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Simitian’s bill aimed at online impersonation

Monday, August 09, 2010

San Francisco Chronicle

Two months ago, a reporter received a profanity-laced e-mail critical of one of her stories. The sender appeared to be Carl Guardino, the chief executive of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. He hadn’t sent the e-mail. Guardino was the victim of online impersonation. He soon found out he wasn’t alone - friends, colleagues and relatives had stories of usurped identities and tarnished reputations.

The state law on impersonation is not equipped to deal with the digital age. But a bill making its way through the Legislature is looking to change that. Inspired by Guardino’s story, state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, introduced a bill in June that would make it a misdemeanor to maliciously impersonate someone.

View the full story (San Francisco Chronicle)