Curtails transmission of unsolicited electronic mail over public computer networks; creates crime of aggravated harassment of an individual through electronic mail and makes it a class A misdemeanor.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to aggravated harassment of an individual through electronic mail
PURPOSE: The bill seeks to curtail the transmission of unsolicited electronic mail over public computer networks.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The bill would create a new subdivision 1-a of section 240.30 of the penal law to make it a class A misdemeanor to send unsolicited electronic mail over a computer network that provides no purpose of legitimate communication and no information to allow a direct reply from the recipient to the sender.
JUSTIFICATION: Current law already criminalizes harassment over the telephone and through the mail. Harassment through e-mail can and often is just as annoying and alarming to the recipient as written or telephonic communication. Unsolicited electronic mail that disguises its origination, or otherwise fails to disclose its true origination and authorship, has become a prevalent medium of electronic communication. The failure of this type of e-mail to allow the recipient to respond directly to the sender and communicate the recipient's annoyance or alarm has shielded the sender from accountability and facilitated the exponential growth of this annoying method of communication.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10: S.8098/A.6597 Died in Codes 2007-08: S.4104/A.3479 2005-06: S.1005/A.3715 2003-04: S.648/A.853 2001-02: S.6477/A.9963
EXISTING LAW: None.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: The act would take effect the first of November next succeeding enactment.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3070 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 8, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. HUNTLEY -- 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 aggravated harassment of an individual through electronic mail THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 240.30 of the penal law is amended by adding a new subdivision 1-a to read as follows: 1-A. TRANSMITS AN ELECTRONIC MESSAGE OVER A COMPUTER NETWORK WITHOUT THE EXPRESS AUTHORITY OF THE RECIPIENT, WHEN SUCH MESSAGE PROVIDES NEITHER ANY PURPOSE OF LEGITIMATE COMMUNICATION NOR ANY INFORMATION TO THE RECIPIENT WHICH WOULD ALLOW A DIRECT REPLY TO INFORM THE SENDER OF THE ANNOYANCE; OR S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02480-01-1