Yet another blog for spewing. This one may end up with a lot of religious and social content.

2006-01-09

Endangered Net Anonymity and Pseudonymity

It is now a crime to "annoy" someone via the net and/or to do so anonymously.

Buried deep in the new law is Sec. 113, an innocuously titled bit called "Preventing Cyberstalking." It rewrites existing telephone harassment law to prohibit anyone from using the Internet "without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy."
This is bad. As many know, I write under a pseudonym. "Ravan Asteris" is my "nom de net" - it is not my real name. Thus, if anyone finds my rants, opinions, or even jokes "annoying", I have a big problem. Even if I don't, the way it seem to be worded would bar even this posting - I am not, and will not, expose my "identity". Sod off, Congress, I won't be one of your "papers in order, even on the net" clones.

I've used this pseudonym for years. I've griped again and again about attempts to force me to give up my pseudononymity, both on-line (see the soc.religion.paganism RFP archives), and in real life. Always with some sort of "security" or other justification.

It's the prying, surveillance, "safety first over liberty" sheep versus the basic rights to privacy, anonymity and pseudonymity, again and again and again! People pooh poohed my slippery arguments, have given me the old, tired "if you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide" bullshit. Now look, where we're going.

It's really no one's business WHY I want to be pseudononymous. It's no one's business why I don't want my finances, comings and goings, grocery shopping, hobbies and bra size hung out in public for anyone to examine and make assumptions about.

I am sick to shit of people who can't (or won't) respect the privacy of others. Now the jackasses in Congress have slipped yet another nail into the coffin of basic rights and privacy in this country.

Now, before some pathetic conservative douchebag apologist for the authoritarian state chastises me for being "intolerant" of people who "like to know who they are talking to", I have this to say: It's my rights that are being trashed, not yours. You don't have a right to know my identity and/or biographical details.

No one says you have to be anonymous, or pseudononymous, and if you don't like reading and talking to pseudononymous bloggers, click away - go elsewhere and stick your head in the sand! After all, if you really believe "if you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide", then why don't you post your name, social security number, mother's maiden name, address, bank account number, phone number, latest medical test results, prescription list, and driving logs. The government and numerous companies can buy this information about you already.

1 comment:

Grandma_Ellen said...

Hey there, Ravan! I always address you by your pseudonym on the net. I do the same for your natural sister. Now, there is a way to protect yourself, even from the Bush Government. You need only register your ficticious name with the state. It is a simple form and requires publication in a newspaper. Most people do this in the smallest circulation newspaper in the state. I am not sure how often it is supposed to be renewed, maybe never where you are. What the registration does is keep anyone else from using your nom de net or plume or just the one used to call people, as I once had to do when working for a headhunter organization. You can check it out in your state's statutes which are also published on the net. Then, off the net, you can legitimately state that the name is your dba or registered fictitious name, whichever is the least intrusive for you.

Oh, and when someone says you should use your "real" name, you can then say, "This is my real name!" If you do a dba you can also open a checking account in that name and have mail sent to you, snail mail, at a business addy, often a P.O. Box. LOL Sure would set some con folk straight!