Florida’s bill to ban online anonymity is bogus.
If passed, the “True Origin of Digital Goods Act” will make anonymous free speech illegal. And the Florida state legislature is voting right now.
To the Florida state legislature: “I believe the “True Origins of Digital Goods Act” directly threatens anonymous free speech. TODGA also sets a dangerous precedent by allowing officials to take down websites arbitrarily or without due process. It’s time to kill the bill.”
What’s so bad about “True Origin of Digital Goods Act”
Let’s break it down.
Supporters of the “True Origin of Digital Goods Act” say its about stopping online piracy. In actuality its about thwarting online privacy by making Internet anonymity illegal.
- It allows officials to take down alleged violators without any due process. This means anyone “aggrieved” by certain content could take an anonymous website owner to court, without having to show any actual legal harm. (read more)
- Florida wants any website that has commercial streaming content to post the owner’s true name and contact information on the site. That means anybody operating a website that is even “likely to” host music or videos “directly or indirectly,”—even their own music or videos —could be ordered to reveal their name and address.: (read more)
- Anonymous online speech a protected part of the American free speech tradition. TODGA violates both our First and Fourth Amendment rights.
And it gets worse.
What’s even worse, this bill is ineffective because the Digital Millennium Copyright Act already covers these concerns. This new law isn’t only unnecessary in order for Florida to enforce federal copyright or trademark laws—it actually creates a new avenue for legal abuse. Anyone “aggrieved” by an anonymous website owner could take that owner to court, without having to show legal harm. How does that promote Internet free speech? (Read more)