From the vaults of “They passed a law making it illegal to dowhat?!?!”
Apparently in 1989 the state of Rhode Island passed a law making lying on the internet a misdemeanor crime punishable by fines up to $500 and as much as one year in prison.
Quoting from the Yahoo news article: “If you’ve ever lied to a potential Internet date about your weight, texted your spouse that you were someplace you weren’t or emailed mom to say how much you love that ugly new sweater, you were breaking the law if you did it in Rhode Island.
But state lawmakers have now decided that white lies online should no longer be a crime. The General Assembly voted this month to repeal an obscure 1989 law that made fibbing on the Internet a misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $500 and as much as a year in prison. Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the measure.”
Good grief! Reducing fraud online is all well and good. Doing so in ways that impinge upon free speech and criminalize non-fraudulent conduct is another thing altogether.
The good news is, at least they have now repealed the law. This, however, is an object example of well-meaning legislators passing laws without our due regard to the consequences that the law may create.