Never underestimate Arizona
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 April 2012, 12:59 am
When I predicted last week that legislators would step in against cyber-bullying, I wasn't counting on Arizona being THAT fast. Arizona House Bill 2549 just passed and only needs the Governors signature to become law. It says:
"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."
Basically if he lived in Arizona, The Mittani would be looking at a minimum sentence of two and a half years in jail, for a "non-dangerous offender with no previous record", with the maximum sentence being 25 years.

Of course the bill is probably going to be shot down somewhere in court for being overly broad and being in conflict with the first amendment in the stated form. But that is an iterative process: Legislator proposes too broad law, courts intervene, law gets restricted to a more narrow form. There are existing laws that make bullying illegal, there is no reason why a wording couldn't be found to make cyber-bullying illegal too. And just like there are laws that force employers to provide a harassment-free environment, game companies one day will be forced to provide a harassment-free virtual world environment.
Tobold's Blog



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