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Here Come Laws Against Cyber Bullying!

Posted by Joseph F. Sullivan | Jun 06, 2014 | 0 Comments

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 of speech.

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.

About the Author

Joseph F. Sullivan

Born in Jamaica, Queens to working class parents, Joseph Sullivan became the second member of his family to attend college and the first to obtain an advanced degree. He graduated cum laude from Temple University School of Law. While there, he was a writer and editor of the Temple Law Review. ...

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