It has recently become a federal offense to post "annoying" web messages or send "annoying" e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.
No word on what's "annoying" or what a "true identity" is! (I swear, I really am Kenzo!)
I tried looking it up myself, to find it in the unrelated "Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act" where it's been buried.
But where would it be?
- TRAINING AND SERVICES TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES?
- REPEAT OFFENDER PROVISION?
- SAFE HAVENS FOR CHILDREN?
- PRESENCE OF VICTIMS OF A SEVERE FORM OF TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS?
- GRANTS TO INDIAN TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS?
- OFFICE OF WEED AND SEED STRATEGIES?
- OFFICIALLY APPROVED POSTAGE?
- USE OF OPT-OUT PROCEDURE TO REMOVE SAMPLES FROM NATIONAL DNA INDEX?
Nope, I'm just a citizen - I shouldn't expect to understand the law. Perhaps the police will explain when they come to drag me away for today's entry.
Declan McCullagh's article, Create an e-annoyance, go to jail, quotes the relevant language he somehow found:
"Whoever...utilizes any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet... without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person...who receives the communications...shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."
Anyway, I'm sure this law won't be used to silence political dissidents or anything like that. Phew.
Sing along with DUDE Walker! Old Glory (MP3)
UPDATE 1/10/06: After reading comments below and on Boing Boing, it's unclear what the law really says. But you've got your rights, whatever they are! (MP3, clips from Terry Gilliam's Brazil, as sampled in Ken's Last Ever Radio Extravaganza)