If passed, the bill would require bloggers, when asked, to turn over any information that would identify anonymous posters. That is, if they keep information like IP addresses or email accounts.
"If they don't have it, they just tell the court, 'I don't have it.' End of story. If they do have it, like anyone in a civil case that has evidence, they're required to provide it," Epp said [Shawn Neistadt, "Proposal to Tame Anonymous, Hurtful Postings," KELOLand.com, 2010.02.12].
So a lawyer working very hard to help certain legislators pass a law tells us his law can be easily circumvented, by turning off or deleting our site stats.
This same lawyer tells a mainstream media outlet that the Internet is now a "mature" medium and should follow "similar rules" as the mainstream media (sounding familiar...). This mainstream media outlet interviews no one but this lawyer on this topic.
So to review: the other side's lawyer is telling us the law his side wants won't really affect us. The other side's lawyer also gets special attention from the corporate media that stands to benefit from increased restrictions on its new media competitors.
Am I the only person feeling suspicious?
Meanwhile, Italy is backing away from some Internet restrictions. Italian legislator Alessio Butti recognizes that "Blogs with amateur videos, online newspapers, search engines and the online versions of magazines are free, and editorial responsibility does not fall on providers who host content generated by others." An Italian judge ruled last year that IP addresses are "not sufficient to establish the identity of an infringer or liability of a defendant. (read more here... in Italian!).
Hey, if cannoli can kill the kolache bill, Italian legal thinking can help kill the Blog Control Acts.
American judges are also recognizing that even professional network administrators at a major university can't provide sufficiently identifying information about users in its IP logs. Todd's more right than he realizes: the courts won't be able to get anyone to comply with HB 1277.