Cue the walkback. New York State Assemblyman Dean Murray just blasted out a statement regarding his proposal to require publishers to remove anonymous comments on the Internet upon request. “Unfortunately, some opponents of this legislation have mischaracterized this bill in an attempt to have it withdrawn,” he said. “It has been stated that this legislation would ban all anonymous internet postings in New York. That could not be further from the truth.”
New York legislators involved with the proposed Internet Protection Act are getting a lot of calls today, and they’re not quite sure why. The bill was introduced weeks ago to a quiet reception but seems to have become controversial overnight.
“Assemblyman Jim Conte is just a co-sponsor on the bill,” an exasperated aide answered when Betabeat called for a quote about the proposed law, which would require online publishers to remove anonymous comments upon request. “I don’t know why today’s the day, but today’s the day that everyone is calling on this,” Republican Tom O’Mara, who introduced the bill in the senate, told Betabeat. “Something was posted somewhere, I guess.”
It must have been that Wired story; or maybe it was the pickup on Slashdot. But the proposed legislation, “in relation to protecting a person’s right to know who is behind an anonymous internet posting,” has provoked chagrin, to say the least, in the blogosphere.