Vermont Cyberstalking Laws
- A person who, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass or annoy, makes contact by means of a telephonic or other electronic communication with another and
- makes any request, suggestion or proposal which is obscene, lewd, lascivious or indecent;
- threatens to inflict injury or physical harm to the person or property of any person; or
- disturbs, or attempts to disturb, by repeated anonymous telephone calls or other electronic communications, whether or not conversation ensues, the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person at the place where the communication or communications are received
shall be fined not more than $250.00 or be imprisoned not more than three months or both. If the defendant has previously been convicted of a violation of this section or of an offense under the laws of another state or of the United States which would have been an offense under this act if committed in this state, the defendant shall be fined not more than $500.00 or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
- An intent to terrify, threaten, harass or annoy may be inferred by the trier of fact from the use of obscene, lewd, lascivious or indecent language or the making of a threat or statement or repeated anonymous telephone calls or other electronic communications as set forth in this section and any trial court may in its discretion include a statement to this effect in its jury charge.
- An offense committed by use of a telephone or other electronic communication device as set forth in this section shall be considered to have been committed at either the place where the telephone call or calls originated or at the place where the communication or communications or calls were received. (Added 1967, No. 171, § 1; amended 1999, No. 124 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)
Texas Cyberstalking Laws
relating to the creation of the offense of online harassment.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Chapter 33, Penal Code, is amended by adding
Section 33.07 to read as follows:
SEC. 33.07. ONLINE HARASSMENT. (a) A person commits an offense if the person uses the name or persona of another person to create a web page on or to post one or more messages on a commercial social networking site:
(1) without obtaining the other person’s consent; and
(2) with the intent to harm, defraud, intimidate, or threaten any person.
(b) A person commits an offense if the person sends an electronic mail, instant message, text message, or similar communication that references a name, domain address, phone number, or other item of identifying information belonging to any person:
(1) without obtaining the other person’s consent;
(2) with the intent to cause a recipient of the communication to reasonably believe that the other person authorized or transmitted the communication; and
(3) with the intent to harm or defraud any person.
(c) An offense under Subsection (a) is a felony of the third degree. An offense under Subsection (b) is a Class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is a felony of the third degree if the actor commits the offense with the intent to solicit a response by emergency personnel.
(d) If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor may be prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both.
(e) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the actor is any of the following entities or that the actor’s conduct consisted solely of action taken as an employee of any of the following entities:
(1) a commercial social networking site;
(2) an Internet service provider;
(3) an interactive computer service, as defined by 47 U.S.C. Section 230;
(4) a telecommunications provider, as defined by Section 51.002, Utilities Code; or
(f) In this section:
(1) “Commercial social networking site” means any business, organization, or other similar entity operating a website that permits persons to become registered users for the purpose of establishing personal relationships with other users through direct or real-time communication with other users or the creation of web pages or profiles available to the public or to other users. The term does not include an electronic mail program or a message board program.
(2) “Identifying information” has the meaning assigned by Section 32.51.
SECTION 2. This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.
Sec. 42.07. HARASSMENT. (a) A person commits an offense if, with intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass another, he:
(1) initiates communication by telephone, in writing, or by electronic communication and in the course of the communication makes a comment, request, suggestion, or proposal that is obscene;
(2) threatens, by telephone, in writing, or by electronic communication, in a manner reasonably likely to alarm the person receiving the threat, to inflict bodily injury on the person or to commit a felony against the person, a member of his family or household, or his property;
(3) conveys, in a manner reasonably likely to alarm the person receiving the report, a false report, which is known by the conveyor to be false, that another person has suffered death or serious bodily injury;
(4) causes the telephone of another to ring repeatedly or makes repeated telephone communications anonymously or in a manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend another;
(5) makes a telephone call and intentionally fails to hang up or disengage the connection;
(6) knowingly permits a telephone under the person’s control to be used by another to commit an offense under this section; or
(7) sends repeated electronic communications in a manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend another.
(b) In this section:
(1) “Electronic communication” means a transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical system. The term includes:
(A) a communication initiated by electronic mail, instant message, network call, or facsimile machine; and
(B) a communication made to a pager.
(2) “Family” and “household” have the meaning assigned by Chapter 71, Family Code.
(3) “Obscene” means containing a patently offensive description of or a solicitation to commit an ultimate sex act, including sexual intercourse, masturbation, cunnilingus, fellatio, or anilingus, or a description of an excretory function.
(c) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor, except that the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if the actor has previously been convicted under this section.
Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 2204, ch. 411, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 10, Sec. 1, eff. March 19, 1993; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 657, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 15.02(d), eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1222, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.
Washington, D.C. Cyberstalking Laws
Title 22. Criminal Offenses and Penalties. (Refs & Annos)
Subtitle I. Criminal Offenses.
Chapter 31A. Stalking
§ 22-3132. Definitions.
For the purposes of this chapter, the term:
- “Any device” means electronic, mechanical, digital or any other equipment, including: a camera, spycam, computer, spyware, microphone, audio or video recorder, global positioning system, electronic monitoring system, listening device, night-vision goggles, binoculars, telescope, or spyglass.
- “Any means” includes the use of a telephone, mail, delivery service, e-mail, website, or other method of communication or any device.
- “Communicating” means using oral or written language, photographs, pictures, signs, symbols, gestures, or other acts or objects that are intended to convey a message.
- “Emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or distress that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling;
- “Financial injury” means the monetary costs, debts, or obligations incurred as a result of the stalking by the specific individual, member of the specific individual’s household, a person whose safety is threatened by the stalking, or a person who is financially responsible for the specific individual and includes:
- The costs of replacing or repairing any property that was taken or damaged;
- The costs of clearing the specific individual’s name or his or her credit, criminal, or any other official record;
- Medical bills;
- Relocation expenses;
- Lost employment or wages; and
- Attorney’s fees.
- “Personal identifying information” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 22-3227.01(3).
- “Specific individual” or “individual” means the victim or alleged victim of stalking.
- “To engage in a course of conduct” means directly or indirectly, or through one or more third persons, in person or by any means, on 2 or more occasions, to:
- Follow, monitor, place under surveillance, threaten, or communicate to or about another individual;
- Interfere with, damage, take, or unlawfully enter an individual’s real or personal property or threaten or attempt to do so; or
- Use another individual’s personal identifying information.