January 9th, 2006


Create an e-annoyance, go to jail

Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime:
Perspective: Create an e-annoyance, go to jail

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....

Think about it: A woman fired by a manager who demanded sexual favors wants to blog about it without divulging her full name. An aspiring pundit hopes to set up the next Suck.com. A frustrated citizen wants to send e-mail describing corruption in local government without worrying about reprisals.

In each of those three cases, someone's probably going to be annoyed. That's enough to make the action a crime. (The Justice Department won't file charges in every case, of course, but trusting prosecutorial discretion is hardly reassuring.)

Read the full story....
It seems that hardly a day goes by where US citizens don't lose another civil liberty. It's going to be interesting to watch the First Amendment challenges that will obviously arise the first time this law is enforced.

The fact that the Republicans keep passing crap like this (this provision was slipped into a must-pass bill to fund the Department of Justice by Sen. Arlen Specter, R-PA, e.g.) that drove me out of the party. I wish they'd return to their conservative, limited-government roots.

Just in case this post annoys anyone, my name is Greg.

Hat tip to brad.