Some may be interested to know that laws against Cyber Bullying are coming.
If a new law out of Albany County, New York, is any indication, then the
writing is on the wall that this controversial trend is a high priority
for government and is about to be addressed. The Albany County law that
was enacted recently makes is misdemeanor to relay "private, personal,
false, or sexual information" with the intent to "harass, annoy,
threaten, abuse, taunt, intimidate, torment, humiliate or otherwise inflict
significant emotional harm on another person."
For some, these laws are a welcome development to address to surge of bullying
- and the damages that result from bullying - that occur among young people
– generally - and mostly in school settings. For others, however,
these laws blatantly infringe on one's constitutional right to freedom
Indeed, a 15 year old defendant in Albany County challenged the cyber bullying
laws on constitutional grounds after he was convicted of the charge and
sentenced to probation. Presently, the New York Court of Appeals has not
yet ruled on this law. Although based on some of the questions posed at
the oral argument before the New York Court of Appeals, some Judges feel
that the law may be overbroad and poorly written.
No matter how the Court of Appeals rules, it is just a matter of time that
cyber bullying laws, in some fashion, are coming and will be part of our
criminal laws in the near future.