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  #1  
Old 04-02-2012, 10:02 PM
EvilZoe's Avatar
EvilZoe EvilZoe is offline
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AZ Senate Passes Bill To Outlaw Internet Trolling

Most of us hadn't heard about this bill before today and now that we have, we're completely aghast at how unconstitutional it is. The Arizona House of Representatives haven't voted on it yet but if it does and Gov. Brewer signs it, my state will have to waste taxpayer dollars to defend YET AGAIN another unconstitutional bill.

The wording on this thing is just blatantly against the First Amendment and it's just far too broad and unenforceable.

Arizona Legislature Apparently Trying to Criminalize Being Annoying on the Internet

Quote:
​It has been brought to our attention that there's a bill cruising through the Legislature that, according to some critics, could cause people like myself and this blog's commenters to be thrown in jail for generally being es on the Internet.

We understand that there's probably a healthy amount of people who wouldn't be entirely opposed to the above-mentioned situation, but critics to House Bill 2549 say this legislation could have some pretty broad effects.

According to a Senate fact sheet, HB 2549 "[p]rohibits using any electronic or digital device, instead of a telephone, with the intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend a person."

The Senate approved this one 30 to zip last week, but more critics are coming out of the woodwork to point out some problems the bill could cause.

The Media Coalition is labeling the legislation as a "bill to censor electronic speech," saying, "...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."

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, who runs the "Volokh Conspiracy" website, basically says being an bunghole on blog comments -- which New Times generally appreciates -- could be a criminal act:

So, under the statute, posting a comment to a newspaper article -- or a blog -- saying that the article or post author is "hugging 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 (see, e.g., City of Columbia Falls v. Bennett (Mont. 1991)). Likewise if a blog poster were to post the same in response to a commenter's comment. Likewise if someone posts something in response to an e-mail on an e-mail-based discussion list, or in a chatroom, or wherever else. (Note that if "profane" is read to mean not vulgarly insulting, but instead religiously offensive, see City of Bellevue v. Lorang (Wash. 2000), then the statute would be unconstitutional as well.)

In this line of thinking, that would generally turn every comments section to a New Times post about the Hells Angels into a big bag of criminal evidence, since most of the comments are people calling each other puzzies and meth-heads a few hundred times.

The Media Coalition notes several famous people who make a living doing the exact stuff mentioned in the legislation, as well as some common examples -- like sports fans talking jive to each other on the Internet, which is typically meant to annoy or offend fans of an opposing team.

The Media Coalition has sent memos to a couple of Senate committees showing a ton of examples of how possibly moronic and unconstitutional this law could be.

According to the vote history on the bill, through committees and floor votes, it hasn't seen substantial opposition anywhere.

Even Comedy Central writers have picked up on this one, writing on one of its blogs that there might be "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," the post says. "In fact, Arizona legislators use 'digital device[s]' to draft legislation that is often plainly intended to annoy or offend anyone with a conscience.

"When Arizona legislators outlaw trolling, only outlaws will be Arizona legislators."

Even the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Vladimir Putin apologists are getting testy about Arizona's proposed legislation.

You can check out the Senate-engrossed version of the bill by clicking here.
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2012, 10:13 PM
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Re: AZ Senate Passes Bill To Outlaw Internet Troll

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilZoe View Post
Most of us hadn't heard about this bill before today and now that we have, we're completely aghast at how unconstitutional it is. The Arizona House of Representatives haven't voted on it yet but if it does and Gov. Brewer signs it, my state will have to waste taxpayer dollars to defend YET AGAIN another unconstitutional bill.

The wording on this thing is just blatantly against the First Amendment and it's just far too broad and unenforceable.
.....
Criminalize Being Annoying on the Internet ?

WFT?

I thought Being Annoying was the purpose of it...... Well, that and porn.

If trolling on a message board were a crime, FINIX would be on death row.



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  #3  
Old 04-02-2012, 10:35 PM
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Re: AZ Senate Passes Bill To Outlaw Internet Troll

Politicians getting stupider by the second.
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  #4  
Old 04-02-2012, 10:38 PM
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EvilZoe EvilZoe is offline
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Re: AZ Senate Passes Bill To Outlaw Internet Troll

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Originally Posted by Yawn... View Post
Criminalize Being Annoying on the Internet ?

WFT?

I thought Being Annoying was the purpose of it...... Well, that and porn.

If trolling on a message board were a crime, FINIX would be on death row.

They're calling it a stalking bill but the wording is so bad that it runs the whole thing right into the First Amendment.

