This Is Beyond Chilling For The Internet
Arizona's legislature has passed a law, now waiting for the Governor's signature, that makes it illegal, among other things, for anyone to use any electronic device while intending to annoy or offend. I have to assume there is no way this law can survive a court challenge, but it is nevertheless a glaring revelation at just how oblivious legislators can be in the face of changing technology. Do they not actually consider the implications of laws? Is there no thought put into the creation of laws?
If I make a sarcastic comment on someone's post here on Google+, and someone in Arizona reads it, will I be a criminal?
In one of the big discussions about whether or not God exists, is everyone on both sides of the discussion a criminal because they are offending the other side?
When these politicians air their attack ads on TV during the election, is this criminal behavior?
It seems to me that there is already significant case law describing exactly what sort of speech is or is not protected by the Constitution. This law sounds quite a bit like the Arizona legislature is either trying to make additional types of speech illegal in the circumstance that it is happening via electronic transmission, or they are trying to make illegal speech "more illegal" in those circumstances. From the shoddy wording, I really think it is the former, and thus very likely to be thrown out by any court that hears the case.
On the other hand, there have been several laws passed (both at State and Federal levels) in the past year that I have thought equally incompatible with the U.S. Constitution, and that didn't stop legislatures from passing them and executives form signing them. (I'm looking at you, NDAA, among others.)
Please anyone in Arizona call your Governor's office and ask that this bill be vetoed. Anyone outside of Arizona, please let your state legislators know that the Arizona bill is a ridiculous overreach, and that you never want to see anything similar from your state. Thanks very much!