Here’s my contribution to this project:
Part one is all a quote from Popehat talking about a woman named Crystal Cox.
This is about the difference between journalism and not journalism.
Here’s the most important thing you need to know about blogger and “investigative journalist” Crystal Cox: when she got angry at First Amendment attorney Marc Randazza, she didn’t just register the domains marcrandazza.com and fuckmarcrandazza.com and marcrandazzasucks.com in order to attack him. She registeredjenniferrandazza.com and nataliarandazza.com — the names of Randazza’s wife and three-year-old daughter.
That’s Crystal Cox in a nutshell — an appropriate receptacle.
You’ve probably heard of Crystal Cox before, even if you don’t remember the name. Last December, the media and the blogosphere were full of stories about how a federal judge in Oregon had ruled that “bloggers are not journalists” and declined to extend to her various statutory defenses available to the press, leading to a $2.5 million defamation judgment against her. She was hailed as a champion of free speech and a victim of a backwards and technophobic judiciary.
The truth, as is often the case, was a little more complicated. Remember: the first thing you need to know is that blogger and “investigative journalist” Crystal Cox is the sort of person who registers domains in the name of the three-year-old daughters of her enemies.
Part Two is about what ‘proving information’ actually means on the statutes in Maryland, according to this Yahoo post. It’s not about the potential harasser providing information to OTHER PEOPLE, such as on a blog; it’s about whether that person has a lawful reason to contact THE RECEIVER of the that contact, such as providing information to THEM.
“Harassment” that constitutes a criminal offense in Maryland takes several forms, and is covered under Title 3-801-806.
The general crime of harassment is broad, and means follow another in or about a public place or maliciously engage in a course of conduct that alarms or seriously annoys the other without a lawful reason and with the intent to annoy or alarm that person. The law makes an exception for providing information (like a sales rep wanting to tell you about a product) or expressing a political view (soap-boxing on a city street)
Harassment by both phone and e-mail is also illegal.
Part the three. This is what Maryland passed last year:
Current Maryland law prohibits using email to harass someone and requires the harassing material be sent to an electronic address unique to the victim.
The legislation expands that standard to all types of communication using a computer or another electronic device. Under the bill, communication or data also does not need to be sent directly to a victim to qualify as harassment.
The bill contains a penalty of up to one year in prison or a maximum fine of $500.
I still fail to understand a logical, legal reason that the harassment action wasn’t pursued against Bill Schmalfeldt, the man who harassed my family for months.