The nerds are upset***
The Arizona state legislature passed a bill (H.B. 2549) that would make it a crime to communicate via an electronic device any speech that is intended to “annoy,” “offend,” “harass,” or “terrify” — and some other stuff too. Pretty vague stuff. I’m sure I’ve fired off some tweets from one of my iThings that annoyed, offended, harassed, and terrified a few people. In fact, that’s sort of my raison-d’être.
So, dang. Why won’t Arizona just let me be great?
The Arizona state legislature apparently finds it difficult to tell the difference between a telephone and the Internet and has passed a bill that would extend the definition of harassment originally devised for phone conversations to anything communicated or published online.
As summarized by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, “The bill is sweepingly broad, and would make it a crime to communicate via electronic means speech that is intended to ‘annoy,’ ‘offend,’ ‘harass’ or ‘terrify,’ as well as certain sexual speech. Because the bill is not limited to one-to-one communications, H.B. 2549 would apply to the Internet as a whole, thus criminalizing all manner of writing, cartoons, and other protected material the state finds offensive or annoying.”
“H.B. 2549 would make it a crime to use any electronic or digital device to communicate using obscene, lewd or profane language or to suggest a lewd or lascivious act if done with intent to ‘annoy,’ ‘offend,’ ‘harass’ or ‘terrify,’” the letter notes. … ‘Lewd’ and ‘profane’ are not defined in the statute or by reference. ‘Lewd’ is generally understood to mean lusty or sexual in nature and ‘profane’ is generally defined as disrespectful or irreverent about religion or religious practices.”
Internet trolls, beware! The Wicked Witch of the Southwest is tired of your online bullshit.
***Oh hush. Some of my best friends are comic book nerds.
[via The Raw Story]