would disallow anonymous speech on forums. While this only relates to New Jersey law, the proposed bill is pretty bold in its attempts and could set a precedent for other states or even national law if passed.
“This bill would require an operator of any interactive computer service or an Internet service provider to establish, maintain and enforce a policy requiring an information content provider who posts messages on a public forum website either to be identified by legal name and address or to register a legal name and address with the operator or provider prior to posting messages on a public forum website.
The bill requires an operator of an interactive computer service or an Internet service provider to establish and maintain reasonable procedures to enable any person to request and obtain disclosure of the legal name and address of an information content provider who posts false or defamatory information about the person on a public forum website.
In addition, the bill makes any operator or Internet service provider liable for compensatory and punitive damages as well as costs of a law suit filed by a person damaged by the posting of such messages if the operator or Internet service provider fails to establish, maintain and enforce the policy required by section 2 of the bill.”
AussieWebmaster makes the following interesting comment, “Guess the freedom to be yourself means that you have to be yourself.”