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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Blog Control Act Supporter Advocates Toothless Law?

Todd Epp, author of one half of the South Dakota Blog Control Acts, tells KELO that bloggers actually won't have to comply with his HB 1277:

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.


  1. todd epp sells out to
    monsanto, dow, and pfizer.
    what would buddha do?

  2. Ugh, this is looking more and more like a small step towards erosion of freedoms rather than legitimate policy.

    If their position is this won't apply to anyone, why make the rules? Because this will be the anchoring point from which they will try to add teeth to later. Right now it does nothing, but future additions to this legislation will add the teeth.

    This is just a dirty, backdoor method of changing policy.

  3. Hey, interested party, I just bought a book called "What Would Buddha Do?" They don't mention how the Enlightened One would deal with legislators who attempt to control an uncontrollable world medium at the provincial level.

  4. You truly are a hypocrite for your comment moderation says nothing about blogging about crimes being covered up. The law is only to scare people that don't know how to use proxies and public hotspots. Shut up the little guy who has grievances against the government. (Ret) Judge Anderson Order on the issue of identity theft posted, contrary to Senator Johnson's letter. People want examples of corruption in local government then when confronted with it cry foul and don't want to hear about it. You ask for a name and website address and when given then censor it.

    What about the defenseless children that have their identity stolen?

  5. [Notice "Jack" hasn't given me (1) a verifiable name, (2) evidence of real hyposcrisy, or (3) a comment relevant to the topic at hand. "Jack" is just trying to drive traffic to Mike Wagner's vendetta blog. I'm giving "Jack" a brief interval to identify himself. ]

  6. Stan, interesting phrasing of the problem: trying to control the uncontrollable.


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