Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dragging Kentucky Out Of The 21st Century

Kentucky State Representative Tim Couch wants to outlaw anonymous posters online because of some recent high-profile cyberbullying cases ending in suicide, and he wants to do it by fining webmasters who don't keep accurate information on all users.

Basically, Rep. Couch (Hey kids! A Republican legislator who doesn't understand the Internet! What a novelty!) would like to step on the concerns of whistleblowers, victims of hate crimes and molestation, and other people who genuinely need a shield to preserve their safety in tough times so that he can band-aid the booboos of east Kentucky kids who had somebody be mean to them on the Internet. His brilliant plan to save the children online is by forcing them to attach their real names and addresses to everything they do online. Putting aside the profoundly clueless idea that bullies won't bully you if you know where they live (never stopped real-world bullies in high school), the pedophile lobby must be huge in the Bluegrass State. The men who show up at Chris Hanson stings have wet dreams about a law like this. Also, have you ever run across somebody online who said they'd kick your ass if they could find you? Well, now your address is right there. See you in fifteen minutes, punk!

If I was a Kentucky taxpayer (Drew Curtis, I'm looking at you), I'd be salty as holy hell this is the face your state legislature presents to the world. But back to the Ky. Rep.: good luck enforcing your parochial little statute across state lines. Or internationally. Or even inside Kentucky, really. I guess I'm saying to Rep. Couch that he's coming across as a dangerously ignorant tool of monumental proportions, so take that worthless bill off the floor and fade back into obscurity. If he's not one of Keith Olbermann's Worst People In The World tonight, it'll be like finding out there's no Santa all over again.

(Full disclosure: I'm a North Carolina citizen posting through a service whose main point-of-presence is in California (or is it India? See, sometimes it confuses me, too...). )

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