My Left Nutmeg details a really noxious, utterly unworkable proposed legislation from the Attorney General of Connecticut to mandate that any “social networking site” be forced to verify identity and age of any registered user in Connecticut. Emphasis added.
This bill could potentially impact blogs, video sites like YouTube, and retail sites like Amazon along with sites like MySpace and Facebook, even if those maintaining these sites have no physical presence in the state of Connecticut.
The bill will force any site meeting the definition of a “social networking website” to independently verify the identity, age, and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢”šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ if the age is under 18 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢”šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ parental consent of every registered user of that website, on any computer operating in the state of Connecticut.
The law is so badly worded that it’s difficult to tell if a blog would be considered a social networking site. Worse, it’s nearly impossible for large business sites to do such verification, much less little websites. What’s more, such a law offers no real protection, as identities are easy enough to spoof.
Sites like YouTube and MySpace will certainly lobby hard to kill this repressive, Orwellian piece of legislation before it’s born. Let’s join them.