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Online Impersonations Now Illegal In California 217

Posted by samzenpus
from the lets-pretend dept.
theodp writes "TechCrunch's Michael Arrington reports that a California bill criminalizing online impersonations went into effect on January 1st. 'There has to be intent to harm, intimidate, threaten, or defraud another person — not necessarily the person you are impersonating,' explains Arrington. 'Free speech issues, including satire and parody, aren't addressed in the text of the bill. The courts will likely sort it out.' So, Fake Steve Jobs, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?'"
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Online Impersonations Now Illegal In California

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  • by cloakedpegasus (1761746) on Sunday January 02, 2011 @10:57AM (#34737218)
    Of course its meant to keep the peasants in line. Like this bill was meant to protect me, psh.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Well, of course! Why would they want to protect someone who doesn't have massive amounts of money?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RsG (809189)

      I'm pretty sure fraud and impersonation were illegal before this. This new law, like most laws with the word "online" attached to them, is just a redundant addition to already existing regulations. So the "peasants" have less to do with it than idle legislatures trying to justify their existence, or the failure to realize that the magic box with the TV and typewriter attached doesn't require a whole new set of laws to govern it.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 02, 2011 @12:09PM (#34737560)

        Most new laws are redundant additions to existing laws. The overlap is entirely deliberate.

        This law is not about money regardless of the 'defraud' part. This law will be used to stop criticism and documentaries that show the rich and powerful in a bad light.

        Its like using a shotgun instead of a pistol. You have half a dozen ways to stop someone doing something instead of just one.

        • by icebike (68054)

          This law will be used to stop criticism and documentaries that show the rich and powerful in a bad light.

          Impersonation is not a key element found in criticism or documentaries, so your assertion is baseless.

          The bill also requires that a violator "credibly impersonates another actual person", so simply standing up and criticizingly another person is CLEARLY not covered.

          Making a documentary (and even posting it on the web) with actors portraying another person is not covered because the it is not "credible impersonation", simply an Actor doing his job, which always comes with disclaimers.

          Going on the web and pos

          • I was thinking that it was more a reaction to the crazy bitch that drove a girl to suicide last year. It was on the east coast, but it got national headlines.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        *If* the summary is correct, then the law is about "impersonations" *not* fraud, as in stealing your money and assets.

        There are many good reasons for this law and why I should not state that I am Bill Gates or Joe Shmoe. This law address loophole of cyber-bullying where someone will maliciously impersonate another and there is no law against it. See the case where a kid commited suicide because of the cunt, Lori Drew.

        http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/08/30/0448217/Lori-Drew-Cyberbullying-Case-Dismissed?from=

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by decoy256 (1335427)

        Exactly...

        It's already illegal to beat someone up. But then we had to go and make special laws that make it "extra bad" if the victim was part of some special minority group (race, sexual orientation, religion, etc...)? If the assault was already a crime, then what we are criminalizing is the person's thoughts. That sounds like dangerous ground to me.

        Don't get me wrong, I am opposed to people beating up others because they belong to some minority group, but I'm opposed to anyone beating anyone up for any re

        • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmytheNO@SPAMjwsmythe.com> on Sunday January 02, 2011 @02:45PM (#34738666) Homepage Journal

          You've pointed out what wrong with most of the "new" laws. I know your example is well dated, but...

              Consider the new slew of laws regarding texting while driving.

              It's illegal to drive while distracted. It has been for an awful long time. If that distraction involved in injury or death, it's even more so.

              Then quite a while ago, they had to spell out that you could drive while watching TV. Any vehicle mounted TV couldn't be in view of the driver. Recently, they started with cell phones. You can't text while driving. You can't read your mail while driving. You can't hold your phone to your ear. Oddly enough, you can still hold in depth conversations if you go buy a earpiece. I don't quite get that one. I've seen plenty of folks in other real-world situations where you can't make them see the reality of their physical situation because they are on the phone. It wasn't necessary to add any of those laws to the books, other than it made government officials look productive.

              So when will they make the laws saying it's illegal to eat, shave your legs, put on makeup, and scream at the kids in the back seat while driving? Ok, I've never seen them all at once, but I've seen various combination of those with cars driving erratically.

