People who use fake names to bully others online could face criminal penalties under a bill passed Monday by the House of Delegates.
Delegates approved the proposal (HB4207) by a vote of 92-3, saying they want to target cyberbullies who anonymously make threats from behind the computer screen. But civil liberties advocates say the bill is written so broadly, it could criminalize constitutionally protected speech.
The proposal would make it illegal for computer users to impersonate someone else online with the intent of causing “physical or emotional injury.”
It also would outlaw online impersonation if someone pretends to be a public servant, attempts to commit fraud, or tries to obtain a benefit.
In all seriousness, if this bill pertains to commenters as well as blog owners, it will be a complete disaster and I can not see how it would be allowed to stand by the courts.