Anonymous web posting may become illegal in Kentucky

Although it's not exactly clear how the law could be enforced, the lawmaker said outlawing anonymous posting could curb online bullying.

Kentucky Representative Tim Couch introduced the bill in the state's Legislature last week. Under the policy, anyone who contributes to a Web site will have to submit a name, e-mail address, and mailing address.

This essentially would ban anonymous posting, as the contributor's name would have to be listed with the post. If the site still decides to allow for anonymous posting, a $500 fine would apply for the first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

Couch seems to be directing his ire at sites like the increasingly popular JuicyCampus.com, which encourages students to post anonymous, and most times slanderous, comments about others. He says that the bullying problem is significant in his own district in eastern Kentucky. However, at the same time he says the bill could be difficult to enforce if signed into law.

A local news station said it polled residents of Couch's district and found mixed results. While some saw it as a method to combat online harassment, others saw it in violation of the First Amendment.

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