Oklahoma Senate passes bill for harsher penalties against publishing information online ID’ing law enforcement, county officials

Oklahoma

This June 19, 2017 file photo shows a person working on a laptop in North Andover, Mass.

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Senate passed a bill to increase penalties against individuals who publish information online about law enforcement and county officials.

House Bill 1643, written in the Senate by Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, prohibits publishing identifying information of law enforcement and county officials online to “threaten, intimidate, harass or stalk” those officials, a Senate news release states.

“In recent years, we’ve seen our law enforcement community come under attack by misguided anger and hatred. These brave men and women are willing to sacrifice their health, and even their lives, to uphold the law and keep our communities safe. Just as they protect us, we will protect them and their families, which involves keeping their personal information from being maliciously spread on the internet,” Bullard said. “This bill also protects county officials, who have become victims of this same type of dangerous online behavior. I’m grateful for my legislative colleagues for standing up for what’s right, and anxious to get this important law on the books.”

The bill would make such acts a misdemeanor and offenders would face up to six months in county jail, a fine up to $1,000 or both.

Second and subsequent offenses would include a punishment up to one year in the county jail, a fine not to exceed $2,000, or both.

“The measure would also allow elected county officials and peace officers to request that the county assessor not publicize their personal information online,” the news release states.

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