I have always been somewhat "uncomfortable" with anonymous bloggers and commentors who hide behind pseudonyms, unless I happen to know them personally. Although I respect their rights and reasons for privacy, especially in the case of whistle blowers, I have always felt that it is rather unfair to us bloggers who are very transparent and stand by what we say and write about. The very damaging proliferation of faceless "cyber troopers" who spread lies and hatred with impunity in the internet is a case in point. Baling batu, sorok tangan* as we say in Malay.
Recently however, the exposé of the true identities and photographs of some very controversial local bloggers leave a very bad taste in the mouth.
There is a rich history in the United States of protecting anonymous free speech. In attempting to maintain their anonymity, bloggers there have always claimed protection under the First Amendment. However, a High Court in London has ruled that bloggers have no right to privacy under British law since blogging is essentially a "public" rather than a "private" activity. Read about it, here.
Of course, certain aspects of free speech, like libel and defamation, are not protected anywhere. So to all my venomous anonymous blogger friends and acquaintances, clear the decks and watch your step.
* (Lit.) Throw stone, hide hand.
Manic Malaysians On The Road
1 day ago