Blogs should not be used as evidence

Individuals should be held responsible for their online writings, but technology hasn’t developed enough for true accountability.

A Web site is not a credible source. There are simply too many questions left regarding the true origins of the text. There is no way that a Weblog, or blog, can be used as a confession or as a piece of primary evidence in a criminal case of any kind.

Passwords and personal information required for signing into these blogs can be easily stolen or obtained by another individual. Such individuals could write something incriminating within someone else’s blog without leaving any proof this action occurred. In this case, all an individual would need to do after being questioned by authorities would be to say someone else wrote the doc ument.

Current laws do not allow police to prosecute offenders solely on blog confession, according to an April 29 Northern Star story. The issue of libel, or false and defamatory material, is one of the most common problems with blogs. University Police look for leads on cases using blogs. Finding those leads is almost all that can be done by police at this time.

Liability for libelous speech and any unlawful behavior should be placed on the author of blog text. However, technology needs to catch up so that the true author can be identified. Being that a blog is a public forum, it can easily be monitored. Monitoring the actions on an individual’s personal computer, however, can become a serious invasion of privacy.

If the current trend of Weblogs continues, technology will catch up. At which time, blog authors will be, and should be, held liable for their entries. All the current loopholes make it impossible for authors to be seen as fully responsible for their entries in the eyes of the law. When the time comes and the law can be upheld using Internet text, unlawful authors will not be able to slip through these loopholes and will be forced to accept consequences for their actions.

Agree? Disagree? Contact us at editor@northernstar.info.