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Old 11-19-2015, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Downtown Raleigh
1,619 posts, read 2,905,777 times
Reputation: 2032

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<snip> "However, the stalking statute defines the terms “harasses” and “harassment” as knowing conduct directed at a specific person that torments, terrorizes, or terrifies that person and that serves no legitimate purpose. G.S. 14-277.3A(b)(2)."

(Cyberstalking | North Carolina Criminal LawNorth Carolina Criminal Law)

I can't see how the behavior you described meets either of those two, and certainly not both. Of course, you didn't provide enough information for anyone here to verify or determine the validity of. That's kind of like not only posting a mug shot of North Carolina on the web before the state was found to be not guilty but also making it impossible for that determination ever to be made.
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:30 AM
 
166 posts, read 113,997 times
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Some fair points here, and in all honesty I am somewhat relieved to see the reaction of cynicism/sarcasm/doubt/disbelief because it is a response that I find preferable to the alternative, which would be showing some sort of support for this nonsense.

I do want to point out a few facts:

1. I know the friend/coworker well enough to trust their integrity, believe what they tell me.
2. I have not seen the official legal documents. I do not know every detail of the situation. I hope to learn more.
3. I have seen screenshots of the actual messages in question -- they are not threatening or law-breaking, they are standard operating procedure, would be considered "professionally written" warnings by any sane individual, and are basically cut-n-paste wording from recommended, documented procedures. In other words there was no personal exchange, or incident-specific wording that turned it into any sort of personal squabble -- he was just doing his job to the letter.
4. I have seen the friends mugshot - the cyberstalking arrest is real.

From what I have learned so far, the particular passage of the law that was used as the basis for the arrest was "Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of abusing, annoying, threatening, terrifying, harassing, or embarrassing any person.".

In other words for purposes of the arrest, my friend was deemed to have "repeatedly" messaged someone with threat (banning or other penalties that are particular to the forum).

As far as how they both knew they were in NC, the real answer there would require me to reveal who my employer is (but it would make sense once you understand this particular form of social media). I am not 100% sure the person pressing charges knew he resided in the state of NC at the time the police were called or if that was just "good fortune" on the part of the trouble maker, but let's just say that it is very possible he knew this ahead of time.

More fun information -- I have found evidence this has happened before in NC! This is a story I found from about 2 years ago that seems to be a frighteningly similar situation that happened in a Facebook group:

I was arrested last night and charged with cyberstalking in

I hope this thread doesn't get too sidetracked by things like whether the letter of the law supported the arrest or not. It doesn't matter, it happened.

I see two basic problems worth discussing here:

1. That, in NC a person can just call the police and issue an arrest warrant for something so trivial and the gods make it so..
2. That the arrested person's mugshot is now in cyberspace in perpetuity or at least until they pay off the last of the extortion websites.
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:49 AM
 
985 posts, read 545,999 times
Reputation: 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by McWallace View Post

1. I know the friend/coworker well enough to trust their integrity, believe what they tell me.
2. I have not seen the official legal documents. I do not know every detail of the situation. I hope to learn more.
3. I have seen screenshots of the actual messages in question -- they are not threatening or law-breaking, they are standard operating procedure, would be considered "professionally written" warnings by any sane individual, and are basically cut-n-paste wording from recommended, documented procedures. In other words there was no personal exchange, or incident-specific wording that turned it into any sort of personal squabble -- he was just doing his job to the letter.
4. I have seen the friends mugshot - the cyberstalking arrest is real.
1. Your belief in your co-worker's integrity is irrelevant.
2. Read the legal documents and come back to discuss. You are admitting you have no clue what the specific issue is about other than your friend said he's innocent.
3. Have you seen all interactions between the parties or just the screen shots your friend showed you?
4. I agree with other posters, this area of the country loves to publicly pass judgement

Furthermore, I would assume that if this were a true legal issue, your employer would have IMMEDIATELY made you and the rest of the staff aware of the situation and listed the reasons for doing so.

I think that your human nature wants to believe your friend but I would suggest to wait until the all of the evidence is presented. There is more to this story than you are being told, I'm sure. My hunch is that your friend let emotion get the best of him/her. The NC Leg is pretty clear on what constitutes cyberstalking.

If it were a loosely written law, as you indicate, we wouldn't have Facebook, C-D, and many other social sites as they would knowingly be breaking the law.
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,807 posts, read 3,780,826 times
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I don't think it's anything particular to NC. Many states have cyberstalking laws on the books, and anyone is free to press charges. Unfortunately, some of the people who engage in behavior worthy of getting themselves banned from discussion forums are unstable enough that this sort of retribution is a reasonable response in their view.

It's of course then up to the authorities to decide whether to move forward with it, and I imagine the vast majority of issues don't go anywhere, but a few will. But I don't think there's any reason NC would be more problematic.

(I'm in charge of a site with a forum membership of around a million accounts and fortunately we've never had an issue that's gone as far as these cases, though we've certainly had our fair share of people threatening to take legal action because we've banned them.)
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Old 11-19-2015, 10:39 AM
 
166 posts, read 113,997 times
Reputation: 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoSox 15 View Post
1. Your belief in your co-worker's integrity is irrelevant.
2. Read the legal documents and come back to discuss. You are admitting you have no clue what the specific issue is about other than your friend said he's innocent.
3. Have you seen all interactions between the parties or just the screen shots your friend showed you?
4. I agree with other posters, this area of the country loves to publicly pass judgement

Furthermore, I would assume that if this were a true legal issue, your employer would have IMMEDIATELY made you and the rest of the staff aware of the situation and listed the reasons for doing so.

