Internet stalking bill wins committee vote

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Guy Houston, R-San Ramon, that would make on-line harassment a misdemeanor passed in the Public Safety Committee today 5-0.

“We, as legislators, must write laws with one eye on the present, and one for the future,” Houston said in a prepared release. “Currently, California state law does not recognize this growing area of concern. California is always at the cutting edge of technological advancement; we need laws to keep up with the technology.”

Here’s the partial text of Houston’s press release:

AB 919 would make it a misdemeanor to use the Internet to intentionally incite a third person to cause fear, harass or harm an individual.

At the committee hearing, victims shared their stories of how these activities have hurt them. Contra Costa Deputy District Attorney Dodie Katague also testified in strong support of the bill, noting that it would provide him and all law enforcement officials a powerful tool to go after these crimes.

AB 919 will be heard next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen