French Senator Proposes Outlawing Anonymous Blogging

from the no-anonymity-allowed dept

Reader Kurata alerts us to a proposal put forth by a French politician, Jean-Louis Masson, that would outlaw anonymous blogging (Google translation from the original French). The law says that anyone who “edits… a non-professional communication service online” must provide full identification information, including first and last names, full location and phone number.

The article notes that many people are reasonably upset about this proposal, pointing to the value of anonymous communications online. Those defending the law give odd reasons for supporting it, such as suggesting that it will make it easier to sue people. That doesn’t seem like a good reason to change this law.

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Comments on “French Senator Proposes Outlawing Anonymous Blogging”

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Anonymous Coward says:

“such as suggesting that it will make it easier to sue people.”

and easier to punish people who disagree with you, and easier for employers to fire employees that hold a position that the employer doesn’t like, and easier for employers to ensure that they only hire those who don’t defend positions that employers don’t like. and the legal system shouldn’t encourage lawsuits, it should discourage them, and someone who wants to sue a would be anonymous commenter probably has a bogus reason to sue encouraging bogus lawsuits. No one should risk being sued for their opinion.

Anonymous Coward says:

What about anonymous conversing with bots? It’s an old past time, and I think I’ve kept people from killing themselves by letting them talk to my bot.

This is very important to me, unless Jean-Louis Masson believes in allowing suicide.

So it would make him an advocate for assisted suicide if he killed my bot, so my bot is okay, right?

PrometheeFeu (profile) says:

The guy is an independent. And in France, that does not mean he helps to break ties… It means even the tiny little parties don’t want him. It is unlikely that law will even make it into a committee according to informed commentators.

It appears the senator in question was the subject of deffamation on a blog in his home town and he didn’t realize there are methods setup so he could sue. He’ll be made to realize that he has options and this whole episode will go away. I wouldn’t worry about it. (The man admitted he didn’t know what Twitter or the iPad are and that he didn’t care…)

It appears though that internauts (french internet users) have been pretty active digging up and bringing to the surface every little dirty secret that could be found about that senator. He’s probably regretting pissing them off now.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Why do you Mike allow anonymous commenting here @ techdirt ?

“too lazy to set up another system?”

We already have a system that works, another system that does what? Serves corporate interests? No thanks. What other system?

How about this, set up the other system (which exists) and if it works so well no one would find a need to be anonymous. To the extent that people find the need to be anonymous it means the other system isn’t working. Oh wait, there is already another system outside of anonymity that allegedly protects whistleblowers and those who disagree with the mainstream media, the government, big corporations, and the status quo and it basically doesn’t work. No one is against another system, you are free to set it up, but that doesn’t mean we should abolish this system either.

“Many sites require registration , and it seems to work ok”

Works OK for who, those specific sites and for those who don’t mind not being anonymous? but for those who do, it doesn’t work OK and for many people it doesn’t work OK. and apparently for you it doesn’t work OK either because you’re anonymous too.

Technopolitical (profile) says:

Re: Re: Why do you Mike allow anonymous commenting here @ techdirt ?

“Anonymous commenting lowers the bar for joining the conversation”

Exactly . That weakens the conversation,

Instead of a good honest debate , based on fact and principle,
you get Nitpicking Pirate Logic, insults ,

people claiming PhDs,

and just a lot of loons.

(And sometimes me included. )

Now I am not saying that is all bad.

Sometimes it is fun.

But all that noise often makes it harder

to focus on a good debate

of fact and on the “conflicting principles” between us.

Anonymous Coward says:

@Technopolitical: On Wikipedia, we found that most “drive-by” editors (people who do not bother to create a login and just want to fix a small typo or add some information) are a great asset. Perhaps the same applies to here.

I, for one, would not have started commenting here if I had to create an account or type my email address.

Penny Nelson says:

This French Politician is a horrible person

This French politician is on crack. Anonymity does have some downsides but also some great upsides. Look at DirtyPhoneBook for instance. Would you be able to rat out who is cheating if you had to put in your name before commenting? LOL, no. There’s real social value in anonymous commenting online on all sorts of political, religious, personal, and moral issues.

I think we should anonymously outlaw politicians to be honest. Thats a debate worth having!

interval says:

Re: This French Politician is a horrible person

“Anonymity does have some downsides but also some great upsides.”

Way to understate the cornerstone of American society. I am however continually amazed by people from other countries who don’t ever quite get how valuable a free press is, or secret ballots, or…

RikuoAmero (profile) says:

It's very sad

I was just chatting to a French friend of mine via Skype on this topic, mentioned “French politician wants to ban anonymous blogging”. And for some fucking reason he never made clear, he said its to stop child porn.
And this friend is young, smart, articulated, well educated and wary of all things political and religious. And he still spouted child porn.

The Devil's Coachman (profile) says:

Re: It's very sad

Hey, he’s from a nation of cheese-eating surrender monkeys, so when all other explanations fail, chalk it up to that. This is a nation to whom Jerry Lewis is a national comedic treasure, who haven’t been victorious in battle since Napoleon, and whose aversion to bathing and deodorants is hard to find a parallel to outside the Middle East and darkest Africa. They drink vast quantities of wine that would make Two Buck Chuck taste like DRC burgundy, put butter in everything including their hair, and hold the rest of the planet in undying contempt for having the audacity to not be froggies like them. Screw those snail slurping croissant munchers – not a real man to be found in the whole country. Other than that, I have no problem with them. For the moment.

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