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Definition Edit

Cyberstalking is

the use of the Internet, email or other electronic communications to stalk, and generally refers to a pattern of threatening or malicious behaviors. Cyberstalking may be considered the most dangerous of the three types of Internet harassment, based on a posing credible threat of harm.[1]

Overview Edit

The behavior includes false accusations, monitoring, the transmission of threats, identity theft, damage to data or equipment, the solicitation of minors for sexual purposes, and gathering information for harassment purposes. The conduct must be such that a reasonable person, in possession of the same information, would regard it as sufficient to cause another reasonable person distress.

"Stalking usually refers to harassing or threatening behavior that is engaged in repeatedly. California was the first state to criminalize stalking due to several high-profile cases. . . . Other states passed stalking statutes, sometimes with varying names such as criminal harassment or criminal menace. Physical stalking can include following someone, appearing at a person’s home or job, making harassing telephone calls, leaving written messages and/or objects, and vandalizing one’s property."[2]}}

A list of enacted state statutes regarding cyberstalking from the National Conference of State Legislatures is available here.

References Edit

  1. National Conference of State Legislatures, State Cyberstalking, Cyberharassment and Cyberbullying Laws (full-text).
  2. Protection of Children Online: Federal and State Laws Addressing Cyberstalking, Cyberharassment, and Cyberbullying, at CRS-25 n.25.

See also Edit

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