According to this article, as an unrelated part of the 'Violence against Women' act (because we needed another law to make violence against women illegal), the Republican controlled congress passed, and the Small Govenrment Republican President signed into law, a provision that makes it a FEDERAL CRIME to 'annoy' someone on the internet without using your real name.
Buried deep in the new law is Sec. 113, an innocuously titled bit called "Preventing Cyberstalking." It rewrites existing telephone harassment law to prohibit anyone from using the Internet "without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy."
How did this happen? Are we still not bothering to read bills? Apparently.
To grease the rails for this idea, Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, and the section's other sponsors slipped it into an unrelated, must-pass bill to fund the Department of Justice. The plan: to make it politically infeasible for politicians to oppose the measure.
The tactic worked. The bill cleared the House of Representatives by voice vote, and the Senate unanimously approved it Dec. 16.
One more attempted blow to the Constitution. We can only hope this ends up at the SCOTUS and they overturn it.
Usenet trolls beware. We can't find Osama, but you better believe we are coming for you.