ACLU Plaintiff Criticizes Georgia Law

For immediate release

NEW YORK CITY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1996--Attorney and author Jonathan Wallace is proud to join the ACLU's case against the Georgia Internet law as a plaintiff. Wallace was also a plaintiff in ACLU v. Reno, the case that held the federal Communications Decency Act unconstitutional. "It is an honor to be working with the ACLU again," Wallace said. "They are assertively ensuring that we will enjoy the same freedom of speech on the Internet that we have in traditional print media."

Wallace publishes The Ethical Spectacle (http://www.spectacle.org), a monthly newsletter published on the World Wide Web, which covers ethics, law and politics in American society. "For the first year and a half," Wallace said, "I published the Spectacle under the pseudonym Jonathan Blumen, in order to keep my professional identity and my personal opinions separate. I still use a Blumen email alias to participate in several mailing lists. I also publish numerous articles by other pseudonymous authors, including Lisa G., a New York woman writing about violence against women, and Bob Wilson, a Western businessman who does not want to attach his real name to his extremely conservative views. Publishing pseudonymous work-- my own or that of other people--potentially makes me a criminal under the extremely vague and broad Georgia law, H.B. 1630, which makes it a crime to transmit any data that 'uses any individual name . . . to falsely identify the person.'

"Pseudonymity and anonymity are a time-honored tradition in American political discourse," Wallace added. "Thomas Paine first published Common Sense anonymously, and the Federalist papers were published under pseudonyms. H.B. 1630 interferes unconscionably with our First Amendment rights."

With technology author Mark Mangan, Wallace wrote Sex, Laws and Cyberspace (New York: Henry Holt, 1996), a book on Internet freedom of speech and the origins of the Communications Decency Act.

For more information, contact Wallace at (212)513-7777, or email him at jw@bway.net.

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