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Could Fake Steve Jobs Go to Jail?

Online impersonators could be fined up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail according to California Senate Bill 1411, which Governor Schwarzenegger has just signed into law.   The new law is  meant to protect victims of cyberbullying, malicious impersonation – says  Senator Joe Simitian, the Bill’s author on his homepage:

“E-personation,” said Simitian, “is the dark side of the social networking revolution. Facebook or MySpace pages, e-mails, texting and comments on Web forums have been used to humiliate or torment people and even put them in danger. Victims have needed a law they can turn to.”

A recent New York Times story, “As Bullies Go Digital, Parents Play Catch-Up” (December 5) provides a disturbing example. A mother, distressed by her son’s emotional withdrawal, learned he was being ostracized at school because “the kids say I’m saying all these nasty things about them on Facebook.” Though he hadn’t created a Facebook page, his mother found a page with his name and picture. “Someone had forged his identity online,” the Times reported, “and was bullying others in his name.”