There are times when I really don’t enjoy living in California, this is one of them.
The idea for a law, by Rep. Linda Sanchez, Democrat, of California is sheer lunacy. She has proposed a bill that would make it a federal felony to use blogs, text messages, and Internet messaging (“electronic means”) to harass someone and cause them “emotional distress.”
So if my local paper, the Enterprise Record, posts a web story that “causes somebody emotional distress”, do the aggrieved then just dispense a lawyer from a vending machine in front of the newspaper office and walk in with a lawsuit? There will be DMVesque line with a wait.
It’s coming to that it seems.
“Greg Pollowitz at NRO Media Blog sends the alert (via The Volokh Conspiracy) that Rep. Linda Sanchez, Democrat of California, has proposed a bill that would make it a federal felony to use blogs, text messages, and Internet messaging (“electronic means”) to harass someone and cause them “emotional distress.” Eugene Volokh pulls these snippets out of H.R. 1966:
Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both….
["Communication"] means the electronic transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user’s choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received; …
["Electronic means"] means any equipment dependent on electrical power to access an information service, including email, instant messaging, blogs, websites, telephones, and text messages.
(h/t to Helogenic Climate Change)
Here is her official website where you can contact her and let her know what you think about this idea. Be nice.