Adds communication by means of a computer network to aggravated harassment in the second degree; defines computer network to mean (a) a set of related devices connected to a computer communications facility, or (b) a complex of two or more computers, including related devices, connected by communicated facilities.
BILL NUMBER: S2397
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the penal law, in relation to adding by means of computer network to the crime of aggravated harassment in the second degree
PURPOSE : Creates the crime of harassment by electronic mail or computer network
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Section 1 amends section 240.00 of penal law by adding a new subdivision defining computer network
Section 2 adds computer network to aggregated harassment in the second degree
JUSTIFICATION : One in 17 kids ages 10 to 17 had been threatened or harassed online, and about one-third of those found the incidents extremely distressing, according to a 2000 study by the University of New Hampshire's Crimes, Against Children Research Center. In a recent case, a young teenager's life at school was anything but pleasant; he was teased, taunted and punched for years. But the final blow was the humiliation he suffered every time he logged onto the internet. Someone had set up an abusive website about him that made his life unbearable. The creator of the website asked other students to join in, posting lewd, sexual comments smearing this student's reputation. This activity took place for several months before the student was ever aware of the existence of the site. Advancing technology creates new avenues for individuals to harass, torment and threaten others. By creating the crime of harassment by electronic mail or computer network, law enforcement authorities will be equipped with the proper tools necessary to help reduce the occurrence of such crimes.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : S.6699 of 2005/2006, S.703 of 2007/2008
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : Not applicable.
EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2397 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 19, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. NOZZOLIO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to adding by means of comput- er network to the crime of aggravated harassment in the second degree THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 240.00 of the penal law is amended by adding a new subdivision 7 to read as follows: 7. "COMPUTER NETWORK" MEANS (A) A SET OF RELATED DEVICES CONNECTED TO A COMPUTER COMMUNICATIONS FACILITY, OR (B) A COMPLEX OF TWO OR MORE COMPUTERS, INCLUDING RELATED DEVICES, CONNECTED BY COMMUNICATED FACILI- TIES. S 2. Section 240.30 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 510 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows: S 240.30 Aggravated harassment in the second degree. A person is guilty of aggravated harassment in the second degree when, with intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm another person, he or she: 1. Either (a) communicates with a person, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, by telegraph, or by mail, or by transmitting or delivering any other form of written communication, in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; or (b) causes a communication to be initiated by mechanical or electronic means OR COMPUTER NETWORK or otherwise with a person, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, by telegraph, or by mail, or by transmitting or delivering any other form of written communication, in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; or 2. Makes a telephone call, whether or not a conversation ensues, with no purpose of legitimate communication; or 3. Strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise subjects another person to physical contact, or attempts or threatens to do the same because of aEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03451-01-9 S. 2397 2
belief or perception regarding such person's race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct; or 4. Commits the crime of harassment in the first degree and has previ- ously been convicted of the crime of harassment in the first degree as defined by section 240.25 of this article within the preceding ten years. 5. For the purposes of subdivision one of this section, "form of writ- ten communication" shall include, but not be limited to, a recording as defined in subdivision six of section 275.00 of this part. Aggravated harassment in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor. S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.