Arizona law looks to censor the internet

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http://www.abc4.com/content/news/top_stories/story/Arizona-law-looks-to-censor-the-internet/g-MIO8eRL0-x4SzkNtLFBA.cspx

An Arizona bill being touted as an anti-bullying effort has people across the nation up in arms. The "internet censorship bill" would make it a crime for someone to be "offensive" online. While it has good intentions it's so broad, online editorials, illustrations, even your Facebook status updates aren't safe.

Distasteful content on the internet is not a new thing.

"A lot of the times you'll see rants and raves on Facebook," said Salt Lake resident Neil Hooper.

Then, there are website comment sections where people type less than kind words.

"I think it's really sad that people even have the time to make comments like that, it's like they're trying to make themselves feel better or something," said Salt Lake resident Stacee Madsen.

But, no matter how mean or rude that type of behavior is not illegal. Some Arizona lawmakers created House Bill 2549 to change that, which criminally punishes offensive online content.

"I think the legislature in Arizona is saying there's got to be a way we can put a cap on things and outlaw this and keep people from doing that," said Utah attorney Greg Skordas.

The bill would make it a crime to offend, harass, terrify or even just annoy another person online. Skordas points out a few issues, like how will law enforcement find these so-called "online trolls?" and who is going to set the basis for what is considered "offensive?"

"For one, it's vague, using words like offensive or annoying, who's to define those kinds of words?" Skordas asked.

Finally, the big issue, a person's first amendment right. Lewd web posters may not be kind, but Utahans say they have a right to speak their mind, whether we like what they say it or not.

"I think it's interesting because there are a lot people who hide behind their virtual or social networking persona, but I think everyone had the right to say what they want," Hooper said.

Of course this bill is not in Utah, but residents we spoke with fear our state won't be far behind. However, Skordas points out you just can't ignore the fact that there are a lot of holes in this bill. Even if someone's charged, Skordas says the case would likely be thrown out in court.

So what do you think, Escapist?

I recently read an article about internet legislation that would be "worse than China" for the UK.

It looks like we are being led into a new age of internet oppression by people who barely understand the internet and yet think they can/should control it.

I doubt it will go through, but I think it's pretty safe to say that 2012 will forever be known as the year of human rights violations.

I would really laugh my muscular man sized tits off if I insulted someone from Arizona and they attempted to follow up on that through the legal system.

Fucking hell.. not again.

why is it that people who dont understand the internet are allowed to make shit rules and laws about it?
come on politicians stick to what youre slightly less shit at and leave the internet alone, its doing fine as it is and it doesn't need you trying to "improve" it because you'll just cock it up and make it worse

and i really dont see how someone in Arizona could take legal action over me in yorkshire (england) because i was mean to them on the internet

I'm just assuming that Arizona is being run by asshats.

Bullies? Ban internet!

La Raza? Ban ethnic studies!

image

First Amendment violating laws never make it through. If there is one thing the Supreme Court does right it is to shoot down this kind of backwards shit.

This bill is stupi-*IS ARRESTED!*

Arizona...

A place where they love people so much...

One Bishop Thomas J. Olmstead fired one sister Margaret McBride from St. Joseph's Hospital and excommunicated her from her church for suggesting abortion to save an 11 week pregnant woman, who was a mother of 4 at the time, suffering from Pulmonary Hypertension. This malady, Sister McBride and others believed would kill the mother and, in turn, kill her child. The Bishop later stated that, "An unborn child is not a disease...the end does not justify the means".

and...

Where the governor of the state worries more about supposed dead people in the desert than the live people thrown out of medical care and left to die because of the neccesity to balance their stupid, fucking budget.

Arizona: Proving there's more batshit in a desert than a cave.

Because all of our problems can be solved with needless legal meddling. That's the spirit, Arizona!

The internet would truly be a sad place without all of the tits, swearing, blind rage, and overall gratuitousness that has come to define it.

Here's hoping that it's just a bunch of hot gas that'll dissipate once the powers that be see how ridiculous, and nigh-on impossible shit like this would be to enforce.

To put things into perspective, some other bans parts of the US are looking to (and most likely will succeed) to pass: Banning best friends in high schools. (A couple of states are going to apply this rule) Banning hugs. (A New Jersey school is attempting this) And last but by no means least; A Texas school that is banning a toddler from using the walker she needs to get around (she has some sort of special disease) because she tripped in the parking lot.

Sometimes I sincerely believe they are intentionally trying to make the whole world go "WTF Merica?"

