Aug 232010
 
 August 23, 2010  Laws, Online

Corynne McSherry of EFF comments:

A bill that could undermine a new and important form of online activism has quietly worked its way through the California legislature. If signed by the governor, the new law would make it a crime to impersonate someone online in order to “harm” that person. In other words, it could be illegal to create a Facebook or Twitter account with someone else’s name, and then use that account to embarrass that person (including a corporate person like British Petroleum or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, or a public official).

Here’s the problem: temporarily “impersonating” corporations and public officials has become an important and powerful form of political activism, especially online.

Read more on EFF.

  One Response to ““E-Personation” Bill Could Be Used to Punish Online Critics, Undermine First Amendment Protections for Parody”

  1. Thank God this is finally becoming law! I had an disgruntled ex open up e-mail accounts using my FULL REAL NAME as his screen name. (Unfortunately, my name is not a common one) He then proceeded to post vulgar opinions on forums, message boards etc. He even started cybersexing with men (he was a weirdo) and sent me the transcripts! Some of the creeps he met online found my facebook and attempted to contact me. There was NOTHING I could do. E-personation can ruin lives, relationships and careers. They need to pass this in all 50 states.

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