Trolling Could Get You 25 Years in Jail in Arizona
One of the Internet's basic tenets—the right to be as much of a myopic, infantile asshat as humanly possible—is currently under attack in Arizona. A sweeping update to the state's telecommunications harrasment bill could make naughty, angry words a Class 1 misdemeanor. Or worse.
It's a dangerous precedent, yet another bill written and supported by legislators who fundamentally don't understand the nature of the internet. And I'm not just being a, well, you know.
Arizona House Bill 2549 passed both legislative houses last Thursday and is now awaiting approval from Arizona's governor Brewer. The statute states that:
"It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use a 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."
Emphasis added. If the electronic devices and means are employed to stalk a victim, the penalty bumps up to a Class 3 felony.
For those not intimately familiar with Arizona penal law, a Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by a $2,500 fine and up to six months in jail (it's the most aggressive misdemeanor charge the state can bring). A Class 3 felony, meanwhile, carries a minimum sentence of 2.5 years for non-dangerous offenders with no prior record. And a max of 25 years in jail.
Opponents of the bill argue that the wording is overly broad and could easily be interpreted to include not just one-on-one communications but public forums like 4Chan, Reddit, and anywhere else that allows commenting. You thought the banhammer was bad? Try handcuffs.
It could also have a chilling effect on free speech by prohibiting shocking or "profane" language online. And since the bill stipulates that the offense only has to occur on Arizona soil (since a Facebook comment is definitely a geographic place, right?) that basically puts the entire Internet on notice.
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. However, given how well Arizona's other recent, short-lived, and generally draconian propositions—-including its racial profiling, anti-gay adoption, and anti-immigration bills—-have fared, House Bill 2549 might not be a law for long, assuming Governor Brewer even signs it.
In the mean time, feel free to leave your thoughts on the matter on Brewer's Facebook page. You know, while it's still legal.
Received this, again, after first reading your post NE sandhiller...all I can do is post it, but it seems fitting. I realize the
bullying in schools and facebook IS a real problem, but we the people need to stand up and correct what is wrong.
I Am the Democratic, Republican Liberal-Progressive's Worst Nightmare.
I am a White, Conservative, Tax-Paying, American Veteran, Gun Owning Biker. That's me!
I am a Master Mason. I work hard and long hours with my hands to earn a living.
I believe in God and the freedom of religion, but I don't push it on others..
I ride Harley Davidson Motorcycles, and drive American-made cars, and I believe in
American products and buy them whenever I can.
I believe the money I make belongs to me and not some liberal governmental functionary,
Democratic or Republican, that wants to share it with others who don't work!
I'm in touch with my feelings and I like it that way!
I think owning a gun doesn't make you a killer; it makes you a smart American.
I think being a minority does not make you noble or victimized, and does not entitle you to
anything. Get over it!
I believe that if you are selling me a Big Mac or any other item, you should do it in English.
I believe there should be no other language option.
I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God when and where they want to.
My heroes are Malcolm Forbes, Bill Gates, John Wayne, Babe Ruth, Roy Rogers, and Willie G. Davidson, who makes the awesome Harley Davidson Motorcycles.
I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor.
I know wrestling is fake and I don't waste my time watching or arguing about it.
I've never owned a slave, nor was I a slave. I haven't burned any witches or been persecuted
by the Turks, and neither have you!
I believe if you don't like the way things are here, go back to where you came from and
change your own country!
This is AMERICA ....We like it the way it is and more so the way it was ...so stop trying to
change it to look like Russia or China , or some other socialist country!
If you were born here and don't like it... you are free to move to any Socialist country that will
have you. I believe it is time to really clean house, starting with the White House, the seat
of our biggest problems.
I want to know which church is it, exactly, where the Reverend Jesse Jackson preaches,
where he gets his money, and why he is always part of the problem and not the solution?
Can I get an AMEN on that one?
I also think the cops have the right to pull you over if you're breaking the law, regardless of
what color you are, but not just because you happen to ride a bike.
And, no, I don't mind having my face shown on my driver's license. I think it's good....
And I'm proud that 'God' is written on my money..
I think if you are too stupid to know how a ballot works, I don't want you deciding who
should be running the most powerful nation in the world for the next four years.
I dislike those people standing in the intersections trying to sell me stuff or trying to guilt me
into making 'donations' to their cause.... Get a job and do your part to support yourself and
I believe that it doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes two parents....
I believe 'illegal' is illegal no matter what the lawyers think!
I believe the American flag should be the only one allowed in AMERICA !
If this makes me a BAD American, then yes, I'm a BAD American.
If you are a BAD American too, please forward this to everyone you know...
We want our country back!
My Country..... I hope this offends all illegal aliens.
My great, great, great, great grandfather watched and bled as his friends died in the Revolution
& the War of 1812.
My great, great, great grandfather watched as his friends died in the Mexican American War.
My great, great grandfather watched as his friends & brothers died in the Civil War.
My great grandfather watched as his friends died in the Spanish-American War.
My grandfather watched as his friends died in WW I.
My father watched as his friends died in WW II.
I watched as my friends died in Vietnam , Panama & Desert Storm.
My son watched & bled as his friends died in Afghanistan and Iraq .
None of them died for the Mexican Flag.
Everyone died for the American flag.
Texas high school students raised a Mexican flag on a school flag pole,
other students took it down. Guess who was expelled...the students who took it down.
California high school students were sent home on Cinco de Mayo, because they wore
T-shirts with the American flag printed on them.
Enough is enough
We've bent over to appease the America-haters long enough. I'm taking a stand.
I'm standing up because the hundreds of thousands who died fighting in wars for this country,
and for the American flag.
If you agree, stand up with me. If you disagree, please let me know.
I will gladly remove you from my e-mail list.
And shame on anyone who tries to make this a racist message.
AMERICANS, stop giving away Your RIGHTS !
Let me make this clear! THIS IS MY COUNTRY !
This statement DOES NOT mean I'm against immigration !
YOU ARE WELCOME HERE, IN MY COUNTRY, welcome to come legally:
1. Get a sponsor 2. Learn the LANGUAGE, as immigrants have in the past !
3. Live by OUR rules !
4. Get a job !
5. Pay YOUR Taxes !
6. No Social Security until you have earned it and Paid for it !
7. NOW find a place to lay your head !
If you don't want to forward this for fear of offending someone,
then YOU'RE PART OF THE PROBLEM !
We've gone so far the other way . . . bent over backwards not to offend anyone.
Only AMERICANS seems to care when American Citizens are being offended !
I think Tall Grass sponsored this bill. lmao. If being an a$$hat is a punishable offense, I'd say the end is near for most of us here on AgWeb..I'm just saying. If you've got some bullying to do, or simply want to be a vulgar A$$hat, beter get it off your chest now before this thing passes. I'm just sayin.
speaking of trolling, where is our favorite piece of shiite, Alzado. , Iman lock him away? maybe he got in the way of one of those pesky drones. If he stays away, we might actually get some interest in this section again.