Internet 'e-personation' law passes Legislature


By Bay City News Service

A bill that would make it a misdemeanor to maliciously impersonate someone on the Internet was passed by the state Legislature last week.

SB 1411, authored by state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, passed unanimously in both the Senate and the Assembly, Simitian's office said Thursday (Aug. 12).

Simitian said the bill updates California's "outdated" impersonation laws to include online applications such as impersonation via e-mail and social networking, or so-called "e-personation."

"In the age of the Internet, pretending to be someone else is as easy as using their name to create a new e-mail account," Simitian said in a statement. "When that is done to cause harm, folks need a law on the books they can turn to."

Under the law, a victim can be either a person whose identity is assumed or a third person being harassed, according to Simitian.

Those convicted could face a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, and possible civil litigation.

The bill now moves to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for approval.

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Like this comment
Posted by MANDRAKE
a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2010 at 8:10 am

I was speaking to Arnold about this over the weekend, and it seems like it is a bad measure to pass, primarily because a lot of people who are being "impersonated" have a lot to hide. Particularly, in the political areas.
Permitting this would lead to investigations of illegal activities performed by some of our counties more prominent former or departing members who serve or have served in our County's government.
At this point, I believe there are going to be a bevy of provable misdeeds involving monies, pay offs, and falsifications of permits in almost every department.This opens the doors for a lot of sitting members to "retire" and flee San Mateo.
There is a lot of corruption being investigated on the Peninsula in particular because of all the offshore corporations and dishonest monies made during the banking crises.(plural)We are talking about billions of non reported income.

Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 16, 2010 at 11:31 am

this bill would serve as a very dangerous precedent. I hope Arnold would know not to sign it.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 16, 2010 at 11:48 am

Anonymous states:"this bill would serve as a very dangerous precedent. I hope Arnold would know not to sign it."

How ironic that people whom the Almanac allows to be truly nameless do not want this bill to become law. A number of times on this Forum other people have 'stolen' my name and posted comments claiming to be me and I had no recourse. I welcome this bill becoming law.

Like this comment
Posted by R.GORDON
a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2010 at 1:08 pm

R.GORDON is a registered user.

Mr. Carpenter:
Luckily, all of the impersonators on the Peninsula could never have your knowledge or delivery on most subjects involving legalities and could never "pass" as you.
Still, I do find you are absolutely correct. It would be a small step in getting rid of liars, and, in its own way, some corruption.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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