It's called the Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act. Named after a young lady who committed suicide after having been harassed on the Internet.
But the wording of HR 1966 could be interpreted, critics argue, as a broad criminalization of spirited debate on the Internet. In other words, bloggers, Internet talk show hosts, social networking site posters, chatters and even e-mailers could face prison time for voicing their opinions.
Here's the wording, directly from the bill, that is causing so much angst. Judge for yourself:
Sec. 881. Cyberbullying
- `(a) Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.