Thu June 14, 2012
New Cyberbullying Law "Goes Too Far"
The Monroe County Legislature has passed a law that makes cyberbullying a crime, but some civil right's activists believe the new law goes too far.
Under the new law, harassment or intimidation of a minor electronically would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to $1,000 or one year in jail. The Genesee Valley chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union says criminalizing cyberbullying won't prevent it. KaeLyn Rich is the organization's director. She adds the law is too broad and will infringe on First Amendment protected speech for adults and children.
"I think it's really just a way for people to say hey we're doing something about cyberbullying, but the reality of it is that it wasn't well thought out and it's going to open the county up to possible lawsuits should they ever decide to use this law to arrest someone," says Rich.
However, supporters of the new law say it's simply a tool to help law enforcement prevent tragedy. The measure passed by a vote of 22 -5.