I grew up right on the edge of the Ohio river with Kentucky and I always remember the year they declared the entire state’s education system unconstitutional. Not that the education system in Indiana is much better (there’s a reason my parents – public school teachers – sent us to a private school). The poverty, irrational magical thinking and lack of support for academics continue to degrade the state economies (but thank God we have basketball, right?). Now this:
Kentucky Representative Tim Couch filed a bill this week to make anonymous posting online illegal. The bill would require anyone who contributes to a website to register their real name, address and e-mail address with that site. Their full name would be used anytime a comment is posted. If the bill becomes law, the website operator would have to pay if someone was allowed to post anonymously on their site. [Pay who? Let me guess the Commonwealth of Kentucky, right?] The fine would be five-hundred dollars for a first offense and one-thousand dollars for each offense after that. Representative Couch says he filed the bill in hopes of cutting down on online bullying. He says that has especially been a problem in his Eastern Kentucky district.
I like how this is completely non-enforceable. Politicians still don’t get it: the internet was built to withstand a nuclear war – that is why the protocols are decentralized – there is no way to regulate the internet. Sure you can route it through the NSA and make your watch list for your favorite re-education camp or shut down someone’s domain name if you don’t like them, but the structure of the internet is built on ‘no one is really in charge.’
I also think it is dumb to act like online bullying is anything particularly new when contrasted with postal hate mail or crank phone calls. We all know what technology does to people.
And please please please can we put a ban on news media using the prefix ‘cyber’? Nobody says cyber anything anymore. Get a clue and join the internet super highway!
In other news, Oklahoma scrapes the bottom of the stupid barrel just a little bit more.