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ACLU criticizes bill to expand Maryland’s cyberbullying law

January 30, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Legislation that would expand Maryland’s law against cyberbullying youth has drawn criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Daily Record reports ACLU of Maryland senior staff attorney David Rocah told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Tuesday that the bill went “vastly overboard.”

The senate bill would outlaw an online bullying incident conducted with the knowledge that a post intentionally intimidating, tormenting or harassing minors would likely be liked or shared multiple times.

Rocah said the bill violates the First Amendment because it’s “aimed at the communicative intent of the speech” and would apply to “communication as opposed to conduct.”

Committee chair and bill sponsor Sen. Robert A. “Bobby” Zirkin says the bill is “narrowly tailored” to achieve Maryland’s “compelling interest” in protecting children and thus passes constitutional muster.

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Information from: The Daily Record of Baltimore, http://www.thedailyrecord.com

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