Here's an important issue that will most assuredly be breathing down the neck of the legal system over the next few years: do you have the LEGAL RIGHT to be anonymous? That is to say, are you protected by law to keep your identity hidden, as long as your speech doesn't break the law? Well, that's the issue this blogger is addressing now in a lawsuit against Google
, who revealed her identity to lawyers for a model who claims this woman defamed her.
This is cropping up more and more now in the news - people are being fired, having a hard time getting jobs or being shut down and sued like this woman.
And I've got to ask: so what?
The right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press do not grant any special protections to protect you from personal reprisals to your speech - especially if that speech is in any way harmful to someone else's reputation or character. The problem with this particular case is that the anonymous blogger in question, Rosemary Port, is a complete douche who called a model a "skank" and "ho", among other things, in her blog, which she didn't have the stones to sign with her own name. Her argument is based upon "the expectation of anonymity,", some bullshit idea that she somehow misunderstood the terms and conditions to mean that she would be protected from any fallout that her words might have caused.
The expectation of anonymity
, however, doesn't actually exist anywhere. Quite the contrary, while the notion of anonymity exists, many lawmakers have been working in the opposite direction, attempting to require EVERYONE who writes anything online - from blogs to comments - to sign it with their legal name...or else. Thus far this effort has been squashed - but knuckleheads like Rosemary Port, who desperately try to hold someone else responsible so they have a reason to be mad rather than mortified (at their juvenile and childish posting habits), will only serve for law to be passed down further stripping anonymity rather than protecting it.
After all, how are we supposed to protect citizens from slander and libel if anyone at all can sling it without reprisal - legal or otherwise?
What say you on this issue?