US President George W Bush ratified a new law last Thursday that makes it illegal for people in the United States to post anything to a blog that could be deemed “annoying” anonymously.
The law, which was buried in the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act, titled “Preventing Cyberstalking” rewrites existing telephone harassment law to prohibit anyone from using the Internet “without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy.”
The one positive from the law though is that it potentially also outlaws comment spamming in the United States. How many anonymous comment spams does your blog get daily that come from an Anonymous source…lots I’d guess, and there is little question that they would be deemed annoying in a court of law. Perhaps we should start a competition for the first blogger to successfully see a comment spammer thrown in jail for breaching the new laws? Certainly a nice thought!