Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.
Enacts new GS 75-44, deeming it an unfair trade practice for a person to solicit information, feedback, or any other response from another person by sending a fictitious communication that is designed to elicit a response from the recipient, punishable by (1) all enforcement and penalty provisions of Article 1, GS Chapter 75; (2) punitive damages of at least $50,000 per violation upon a finding of aggravating factors under State law; and (3) attorneys' fees and costs. Defines fictitious communication as any communication, written or oral, where the sender is intentionally misrepresenting the sender's identity to the recipient. Defines person to include nonprofit and for-profit firms and corporations, including educational institutions, and deems those conducting research to be engaged in commerce, as defined by State law. Effective October 1, 2021.
Makes technical changes to the act's effective date provision. Makes conforming changes to the act's long title.
Summary date: Jun 8 2021 - View summary
Summary date: Apr 13 2021 - View summary
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Amends proposed GS 14-118.8 as follows. Revises the definition of impersonate to mean engaging in a credible portrayal (was impersonation) of an actual person such that another person would reasonably believe, or did reasonably believe, that the imposter was or is the misrepresented person. No longer provides that a violation of the statute is punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, or by imprisonment, or by both the fine and imprisonment; maintains that a violation is a Class H felony. Makes a technical change regarding costs recoverable in a civil action brought under the statute.
Summary date: Mar 22 2021 - View summary
Enacts GS 14-118.8 to provide the following. Makes it a Class H felony punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment to knowingly and without consent impersonate another person through or on a website or by other electronic means for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person, including the misrepresented person. Defines electronic means to include email, text, or instant messaging accounts, and social networking accounts or profiles, in another person's name. Defines impersonate, imposter, and misrepresented person. Creates a civil cause of action against the imposter, making actual damages at the rate of the higher of $1,000 per day of the violation or $10,000, punitive damages, and reasonable attorneys' fees and other litigation costs recoverable by the misrepresented person or another person who is harmed, intimidated, threatened, or defrauded by the imposter through or on a website or by other electronic means. Excludes law enforcement officers in the discharge or attempt to discharge official duties, and licensed private detective services professionals engaging in the discharge of official duties. Specifies that the statute does not preclude prosecution under any other law. Applies to acts committed on or after December 1, 2021.