              Great, so now it's illegal to impersonate someone else online. I expect they'll have to extend that to say you can't talk on a forum with a name that someone else uses. I guess I'm SOL, my online name matches dozens of other people. Worse, my real name matches thousands of other people in the US, and who knows how many world wide. If we just look in the scope of the Entertainment industry, my name matches about a dozen actors, directors, producers, and other production crew members. Hell, IMDB finds JW Smythe [imdb.com] possibly matching 19 people, none of which are me. I swear, they're not me. "Smythe" even shows results in iafd.com. Again, not me.

              No fucking wonder the law books are so bloated. In the quest for lawmakers to feel self important, they will keep adding laws to the books to continually restate other laws. It doesn't just bloat lawbooks, but these laws frequently carry different punishments for the same crime. Hmm, you had a phone, and you were driving carelessly, and screaming at the kids in the back seat, but your bumper sticker that says "Meet.Me.For.Cheap.Sex.com" has the name "Slut Monkey" on it. That's the stage name of someone else.

              (oddly enough, I couldn't find a reference to "Slut Monkey" being either a stage name nor movie title. Production will start tomorrow. All female applicants should send their resume with measurements, nude photos, acts their willing to perform, and current STD test results.)

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          It's already illegal to beat someone up. But then we had to go and make special laws that make it "extra bad" if the victim was part of some special minority group (race, sexual orientation, religion, etc...)? If the assault was already a crime, then what we are criminalizing is the person's thoughts. That sounds like dangerous ground to me.

          And I think anyone who says that is a racist homophobe. Why? Because we've had crimes with different punishments based on intent for a very long time. Manslaughter,
        • "It's already illegal to beat someone up."

          Yes, but if you make a "new" law and insert universally ambiguous legalese that can be endlessly argued in a courtroom the lawyers will make more money.

          The odd thing is who is sponsoring this law. Joe Simitian has been a lifelong politician and has little political blood on his hands. A good deal of his work is common-sense safety and environmental issues, so I think this is more then likely a simple case of over-zealotry--existing laws should have just been updated

        • by adisakp (705706)

          Exactly...

          It's already illegal to beat someone up. But then we had to go and make special laws that make it "extra bad" if the victim was part of some special minority group (race, sexual orientation, religion, etc...)? If the assault was already a crime, then what we are criminalizing is the person's thoughts. That sounds like dangerous ground to me.

          No, this is a bad example, because INTENT is important in deciding the punishment. For example, it's illegal to kill someone under most circumstances (except in certain cases of self-defence and capital punishment). However, if you kill someone accidentally, you may be charged with manslaughter. If you plan and premeditate a killing, you will be charged with "murder". Murder is *EXACTLY* a case where the THOUGHT process differentiates the CRIME from Manslaughter.

          For the same reason, hate crimes are an

        • If the assault was already a crime, then what we are criminalizing is the person's thoughts. That sounds like dangerous ground to me.

          I'm pretty sure that it's not a "hate crime" simply because a victim is from the minority group. It's only a "hate crime" if that was the primary motivation for the assault.

          It doesn't seem fundamentally different from me to how we distinguish first and second degree murder, for example.

          If you think about it, it makes sense if you view punishment as deterrent for future anti-social behavior, rather than the revenge. If the goal is to keep the perpetrator away for long enough to ensure that he won't re-offend

    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      No, but it may be used to protect politicians.

  • Only a fool (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Sunday January 02, 2011 @10:59AM (#34737226)
    Would publish their full name, real address, data of birth, etc on a social media site, but on some sites that info is mandatory. I wonder how much the law was influenced by companies that collect user info as part of their business? Accurate info is, I would assume, more valuable than the crap I put in my profiles...
    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      As long as you impersonate a fictional figure of unclear origin I suspect that courts will not care about trying to make a case.

      And I have a feeling that as long as your actions aren't for otherwise criminal intent then you are clear.

      But laws like this can be drawn all the way to the letter which means that parents may be responsible for their kids using their imagination and impersonating other figures. It's all in how laws are interpreted. Many of the laws we have can be used for totalitarian purposes but

    • Would publish their full name, real address, data of birth, etc on a social media site, but on some sites that info is mandatory.