Quote:
Use of an electronic or digital device to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend; classification; definition
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  #5  
Old 04-03-2012, 01:07 AM
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Kelderek Kelderek is online now
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Re: AZ Senate Passes Bill To Outlaw Internet Troll

The filth!! The scum! Vermin!

Diminishing the lives of all of us! Every Day! They should die screaming!!

Filth, filth, filth!!!

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  #6  
Old 04-03-2012, 01:17 AM
ProfHenryHiggins ProfHenryHiggins is offline
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Re: AZ Senate Passes Bill To Outlaw Internet Troll

Seeing a television is an electronic device, would this bill, as presented, not also directly disrupt the following industries?

1) Professional wrestling

2) Election campaign advertisers

3) Stand-up comedy

4) Panel commentary on news programs

and

5) Public safety messages against drug abuse (offending the drug dealers)

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  #7  
Old 04-03-2012, 01:27 AM
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EvilZoe EvilZoe is offline
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Re: AZ Senate Passes Bill To Outlaw Internet Troll

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfHenryHiggins View Post
Seeing a television is an electronic device, would this bill, as presented, not also directly disrupt the following industries?

1) Professional wrestling

2) Election campaign advertisers

3) Stand-up comedy

4) Panel commentary on news programs

and

5) Public safety messages against drug abuse (offending the drug dealers)

I'm pretty sure Fox News would be illegal in Arizona. Plenty of rational people are offended by the way they misrepresent everything.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:44 AM
ProfHenryHiggins ProfHenryHiggins is offline
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Re: AZ Senate Passes Bill To Outlaw Internet Troll

Zoe, PBS-based news programs would be illegal under that law. Not to mention a number of children's programs when a bad guy insults or goads the hero(es).

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  #9  
Old 04-03-2012, 01:48 AM
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Re: AZ Senate Passes Bill To Outlaw Internet Troll

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Originally Posted by ProfHenryHiggins View Post
Zoe, PBS-based news programs would be illegal under that law. Not to mention a number of children's programs when a bad guy insults or goads the hero(es).
Will this be the end of Coyote and Road Runner?

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  #10  
Old 04-03-2012, 02:14 AM
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Re: AZ Senate Passes Bill To Outlaw Internet Troll

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfHenryHiggins View Post
Seeing a television is an electronic device, would this bill, as presented, not also directly disrupt the following industries?

1) Professional wrestling
.......
No way !

Professional Wrestling is real.

And you call yourself an AMERICAN.........


Its the moon landing that's a lie.

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  #11  
Old 04-03-2012, 02:18 AM
ProfHenryHiggins ProfHenryHiggins is offline
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Re: AZ Senate Passes Bill To Outlaw Internet Troll

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yawn... View Post
No way !

Professional Wrestling is real.

And you call yourself an AMERICAN.........


Its the moon landing that's a lie.

So you are claiming that the practice of "trash talking" is not part of professional wrestling and would not thus impact the sport under this proposed disaster of a bill?

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  #12  
Old 04-03-2012, 02:31 AM
Yawn...'s Avatar
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Re: AZ Senate Passes Bill To Outlaw Internet Troll

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfHenryHiggins View Post
So you are claiming that the practice of "trash talking" is not part of professional wrestling and would not thus impact the sport under this proposed disaster of a bill?
Yup.

I am confident that the Republican Overlords in the Breakaway Confederate State Arizona have placed an exemption in bill to exclude the Professional Sport of Wrestling.

I also understand that the Union of the United Sisterhood of Strippers, Lap and Pole Dancers have also given considerable contributions to politicians in AZ for consideration for various exemptions from the proposed bill.

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  #13  
Old 04-03-2012, 03:39 AM
thistle thistle is offline
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Re: AZ Senate Passes Bill To Outlaw Internet Troll

Yeah, it looks to me like its the wording thats wrong, but that the idea is to extend the same stalking/harrassment laws that apply for people using phones to other digital devices and forums.

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  #14  
Old 04-03-2012, 11:40 AM
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EvilZoe EvilZoe is offline
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Re: AZ Senate Passes Bill To Outlaw Internet Troll

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Originally Posted by thistle View Post
Yeah, it looks to me like its the wording thats wrong, but that the idea is to extend the same stalking/harrassment laws that apply for people using phones to other digital devices and forums.

That's what I'm saying. The wording is ridiculously unconstitutional.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:42 PM
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Re: AZ Senate Passes Bill To Outlaw Internet Troll

all you haters are in big trouble if this passes
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