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:
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.