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California Criminalizes Online Impersonation

California Criminalizes "E-personation"

While online impersonations of celebrities (and even sometimes just your average, run-of-the-mill citizen) continually happen, it's no surprise that some are taking steps to prevent the practice. For example, Twitter instituted a system of verified accounts, deeming a celebrity or other high-profile account legit. Now the state of California is addressing the seriousness of online impersonations by making it illegal to impersonate someone else online.

Find out more about the bill when you read more.

The bill, which classifies "e-personation" as a misdemeanor, is an updated version of an 1872 law making it illegal to fake someone's signature. The new law extends to Twitter, Facebook, and email, and carries a fine of up to $1,000 or one year (!) in jail. The bill does outline how an e-personation is classified; it must have been done "for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person."

While it sounds extreme at first, the law will protect both individuals and businesses from online fraud, and hopefully prevent more serious problems from occurring.

Image Source: Thinkstock
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