I think that your human nature wants to believe your friend but I would suggest to wait until the all of the evidence is presented. There is more to this story than you are being told, I'm sure. My hunch is that your friend let emotion get the best of him/her. The NC Leg is pretty clear on what constitutes cyberstalking.

If it were a loosely written law, as you indicate, we wouldn't have Facebook, C-D, and many other social sites as they would knowingly be breaking the law.
Responses to your points above:

1. Irrelevant to the outcome of the case, certainly. Irrelevant to my own quest for answers, absolutely not. Whether or not others choose to cherry pick the parts of this thread they wish to believe, or to discuss, will definitely be irrelevant to me. Some folks will always be in disbelief or denial until it happens to them, it's just human nature. The only reason I'm even discussing this subject is because it hit so close to home (a friend arrested for doing the same type of work I do with the same employer, the only difference being we currently live in different states).

2. You made some inaccurate assumptions. I know enough about the case to present what I have presented so far.

3. I have seen the total interactions that were part of the case. If the person presenting the screen shots were a random passerby, I might not lend them them credibility as they could have been fabricated, but because I know the plaintiff and they work for the same employer I know this is not the case.

4. This is what worries me. Not so much the legal case as much as the mug shot and the public perception of seeing someone's photo associated with "cyber stalking". I agree it seems like such a petty charge. I agree nothing will come of the case (the arrresting officer told my friend that!!). But the mere label of the word cyberstalking sounds creepy, and many will simply pass judgment. Potential future employers Google his name and the first thing they see is a mugshot with "cyberstalking" underneath it. Are they going to even investigate further? Are they going to care the charges were thrown out or that he sued the original plaintiff and won in civil court? etc.

I think there have been a lot of good points/ideas made here so far, but I must say I am no less concerned about it than I was when I first learned of this.
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Old 11-19-2015, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,807 posts, read 3,780,826 times
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Curious to know what your employer is doing for your co-worker, considering he was apparently arrested for doing the job he was employed to do.
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Old 11-19-2015, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
7,814 posts, read 6,171,055 times
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Unless you can show us how this wouldn't happen (almost) anywhere in the US, then I'm going to say that this would happen in almost any state in the US. Neither NC nor the Triangle (and it would be a federal or state level law, not local anyway) is unique in this regard.

Check the laws in the state you currently live in, and see what they say
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Old 11-19-2015, 10:55 AM
 
166 posts, read 113,997 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFspiderman View Post
Curious to know what your employer is doing for your co-worker, considering he was apparently arrested for doing the job he was employed to do.
My understanding it that the "official" word is that it is in kind of a "review mode" with my employer. The unofficial word is that they completely stand by their policy and will completely go to bat for my friend (i.e. he is not being thrown under the bus by our employer in any way). But even with the best of possible outcomes, there's the headache of it all and more importantly the mugshot issue.
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Old 11-19-2015, 10:57 AM
 
166 posts, read 113,997 times
Reputation: 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoBromhal View Post
Unless you can show us how this wouldn't happen (almost) anywhere in the US, then I'm going to say that this would happen in almost any state in the US.
I wouldn't argue that it could, laws can be interpreted however they are in any given state. So far I have not found an example of an arrest for Cyberstalking over such a petty matter in any other state, but that's not to say it hasn't happened. To the best of my understanding this is the first time it has happened under this employer, so NC has the dubious honor of first-mover for purposes of the organization I work for. If someone has some examples of this happening in other states I'm all ears. The onus is not on me to prove it only happened in NC any more than it is on others to show similar examples from other states.
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Old 11-19-2015, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Downtown Raleigh
1,619 posts, read 2,905,777 times
Reputation: 2032
14-196.3. Cyberstalking.
(a) The following definitions apply in this section:
(1) Electronic communication. - Any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature, transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, computer, electromagnetic, photoelectric, or photo-optical system.
(2) Electronic mail. - The transmission of information or communication by the use of the Internet, a computer, a facsimile machine, a pager, a cellular telephone, a video recorder, or other electronic means sent to a person identified by a unique address or address number and received by that person.
(b) It is unlawful for a person to:
(1) Use in electronic mail or electronic communication any words or language threatening to inflict bodily harm to any person or to that person's child, sibling, spouse, or dependent, or physical injury to the property of any person, or for the purpose of extorting money or other things of value from any person.
(2) Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of abusing, annoying, threatening, terrifying, harassing, or embarrassing any person.
(3) Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another and to knowingly make any false statement concerning death, injury, illness, disfigurement, indecent conduct, or criminal conduct of the person electronically mailed or of any member of the person's family or household with the intent to abuse, annoy, threaten, terrify, harass, or embarrass.
(4) Knowingly permit an electronic communication device under the person's control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.
(c) Any offense under this section committed by the use of electronic mail or electronic communication may be deemed to have been committed where the electronic mail or electronic communication was originally sent, originally received in this State, or first viewed by any person in this State.
(d) Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
(e) This section does not apply to any peaceable, nonviolent, or nonthreatening activity intended to express political views or to provide lawful information to others. This section shall not be construed to impair any constitutionally protected activity, including speech, protest, or assembly.
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