FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES )
UNION OF GEORGIA, et al., )
Plaintiffs, ) CIVIL ACTION
) FILE NO. _______
ZELL MILLER, in his official )
capacity as Governor of the )
State of Georgia, et al. )
County of DeKalb )
State of Georgia )
1. My name is Bonnie Nadri. The facts set forth in this declaration are based upon my personal knowledge.
2. I am a resident of DeKalb County, Georgia. I am employed as a technical writer with a political polling company in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to this job, I operate a sole proprietorship web page design business out of my home under the name The Page Factory. In my web page design business, I market my services as a designer and author of web pages for publication on the World Wide Web. I assist with design and layout of pages, creating graphics, tables and forms for use on pages, finding links to other sites on the World Wide Web that reflect the personal or professional interests of my customers, and actually writing the HTML code to put this content into the form of an HTML document that can be published on the World Wide Web. I also test the pages prior to their publication on the Web, and offer updating services to keep the pages current after they have been published.
3. In connection with my web page design business, I have developed and maintain a web site on the World Wide Web to advertise our services and rates, and to solicit business. This web site can be accessed at http://thepagefactory.org/. I use this site as a means of marketing my company's services as a web page designer. Because the design, layout and look of the web page itself is an example of my abilities as a web page designer, the design and look of the page is particularly important to my efforts to market my services. It is therefore important to me to be able to present the information I provide through my web page in an attractive way in addition to simply publishing information about the services that I provide.
4. Originally, I published on my business web page an extensive set of links to other related resources on the Web. I provided links, for example, to other HTML web design tool resources, search engines, and links to the web pages of other Atlanta-area business. As a means of demonstrating my web design services and the possibilities for design and layout of web pages, I tried to use as many graphical images and logos for these links as possible. Many of these graphical images were the logos or trademarks of the companies to whom I was linking. For example, I used the Coca-Cola trademark logo to provide a link to the web site of the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta.
5. When I learned about the passage of O.C.G.A. 16-9-93.1, I became concerned that my use of these logos and images to provide links from my business web page had become illegal under the new law. I do not intend to deceive anyone as to my identity or sponsorship by using these logos, rather I used those logos to identify the companies I was linking to and whose logos I was using. I did not obtain the permission of these companies to identify them in this way, however, nor could I as a practical matter obtain permission to provide links to their web sites. Absent obtaining this explicit permission, I had no idea whether my use of these logos could "imply" that I had obtained their permission when I had not. I therefore became concerned that a business whose logo I was using in this way might use the new statute to try to try to cause the State to prosecute me for the way I used these graphical images in my web page. Because of this fear, I removed the logos and graphics from my business web page. Ultimately, I decided to remove the links from my business web page altogether, because the text-only links were drab and did not display very interesting web design skills. I am concerned that if I provide this information in a way that's conducive to developing my business, I would be subjecting myself to the risk of prosecution under the law. I believe that the removal of these links, logos and images are damaging my web design business because they limit my ability to show potential customers what we are capable of doing.
6. In addition to the business page for The Page Factory, I have developed and maintained a personal web page for myself, which I use to express my own personal interests and publish a number of links to other web pages that are of personal interest to me. This web page can be accessed at the URL address of http://www.mindspring.com/~blnadri/. As with my business page, I have removed some graphics and logos that I previously used on my personal web page, again because I was concerned about the possibility of being prosecuted under O.C.G.A. 16-6-93.1 for the use of these images without permission. I would like to put these logos and images back on my page because I think the page was more creative and attractive before I removed them, but I am deterred from doing so by this new law.
7. In addition, unlike my business page, my personal page still includes a number of links to other web pages that interest me. The links are text-based and do not include the kinds of logos and images I previously used in my business page. Even without these graphics and images, however, I am concerned that my personal web page may still violate the new Georgia law because for some of the links in my page I use the trade names of the institutions or organizations to whose web sites I provide these links. I have not requested permission to use these trade names, and I cannot tell whether my use of these links creates a false impression that I have obtained permission. I therefore cannot tell whether my use of these trade names in my personal web page is prohibited by the new Georgia law, and I am concerned that my web page may violate the law and subject me to a risk of prosecution.
7. In addition to publishing these web pages, I make extensive use of the Internet as well as local bulletin board services ("BBSs") to communicate and interact with others in the online world. I particularly enjoy participating in chat and discussion groups on local BBSs in the Atlanta area, and participating in USENET discussion groups and Internet Relay Chat ("IRC") chat sessions over the Internet. I participate in chat or discussion groups in local BBSs or over the Internet almost every day.
8. When I participate in chat sessions or discussion groups on local BBSs, however, I always use a "handle," i.e., a pseudonym that hides my real identity. I am a single mother and live alone with my daughter in the Atlanta area. I am very concerned about the risk of revealing my real name to strangers that may be participating in or simply monitoring the chat sessions or discussions that I am involved in, especially when I am using these local BBSs. Anyone with a computer, modem and telephone can log into these services and if I used my real name to participate in the chat sessions or discussion groups anyone who has logged would be able to find my address. I am concerned about the risk of another user stalking or harassing me, and I am concerned for safety of my daughter as well. For fear of this risk of harassment (or worse), I would be very uncomfortable participating in these chat sessions if I had to reveal my real name to do it, and I would not continue to communicate online in this way if I could not use a pseudonym that hid my real name.
9. I also use this type of pseudonym when I participate in real time chat sessions over the Internet using Internet Relay Chat. Using this software, I set my user name and e-mail address to prevent others who participate in the chat sessions from being able to obtain my real name or e-mail address. My reasons for this are essentially the same as described above. I want to protect my privacy and do not want my name and address to be available to every stranger who may be participating in an open chat session.
10. Based on my reading of O.C.G.A. 16-6-93.1, I am concerned that these pseudonyms I use to protect my privacy when I am participating in online conversations or discussions are names that "falsely identify" me, and that they are therefore now illegal under the new law. The passage of this law therefore forces me to choose between risking prosecution or refraining from communicating and interacting with others in these online media. I have decided to continue using these pseudonyms and to continue participating in chat sessions, despite the passage of O.C.G.A. 16-6-93.1. I am concerned, however, that I am violating this law, or that someone I offend or who wants to harass me could use this new law to bring me into court.
I, Bonnie Nadri, declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed this ______ day of ____________, 1996.