Dec 302010
 December 30, 2010  Posted by  Laws, Online

When the calendar flips over to 2011, a lot of new laws go into effect, some of which impact privacy. Here’s one of them, as reported by Kurtis Alexander:

Once just a cruel joke, assuming another person’s identity on the Internet and fabricating an e-mail or Facebook account is no longer a laughing matter.

A state law effective Jan. 1, authored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, makes online impersonation, when it seeks to harm someone, illegal.

“As a Silicon Valley legislator, I’m nothing but enthusiastic about technology. But the question is, is the technology used wisely and appropriately?” Simitian asked this week. “This e-personation’ is one area where some constraint appeared necessary.”

Falsely sourced e-mails, tweets and Web posts have become ubiquitous online, and it’s not uncommon for someone to create a Facebook or MySpace account in someone else’s name. If this is done to “harm, intimidate, threaten or defraud,” according to Senate Bill 1411, it will be a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.

Read more in Santa Cruz Sentinel.

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