Provides that a web site administrator shall remove any comments posted upon request unless the poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the civil rights law, in relation to protecting a person's right to know who is behind an anonymous internet posting
PURPOSE: To enact the Internet Protection Act to provide reasonable protection to individuals from anonymous Internet posters.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 contains definitions and requires a website administrator, upon request to remove any comments posted on his or her website by an anonymous poster unless the anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms his or her address, legal name, and home address are accurate. Also, requires website administrators to have a contact number or email address posted for removal requests, clearly visible in any section where comments are posted.
JUSTIFICATION: Bullies are notorious for harassing and/or threatening their victims face-to-face. However, modem technology now allows this behavior to occur anonymously, from just about anywhere at any time. Using electronic communications devices, cyber bullies can post damaging comments about a person on a website, while remaining anonymous and difficult to trace. While cyber bullying is often committed by or against children, it is by no means confined to children.
Anonymous postings on the internet not only can harm the persons or businesses being directly victimized, but they also hurt the public in general. When anonymous posters hide behind the internet to facilitate a crime (such as Harassment) or as a vehicle for defamation, innocent men, women and children are openly victimized, and the public is intentionally mislead.
This legislation simply provides a means for the victim of an anonymous posting on a website to request that such post be removed, unless the anonymous poster is willing to attach his or her name to it.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6779 IN SENATE March 21, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. O'MARA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to protecting a person's right to know who is behind an anonymous internet posting THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The civil rights law, is amended by adding a new section 79-o to read as follows: S 79-O. ANONYMOUS INTERNET POSTER; RIGHT TO KNOW. 1. DEFINITIONS. AS USED IN THIS SECTION, THE FOLLOWING WORDS AND TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS: (A) ANONYMOUS POSTER IS ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO POSTS A MESSAGE ON A WEB SITE INCLUDING SOCIAL NETWORKS, BLOGS FORUMS, MESSAGE BOARDS OR ANY OTHER DISCUSSION SITE WHERE PEOPLE CAN HOLD CONVERSATIONS IN THE FORM OF POSTED MESSAGES. (B) "WEB SITE ADMINISTRATOR" MEANS ANY PERSON OR ENTITY THAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTAINING A WEB SITE OR MANAGING THE CONTENT OR DEVEL- OPMENT OF INFORMATION PROVIDED ON A WEB SITE INCLUDING SOCIAL NETWORKS, BLOGS FORUMS, MESSAGE BOARDS OR ANY OTHER DISCUSSION SITE WHERE PEOPLE CAN HOLD CONVERSATIONS IN THE FORM OF POSTED MESSAGES, ACCESSIBLE VIA A NETWORK SUCH AS THE INTERNET OR A PRIVATE LOCAL AREA NETWORK. (C) "INTERNET" MEANS THE GLOBAL SYSTEM OF INTERCONNECTED COMPUTER NETWORKS THAT USE THE INTERNET PROTOCOL. (D) "INTERNET PROTOCOL ADDRESS" OR "IP ADDRESS" MEANS A NUMERICAL LABEL ASSIGNED TO EACH COMPUTER OR DEVICE PARTICIPATING IN A COMPUTER NETWORK THAT USES THE INTERNET PROTOCOL FOR COMMUNICATION. 2. A WEB SITE ADMINISTRATOR UPON REQUEST SHALL REMOVE ANY COMMENTS POSTED ON HIS OR HER WEB SITE BY AN ANONYMOUS POSTER UNLESS SUCH ANONY- MOUS POSTER AGREES TO ATTACH HIS OR HER NAME TO THE POST AND CONFIRMS THAT HIS OR HER IP ADDRESS, LEGAL NAME, AND HOME ADDRESS ARE ACCURATE. ALL WEB SITE ADMINISTRATORS SHALL HAVE A CONTACT NUMBER OR E-MAIL ADDRESS POSTED FOR SUCH REMOVAL REQUESTS, CLEARLY VISIBLE IN ANY SECTIONS WHERE COMMENTS ARE POSTED. S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13459-02-1