Chat Rooms

Chat rooms are online forums where the participants are known only by their chosen screen names. In the best-case scenario, the anonymity afforded in a chat room allows for free discussions among people that would never talk together in real life. However, chat rooms can be scary places when hateful, harassing and threatening comments are made.

Who knows my real identity if I am using a screen name that I change all the time when I visit a chat room?

Your ISP knows your identity, and with a subpoena, someone else can find out who you are as well. ISPs normally do not notify their clients when the subpoena request is made and the information turned over.

Sidebar: Privacy advocates believe subpoenas are being misused to curb free speech. More information about these privacy concerns can be found here.

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