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Bill could mean jail for Internet flamers

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Bill could mean jail for Internet flamers

Post by Pebb on Wed 13 May 2009 - 10:55

Source: CNN.com

A cyberbullying bill introduced last month has the potential to put half the Internet behind bars.

The Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act is Congress’ response to the 2006 suicide of a 13-year-old girl who was harassed on MySpace. The bill makes electronic communication a felony if “the intent is to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person.”

Congressmen probably aren’t the most Web-savvy bunch, but anyone familiar with trolling, flaming, and various other forms of online bullying could see a problem with this bill.

Network World examines the bill and explains this new breed of Internet criminal:

Given the freewheeling exchanges that characterize everything from SMS text messages and instant messaging to blogs and Web site comments, the broadly written bill potentially could turn a lot of flamers and bloggers into felons.

Amid growing online criticism, bill sponsor Rep. Linda Sanchez defended the Cyberbullying Prevention Act in a Huffington Post article this month:

Congress has no interest in censoring speech and it will not do so if it passes this bill. Put simply, this legislation would be used as a tool for a judge and jury to determine whether there is significant evidence to prove that a person “cyberbullied” another… So — bloggers, emailers, texters, spiteful exes, and those who have blogged against this bill have no fear — your words are still protected under the same American values.

While Rep. Sanchez’s assurances may be comforting, judges tend to follow the wording of a law rather than its sponsor’s intent. So before you text your cheating ex, slam those Apple forum fanboys, or call me a ‘moron’ in the comments, consider the possible consequences of this new bill, or at least put your lawyer’s number on speed dial.

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Re: Bill could mean jail for Internet flamers

Post by culchi on Wed 13 May 2009 - 15:30

tvr your a twat lol


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Re: Bill could mean jail for Internet flamers

Post by Matt on Wed 13 May 2009 - 16:03

Quick arrest that Irish knob!!! Very Happy

In all seriousness though its obv going to be taken on a case by case basis. Its not the sort of thing that can carpet bomb the internet. There will be in that a 'measure' as to what is 'reasonable' or not.
Heated discussion is of course different to an all out attack on an individual or group. So for example, our thread that allows people to poke fun at eachother in the GTC would be sen differently than an out and out attack such as received from the AZT lads, in my (fairly legal) opinion.
It would have to take into consideration the nature of the boards or community aswell as the nature of the 'abuse'.
Additionally that probably puts more pressure on the mods of forums and boards everywhere to keep an eye out for bullying.
Of course TORA abhores such behaviour and it is part of the regulations of all series that individuals refrain from such behaviour.
However, if anyone ever feels such activities ARE happening here then they should not hesitate to contact the mods.



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Re: Bill could mean jail for Internet flamers

Post by its troff on Wed 13 May 2009 - 16:18

I wonder if Marchie is considering legal representation
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Re: Bill could mean jail for Internet flamers

Post by Matt on Wed 13 May 2009 - 16:37

don't give him ideas lol.
But considering the level of detail we provided in our statement I doubt it highly Wink



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Re: Bill could mean jail for Internet flamers

Post by Guest on Wed 13 May 2009 - 17:57

....well that, and the fact that Matt and I are lawyers! Laughing

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Re: Bill could mean jail for Internet flamers

Post by culchi on Wed 13 May 2009 - 18:23

ah not another lawyer really aj???


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Re: Bill could mean jail for Internet flamers

Post by Matt on Wed 13 May 2009 - 19:38

yup.... yup he is



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Re: Bill could mean jail for Internet flamers

Post by HCR generaltso on Wed 13 May 2009 - 19:52

most congresspeople should be put in jail.
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