Senator THOMAS H. KEAN, JR.
District 21 (Essex, Morris, Somerset and Union)
Makes unauthorized impersonation of another person a crime of the third degree.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning impersonation on Internet websites or by other electronic means and supplementing N.J.S.2C:1-1 et seq.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. Notwithstanding any law, rule, regulation, or order to the contrary, any person who knowingly and without express written consent, poses as another person through or on an Internet website or by any other electronic means for the purpose of harming, harassing, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person, through transmission of oral or written statements, pictures, images, or any other communication by electronic means, is guilty of a crime of the third degree if another person would reasonably believe, or did reasonably believe, that the subject of the impersonation was or is the person who was impersonated.
b. As used in this section, “pose” means to falsely represent oneself, directly or indirectly, as another person.
c. As used in this section, “electronic means” shall include, but not be limited to, the opening of an electronic mail account or the opening of an account or profile on a social networking Internet website in another person’s name.
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill would make the impersonation of another person on an Internet website or by any other electronic means, a crime of the third degree if the person credibly poses as another person without express written consent and if the impersonation is intended to harm, harass, intimidate, threaten or defraud another person through the transmission of images, pictures, oral or written statements, or any other communication by electronic means.
Under current law, N.J.S.2C:21-17 prohibits impersonation of another person and imposes criminal penalties if the impersonator obtains a monetary benefit or causes monetary damages to another person as a result of posing as another person. This bill provides that unauthorized impersonation of another person is a crime of the third degree, whether or not there are monetary benefits to the impersonator or monetary damages to the subject of the impersonation, if the impersonation is intended to harm, harass, intimidate, threaten, or defraud another person.