      Holy crap! I have to ask - where is this "social media" site? And how can they determine you are being truthful?

      • by jonbryce (703250)

        Slashdot is an example of a social media site. In fact one of the original ones.

        • Would publish their full name, real address, data of birth, etc on a social media site, but on some sites that info is mandatory.

          Holy crap! I have to ask - where is this "social media" site where giving that "info" is "mandatory"? And how can they determine you are being truthful?

          Slashdot is an example of a social media site. In fact one of the original ones.

          Are you from planet obtuse?

  • by intellitech (1912116) * on Sunday January 02, 2011 @11:02AM (#34737240)

    "The courts will likely sort it out."

    You're kidding, right? In a country plagued with a broken patent system, a congress with an infant's knowledge of technology, and a government run by two-faced politicians, it would be a miracle if this doesn't add to the current issues regarding free speech online.

  • by neonprimetime (528653) on Sunday January 02, 2011 @11:04AM (#34737244)
    fyi - There were actually 725 new laws [patch.com] in California on 01/01/2011 ... and this one posted above is just 1 of them.
    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Excessive law, is no law.

      10 points if you can figure out who said it. Hint: He's been dead and in the ground for ~2000 years.

  • Meh. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by goodmanj (234846) on Sunday January 02, 2011 @11:07AM (#34737264)

    "There has to be intent to harm, intimidate, threaten, or defraud another person"

    I'm betting most posters in this thread are going to skip over this phrase completely, and raise the "free speech no matter what" flag.

    But on the other hand, if the impersonation is done with intent to harm, intimidate, threaten, or defraud, why can't we just prosecute people for fraud, criminal intimidation, or whatnot?

    • by hedwards (940851)
      The problem is that the phrase is vague. Sure intimidate and threaten have specific definitions under the law which should be solid enough that people don't accidentally violate that. But defraud and harm are pretty wishy washy meaning all sorts of things which they apparently didn't feel like defining for the purposes of the bill.

      Unfortunately, pretending to be somebody else for the purposes of parody could be seen as a form of either fraud or harm, without the person doing the impersonation intending t
      • Unfortunately, pretending to be somebody else for the purposes of parody could be seen as a form of either fraud or harm, without the person doing the impersonation intending to do so.

        Well, the law says "impersonation with the _intent_ to harm, defraud etc.". I think this is quite clear: Parody that is seen as harmful but wasn't intended to harm doesn't fall under the law because the law asks for _intent_. Actually harm that wasn't intended doesn't fall under "impersonation with the intent to harm". Intending to harm but failing to do so falls squarely under the law, because that is clearly "impersonation with _intent_ to harm". On the other hand, if you impersonate somone with the inten

    • by hvm2hvm (1208954)
      Thank you, finally someone who actually thinks and has a real opinion and doesn't just follow the slashdot trend of bashing the government for whatever it is doing even if it's actually doing something good.
      • I will stipulate that in the case of some national parks (Tock's Island 100% excepted, what a complete foul-up that is), the government is doing good. Glacier park, for instance, is a pleasure to visit, and I am truly grateful the region is being conserved.

        I would like to invite you to add to that notion - parks are general an example of doing good - by listing a few areas where you are under the impression the government is doing good.

        Not trying to do good, mind you, but actually succeeding.

        I find it all t

        • by decoy256 (1335427)

          The Federal Government has only been around for just over 200 years, you can't expect it to get things right in the first two centuries of its existence. And the Federal Reserve Notes have only existed for just under 100 years... they're still trying to figure out what to do with the unfettered power to print money out of thin air. Have some patience.

          "It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens and one of the noblest cha

        • ... but I'd like to see a list that would encourage me to think positively about the feds. I'm having real trouble thinking of appropriate areas. Perhaps it's just me.

          1. (Relatively) Clean water.
          2. (Relatively) Clean air.
          3. (Mostly) Society based on rule of law.
          4. (Generally) Secure borders.
          5. (Mostly) Significant protections for individuals from the Government.
          6. Roads
          7. A functioning Civil Aviation system
          8. A truly excellent Coast Guard.
          9. GPS.
          10. The National Science Foundation / National Institutes of Health.

