Leave it to the liberals in California to seek to put an end to the freedom of speech. The past home of the free speech movement has become one of the most devout defenders of liberal fascism in America today. The bill is AB-1104, it’s called The California Political Cyberfraud Abatement Act, and California liberals say it will solve their “fake news” problems. Sadly, they don’t seem to realize that it will create many more problems than it solves.
Here’s what it says:
Existing law makes it unlawful for a person, with intent to mislead, deceive, or defraud, to commit an act of political cyberfraud, as defined. Existing law defines the term “political cyberfraud” to include a knowing and willful act concerning a political Web site that is committed with the intent to deny a person access to a political Web site, deny a person the opportunity to register a domain name for a political Web site, or to cause a person reasonably to believe that a political Web site has been posted by a person other than the person who posted the Web site, and would cause a reasonable person, after reading the Web site, to believe the site actually represents the view of the proponent or opponent of a ballot measure. Existing law also defines the term “political Web site” to mean an Internet Web site that urges or appears to urge the support or opposition of a ballot measure.This bill would modify the definition of the terms “political cyberfraud” and “political Web site” to include Internet Web sites that urge or appear to urge the support or opposition of candidates for public office. The bill would also make it unlawful for a person to knowingly and willingly make, publish or circulate on a Web site, or cause to be made, published, or circulated in any writing posted on a Web site, a false or deceptive statement designed to influence the vote on any issue submitted to voters at an election or on any candidate for election to public office.
The bill also seems to infringe on Constitutional guarantees of free speech. Political advocacy is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the Supreme Court has been adamant that political advertising—even when it involves smears, exaggerations and “poetic license”—is included under the umbrella of “political advocacy.”
And, lately, too, the bill would definitely sweep up mainstream media sources in its “fake news” dragnet.