Arizona Bill to Censor Internet Speech Now on Governor Brewer’s Desk for Signature

Apr 2, 2012
8:52 PM

Media Coalition has reported the following Arizona bill that in essence would criminalize speech on the Internet:

Arizona House Bill 2549 would update the state's telephone harassment law to apply to the Internet and other electronic communications. It would make it a crime to communicate via electronic means speech that is intended to "annoy," "offend," "harass" or "terrify," as well as certain sexual speech.  However, because the bill is not limited to one-to-one communications, H.B. 2549 would apply to the Internet as a whole, thus criminalizing all manner of writing, cartoons, and other protected material the state finds offensive or annoying.

Most Recent News: H.B. 2549 passed the legislature on March 29 and is on Governor Jan Brewer's desk awaiting her decision on whether to veto or sign the bill. Media Coalition sent a letter explaining our concerns to Gov. Brewer, her chief of staff Eileen Klein, and Joe Scarriotta, general counsel, on the same day it passed.

After passing out of the Senate Rules Committee, the Democratic and Republican caucuses passed the bill onto the full Senate for consideration of whether or not to put H.B. 2549 to a vote. Media Coalition sent a memo to every member of the Arizona State Senate.

On March 14, Media Coalition sent a memo to the Senate Rules Committee regarding constitutional infirmities in H.B. 2549.

Media Coalition sent a memo in opposition to the bill to the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 8, ahead of a hearing on the bill on March 11.