You have a right to free speech, not to not be offended. Cant handle offensive content dont go on the web.

luckily a law like that won't pass constitutional muster.

however, it doesn't help that the politicians have no clue how people actually live their lives and people here want the government out of their lives, but spying on everyone else in the name of safety, but really its about enforcing their morality when they can't even teach their own children morals (or intelligent thought) at all.

edit

Ugh, again with this? Leave the internet alone already!

i dont see whats wrong with extending current laws to cover the internet, where harrassment and stalking illegal in real life are covered the same for internet actions.

pisses me off when people can justify the most vicious behaviour to other human being on the net just for shits and giggles by saying "harden up" or "dont go on the net if you cant handle it". should i not walk down the street if i constantly get insults, and stalking, bullying and harrassment?

people should go on the net with the expectation of being safe the net itsnt a right its a service you pay to access

Jan Brewer and her administration is out of control. Just like the media trying to ignore what Santorum said, batshit crazy. But she'll get her kamuffins, I mean comeuppance.

yeah .... good luck with that, in the 'it's not gonna happen' way.

*headplanet*
Government: stop being fucktards.

Spectrre:
Banning best friends in high schools.

How is that even possible?
"Who's that?"
"My best friend."
"I'm calling your parents... Hello? Yes, your child is being suspended. He has a best friend."

TrilbyWill:

Spectrre:
Banning best friends in high schools.

How is that even possible?
"Who's that?"
"My best friend."
"I'm calling your parents... Hello? Yes, your child is being suspended. He has a best friend."

Yeah. I don't know. It's ridiculous. They apparently want their students to not latch on to one person and instead be group-active. They also want to protect them from the possible hurt of losing a best friend. *facepalm*

-_- pardon my fail.

Regnes:
I doubt it will go through, but I think it's pretty safe to say that 2012 will forever be known as the year of human rights violations.

Ah this kind of crap pops up all the time...it goes back literally to the dawn of civilization. Ancient Greek conservatives (for lack of a better word) tried to censor and ban the written word, for instance. Just that now in the age of free access to information, combined with a generation that is more active and engaged than any other in history, we're just hearing about bad stuff more often. The world is as sick as it's ever been.

Totally unconstitutional. No way 1st Amendment will allow Arizona to arrest people in other states for telling an Arizona Citizen that they (the offender) had sex with his/her (the Arizona-ish whatever) mother.

Oh fuck me. Really? We're now basing legislature off of people being too "annoying"?

I live in Arizona. And I make fun of the idiots who sent me friend requests on Facebook all the damn time. Fuck em.

Bring it on, there is no way this will pass.

hulksmashley:
Arizona is crazy.

First a law to persecute Mexican immigrants, now this.

I think the heat is finally getting to them.

Not crazy about this particular law, but their recent immigration law didn't "persecute" immigrants. Illegal immigration is, by definition ILLEGAL. Cops can already ask to see your ID. How is it any different, in states where illegal immigration is a problem, than asking for proof of citizenship? Plus, the cop can only ask for proof if the person in question is caught breaking the law. Immigration is great. I probably couldn't last a few months without good mexican food. The crime, drugs, violence and unemployment that are an unfortunate result of illegal immigration I can do without.

Here's the text of the bill (don't worry kids, it's pretty short and easy to digest)

http://mediacoalition.org/mediaimages/AZ-HB-2549s-as-passed-by-legislature.pdf

It's really broadly worded, and it creates a dangerous precedent for free speech.

Ultratwinkie:
*snip*

Damn, you beat me to it :(
I was going to make a thread about this and challenge everyone to be "polite and non-offensive", but you have beaten me to the punch good sir. Well done.

Honestly, this bill is hilariously over-ambitious. It basically asks all comedians to stop being comedians, and for everyone to live in a happy world of Ned Flanderses.

edit

This is one of those laws that everyone knows is unconstitutional the moment it is proposed. We don't even have to worry about this one, because the first person charged under it if it passes gets pro bono representation from the ACLU and it gets thrown out immediately. However, I highly recommend that if this bill passes, we take the opportunity to be offensive on the Internet to everyone who voted for it. Make one of them be the first to file a complaint.

nikki191:
i dont see whats wrong with extending current laws to cover the internet, where harrassment and stalking illegal in real life are covered the same for internet actions.

pisses me off when people can justify the most vicious behaviour to other human being on the net just for shits and giggles by saying "harden up" or "dont go on the net if you cant handle it". should i not walk down the street if i constantly get insults, and stalking, bullying and harrassment?

people should go on the net with the expectation of being safe the net itsnt a right its a service you pay to access

By following the wording of this law, in your example, I could have you arrested for saying something that I deemed offensive, or maybe even whistling a tune I found annoying. Even if you weren't talking specifically to me. I wouldn't even have to "prove" it was offensive- just say that it was.

Maybe the Mayans were onto something after all...

I believe an anti bully law or rule is perfectly ok. But harassing is already illegal and isn't protected by the 1st amendment, so why is this even talked about?

Oh God, considering all the political shit storm starting posts I make on Facebook...

God dammit, Arizona, you have some great Gun Laws but pull your head out your ass! ;~;

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