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Fake Facebook profiles could be criminalized
Pennsylvania Independent ^ | 9/20/2012 | Melissa Daniels

Posted on 09/22/2012 8:50:15 AM PDT by dirtboy

HARRISBURG — Offending someone online isn’t a crime, but proposed legislation in Pennsylvania would penalize people who take it too far.

Next week, House Judiciary Committee representatives are scheduled to discuss House Bill 2249, which makes it a misdemeanor to impersonate someone online. But the bill has stirred up free speech debates for its potential chilling effect on online communication — or on pranksters.

Now, the bill’s sponsor says specific changes will ensure people who are joking with friends, or exercising First Amendment rights, won’t be prosecuted.

The sponsor, state Rep. Katharine Watson, R-Bucks, said the bill is targeted toward giving law enforcement a way to penalize online bullying.

The law would make it a crime to impersonate someone online through a social media account like Facebook or Twitter, or through a fake email address or text message.

(Excerpt) Read more at paindependent.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: bucks; facebook; housebill2249; katharinewatson; pennsylvania
So if this legislation passes and Corbett signs it, will PA Freepers no long be able to use screen names instead of their real names?
1 posted on 09/22/2012 8:50:18 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: dirtboy

Let me get this straight: You can claim to be a war hero who won more medals than Audie Murphy but you can’t post a fake Facebook profile?


2 posted on 09/22/2012 8:53:23 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: dirtboy
wish obnoxious people both Repubs and Dems would lay off what they don't understand on the Internet

we don't need or want their opinions

3 posted on 09/22/2012 8:54:15 AM PDT by xtinct (The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you..Be Strong Patriots!)
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To: dirtboy

There goes my redhighheelsblackpartydressonwednesdays account


4 posted on 09/22/2012 8:56:27 AM PDT by badpacifist (In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks dirtboy.
...proposed legislation in Pennsylvania... House Bill 2249, which makes it a misdemeanor to impersonate someone online... The sponsor, state Rep. Katharine Watson, R-Bucks, said the bill is targeted toward giving law enforcement a way to penalize online bullying.
I'll be happy to impersonate hundreds of Pennsylvania voters if anyone needs signatures for petitions for a recall to remove that 'hole from office.


5 posted on 09/22/2012 8:56:27 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: randita

Please ping the PA list when you get a chance, thanks!


6 posted on 09/22/2012 8:56:39 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: dirtboy

Oh, what the heck, let’s just throw the Constitution in the trash.


7 posted on 09/22/2012 8:56:58 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: dirtboy
So if this legislation passes and Corbett signs it, will PA Freepers no long be able to use screen names instead of their real names?

I'm not seeing anything in that article that would point to that. Looks like its intent is to go after people setting up fake accounts to impersonate others and destroy their reputations...this likely is already a tort but apparently they want to make this also subject to criminal penalties.

That said...this kind of a law would have to be fine tuned...VERY fine tuned...to avoid a slippery slope issue of internet intrusion beyond the scope of the stated intent of this bill...might be best to just leave this a tort and allow for civil penalties.

8 posted on 09/22/2012 8:57:42 AM PDT by Republican Wildcat
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To: dirtboy

most of the Federalist Papers were originally published under pseudonyms.

IMHO..this legislation and this...are strategically linked by First Amendment opponents in the present administration...

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2932745/posts


9 posted on 09/22/2012 9:00:37 AM PDT by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: dirtboy

Katharine you ignorant slut . . . < /Dan Akroyd voice>

Clearly this woman doesn’t understand what the words “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech” mean.

Anyone with an ounce of knowledge about pre-Revolutionary America, and all the anonymous pamphleteers, would not have proposed this idiot bill.


10 posted on 09/22/2012 9:01:16 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: dirtboy

It seems the gist of the law isn’t really ‘fake’ profiles but impersonating someone. Almost like online identity theft.


11 posted on 09/22/2012 9:02:56 AM PDT by mnehring
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To: dirtboy

Oh good. So now they can clap Obama in irons for his facebook false-persona generator ;)


12 posted on 09/22/2012 9:03:18 AM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (I will fear no muslim))
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To: dirtboy
The sponsor, state Rep. Katharine Watson, R-Bucks, said the bill is targeted toward giving law enforcement a way to penalize online bullying.

The best way for the government to stop online bullying is for the government to stop bullying people online.

13 posted on 09/22/2012 9:04:39 AM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: dirtboy

Just one more point in the ever growing list of reasons not to use FB.


