A current case in Washington State raises questions on the differences between free speech and criminal cyberstalking. These cyberstalking laws criminalize offensive speech as criminal acts. While the speech is offensive, it is often protected as free speech according to EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury. He goes on to point out that anyone making negative statements made online could potentially be prosecuted under similar laws. The full amicus brief filed by Seattle Attorney Venkat Balasubramani on behalf of the EFF is available online.*
While many cases highlight the differences of the application of the law on and offline, this case simply raises questions of free speech. The uniqueness comes from the possibility that new laws will be used to limit free speech under the guise of keeping up with technology.
If you are involved in a cyberstalking case, copyright infringement case, criminal case, or accused of an Internet crime contact the criminal lawyers at Law Offices of Raymond G. Wigell, Ltd. by clicking our link or calling (708)481-4800.
Electronic Frontier Foundation