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Thursday, February 04, 2010

The cost of anonymity

Interesting article The Register on what they describe as draconian new laws in South Australia.

The new Australian law came into force on January 6, and makes it an offence for anyone to comment online about state elections (including one shortly to be held in March) unless they also publish their real name and postcode. Failure to do so - even posting under a pseudonym - is now an offence.

Media organisations will be required to keep posters' details on file for six months and face "fines of $5000 if they do not hand over this information to the Electoral Commissioner."

They say that it is likely that the law will also affect anyone posting comment on newspaper websites, and could as easily apply to election comment made on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

Such a law could have a major impact on newspaper sites here in Britain not to mention a number of anonymous blogs. I am not sure that I would want the UK Government following suit.
Only not sure? I hope your views are a bit less lukewarm than that should it come to a debate on the issue, Peter!
Well I am fairly certain that I wouldnt though a lot of nasty stuff appears anonymously. But if I had been more certain in the post then I would not have attracted comments from good liberals such as yourself.
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