          And I could go on. Yes, in each and every case I mention there are significant problems, even horrifying problems, but placed against the metric of

          • 1. (Relatively) Clean water.

            A noble goal, but success... no. I own property on a major river and a mountain creek in Pennsylvania, and neither are nearly as clean as they were when I was a kid (the 1950's.) Here in Montana where I reside, to the extent that the water is decent, it is a result of state and local efforts. And that's not to say that the water is good, mind you, just that there are times when it doesn't kill the fish outright. You're still not well advised to the eat the darned things. If it i

    • Re:Meh. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gnasher719 (869701) on Sunday January 02, 2011 @11:28AM (#34737356)

      But on the other hand, if the impersonation is done with intent to harm, intimidate, threaten, or defraud, why can't we just prosecute people for fraud, criminal intimidation, or whatnot?

      I don't get it. All the time these slashdotters moan and moan about how the law and how judges don't understand the Internet. And here we have a law that comes from understanding the Internet, and that that the Internet has opened new ways that didn't exist before to harm others, and people complain again. Is it because it threatens some slash=dotters favorite phantasies about getting others into trouble by doing illegal things while pretending to be them?

      When we have laws that threaten people with punishment for certain actions, there are multiple reasons for these laws: The most important are punishment, and deterrent by inducing fear of punishment. But another reason is to state clearly what is acceptable and what is not. In this case, the law makes clear that such impersonation is not some harmless bit of fun, or a harmless prank, but a crime.

      And you didn't read this properly, obviously. What is punishable is impersonation with _intent_ to harm. In other words, the impersonation is punishable even when the intent to harm failed. Say you impersonate a husband sending e-mails to a non-existing lover to split up his marriage. This can now be punished, even if you didn't succeed in your goal. The impersonation is also punishable if the intend to harm, intimidate, threaten or defraud succeeded, but only to a degree where the harm, intimidation, threatening or defrauding itself wouldn't lead to punishment.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by joebagodonuts (561066)

        Maybe it comes from a desire to have legislators leave the internet alone.

        No, really. Look legislators, I know you mean well. But often when you get involved trying to help, you make matters worse.

        Take school bullies. When I was growing up, you let the bully get away with it till you got fed up, you confronted it and the bully went looking for a less painful target. If I got in trouble, so be it. I was fed up. It was a critical event in my development. Today, with our "zero-tolerance" policies and the stup

        • by celle (906675)

          "Take school bullies. When I was growing up, you let the bully get away with it till you got fed up, you confronted it and the bully went looking for a less painful target. If I got in trouble, so be it. I was fed up. It was a critical event in my development. Today, with our "zero-tolerance" policies and the stupid mantra of "let the authorities handle it", we get things like this. All the while ignoring the possibility that we are at this point because we refuse to let kids learn how to deal with bullying

          • Bad-example. If they believed as I do, other people would've had come to your aid - especially if you were out-numbered.
        • Clearly you have never been the target of bullying or any form of discrimination based upon race, gender, ethnicity or religion. You don't have a clue. When people are harmed for not what they did, but because of who they are, the first response, just like yours, is to deny that anything out of the ordinary has happened. Nothing needs to change, right? That goes with the reality that often times no one is prosecuted for these kinds of crimes because nothing really extraordinary happened. Because there is
          • Let's apply your argument to some other crimes. Why make it special when someone kills a police officer? We already have laws for murder, so why do we need to make that a more serious crime? Same goes for judges and any elected official. Why make assassination a crime at all, it's just a murder like any other.

            I read that thinking "finally, some sanity", until I realised that you were trying to be sarcastic. Killing a Police Officer should not be a seperate or more serious crime. To do so means that killing anyone else is a less serious crime, and results in the law essentially de-valuing the lives of everyone else.

          • All of those things you mentioned (discrimination based upon race, gender, ethnicity or religion) are already addressed by current legislation. Do we need another law because a computer is involved? I don't think so.
        • Today, with our "zero-tolerance" policies and the stupid mantra of "let the authorities handle it", we get things like this. All the while ignoring the possibility that we are at this point because we refuse to let kids learn how to deal with bullying.

