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California should outlaw online impersonation

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

San Jose Mercury News

A San Jose Mercury News editorial called for online impersonation to be made illegal

Impersonating someone with the intent to harm, intimidate, threaten or defraud is illegal in California — except when it’s done online. Existing state law, written in 1872, didn’t anticipate the existence of Facebook, MySpace or a host of other Internet sites that unintentionally created new ways to harm innocent victims.

State Sen. Joe Simitian has a solution. His SB 1411 would make it a misdemeanor to maliciously impersonate another person online. The Legislature should pass the Palo Alto Democrat’s bill, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should sign into law legal protections against online abuse.

View the full story (San Jose Mercury News)