by Mike Masnick
Wed, Mar 19th 2008 3:15pm
Last month, a Moroccan man was sentenced to three years in jail just because he set up a fake profile of a Moroccan prince in Facebook. These sorts of fake profiles are quite common, and it didn't appear that the profile did anything defamatory. However, the guy was still charged with identity fraud. That seems extreme. If the Moroccan royal family was upset about the profile, why not just ask Facebook to take it down? If the fake profile was defamatory, sue the guy for defamation. Charging him with identity fraud and giving him three years in jail was clearly overkill. The international response to this event apparently caught the attention of the royal family, and the king has pardoned the guy in question, releasing him from jail after just a few weeks. However, the fact that he had to go to jail at all still is worrisome.
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