          You might get some traction from that point of view, if it weren't for the fact that,
          1. The authorities not only don't handle it, but actually punish the victims,
          2. the victims that get fed up enough to take matters into their own hands all to frequently are seriously out numbered and use weapons,
          3. the victims that don't will either quit going to school or commit suicide.
          The days when a schoolyard altercation ended with a bloody nose and a bruised ego are long gone.

          • The days when a schoolyard altercation ended with a bloody nose and a bruised ego are long gone

            No they aren't. Just because (sensationalised?) media reports make it seem like the world is hopelessly overwhelming without Government protection doesn't mean that is.

      • by Smauler (915644)

        The point being made was that this law does not seem to make anything new illegal, except borderline cases. It was already illegal to harm, intimidate, threaten or defraud people. Technically, loads and loads of stuff that goes on online could be classed as illegal prior this law anyway. If I recieved through the post some of the threats I've recieved online, I'd be worried.

        The intent to harm is almost impossible to prove. If from your example, the sender of the e-mails believes (or claims to believe) t

    • by Rockoon (1252108)

      But on the other hand, if the impersonation is done with intent to harm, intimidate, threaten, or defraud, why can't we just prosecute people for fraud, criminal intimidation, or whatnot?

      Because we rarely prosecute for that, and thus there is an epidemic, and epidemics need legislation (..or enforcement... but legislators arent enforcers, so they legislate)

    • by jonbryce (703250)

      A Senator might feel threatened by someone exposing some malpractive he's been up to - if people get to know about it, they might vote him out of office - similar to the person who anonymously published details of MP's expenses claims in the UK which led to a lot of them being de-selected by their local party members as the candidate for the next election.

    • Is Facebook harmed or defrauded if I put bogus info in my profile to avoid having my personal info sucked into a vast online repository? Since corporations are basically people under current law, if I violate a site's TOS to protect my privacy one can logically draw a line to the ultimate absurd extreme of the corporation claiming harm. Of course I haven't read the law but this is California we're talking about where good intentions rarely interface with logic.
    • I'm betting most posters in this thread are going to skip over this phrase completely, and raise the "free speech no matter what" flag.

      But on the other hand, if the impersonation is done with intent to harm, intimidate, threaten, or defraud, why can't we just prosecute people for fraud, criminal intimidation, or whatnot?

      I think you have answered your own question.

      The geek won't believe laws against impersonation, threats or fraud can be used to punish his behavior online unless and until it is made explici

  • by will_die (586523) on Sunday January 02, 2011 @11:11AM (#34737282) Homepage
    If you read the article and text of the law 'There has to be intent to harm, intimidate, threaten, or defraud another person — not necessarily the person you are impersonating,'
    Fake Steve Jobs is known to be fake. Articles on The Onion are known to be satire, and sometimes even funny. Comedy videos on youtube are known that they don't come from the impersonated person.
    The only way fake steve Jobs would get in problem is if the fake was removed and person doing it started to do things to make people thing he was the actual Steve Jobs.
    All this means is that California has upgraded their laws so that stuff you couldn't previously do in physical print you can now not do online.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hedwards (940851)
      Just because it's known to be satire doesn't mean that you're not going to be found to be harming somebody. Which is the whole reason this is such a serious violation of the 1st amendment. Fraud and harm aren't always obvious or in the power of the individual doing whatever to control. Sure this could be used in cases where the person has really defrauded somebody or caused obvious harm, but without addressing parody and legitimate reasons for impersonation, I see no reason to be so optimistic. CA governmen
      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday January 02, 2011 @11:59AM (#34737514) Homepage Journal

        Just because it's known to be satire doesn't mean that you're not going to be found to be harming somebody.

        It's not whether you do harm, but whether you had intent to harm when you pretended to be something you aren't. This is already illegal, and it's called fraud. This is just making what is already illegal clearly illegal, perhaps even more illegal. It's just so that they can add more counts when they drag someone into court, basically.

      • by gv250 (897841)

        Just because it's known to be satire doesn't mean that you're not going to be found to be harming somebody.

