Cyberstalking, a New Crime: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Current State and Federal Laws

Naomi Goodno

Pepperdine University School of Law


Missouri Law Review, Vol. 72, 2007

Cyberstalking involves using the Internet, e-mail, or other means of electronic communication to repeatedly harass or threaten another individual. This article explores how the nature of cyberstalking represents a form of behavior distinct from "offline stalking." As such, the interpretation of many of the statutes dealing iwth offline stalking maybe inadequate to address the problem. The first part of the article explores the differences between offline stalking and cyberstalking. The second part examines what the criminal elements of cyberstalking should be in light of these differences. The third part considers how these differences create gaps in both state and federal stalking statutes so that it may be difficult to adequately prosecute all aspects of cyberstalking. This section also suggests ways to close these gaps. The fourth part deals with potential issues in criminalizing cyberstalking and how these issues might be resolved. Finally, the Appendix to the article sets forth all state and federal stalking laws and how they might currently deal with cyberstalking, if at all.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 74

Keywords: cyberstalking, stalk, electronic, e-mail, Internet, computer, federal, state, statute, law, crime, prosecute, criminal, threat, harass, victim

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Date posted: September 9, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Goodno, Naomi, Cyberstalking, a New Crime: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Current State and Federal Laws (2007). Missouri Law Review, Vol. 72, 2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1674176

Contact Information

Naomi Goodno (Contact Author)
Pepperdine University School of Law ( email )
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
United States
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