It amazes me sometimes how lawmakers will take up the most minuscule legislative tasks while letting big stuff go unchecked.
Arizona is back in the WTF column this week. They have a new piece of legislation that passed the House of Representatives and is headed to Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk for a signature. The bill would prohibit “lewd” and “annoying” harassment on the Internet, an addition to a law already in place about telephone harassment.
Per Think Progress, here is what a piece of the legislation says:
“It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use
a telephoneANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL DEVICE and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person. It is also unlawful to otherwise disturb by repeated anonymous telephone callsELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person at the place where the telephone call or callsCOMMUNICATIONS were received.” [SOURCE]*
To some extent, I get why lawmakers feel they need to protect people on the Internet. But, as I think of the larger scope of problems in Arizona, Internet harassment is not one of them. They barely look at U.S. citizens who speak fluent Spanish as full people. Let’s not even discuss their track record on illegal immigration. With all the racial profiling and the air of discontent there, I don’t think name-calling on the Internet is a high priority.
But, I guess the legislation will be helpful for a few victims of Internet bullying…
ANSWER IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW:
Do you think this bill is needed for Internet users in Arizona? Or, are the state legislators wasting their constituents’ time?
*Strikethroughs are part of the original text.