Create An E-Annoyance, Go To Jail

Posted on Wednesday, January 11 at 10:03 by chall
This ridiculous prohibition, which would likely imperil much of Usenet, is buried in the so-called Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act. Criminal penalties include stiff fines and two years in prison. "The use of the word 'annoy' is particularly problematic," says Marv Johnson, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "What's annoying to one person may not be annoying to someone else." A new federal law states that when you annoy someone on the Internet, you must disclose your identity. Here's the relevant language. "Whoever...utilizes any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet... without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person...who receives the communications...shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both." Buried deep in the new law is Sec. 113, an innocuously titled bit called "Preventing Cyberstalking." It rewrites existing telephone harassment law to prohibit anyone from using the Internet "without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy." http://news.com.com/Create%2Ban%2Be-annoyance%2C%2Bgo%2Bto%2Bjail/2010-1028_3-6022491.html [Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on January 11, 2006]

Note: http://news.com.com/Cre...

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