Anonymous No More

It looks like New York doesn’t have much respect for the privacy of its citizens. Or at least, Senator Thomas F. O’Mara doesn’t.

Sen. O’Mara wants to pass a bill that would forbid internet users in New York from being anonymous when posting online. To sum it all up, the bill would require that any anonymous post online is subject to (read: must be) removal if the poster refuses to post and verify their legal name, IP addresses and current home address. Stalkers, you may come out of hiding now.

There are so many things obviously wrong with this proposal that I don’t even feel it’s necessary to say them. But I must point out one thing that irked me from the article:

Anonymity is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the United States was founded, in part, thanks to Thomas Paine’s anonymously written, pro-revolution pamphlet Common Sense. On the other hand, 12-year-olds who post anonymously on the internet can be rather unpleasant and cause real problems by cyberbullying. Whether you think the good outweighs the bad, this news is troubling indeed: A far-reaching bill introduced in the New York State Senate could end the practice of posting online once and for all.

The part that annoys me is highlighted in bold. This has nothing to do with bullying, whatsoever. Yes, it’s true that immature teens and preteens do abuse (what should be) their internet privileges, but that’s the fault of the parents who allow them online without monitoring with they do, not the government for not passing such a law sooner. In my opinion, if a kid can’t be trusted to use the internet responsibly, they shouldn’t be allowed to use it until they’re 18 or older anyway (I’ve been using the internet alone since I was 10, but I knew better). However, that’s a topic for another time.

The point is this bill is not only intrusive, but also poses a threat to all internet users. When I read the article at first, it sounded like the choice was up to website administrators, but that is not the case. They must remove the comment upon requested and since there are jerks and trolls online, it will happen. I consider the danger of a 12-year-old being stalked and kidnapped a much greater risk than an immature 12-year-old creating nasty comments and emails.

This is why we don’t give idiots too much power. Or power at all.


Yahoo: New York Senate bill seeks to end anonymous internet posting
Geekosystem: Ludicrous Bill In New York State Senate Endeavors To End All Anonymous Posting On The Internet
Tecca, original source: New York Senate bill seeks to end anonymous internet posting

My Summer Plans

With only 14 days left of school – and 6 remaining full days – my summer break is coming up quickly, which is good. I have to attend summer school from June 19th to August 2nd, but I don’t consider summer school to really be “school”. I think of it more like camp. It’s not that different. We just get out at 12:30 instead of 4:00 (which is the time “regular” school dismisses here) and we sit, chat and do relatively simple and short work instead of running around like monkeys and getting dirty with hiking and whatnot. And, unlike summer camp, summer school is only slightly over one month long, whereas summer camp is two months. In other words, it’s nothing more than daycare for school-age kids in the summertime, except it’s possibly less costly.

All of my summer breaks from school were spent catching up on my sleep and tv shows. The summer homework packet was tossed aside like a broken Barbie doll, never to be looked at again. The summer reading list was lost in my old backpack or possibly ripped to shreds. TV and sleeping in is a much better-spent summer than homework. Blech! I still say the person who came up with that idea should be locked up for life.

Anyway, past summers aside, this is my first summer as an adult. Being 18 is not much different than being 17, besides being able to run away and not be arrested if I get sick of home*, but not much is on TV anymore and I’ve pretty much seen every episode of the shows I really care about. Since I don’t have any television to catch up on this summer, I made a list of things I’d like to do over the months of July and August.

  • Go to the beach or to the pool. It’s been a year since I last went swimming and prior to that, it was over seven years or more!
  • Get a library card. I had one, but have no idea what happened to it. Anyway, now, I can register for my own.
  • Learn Japanese. At the very least, I’d like to learn beyond the words kon’nichiwa (hello), sayōnara (goodbye), hai (yes), arigato (thank you), tsuki (moon), usagi (rabbit), tasuke (help) and otanjōbi omedetō (happy birthday).
  • Work more on drawing. I like drawing, but it got put off due to my absent-mindedness. However, summer is a perfect time for art, so I’m going to try to draw at least one thing every day.
  • Find a summer job. This one will be hard because I have zero working experience, plus a second reason I will give below that relates to the first two things on this list. But I would like to, for once, earn my own money. Then, I don’t have to rely on anyone.
  • Go shopping for school clothes. I wear uniform in regular school. That doesn’t mean I’m going to let my school force me to be a clone of everyone else. By the time September arrives, I want my drawers to be overloaded with jewelry and hair accessories and I want my nails done. I also have to do a little shopping for summer clothes to look nice for summer school. It’s going to be hot and I need some short shorts!

You probably noticed that three of these six things are highlighted in red. That’s because they’re not likely to happen, despite that I really want them too. The only person who could take me to the beach is my mother and chances are she has no way to get down there. Library card and summer job are unlikely because my grandfather, who I live with, seems to think I’m eight and doesn’t want me doing anything by myself. He doesn’t even think I should own a bike (WTF)! In other words, if I go to get a library card, he’ll make my uncle (who also lives with us) take me, despite that I can get there on my own with no trouble. Problem is he thinks I’m too young to walk alone. Getting a summer job is basically the same issue. For goodness sake, I can’t even go to the hospital for my weekly appointments by myself! He feels he has to come with me to those too! Sheesh!

Well, that’s my list. I’d say the most possible thing on it is teaching myself Japanese. Why isn’t drawing the most possible? It is, but for some reason, my grandfather has this hang-up that if I’m not using the computer, there’s an issue going on. Just like he thinks me sleeping for two hours means I’m sick (I can’t tell you how sick I got of him saying he’s going to buy me a big bottle of medicine if I get a cold), thinks every morning is too cold to go without a jacket and thinks it’s too hot for boots (I’ll be the judge of that!). Yeah, as you can probably tell, I’m ridiculously sheltered like an infant.

*I have run away from home before, but not out of defiance. Due to having a mental breakdown and horrid stress and family issues. Yeah, my family’s pretty unstable (and, some of them, stupid).