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New York Tries Again to Pass Cyberbullying Law

www.endcyberbullying.org

After recent attempts to move forward the Albany Law, county lawmakers have drafted a new version of the bill.

Last week, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that the Albany cyberbullying law violated free speech rights of the people.

This new version is awaiting approval by County Attorney Thomas Marcelle, who is trying to defend the law that was struck down. Some of the issues were that the law applied to both children and adults, and the definition covered “every conceivable form of electronic communication.”

Guilderland Democrat Bryan Clenahan, the primary sponsor of the bill, is working to address these problems. Now, the law applies only to bullying targeted at minors.

The new draft defines the crime as “any act of communicating or causing a communication to be sent by electronic means, including posting statements on the Internet or through a computer or email network, with the intent to inflict emotional harm on a minor; (1) sexually explicit photographs; (2) private or personal sexual information; or (3) false sexual information with no legitimate public, personal or private purpose.

County Executive Dan McCoy has pledged to create a revised bill that could survive a court challenge.

Residents will have a chance to weigh in later this month at a public hearing.