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Tennessee passes cyber-bullying legislation

Tennessee legislation aimed at preventing cyber bullying is headed to Gov. Phil Bredesen, who is expected to allow it to become law, reports the Commercial Appeal. The bill was originally aimed at preventing internet bullying of minors, but lawmakers removed its 18-year-old age limit so that it also applies to adult victims of malicious electronic communications. It is partly a response to the 2006 suicide of a 14-year-old girl in Missouri after a former friend’s mother created a fake profile of a fictional teen boy on a social networking web site and used it to post humiliating untruths about her. The bill broadens the existing harassment law to include sending electronic communications to another person without legitimate purpose and with "malicious intent to frighten, intimidate, or cause emotional distress." An offense is a Class A misdemeanor under the Tennessee criminal code, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500…

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