Bill Drafted to Squash Free Speech… Please Don’t Pass Senate Bill 2104,

Well it appears that a few legislatures this year really don’t have a clue about what constitutional rights are all about.

First they write a bill trying to track internet usage for two years and now there is a bill that will squash free speech.

Unfortunately the report title is “Harassment; Electronic Communication,” but most people are trying to disguise this as some sort of “Cyber Bullying” bill.

I myself see the bill as it’s written as a big infringement on folks personal freedoms and especially the freedom to free speech!

The Description of SB 2104 reads as follows and it would be attached to current laws on the books regarding actual real harassment:

Provides that the making of an electronic communication, as defined in section 711-1111(2), Hawaii Revised Statutes, that is directed at a specific person and causes that person emotional distress and serves no legitimate purpose, together with the required specific intent, is harassment.

Well this means that I couldn’t specifically blog about folks such as President Obama, Governor Abercrombie, Mayor Kenoi, our County Council or any other SPECIFIC persons or people.

It’s a very slippery slope when the government tells people what they can and can not write and laws enacted like this are another bad example of legislation that wasn’t thought about before it went to the legislature.

I’m totally against cyber bullying and cyber harassment, however, as this bill is drafted… it infringes on our personal rights to free speech.

Now I will specifically state that Senators Green, Espero, Chun Oakland, and Ihara were the introducers of this bill.  Let’s hope this doesn’t cause them any personal emotional distress that I feel the way I do about this bill!

15 Responses

  1. “directed at a specific person and causes that person emotional distress and serves no legitimate purpose, together with the required specific intent, is harassment.”

    Questions for the smarty-pants:

    So if I say BOH is the worst bank I have ever dealt with, in different forums, a face book page, anywhere,. – then I could go to jail if BOH thought I was harassing them, instead of just expressing my utter distaste for BOH?

    Does this mean, because I dont have the law knowledge that others seem to have, that this could eliminate any satirical cartoons in the op-ed section of any of our local newspapers?

    When does someone cross the line from private to public figure if public figures are not included?

  2. Damon, Freedom is not absolute. We don’t have the freedom to hurt others either physically or emotionally. Your understanding of the law is minimal. Neither slander or libel pertain to public figures in parody, but that protection is extended to public citizens. This bill is not about limiting your right to free speech. It is about protecting the rights of private citizens from the kind of harassment that doesn’t need rehashing here.
    With Freedom comes Responsibility.

  3. I actually agree that the clause “with no legitimate purpose” is an escape clause for 1st amendment protection. The only justification for this type of bill would be to bring electronic communication in line with other forms of communication vis a vis existing laws on harassment / stalking / restraining orders; I don’t know if that’s necessary and I suspect it isn’t.

  4. Any legislation of the internet is bad legislation. Stop trying to ruin the last free place on this earth. Stop trying to control nature, you cant, and you wont win.

  5. You are reading it wrong, Damon.
    It could be worded more carefully, but this does not infringe on your freedom of speech. It set consequences for those who abuse those rights, keeps people accountable for their public communication and generally brings the law into the 21st century.

    • I was setting an example.

      As you state Karin… “It could be worded more carefully…” ENOUGH SAID.

      Squash the bill and write it w/out the BS.

  6. This bill is a big infringement on my personal freedom of speech! Have you legislators every heard of the 1st Amendment?
    SB 2104 at first seems to be about cyber bullies, and if passed it will be added to current laws on the books regarding actual real harassment:
    Provides that the making of an electronic communication, as defined in section 711-1111(2), Hawaii Revised Statutes, that is directed at a specific person and causes that person emotional distress and serves no legitimate purpose, together with the required specific intent, is harassment.
    Well this means that I couldn’t editorialize or opinionize on the internet or at MolokaiAdvertiserNews.com about specific people such as Barack NOT-Natural Born Citizen-Obama Usurper in Chief, or his buddy Governor Aberblabbercommie, Linda Superferry Lingle, DLNR’s Sam BrainwashedAgainstSeawalls Lemmo, a long list of jackass judges and anal attorneys, banksters and untouchable JewsWhoControlMajorMedia, or any other SPECIFIC persons or people.

    Laws like this are another bad example of legislation that is clearly ultra vires, i.e., unConstititional. As this bill is drafted, it must NOT be passed because it infringes on the personal rights to free speech, 1st Amendment rights, of all soverign United States Citizens, rights that are clearly stated in our Bill of Rights and thereby are Constitutionaly protected from crooks in every level of government office.

    And, by the why, gut this bill and replace its text with a bill to establish Bill of Rights Day December 15 annually in Hawaii. Maybe that will help legislators learn about the Constitution for the United States of America, the Supreme Law of the Land so they stop violating our rights with treasonous legislative proposals. You pass a Muslim Day bill, but for past ten years you refuse to pass a Bill of Rights Day bill? How you figga?
    PS: Barack Obama was NOT born in Hawaii, so stop calling him a local boy as he is a fraud Usurper Criminal at Large, and DOH, and Aberblabbercommie are complicit with Obama.

  7. Does this KathyH have no end? My God…. how many people does she have to crusify before she is happy? Get a life BIMBO.

    The Lack

  8. Damon, whatever your background may be, it did not translate into a correct reading of this measure’s intent.

    You are such a mass of contradictions. It is not stalking to comment on your op-ed piece.

    I worked with the deputy assistant prosecutor and the introducing senator’s office on this measure, as I was invited to do.

    In the process, I studied the wording of similar statutes passed in other states. I have also had the benefit of a great deal of paid legal advice from an attorney very experienced in first amendment related law.

    I do understand what the wording means.

  9. Hi Damon, unfortunately you don’t have a legal background and your interpretation of what this measure does is incorrect.

    The clause, serves no legitimate purpose, is commonly used in such legislation passed in various states, and is well understood by our lawmakers and the courts to act as a protection for First Amendment Rights.

    If your speech is protected under the First Amendment then by definition it serves a legitimate purpose and will not come under censorship due to this bill! Even if you speak of a specific person, as long as the First Amendment allows you to target that person in that fashion, you are not committing harassment.

    The specific person clause is there to preserve the freedom you already have to speak to your ideas; your right is only limited as to how you personally attack a specific human being in some mean nasty low fashion that is aimed to hurt and has no better purpose, no valuable exchange of ideas.

    If you criticize or lampoon a politician, your right to do so has almost no limits, and this bill does not chill your rights in that area in any way.

    If you target a specific person in a way that is not FA protected in an attempt to inflict emotional distress, and you do, then you open yourself up to harassment charges.

    What the bill really does is set similar standards for what you can do to someone else using e-communication as are already in place for telephone or face to face communication.

    Someone like you who believes in the power of social media should recognize the power of electronic communication can be equivalent to being in the same room with someone else. That is what this measure recognizes.

    You have no formal training in the law and you do not know how to read it properly, but you are quick to assume that you understand and to pass your misinterpretations on to your readers.

    • Kathy Hancock…

      You have NO CLUE as to my legal training or education regarding Social Media, Communications, or my past work with the legislature.

      I will ask you this one and only time… to please not comment on my site again… otherwise I may think you are stalking me. *sigh*

  10. It is interesting to read your take on it as well as Tiffany’s opposite stance. I tend to side with the free speech aspect. Will have to read this on for myself.

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