Well, for one thing; they seem to believe that words are even more dangerous than bullets…
“Whatever you might believe about anonymous comments and/or gun ownership, it’s difficult to put both of these laws together and not see some sort of extreme hypocrisy.”
Yes, that’s right! While the Turkish officials are facing widely international criticism for jailing independent journalists, comparing their articles to terrorists bullets, several US states are introducing laws that ban anonymous comments on websites and the same time proposes rules to keep information on gun owners anonymous.
Personally, I can’t help wondering: Where do all this craziness come from?
But I’m obviously not the only one asking this question. Over et Techdirt.com they’re focusing on Illinois State Senator, Ira I. Silverstein, who recently introduced an almost identical bill to the one some New York politicians tried to push through last year.
Here’s the widely mocked NY wording:
A WEB SITE ADMINISTRATOR UPON REQUEST SHALL REMOVE ANY COMMENTS POSTED ON HIS OR HER WEB SITE BY AN ANONYMOUS POSTER UNLESS SUCH ANONYMOUS POSTER AGREES TO ATTACH HIS OR HER NAME TO THE POST AND CONFIRMS THAT HIS OR HER IP ADDRESS, LEGAL NAME, AND HOME ADDRESS ARE ACCURATE. ALL WEB SITE ADMINISTRATORS SHALL HAVE A CONTACT NUMBER OR E-MAIL ADDRESS POSTED FOR SUCH REMOVAL REQUESTS, CLEARLY VISIBLE IN ANY SECTIONS WHERE COMMENTS ARE POSTED.
And here’s the Illinois wording.
Creates the Internet Posting Removal Act. Provides that a web site administrator shall, upon request, remove any posted comments posted by an anonymous poster unless the anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate.
Meanwhile, Techdirt.com notes the ultimate irony that the very same Ira I. Silverstein, just days after introducing that bill to effectively ban internet anonymity, proposed another bill to keep gun owner info anonymous, amending the freedom of information act to exempt firearms ownership data from being available to the public.
“Whatever you might believe about anonymous comments and/or gun ownership, it’s difficult to put both of these laws together and not see some sort of extreme hypocrisy,” Mike Masnick at Techdirt writes.
However, it seems to be a spreading attitude amongst politicians worldwide that words are, in fact, more dangerous than bullets.
Like I wrote in yesterday’s post about the situation surrounding Turkish journalists:
“In a recent speech, the Minister of the Interior, Idris Naim Sahin, compared writers and journalists to Kurdistan Workers’ party fighters, saying there was ”no difference between the bullets fired in and the articles written in Ankara”.”
- Meet the Internet Posting Removal Act, an Illinois Bill That’ll Make Your Head Spin (webpronews.com)
- Turkey Frees 10 Pro-Kurdish Politicians (voanews.com)
- Turkish police raid leftist group after U.S. embassy bombing (Reuters) (newsdaily.com)
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