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Posted by on in Cyber stalking

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Cook County defense lawyerCyberstalking has been an ongoing issue for many years. With the evolution of the Internet and overall technology, there have been easier ways to target specific social groups using media. In January 2018, cyberstalking has become a hate crime, which may lead to serious consequences if an individual is caught cyberstalking and targeting certain groups.

What Is Cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking is defined as when a person uses electronic communication, such as email, text messages, and social media, to direct a specific person or target group, causing the target to fear for safety or suffer from emotional distress. Cyberstalking could also be defined as when a person uses electronic communication to cause a threat of potential bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement, or restraint of threat. Cyberstalking often causes enough emotional trauma that would allow for the person on the receiving end to fear for his or her safety.

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Illinois defense attorney, violent crime, Illinois criminal lawyer, stalking, The justices of the Supreme Court of the United States recently heard arguments in an internet threat case that could have serious ramifications for First Amendment rights in our digital age. Anthony Elonis was convicted in 2011 of threatening his ex-wife and a kindergarten class (amongst others) through a series of Facebook posts. Some of these posts were rather graphic. According to his attorney, the posts were in the form rap lyrics and were a therapeutic exercise. The critical question for the U.S, Supreme Court to decide is whether Elonis’ statements violated laws against making criminal threats or whether his posts constituted free speech, and were therefore protected by the First Amendment.

Threat Laws in Illinois

Depending on the exact circumstances surrounding a communication such as Elonis’, a person who committed a similar act in Illinois could face charges such as cyberstalking (if the threat was communicated over the internet), stalking, or threatening a public official (for example). A “threat” can include any communication that indicates the speaker or communicator will:

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