The Federal Cyberstalking Law is back.
With President Obama’s signature of the bills that comprise the reauthorized Violence Against Women Act, The Federal Cyberstalking Law is back in place.
This is how Sections 107 of The Violence Against Women Act reads:
§ 2261A. Stalking
‘‘(1) travels in interstate or foreign commerce or is present
within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or enters or leaves Indian country, with the intent to kill, injure, harass, intimidate, or place under surveil- lance with intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate another person, and in the course of, or as a result of, such travel or presence engages in conduct that—
‘‘(A) places that person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to—
‘‘(i) that person;
‘‘(ii) an immediate family member (as defined in section 115) of that person; or
‘‘(iii) a spouse or intimate partner of that person; or
‘‘(B) causes, attempts to cause, or would be reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress to a person described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of subparagraph (A); or
‘‘(2) with the intent to kill, injure, harass, intimidate, or place under surveillance with intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate another person, uses the mail, any interactive computer service or electronic communication service or electronic communication system of interstate commerce, or any other facility of interstate or foreign commerce to engage in a course of conduct that—
‘‘(A) places that person in reasonable fear of the death of or serious bodily injury to a person described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of paragraph (1)(A); or
‘‘(B) causes, attempts to cause, or would be reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress to a person described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of paragraph (1)(A),
shall be punished as provided in section 2261(b) of this title.’’.
(c) INTERSTATE VIOLATION OF PROTECTION ORDER.—Section 2262(a)(2) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting ‘‘is present’’ after ‘‘Indian Country or’’.
When this blogger thinks of the Cyberstalking law, it’s hard to forget what may be the most famous case involving its application: The Skank Blogger Story from 2009.
That’s where Rosemary Port thought it was OK to call fashion model Liskula Cohen a a “psychotic, lying, whoring…Skank,” under the blog post title, “Skanks of NYC.”
Ms. Port’s did the action anonymously, until her name was outed by Google under court order because she unknowingly violated the cyberstalking provision of the 2006 Violence Against Women Act. On Wednesday August 19th, a U.S. Federal Judge ordered Google to identify the name of the person who we now know as Ms. Port.
Here’s my video:
This bears repeating: Cyberstalking is not free speech. YouTube should take note of this and adjust the YouTube site to make it easier to prohibit cyberstalking via use of the comment system. I’ve been called the N-word more times than I can count – an average of over 50 times per month. I should have the ability to close out words I find offensive. That saves time from constantly blocking people. That’s a massive chore if you upload videos to YouTube on a daily basis.
But I digress.
The Cyberstalking Law is back, and that’s not the only good news. It comes at a time when some states have established their own cyberstalking laws. For example, you can’t make a Twitter page that steals the identity of a person for malicious intent.