Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tennessee Offensive Image Law HB 0300 investigated

Hello Internet, I have taken the time to look at the offensive image law that is causing the ACLU to sue Tennessee here, straight from the horses mouth so to speak:
HB 0300 Bill Summary

This bill makes it a delinquent act, punishable only by fine of $100 or 20 hours of community service, for a minor to frighten, intimidate or emotionally distress a person by communicating with or about that person, or transmitting or displaying an image, by electronic device, without legitimate purpose:
(1) With the malicious intent to frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress; or
(2) In a manner the minor knows, or reasonably should know, would frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities.

(emphasis my own)

This part of the law seems to be targeted at stopping "cyber bullying", which I am not sure how rampant this is... or if it needs to be curbed by Ma and Pa State. What about videos like this that stand as evidence of physical bullying, this video seemed like it was being recorded with a malicious intent, but turn off the camera and we lose a whole plethora of media.
The law goes on to say that even when committed by an adult, the class A misdemeanor still applies (weird way of writing a law... but I guess I'm a computer programmer not a law maker)

It goes on to say that servers in Tennessee running social network sites must cooperate with the district attorney and make all communications available. Weird, I wonder how many twitter, google+, or facebook servers are in TN, and how much jurisdiction Tennessee would have in forcing the hand of a large social networking site, or if Kevin Mitnick could call and "have a warrant faxed after lunch" and gain access to communications.


1 comment:

  1. You can see my response to this new law as a Tennessee artist on my artist's blog at with my portrait of our Governor Bill Haslam and his ravishing wife.