Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Being an Internet Troll is now illegal

Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.

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.

Given that most Internet debates are now tired and unoriginal (how many variations to filesharing motions can you have?), this is a fresh issue that can be discussed and debated on without necessarily forcing anyone to go into the technical details of the Internet and computers.

Possible motion: This house would ban anonymity from the Internet.

The basic question you need to ask yourself regarding this issue is, is there anything wrong with being anonymous on the Internet? If yes, is this the only way to address the problem? If no, what is the value of anonymity on the Internet?