Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Florida Libertarians Act Against Internet ID Bill

Florida Libertarians Act Against Internet ID Bill:

January 17th 2006

Florida Libertarians Act Against Internet ID Bill

Don't forget your ID
St Petersburg, FL--Did you recently post a message to a friend's blog denouncing government policies--and that could conceivably annoy the President or the Governor--using an alias or username?

An estimated 400,000 Americans do something like this every day, often because websites recommend an alias or username. But under a new measure, they've not only possibly committed a Federal Crime, but may have to register as felony sex offenders because it would be a crime under a Violence Against Women clause, say opponents of the measure.

'This is another example of extremists of the right and left joining forces to shut the rest of us up through bizarre stealth legislation,' said Libertarian Party leader Michael Gilson-De Lemos at a meeting of activists in St Petersburg, Florida. The meeting and follow-up web brainstorm, chaired by the Libertarians and which included Libertarian, Independent, Republican and Democratic activists, convened recently to discuss community issues. 'If Benjamin Franklin, who signed many of his political opinions anonymously, had used the internet today, he would be a sex offender under this strange proposal,' he said."

STEALTH LEGISLATION COULD HAMPER LOCAL DEBATE

The measure passed with little opposition, apparently because it was inserted into "must have" budget legislation at the behest of Arlen Specter, who is also chairing the hearings on Judge Alito. It has only recently begun to attract attention in the media.

The measure is "another example of feel-good, backfiring legislation, " said Mr. Gilson. Intended to trap stalkers who wish to harass women, it could just as well be used by stalkers to claim they were being harassed, and will most likely end up as a tool to further silence dissent, say critics. In addition, criticism of even foreign leaders may be a crime, so "denouncing bad government in Iran" could conceivably be reason for arrest and registration, say activists.

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