Law criminalizing online harassment may be unconstitutional

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Utah lawmakers say they hope a new, unique law cuts down on the expanding and increasingly troubling forms of cyber harassment by giving authorities the ability to send the online bullies to jail.

But some lawyers and a libertarian-leaning group say they are concerned with the law’s vague language, which they say could be unconstitutional and apply to innocuous, normal online behavior such as criticizing a neighbor’s choice of house paint.

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh says similar laws in New York and North Carolina have been ruled unconstitutional in recent years.

Turner Bitton, of the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault, supports the measure, saying it could have potentially helped a young gay Utah State University student a few years ago who was afraid to come forward about being sexually assaulted after his alleged perpetrator harassed him online.

Share this story: