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Saturday, February 06, 2010



They're in the hopper:



Douglas Wiken

Good heavens, Blanchard, you are making sense... I think.

I have collected links to a few of these issues at Dakota Today.

In all the fuss so far, I have not yet seen anything resembling documentation of a a real problem being solved by this legislation or even the existence of a serious problem.

I have mixed feelings on the issue of anonymous posters, but also am not thrilled by Big Brother and his littler Big Brothers thinking they need even more intrusive invasions to control free speech and press. My paranoid thought on this is that legislators and bureaucrats are thin-skinned and don't like criticism of their repeated failures.

Stan Gibilisco

The online book seller Amazon allows its authors to create blogs. I have one; it's at "Author Central." I have control over what I post, but no control (as far as I know) over the comments people put up. Amazon doubtless has the technology to track all commenters, because commenters must activate amazon accounts with identifying information to put anything up.

However! ...

The proposed BH 1278 says "any person who allows ..."

Do I implicitly "allow" comments by putting up a post on any blog in the first place? Does this law suggest that I must employ tracking software on my own computer, to identify people who put comments on someone amazon's servers? How in the world could I do that? Will they come for me and lock me up if I don't?

This law, if passed, would provide the world with an example of good intentions carried out badly, and would make our state into a target for satire among the "wired elite." This law, if passed, could cause me to consider moving out of South Dakota so I could continue to carry on my livelihood without fear of someone coming for me in the night. Such a law would prove impossible to enforce, unless South Dakota wants to take on the task of acting as an Internet "Grey Hat Squadron" for the whole world.

Legislators, public servants, fellow Americans, please start over here! Better yet, find something that more urgently needs done, such as balancing the budget without breaking the taxpayer.


Cory: Thanks for the update.

Doug: even a broken clock is right twice a day. I agree with your shrewd comments. So far, I have not seen a single mention of a case where this law would be a remedy. I also agree that the means here involve an egregious intrusion into the business of us bloggers.

Stan: one of the nasty results of this legislation is that, if effective, it might require blog hosts to spy on our commenters. I would regard that as an affront to my liberty and yours.

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