NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A8688A
SPONSOR: Murray (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the civil rights law, in relation to
enacting the Internet Protection Act to protect a person's right to know
who is behind an anonymous internet posting
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To enact the Internet Protection Act
to provide reasonable protection to individuals from anonymous Internet
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 contains definitions and
requires a website administrator, upon request to remove any comments
posted on his or her website by an anonymous poster, within 48 hours,
unless the anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post
and confirms his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are
accurate. Also, requires website administrators to have a contact number
or e-mail address posted for removal requests, clearly visible in any
section where comments are posted. In addition, requires personal infor-
mation obtained by a web site administrator to remain confidential.
Section 2 contains the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Bullies are notorious for harassing and/or threatening
their victims face-to-face. However, modern technology now allows this
behavior to occur anonymously, from just about anywhere - at any time.
Using electronic communications devices, cyber bullies can post damaging
comments about a person on a website, while remaining anonymous and
difficult to trace. While cyber bullying is often committed by or
against children, it is by no means confined to children.
Anonymous postings on the internet not only can harm the persons or
businesses being directly victimized, but they also hurt the public in
general. When anonymous posters hide behind the interact to facilitate a
crime such as harassment) or as a vehicle for defamation, innocent men,
women and children are openly victimized, and the public is inten-
This legislation simply provides a means for the victim of an anonymous
posting on a website to request that such post be removed, unless the
anonymous poster is willing to attach his or her name to it.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:; None
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after
it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2011-2012 Regular Sessions
October 27, 2011
Introduced by M. of A. MURRAY, GRAF, MONTESANO, TENNEY, CONTE, DUPREY,
JOHNS, CALHOUN, CURRAN, CORWIN, SALADINO, McDONOUGH, HANNA, RABBITT,
RA, JORDAN, LOSQUADRO, PALMESANO, FRIEND -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M.
of A. CERETTO, CROUCH, LATIMER, THIELE, WEISENBERG -- read once and
referred to the Committee on Governmental Operations -- recommitted to
the Committee on Governmental Operations in accordance with Assembly
Rule 3, sec. 2 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered
reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to enacting the Inter-
net Protection Act to protect a person's right to know who is behind
an anonymous internet posting
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The civil rights law is amended by adding a new section
2 79-o to read as follows:
3 § 79-o. Anonymous Internet poster; right to know. 1. Definitions. As
4 used in this section, the following words and terms shall have the
5 following meanings:
6 (a) "Anonymous poster" means any individual who posts a message on a
7 web site including social networks, blogs forums, message boards or any
8 other discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of
9 posted messages.
10 (b) "Web site administrator" means any person or entity that is
11 responsible for maintaining a web site or managing the content or devel-
12 opment of information provided on a web site including social networks,
13 blogs forums, message boards or any other discussion site where people
14 can hold conversations in the form of posted messages, accessible via a
15 network such as the Internet or a private local area network, and such
16 web site is hosted on a computer server or servers located in this
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 8688--A 2
1 (c) "Internet" means the global system of interconnected computer
2 networks that use the Internet Protocol.
3 (d) "Internet Protocol address" or "IP address" means a numerical
4 label assigned to each computer or device participating in a computer
5 network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.
6 (e) "Victim" means the individual or owner, operator or chief officer
7 of a business, who is the subject or target of comments posted on a web
8 site by an anonymous poster.
9 2. A web site administrator upon valid request by the victim or by any
10 individual acting in behalf of a victim under the age of eighteen shall
11 remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous post-
12 er, within forty-eight hours, unless such anonymous poster agrees to
13 attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP
14 address, legal name, and home address are accurate. All web site admin-
15 istrators shall have a contact number or e-mail address posted for such
16 removal requests, clearly visible in any sections where comments are
18 3. To determine a valid request for removal by a victim a web site
19 administrator must obtain and confirm the requestor's IP address, legal
20 name, and home address are accurate; confirm that the requestor is the
21 victim of such comments; and make a good faith effort to determine that
22 comments regarding a victim are factually based, accusatory or slander-
23 ous statements and not opinions. When determining the factuality of
24 comments, factually based statements can be true or false, as long as
25 such factually based statements are not opinion.
26 4. Any personal information obtained by a web site administrator
27 pursuant to this section shall be confidential and shall not be
28 disclosed except to law enforcement authorities involved in an investi-
29 gation of such posted comments. A web site administrator shall exercise
30 reasonable care in preventing such unauthorized disclosure. Willful
31 disclosure of a record required to be kept confidential pursuant to this
32 section to a person not authorized to receive or review such record is a
33 class A misdemeanor.
34 § 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
35 have become a law.