Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blogger annonymity in the UK is dead.

I just read this story this morning, and almost spewed my morning cup of java all over the monitor:

http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/the_web/article6509677.ece

Now I'm forced to wonder two things: First, how long will it be before something like this is tried here, and second, what about my UK blogger friends who choose to blog anonymously? How about it folks? Time to chime up with an opinion. Is this a restriction on free speech? Will this become a first amendment challenge here in the U.S.? What does this mean now for all you UK bloggers?

Let's hear it. Personally, I think it sucks.

10 comments:

Peter said...

Well, free speech has often had its less than pleasant interpretation when the powers that be feel information they'd rather not read gets too much attention.

In several countries blogs do get scanned for keywords, and if they trigger enough alarms, rest assured free speech is "protected", but with sometimes unpleasant consequences for the author.

As for England: that country videotapes virtually every street in the country ("It has been calculated that each person is caught on camera an average of 300 times daily in the UK" - "the total number of cameras in the UK is around 4,200,000: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closed-circuit_television )
so
that country virtually relinquished privacy on many levels.

Basically, I find it even more disconcerting when countries manipulate public opinion in such a way that people start to censor themselves online, in fear of losing what is precious to them.

You may have noticed how often I mention old ladies lately. For the time being, old ladies posts are still safe.

willow said...

Yikes!!! Of course it's a restriction on free speech. How can they even think about doing this?

AnneDroid said...

I'm very disturbed to read this, but thank you for highlighting it. Nightjack's blog was really superb - great writing and I always thought he stayed the right side of the line.

Bina said...

I think any person has a write to blog without people knowing who they are, but there are also circumstances in which they SHOULD be known. I don't think I have to go into those circumstances because I'm pretty sure any adult can guess about which things should not be blogged about.

However, there aren't many blogs I read where the author is completely unknown. I mean, if you try hard enough, you can find any person on the internet with a blog. So actually, is anyone REALLY anonymous?

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Saw the comment you left for Bina and had to come over say hi. I was really impressed at what you said.

Hallie

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

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I am holding a fundraiser/raffle to raise funds for UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) I have wanted to do something since my Dad received the gift of life in 2003 and this is my way to do so.

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Thanks,
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adsisson1 said...

It sucks. Go to eff.org grab the bloggers rights widget put it on your blog.

Jay said...

Oh, we lost free speech a long, long time ago. Anyone who would argue that is blinkered. We lost it gradually and by stealth, but political correctness has to take a lot of the blame.

It doesn't surprise me that the judge would rule this way. I still think people like you and me are fairy safe, but I know for a fact that teachers and other professionals working in education have not dared to so much as mention anything that happened at work for fear or reprisals.

This guy must have been very brave or rather naive to think he could do so and not be 'outed'. Sad, but true.

Kittibee said...

hi :) slainte from Ireland :) I was delighted that you stopped by today :) .... im living in quite an isolated spot ! but this new blog is allowing me some fine writers to keep my mind from float off with the clouds :) what an exciting time for you at this point to be able to act and see wonderful places ! and yes I know this play although I hate to admit ive never seen it :/ and I also lived oin Kilburn once he he ... I met plenty kings there ha ha .... I will stop by and see how life is ytreating yuou every day :) ... namaste from Ireland :) Kittibee

Guyana-Gyal said...

Why should ALL bloggers have to suffer because he was 'at risk of disciplinary action for breaching regulations?'

Hmmmmm...what if a journalist wants to tell the same story that an anonymous blogger is telling...is it okay for the journalist to tell that story? Who would the journalist name as his / her source?

Does this mean that newspaper writers must reveal the identity of their sources? They can no longer protect their identity? What if it's some story about drug smuggling, and naming the source can jeopardize his / her safety?

Can tv journalists no longer distort the voices of interviewees whose identity they want to protect, or put that black strip across their eyes? Or is there a law against doing that already and I don't know?

Suppose someone writes the blog posts on paper...hands it to a pal [with identity known] and the pal posts them on his / her blog as if it were him / her writing it? Will the pal be prosecuted? Will the blogging-pal have to name his source?

This stinks of newspapers vs blogs.