14 posted on 09/22/2012 9:11:38 AM PDT by bgill
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To: mnehring
It seems the gist of the law isn’t really ‘fake’ profiles but impersonating someone. Almost like online identity theft.

However, it would leave the door open for prosecutorial mischief, IMO - going after anonymous comments on MSM websites that a politician doesn't like, for example.

Too often, application of a law such as this one goes well beyond the original intent of who created it.

15 posted on 09/22/2012 9:12:42 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: FreedomPoster
and all the anonymous pamphleteers

Exactly - we would never have heard from Publius, Cato and Brutus.

16 posted on 09/22/2012 9:15:42 AM PDT by C210N ("ask not what the candidate can do for you, ask what you can do for the candidate" (Breitbart, 2012))
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To: dirtboy

Let me guess: there is an exception crafted to allow government psyops to continue doing exactly this, in furtherance of their agenda against the freedoms of US citizens. (For example, to harass whistleblowers.)


17 posted on 09/22/2012 9:17:36 AM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: dirtboy

You didn’t bother to read the article before posting it?


18 posted on 09/22/2012 9:18:28 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: dirtboy
Then we should also criminalize fake political profiles that certain candidates project, only to do whatever they want when they assume office.

Go ahead and lie about what you are going to do when elected, but go directly to jail when you don't.

19 posted on 09/22/2012 9:19:41 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
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To: dirtboy

The current generation has no idea what bullying is. They are just a bunch of bedwetting crybabies.


20 posted on 09/22/2012 9:22:57 AM PDT by microgood
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To: bgill

Pretty soon it will be illegal to not be on FB.


21 posted on 09/22/2012 9:24:38 AM PDT by dfwgator (I'm voting for Ryan and that other guy.)
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To: bgill
Just one more point in the ever growing list of reasons not to use FB.

FB = An eighth commandment-free zone dominated by codependent narcissists and voyeurs.

22 posted on 09/22/2012 9:25:01 AM PDT by lightman (Settling for the "lesser of two..." is still choosing Evil)
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To: microgood

Only gays can be bullied these days, don’cha know?


23 posted on 09/22/2012 9:25:14 AM PDT by dfwgator (I'm voting for Ryan and that other guy.)
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To: iowamark

Uh, yes, I read the entire article, jerk.


24 posted on 09/22/2012 9:31:26 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: dirtboy

so... i can vote without any proof of id but if i create a facebook page using an online alias i go to jail?

yea... facebook isn’t today’s fbi file


25 posted on 09/22/2012 9:31:28 AM PDT by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: dirtboy

All this proves is that the Government wants to use facebook to track the masses . . .


26 posted on 09/22/2012 9:34:07 AM PDT by Petruchio (I Think . . . Therefor I FReep.)
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To: xtinct
wish obnoxious people both Repubs and Dems would lay off what they don't understand on the Internet

The only reason the Internet and PC's created such a huge boom in the 80's and 90's was because government didn't understand what was happening and couldn't figure out how to regulate and tax it. This is why I don't hold out much hope for the prophesied GNR (genetics-nanotechnology-robotics) boom toward the end of this decade. US regulatory agencies now overwhelming in their scope and power, and are ready to pounce on any commercial trend that looks like it might become profitable.

27 posted on 09/22/2012 9:39:13 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: dirtboy
I have a fake Facebook account:

Friend me : BreezyDog Cocoa Angler

28 posted on 09/22/2012 9:40:57 AM PDT by BreezyDog (PLAN A: A Peaceful Restoration of the Republic.....PLAN B: A Restoration of the Republic)
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To: fatima; xsmommy; South Hawthorne; brityank; Physicist; WhyisaTexasgirlinPA; GOPJ; abner; ...

PA Ping!

If you want on/off the PA Ping List, please freepmail me. Thanks!


29 posted on 09/22/2012 9:42:12 AM PDT by randita
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To: dirtboy

I hate it when - R s act like - D s.


30 posted on 09/22/2012 9:50:45 AM PDT by rbbeachkid (Get out of its way and small business can fix the economy.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The article refers to impersonating someone else. That is just an extension of existing laws. An alias, moniker or pen name is entirely different than presenting oneself as another person.


31 posted on 09/22/2012 9:59:22 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans. Don't read their lips. Watch their hands.)
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To: Hardraade

Heh. Nice catch!


