By Jim Fletcher
Far-reaching initiatives often start in relative obscurity. Such is the potential effect of a bill introduced by in the New York State Senate. Evidently, we’ve moved a long way from Ben Franklin and his Silence Dogood persona. If you are a writer of any sort online, you might not have the option much longer of remaining anonymous. Everyone understands that the Internet can be used for good or bad. Likewise, anonymity can be good or bad: See Franklin or Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense.” Writers like Paine knew that going public with a name would invite a swinging rope. Today, however, online posting presents certain pitfalls, namely, bullying. As with certain medical treatments, though, the treatment can often be worse than the disease. The New York Senate bill could end posting online! Sen. Thomas F. O’Mara, from Big Flats, N.Y., has introduced S6779, requiring an anonymous post to be removed if the poster won’t subsequently provide legal name, IP address and a home address!...... It’s pretty obvious that someone up there in New York doesn’t fully understand the Internet, or the full implications. Posting a home address, of course, could be extremely dangerous. To Read More…..