What is cyber stalking?
Posted By Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass || 6-May-2015
The Internet has redefined social interactions and completely changed the way that many people engage with their peers. In fact, some have argued that social boundaries and personal space have largely given way to unlimited and uncensored access to people's intimate lives. Cyber stalking is a serious offense that has become more prevalent in cities like Dallas, Texas, in recent years. Interestingly, however, you and many other Internet users may not be familiar with what cyber stalking actually is.
The National Institute of Justice discusses some of the behaviors and conduct that are attributed to stalking, and explains that cyber stalking is quickly becoming a major form of the offense. In fact, law enforcement agencies, as well as state and federal regulators, are beginning to recognize cyber stalking as a legitimate precursor to physical stalking crimes.
In order to understand what kinds of interactions can constitute cyber stalking, it is helpful to consider how stalking is defined. Stalking is generally understood to be repeated conduct that involves any number of unwanted communications with a specific person, which can include but are not limited to implied, written or verbal threats. A number of other behaviors can be considered stalking under the law, but they all typically revolve around unwelcome and/or harassing attention.
Cyber stalking is based on the same type of intimidating and inappropriate conduct as physical stalking, but relies upon the use of electronic mechanisms for interactions between the alleged offender and victim. Consequently, sending persistent emails containing threatening, hateful and/or obscene images and messages can be considered a form of cyber stalking. There are also instances where someone assuming the online identity of another person can be considered cyber stalking under the law.
It is important to note, though, that the specific circumstances of online relationships and interactions can play a major role in determining whether communications may be categorized as cyber stalking. The information provided above is only intended to be educational.