I tried to have a dialogue about this during a live chat with the tin foil hat crowd, but nobody participated. It's high time somebody challenges this nonsense in public.
A commenter left this on the blogger site:
Anonymous, what's the color of the sky in your world? Tell me how the GOB's have shut down a blog? When did it happen and convince me, because I really don't think you have a leg to stand on. If you're referring to comments being erased for inappropriate language, stop using inappropriate language to make your point and they won't get erased.
Your IP address is pretty much public information. If you understood web analytics, you'd stop typing anything on the internet that you wouldn't say in public - because that's pretty much how definitively they can track you down through your ISP - if they really really wanted to.
But I believe this fear is based in pure narcissism. The idea that your speech is so "on target" that it would enrage a public official enough to go after you to "silence you" (and maybe even kill you!) is floridly insane. You think too highly of yourself. Blogs are white noise anymore, and with the proliferation of internet use among the less informed, uninvolved, even crazy - it's only going to get worse unless your fellow citizens give you a rhetorical spanking to pull you back from crazy land.
I agree that retaliation is an issue if you publicly criticize a public official, but online political commentary comes with the territory and most have thick enough skin to ignore it. And hey, if you're convincing enough the public officlal might modify his behavior to save his job. If you broadcast your name and then somehow get involved in the legal system - then yes, you probably have something to worry about. (Especially with the Erie County Prosecutor. He's not the most stable person when it comes to being criticized.) But let's face it: Most of the commenters on the internet only repeat what they hear anyway. Most of them have no idea what's going on and if some nefarious plot in the county were happening, even less would know what to do about it. So stop with that "I'm-afraid-to-comment" nonsense already. It's stupid and we're all getting tired of reading about it.