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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Arizona Calls for Anti-Troll Legislation

It seems that Arizona lawmakers have taken time out from targeting unauthorized aliens and have turned their attention on those individuals who troll on the Internet.


Actually, some experts regard it as trolling a whole state – the matter is that a refresh of the local telecommunications harassment legislation could make the practice of harassing people on the Internet against the law.

It turned out that Arizona House Bill 2549 has already passed both of the Arizona’s legislative bodies and is currently sitting on the desk of Governor Jan Brewer to be signed in the nearest future.

The legislation in question is meant to make it illegal to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend others on the Internet, as well as to “use any electronic or digital devices; obscene, lewd or profane language; suggest any lewd or lascivious act; threaten to inflict physical harm to anyone or anyone’s property”.

Finally, online trolling could get the offender 6 months breaking rocks. In case electronic devices were used to stalk any person, the charges then become a felony, where the penalties range from a minimum sentence of 2½ years in prison.

Yahoo confirmed that the thing has been set up to defend the citizens of the state from online bullying. However, as many might expect, the Arizona legislation is at least “overly broad” and uses vague terms like “annoy” or “offend”. Instead of just dealing with online bullying, it could be applied to online forums or comments that miff people.

In respond, free speech groups claim that they can’t believe the legislation would ever stand up in court. Indeed, it’s fairly likely that the Supreme Court would shoot it down as unconstitutional one. In fact, one man’s trollage equals to another’s free speech!

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