Half of U.S. States Now Ban Internet Stalking and Harassment

Arizona is updating its stalking laws to include email and text messaging.

by / July 13, 2012
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Arizona is updating its stalking laws to include modern technologies like email and text messaging. Because Arizona’s law was drafted in the 1970s, the most recent technology affected by harassment, threat and intimidation law was the telephone.
In addition to including modern technology in existing harassment legislation, the law will also place restrictions on using GPS or other means to monitor a person.
"We had a loophole in the law that had developed because technology had outpaced the law," said Rep. Ted Vogt, who sponsored the bill, reported Azcentral.com. "We communicate in very different ways in 2012 than we did in the early 1970s."
HB 2549 states: “It is unlawful for any person, with the intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use any electronic or digital device and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest and lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.”

The new law won't cover Facebook communications, or other social networking sites or blogs.

When the updated law goes into effect Aug. 2, Arizona will join 24 other states that already have cyberstalking and cyberharassment laws, Azcental.com reported.