A perfect storm is gathering in the blogosphere that will change the Internet as we know it. One storm is forming and will reach full fury sometime in 2008. A second is raging right now. A third has been forming for quite some time, but evacuation plans are being put in place.

The storm swirling now involves a blogger named Kathy Sierra. She writes on a blog I like called “Creating Passionate Users,” but I didn’t know her by name until this morning. Apparently something she wrote raised the ire of a few readers and produced some sick anonymous comments, some of which Ms. Sierra perceived as death threats. Many “A-List” bloggers are taking time off in support of Ms. Sierra.

If you’ve ever seen “To Catch a Predator” on MSNBC, you have some idea about the volume of sick fucks “out there” using the net to hook up with 13 year olds. This series produces a freak parade of child predators every time it’s on. Given that they can only be in one place at one time, it’s mind-boggling how many of these reptiles are our there. The show seems to be having an impact. Many of the sleazebags profiled seem to be aware of it, yet they still pursue their young victims. Hopefully, the fear of getting caught is reducing their number.

Sadly, it’s storm number one that will get Congress to act and limit free speech on the net. If the buzz surrounding the Clinton “1984” spoof is any indication, the 2008 presidential campaign is going to be full of political ads from anonymous individuals or groups that will be filled with lies to discredit opponents. It’s going to make the 2008 race the ugliest ever. Death threats and child abuse aren’t enough to produce action, but fuck with powerful politicians and you will be dealt with. Just ask Joe Wilson.

In reality, the “invisibility cloak” these people think they are wearing is as fictional as the one in JK Rowling’s novels. In most cases, internet activity can be traced back to the individual. It seems there is a simple solution: practice personal responsibility. If you wouldn’t say something in a public forum, then don’t do it on the internet. Remember, Big Brother knows where you live.