UPDATE: HB 2549 was actually STOPPED before reaching the Governor.
The Arizona Legislature is about to send HB 2549 for your signature. I strongly encourage you to veto the law as written.
The bill attempts to update Arizona’s stalking and telephone harassment laws for the digital age—in itself, perhaps a worthy goal—but the law as written is extremely and unconstitutionally broad. By simply substituting “electronic…device” for the word telephone, the law moves beyond regulating private, direct, person-to-person communications and threatens open, public communications via the Internet. The proposal dangerously omits any standard of reasonableness, and leaves critical terms undefined.
The constitutions of both the United States and the State of Arizona recognize and guarantee our freedom to speak and write freely—A law that criminalizes potentially annoying or offending someone stifles that freedom.
This bill should be returned to the legislature to be rewritten more narrowly to include only communications directed to a particular individual and which would cause a reasonable person to fear for one’s life, safety, or property.