Illinois Bill To Outlaw Online Anonymity Dropped Because People Got Pissed Off, Not Because It's Unconstitutional

from the that's-one-way-to-do-lawmaking dept

We recently wrote about Illinois state senator Ira Silverstein and his bizarre decision to push an obviously unconstitutional bill that would effectively ban anonymous speech online. Basically, any site that accepted comments or user content, would be required to get the real names and addresses of anyone who comments, or agree to pull any anonymous content. As we noted at the time, the bill appeared to be an almost exact replica of a NY state bill that was widely mocked online for being unconstitutional.

Silverstein has now pulled the bill, admitting that "the heat" the bill generated was too much, so he dropped it. But what's truly incredible is his apparent inability to understand why people were so upset. He doesn't seem particularly apologetic about it, though he does admit that he copied the NY bill, which he discovered while surfing the internet:
"I do a lot of reading, a lot of research, over break," he said. "And I came across this idea that had been suggested in New York (state) as a way to combat cyberbullying. Kids can be very mean on the Internet, and I thought this might be a way of controlling that."
So it's another "save the children!" excuse, without, apparently, even attempting to think through the consequences (or constitutionality) of what he was proposing. For all the "reading" and "research" he did over break, you'd think he would have come across the complete tear downs of that same NY bill and why it was unconstitutional. I'm glad the bill was pulled, but it would be nicer if there was some flicker of recognition from Silverstein as to why the bill was so problematic in the first place.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Atkray (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 3:15pm

    "I do a lot of reading, a lot of research, over break," he said. "And I came across this idea that had been suggested in New York (state) as a way to combat cyberbullying. Kids can be very mean on the Internet, and I thought this might be a way of controlling that."

    żAm I going mad or did the word think escape your lips?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 3:15pm

    Phew, I'm safe, for now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 3:23pm

    I do a lot of reading, a lot of research, over break," he said.


    I wonder what is his definition of "lot": US Constitution is only 6 pages, including the Bill of Rights, and he definitively couldn't master such volume.

     

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    New Mexico Mark, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 3:46pm

    Re:

    Nope... "thought" escaped his lips. Vizzini, I have a premonition that your upcoming battle of wits -- to the death -- may go poorly. :)

     

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    missing part of geddy that goes around him like ne, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    Just ban people from going on the Internet altogether politicians. Lock it down. "BURN IT!"

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 3:57pm

    Ira Silverstein. The name says it all.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 4:10pm

    Re:

    http://www.fakenamegenerator.com/

    Just in case you need it, I will leave this here.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 4:15pm

    Re:

    ???

    Is there any particular funny reason?

    Is he staining silver?

     

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    special-interesting (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 4:21pm

    Obviously Senator Ira Silverstein is another victim of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA).

    Here is a decent (and typical,there are many) article on the misguided emphasis on how the NCLBA measures only Reading Writing and Math ignoring Science and History. http://www.nea.org/home/39774.htm In local newspapers its common that teachers cry of history being passed over in place of NCLBA test score remedial classes. Thats right, special classes just to game the NCLBA test scores. Gym class? Ha! Why would gym be more important than Science and History?

    Why was his first solution be to restrict the rights of citizens anyway. If he reads a lot ya think he would start with the first and fourth amendments. I wish someone would copyright the NY bill so it would vanish down the drain of eternal copyright (which actually might do some minuscule good in this case). But that would be historically bad because we need to learn from such nonsense.

    For the children... he would forge chains of bondage with his limited mindset. In fact just because he mentioned the word “children” makes me shiver anticipating future tainted legislation.

    It is impossible to understate the value of anonymity in all dealings with the net so much so I question his reading list. He did not read 1984 did he? And if he did... how many brain cells are actually plugged in and powered up in his head anyway.

    Heres my post on the political circus playing out daily in IL (its actually not very long); http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130219/10065822029/illinois-politician-seeks-to-outlaw-anonymous- comments-allow-anonymous-gun-ownership.shtml#c631 Want to be an IL politician? Its aaaall in the name.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 5:32pm

    For the children!

    "And I came across this idea that had been suggested in New York (state) as a way to combat cyberbullying. Kids can be very mean on the Internet, and I thought this might be a way of controlling that."

    Yep, let's protect the children and only the children. You just turned 18? Well f**k you, we don't give two shits about you now.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 5:40pm

    Re:

    aka, no child left a dime

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Re:

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 6:45pm

    Re:

    The kind of legislator who would introduce an obviously unconstitutional bill is the kind who isn't going to care about that sort of thing later.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2013 @ 1:19am

    "And I came across this idea that had been suggested

    And I came across this historical method of dealing with politicians, involving cellars and gunpowder.

     

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    Lurker Keith, Mar 2nd, 2013 @ 6:25am

    reading comprehension

    Either his reading list was abysmally short or his reading comprehension is abysmal.

    If you're doing research, how do you miss all the info about it being Unconstitutional? & how does a politician not consider the Constitution before crafting a Bill?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2013 @ 10:27am

    Gag on the Morality

    I’m going to guess that senator Silverstein thinks this bill was the “good idea”.
    NY State Senators Say We've Got Too Much Free Speech; Introduce Bill To Fix That

    Why do the elected in the State’s of IL and NY think we have too much Free Speech?

    Between arrests for public video taping/picture taking and the people’s representatives that favor muzzling, I certainly hope this is NOT the “progression” that the organizations they represent favor over Liberty.

     

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    spodula (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 1:43am

    The US constitution

    Over in the US, you have a wonderful document, remarkibly clear of legalese that made waves when it was orignially written, and is still an inspiration to people all over the world now.

    I Wish my own country (The UK) had such a clear and concise document as opposed to an "Unwritten constitution" which appears to mean "Whatever the ruling class feel like at the time"

    So, i'm wondering.
    Is the US Constitution not studied in US schools?
    This doesnt even seem to pass the laugh test.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 2:19am

    It is sad to see so many attacks and blatant disrespect towards the US Constitution. Still there's a lesson to be learned here: public outrage and mobilization will be effective into stopping the madness. People must stay vigilant!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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