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Thu., Feb. 7, 2013, 5:01 p.m.

Bill To Out Online Commenters Nixed

The House State Affairs Committee this morning rejected a proposal from Rep. Stephen Hartgen (pictured), R-Twin Falls, to create a “rebuttable presumption” that the identity of an online commenter must be disclosed when there’s a defamation or slander suit. Just two committee members, Reps. Ken Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs, and Kelly Packer, R-McCammon, opposed the motion to reject the bill and not introduce it. “Anonymity in the Internet age gives a great deal of privacy to the blogger,” Hartgen told the committee. “It expands the concept of privacy in a way that had never really been used in anonymous comments before. But it leaves the object of the comment, the person that is being blogged about, with almost no recourse except to wince and snarl. … What was said about them lies out there in the blogosphere more or less forever”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Did the House State Affairs Committee make the right call in rejecting Hartgen's bill?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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