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Arizona Moves To Ban Annoying And Offensive Electronic Speech

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Free speech is under fire once again and this time it’s being attacked by the Arizona legislature who recently passed a bill known as House Bill 2549. HB 2549 takes existing rules for telephone harassment and applies them to the internet and all electronic devices.  Of course, anybody with a basic understanding of the internet and technology knows that there is a huge difference between using a telephone to annoy and offend someone and posting an “offensive” or “annoying” link on a social networking site.

As seems to be the case with many laws and ordinances being passed these days, the language is very vague and open to broad interpretation.

Here are a couple great articles explaining exactly how this bill could affect you:

Arizona Law Looks To Criminalize Any ‘Offensive’ Electronic Communications

Arizona Law Would Criminalize Being Lewd Or Annoying On The Internet

Many people find the Flag Liberty blog to be annoying and offensive and I hate to think of how this law would impact me and other Arizona bloggers if it was broadly interpreted and enforced. Please contact Governor Brewer and ask her to veto this liberty trampling piece of legislation.

My State Representative Tom Chabin voted for this bill and he does NOT like to be questioned on his votes (click picture to enlarge).

4-30-2012 UPDATE: Thanks to your emails and calls and a wave of opposition by 1st Amendment groups, this bill was temporarily halted and never made it to Governor Brewer’s desk. This week the state legislature will be voting on an amended version of the bill. I believe it still goes too far and continues to trample free speech. Existing laws already cover stalking and threats. Please keep calling and emailing your representatives to let them know that Arizona does not want or need this bill.

flagstafflibertyalliance.com

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  1. March 31, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Dear Governor Brewer,

    My husband and I are recipients of an “Arizona Golden Rule Citizen Certificate” that was signed by you., dated 01/20/2010.

    It has the quote “Treat others the way you would like to be treated” and I implore you today, to remember that you were one of the inspirations behind this being adopted in our state of Arizona.

    I ask you to please exemplify the spirit of the Golden Rule in regards to House Bill 2549 on your desk at this time.

    Golden Rule in Arizona
    May 13, 2003 was a HISTORIC DAY in Arizona and the world. A state resolution passed by the Arizona Legislature and signed by Secretary of State JAN BREWER declared Arizona to be the first Golden Rule State in the Nation and in the world.
    Here is the Resolution:
    http://www.azifm.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/State-Resolution-passed-and-signed-May-13-2003.pdf

    Protecting people from any harassment is a worthy goal, but legislators cannot do this by criminalizing speech protected by the Constitution. All speech is presumed to be protected by the First Amendment against content based regulations.
    O course cyber-stalking, bullying and harassment are real life issues that should be dealt with, but this far overreaching Bill is not the way to do it and still protect our Citizens Constitutional Rights.

    Sometimes speech protected by our First Amendment is intended to offend, irritate or even scare, but the same could be prosecuted under this proposed new law. I do realize that no freedom can be taken for granted. It can however, be taken away with one quick move of a pen., your pen and I beg you not to take this step towards violating your Oath of Office to Defend the Constitution.

    Most Sincerely,

    Mrs Donna L. Creamer
    2116 North Second St #2
    Flagstaff, AZ. 86004

    • SlimStrontem
      March 31, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      “Like”

  2. SlimStrontem
    March 31, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Dear Governor Brewer:
    I hope that your staff continues to be daft enough to encourage you to sign this legislation, so that the citizens of Arizona will have even more opportunity to realize who and what you are.
    Thank you.
    Slim

  3. Mike Hunt
    April 3, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Dear Arizona Government ,kiss my ass .

  1. June 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

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