Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu
Final Reading Written Remarks
Senate Bill 2456, Senate Draft 2, House Draft 1, Conference Draft 1
Relating to Harassment (Harassment by Impersonation)
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I rise in support.
Since the 2005 Legislative Session, I have been working to create a new law to discourage impersonation. The reasoning is that people are being harassed by individuals impersonating as them, especially on the Internet. It has already happened to a friend of mine. The act of harassing by impersonation can cause irreparable damage by ruining one's reputation, placing one in fear of one's safety, and inflicting emotional distress.
Senate Bill 2456 is the companion to my House Bill 2319, which proposed to add computer communication as a form of nonconsensual contact in the offense of harassment by stalking. However, Senate Bill 2456, Senate Draft 2, House Draft 1 was amended by the House Judiciary Committee to include the policy goal of discouraging impersonation, which is from another bill of mine, House Bill 2320.
This measure would create a new section in the Hawai'i Revised Statutes to include "harassment by impersonation." Under this definition, "A person commits the offense of harassment by impersonation if that person poses as another person, without the express authorization of that person, and makes or causes to be made, either directly or indirectly, a transmission of any personal information of the person to another by any oral statement, any written statement, or any statement conveyed by any electronic means, with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm any person." Harassment by impersonation would be a misdemeanor.