Under the guise of combating fake news and misleading headlines, lawmakers in California are on their way on making a already bad law, much worse.
A new bill, pointed out by the EFF’s Dave Maass, seems to be a response of sorts to “fake news” and other political detritus of this highly-partisan system. Ostensibly, the bill is aimed at keeping voters from being misled on issues that affect them. The problem is, this bill would allow the government to determine what is or isn’t misleading and apply to a citizen’s social media posts, blog, etc.
California’s existing “political cyberfraud” law (yes, really) already contains wording that forbids cybersquatting, misleading redirects, and otherwise tricking internet users who are seeking information on ballot measures. The existing law is more concerned with acts along the lines of false impersonation and deliberate fraud. The amendment, however, isn’t. It adds a couple of new aspects, both making the bad law worse.
Cyber Squatting? What the hell is that? Is it related to Cyber Loitering? Might that including hanging around a controversial issue too long?
Legislators in California introduce bill to exempt teachers from state income tax https://t.co/6Lhy9TByZT
— fakenewsmatters.org (@newsfakenews) March 16, 2017
— Open Source Intel (@intercepts) January 24, 2017