Since the creation of the internet, it has been used as a way of getting your messages and opinions out to the public. One of the most appealing features of the internet is the anonymity it offers. If you want to comment on a topic and express yourself, you are able to do it completely anonymously. However, in New York, politicians are proposing to take away that hidden freedom.
The Internet Protection Act would require websites from New York to remove anonymous comments made on the sites unless the user who posts the comment agrees to put their name with it. This is an attempt to stop users from posting anonymous comments and put a name to them.
The act of course was met with argument from internet users claiming that it would endanger their rights protected under the First Amendment. By eliminating a user’s right to post their opinions and comments, the bill would prove a way to censor the public.
The Act is sponsored by Assemblyman Dean Murray and Senator Thomas O’Mara. The Act is speculated to have been sparked by comments that were directed at Murray during his re-election in 2010, claiming he inflicted violence upon his ex-wife.
Though the Act may never make it to be passed, this is another example of how the government is attempting to restrict, censor and infringe on the rights of internet users and the public in general. Freedom of speech has been a right from the start and has been under the gun ever since.
Recent Pushes on Censoring the Internet:
The Internet Protection Act is only one political attempt at attacking and governing the internet. Recently SOPA and PIPA have both threatened to censor the internet and the users. As each Bill, Act, and proposal arises, the public has spoken out against it.
Even some of the largest websites on the internet have participated in the protests. Against PIPA and SOPA, Wikipedia, Reddit, Google, and Mozilla all participated in the protest by blacking out their sites. This spread the message to millions of users who visit the sites daily.
It appears, lately, every month is filled with news of another way the government is attempting to censor the internet, control its users, and eliminate free speech. As the new proposals and Bills arise, the public will continue to protest. In an age of technology where millions of US citizens depend on the freedom to express themselves and gather information, the internet makes an easy target for censorship.