The Noose Tightens: Arizona Law Criminalizes Internet Speech that Would “Terrify, Intimidate, Threaten, Harass, Annoy or Offend”
April 3rd, 2012
Arizona House Bill 2549 has been sent to Governor Janice Brewer’s desk and, once signed, will expand the State’s telephone harassment law to include all electronic or digital communications.
Telephone harrassment laws generally apply to two individuals speaking on a telephone, but according to opponents of the new bill there is a danger to free speech because its reach essentially encompasses all digital communications:
… 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.
Source: Media Coalition via The Intel Hub
One must assume that, as Infowars’ Steve Watson points out, “the law, which is being pushed under the guise of an anti-bullying campaign would mean that anything communicated or published online that was deemed to be ‘offensive’ by the state, including editorials, illustrations, and even satire could be criminally punished.”