Does Cyberstalking Need A Separate Law?

from the what-is-it-about-the-computer-that-makes-it-different? dept

Over in Australia, they’re apparently putting in place a cyberstalking law that will mean jail-time for those who harass others “using a telecommunications device”. Why do they need this special law to apply to the use of a telecommunications device? Why not just have a stalking law that will apply to those who “cyberstalk” as well? The action should be illegal, not the method by which the action occurred. Update: Here’s another article on the subject that covers this is a dreadful law that could end up putting protesters in jail.

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Comments on “Does Cyberstalking Need A Separate Law?”

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aNonMooseCowherd says:

No Subject Given

Political considerations may provide an incentive to vote for a law that solidifies a lawmaker’s reputation with advocacy groups and thus attracts votes, regardless of whether it is a good law. With most politicians facing eventual re-election or having aspirations to a higher office, this can be a strong temptation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Same as patents

Cyberstalking requires a separate law just like tacking on “on the internet” to any business plan can make it a new & patentable idea.

Of course it’s all crap–politicians either like to make themselves look good or are just plain stupid. Not only do existing laws fit just fine in covering 95% of internet actions, but at all it would take is pressing charges against a violator, presenting a solid, reasonable case on why for example “cyberstalking” is guilty according to the existing stalking laws and precedent will be set.

I say 95% because there are a few cases where the internet does require special legislation because it is different than anything else–spam of course being the obvious example because phone, mail, etc all mean advertisers paying several orders of magnitude more per message than email and the receivers actually being forced to actually pay for the message (through ISPs).

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