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Thursday, 05 April 2012 11:25

Arizona moves to criminalize trolling

Written by Peter Scott



Makes us love Republicans again


The Arizona legislature is considering a bill that would criminalize certain types of internet comments and text messages.

The bill would curtail free speech and make it a criminal offense to stalk people online, send abusive text messages or internet comments and generally make an ass of one’s self online. However, some free speech advocates are already up in arms, as they are concerned about the bill’s language, which they find too broad.

The fear is that the bill could render all annoying or offensive internet comments illegal, which seems to be the point to begin with. Basically the law is a way of criminalizing online stupidity, which really has little to do with free speech.

The bill was sponsored by Republican lawmakers who believe it is necessary to protect victims from being harassed online, as current laws on the books are outdated and cannot be applied to new forms of communication.  The bill is expected to pass the legislature with ease and it will be signed into law by finger-in-Obama’s-face governor Jan Brewer. A number of US states have already revamped their anti-harassment legislation, albeit to a lesser extent.

More here.

Peter Scott

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