Republicans can be idiots, too [Darleen Click]
Rep. Vic Williams has baked his brain a bit too much in the Tucson, AZ, sun …
Free-speech advocates and social media users say an anti-stalking proposal in Arizona goes too far by criminalizing “annoying” or “offensive” comments posted online.
A bi-partisan bill seeking to update telephone harassment and stalking laws by adding the use of computers or smartphones to existing legislation has gone virtually unchallenged in the Legislature and could soon land on Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk.
But critics have fixated on a section that makes it illegal to “annoy or offend” someone online — meaning comments on Facebook or Twitter could result in criminal charges.
Media Coalition, a New York-based First Amendment advocacy group, argues the bill is unconstitutionally broad and infringes on freedom of speech protections. The group has asked Brewer to veto the measure.
“Speaking to annoy or offend is not a crime,” Media Coalition Executive Director David Horowitz said. [...]
Rep. Vic Williams, a Republican from Tucson who helped sponsor the bill, said he welcomes groups like Media Coalition to weigh in but deflected claims from those he called “crackpots and conspiracy theorists” who he says have associated the bill with Orwellian images of authoritarian governments seeking to crack down of freedom of expression.
“Hopefully, we can eliminate the dialogue of the extremists in this conversation, find mainstream consensus where we protect people’s privacy, protect people from harassment — but without quashing, quelling or impeding upon appropriate free speech,” Williams said.
Williams said this bill is about helping victims.
I want to throw up.
(h/t jdw via twitter)
Tags: arizona, first amendment, free speech, republican idiots