Sen. Tom Harman, Friend of Facebook, Google and Spammers Everywhere
You can look at state Sen. Tom Harman's opposition to a bill knocking around the California Legislature one of two ways:
The Huntington Beach Republican is on the side of Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo and LinkedIn.
Or, Harman's on the side of spammers, identity thieves and other assorted online trolls who put the "Goddamn Internet" in "Internet."
Actually, it's safe to report Harman's in with all those entities, at least based on his opposition to SB 242. The online privacy bill, introduced by Sen. Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro), would make social networks set users' settings private by default during the registration process and allow user information to be shared only on an opt-in basis. Each violation could cost the Internet companies $10,000.
The bill failed in a state Senate last week, when it received 16 of 21 votes to pass out of the chamber. Two Democrats and 14 Republicans voted in opposition fueled by a "Floor Alert" circulated by Palo Alto-based Facebook.
But Corbett, undaunted, was looking for a re-vote as soon as today. Enter Harman, who joined his colleague Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo) in penning an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle explaining their no votes.
The piece claims the bill violates the U.S. Constitution because it extends California's authority beyond state borders, and that it endangers the success of the Golden State's Internet companies.
Note to Harman: spend that impending Facebook contribution well.
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