In Rhode Island, lying online is no longer a crime
Rhode Island state law makers voted this month to repeal an obscure 1989 law that forbid spreading untruths online, and punished scoff-laws with a misdemeanor charge and a $500 fine.
The law was enacted to stop scammers and con artists from preying on the denizens of the newly-founded Web. But it also weirdly included over-broad language that, "outlawed the 'transmission of false data' regardless of whether liars stood to profit from their deception or not," reported the Associated Press.
This meant that announcing you were the Lizard King, or claiming someone's mother loved bears a little too much, or telling the good people of Match.com that you're blonde when you're really brunette, would earn you a criminal record. The Associated Press says only a few people were ever prosecuted under the absurd law; the most recent case was in 2010, when a prison guard made a fake Facebook account to impersonate his boss. The man lost his job, but the charges were dropped, and the case spurred Rhode Island lawmakers to let 'net-surfing Rhode Islanders weave more tangled Webs.
- Thu, 2013-05-16 23:13
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- Mon, 2013-04-29 05:20