32 posted on 09/22/2012 10:00:10 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans. Don't read their lips. Watch their hands.)
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To: Hardraade

Heh. Nice catch!


33 posted on 09/22/2012 10:00:46 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans. Don't read their lips. Watch their hands.)
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To: dirtboy
I'd like to be proud that PA state government is republican, really I would, but they are making it soooo hard to be. Internet identity bill? Sheesh! How about rolling back state-wide building codes? Making us free to buy decongestants without signing for them at the pharmacy counter? Taking on the NEA? Slashing the spending at DCNR and DEP?

But no, they'd rather word on more RETRICTIONS on our freedom than RETURNING our freedom. It makes me wonder why I even vote...

34 posted on 09/22/2012 10:15:13 AM PDT by Kay Ludlow (Government actions ALWAYS have unintended consequences...)
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To: dirtboy
My daughter went through this on facebook and her Bridal registry.We called the police.
35 posted on 09/22/2012 10:25:53 AM PDT by fatima (Free Hugs Today :))
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To: Republican Wildcat

My guess is that there would have to be some kind of crime “at the end of the day” in any of these cases. This is why the Stolen Valor Act was (rightfully) overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, by the way. Impersonating someone just for the sake of impersonating them can’t be criminalized and can’t really even be subject to legal action in civil court, but if the impersonator somehow uses the act of impersonation to do harm to others or defraud them in any way, then it would be subject to criminal prosecution or civil liability under existing statutes related to fraud or other torts.


36 posted on 09/22/2012 10:28:30 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: Vince Ferrer

“The best way for the government to stop online bullying is for the government to stop bullying people online.”

I don’t understand online bullying. Turn off the PC; end of problem. (Alternatively, hit delete or block the bully.) Am I missing something?


37 posted on 09/22/2012 10:58:42 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: Gen.Blather
"Am I missing something?"

You are a 14 year old Girl. A click of girls who dislike you take a picture of you that is unflattering (the possibilities are endless on exactly what that would be.) Then its passed on Facebook and Twitter and media messages between phones. Next day at school everyone points and laughs and ridicules you for whatever social gaffe has been deemed offensive by the click.

You may think this a minor matter but in the social climate of teenagers this is akin to a restaurant being shutdown for cockroaches and rats.

Sad, but true.

38 posted on 09/22/2012 11:07:09 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: Republican Wildcat

Pennsylvania is incapable of fine-tuning anything.

I know...I live there.


39 posted on 09/22/2012 12:12:54 PM PDT by Emperor Palpatine ("On the ascent of Olympus, what's a botched bar or two?" -Artur Schnabel)
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To: Republican Wildcat

PS...

Corbett is a fascist who thinks entrapment is a good way to enforce the law.


40 posted on 09/22/2012 12:14:08 PM PDT by Emperor Palpatine ("On the ascent of Olympus, what's a botched bar or two?" -Artur Schnabel)
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To: Mad Dawgg

Oh please..

Moan moan, whine whine.

Rights are more important than the self-esteem of bimbos in friggin’ high school.

Kids will learn to deal with this and tough it out like they always have...for centuries.

I could give a crap about somebody’s feelings.


41 posted on 09/22/2012 12:17:03 PM PDT by Emperor Palpatine ("On the ascent of Olympus, what's a botched bar or two?" -Artur Schnabel)
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To: dirtboy

"Classy Green-eyed blond" was already taken.

42 posted on 09/22/2012 12:24:45 PM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: Emperor Palpatine
"Rights are more important than the self-esteem of bimbos in friggin’ high school."

Number one, wasn't talking about rights. was talking about "what is." He asked if he was missing something and I showed him.

He said turn off the computer, but that is not where it ends. The speed of the internet can give power to those who wish to harass someone well beyond what was possible just 15 years ago.

I never claimed it should be legislated against I just pointed it out its more complicated than just turning off the computer because its not the computer its the speed and the ability to disseminate harassment via Social Networks and cellular communications.

Kids have committed suicide over these attacks via Social Networks. Its a real problem and your dismissal of the issue isn't a solution its just ignorance on your part.

We have libel and slander laws for just these reasons. No need for additional legislation just just use the libel and slander laws already on the books.

43 posted on 09/22/2012 12:51:37 PM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: dirtboy

“Rep. Katharine Watson, R-Bucks”

With Republicans like these, who needs Democrats?


44 posted on 09/22/2012 3:26:12 PM PDT by GenXteacher (You have chosen dishonor to avoid war; you shall have war also.)
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