Articles Tagged with “internet law”

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typing.jpg In the last several years, many states have passed laws prohibiting cyber-harassment, cyber-stalking, and cyber-bullying to reflect the evolution of today’s society which, more and more, is becoming centered around electronic communications.

While New Jersey has been a strong advocate of anti-bullying and harassment laws, it has only recently passed a law which specifically criminalizes cyber-harassment. The law was considered to be, in large part, a reaction to the increase in the number of teens who have committed suicide after suffering online harassment. It passed both houses of the state legislature unanimously and was signed into law shortly thereafter by Governor Christie.

This law makes cyber-harassment a crime of the fourth degree, unless the harasser is 21 years old or older and the targeted person is a minor. In that case, it is considered a crime in the third degree. New Jersey’s Criminal Code provides that a third degree crime may result in 3 to 5 years of imprisonment if convicted and a fourth degree crime may result in up to 18 months of imprisonment. The law specifies that these crimes could also be penalized by either a $10,000 fine (for a fourth degree offense) or a $15,000 fine (for a third degree offense) either in addition to or instead of the jail time.
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cybersquatting.jpgBusinesses acquire rights in a trade name which they use in commerce, whether they register it or not. One of those rights is protection from “cybersquatting.” This protection was added to the federal Lanham Act in 1999, which protects against unfair competition and is the main federal law protecting trade names, when Congress passed the Anti-Cybersquatting Piracy Act (known as the “ACPA”).

Cybersquatters register domain names likely to be used by businesses – sometimes in the tens of thousands – and then attempt to sell them to businesses or people with similar names. Sometimes they register variations of popular trade names, which is referred to as “typosquatting.” They may also use a program to obtain domain names already registered when the registrations expire, often using automated programs, which is referred to as “alert angling,” “extension exaggeration” or “renewal snatching.” The name cybersquattnig itself comes from the term “squatting,” in which people trespass and occupy vacant buildings.
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