(Image Source: barbaraling.com

BY DAVID EARL

If you live in Arizona, you better watch your tone online. The state legislature sent a bill to the governor’s desk that would criminalize those comment section trolls. KTVX reports ...

“It’s so broad -  online editorials, illustrations, even your Facebook status updates are not safe.”

It’s an attempt to bring a decades-old law on harassment via telephone into the 21st century. TIME reports the specific language of the bill...

"It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use ANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL DEVICE and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.”

And, if the governor signs the law and you break it? Forbes says you could be spending a few years behind bars.

“[The bill] uses broad language that could turn a troublingly large swath of online chatter into a class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 25 years in jail.”

The Phoenix New Times puts the bill into perspective, saying it’s a big blow to freedom of speech.

“UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh points out that, ‘under the statute, posting a comment to a newspaper article — or a blog — saying that the article or post author is "f------ out of line’ would be a crime: It's said with intent to offend, it uses an electronic or digital device, and it uses what likely will be seen as profane language.’”

Gizmodo’s not a fan of the legislation, but it points out the bill’s supporters...

“...argue that the steps are necessary to prevent online bullying. Despite the public outcry, the bill has seen very little resistance from elected officials.”

So no more trash talking on the Internet? Comedy Central is even weighing in on this one.

“But I see a silver lining in this blatantly unconstitutional attempt to ban trolling. Though Arizona is doing its best to criminalize birth control and immigration, among other facets of the modern world, it still hasn't banned electricity. In fact, Arizona legislators use "digital device[s]" to draft legislation that is often plainly intended to annoy or offend anyone with a conscience.”

As of Tuesday, Governor Jan Brewer has not signaled her intention to sign or not to sign the bill.

Offensive Bloggers Could Face Prison Time in Arizona

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Apr 4, 2012

Offensive Bloggers Could Face Prison Time in Arizona

 

(Image Source: barbaraling.com

BY DAVID EARL

If you live in Arizona, you better watch your tone online. The state legislature sent a bill to the governor’s desk that would criminalize those comment section trolls. KTVX reports ...

“It’s so broad -  online editorials, illustrations, even your Facebook status updates are not safe.”

It’s an attempt to bring a decades-old law on harassment via telephone into the 21st century. TIME reports the specific language of the bill...

"It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use ANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL DEVICE and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.”

And, if the governor signs the law and you break it? Forbes says you could be spending a few years behind bars.

“[The bill] uses broad language that could turn a troublingly large swath of online chatter into a class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 25 years in jail.”

The Phoenix New Times puts the bill into perspective, saying it’s a big blow to freedom of speech.

“UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh points out that, ‘under the statute, posting a comment to a newspaper article — or a blog — saying that the article or post author is "f------ out of line’ would be a crime: It's said with intent to offend, it uses an electronic or digital device, and it uses what likely will be seen as profane language.’”

Gizmodo’s not a fan of the legislation, but it points out the bill’s supporters...

“...argue that the steps are necessary to prevent online bullying. Despite the public outcry, the bill has seen very little resistance from elected officials.”

So no more trash talking on the Internet? Comedy Central is even weighing in on this one.

“But I see a silver lining in this blatantly unconstitutional attempt to ban trolling. Though Arizona is doing its best to criminalize birth control and immigration, among other facets of the modern world, it still hasn't banned electricity. In fact, Arizona legislators use "digital device[s]" to draft legislation that is often plainly intended to annoy or offend anyone with a conscience.”

As of Tuesday, Governor Jan Brewer has not signaled her intention to sign or not to sign the bill.

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