Arizona legislature passes Internet censorship bill to make trolling illegal

The advent of the World Wide Web has delivered instant knowledge to the masses. As the Internet grows, however, danger begins to lurk around every corner. From hackers who steal credit card numbers to cyberbullies, many experts have argued that the Internet has turned into a lawless wasteland where knowledge enters and ignorance exits. The Arizona State Legislature on Monday passed an Internet censorship bill that extends telephone harassment laws to the Internet and other means of electronic communication. The legislation aims to put an end to cyberbullying and states that virtually anything said online that the state deems “offensive” can be a punishable offense. Law enforcement officials will be able to charge Internet lawbreakers with a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by a $2,500 fine and up to six months in jail. Opponents of the legislation argue that the vague wording of the bill could lead to a crack down on public message boards such as 4Chan and Reddit, thus infringing upon basic American freedoms. The bill is currently on the Governor’s desk waiting to be signed into law or vetoed.

[Via Kotaku]

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