We've already noted how California law makes it a crime to "personate"
someone by pretending to be them, but with the new year, apparently such laws have been strengthened even more in California
, with potential fines and jail time for those who:
"knowingly and without consent credibly impersonates another actual person through or on an Internet Web site or by other electronic means for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person"
While it may be questionable as to whether or not someone setting up a fake Twitter or blog account actually qualifies as having the intention of "harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person," you can pretty much guarantee that some celebrity thus impersonated will test the law on this, and make arguments as to how such impersonators really harmed, intimidated or defrauded. Hopefully the courts are quick to make sure that, if this law is even considered legal, that it's limited in ways to avoid coming down on people just setting up fun joke accounts.