Politics Technology

Is Maggie Brooks’ cyberbullying bill just shallow politics?

Whilst working on another post about cyberbullying, I’ve had time, thanks to good friends in conventional media, to review the actual bill the Monroe County Legislature just passed on the issue. Near the bottom, I find this curious passage:

382-8 Reverse Preemption

This law shall be null and void on the day that statewide or federal legislation goes into effect, incorporating either the same or substantially similar provisions as are contained in this local law or in the event that a pertinent state or federal administrative ….

So in English, this basically means that the whole law gets thrown out the minute another, similar law at the “statewide or federal” level goes into effect. But this bill was signed into law one day after a state law was passed, and a mere six months before it goes into effect. The bill was initially introduced to the Monroe County Legislature on March 20th. So what is the need for this law that garnered so much press?

Even had there been more time for the law to go into effect, it is difficult to imagine how Monroe County could possibly enforce such a law. There is nothing in the bill itself to indicate any additional powers or responsibilities on the part of law enforcement, the County or any other body. It merely says that violation of the letter of the law will be punishable by up to a year in jail. By whom? How do they intend to apprehend an attacker?

A basically unenforceable law with a six month shelf life. Hard to see what benefit there is for anybody not running for US Representative in NY25.

I attempted to contact Legislator Barker for comment, but he was not available. I’m waiting to hear back from him.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.