Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) has introduced legislation that would treat blogs like Internet service providers and hold them responsible for all activity in the comments sections and user profiles. Some highlights of the legislation:
“ Commercial websites and personal blogs œwould be required to report illegal images or videos posted by their users or pay fines of up to $300,000.
“ Internet service providers (ISPs) are already required to issue such reports, but under McCain™s legislation, bloggers with comment sections may face œeven stiffer penalties than ISPs.
” Social networking sites will be forced to take œeffective measures ” such as deleting user profiles ” to remove any website that is œassociated with a sex offender. Sites may include not only Facebook and MySpace, but also Amazon.com, which permits author profiles and personal lists, and blogs like DailyKos, which allows users to sign up for personal diaries.
Kevin Bankston of the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes that this proposal may be based more œon fear or political considerations rather than on the facts. When he introduced his legislation to the Senate, McCain offered no evidence that children are being victimized by people who post comments on blogs.
In the Senator’s defense (and keep in mind, this honest-to-Tillman war hero did spend some time in what he likes to call “the kind of hotel where they don’t leave mints by your pillow”) , though there might not be a way to document kiddies being victimized by blog comments, surely the adult population being bored to fucking death oughta count for something.