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Updated Jan 4, 2013 - 2:33 pm

Posting as others online to be outlawed in Arizona?

Republican State Rep. Michelle Ugenti, who represents Fountain Hills and Scottsdale, is pushing legislation that would make it a felony to pose as someone else on Facebook or Twitter.

Ugenti, according to House Bill 2004, wants prison time for creating a fake social media account for malicious reasons. Anjali Abraham with the ACLU is concerned with the bills wording and the First Amendment implications and feels putting this in the felony class is heavy handed.

"There might be a better way to go about penalizing the kind of conduct the sponsor says she's interested in."

Valley attorney Chris Mason, of Polsinelli Shughart, said the state has laws on the books to keep people from harassing or threatening someone via electronic communication and for now that's enough.

"It will create a lot of constitutional concerns and lead to challenges if someone even tries to enforce it."

State lawmaker Michelle Ugenti did not return interview requests on her proposed legislation to make online impersonation a crime.

California and Texas are among the states that have online impersonation laws.

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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