California's Online Impersonation Law

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Handle With Care
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California's Online Impersonation Law

Postby Handle With Care » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:22 pm

I call attention to http://sfappeal.com/news/2010/12/online ... -jan-1.php and http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/analys ... ry-1/15322

While EFnet's policy, in general, is that nicks are not owned, this law and a similar one in Texas (applying only to social networks, which I guess IRC could be considered to be one) seem to narrow things a bit. And that would be stealing/using another's nick for the purpose of impersonation.

It's not uncommon for help channel helpers and opers nicks to be taken for that purpose.

As a matter of housekeeping, California's laws are to be enforced by local law enforcement and prosecutors, while the Attorney General has overall jurisdiction.

Thoughts?
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au-
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Re: California's Online Impersonation Law

Postby au- » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:42 am

Handle With Care wrote:I call attention to http://sfappeal.com/news/2010/12/online ... -jan-1.php and http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/analys ... ry-1/15322

While EFnet's policy, in general, is that nicks are not owned, this law and a similar one in Texas (applying only to social networks, which I guess IRC could be considered to be one) seem to narrow things a bit. And that would be stealing/using another's nick for the purpose of impersonation.

It's not uncommon for help channel helpers and opers nicks to be taken for that purpose.

As a matter of housekeeping, California's laws are to be enforced by local law enforcement and prosecutors, while the Attorney General has overall jurisdiction.

Thoughts?


Unless the connection originated from the connection of the previous nick-holder, I strongly doubt they would have a case. It is arguable that IRC allows real-time social networking.
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Re: California's Online Impersonation Law

Postby munky » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:11 pm

what does connection origin have to do with anything?

the law is intended to stop personA from creating an account on facebook with the name personB and posting libel. whether they accurately portray personB (eg - incorrect spelling on address, originating IP matches personB's real IP) has nothing to do with it.
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au-
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Re: California's Online Impersonation Law

Postby au- » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:25 am

munky wrote:what does connection origin have to do with anything?

the law is intended to stop personA from creating an account on facebook with the name personB and posting libel. whether they accurately portray personB (eg - incorrect spelling on address, originating IP matches personB's real IP) has nothing to do with it.


This law does not just apply to Facebook.

Furthermore, any person who knowingly and without consent credibly impersonates another actual person through or on an Internet Web site or by other electronic means for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person is liable to be prosecuted under CA SB 1411.

If person A connects as person B from person B's connection on IRC (yes, they are breaking more laws here) without consent and credibly impersonates person B for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person, then they are liable to be prosecuted under CA SB 1411.

Whether they are guilty or not is up to the jury due to EFNet's policy. EFNet FAQ's (Using IRC/Channel Questions) states that, "Nicks on EFnet are NOT owned.".
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Handle With Care
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Re: California's Online Impersonation Law

Postby Handle With Care » Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:18 pm

This was not meant to be a discussion on legal ramifications. For that, one should discuss it with an attorney (or solicitor or barrister) licensed to practice in the affected jurisdictions and familiar with the particular area of the law.

It was, however, meant to raise an issue of, due to a particular activity being made illegal, and EFnet servers, for the most part, warning against illegal activity on their servers, as to whether or not this would be an exception to well-esbalished EFnet policy concerning nicks.
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