Republican State Rep. Michelle Ugenti, who represents Fountain Hills and Scottsdale, is pushing legislation that would make it a felony to pose as someone else on Facebook or Twitter.
Ugenti, according to House Bill 2004, wants prison time for creating a fake social media account for malicious reasons. Anjali Abraham with the ACLU is concerned with the bills wording and the First Amendment implications and feels putting this in the felony class is heavy handed.
“There might be a better way to go about penalizing the kind of conduct the sponsor says she’s interested in.”
Valley attorney Chris Mason, of Polsinelli Shughart, said the state has laws on the books to keep people from harassing or threatening someone via electronic communication and for now that’s enough.
“It will create a lot of constitutional concerns and lead to challenges if someone even tries to enforce it.”
State lawmaker Michelle Ugenti did not return interview requests on her proposed legislation to make online impersonation a crime.
California and Texas are among the states that have online impersonation laws.