Online Impersonation Is A Crime In Texas
As I start to get settled back into the legal side of cyber security it amazes me how much cyber effects both criminal and civil law. I have had so many different legal cases, things that I wouldn’t have thought about while working in Corporate America, that is is always a joy to get a new client call, it is truly always something different! So while reading the attached, I thought wow, this on is on the books, since 2009 actually but it’s new to me! I am sure there is plenty of things I will learn as I continue to expand my cyber security law practice.
According to Texas Penal Code Section 33.07 it is a crime to “without obtaining the other person’s consent and with the intent to harm, defraud, intimidate, or threaten, uses the name or persona of the other person in one of two ways online. By (1) creating a page on a website or other commercial social networking site or by (2) sending messages through an existing website or commercial social networking site.”
How this may work in real life, there is a divorce, husband thinks wife is cheating, starts impersonating someone he finds she is in contact with to prove it. Husband has violated the law and may face criminal and/or civil charges. There have been many critics of this law however, it’s interpretation by the courts tend to be common sense, meaning based in fact, as oppose to some sort of First Amendment violation. That’s a good thing, because there are not many laws on the books that actually take into consideration the changes that technology has on our society.
As the law plays catch up to technology, I can only hope these common sense approaches to the intersection of cyber and the law continue.