Last month, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 1411, enacting new Penal Code Section 528.5, California’s new anti-online impersonation law.   This statute prohibits knowingly and without consent credibly impersonating another person “through or on an Internet web site or by other electronic means for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person.”  For purposes of the statute, “credibly” means another person “would reasonably believe or did reasonably believe that the defendant was or is the person who was impersonated.”  Violations are misdemeanors with potential fines of up to $1000 and potential county jail sentences of up to one year.  More importantly, the law allows the victim of  a “malicious” online impersonation to file civil action for damages and other remedies.  Much has been written about the use of fake social networking profiles to harass, intimidate and defraud others – often with startling consequences.  This statute is probably one of many new tools to come, to combat these practices.