Bill Would Protect Your Name Online

Your good name is one step closer to being protected on the Internet. A bill, currently in committee at the Texas State House, would punish those that use another person's name online to do harm.

House Bill 1666, proposed by Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-San Antonio, expands the definition of online harassment to using another person's name without permission. Here is the text of the bill as found through an online search.






relating to the prosecution of the offense of online harassment.




       SECTION 1.  Section 33.07(a), Penal Code, is amended to read


as follows:


       (a)  A person commits an offense if the person, without


obtaining the other person's consent and with the intent to harm,


defraud, intimidate, or threaten any person, uses the name or


persona of another person to:


             (1)  create a web page on a commercial social


networking site or other Internet website; or


             (2)  [to] post or send one or more messages on or


through a commercial social networking site or other Internet


website, other than on or through an electronic mail program or


message board program functioning as part of that website [:


             [(1)  without obtaining the other person's consent; and


             [(2)     with the intent to harm, defraud, intimidate, or


threaten any person].


       SECTION 2.  The change in law made by this Act applies only


to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act.


An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is


governed by the law in effect on the date the offense was committed,


and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For


purposes of this section, an offense was committed before the


effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurred


before that date.


       SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2011.


Many people in Texoma seem to feel the bill is a good idea. "Social media harassment is a big problem now days. So, with the bill, it would be very helpful and progressive," said Midwestern State University Freshman Marketing Major Rashaud Hunter.

Online harassment is nothing new to Hunter." I actually had one person, one of my friends one of his ex's got into his facebook and got to putting stuff in," he recounted. The things the ex-girlfriend wrote damaged his friend's reputation. "He was really hurt by that," said Hunter.

History Major, Travis Maner, a MSU Junior, has not had to deal with the problem first-hand, but fears what might happen if he does. "I'm involved with some organizations. If your name gets out and under the wrong hands… It could definitely hurt your status in the community and people would look at you different," he said.

Maner doesn't know what would drive a person to defame another online "I really don't see why someone would want to do something like that toward people but everyone has their own reasons for doing things," said Maner. Still, he feels the bill will serve a good purpose. "It would be for the best," he said.

Newschannel 6 wants to know what you think about the proposed bill. Leave us a comment on our facebook or Twitter pages. We may use your thoughts on-air.

Paul Harrop, Newschannel 6