Call it vestiges of New England Puritanism. Last week, a small town in Massachusetts made news with a ban on swearing. This week, Rhode Island is in the news for rescinding a law that made it illegal to lie over the Internet.
What's going on up in the Northeast lately?
Passed in the nascent days of the Internet, when there was still fear of the unknown world wide web, the Rhode Island legislature passed an Internet law that made it a crime to tell a fib over the Internet, reports the Los Angeles Times. Perhaps not foreseeing the emergence of online dating, message boards, and other forums where lies and exaggerations proliferate, almost every citizen of Rhode Island could have been branded a criminal in the time since the law passed.