New Law May Bring Fines To Online Impersonators
LOS ANGELES (KNX1070/AP) — A law taking effect with the new year will make impersonating someone online through social network pages, texts or e-mails a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in jail.
Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, said his SB1411 updates the state’s impersonation law, which dates to 1872, to outlaw “e-personation.”
“An e-personator is someone who can hide behind a false name and can use Facebook or Twitter, email or web forums to harass or embarrass others or in some cases, have even endangered another person’s life,” KNX Legal Analyst Amy Stood says.
Prosecutors must prove the impersonator had the criminal intent to harm, intimidate, threaten or defraud. Victims can sue for damages.
If you believe someone is e-personating you, let your network and contacts know about the person and alert the site.
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