        Yes, it does mean precisely that. RTFA.

        [Section 528.5(a)]: ... any person who knowinglly and without consent credibly impersonates another actual person through or on an Internet Web site or by other electronic means for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person is guilty of a public offense ...

        [Section 528.5(b)]: For purposes of this section, an impersonation is credible if another person would reasonably believe, or did reasonably believe, that the defendant was or is the person who was impersonated.

        So, no, if it is known to be satire, then you cannot be guilty of this particular offense.

  • by Damon Tog (245418) on Sunday January 02, 2011 @11:30AM (#34737368)

    Isn't this already covered by existing laws against fraud? Do we need a separate law for each possible variation of fraud? Are they sure they don't need a law that prohibits impersonation over telegram cables or by using smoke signals?

    Regards,
    Abe Vigoda

    • by syousef (465911)

      Isn't this already covered by existing laws against fraud? Do we need a separate law for each possible variation of fraud? Are they sure they don't need a law that prohibits impersonation over telegram cables or by using smoke signals?

      Regards,
      Abe Vigoda

      Much ceasing and desisting you must do. Confused with my name be yours. Yes.

      Sincerely,
      Yoda.

  • What about (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 02, 2011 @11:32AM (#34737378)

    The FBI agents impersonating 13 yr old girls looking for sex, or for that matter NBC's To Catch a predator crew. It would be nice to see them punished...

    • Re:What about (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gnasher719 (869701) on Sunday January 02, 2011 @01:09PM (#34737962)

      The FBI agents impersonating 13 yr old girls looking for sex

      1. It is only "impersonating" if the person exists, not if it is a non-existent person.
      2. It is not "impersonating" if you write on behalf of another person, which the FBI does if this is a real person.
      3. Going to jail for a crime that you committed does not count as "harm".

      The FBI would obviously be in trouble if they used the identity of a real 13 year old girl without the parents' consent.

      • by Lord Kano (13027)

        3. Going to jail for a crime that you committed does not count as "harm".

        Doesn't sound like much fun to me.

        LK

        • If you are a foreign citizen you can actually make contact with your embassy and claim "political persecution".

          China has help secure freedom of their citizens involved in the 2010 Senkaku boat collision incident from the persecution of the Japanese this year due to their strong economic muscle.

    • by Smauler (915644)

      The law is about impersonating actual individuals. You're still allowed to impersonate fictional 13 year old girls looking for sex.

  • What if "the other person" you intend to harm is yourself? Civil laws -- slander, libel -- cover this paradox. Criminal law usually does not.
  • Calling yourself "Fake Steve Jobs" impersonates Steve Jobs about as much as saying "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV" impersonates a medical professional. It's right there in the name, ferchrissakes.

  • Move over Fake Steve Jobs, and check out Roger Waters' secret diaries:

    http://www.ingsoc.com/waters/humour/rwdiary.html [ingsoc.com]

    • by blueg3 (192743)

      The side that says there was intent and the side that says there wasn't intent make arguments to support their views, then the courts ask a group of 12 somewhat arbitrarily selected people who have heard the arguments to decide if there was intent.

  • Oh, for heaven's sake. We already have more than enough laws to cover any conceivable actual harm, and punish those responsible. What this does is help criminalize behaviour that has the POTENTIAL for harm, something we've been working on for quite a number of years. We're trying to stop crime before it occurs, and that's a really slippery slope - ask Phillip K. Dick.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Sunday January 02, 2011 @02:12PM (#34738442)
    Who can you enforce this against? A California resident using a California server? A California resident using an out of state server. A non-California resident using a California server? A non-California resident using a California server to defraud a California resident? The same with a non-California server? A non-everything? Will California become the East Texas of Internet Defrauding Tourism (well, hey, they need to do something to improve their economy)?

    Clearly this is why politicians shouldn't be making laws regarding technology.
  • It's probably just to generate more cash from fines since they can't seem to get anyone to bail them out after running the state into bankruptcy by trying to give everyone everything without anyone having to pay for it. Appears the state didn't have a viable business model just like all the Silly-con Valley operations that gave us the dot-bomb disaster a decade ago.

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